City Of Los Angeles

The City of Angels…. Actually the name comes from the first  Mexican settlers who migrated here in late 1700’s. They called the city “ Our Lady Queen of Angels”. Then they called it Los Angeles which  means The Angels. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.
There are more than 10 million cars in LA. Therefore, the traffic is very heavy during the rush hours. They actually call 405 freeway, which is one of the major motorways of the city, “The Parking Lot”. The Public Transportation is not well organized, so, you may want to rent a car or use Uber. Because the places you want to visit is always far from each other.
Downtown LA is not very attractive to  most visitors. The only place to visit in Downtown LA is Olvera Street where first Mexican settlers founded the city. You may visit the Mission and the souvenir shops.
Hollywood Boulevard should be then first place to see. You will find the Dolby Theatre (Formerly called “Kodak Theatre” )where The Oscar goes to the people who earn it. You will see many stars on the pavement with names on it. Those are the famous actors/actresses, tv people, directors, singers etc. Just one of them is not on the pavement, the star of the boxer Mohammed Ali. He did not want his star to be stepped over by people who walks on Hollywood Blvd, because his name is the same as the profit Mohammed of Islam religion he follows. You should visit the Chinese Theater located 100 meters west of the Dolby Theater. There you will see the hand foot prints of the famous people such as Clint Eastwood, Eddy Murphy, Steven Spielberg, Rita Hayward , Harrison Ford. You can visit Madam Tussauds  Museum and buy souvenirs. There is  a shop where everything is 10$. But If you take one of the shopping baskets with you while you are shopping, everything becomes 5$ a piece.
From Hollywood Blvd, you will go 1 street south and find the Sunset Blvd and go west toward Beverly Hills. You will pass the Sunset Strip where you will see many restaurants, cafés and boutiques. When you reach Rodeo drive , you will see the most expensive jewelry shops and many upscale well known brand of clothing and bags and accessories. This is where they filmed the movie “Pretty Woman” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. At the end of Rodeo Dr where it intersects with Wilshire Blvd, you will see The Beverly Wilshire Hotel where Julia Roberts and Richard Gere were staying in the movie. After Rodeo Dr.  I recommend you to visit the Farmer’s Market and The Grove which are adjacent to each other. In Farmers market you will find many food stands, mini restaurants that has mutual sitting area where you can pick your food and eat. You should try Pampa’s grill if you are in to meat. It is a Brazilian buffet where you decide what kind of meat you want to eat and they cut a piece or more pieces from different cuts of the animal, and make your own salad and out them in a plate with your meat and at the end of the buffet, they will weigh it and pay as much as you put in your plate. You should also try empanadas from Nonna’s Empenadas. Totally delicious. You can also find American barbecue, woodfire  pizza, seafood , French bakery, middle eastern/mediterranean food there. If you want, you may walk to The Grove which is adjacent to farmer’s Market. You may dine in The Cheese Cake Factory, La Piazza Italian restaurant, Blue Ribbon Sushi. Or you may sip your drink by the fountain pool.
Los Angeles is also home to famous theme parks such as Universal Studios  Hollywood where actual film sets are and The original Disneyland in the City of Anaheim. You should go to Universal Studios and Disneyland early in the morning when the parks are open to avoid wait times of the rides and shows.
You should also visit Santa Monica. I think it is one of the best places around Los Angeles. You may walk on the 3rd street promenade which is closed to traffic, do shopping in the Santa Monica Place or dine in many restaurants Santa Monica offers, such as, Boa Steak, Trastavere Italian, Sushi Roku, Water grill Seafood, Ivy at The Shore, del Frisco’s or Wine Garden at the 3rd floor of the Santa Monica Place Shopping Center. The Santa Monica Pier has also some restaurants to offer such as, The Lobster Sea Food and Bubba Gump Schrimp & Co.
Venice Beach is also a major tourist attraction. On the boardwalk by the beach, you will find many stores/stalls to do souvenir shopping. You can also visit the muscle beach where the body builders train in the open air gym which is called the famous Gold’s Gym.
You should definitely visit the Abbot Kinney street in Venice Beach. It is 15 minute walk from the beach. It has nice upscale restaurants and boutiques. You can dine in restaurants such as Gjelina,the Butcher’s Daughter, Tasting Kitchen, Green Leaf,  and have your Ice Cream at Salt & Straw.
Do not leave LA before you visit Getty’s Museum. Once I came across Da Vinci Exhibition there. You may also visit LA museum of Art on Wilshire blvd or buy your ticket for the LA Phill in Down Town, the Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. You can buy ticket ahead for any concert happens in the Hollywood Bowl. It will be your best concert experience. You may bring your own wine and sandwich for your picnic/concert.
How about some beach experience? California is famous with its beach cities such as Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Long Beach. Each beach city has its own way of life. Laguna residents are rich but humble. New port Beach has some big luxurious houses by the beach. Huntington is famous for body surfing. Seal Beach is quiet and upscale. Long Beach is busy and is home to famous ship The Queen Mary which is used as a restaurant and a hotel.
During our tours, we actually do all of the contents mentioned in this blog. Life is short,  travel as much as you can.

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