Spread over 4,210 acres (1,704 hectares) of the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, Griffith Park is often referred to as "the Central Park of Los Angeles". The municipal park is one of North America's largest urban green spaces. There's ample opportunity for outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding and tennis, alongside popular attractions like the Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Greek Theater, and the iconic Hollywood Sign. At the confluence of landscaped greenery and rugged wilderness, Griffith Park is Los Angeles' most treasured recreational venue and scenic escape.
Since its inception in 1961, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography. Today, the museum features particularly strong collections of Asian, Latin American, European, and American art, as well as a contemporary museum on its campus, Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM). With this expanded space for contemporary art, innovative collaborations with artists, and an ongoing transformation project, LACMA is creating a truly modern lens through which to view its rich encyclopedic collection of more than 100,000 works. With this much to explore, they encourage you to spend an entire day with them.
160 acres (65 hectares) of unspoiled nature can be seen at the east point of the Santa Monica mountains at the Runyon Canyon Park. This pet friendly park has two southern entrances and a northern entrance at Mulholland Drive. Go for a hike or head to the play area where your kids can play. Keep your camera ready as celebrities are known to unwind here as well.
Since 1913 this museum has been delighting people of all ages with entertaining exhibits about our world, both natural and cultural. Visit such wonders as the rarest shark in the world, a zoo full of insects and 20 complete dinosaur skeletons. A number of special exhibits are presented throughout the year.
The Page Museum shares the same location as the La Brea Tar Pits, so after you've witnessed the Pits which once entrapped Ice Age mammals, you can step inside and view the fossil remains. There are massive displays of mammoths, saber-toothed cats and an incredible collection of dire wolves. There are also exhibits of insects, plants and birds. Especially fascinating is the display of the skeletal remains of the La Brea Woman who is said to have lived about 9000 years ago. This is an extraordinary experience for the entire family.
Japan's top architect, Arata Isozaki, built the Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA as it is called by locals, in 1986. The series of bright galleries with exposed vaults display some of this century's finest artwork. Works by Mark Rothco, Franz Kline, Claes Oldenburg and more are displayed year-round. In addition to the curators, artists and critics frequently give guided tours. Inside the museum is a great restaurant called Patinette serving great Mediterranean cuisine.
Put your walking shoes on and get ready for one of the best tours you will ever take of the city. Blissfully free of cost and incredibly enriching, the Free LA Tour takes you through the core of Los Angeles - Downtown and Hollywood. The dynamic Downtown tour includes walking through city landmarks such as Union Station, Pershing Square, City Hall and the Bradbury Building. The Grand Central Market, the Central Library and the historic theater district are featured in the tour as well. Stumble upon several hidden gems as well, and let LA surprise you. The tour requires a minimum of four people to conduct a free tour.
This attractive museum is both a study of the life of Japanese-Americans and a celebration of Japanese-American art. The museum has presented a number of art exhibitions tackling several different mediums, including photography, film and sculpture. The subjects of some past exhibitions have included "Asian American Artists and Abstraction, 1945-1970", and "The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road."
This gallery presents both contemporary and traditional art by Japanese and Japanese-American artists. There are few boundaries as to what is exhibited here. One show for instance, focused on the designs of local architects as seen in models, drawings and plans. Another recent show displayed pieces from the impressive permanent collection, which explored the WWII relocation camp at Manzanar. The gallery is housed inside the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.
The Chinese American Museum is the first in Southern California to document the experience of the Chinese in America. It is housed within the oldest surviving Chinese building, called the Garnier Building. The first exhibition was held in 1992 and featured the works of James Wong Howe, the Oscar-winning cinematographer. The museum's main aim is to eventually become an educational resource for other ethnic communities. In February, it celebrates the Chinese Lantern Festival, so if you're visiting LA at that time make sure it's on your itinerary.
Grand Park is nestled in downtown Los Angeles along Grand Avenue. Opened to the public in 2012, this 12-acre (4.9-hectare) urban project has been compared to the likes of New York’s Central Park. Located between City Hall and the Music Center, it features verdant lawns and mature trees, interactive fountains and plazas, as well as event spaces. The Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain with its dazzling light effects is the highlight of this landscape. This park is also a regular venue for performing arts, concerts, farmers’ markets and community events.
Focusing on the Mexican American experience in Southern California and the greater Los Angeles area, this cultural center celebrates the influence of the culture and its people. La Plaza de Cultura y Artes is located near the site where Los Angeles was founded in 1781 on a sprawling 2.2 acre campus. The center is home to two historic buildings, and a lush public garden. Take a peek at rotating exhibits, partake in an educational program or attend one of their many on-going events.