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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.
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.
Spread over 4,210 acres (1704 hectares) of the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, Griffith Park is often referred to as "the Central Park of Los Angeles," although its verdant sprawl surpasses its east-coast counterpart in both size and wild charm. The municipal park is one of North America's largest urban green spaces, splayed across an undulating landscape sheathed in oak and walnut woodlands, coastal sage scrub, landscaped parklands, and deep, luxuriant gorges. 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 venues and scenic escapes.
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.
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.
The Watts Towers is a local landmark in South L.A. Former construction worker Simon Rodia created the monument over a period of three decades, from 1921 to 1954. The monument is a melange of scrap metal, pipe structures, bed frames and thousands of seashells. The beauty of the object is Rodia's resourcefulness, it's a truly impressive piece of work for any artist, given its seventeen isolated units of sculpture. The towers can only be visited with a tour guide, and the landmark is only open Thursday through Saturday.