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The Bradbury Building is the one of the most impressive Victorian buildings that remains in L.A. Determined to build a lasting monument as his final real estate development, millionaire Lewis Bradbury rejected conventional designs and urged draftsman George Wyman to give the building a more futuristic twist. Wyman initially turned down the offer as unprofessional, but was supposedly persuaded to change his mind after communicating with his deceased brother using a Ouija board. He ultimately created a masterpiece of oak paneling, tiled stairs, wrought-iron railings, open-cage elevators and a glass roof, which illuminates all.
Built for the 1932 Olympic games, Exposition Park is now a venue for many sports and cultural events. Originally known as "Agricultural Park," it houses a sports arena, coliseum, museum, science center, rose garden, a swimming stadium and expo center. The park is bustling with activities throughout the year with events like Annual Bug Fair and Science Camp. The Rose Garden can be hired for special events and the Coliseum hosts popular sports events. Exposition Park also plays host to the L.A. Food Fest, a culinary extravaganza attracting food lovers from far and beyond.
This cemetery is as Hollywood as they come. Genuine elegance is provided by its Egyptian temples, Greek statues and Roman memorials. This is the final resting place for some of the most famous names in early Hollywood history including Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino. The Paramount Studios lot lies adjacent to these grounds, and many of its stars have been buried here. Some of the more impressive grave sites include the water-guarded mausoleum of William A. Clark, Jr. and Douglas Fairbanks’ monument and reflecting pool.
Built in Art Deco style, this observatory was constructed in the early 1930s and is a highlight among the landmarks in Southern California. See incredible light shows at the Oschin Planetarium, which puts to use the latest technology. Outside the observatory, you'll find sweeping views of the nearby area that are breathtaking during the day as well as at night. Exhibits and planetarium shows will fascinate visitors. Some visitors might recognize the observatory as the site where the climax of Rebel Without a Cause was filmed. On clear nights take advantage of the free public telescopes to see the stars up close.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a star-studded attraction that immortalizes deserving performers of every stripe; a constellation of famous personalities laid out along the sidewalk. The Walk of Fame is very much a tribute to Johnny Grant, the former mayor of Hollywood and a relentless promoter of Tinsel Town. Encompassing a stretch of the sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard, near the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, more than 2600 brass-inlaid, terrazzo stars honor some of the most famous personalities of the entertainment industry, including movie stars, radio-show hosts, recording artists, film directors, TV personalities and stage actors. New stars are added frequently, an event that is accompanied by much pomp and show, creating an ever-evolving chronicle of Hollywood's vibrant legacy.
While the skyline of Hollywood is largely unspectacular, Capitol Records Building is one of the few exceptions. At the urging of label artists Nat King Cole and Johnny Mercer, this 13-story building was built in 1954 as the highly successful record label's headquarters, near the fabled Hollywood and Vine intersection. A mural at the building's southern face pays tribute to some of its jazz greats including Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday while a flashing light at the top of the building spells out "H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D" to passing aircrafts.
Originally built in 1926, this theater was completely renovated in 1991 by Pacific Theatres and The Walt Disney Company. It's now a premier movie palace that Disney uses to showcase its animated and children's features. Special features begin with a live stage show with a singing and dancing chorus of familiar Disney characters. Often short cartoons will precede the main show. Be sure to call or check the website for the movie and show times.
Formally Grauman's Chinese Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre is known as one of the best landmarks in Hollywood. Many people visit this theater not to see first-run motion pictures, but to gaze at the famous hand and footprints on the ground outside. It's a quintessential Los Angeles tourist ritual and well worth the trip. The theater itself is one of the oldest and largest in town. The screen is massive and the sound is top-notch. Enter the Pagoda-like structure of this movie hall with dragons and lions welcoming you into the premises. Check out the exotic interiors and revel in the glory of days gone by. Moreover, a four-minute light and sound show projected onto the timeless facade of the theater offers a window into Hollywood's fascinating realm, taking onlookers on an exciting journey of the industry's most classic masterpieces. There is no charge to wander around the open-air patio "walk-of-fame" on the side-walk. Ticket prices vary depending on showtimes.
One of the most telling symbols of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign is perched sky-high on Mount Lee. This popular piece of signage was originally set up in 1923 to serve as an advertising gimmick for real estate development, only to become as legendary as its abode in the years that followed the Golden Age of Hollywood. Overlooking the urbane sprawl of its namesake neighborhood, the sign glistens under the Californian sun, profoundly iconic in its stark white lettering that stands at a height of 44 feet (13.4 meters). Swathes of barricades and restricting gates prevent access to the sign, even as adventurous individuals attempt to trespass it. Part of an everlasting cultural fabric that blankets the city of Los Angeles and perhaps all of America, this historical sign has come to be one of the most tangible aspects of Hollywood's fantastical realm.
It isn't exaggerating to say that Rodeo Drive contains some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. Remember Julia Roberts' shopping spree in Pretty Woman? Rodeo Drive is where she went. The place boasts of a great mixture of clothing, restaurants, unique shops and celebrity spotting. Be warned, however, some of the stores are so exclusive, shopping is by appointment only.
Contrary to what most people think, Sunset Boulevard is not just another trendy boulevard with Hollywood written all over it. This is a 39 kilometer stretch which passes through some of Los Angeles' most celebrated neighborhoods like West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Also known as Guitar Row because of numerous guitar shops, this timeless and iconic boulevard which has featured in art and cinema over the centuries will be etched forever in the hearts of L.A's people.
Venice is know for its beach, the glorious stretch of pristine white sands, the warm sunshine and the palm trees making for the perfect postcard. You need not step onto the beach in order to experience the vibrant culture of Venice, just walk along the bustling boardwalk and you will see the local scene unfold before you. Watch the street performers mesmerize spectators with their talents, buy something very unique from any of the shops that line the Boardwalk, or catch the attraction that is the Muscle Beach, where Arnold Schwarzenegger-worshipers pump iron and strive to look as big and muscular as possible.