Los Angeles - AttractionGuide

Los Angeles

Welcome to MetroGuide Networks' overview of Los Angeles-area attractions. Los Angeles, city of angels and ever so much more, exposes all who visit to bigger-than-life attractions hovering between Hollywood hyperbole and Sunset Boulevard/Norma Desmond reality. Los Angeles has a long-running penchant for re-inventing itself from Mexican outpost to agricultural mecca to boomtown movie colony to high-tech aerospace hub to a new-economy stronghold. With more stage theaters (80-plus) and museums (300-plus) than any other U.S. city, metropolitan L.A. spreads out over acreage more than double the expanse of Switzerland, leaving opportunity for exploration virtually inexhaustible. Thanks to the Miracle Mile, L.A. is the only city in the world sitting atop a fossil treasure trove, with subterranean ooze trapping and preserving specimens by the millions in pristine condition. As a Pacific Rim multicultural hub, ethnic diversity looms large with the world's third-largest Hispanic population after Mexico City and Guadalajara, and people from more than 140 countries calling L.A. home. The stars may work in Hollywood, but most live in posh residential neighborhoods on L.A.'s west side such as Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Brentwood and Malibu. To be sure, cars and freeways are key to accessing the city's far-flung attractions. Yet pedestrians have their pleasures as well, especially when strolling famed shopping nirvana Rodeo Drive, a prime place to see and be seen even when price tags within shops and boutiques are beyond personal means.

Below is a list of some suggested things to do in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, with links to more details when available.

Autry Museum of Western Heritage
The American West blazes to life here with eight galleries of art and artifacts depicting the historical and fictional episodes from 16th century to the present.
4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles. (323) 667-2000.
Bob Hope Square
Beginning in World World II and continuing through the Gulf war, comedian Bob Hope entertained the troops, bringing a few laughs and a bevy of beautiful starlets to the battle zones. In honor of his 100th birthday on May 29, 2003, the famed corner of Hollywood and Vine was named Bob Hope Square by unanimous vote of the Los Angeles City Council.
Corner of Hollywood and Vine
California African American Museum
In Exposition Park, this state-run museum has permanent fine arts and history collections tied to African American culture, along with changing exhibits.
600 State Drive, Los Angeles. (213) 744-7432
California Science Center
Awaiting curious minds and fingers are hundreds of hands-on exhibits on physics, along with others on biology, technology, and the environment. Space Gallery exhibits include NASA capsules and a jet fighter plane.
700 State Drive. (323) 724-3623
CBS Television City
When Elvis first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956, his performance was taped at CBS Television City, later made famous as the origination point for the Carol Burnett Show, the Sonny & Cher Show and dozens of other hits. Look for the building with the familiar CBS eye logo just north of the Farmers Market. Free tickets can be arranged for network tapings.
7800 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles. (323) 575-2448
Celebrity Graves
Los Angeles cemeteries abound in opportunity to pay respects to departed stars. Among them are Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills, with plots for Gene Autry, Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, Andy Gibb, Liberace, Ricky Nelson, and Telly Savalas, among others. At Forest Lawn – Glendale are resting places for Gracie Allen and George Burns, Theda Bara, Humphrey Bogart, Sammy Davis, Jr., Walt Disney, Clark Gable, and Red Skelton, among others. At Hollywood Forever Memorial Park are graves of Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jayne Mansfield, and Rudolph Valentino, among others. At Hillside Memorial Park are sites for Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, and Dinah Shore, among others. Marilyn Monroe is buried at Westwood Memorial Park, as are Truman Capote, Burt Lancaster, Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin, Roy Orbison, Natalie Wood, and Darryl F. Zanuck, among others.

