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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Commemorating the life and works of the singer and songwriter, the Ray Charles Memorial Library of LA will give you a peek into his life. Tour the seven galleries of the unique facility and get inspired by the diverse works of the musician and his humble beginnings. From interactive screens and video presentations, to recording consoles and karaoke machines, the tour is both informative and entertaining. Visits to the facility are available by appointment only and can be booked through their website.
This lavish pantheon of fame and glamor captured in wax is one of Hollywood’s crown jewels. Hailing from London, Madame Tussauds brings to Hollywood its world-class interactive viewing entertainment, great for all ages. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, just next to Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the museum is hard to miss due to its prepossessing open-air facade with a few wax figures casually spilling out on the sidewalk. Come in and stroll the vast grounds populated with the rich and famous (as well as the infamous) and the beautiful and formidable. Photography and handling are a must. Whether it is shaking hands with President Obama or wrapping your arm around Mae West that is more your thing, you will be exhilarated by the lifelike, vivid portrayals and infinite photo ops.