Hollywood has evolved from its historic roots as the birthplace of the film industry into one of LA’s hippest spots to shop, dine and be entertained. At the center of it all is Hollywood & Highland Center with its trendy stores, hot restaurants, hip nightclubs, cool entertainment and the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. Nearby, the Hollywood Bowl and Ford Amphitheatre feature concerts under the stars throughout the summer. And moviegoers can see the latest films in classic cinema settings at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Remember to wander outside Grauman’s to see the famous imprints that celebrities have left in the cement over the years. And don’t forget to glance north toward the Hollywood Hills to see the Hollywood Sign, clearly visible in the distance.
Los Angeles has more than 50 miles of coastline and 33 public beaches, so you can always find a stretch of sand to snatch and plenty of waves to catch. But don’t forget your appetite, an extra suitcase and a sense of adventure, because LA’s coastal cities are more than just a bunch of pretty places. From the quiet enclave of Malibu with its celebrity residents to the funky ambience of Venice with its offbeat street performers, each of these waterfront wonders offers its own personality and its own take on dining, shopping, attractions and activities.
Downtown LA’s recent renaissance has attracted a fair bit of attention. With the addition of numerous attractions and cultural sights the area has been transformed and there’s always something to do: museums and galleries to take in the arts; the Jewellery District for treasure hunters; LA’s fashion hub; Little Tokyo, Chinatown and Olvera Street representing LA’s renowned cultural diversity. Sports fans can catch the court-pounding action of the Lakers or Clippers or the puck-smashing Kings at the STAPLES Center. In addition to a number of live music venues, the recently opened NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE features 7,100 seats to listen to hit performers and musicians.
In Brentwood, the Getty Center sits like a shining city on a hill with centuries’ worth of art and design in a stunning architectural setting. Meanwhile, the mansions of Brentwood and Bel-Air stud the surrounding hills like diamonds on a lush, green pillow, giving you a glimpse of what Westside is all about. Legendary Sunset Boulevard takes you east through Westwood and Beverly Hills, where Rodeo Drive is just one avenue in the world’s most famous shopping district. And on Beverly Hills’ palm-lined byways, you may think you’re in a movie yourself.
No trip would be complete without a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. Take a studio tour or spend the day on thrilling rides in the theme park. Be sure to check out Universal’s newest attraction, The Simpson’s Ride, a fun romp through a fictional amusement park dreamed up by Krusty the Clown. Then there’s Universal CityWalk Hollywood, an outdoor center with restaurants, entertainment and shopping galore.
Anaheim, deep in Orange County, is perhaps best known as home to Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park. Visit the incomparable Magic Kingdom to meet Mickey and his friends and enjoy the fabulous rides and shows. Just a short drive from L.A.’s magical beaches, Los Angeles International Airport and the amazing attractions that greater LA has to offer, Anaheim is a great base from which families can enjoy the region.