Los Angeles Overview
The sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles is the jewel of southern California, and presents visitors with a wide selection of great activities, fun excursions and numerous local attractions. It is the largest city in the state of California, and the second-largest in the country behind New York City.
Southern California boasts a warm subtropical climate filled with sunny days and little rainfall, which allows both visitors and locals the chance to spend their days enjoying the great outdoors. Summer temperatures usually stay between 75 and 90 degrees, though some chilly winds are known to take the city by nightfall. Winters are often mild, and conditions barely ever reach the freezing threshold. Visitors should be sure to pack light clothing, as well as a few warm sweaters to stay comfortable regardless of the weather.
Museums and Culture
Los Angeles is home to a vast number of excellent museums and educational attractions that range from fine art galleries to scientific exhibits to military vessels. If you're hoping to learn a thing or two during your trip to sunny southern California, then these establishments are a great place to start:
The California Science Center
Stimulating curiosity and inspiring innovation in future generations is the goal of the expansive California Science Center. Within the confines of this excellent facility visitors will find a variety of permanent exhibits that seek to examine the intricacies of the living world, understand the implications of technological advancements and explore new frontiers in the field of science. Guests should make time to view the Space Shuttle Endeavor, which recently found a permanent home within the museum's Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. The spacecraft is a collection of brilliant scientific innovations, and a true testament to human ingenuity. Watch an enlightening presentation at the center's seven-story IMAX theater, which employs the largest film frame in the motion picture industry to bring visitors images of exquisite clarity and focus. A day at the California Science Center is fun for the whole family, and sure to be a day well spent.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
If you're in search of inspiration and beauty be sure to make a stop at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which houses a collection of more than 100,000 objects ranging from ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces. The seven-building facility is located in the heart of Los Angeles and encompasses 20 acres between the ocean and the downtown area. View work from world-renowned artists, such as David Hockney, John Divola, James Turrell, or check out the collections of ancient African, Mayan and Japanese art. A number of traveling exhibitions also make their way through this expansive museum throughout the year, and feature expertly crafted pieces from contemporary innovators as well as historic masters. A feast for the eyes is never hard to find at the LACMA.
Have you ever wanted an in-depth look at the gatling guns, cannons and long-range missile launchers housed aboard U.S. Navy warships? Well, now is your chance with a tour of the retired battleship Iowa docked along the Los Angeles waterfront. Celebrate the American spirit with the crew of this historic vessel, and see what it might be like to spend your days aboard one of the most powerful ships in the navy's fleet. The tour begins on the starboard forward gangways and allows guests to meander though the quarterdeck and wardroom on their way to the massive gun turrets. From there you will be able to traverse the luxurious FDR and Captain's cabins before heading up to the armored bridge. This marvel of military might is a truly awe-inspiring sight, and provides guests with a look into the lives of our nation's armed forces.
If you're hoping to enjoy the peace and serenity of southern California's natural landscape, be sure to make a stop at Runyon Canyon. This vast 160-acre park is situated in the eastern end of the Santa Monica mountains and presents guests with some of the best views of the downtown Los Angeles skyline. Extensive hiking trails snake through rocky outcroppings and present a calm and tranquil atmosphere nature lovers are sure to enjoy. Hoping to relax and unwind? Yoga classes are regularly held within the park, providing visitors with a chance to collect their thoughts and balance their minds while overlooking the splendor of the canyon. Just be sure to bring your camera to capture some of the pristine vistas encountered throughout this vast natural sanctuary.
If you're hoping to get in a dose of pop culture, Los Angeles is the place to be. This metropolis is the famous home to numerous stars and members of the Hollywood elite, but also contains a few attractions that celebrate the entertainment industry.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Visitors hoping to get a behind-the-scenes peek at what life on a movie or television set may be like should take a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood. The park is filled with tours, rides and 3-D experiences that place you right in the action of some of your favorite blockbusters. Learn about the secrets and techniques of special effects, or jump into the fray as the Transformers square off in an epic battle of robotic madness. Action and adventure is never hard to find at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The Wiltern Theater
Catch a show at the historic Wiltern Theater in downtown Los Angeles. This historic Art Deco auditorium was built in 1931, and has since become one of the city's premier venues to take in a musical or theatrical performance. Some of the biggest names in the music industry are known to play the Wiltern, and you'll hear compositions ranging from classical masterpieces to contemporary club bangers to melodic alternative rhythms.