LOS ANGELES a metropolis, which spans across a thousand square miles of the great desert basin, mixed together with congested freeways that run between the ocean and the mountains. LA is still considered a young city. In the mid-nineteenth century, it was a community of white American immigrants, poor Chinese laborers, and wealthy Mexican ranchers, with a population of less than fifty thousand. Definitely, a difference from what it is now. LA is known for it shopping malls, palm trees, and swimming pools. The celluloid self-image of Los Angeles is known all over the world.
Los Angeles might be the big budget capital of cinema, but that is not to say that the Hollywood haute and haughty permeate the city’s cultural mood on its many other levels. Los Angeles is a multilayered and multiethnic urban and suburban sprawl from the waves crashing beneath Santa Monica Pier to the snow capped mountains of San Gabriel. State of the art entertainment and arts facilities are entangled among the high rises of Downtown, the remaining bohemian hippie culture of Venice Beach and the multitude of 5 a.m. joggers, housekeepers, writers and musicians who call this City of Angels home.
Once you’ve booked your flight to Los Angeles, remember to reserve a rental car! Los Angeles is fairly easy to navigate but is a spread out conglomeration of many smaller cities and enclaves. Buses and taxis run regularly but your wallet and your schedule will be happy to have regular transportation in this auto-powered metropolis.
The first-time visitor to Los Angeles may well find it to be thrilling and threatening in equal proportions. It is a very fast-paced city and it will pick you up and sweep you along whether you want it to or not. While Los Angeles has many fine-art museums, California cuisine and a few old-fashioned urban plazas, what people really come here for is to experience the city that has come to epitomize the American Dream. This is where teens come to try to become actors and stars.
Los Angeles has long been a bastion of cultural growth and exploration, even longer than it has had the beach-bum reputation. Downtown is once again creating the trendy and elegant buzz of L.A.’s arts and dining atmosphere, far from it’s strictly business and crime lapse of the 1980s. The new Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry is now the home of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra and considered to be one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls on the planet. If you can’t get tickets to a show, visit for the stunning architecture against Downtown’s skyscrapers. The Music Center is just down the street where you can attend the Los Angeles Opera at the beautiful Dorothy Chandler Pavilion or perhaps catch Al Pacino in a one man play at the Mark Taper Forum.
With all the entertainment available in Los Angeles, you are sure to see a Celebrity or two while you are out and about. There are many things to do in LA, how about just hanging out at the beach and relaxing or surfing in the Pacific Ocean. Many things are within driving distance from LA as well.
Whatever draws you to travel to Los Angeles, it will be the incredible eclectic charm of the many different neighborhoods and cultures that keeps you inspired over again, not to mention the serenity of a big city with a visible skyline. A stop at a Mexican taqueria or a day at the Farmers’ Market is essential to capturing the flavor of Los Angeles.