Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fifteen top L.A. landmarks to see - Part one...

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...

Hollywood Sign Mount Lee Griffith Park
You can't miss this iconic landmark sitting atop Mount Lee in Griffith Park
Runyon Canyon view of The Hollywood Sign
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.
Runyon Canyon view of Hollywood Sign

Capitol Records Building in Los Angeles
Also known as the Capitol Records Tower, you can find this distinctive landmark on the corner of Hollywood and Vine.
View of Capitol Records Tower from Runyon Canyon
When you're up in the Hollywood Hills and you look down upon the city streets, this interesting building really stands out. 
Capitol Records Tower
Urban Light 202 vintage lampposts LACMA
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)
Urban Light vintage streetlamps outside LACMA
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.
Urban Light streetlamp installation LACMA

Pacific Design Center San Vicente Blvd
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.
Pacific Design Center Melrose Avenue entrance
The visually interesting buildings are flanked by two impressive sculptures along Melrose Avenue, the Seat of Design Chair sculpture...
Seat of Design sculpture at Pacific Design Center
and the Illuminating Design Lamp sculpture...
Illuminating Design Lamp at Pacific Design Center
In addition the lights around the exterior are supposed to resemble sewing needles and thimbles...
Pacific Design Center Melrose Avenue
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.
Pacific Design Center West Hollywood

The Griffith Observatory Griffith ParkYou'll find the Griffith Observatory on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park.
Griffith Observatory front entrance
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.
Griffith Observatory Mount Hollywood
It's another wonderful landmark that can be seen for miles around and also provides some impressive views of the rest of L.A.
Griffith Observatory Downtown LA view
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. 
 Griffith Observatory Astronomers Monument
Come back tomorrow for five more essential Los Angeles landmarks...

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