Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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

Even though I've lived in L.A. for over a year now, there's still so many places that I've only recently visited or not paid much attention to up until now.

Following the delights of The Hollywood Sign, Urban Light sculpture at LACMA, The Griffith Observatory, The Capitol Records Building and The Pacific Design Center yesterday, here's my second installment of L.A.'s fifteen must-see landmarks and places to visit...

Mann's Chinese Theatre
Mann's Chinese Theatre Hollywood Boulevard
Also known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre, you'll find this piece of Hollywood lore, on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Kodak Theatre where the Academy Awards are now held each year (in fact Mann's Theatre acted as the venue for the Oscars from 1944 to 1947).
Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood
The exterior of the theatre is meant to resemble a giant red Chinese pagoda and in its forecourt you'll find almost 200 handprints, footprints and autographs from Hollywood movie stars and celebrities, which this Hollywood monument is most famous for.
Mann's Chinese Theatre celebrity footprints
Mann's Chinese Theatre is also reknowned for being where sci-fi classic Star Wars had its premiere on 25th May 1977.
Mann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles

Cinerama Dome
Cinerama Dome on Sunset Blvd, Hollywood
You'll find the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. This landmark movie theatre opened on the 7th November 1963 and is now part of my favourite cinema, ArcLight Hollywood, a division of Pacific Theatres.
Cinerama Theatre Dome in Holywood
The impressive Dome is made from 316 mostly hexagonal precast concrete panels and has an 88 foot (26m) side screen inside.

The Cinerama Dome entrance recently featured as a location in the L.A. based movie Frost/Nixon.

The Getty Center Tram Station view
The Getty Center is in Brentwood, just off the 405 Freeway, and its amazing architectural design stands out like a beacon in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Getty Center Museum Courtyard
It's free to visit, although you'll need to pay a $10 parking fee per vehicle if you drive and is closed on Mondays.
The Central Garden at The Getty Center
In addition to the fantastic design of the buildings and the art exhibitions they house, there's also The Central Garden and Cactus Garden to enjoy.
View from The Getty Center Cactus Garden
My favourite part was the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden near the Tram Station at the entrance, which we almost missed on our way in. Make sure you take the time to wander through it.
Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at Getty Center

Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills
Whilst you're browsing the exclusive shops of the infamous Rodeo Drive, be sure to make the time to have your photo taken in front of Beverly Hills Sign in the Beverly Gardens Park along Santa Monica Boulevard.
Beverly Hills Sign in Beverly Gardens Park
Personally I don't think you can truly enjoy Rodeo Drive unless you have oodles of cash, but it's nice to wander around the streets, lined with luxury brand names like Chanel, Prada, De Beers, Louis Vuitton and more, in the Californian sunshine.
Rodeo Drive sign in Beverly Hills

You can smell when you've arrived at the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Blvd, as the pungent crude oil bubbles away under the scorching sun and taints the air. Kids especially will enjoy to see the replica Mammoths trapped in the sticky tar pool, Lake Pit, in Hancock Park.
Page Museum at La Brea Tar PIts
Take advantage of 'free admission Tuesdays' to take a look around the Page Museum and the many Ice Age fossils it has on display.
La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum Los Angeles
So far that's ten things to visit if you're stuck for ideas or wondering what to see and do in Los Angeles.

Stick around folks, tomorrow it's the final five attractions that I recommend you visit in L.A...


Adam Villani said...

A minor correction --- The Getty Center, which you have pictured, is in Brentwood off of the 405 (San Diego) Freeway. It's the Getty Villa that is in Pacific Palisades off of PCH. It's the same organization; the Villa is a reproduction of a Roman villa that houses Getty's collection of antiquities. Before the Getty Center was built, everything was at the Getty Villa site and it was just called the Getty Museum.

Jason in Hollywood said...

Thank for the correction, I'll amend so that other people are not confused :)

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