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Discussion Starter #1
This may take a while to complete so bear with me.

A few starting points:

LA is probably the hardest of the Alpha cities to get to know on short basis. Unlike NYC, Paris, or even London, LA's attractions are spread out over a large geographical area. Also unlike places like Chicago, where a tourist can see all the interesting and fun places while avoiding the most unattractive parts of the City, negotiating LA by car is going to expose some of the less beautiful and more poorly designed city areas. Still I think there is no major metropolis that has access to mountains, beaches, deserts, kitsch, and culture like LA. You will not be able to see everything in a week or even three weeks. My advice is to take it slow, limit your geographical wanderings, save some sights for the next trip, and remember life is a beach.

I am going to arrange this thread as follows, first I want to list the twenty or so major sights (IMHO) to see in LA. (Like I said, they are scattered all over the place, don't get caught in the trap of spending your entire time on the freeway.) Then I will provide more detailed breakup of things to see by area, beginning with the city proper (downtown, midtown, west side, east side, south central etc.), fill in the close surburbs (San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, the South Bay, and then move on to Orange County, the Inland Empire, the High and Low Deserts, and if I still have the stamina, Santa Barbara, Kern, and San Diego counties. I will try to post photos(mostly from the web,not original) of the attractions as well. In order to keep the threads manageable, I intend to break up my postings into small packets of info.

If I have time, I will try to list performaning arts venues, special restaurants, and clubs as well.

I will also use the Michilin convention *** three stars is worth a trip; ** two stars is worth a detour; * one star is worth while if you are in the neighborhood; and I will use a "Q" for quirky, worthwhile if you are into that sort of thing.

At any rate, here is my list of the tourist essentials (The Big Twenty) in alphabetical order.
1. Anaheim resort
2. Catalina Island
3. Disney Concert Hall
4. Getty Museum
5. Getty Villa
6. Griffith Park Observatory
7. Hollywood
8. Huntington Library and Gardens
9. Los Angeles cathedral
10. Los Angeles County Art Museum
11. Norton Simon Museum
12. Olvera street and birthplace of LA
13. Page Museum and La Brea Tar Pits
14. Rodeo Drive
15. Santa Monica Pier
16. Sunset Strip
17. Universal Studios and Citywalk
18. Venice beach
19. Venice canals
20. Watts Towers
 

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Discussion Starter #2
1. Anaheim resort: The Anaheim resort is essentially the two Disney theme parks, Downtown Disney, the Anaheim convention center, the major Orange county sports venues, and the supporting hotels restaurants and clubs in the immediate area. Don't even think about doing all this in one day!

Two days is a minimum and you could spend a week here and never get out of Orange County. I would actually have preferred to start with attractions in LA city proper but this came out first in alphabetical order.

Disneyland





California Adventure




Downtown Disney




Angels' stadium


Honda Arena (Previously known as "The Pond".)


Grove Ampitheater


Anaheim convention center
 

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Discussion Starter #3
2. Catalina island

At least we are back in Los Angeles County here. Terribly overlooked by visitors to Los Angeles, Catalina is a magic kind of place, you get around by foot, bike, horse, or golf cart. The island is full of buffalo and sea lions and the waters are crystal clear for snorkling and glass bottom boats. Peaceful and romantic and only an hour out of the LA or Long Beach harbors by Catalina Express.




 

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Discussion Starter #4
3. Disney Concert Hall; a masterpiece of architecture by Frank Gehry; acoustically wonderful; and home of the LA Philharmonic which has been called the best American Orchestra by the London Spectator etc. This is also close to MOCA, the music center, and the cathedral.




 

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4. Getty Museum; a complex of museum building, designed by Richard Meier, sitting on a hill above the west side with breathtaking views of the city and the ocean. Beautiful place for watching the sun go down and the art isn't bad either. You get up there by funicular which lets you see some of the mansions of Bel Air and Brentwood.







 

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Discussion Starter #7
4. Getty Villa. Not the same as the Getty Museum but under the same administration. A reproduction of a Roman mansions from Herculaneum just outside of Pompei. Complete with Greek Theater and pretty unique at least in the US. Just remember you have to make reservations as parking is limited.
You can make reservations at this site which also tells a little about both Getty Museums.http://www.getty.edu/visit/





 

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6. Griffith Park Observatory. Just remodeled and you need reservations for this one also. The most visited observatory in the country with gorgeous views of the city from its balconies. Rebel without a Cause had several major scenes set here. You can make reservations here:http://www.griffithobs.org/

 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
7. Hollywood. Everyone who wants to visit LA wants to visit Hollywood. You can certainly visit many of the classic Hollywood icons, the Chinese theater, the Walk of Fame, etc. There is no large museum dedicated to Hollywood and the motion picture industry as yet although there are plans in the works that may come true with the revitalization of Hollywood that is taking place. There are several small museums and lots of points of interest, if you know where to go. Hollywood is a district stretching roughly from Gower to La Brea and Franklin to Sunset. Here are some of the things to see.

Movie Theaters:
The Chinese:

stars footprints in cement


The Egyptian:home of the American cinematheque and also shows an introductory movie about Hollywood during the afternoons.


The El Capitain: redone by Disney.


The Arc Light/Cinerama Dome:



Museums:
Hollywood Entertainment Museum (has the Star Trek Bridge and the Bar from Cheers.)



Hollywood History Museum in Max Factor Building




Jesse Lasky/Cecille B. De Mille Movie Barn


Hollywood Wax Museum



Hollywood dinosaur clock (Ripley's Odditorium)


Hollywood Murals





Hollywood Gateway sculpture arch


Walk of Fame


Hollywood & Highhland


Kodak Theater/Home of the Oscars


Magic Castle: You need a pass to get in. Your concierge at the better hotels can probably get one for you.



Capitol Record Building

Hollywood sign


Yamashiro sky room


Pantages theater also note the Frolic room next to the theater, a great old hollywood dive with murals of hollywood stars on the walls.



Hollywood palace


Hollywood bowl
 

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Discussion Starter #13
10. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (currently undergoing expansion) most encylopedic of our art museums and I beleieve the largest art museum west of the Missippi.


Japanese wing by Bruce Goff





 

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Discussion Starter #16
12. Olvera street-birthplace of Los Angeles







Avila Adobe oldest house in LA


America Tropical mural
 

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Discussion Starter #17
13. Page museum and La Brea Tar Pits the largest cache of ice age fossils in the world. Found right in the middle of the city.





You can volunteer to excavate fossils from the tar if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
14. Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills, Probably the most expensive shopping street in the country.



 
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