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Los Angeles, California Travel Guide

INTRODUCTION

Los Angeles, or L.A., is the entertainment capital of the United States and possibly even the world. As the base of operations for many film, television, and music studios, a lot of Americaís creative types reside here. L.A. has a reputation for colorful and sometimes controversial extravagance in everything from art to fashion.

Population-wise, Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States, and the largest land-wise. The districts of L.A. are: Downtown L.A., East L.A., South L.A.,Harbor Area, Hollywood, Wilshire, Westside, and San Fernando Valley ("the Valley"). Within these districts lie many famous areas and neighborhoods, such as Bel-Air, which is located in the Westside district.

L.A. is so large, in fact, that it has annexed other towns, like Hollywood, into becoming part of the city of Los Angeles proper. It also surrounds other cities like Beverly Hills, which is in L.A. but technically its own city.

HISTORY

The Los Angeles area was home to many Native American groups for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans in 1542. The Spanish officially set up L.A. as a town in 1777.

In 1821 New Spain, which Los Angeles was a part of, gained independence from the Spanish Empire, making L.A. a part of Mexico. The United States of America took control of California in 1847 after defeating Mexico in the Mexican-American War.

Los Angeles began to grow during the Gold Rush era of the 1850s, but it was William Mulhollandís completion of an aqueduct in 1913 that really allowed L.A. to develop into an important city in the very dry region of Southern California.

In the 1920s the motion picture and aviation industries moved to Los Angeles in order to capitalize on the region's seemingly never-ending space. This is what eventually thrust Los Angeles into the international spot light.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Power: 120 V, 60 Hz

Languages: English

Climate: Los Angeles enjoys a typical Southern California climate Ė moderate and averaging 80 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter.

Currency: US Dollar

Time Zone: PST (UTC-8) - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)

L.A. has one of the largest freeway systems in the world. This is because it is the most car-populated metro area in the world. L.A. also (seemingly unbeknownst to some of the locals) has a subway, rail, and bus system that covers much of the Los Angeles area.

ATTRACTIONS

Hollywood

Hollywood Blvd.

Walk of Fame

West Hollywood

Mulholland Drive

Sunset Strip

Music

Los Angeles Music Center

Hollywood Bowl

Whisky a Go Go

Wiltern

Amoeba Music

House of Blues Sunset Strip

Orpheum Theatre

Club Nokia

Museums and Culture

The Getty Center

Museum of Contemporary Art

The Ronald Reagan Library

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

La Brea Tar Pits

Griffith Park

El Pueblo

Theater

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman's Egyptian Theatre

El Capitan

Pantages Theatre

Kodak Theatre

Shopping

Rodeo Drive

Fashion District

Hollywood and Highland

Third Street Promenade

Beaches

Venice Beach

Santa Monica

Malibu

Topanga State Beach

Zuma Beach

Hermosa City Beach

Sports

One of two LA menís basketball teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, play at the Staples Center and are Californiaís most beloved basketball team. The Lakersís roster includes basketball mega-stars like Kobe Bryant and Luke Walton. Los Angelesís other basketball teams are the LA Clippers and the WNBA team, the LA Sparks. The LA Kings donít have the same record of success that East Coast hockey teams do but are still fun to watch for hockey lovers. The LA Galaxy gained international prestige in the soccer world when it signed David Beckham in 2007 and is currently Major League Soccerís most popular team. The Los Angeles Dodgers have a fiercely loyal fan base and a very strong team that is continually at the top of its division. Los Angeles does not have a football team; its former NFL team, the Rams, moved to St. Louis in 1995.

NEARBY CITIES

Burbank

Catalina Island

Glendale

Long Beach

Orange County

Simi Valley

Thousand Oaks

Valencia

Westlake Village

RESTAURANTS

The Palm - A traditional family-run restaurant, the Palm is renowned for its generous portions and mouth-watering steaks. Diners will enjoy the lively atmosphere and friendly service.

Tengu - Named after the Japanese god of mischief, Tengu is sure to tempt with its Asian fusion cuisine and nightly groove soundtrack provided by the house DJ.

Lucques - Lucques on Melrose serves creative, seasonal French-Mediterranean food, accompanied by an extensive wine list.

Cicada - Housed in a striking Art Deco building, Cicada specializes in Italian cuisine with an Asian twist.

Spark Woodfire Grill - Boasting inspiring views of the Pacific Ocean, Spark Woodfire Grill on Huntington Beach serves contemporary American cuisine and offers a California-driven wine list.

Ca Del Sole - Diners can enjoy authentic and comforting Italian cuisine in a quiet, homey atmosphere. Ca Del Sole also boasts a welcoming open fireplace and outdoor patio.

Diddy Riese Ė These freshly-made ice cream sandwiches tempt UCLA students with both low prices ($1.50 per sandwich) and high variety (ten flavors of cookies and twelve of ice cream). Open until at least midnight every day, the storeís late hours make ice cream sandwiches the perfect indulgent midnight snack. Anyone for a scoop of strawberry cheesecake chunk between two double chocolate cookies with nuts?

LODGING

Venice Beach Hotel - This award-winning hostel offers quality budget accommodation in the heart of Venice Beach.

Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills - The hip Avalon Hotel blends retro chic with bold modern design. Located in a quiet residential area, it's just six blocks from the fashionable shops of Beverly Hills.

Hotel Maya - A luxurious boutique hotel located at Long Beach's waterfront, the Hotel Maya boasts an exotic garden and a tropical ambiance.

Hollywood Roosevelt - This grand Spanish-style hotel has catered for Hollywood's entertainment royalty throughout the last century. It also houses Dakota, a steakhouse with a twist, and Teddy's, one of the hottest clubs in Hollywood.

The Queen Mary - Since her maiden voyage in 1934, the Queen Mary has been the epitome of privilege and elegance. After 1,001 transatlantic crossings, she has dropped her anchor in Long Beach and now offers opulent hotel accommodation.

Kawada - Awash with quaint, old-world charm, the Kawada offers comfortable rooms for very reasonable prices. The hotel is also home to an acclaimed restaurant and a wonderful cafe - Epicenter and Shockwave - both humorously named with a nod to California's shaky reputation.


 
 
 
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