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Must Visit Attractions in Los Angeles

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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.

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 (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.

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.

The exquisite Spanish-style Adamson House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1930 for the daughter of Frederick and May Rindge, who owned a massive chunk of Malibu at the turn of the century. Above all else, the home is a treasure trove of tile-work that is incorporated almost everywhere in the house, from the fountains to the dog shower. There is also a small museum next to the house, which features exhibits on local history. Call to book a group tour otherwise, no reservations are required. Group tours are on Tuesdays. On rainy days it is advisable to call to make sure the tours are still on.

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.

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.

As well as being a great beach, Malibu Lagoon State Beach contains a unique bird sanctuary where more than 200 species stop each year during their annual migrations. The only drawback here is that the water can be polluted at times and swimming is not really an option when the lagoon is drained. Besides swimming, lounging and birdwatching it is a popular scuba diving area because the reefs and kelp beds just offshore attract a range of marine life.

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.

Third Street Promenade is a dazzling shopping destination with clothing boutiques, bars, bookstores, restaurants, movie theaters and more! The upscale chains have begun dominating the street, but there are still many local boutiques and specialty stores. As you walk along the street take the time to enjoy the street performers who create a fun atmosphere. Make sure to visit during the weekly farmer's market for tasty fresh food.

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.

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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