a VirtualTourist member from Kiev
during our trip in US we will have a 4-days stop in Los Angeles. I've never been there, so I will appreciate info on what we should definitely see and visit during this short time. as we will have a car during our trip, moving around the city and nearby areas should not be a problem.
You could start reading the Travel Guide about Los Angeles. I'm sure you will find '1000' ideas about what to do/see:
[original VT link]
Hi. I see you like beaches, museums and architecture so you will have a lot to see in LA. A couple favorite museums are LACMA (LA Country Museum of Art) with a world class collection, the Getty Museum which is free and has lovely gardens and amazing views in addition to the art collection. There is a small charge for parking but the museum is free. The Huntington Museum and Library has an excellent collection and a very nice garden. The trees room is good for lunch but you do need a reservation. In Pasadena you can visit the Norton Simon with a great art collection and then walk around the picturesque old town area.
For a very interesting modern building, check out the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry. It's amazing.
Santa Monica beach and pier are great fun. Venice beach is roller blade heaven, and Huntington beach is just a huge and popular beach.
Hey Yulia, a cool place to check out for a night is the Grove in LA. Shops, food, night life, and people! A cool city to check out is Long Beach. I've lived in this city for a few years and Belmont Shores (2nd Street) is a great place to take in the sun, walk around, dine and party! Downtown area and Shoreline Village are pretty awesome spots as well with many restaurants, views, and a lighthouse you can walk up to. For a great view of all of southern California, theres a park on top of Signal Hill. Signal Hill is its own little city and you drive to the top of the hill, hang out at the park and you can see the mountains, ocean, Palos Verdes (awesome too!), downtown LA, and Orange County. Good luck with your travels!
I read several guides and pages on LA, and I have more than 1000 ideas, i just need to put all those ideas in 4 days, so i just want to know what other people recommend as a MUST. Otherwise i will ahve to stay in LA for months, but i have just 4 days...
Take a look at the Disney Concert Hall, a stunning sculpture of a building by Frank Gehry,
And a short distance away the old Union Station (AMTRAK), in the style of church with gardens - is quite beautiful and has art deco features inside.
If you enjoy architecture, I have always enjoyed taking the LA Conservancy tours in downtown LA. Some people say that there is nothing to see in downtown LA but there is some great art deco architecture in LA as much of it was built during the height of that period. If you are there on a Saturday they have a couple of tours that I don't think need to be reserved, one of downtown and the other focusing on art deco. After doing one of those tours you could visit Olvera Street and pop into Union Station which is an architectural gem as well.
If you enjoy beaches you can stop by Santa Moncia, see the pier and take a walk along the ocean. I also enjoy doing that in Malibu which has a beautiful stretch of beach. You could combine the visit to Malibu with the Getty Villa (which is different than the Getty Center)
If you enjoy museums, the Norton Simon has already been mentioned, you could combine that with a visit to Pasadena's Old Town or a visit to the Huntington Library which is part museum and part gardens.
Do you want to do a touristy LA day? You can stop by Hollywood, see the walk of fame and the Chinese theater and then head over to the Grove and the Farmers Market. Close to that is LACMA and the La Brea tar pits.
Maybe the 4th day you might want to do one of the big all day activities? Disneyland or Universal Studios?
IN L.A., you should definitely do...
1. a tour of downtown L.A., including Olvera St (beginnings of L.A) and Little Tokyo (very clean and quaint). Plus, you can check out the museums and galleries (MOCA-contemporary art, off the beaten path and well regarded galleries along Spring St and Olvera St), see Disney Hall, shop and dine in the LA Live area off Figueroa St. I suggest you do meter parking when possible. Have coins but credit card meters are also available.
2 a tour of Pasadena. Old Town Pasadena, off Colorado. Very scenic there, and yes, visit Norton Simon, and other Pasadena museums and galleries nearby, as well as Huntington Library.
3. a beach hop on/off Pacific Coast Highway. Lesser known but great beaches are Redondo and Manhattan Beach in the South Bay, and then above those, Santa Monica and Malibu (see beautiful long coastline and do a light hike at Temescal Canyon)
All of these can be done within 4 days.
