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Places to Go: Los Angeles, California

Places to Go: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California is one of those places that EVERYBODY seems to want to go to. So, should we believe the hype? Well, that all depends on what you look for in a holiday destination. If you like sunshine, cities, shopping, beaches and a vibrant atmosphere, then LA might just be the place. Famous the world over for Hollywood and the most well-known film stars of our generation living there, the glitz and glamour of the city will transport you to a place beyond your wildest imagination.


So, if that’s your thing, then Hollywood will be your first port of call. Here, you can stroll along the walk of fame, looking at the names of all the stars who have made a recognisable contribution to Hollywood. Look at that world-famous Hollywood sign, or tour Universal or Paramount Studios, and learn about how the film industry makes the most technical scenes. There are so many premieres hosted in town, especially in the summer – so do a quick Google search and you might come across one you really want to go to. A totally unique and unforgettable experience, for sure.


However, if you prefer a more cosmopolitan and ‘realistic’ vibe, journey into the city’s centre. You’ll find towering skyscrapers and superhighways, a world away from the buzzing streets of Hollywood. If you’re a fan of food, then thousands of different restaurants will be available to you – from hundreds of different cultures around the world. What did you expect from the USA’s second highest populated city? A lot of modern music and films are set in central LA (rather than Hollywood), too, so you can see hundreds more iconic landmarks in one place.


If you fancy a bit of sea air, then Santa Monica and Venice Beach are there to serve you. Venice beach has an eclectic youth culture, very colourful, and it’s the place where you see people skating down that winding beach path with skateboards and rollerblades on the TV. Santa Monica beach is very different, and it features the famous Santa Monica pier – the end of the legendary Route 66. There’s also a mini theme park at the end of the pier, and the beach, buildings and surroundings are actually really similar to Brighton back in rainy old Britain. Step off the pier, and there is a myriad of weird and wonderful exercise equipment, including swings, hoops, trapezes etc. Have a go, it’s free! Or, if not, then watch some of the regulars do it. The way they gracefully swing from rope to rope is mesmerising, because they look so much like Tarzan!


Finish off the trip with an excursion to the Griffith Observatory, set atop a gorgeous hill with stunning, panoramic views of the city. If you’ve been to Greenwich, then this might all sound very dull for you, but it’s more than just learning about space. As the sun sets on a beautiful California day, the striking Spanish-style architecture of the building really comes into its own, and from its roof you can get even better views of the city. Step inside, and you’ll see vast telescopes and other scientific equipment throughout the ages. Continue through the mystical depths of the observatory, and in one corridor there is a history of space and time – depicted with the use of jewellery. Strange, true, wonderful – just like a lot of Los Angeles itself.


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