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Glendale, 1712 South Glendale Avenue. (323) 254-3131
Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive. (323) 254-7251
Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 Centinela Avenue. (310) 641-0707
Hollywood Forever Memorial Park, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard. (323) 469-1181
Westwood Memorial Park, 1218 Glendon Avenue. (310) 474-1579
Dodger Stadium
Seating 56,000, this cantilevered stadium hosts baseball action typically from early April through early October, along with other events throughout the year.
1000 Elysian Park Avenue, Los Angeles. (323) 224-1448
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
This elegant 3,197-seat multipurpose theater is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera and Master Chorale.
135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles. (213) 972-7211
Farmers Market
Opened in 1934, this historic open-air market offers acclaimed restaurants and cafes, fresh meats, poultry, seafood, produce and flowers.
6333 West Third Street, Los Angeles. (323) 954-4230
Grand Central Market
In operation since 1917, more than 50 food stalls with produce, meats, spices and fast food reflect the region's multicultural heritage.
317 South Broadway, Los Angeles. (213) 624-2378
Graumans Chinese Theatre
Also called Mann's Chinese Theatre, first-run movies shown at this renowned theater are upstaged for many fans by the courtyard famed for its handprints and footprints of Hollywood legends, dating from when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks participated in the first ceremony on April 20, 1927. Among scores of prints are those of Fred Astaire (Ceremony 42 on Feb. 4,1938), Humphrey Bogart (Ceremony 77 on Aug. 21, 1946), Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson (Ceremony 113 on Sept. 26, 1956), Natalie Wood (Ceremony 118 on Dec. 5, 1961) and Nicolas Cage (Ceremony 182, Aug. 19, 2001).
6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood. (323) 461-3331
Hollywood Entertainment Museum
This is “the” place for celebrating the entertainment art of film, television, radio, sound recording and new media. Awaiting are memorabilia, exhibits, a six-minute multi-screen video and a studio backlot tour, culminating in visits to original sets for Star Trek: The Next Generation, the X-Files, and Cheers.
7021 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood. (323) 465-7900
Hollywood Guinness World of Records
Catch up on world records for amazing facts, feats, and achievements with film, video, special effects and animated displays. Visitors can access trivia through hands-on interaction.
6764 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood. (323) 463-6433
Knott's Berry Farm
Once an actual berry farm, this 160-acre theme park is packed with world class rides, family shows and attractions including the GhostRider wooden roller coaster, Supreme Scream (30-stories up, 3 seconds down), and high-octane thrills of Xcelerator, sending riders from 0-to-80 mph in 2.3 seconds. For a slower pace, try Camp Snoopy, home to the Peanuts gang.
8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park. (714) 220-5200
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Considered the birthplace of Orange County, Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded more than 200 years ago and today stands as a monument to California's multicultural history embracing Native American, Mexican and European heritage. Visitors hear tolling of century-old bells while walking down worn paths amid 10 acres of lush gardens and fountains cloistered by adobe walls. Within are Padres Quarters, soldiers barracks, and the Great Stone Church.
Corner of Ortega Highway and Camino Capistrano. (949) 234-1300
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
MOCA presents permanent collections and thematic exhibitions of international scope with paintings, sculpture and environmental works created since 1940.
250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles. (213) 626-6222
Museum of Flying
Open-air tarmac exhibits include flight-ready WWII aircraft and other historic craft including the 1924 Douglas World Cruiser New Orleans and more.
2772 Donald Douglas Loop North, Santa Monica. (310) 392-8822
Museum of Tolerance
To get a better handle on discrimination, dynamics of racism and prejudice, the struggle for civil rights, and events leading up to the Nazi Holocaust of World War II, head for the Museum of Tolerance, an educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. A gift gallery stocks one-of-a-kind items from around the world. 9786 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles. (310) 553-8430
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Founded in 1913, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is a national powerhouse in research, exhibitions and education, safeguarding more than 33 million artifacts. The Discovery Center has hands-on natural history specimens and the Insect Zoo crawls with live bugs from around the world. Permanent exhibits include fossils and dinosaurs, exquisite gems and minerals, grand dioramas, a California history hall, and a stunning Native American hall.
900 Exposition Boulevard. (213) 763-DINO
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
Skeletons of saber-toothed cats, mammoths and dire wolves roaming the LA basin thousands of years ago await at this world-class fossil museum. Rancho La Brea is one of the world's richest fossil deposits and the sticky asphalt (commonly referred to as "tar") has trapped and preserved more than three million fossils, many found in pristine condition.
5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. (323) 934-PAGE
Paramount Studio Tour
Paramount Studios, the only major classic studio still in Hollywood, stands rich in history and tradition while continuing to set global entertainment standards. No two-hour guided tour is precisely alike because of production activity spontaneity. Encounters with celebrity are not infrequent, since this is where they work.
5555 Melrose Avenue. (323) 956-1777
Petersen Automotive Museum Tour
From the fast lane to memory lane, automobiles marking milestones in American culture link Detroit and Hollywood including cars once owned by the stars from Steve McQueen's 1956 Jaguar XKSS and Janis Joplin's 1965 Porsche 356-C Cabriolet to Eric Clapton's 1940 Ford Coupe.
6060 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. (323) 930-CARS
Sunset Boulevard
Linking gritty downtown Hollywood with palatial Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard -- a thoroughfare winding from downtown L.A. roughly 20 miles to the Pacific -- ranks as one of the world's illustrious streets, helped along by the 1950 movie starring Gloria Swanson (followed by Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1993 musical with Glenn Close) as fading film legend Norma Desmond. In the ‘60s, the street inspired television's 77 Sunset Strip, and the final scene in Woody Allen's Annie Hall was at a sidewalk cafι along Sunset Strip. Dozens or so attractions remaining include the KCET Studios (4401 Sunset Boulevard) offering guided tours and the Hollywood Palladium (6215 Sunset Boulevard), a stage for diverse performers from Lawrence Welk to the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and the Who. At the corner of Sunset and Vine is the Cinerama Dome theatre and at 6660 Sunset Boulevard is Designer Donuts, favorite of the stars and caterer to the studios, part owned by Steven Spielberg.
UCLA at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art & Cultural Center
Works by Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and other masters are part of permanent collections shown on a rotating basis. Major traveling exhibits, music, dance, poetry and gallery talks are also big draws.
10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. (310) 443-7000
Universal Studios Hollywood
Allowing access close enough to hear the cameras rolling, Universal Studios Hollywood provides glimpses of how today's biggest films are produced. Then visitors get more thrills on rides of favorite movies from the monster plunge on Jurassic Park – The Ride to The Mummy Returns: Chamber of Doom and more.
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. (818) 508-9600
Warner Brothers Tours
Starting with a film covering 75 years of Warner history, get an inside peek at how Hollywood magic is made on this immense lot with more than 30 soundstages, some 300 editing rooms, seven screening theaters and a two-million gallon tank for filming water scenes. The museum has Best Picture Academy Awards, scripts, props from movies like Casablanca and the Maltese Falcon, and communiques including a complaint from Bette Davis moaning to Jack Warner on how she was being asked to work too hard. Outside the museum, open-air trams take visitors to some of more than 20 acres of sets including that of Friends.
4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank. (818) 954-1744
Wells Fargo History Museum
In 1852, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo founded a company that has become a legendary part of America. Take a look at Wells Fargo stagecoaches and more in five major exhibits covering more than 150 years of Wells Fargo history, including a video presentation in the museum theater.
333 S. Grand Avenue. (213) 253-7166
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