This observatory, built in Art Deco style, was built in the early 1930s and is a highlight among 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 area that are breathtaking during the day and at night as well. 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 Huntington, the former home of a railroad tycoon, is many things—an extensive library filled with rare books, a large art collection containing numerous European prints and paintings, botanical gardens of almost unmatched splendor and a forum for regular lectures and other activities. You will also find a fine bookstore, cafe and tea room on the grounds. Come and wander through the 150 acres of colorful gardens, lily ponds and beautiful sculptures. The rare books and manuscripts in the library include some of the earliest editions of Shakespeare's works, a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum and the Ellesmere manuscript of one or more of Chaucer's greatest works. Please note reservations are required in order to visit and prices vary depending on the day of the week.
One of the most intriguing museums in Los Angeles, the exhibits here are both professionally sound and completely dubious at the same time. Although the exhibits feature artifacts and relics from the Lower Jurassic period, they seem to stay faithful to the theme of the museum. The main quest for the visitor is to determine whether or not this entire museum is a sham. Regardless of your ultimate conclusion, the museum is certainly worth both the price of admission as well as your time exploring it.
Once upon a time, Rancho La Brea or La Brea Tar Pits was only a Mexican land grant. Now a park, the tar pits have been the world's richest deposit of Ice Age fossils. More than 40,000 years ago mammoths, saber-toothed cats and dire wolves freely roamed the Los Angeles basin and became entrapped in the natural asphalt of the tar pits. During the summer months, visitors can observe the ongoing excavation from Pit 91. A visit to the on-site Page Museum is a must.
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.
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel is steeped in history that dates back to when it was founded in 1771. Visitors can tour this well-preserved Roman Catholic Mission grounds and visit its museum. View the tall buttresses and walls then check out the campanile that holds six bells that were crafted between 1795 and the 1830s. The beautiful altar was made in Mexico City in the 1790s and some of the wooden statues were carved in Spain in the 1700s. The mission museum exhibits relics, books and religious artifacts.
This Byzantine-style architectural wonder is 454 feet tall and takes up a whole block of space. A tourist attraction in itself, the venue is always alive and humming with activity. Regular tours are held here, so tourists and locals can explore the interiors without getting lost. The structure was built in the mid 1920s. Call for more information, and don't forget your camera!
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.
This 44 acre heritage land is the oldest in Los Angeles, dating back to 1781. Prominent buildings include the city's first church, theater, firehouse, five museums and Avila Adobe; the oldest landmark in the city. Olvera Street, dotted with eateries, street vendors, and arts and craft shops among others, also runs through the Pueblo. Call ahead for tour timings.
This adobe structure, built by Don Francisco Avila, is considered the oldest existing house in Los Angeles. By modern standards the home is quite small, though at the time it was the largest in the area. Although it has been heavily restored, much of the original structure survives today. It now functions as a museum with the interior having been refurbished to include a four-post bed and other typical furnishings from the era.
See Los Angeles like you've never seen it before by visiting OUE Skyspace LA. Located on the top of the U.S. Bank Tower, this observation deck is about 1000 feet (305meters) off the ground! Step inside OUE Skyspace LA and learn about LA's unique skyline with their educational and interactive exhibits. Afterwards, step outside to their open-air observation deck to see LA from up above. On a clear day you can even see the ocean! For a real thrill, make sure you try unique Skyslide.
Los Angeles Conservancy, a non-profit organization is dedicated to the conservation of L.A.'s landmark architectural buildings. To help spread awareness, it offers downtown walking tours that include Art Deco, the Biltmore Hotel, Broadway Theaters, City Hall, Little Tokyo, Marble Masterpieces, Mecca for Merchants, Palaces of Finance, Pershing Square, Terra Cotta and Union Station. Many of these walks visit places that aren't accessible to the public, so this is a great way to get to know the city's history. Because they are walking tours, some are suitable for wheelchairs and others aren't. Call the office for more information. Reservations are necessary, so call ahead to book your specific tour.