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Los Angeles, California, USA Travel Guide http://bit.ly/18CgG5A
Los Angeles Travel Guide, Tourism, Vacation
From its laid back Pacific Ocean beaches, to Hollywood’s red carpet glamour, to its dramatic mountain backdrop, Los Angeles is a seductive, sometimes maddening, but always fascinating city.
A massive cosmopolitan urban sprawl criss-crossed by frantic freeways, Los Angeles has something for everyone, if you know how to navigate its many charms.
It’s the USA’s second largest city after New York and has been called everything from La La Land to Tinseltown but is best known simply as LA. Sprawling along the Pacific coast of southern California, its coastline stretches 122km (76 miles) from Malibu to Long Beach. Inland, the city fills a vast, flat and once arid basin ringed by the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains.
There is no real centre to LA — it’s a collection of small cities and suburbs that mesh seamlessly together. Hollywood offers major movie history with the Walk of Fame, the home of the Oscars, historic movie palaces and Paramount Studios. Its funky neighbour is the gay mecca of West Hollywood, which is right next door to ritzy Beverly Hills with its mansions and high-end shopping.
Downtown LA is principally the business district though it also houses major museums, theatres and live music venues plus ethnic attractions like Little Tokyo and historic Olvera Street which reflects the city’s Hispanic roots.
Surburban Burbank offers Universal Studios with its colourful theme park and Warner Brothers, a working studio with tours where you may spot a star or two. To the north east, the small, historic and cultured city of Pasadena is a pleasant contrast to the brashness of Hollywood.
The laid back coastal cities of Santa Monica and Venice offer great shopping and dining, a chance to dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean or relax on wide sandy beaches. But LA’s close promixity to the mountains mean that in winter, skiing is an option in this sun-kissed state.
Disneyland may be the city’s major tourist pull, but LA is also home to world-renowned culture from the Museum of Contemporary Art to the LA Philharmonic to the LA Opera headed up by Placido Domingo, and the treasures of the Getty Museum.
LA is a fascinating contradiction where zen hippy health fanatics seeking to find themselves exist happily alongside some of the most glamorous and wealthy people in the world, seeking fame and fortune. Most visitors come to enjoy world-class shops and restaurants, lie on beaches bathed in almost constant sunshine and simply to people-watch in Beverly Hills or zany Venice Beach.
Like any major city, LA has its less rosy side with homelessness most apparent in parts of Hollywood, Downtown and Venice Beach. You may not want to be reminded of social problems when you’re on vacation, but you’re unlikely to feel threatened in any way.
If the USA is a melting pot, L.A is a scrumptious salad with some expected ingredients but many refreshing surprises. Keep an open mind and embrace all this City of Angels has to offer and you won’t be disappointed.
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