Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles features stunning modern architecture in the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Lady of the Angels Cathedral. The Music Center and Museum of Contemporary Art make Downtown the closest thing to the Los Angeles Arts Center. Business people flood the complex with skyscrapers and offices in the city centre. The adventurous young men, artists, immigrants and the homeless live in Los Angeles, and it’s worth getting out of the car to explore, even if you don’t think so at first glance.
Cute and tarnished, the good and the bad, the funny and the sad – Hollywood is like the entertainment industry itself. But they don’t make much of a movie here anymore. The neighbourhood has slowly improved over the past decade. This urban renewal brand blends the new with the old: restoration of ancient movie palaces and new developments such as the Hollywood and Highland entertainment complex. You can enjoy reminders of the area’s romantic past, such as the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and Hollywood Bowl.
An area for urban recreation – shopping, restaurants and nightlife – rather than sightseeing. Its main streets are the Sunset Strip (Sunset Boulevard), which is short for long-running clubs and former Boffo billboards, and Melrose Street, lined with punk boutiques and postmoderns.
Beverly Hills, Century City and Westside
Go to lively restaurants and scenery. It’s Los Angeles that gives East Coasters material to tricky jokes: plastic surgery, plenty of sushi spots, and a dedicated car show down the busy Westwood Hallway lane along legendary streets like Sunset, Wilshire and Santa Monica. A full road shrouded with trees. Beverly Hills is especially sticky for a distressed or glamorous overflow look; Rodeo Drive is well-known for its excellent outdoor shopping areas. But don’t overlook the Westside’s cultural attractions, especially the high Getty Center.
Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu
Santa Monica is not Los Angeles, and it plays by a different set of rules. The atmosphere here defines Los Angeles. The typical beach scenes happen almost every day, with a skateboard on the rails, kids screaming on the sidewalk, and girls in bikinis on the sand. The society is entirely liberal and supports a large homeless population. Venice, just south of Santa Monica along the coast, is a more subtle mix of artists, beach whims and intellectuals, most of whom you’ll see in Venice’s promenade. If you don’t like shopping or “the scenery,” take a leisurely drive down Pacific Coast Highway with screaming eagles on your stereo. Life is beautiful in Malibu, where the beach reigns supreme. The rich and famous hide in their residential “colony”, but rocky bays and stunning waves are open to all. You can take a look at a luxurious dwelling of a different kind at Getty Villa Malibu.
San Fernando Valley
Known only as “The Canyon”, the San Fernando Valley is the undisputed centre of television and film productions. It also has a hard-to-beat actor due to the emaciated stickiness and urban sprawl. The entertainers don’t want to admit that they live here, but they do. Major tourist attractions are related to the industry: Universal Studios Hollywood, studio tours at Warner Bros. And television footage at NBC.
Like Santa Monica, Pasadena looks like a part of Los Angeles but a separate city. It’s a quiet and upscale neighbourhood to visit, with exceptional art and craft homes and a pair of extraordinary museums: Norton Simon and Huntington Estate in San Marino.
Long Beach, San Pedio and Palos Verdes
You probably wouldn’t come here unless you were interested in certain sights, like the aquariums or the Queen Mary Art Deco ship.
Orange County and Catalin Island
For decades, Orange County has been linked to Disneyland – that is if visitors weren’t assuming Disneyland was in Los Angeles. Still, these days, coastal communities are getting just as much attention. Even if it’s not as’ luxurious as it appears on TV, coastal locations such as Huntington Beach, the Port of Newport, and the Balboa Peninsula are ideal for relaxing at a beachfront hotel, and Laguna Beach has a beautiful balance with art festivals and nature reserves as well as the beach. A short drive from Ile Cataline with its small town and vast nature reserve.