Built-in Art Deco style, this observatory was built 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 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.
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.
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.
Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana is an old mission that has been transformed into a museum that offers a unique look into the region's past. The original mission was founded on September 8, 1797 and has been meticulously restored to closely resemble the original structure plus a few modernizations. Visitors to the mission can tour the church, monastery, living quarters and even an archival center featuring preserved documents and records. Also be sure to check out the museum's theater, which offers short films pertaining to the mission's illustrious history.
The perfect thing to do on a bright sunny day is to head to Rancho Los Alamitos. Admire the 19th Century ranch house that houses an interesting museum about local history, then explore the surrounding area. Make sure you stop by the barn and check out the livestock, which is often the highlight for children. You can also stroll through the beautiful garden. The gift shop has interesting things to take back home too. Overall, a historical place with lots of education, along with fun thrown in.
One of the great 20th Century luxury liners, The Queen Mary has been the centerpiece of Long Beach Harbor since 1967. The Queen Mary allows tourists to take a self-guided tour of the bridge, engine rooms and officers' quarters, while guided tours visit areas of the ship which are otherwise inaccessible. See the classic art deco interiors and learn about the vessel's interesting history. The ship is now not only a historic attraction, but is also a hotel, has several restaurants and shops, and there's even an on-site wedding chapel! Measuring 1019.5 feet (310.74 meters) in length, it features an indoor swimming pool and various conveniences and amenities characteristic of a cruise liner.
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!
The Triforium is a massive sculpture located on the City Hall campus that was created by Joseph Young. As with much public art, the 60-ton sculpture has had its fair share of detractors as well as proponents, but as the old adage states, 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. The architect wished for the sculpture to beam lights into space as well as create a polyphonic/optical display through motion sensors, however budgetary restrictions prevented their implementation. Nonetheless, the sculpture has remained a part of public art in L.A. since 1975, and will continue to be until it obtains its original bells and whistles it was originally meant to have.
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.
This imposing Los Angeles landmark was built in 1896 by architect John Parkinson, and was known as the primary steel-reinforced and fireproof structure in the city. Thereafter, it gained its most popular status, the one that designated the building as home to the wildly popular Grand Central Market. The market replaced its erstwhile occupant, the Ville de Paris Department Store in 1917. The Homer Laughlin Building has since seen several renovations, once in the 1905 and again in the 1990s. The building is also well known for serving as the office of Frank Lloyd Wright, famed American architect, sometime in the roaring twenties.
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.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is the mother church of the archdiocese of Los Angeles. Originally built in the 1800s, it was rebuilt to the tune of USD 180 million after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. Every Sunday, this seven-level structure accommodates up to 3000 worshipers. Additionally, the lower-level Crypt Mausoleum is also worth a glance, it is a solemn place of repose for local bishops and cardinals.