The streets of Los Angeles are alive with the sounds and sightings of rental cars of tourists who flock here in the summer to live the dream and hopefully spot stars. Who can blame them for crowding our world class restaurants, hitting Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard and beaches and going out the ballgames--this is lala land where anything can and does happen.
If you’re reading this from somewhere else in the country and are planning a trip here soon, here’s a short primer to familiarize you with the area.
- Eclectic, exciting and often theatrical Los Angeles offers a peerless destination where countless cultures and lifestyles mingle distinctively in a sprawling megalopolis dramatically highlighted by spectacular mountains and sundrenched beaches.
- The movie capital of the world, LA’s natural beauty combined with its celebrity-driven mystique accounts for much of its appeal. Visitors long to see “stars” and often do, in restaurants, shops and hotels.
- The town even immortalizes celebrities in cement—with thousands of famous foot and hand prints spread out along Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame--where thousands are currently gather to pay tribue to the late, great Robin Williams-- and wax, life like replicas on display at Madame Taussauds.
- Unlike other urban areas, Los Angeles comprises several ethnic and diverse neighborhoods from Downtown’s Chinatown to glitzy Beverly Hills. From the magnificent, multimillion dollar Walt Disney Concert Hall to world famous Universal Studios the area provides a myriad of cultural and recreational diversions along its 75 miles of sun-drenched coastline.
Shopping 'til you drop
Debatably the top activity for tourists, shopping in Los Angeles offers something for every taste and budget from the funky, retro shops of Melrose Avenue to the ultra-chic boutiques along Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive. In between are Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue and Third Street Promenade and extravagant malls like Westfield Century City, Beverly Center, Fashion Square and Westside Pavilion
Hiking on the wild side
Will Rogers State Historic Park provides the perfect setting for a day-long or afternoon outing. The 187-acre high chaparral-swathed woodland epitomizes southern California’s savage beauty along its various hiking trails and loops. Visitors can also explore the original home (1924-1935) of the famous humorist/writer/entertainer where they can pick up Rogersiana memorabilia, or check out his private polo field where weekend matches are still held year around. Malibu Creek State Park, a 5,000-acre recreational center sports 30 miles of breathtakingly beautiful trails inhabited by foxes, rabbits, bobcats, blue herons, hawks, redwing birds and more domesticated denizens of stage, screen and TV who frequent the trails. Mandeville Canyon, another nearby spot, features a trail to a pretty mile high park with an awesome view of mountains, forests and the sea. And for a truly sylvan slice of LA’s wild side, Pacific Crest Trail provides a glimpse of indigenous animal life, vanilla-scented groves, steep ridges and breathtaking views of Mt. Baldy’s 10,064-foot pinnacle and the east fork of the San Gabriel River. Maps are available at the concierge desk.
LA’s headliner, The Walt Disney Concert Hall-- Frank Gehry’s $275 million design masterpiece encased by 9,000 panels of stainless steel, hosts performances of Los Angeles’ Philharmonic Orchestra along with visiting performers throughout the year. Visitors are welcome to take tours. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Hall is the newest member of LA’s Music Center which houses three theaters offering plays throughout the years. The city boasts exceptional entertainment and sports venues such as the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre LA Live, the Hollywood Bowl , an outdoor amphitheater with state-of-the-art acoustical effects, the Kodak Theater, home of the Academy Awards and Universal Studios’ Gibson Amphitheater. Our concierges can arrange tickets to all events.
From sculpture gardens like the Franklin D. Murphy Garden at UCLA to mega museums like The Getty Center, LA shines with cultural offerings. Galleries abound from West Hollywood (WeHo) to Beverly Hills and beyond. Museums are dedicated to everything from art collections to tributes of past presidents such as Ronald Reagan (Ronald Reagan Memorial Library) , the American West (Autry National Center) and high design (The Pacific Design Center in WeHo).
Beaches filled with buff bodies and vollyballers
Life’s a beach in LA with its sandy shoreline stretching along the blue Pacific—where pods of dolphins frolic in the surf and sybarites swarm year around. Catch a slice of LA life on the beaches of Santa Monica or Malibu where surfers, sun worshippers, volleyballers, skateboarders, boogie boarders, body builders or just plain lookey-loos are all part of the landscape.
From world famous chefs like Wolfgang Puck (think Spago) to hamburger joints, taverns, and fast food spots, LA’s dining scene is as diverse at the city itself with eclectic ethnic cuisines, healthy California cooking, gourmet repasts, coffee shops, burger shacks and taco stands.
Enjoy an endless summer in Los Angeles.