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California Destinations - Los Angeles

The City of Angels is the second largest city in the United States by population. Famous for its beaches, entertainment industry and its unique Southern California personality, Los Angeles is one of he most visited destinations in the western US.

 Signature Sights and Attractions  
So. Cal. Beaches: Names like Santa Monica, Venice, Zuma and Laguna are known around the world. The beaches of LA and the "O.C." are more than sand and surf; they're a melding of culture and recreation that's unique to the Southland.
Malibu: Technically within the city limits of Los Angeles, the Malibu coastline is a world set apart from the high-paced metropolis to its south and east. Malibu features picturesque coastline, secluded beaches, small-town personality and a host of homes belonging to celebrities looking to escape the city.
Hollywood and Beverly Hills: Visitors come to Hollywood for its iconic landmarks, such as the Walk of Fame and the famous hillside sign. We take pride in showing our clients a bit more, whether it's a tour of a working studio, the gravesite of a movie icon or an all-afternoon shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.
Queen Mary: A dominating presence in Long Beach Harbor for more than 40 years, this retired British superliner offers a glimpse into the glory days of the transatlantic passenger liner.
Disneyland: It's the "Happiest Place on Earth." What else can we say?
The Getty Center and Villa: In a city that features a number of great museums and gardens, the Getty is the standard by which all others are measured.

UCLA: With 100 national team championships, UCLA leads the nation in athletic prowess. Go Bruins! Okay, okay... so it's also the alma mater of Quintessential Tours' founder, Bob Cunningham. We may be biased.

In all seriousness though, Los Angeles is home to some of the Western US's premier institutions of higher learning. In addition to UCLA, the campuses of Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and USC are all worth a visit for families with college-bound kids.

Catalina Island: Just a short trip from the coast by boat or helicopter, Catalina offers small-town charm, dramatic coastal beauty, and recreation opportunities including fishing, scuba, sailing and hiking.
 More Points of Interest 

Universal Studios: The most well-known of LA's studios, Universal is part studio and part theme park. The park is complemented by nearby City Walk, which offers an array of shopping and dining opportunities. Several other studios also offer studio tours for visitors looking to experience a working studio without the

Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor: Featuring some of the most extreme thrill rides to be found, these sister theme parks are a big hit for families with adventurous kids.

Knotts Berry Farm: Not as well-known as Disneyland, Universal Studios or Magic Mountain, Knotts Berry Farm is the modern day theme park that evolved from Walter Knott's berry farming business beginning in the early 20th century.

Griffith Park Observatory and Planetarium: Sometimes referred to as the "Central Park of Los Angeles," Griffith Park is actually quite different from it's distant New York cousin. Perched high above the City, the park is much larger than Central Park, and is more wilderness than urban park. Miles of trails, great views of the city and a world class observatory and planetarium make Griffith a great retreat for locals and visitors alike.

Olvera Street: Located at the site of the original pueblo, the "living museum" at the California State Historic Landmark of Olvera Street celebrates Los Angeles's Spanish and Mexican heritage.

Santa Monica Mountains State Park: The coastal mountains that separate greater Los Angeles from the Malibu coastline contain great expanses of wild land, interspersed with ranches and other large residential plots. A drive through the mountains reveals the Southern California landscape as it existed before European settlement.

The South Bay: A little bit off of the beaten path, the South Bay beaches of Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan are where locals go to enjoy the beach. Visitors willing to travel here will find beaches every bit as appealing as the more famous Santa Monica and Venice Beaches, but with smaller crowds, and a more authentic feel.

La Brea Tar Pits: Located in a seemingly improbable location, right in the heart of the city, these pits of seeping asphalt have preserved the fossilized remains of thousands of prehistoric animals dating back as far as 38,000 years.

Museums and Gardens: In addition to the world-renowned Getty Center, LA features an abundance of other museums and gardens. Some of our favorites include:

  • The Huntington Library
  • The LA County Museum of Art
  • The Armand Hammer Museum of Art
  • The Autry National Center
  • California Science Center
  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park
  • The Hollywood Museum
  • Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
  • Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museum of Tolerance
  • Exposition Park Rose Garden
 Signature Activities  

Shop: In addition to mainstream shopping venues like the enormous Beverly Center, special shopping experiences abound in LA. Rodeo Drive is famous for its high end fashion, while Montana Blvd has a unique boutique vibe, and West Hollywood hosts a more Bohemian shopping experience.

Dine out: As you would expect from a city as large as Los Angeles, dining experiences are plentiful. Ocean-view seafood, top-notch steakhouses and a host of ethnic offerings provide plenty of options.

Attend a sporting event: Dodger Stadium is one of baseball's most hallowed ballparks. The Staples Center -- home of the Lakers -- is one of basketball's most modern. The Rose Bowl and the Coliseum host UCLA and USC football respectively. Elsewhere, Santa Anita delights horse racing enthusiasts.

Bicycle the coast: Miles of paved bike and skate paths run from Malibu through Santa Monica and Venice all the way to the South Bay. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the sun while keeping in shape.

See a show: Options are numerous, from world premiers of top-flight movies to touring Broadway shows, concerts and small theatre live performances.

Attend a taping: Sitcoms and talk shows tape regularly throughout the year in front of live audiences. This is a chance to see, in person, how these shows are created.

Visit gravesites of the stars: Home to so many stars in life, LA is also the final resting place for many of the iconic celebrities who have shaped the Hollywood culture throughout the decades.

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