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Historical

Top Rated Attractions in Los Angeles

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Hollywood Sign

One of the most telling symbols of Southern California's glamorous child – Los Angeles - the Hollywood Sign can be spotted from its sky-high perch 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 13.4 meters (44 feet). 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.

Santa Monica Pier

Perched over the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, "The Pier" feels more like a carnival than a place to shop. Cirque du Soleil pitches their tent on the beach here annually, and there are concerts and dances on the weekends in the summer. In addition to the many restaurants and souvenir stands, there is a full-service amusement park with a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, carousel and arcade. The pier's end provides one of the best sunset views in Los Angeles County.

Griffith Observatory

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.

Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

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.

Universal Studios

An iconic attraction in Hollywood, Universal Studios is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys the thrill and excitement of a theme park. With a slate of ever-changing attractions, the park is a great outing for the whole family and can easily take up an entire day. After the guided tour, you can wander around the park, and get something to eat at one of the numerous restaurants and cafes scattered around its sprawl. Later, take in various shows like Waterworld or the Special Effects show. Some other park attractions that will definitely get your adrenaline pumping include the Revenge of the Mummy Ride, various rides at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the acclaimed King Kong 360-3D virtual ride.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

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.

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