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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.
Once upon a time, Rancho La Brea or La Brea Tar Pits was only a Mexican land grant. Now a museum, the tar pits have been the world's richest deposit of Ice Age fossils. More than 40,000 years ago mammoths, sabre-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 and get some insight about the excavation directly from where the scientists discovered the new Ice Age specimen.
Spread over 4,210 acres (1,704 hectares) of the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, Griffith Park is often referred to as "the Central Park of Los Angeles". The municipal park is one of North America's largest urban green spaces. 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 venue and scenic escape.
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.
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.
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.