...oh, and yes, in addition, Bev Hills is a must. Consider doing a trolley tour there during a weekend day, choose a restaurant (like on Restaurant Row/La Cienega Ave) and visit the Paley Center (a TV museum). On the same day you can fit Hollywood. Check out particularly Hollywood and Vine (classy development around there) and Hollywood/Highland center (very typcial touristy but must see for the first time)
I mostly agree with the posters but perhaps you will waste most of your time sitting in terrible Los Angeles traffic for four days and see very little. Therefore I suggest you concentrate your efforts as follows: (be sure to read my other posts for references)
Day One: start in Malibu Center, the tiny shopping area where you will see Malibu residents, not tourists. Go to the little park on the southwest side of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road. There you will have a spectacular and close-up view of the famous Malibu Colony. This will take one hour. -- Proceed south on PCH and turn up the "California Incline" and head two blocks south on Ocean Ave to the corner of Wilshire Ave. Park wherever you can. Walk along the Ocean Avenue Park six blocks to Santa Monica. You will have breath taking views of the beach, the Pier, old olive trees, etc. Then turn east on Santa Monica and again north on 3rd Street; this is the internationally famous Promenade. If you listen you will hear porooski spoken by some tourists. This will take about two to three hours. Find a great restaurant for dinner. LA has an amazing and eclectic variety for cheap prices.
Day Two: Visit the Getty Center. It isn't the best art in the world but it is the most amazing location and architecture. Take a good walk through the Gardens and enjoy the amazing views of Los Angeles from Downtown to the Ocean! This will take three hours. -- Drive down Sunset Boulevard and park at Doheny Drive. Get out and walk down the famous Sunset Strip, perhaps until Fairfax (about a mile). This is iconic! Turn around and return to your car. This will take another two hours. Then head east on Sunset Blvd until Highland Avenue where you make a left and go north 1/2 mile to Hollywood Blvd. Park near that corner. Walk four blocks west and three blocks east along Hollywood Boulevard. You will see famous landmarks, within about 1-2 hours. Then, before the sun sets, go north on Highland Avenue about 1.5 miles to Mulholland Drive. Very carefully and slowly, making many stops at the "vista points," traverse this amazing street from Highland to Sepulveda Boulevard. This road crosses the very top of our Mountains - and you will see the most famous neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the most breath taking views of Hollywood, Universal Studios, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Beverly Hills, etc. This will take about an hour. Pick a place for dinner. try Thai or Vietnamese as you won't find this quality anywhere else in the world.
Day Three: Go to Rodeo Drive between Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards in Beverly Hills. It is boring and silly and gauche - but many of your friends might be angry if you do not visit. This will take 1-2 hours. Have lunch there, just so you can say you did. - Then drive up and across Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills. This goes through a nice Beverly Hills neighborhood, crosses Mulholland and descends into Sherman Oaks of the San Fernando Valley. Fist make a right and go east along Ventura Boulevard, for about two miles to Lankershim Boulevard. From there you can look up to Universal Studios. Don't waste your time going inside; it's a stupid fake tourist trap. Turn around and continue slowly down Ventura Boulevard (you're now going west) for another thirteen miles. This street has more interesting restaurants and boutiques and neighborhoods than any avenue of its length in the world. Take your time. Stop if you see anything that catches your eye. More Russian live along this boulevard (in Encino!) than most of LA. There is an authentic Russian delicatessen called Rasputin in Encino that is delicious! You will feel at home. The owner is Ukrainian. This will take two to four hours. You will see the "real" Los Angeles.
Have dinner. Use Yelp.com for references. It's great.
Day Four: return for a follow-up to anything that interested you most. Don't go to South Bay or Downtown Los Angeles, or Glendale or Pasadena. They are okay but will take too much driving time and get you lost. - My recommendations will save you time. If you want to know details, email me. I've been throughout Ukraine so have some basis to compare. :-)
Dont miss: the Farmer's Market at the Grove (my personal fave L.A. spot and I have lived here all my life). The Getty, 3rd Street Promenade, Venice Beach, Norton Simon Museum, El Matador Beach. Enjoy, I hope you love L.A.