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Must Visit Attractions in Los Angeles

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Built in Art Deco style, this observatory was constructed 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 as well as at night. 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.

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.

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.

Located southwest of Downtown Los Angeles, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area provides sweeping views of the surrounding metropolitan sprawl. Once a functioning oil field, the refurbished space features several play areas, picnic tables, barbecue pits and even a lotus pond. Among Hahn Park's most frequented features are the miles and miles of hiking trails and footpaths meandering throughout the grounds. Note that a nominal parking fee may be applicable. Verdant and serene, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is the perfect place to get away from the city while still being right in the middle of it.

What started out as a random collection of vintage street lamps turned into an iconic landmark within a decade. Chris Burden is the creative brainchild behind the unique installation that graces the premises of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It is an assemblage of over 200 street lights dating back to the 1920s that were sources of light to neighborhoods across Southern California. Linearly aligned and refurbished to maintain uniformity, the cast iron beams boast intricate geometric patterns at their base and are topped with solar powered luminary globes.

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.

A famous Los Angeles landmark since it first opened in 1934, the Original Farmers Market is one of the most visited attractions in the City of Angels. Inside, visitors will find a labyrinthine space with several restaurants, grocers, doughnut shop, toy stores, shoes, books and much more. The market is perfect for breakfast and lunch, with a tremendous amount of options. Additionally, its location near the Grove makes for a nice day visiting both attractions.

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.

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 TCL Chinese Theatre, the museum is hard to miss due to its open-air façade 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. Whether it is shaking hands with President Obama or wrapping your arm around Mae West, you will be exhilarated by the lifelike, vivid portrayals and infinite photo ops.

Once upon a time, Rancho La Brea or La Brea Tar Pits was only a Mexican land grant. Now a spectacular museum, the tar pits have been one of the world's richest deposits 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 and get an insight into the excavation where scientists discovered the new Ice Age specimen.

Contrary to what most people think, Sunset Boulevard is not just another trendy boulevard with Hollywood written all over it. This is a 39 kilometer stretch which passes through some of Los Angeles' most celebrated neighborhoods like West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Also known as Guitar Row because of numerous guitar shops, this timeless and iconic boulevard which has featured in art and cinema over the centuries will be etched forever in the hearts of L.A's people.

Sitting pretty under the famous Hollywood Sign is the Paramount Studios lot, and a visit here is a memorable experience. Avail of one of the various studio tours, and let a bit of Hollywood glamor rub off on you. The venue is huge, and the wrought-iron double arch gate at Melrose & Windsor is an architectural wonder in itself, opening on to the vast premises where Hollywood productions come to life. Wander through the Bronson Gate and watch screenings in progress within the only big-time motion picture studio in the area. The huge library contains more than 1000 titles, including many Academy Award winners. Dating back to 1912, the place also contains a ton of history. If you are really, really interested, send in your resume, and they might just hire you! In any case, be sure to keep an autograph book at hand when here to gather a bit of stardust! Prices for tours may vary.

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