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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grand Park is nestled in downtown Los Angeles along Grand Avenue. Opened to the public in 2012, this 12-acre (4.9-hectare) urban project has been compared to the likes of New York’s Central Park. Located between City Hall and the Music Center, it features verdant lawns and mature trees, interactive fountains and plazas, as well as event spaces. The Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain with its dazzling light effects is the highlight of this landscape. This park is also a regular venue for performing arts, concerts, farmers’ markets and community events.
This 44 acre heritage land is the oldest in Los Angeles, dating back to 1781. Prominent buildings include the city's first church, theater, firehouse, five museums and Avila Adobe; the oldest landmark in the city. Olvera Street, dotted with eateries, street vendors, and arts and craft shops among others, also runs through the Pueblo. Call ahead for tour timings.
Located in the downtown Los Angeles, the Gladys Park is a small but well-equipped park for families. Dotted with palm trees, the park has a small basketball court and kids' playground facilities. It is a good spot for a weekend picnic with family and friends.
This scenic natural park spread across 10.5-acre land located in downtown Los Angeles offers an incredible view of the city. It features walking trails, streams, meadows, picnic grounds, an outdoor amphitheatre and a playground. This amphitheatre is an ideal platform for environmental and natural history education and other public events. The theatre offers plenty of seating without overcrowding the area.
A little patch of green amongst a sea of concrete towers, Vista Hermosa Natural Park is a great spot for a moment of serenity, away from the daily hustle. This quiet spot offers plenty of recreational options, from walking and jogging trails, to open playing fields and picnic spots. The park is also peppered with several vantage points, with the city at the backdrop, that make good photography options.