Tourist Attractions in the City of Angels: Los Angeles

By Linda Smith

For: Local Storm Media, Michael Ber

Los Angeles, located in Southern California, is the most populated city in California, and comes in second for the U.S. L.A. has several nicknames such as the “City of Angels” because Los Angeles means the angels in Spanish, or “The Big Orange” because of the climate allowing for the growth of oranges and other fruit. One of the most amusing of nicknames is “La La Land.” There are those who say that La-La Land is fitting because Los Angeles is not only a fun city, but one that is not always in touch with the real world. Los Angeles is city which has a bit of everything from mountains to sandy beaches, unusual museums and libraries including those that represent U.S. Presidents, unique zoos and amusement parks, theatres, and a lot of Hollywood including the “Calvary Cemetery,” which is the final resting place for many Hollywood stars and other well-knowns such as President Ronald Reagan‘s parents Jack and Nellie Reagan.Hollywood SignThere is a saying “You will know that you are in Hollywood, when you see the sign. One of the oldest icons for Los Angeles is the famous Hollywood sign, which is located on the south side of Mount Lee in Griffith Park, north of the Mulholland Highway. The sign was meant to serve as a temporary structure that was form of advertisement to help boost the sale of homes. It had nothing to do with the movie industry. The Hollywood sign consists of 13 letters that stand 30 feet wide and 50 feet high, containing 4,000 20-watt light bulbs. The erection of the sign occurred in 1923. Just below the sign a white dot which was 35 fee in diameter, with numerous 20-watt blinking lights were used to draw attention to the sign. The lights would first blink Hollywood in segments, the first being “Holly” and then “wood”. Eventually, when the entertainment industry began to boom land was added to the sign. Through time, the sign eventually began to decay, along with damage by vandalism. The sign became scrap in 1978. Through the years, the famous sign has seen repairs to a complete rebuild. In the year 2000, a new security and lighting system was installed as a way to light and protect the sign from vandals and other intruders. Today, the Hollywood sign is no longer a unique type of billboard, it has become an icon with the original 8 letters being “Hollywood.”

Hollywood Boulevard

From 1887 to 1910, 100 Prospect Boulevard was the original street name, until Hollywood became part of Los Angeles, at which time 100 Prospect Boulevard was changed to 6400 Hollywood Boulevard. Today, Hollywood Boulevard is the route for the yearly Christmas Parade in Los Angeles. Hollywood Boulevard has been part of many songs, as well as being part of various scenes in movies, such as “Pretty Woman” where Richard Geer picked up Julia Roberts, and in various scenes of the “I Love Lucy” sitcom. The Hollywood Boulevard is also home to attractions such as Graumans Chinese Theatre, the Kodak Theater, Bob Hope Square, the infamous “Hollywood Walk of Fame” with more than 20,000 stars made from terrazzo and brass, which covers 15 blocks on the Boulevard, and 3 blocks on Vine Street, among many others.

Capitol Records Tower

Many music fans that are familiar with the records that were once played on jukeboxes and in the home will recognize Capitol Records. Completed in 1956, the Capitol Records Tower (Capitol Records Building), a California landmark, located north of Hollywood and Vine, stands 13 stories tall with a blinking light atop the tower that spells “Hollywood” in morse code. The antenna is 151 feet high. Les Paul, a renown guitarist, engineered what is considered to be the best of echo chambers that are part of Capitol Studios which are inside Capitol Records Tower. Capitol Studios retains recordings by the best such as Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, and Nat King Cole. The studios continue various music and film sessions with the new talent of today.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Most of you are familiar with the cartoon “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!” that illustrated oddities such as a two-trunked elephant, the world’s ugliest dog, a footprint of the legendary “Big Foot” among many others. Ripley was considered to be an eccentric who traveled the world seeking oddities, and collecting them. The museum, located at 6780 Hollywood Boulevard, contains over 300 items that were collected by Ripley himself. As you leave Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, there are a lot of interesting world records such as the “Worlds Heaviest Man,” “The Oddest Married Couple,” and maybe test the worlds longest echo at The Guinness World Records Museum which is located at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard, and across the street from the Kodak Theatre which is found along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Located along the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the most popular spots where tourists stop, place their hands in the hand prints of various stars while having their picture taken. The premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King of Kings” on May 18, 1927 also marked the opening of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Mary Pickford and Douglass Fairbanks were the first stars to place their hands and feet into the wet cement. Grauman’s continues to be the favorite location for movie premiers, stars, and other celebrities who walk up the famous “red carpet.” During the 40’s, several of the Academy Awards were held there. Today, one of the favorite spots is called the “Chinese 6 Theatres” which have a private VIP lounge, private concession, balcony with state of the art equipment for movie presentations.

Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre

Owner of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Sid Grauman, 5 years after building the Chinese Theatre, he built Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre. Built using the Egyptian theme, complete with Egyptian columns, hieroglyphics, murals, and a 12 foot dog-headed Egyptian god guarding the portico, and open courtyard in the front, which is also found at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The first movie premier of “Robin Hood” with Douglas Fairbanks and Wallace Beery occurred in 1922. This premier, included the “red carpet” treatment, continues today.

