In honour of the impending visit by my family in April, I thought I'd do a round up of the various landmarks and must-see tourist attractions around L.A.
Whether you're planning a trip to Los Angeles or you already live here and in your busy day-to-day lives have forgotten to look up or explore this sprawling city, here are a few places of interest.
In no particular order here are the first five...
You can't miss this iconic landmark sitting atop Mount Lee in Griffith Park.
The Hollywood Sign is visible throughout L.A. even from quite a distance and you know you are truly in movie land once you catch a glimpse of it.
Also known as the Capitol Records Tower, you can find this distinctive landmark on the corner of Hollywood and Vine.
When you're up in the Hollywood Hills and you look down upon the city streets, this interesting building really stands out.
A relatively new addition to the L.A. landscape, 202 recovered vintage cast-iron street lamps from around Los Angeles make up this impressive permanent installation outside LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).
You'll find this unusual sight along Wilshire Boulevard, near the La Brea Tar Pits, and it's well worth having your photo taken beside them to commemorate your visit.
In what seems like an architecturally barren city at times, the design of The Pacific Design Center really makes an impression in the heart of West Hollywood.
The visually interesting buildings are flanked by two impressive sculptures along Melrose Avenue, the Seat of Design Chair sculpture...
and the Illuminating Design Lamp sculpture...
In addition the lights around the exterior are supposed to resemble sewing needles and thimbles...
The Green and Blue building also look amazing when they are illuminated at night, and they'll soon be joined by a new Red building.
The Observatory is free to visit and is closed on Mondays, but open the rest of the week from noon on weekdays and from 10am at the weekends until 10pm each night.
It's another wonderful landmark that can be seen for miles around and also provides some impressive views of the rest of L.A.
You'll also have a great view of The Hollywood Sign from the entrance lawn and find a memorial to cultural icon and movie star, James Dean, there.
Come back tomorrow for five more essential Los Angeles landmarks...