Los Angeles , city, seat of Los Angeles county, southern California, U.S. It is the second most populous city and metropolitan area (after New York City) in the United States. The city sprawls across a broad coastal plain situated between mountains and the Pacific Ocean; the much larger Los Angeles county, which encompasses the city, contains some 90 other incorporated cities, including Beverly Hills, Pasadena, and Long Beach. The county also encompasses two of the Channel Islands, Santa Catalina and San Clemente; Mount San Antonio, familiarly known as Mount Baldy or Old Baldy, 10,046 feet (3,062 metres) high; more than 900 square miles (2,330 square km) of desert; and 75 miles (120 km) of seacoast.
ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN LOS ANGELES
Disneyland isn’t technically LA—it’s in Anaheim—but lots of visitors to the area make the hour jaunt out to The Happiest Place on Earth. Disneyland is the original theme park vision of Walt Disney, and many people find it to be more charming and less overwhelming than its Florida counterpart. A bonus LA experience is that Disneyland now pairs with Disney’s California Adventure, showcasing more recent Disney characters and Hollywood-oriented attractions. Just beyond that, Downtown Disney has a ton of restaurants, bars, and clubs (not to mention parking) that’s not just for kids. Serious Disneylanders have established a few tricks to beat the crowds and keep you smiling. The most important? Make sure to get a fast pass early in the morning—they inevitably run out—so that you can quickly get onto the park’s most popular rides, like Space Mountain.
2. Walt Disney Concert Hall
Designed by Frank Gehry, the voluptuous curves of this stainless steel–clad masterpiece located downtown is a signature of the modern metropolis. One of several venues of the Music Center, the 2,265-seat Disney Hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It features unrivaled acoustics and a stunning pipe organ, which is as much a work of art as a musical instrument. For a truly opulent evening, pair a concert with dinner at Patina, located inside the building. Afterward there are plenty of nightlife options within easy reach.
3. Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater
Though this tourist area can be crowded to the point of a parade, it’s worth a visit if you’ve never been to Hollywood. Grauman’s Chinese Theater opened in 1927 and has been home to red carpet royalty ever since. Cement hand- and footprints immortalize Hollywood’s elite in the forecourt, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, home to over 2,600 terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks, serve as a yellow brick road to the Theater’s Oz.
Take photos with street performers costumed as Elvis, Mickey Mouse, Marilyn Monroe, Yoda, Superman, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Don King, the Joker, (note: performers will want you to tip for photos) and other box-office leading roles as you navigate the souvenir and vape shops. There’s a great spot to get a photo of yourself with the Hollywood sign in the background, and don’t forget to grab your map to the stars’ homes from vendors along the way.
4. Getty Center
If you are only in Los Angeles for one day, don’t miss the Getty Center. On a hillside above Brentwood, The billion-dollar Getty Center is a museum, a garden, a vista, and an architectural marvel. Wander the grounds and take in the views from the ocean to downtown and (on a clear day) snow-capped mountains, or peruse indoors where impressionist canvases, Greek antiquities, and jaw-dropping exhibits of furniture and decorative arts from French monarchies past. A free museum with free Wi-Fi (the only cost is to park), this is a great place to spend your time working, perusing, Instagramming, sunbathing, and soaking up the So-Cal goodness.
5. Rodeo Drive
Part luxury shopping district, part tourist destination, Rodeo Drive is a business district as much as a leisurely stroll. Visit the flagship shops of designer brands like Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and more. The parking can be difficult and expensive, but the cars are as much a part of the aesthetic as the shops – if you like fancy automobiles, it’s a great place for coveting.
6. Saunter the Santa Monica Pier & 3rd Street Promenade
A popular family destination at a popular family beach, Santa Monica Pier offers tons of entertainment for the young and old alike. Ride the Ferris wheel at dusk to watch a spectacular LA sunset. Dig into snacks galore and play the arcade games after the sun goes down for a family boardwalk experience you’d expect to find on the East Coast.
Step off the pier and wander three car-free blocks of shopper’s paradise –everything from a farmers market to designer digs. The culinary scene in Santa Monica ranges from local, fresh, and organic to authentic southeast Asian to rustic picnic. Stop for a glass of wine or a smoothie and watch the street performers and the people go by.
7. Venice Boardwalk
Quintessential Los Angeles begins at the beach, and nothing is more LA mythos than Venice. Named for the stunning canals built throughout oceanfront neighborhoods, Venice and its famous boardwalk has something for everyone: a pristine beach with Wi-Fi, a skate park, stoner shops, designer swimwear, happy hour, and psychics. Still looking for something to do? Watch the roller disco skaters do their thing, or rent a beach cruiser or a pair of rollerbladers and join the ~flow~, man.