Los Angeles is the biggest city on the west coast of the United States. It is popular due to its film industry, the Hollywood. The urban atmosphere, diverse cuisine, and booming economy attract tourists from all over the world.
The “City of Angeles” is spread across Southern California surrounded by vast and beautiful forested mountain ranges, valleys, the Pacific Ocean, and nearby desert. The world’s casino capital Las Vegas is just 4 hours away by car.
As far as neighborhoods go, L.A. can be divided into 8 major touristy regions, as follows:
- Downtown L.A.
- Northwest L.A.
- South Central L.A.
- Gateway Cities
Things To Do In Los Angeles
The city of Los Angeles is huge, stretching from the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley in the north to the Port of Los Angeles in the south, a distance of almost 50 miles (80 km). The sprawling L.A. metropolitan area spreads across portions of 5 different counties and includes numerous smaller cities, some of which are regional centers of their own, like Hollywood, Bel-Air, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, and Anaheim.
Get a tan at Venice Beach or gaze at the vast sign of Hollywood. There are many things to do for first timers who visit LA.
Many museums are worth a trip, including the Los Angeles County Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The gorgeous parks of the city have hiking trails which can lead you on an adventure. Griffith Park has got a picnic atmosphere with exciting trails that will take you to Mulholland drive. For us, the cherry on top is the wisdom tree. It is a worth the pilgrimage for any wanderer.
You can hike to the Burbank peak to find a jaw-dropping view of the city. There is a ritual of Wisdom tree. Below the tree is a box of notebooks. Here, all the travelers who can reach up write their stories. Write your dream or hope as a traveler on the top of Los Angeles. It can’t get any better than this.
Filmed in L.A.
L.A. is intimately tied to the film industry and the history of American movies. As such, Los Angeles has served as a backdrop in virtually every genre of Hollywood films, from psychological thrillers to light-hearted romantic comedies to action-packed blockbusters.
Some of the classics and noteworthy films that are filmed in the L.A. and worth watching for their plot and successfully capturing the essence of the city are:
A Billy Wilder 1950 classic. Sunset Boulevard is the definitive Hollywood movie about Hollywood. The film follows the story of a down-on-his-luck screenwriter who gets sucked into the delusions of a silent film star long past her prime.
Los Angeles Plays Itself
Directed by Thom Andersen in 2003, this documentary shows the city’s relationship with the film industry. Andersen’s withering commentary underlines the tension that exists between locals and their city’s most famous industry, set to a visual smorgasbord of clips from other movies that illustrate what Hollywood captures—and more importantly, what it fails to capture.
Kiss Me Deadly
A Robert Aldrich, 1955 noir classic. This grim tale involves a thuggish private eye who takes a twisting journey through L.A. after his fateful decision to pick up a hitchhiker. The marvelous cinematography of the city abounds, from nightclubs and dark winding roads to the soon-to-be-demolished tenements of Bunker Hill.
Rebel Without a Cause
A 1955 Nicholas Ray film and James Dean’s most celebrated performance. The plot follows an angst-ridden teenager passes from one now-iconic Los Angeles set-piece to the next, including a tragic game of chicken at a Palos Verdes cliff and a wild climax outside the Griffith Observatory.
A Kent MacKenzie, 1961 film. It follows a group of young Native Americans living and partying in Downtown, with gorgeous cinematography of many places now lost to time.
Killer of Sheep
A Charles Burnett, 1978 film about with warm and tender view of the African American communities of 1970s Watts.
Bless Their Little Hearts
A Billy Woodberry, 1984 film. A poignant yet bleak look at a Watts working class family struggling to make ends meet.
A Roman Polanski, 1974 neo-noir film. This film has probably done more to shape Los Angeles’ image of its past than the actual history it’s loosely based on. A seemingly routine case of proving adultery draws a rakish private detective into a vast conspiracy over stolen water, shady land deals, and lives ruined to cover up the sins of city leaders.
While the dystopian Los Angeles in Blade Runner bears little resemblance to the real L.A., no discussion of L.A.’s depiction in a film is complete without mentioning it. Many local landmarks make appearances as striking ruins, from Union Station to Los Feliz’s Ennis House to Downtown’s Bradbury Building. A Ridley Scott, 1982 film.
Boyz n the Hood
This John Singleton, 1991 popular movie was released just one year prior to the Rodney King riots, this somber coming-of-age film is emblematic of the hood genre, depicting teenage life in South Central and the desperate struggle to escape the ghetto.
A Robert Altman’s 1992 film with a comeback is a loving and humorous—if slightly dark-satire of Hollywood, rife with inane studio executives, obsessive screenwriters, and too many celebrity cameos to count.
A Curtis Hanson, 1997 film. An acclaimed neo-noir flick set in the 1950s, this cynical film juxtaposes Hollywood’s glamorous image with its sordid underworld of corrupt cops, organized crime, prostitution, and media scandals, with certain real-world figures and events cropping up in the film’s margins.
Many of the biggest action blockbusters are set in L.A. like Die Hard, Terminator, and Lethal Weapon. However, nothing beats Speed (1994 film) in showing off Los Angeles. It’s the movie where a bus must keep driving at a certain speed or it will explode if it drives too slow.
Tarantino’s highly successful and influential first three films Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Jackie Brown (1997), are all set in L.A. and make fantastic use of the decidedly non-glamorous side of the city, from its hole-in-the-wall diners and run-down apartments to its sun-baked streets and seedy pawn shops.
The Big Lebowski
A 1998 cult favorite, the Coen Brothers’ madcap adventure bounces between the weird and wacky characters that make up L.A.’s fringe culture: slackers, nihilists, fascist cops, radical artists, porn kings, and the worlds that they inhabit.
There are five airports which can be used for international flights in Los Angeles.
Getting Around in LA
Public transportation is an affordable way to move around in the city. You can hire taxis, but the traffic jams of Los Angeles can get very annoying. To avoid that you can rent motorbikes if you are used to driving with a helmet on. The Metro Rail can be very useful, as it will take you to all the key destinations.
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September 3, 2016 11:31 am 4 Comments