The 17 best places to visit in Los Angeles

 

Built in 1953 in Downey, just to the south east of central Los Angeles is the third McDonald's ever built, and the second restaurant franchised by Richard and Maurice McDonland. The main tourist attraction in Downey, it is today the oldest operating McDonald's restaurant in the world.

17. The Oldest McDonald's

 

Created in 1991, located west of the city centre in Venice neighbourhood is the Chiat/Day Building, incorporating the public artwork known as the Giant Binoculars. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the sculpture measures 13.7 metres (45 ft) high.

16. Giant Binoculars

 

Right in the heart of downtown, located in urban surroundings is the 10.5 acre Vista Hermosa Natural Park. Featuring walking trails, streams and meadows, its highlight is a wonderfully positioned park bench that offers a great view of the Los Angeles skyscrapers.

15. Vista Hermosa Natural Park

 

Created in 1905, west of the city centre in Venice neighbourhood is the Venice Canals Historic District, noteworthy for its man made canals. Built to recreate the appearance and feel of the Italian city of Venice, this tranquil part of Los Angeles is today a Historic Cultural Monument.

14. Venice Canals

 

In the Miracle Mile section of the Mid-Wilshire District, in Hancock Park are the La Brea Tar Pits, a group of tar pits that have seeped up to the surface in this location for tens of thousand of years. Featuring model Mammoths being trapped by the tar, the sites appearance in many movies and TV series has made it one of the cities most famous landmarks.

13. La Brea Tar Pits

 

Completed in 2003 in the Downtown area of Los Angeles is the Walt Disney Concert Hall, serving among its other purposes, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Designed by famous architect Frank Gehry, the man behind the Dancing Houses in Prague, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, this building just as those other two is one of the most admired works of contemporary architecture.

12. Walt Disney Concert Hall

 

Opened in 2016 within the US Bank Tower, the tallest building in Los Angeles, is the OUE Skyspace, a viewing deck known more commonly as Skyspace LA. From the 70th floor nearly 305 metres (1,000 ft) above the ground, it offers visitors the highest vantage point in the city. The cost of a visit as of 2019 was around $25 per person.

11. OUE Skyspace

 

Built in 1953, in Inglewood close to Los Angeles International Airport is the bakery and landmark building of Randy's Donuts. Measuring 9.8 metres (32.5 ft) in diameter, this now iconic structure is also a record breaker, holding the largest doughnut in the world.

10. Randy's Donuts

 

Just north of Downtown is the lake and small patch of greenery known as Echo Park. A little area of tranquility in the middle of the city, the park offers pedalo rides on the lake and fantastic views of the Los Angeles skyline.

9. Echo Park

 

Installed in 2008 at the entrance to the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art is a large scale sculpture known as Urban Light. The installation consists of 202 restored street lamps from the 1920's and 1930's, most of which once lit the streets of Southern California.

8. Urban Light

 

Completed in 1991, first launched a year later in 1992 and retired in 2011 after twenty five space missions is the Space Shuttle Endeavour, the fifth and final shuttle to be built. Today housed in the California Science Centre in Exposition Park, it is open to the public.

7. Space Shuttle Endeavour

 

North of Chinatown, in the low income Elysian Park District is a park of the same name, at 2.4 square kilometres (0.9 square miles) it is the second largest park in the city. Visitors should make their way to Angels Point, offering a fantastic view of the Downtown skyline.

6. Elysian Park (Angel's Point)

 

Opened in 1909 on Santa Monica Beachfront is the large double jointed Santa Monica Pier, easily one of the most iconic locations in the city. The pier contains the original carousel hippodrome from the 1920's, a video arcade, pubs, restaurants, entertainers and the Pacific Park amusement park with its brightly lit Ferris wheel, well known for its use in many movies and TV series. With over 100 years of history, the pier has been declared a Santa Monica Historic Landmark.

5. Santa Monica Pier

 

Opened in 1935 on the south facing slope of Mount Hollywood in the Santa Monica Mountains is the Griffith Park, home to the Griffith Observatory. Free to enter, the observatories lofty position at 346 metres (1,135 ft) above sea level gives visitors incredible views over the Hollywood Sign, Downtown Los Angeles and out as far as the Pacific Ocean.

4. Griffith Observatory

 

Built in 1912 as a movie studio and opened to the public in 1964 as a theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios still in use. The park contains a number of rides, shows, attractions, entertainment and tours of previous movie sets, making for one of the best days out Los Angeles.

3. Universal Studios

 

First established in 1958, covering fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street is the world renowned Hollywood Walk Of Fame, comprising more than 2,500 five pointed stars embedded in the pavement. The stars are a permanent public monument dedicated to individual achievements in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of musicians, actors, directors, producers, musical groups and fictional characters. One of the most visited locations in California, it has been inscribed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

2. Hollywood Walk Of Fame

First erected in 1923 as 'Hollywoodland' to advertise a local real estate development, it was in 1949 after an upgrade from broken lettering that it took the form that remains to this day, it is of course the Hollywood Sign. Situated on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills of the Santa Monica Mountains, the sign is spelled out in 13.7 metre (45 ft) white letters. A number of different hikes of varying lengths take visitors behind the sign for one of the most well known views over the city. A Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument, one of the countries most famous landmarks, the Hollywood Sign is one of the most iconic locations in California and the entire United States.

1. Hollywood Sign

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