Top 10 Places to Visit in Los Angeles (in no specific order):
1. Venice Beach
2. Hollywood Boulevard
3. Sunset Boulevard
5. Santa Monica
6. Beverly Hills
7. The Getty Museums
8. Griffith Park
9. The Farmer’s Market & the Grove
10. A Studio Tour
6. Beverly Hills. When I think of Beverly Hills I still think of Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Women’ trying to explore the world famous boutiques of Beverly Hills and the snobby salespeople ignoring her. Rodeo Drive has the most expensive stores you can imagine. You can also walk through Via Rodeo (a pedestrian street off of Rodeo Drive) and visit its exclusive boutiques. I once took a friend to Rodeo Drive who had lived in New York City and she liked high fashion. I enjoyed going into the fancy shops with her as she window shopped her favorite designers. I personally go to this neighborhood for ‘Crate and Barrel’ (housewares), ‘The Cheesecake Factory’ (restaurant), ‘The Paper Source’ (paper store) and ‘Sprinkles’ (cupcake shop). Can’ afford much more, but it is fun to look!
7. The Getty Museums. J. Paul Getty founded the Getty Oil Company and he was named the richest man in America in 1957. He collected art and antiques as a hobby and his treasures were later put in a museum with his name. There are two Getty Museums in Los Angeles now. The Getty Villa is located in Pacific Palisades along the Pacific Coast Highway and the focus of the art is works from Greek, Roman and Etrurian origin. The Getty Center is located in Brentwood Hills and features art from the Middle Ages to the present. There is a parking garage at the Getty Center and reservation only parking at the Getty Villa. Both museums offer free admission.
8. Griffith Park. Griffith Park is located in the outskirts of Los Angeles in the neighborhood of Los Feliz. The park covers 4,310 acres and there are a numerous activities available to visitors. Popular choices include: visiting the observatory, hiking, watching a concert at The Greek Theater, picnicking, or visit the Los Angeles Zoo. There are a number of other options for kids including a merry-go-round, train rides and children’s horseback riding in a contained area. Travel Town has a museum and a train ride for children to enjoy.
9. The Farmer’s Market and the Grove. The Farmer’s Market is one of Los Angeles classic tourist destinations. It is located in the Fairfax district of town. (cross-streets: 3rd and Fairfax). The market opened in 1934 and had attractions ranging from circus acts, parades and petting zoos too. The owner was interested in selling stalls to vendors at 50¢ each. Through time it became the place to be to meet up with your friends. It is an outdoor market with stalls selling fresh produce and meat; plus there are some stores, mostly food related. They have numerous to-go food restaurants as well as a few sit down places for dining. In 2002 the Grove at the Farmer’s Market opened and it is an outdoor market place. The Grove is more than a shopping center with restaurants and a movie theater. Store fronts are Art Deco-style, there is a park in the middle, and fountains displaying water shows. When I was a tour guide I almost always added this optional stop to my tours because it truly is a fun place to visit.
10. Take a Studio tour. Los Angeles is about movies, television and famous people for some. Many people want to go on a tour of a studio to see what it is all about. Universal Studios offers a tram tour of the studio and you can sign up for behind the scenes tours for a view of studios not open to the general public. Over the years they have added rides and shows and now the studio is an official amusement park. Outside of Universal Studios is Citywalk which has restaurants, stores, bars and a movie theater. Warner Brothers in Burbank and Sony Studios in Culver City also offer tours. Additionally you can go to television show tapings at Warner Brothers (Jay Leno) and CBS Studios (game shows like ‘The Price is Right’) which is located next to the Farmer’s Market. I even spotted and took a photo with one of the cast members from the soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’ wondering around CBS Studios one day.
Blogging on this topic the past two days I actually have became excited to go back out and visit some of these places as many of them I only visit when we have out of town friends visiting. I wonder where I will take the kids first!! There are so many more places to see in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. I will devote future blogs to some others that did not make my top 10 list.