Hollywood Wax Museum

Hollywood Avenue is the center of many Los Angeles attractions, including museums such as the Hollywood Wax Museum which has been operating for over 40 years, longer than any wax museum in the U.S. The Hollywood Wax Museum is not only in L.A., but in various areas across the country. The building that holds the museum is located in the Embassy Club, an exclusive nightspot. The life size wax figures change to stay current with the popular stars and other celebrities. Another popular wax museum, along the way, is Madame Tussauds, next to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, is a bit more than a wax museum with exhibits such as “The Oval Office” on election day, when visitors can be President. The wax figures range from movie stars, movie characters, as well as pop stars, TV stars and sports stars such as Lance Armstrong.

California African American Museum

In 1984, while the “84 Olympic Games” were in progress, the California African Museum first opened its doors to the public. There are 3 exhibition galleries, a theater, a sculpture quarters, library with numerous pieces of reference materials including over 20,000 books, conference area, and administrative offices as well as locations for storage of artifacts and exhibition design planning that are located within the 44, 000 square foot museum. The museum exhibitions include those that are temporary to permanent exhibitions of paintings to sculptures and literary writings, which depict the history of the African American and their contributions to society. Collections include traditional wooden African art such as ceremonial masks, artifacts from various estates such as those from the estate of Ella Fitzgerald, and programs for performances by Dorothy Dandridge and Duke Ellington, as well as photographs of the first black mayor “Mayor Tom Bradley.” Today, the permanent home of the museum is located 600 State Drive, Exposition Park which is free to the public, as well as remodeled to be handicapped accessible throughout the entire museum.

Adamson House

The Adamson House, nicknamed “Taj Mahal of Tile” was built in the 1930’s for Rhoda Rindge Adamson and her husband, Merritt Huntley Adamson. The nickname originates from the enormous use of tile in almost every room including the tile top of the dining room table. This mansion has been declared a National Historical Site and a California Historical Landmark. The outdoor heated pool, suitable for salt or fresh water, was constructed with tile. Along with the pool area is a barabecue area, pool house which was designed to have two sides, one for men, and the other for women. Another exterior feature is that of the Neptune fountain with a gargoyle head.

The property contains 5 acres of land which include gardens that are use today, by the public, for private weddings and receptions. One of the gardens is the rose garden that consists of over 16000 rose bushes with over 300 varieties of roses.

This Moorish Spanish Colonial Reviva style mansion and now museum sits on the coast line of the Malibu Lagoon State Beach within the boundaries of the Malibu Lagoon State Park. Located on the Pacific Coast Highway, the entrance for parking and the nature area is at Cross Creek Road. Walk east across the bridge and follow the dirt lane to the Adamson House.

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Most of us may think of surfers when we hear Malibu beach, but the beach is much more than a place for surfing and some fun in the sun. Actually, Malibu Lagoon State Beach consists of 22 acres of gardens, beach, and wetlands. The Malibu Surfrider beach has a reputation for being the choice location among surfers. Other areas, are excellent areas for birdwatching and to enjoy nature. One of the popular spots is well-known Malibu Pier which is known for fishing. The wetlands are perfect for  watching the grunions, butterflies, and even admire the gray whale.

There are historical sites that are located in Malibu Lagoon State beach such as the amazing “Adamson House,” now a National Historical Site, once owned by the owners of Malibu Potteries. This mansion-museum contains the original furnishings, as well as unique tile designs, and handcrafted woodwork, decorative awnings, and other portions of the architecture. The Malibu Lagoon Museum presents a history of the Malibu area which dates back to the “Chumash Tribe to the days of the surfing era.

Getty Center

One of the first richest Americans, in 1957, was J. Paul Getty, founder of the Getty Oil Company. Coming from a rich family, he was one of the first American who was worth over one billion dollars. Although rich, and considered to be a miser, J. Paul Getty was an art collector. The Getty Villa has become home to the J. Paul Getty Museum, located on the Pacific Coast Highway, while the Getty Center is located on Getty Center Avenue, Los Angeles. The J. Paul Jetty museum is withing the Getty Villa, that houses various Greek, Roman and Etruscan art and sculpture. The Getty Center holds Getty’s collection of Western Art that dates back to the Middle Ages, as well as sculpture that was commissioned by Getty himself. Research Institute Exhibition Gallery and five additional galleries inside the center contain the Getty collections. The Getty Center Gardens are a work of art. The Central garden is 134,000 square feet, which was designed by Robert Irwin. Along with the colorful plants that constantly change is a waterfall which runs into a garden pool containing floating azaleas. Although entrance to both the Getty Villa and Getty center is free, tickets are needed to be obtained in advance and there is a parking fee of approximately $15 per vehicle.


2 responses to “Tourist Attractions in the City of Angels: Los Angeles

  1. Thanks for the list! The Adamson House looks pretty neat.

  2. Pingback: Tourist Attractions in Tokyo, Japan | Bangari Content Gallery

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s