The sprawling city of Los Angeles, in Southern California, has long been known internationally in the film and entertainment industry, particularly for Hollywood, a place that has drawn aspiring actors and actresses from across the country for almost a century. Today, LA is a culturally diverse city, with a growing culinary scene, incredible shopping, outstanding museums, and a reputation for being the creative center of America.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Theme Park has a variety of mind-blowing rides based on movie themes, but is also a working movie studio. You can take a guided tour of the studios and explore behind the scenes of some of Universal’s most popular movie sets. The main attraction for most people is usually the rides, which range from simulators to roller coasters. Favorite movie and TV-themed rides and sets include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, The Simpsons, and Transformers.
You can easily spend a day or two here, particularly if the park is busy and wait times are long. When you are tired of the rides, you can check out CityWalk, a three-block entertainment area, with shopping, dining, and theaters.
A suburb of Los Angeles, Hollywood is a destination in itself, with its own unique history and iconic sites. The attractions in Hollywood are closely associated with the film industry and the glamour of the silver screen. The hillside Hollywood sign, Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame, and the Chinese Theatre can easily fill a day or two of sightseeing. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a celebrity or two.
Santa Monica is a unique destination that is both chic and laid-back, with a population that ranges from surfers, skateboarders, and yoga devotees to techies and business people. The beautiful stretch of golden sand along the coast and the famous Santa Monica Pier, with its iconic Ferris wheel, are what most tourists come to enjoy, but you can find all kinds of experiences in this beachfront city next to LA. Shoppers will find a full range of options, from quirky and vintage stores to high-end boutiques. For a little activity, check out the 26-mile bike path along the waterfront or wander along the Third Street Promenade to see street performers and do some shopping and people watching.