Los Angeles, or the City of Angels, is one of the cities in the world that is known by practically every person on earth. This is a status shared with just a few other places like New York, Washington, London, Moscow, and Paris. Whilst other cities are well known, they don’t have the same ubiquity as the ultra elite category.
Los Angeles earned its place on this list thanks to it being home to Hollywood, the largest producer of films in the Western hemisphere and a major source of soft power for the United States of America. Hollywood has become synonymous with glitz and glamour like no other place on Earth, packed with movie stars, musicians and anyone who wants to aspire to be like them.
For tourists who are interested in getting a taste of this world, there are studio tours, the Hollywood sign and tour buses that will take you to look at the houses of celebrities. But there is more to Los Angeles that just this; here is a look at some of it.
If you’re a sports fan, you have plenty to keep you occupied in Los Angles. The City of Angels is home to teams in almost every imaginable sport, including soccer team LA Galaxy, basketball team the Los Angeles Lakers, and baseball team the LA Dodgers. There are also NFL teams in Los Angeles, the Chargers and the Rams, the latter of which is currently 4th favourite to win the Super Bowl.
The Getty Center
Legendary industrialist Jean Paul Getty became a philanthropist in his later years. One of the things he did was found the J. Paul Getty Museum in Brentwood. On his death in 1976, Getty left a further $661 million to the museum which helped to fund the Getty Center which took almost twenty years to design and build, finally opening its doors in 1997.
The building itself is a masterpiece thanks to the design work of architect Richard Meier. It contains beautiful gardens and sculptures within the grounds. These are trumped by the breathtaking views over Los Angeles thanks to the Getty Center’s hilltop location. Inside, you’ll find art from the likes of van Gogh and Rembrandt, as well as a huge range of other artwork ranging from Medieval times, through to the present day.
Griffith Park & Observatory
Another Los Angeles landmark originally paid for by an entrepreneur, Griffith Park game to life when a Welsh businessman by the name of Griffith J. Griffith gave 3,000 acres of land to the city as a “Christmas Present” in 1896. The vast space has expanded to 4,000 acres in the years since, and is now home to the Los Angeles Zoo, two public golf courses, walking and horseback riding trails, tennis courts, and much more.
The park is also home to the Griffith Observatory, which was also given to the city as a festive gift. The building’s three domes on top of the hill have created one of Los Angeles’ most legendary landmarks. The observatory is so important to the city, it was recreated in both Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V, when the franchise was set in “Los Santos”, a fictional depiction of Los Angeles. E
Inside, you can use the telescopes to look into space, explore the 60 space themed exhibits and admire the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, which is housed in the building’s central dome.
Built exclusively from scrap metal, the Watts Towers were constructed in the 1920s by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia. He then spent a further 30 years decorating the structures by hand, using green glass, tiles, seashells, marble and jewelry. There are a lot, (17 towers!), with the tallest being almost 100 feet in height. Despite being made entirely from scrap materials, they have an awe-inspiring look that you can’t help but admire.
Of course there are plenty of Hollywood related things to do in Los Angeles. However, when you’re tired of placing your hands in the stars on the Walk of Fame and framing the Hollywood sign from as many angles as possible, the city has a lot more to offer.