Last Minute Travel Deals to Los Angeles
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Los Angeles, California - Hollywood and More
Established by the Spaniards in 1781, the City of Angels is now a modern, sophisticated city bursting with culture. Merely a ranch town when the US appropriated it from Mexico in 1846, L.A. became the star of California, thanks to the burgeoning film industry. This city is home to 3.5 million residents and sprawls across 467 square miles of desert basin, mountain canyons, and coastal beaches.
Diversity reigns in this area, not only where geography is concerned, but in the approximately 11 million people who call this place home. The largest population of Pacific Islanders in the nation lives here, as well as the world’s third largest Hispanic population. Los Angeles is home to people from over 140 countries speaking 96 different languages!
Attractions in this city are numerous and varied. On your last minute trip, you’ll find more than 2,000 museums, galleries, theaters and other attractions here. Los Angeles showcases its abilities as a great hostess, providing its last-minute visitors with activities such as museums, beaches, restaurants, performing arts, people watching and sports.
Take a stroll through vintage Hollywood along the Walk of Fame, the famous mile-long stretch of Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles. Here you’ll be dazzled by the names of more than 2,000 entertainment legends, embossed in brass with a pink star in the center. Stop to catch a show at the TLC Chinese Theatre, then duck into the Roosevelt Hotel, recently restored to its old Hollywood glory. The area also features dozens of annual events, from parades to sporting meets to festivals.
Everyone knows that L.A. is the entertainment capital of the world, and with Hollywood just a few minutes away, you won’t be able to resist the urge to check out the Hollywood sign. This 50-foot trademark sign can be spotted from miles away. Erected in 1923, this landmark originally spelled out “Hollywoodland.” Make sure to bring your camera!
If you’re especially drawn to the action of the film industry, make sure to visit Universal Studios. Among its intriguing film sets and sound stages situated in the spectacular Hollywood Hills, there are shows and exhibits to entertain and astound. For the best celebrity sighting action, head over to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, where you can find the best of luxury shopping.
But Los Angeles is not just about glitz and glamour. A visit to the California Science Center will show you that, with its exhibits on aerospace, science, earthquakes, mathematics, energy, health and economics. This place even has an IMAX Theater! And for the kids, there’s the Southern California Children’s Museum, where your little ones can enjoy hands-on exhibits. Record a song, make a TV show, build a city out of pillows or create arts and crafts in this one of a kind educational playhouse.
And when you’re ready for some fresh air, head over to the Farmer’s Market, an open air delight with more than 110 stalls and more than 20 restaurants. Enjoy a meal and the sunshine while dining in one of the many outdoor patios. Another option for your spontaneous last minute vacation is Pacific Park, a two acre amusement facility that has 12 rides: a roller coaster, a giant Ferris wheel, a flying submarine and more!
Another more relaxing option might be the Huntington Gardens, which spans 150 acres and even features a 12 acre Desert Garden. Here, you’ll feel at peace among the traditional Japanese plants, stone ornaments and a quaint Japanese house.
As the day begins to turn into evening, head over to the Santa Monica Pier and watch the sun fade into the horizon. This unique place boasts numerous eateries, souvenir shops, arcades and even a psychic advisor. You’ll really enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the way it blends perfectly with the surrounding cityscape.
Los Angeles has not only played a major role in the development of television, music, fashion and art in the past, it is also at the forefront in the present in creating and maintaining a diverse center of pop and traditional culture. You’ll never run out of things to do in this dynamic area, which boasts numerous cultural influences that have made it the most well known destination in California.
Disneyland and other Attractions
Anaheim is probably most famous for the Disneyland theme park, constructed from 1954 1955, on a 160 acre property that was once filled with orange and walnut trees. Since then, Disneyland has become the area’s biggest attraction.
Called the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland is filled with attractions, entertainment, dining and shopping and an atmosphere that is stunningly imaginative and even a little magical. Divided into eight theme “lands,” Disneyland gives visitors a taste of a wide variety of places, and is by no means a place just for kids. Anyone with a youthful heart will enjoy Anaheim’s mini paradise. And with many last minute deals to Disneyland in California, fun for the whole family is also affordable.
Strolling through “Main Street USA” park, you’ll get a sense of small town charm that seems to be a throwback to simpler days. Lining the streets are gift shops, candy stores, a soda fountain, and a silent theater that runs early Mickey Mouse films.
If you want a little more action, head to Adventureland, home to a number of thrilling rides set amidst scenery of some of the most exotic regions of Asia, Africa, India and the South Pacific. Tarzan’s Treehouse Jungle Cruise will take you aboard a Mississippi River style paddleboat, and Indiana Jones Adventure will have you going for an exciting ride through an action filled course in all terrain vehicles.
You may be in California, but New Orleans Square brings a bit of the south to you. Check out the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, one the park’s most popular. Or head to Critter Country or Frontierland to get a taste of 19th century America and the splendor of the countryside. A petting zoo and a charming cabin are a few visitor favorites.
But nothing can compare to the fun of Toon Town. Just as they did in the “Roger Rabbit” films, cartoons come alive in this town, which is home to a few rides as well. You can find more classic characters in Fantasyland, which is designed for younger children and includes the famous “It’s a Small World” river ride. Finally, Tomorrowland gives visitors a taste of what the future might look like.
Leave some time to visit Disney’s California Adventure, which opened in 2001. You definitely won’t want to miss this 55 acre extension of the original property that boasts all the best that California has to offer. You’ll get to experience a seaside resort, an “ocean front” amusement park, wine tasting in the valley, and a romp in the California wilderness all within this magnificently themed area!
Keep in mind that there are other fun activities in Anaheim besides Disneyland, if time permits. There’s the Anaheim Indoor Market, Orange County’s largest swap meet with more than 200 vendors and a variety of goods. At the Anaheim Museum, the area’s culture is exemplified by artwork and historical artifacts. You could also pick up some fresh fruit at the Farmer’s Market and Crafts Fair. Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Honda Center and the Anaheim Convention Center also draw large crowds of visitors.