Los Angeles is a melting pot of cultures, economic and social strata. From the Hispanic communities of South Central LA to the mansions and hilltop residences of the fabulously wealthy, everyone has a place in this mammoth metropolis.
Downtown LA is crammed with cloud-piercing towers and superb cultural attractions. The colourful Museum of Contemporary Art, located in the fashionable neighbourhood of Bunker Hill, boasts masterpieces from the abstract expressionist period, plus a popular pop art gallery.
Nearby lies the bustling Grand Central Market, where the air buzzes with the sounds of stallholders, flaunting their wares.
The home of Hollywood and the biggest entertainment industry in the world, Los Angeles makes for a fun and interesting vacation. The sun always shines on LA and with world-class attractions like Disneyland and Rodeo Drive, the city has something for everyone.
Head to Venice Beach for some of the world’s best people-watching, see great museums, or stroll the streets and catch a glimpse of a celebrity–have a look at Los Angeles for yourself!
Los Angeles natives inhabit the entire plain and all the local hills plus the sides of the mountain ranges and into all of the connecting valleys. The city now covers over 1000 square-miles in dozens of interconnected communities. High-rise buildings only exist in a few isolated clusters. From nearly every vantage point, you can gaze across miles of low rooftops with palm trees towering above.
Los Angeles is located on the southern coast of California about 75 miles (120km) north of the Mexican border and 400 miles (600km) south of San Francisco.
Los Angeles is situated on an irregularly shaped coastal plain about 30 to 60 miles across. It is bounded on the west by nearly 60 miles of Pacific Coast beaches and ocean cliffs.
The San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains form a 2500-meter high wall to the east. The Santa Monica Mountains define its northern limit and the Santa Anna Mountains define the southern.
Along the Pacific shore, Malibu, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey and Palos Verde are high-class residential beach communities. Venice Beach, on the other hand, is known for bikini clad roller bladers, muscle-bound weight lifters and an odd assortment of slightly off-beat characters.
Long Beach is a thriving seaport with a vibrant commercial district and oil wells. Laguna Beach houses a large artist’s community.
Hollywood is the historic home of the old movie studios, and Beverly Hills is still the home of the movie stars. Here you can drive along the western terminus of historic route 66 on Santa Monica Boulevard. You can stroll along famous Hollywood Boulevard and the Sunset Strip.
The best way to see Hollywood is on a walking sightseeing tour. Most of the main attractions are located within a few blocks of Mann’s Chinese Theatre, on Hollywood Boulevard. The courtyard of the Chinese Theatre with its famous handprints and shoeprints of all the Hollywood celebrities since 1927, is the most popular attraction in Hollywood. If you go between noon and midnight, you can even see a current hit movie in the Theatre.
In nearby Burbank, you can visit many modern movie and television studios. In Anaheim, you can see the original Disney Land and Knott’s Berry Farm.
Downtown is certainly a commercial district, but it is no more the urban center of the city than many other neighborhoods. Near the downtown area are ethnic neighborhoods with large Asian populations called, Korea Town, China Town and Japan Town.
Nearby are several predominately Afro-American neighborhoods and many predominately Hispanic-American neighborhoods.
The Hollywood Bowl is a natural amphitheater, located in the foothills outside of Los Angeles. It is the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Frank Sinatra, The Beatles and Mikhail Baryshnikov are just a few of the legendary artists who have performed there.
The LA zoo has more than 1,500 animals, birds and reptiles in natural habitat settings. It is located near the junction of the Golden State and Ventura Freeways inside Griffith Park.