See and Do in Los Angeles
Expats moving to Los Angeles will most likely be familiar with the city's storied fame and starlit attractions, but even those who've spent some time living under a rock or in a more sheltered environment will be hard-pressed to ignore the enormous Hollywood hillside sign for too long. Needless to say, there is plenty to see and do in LA, but sightseeing can be more complicated than one may initially think.
Expats living in LA will soon realise the immense scope of the city, and it follows that touristic endeavours are best tackled over a long period of time, rather than in a single weekend. The metropolis was initially separated into a number of separate towns, so attractions are spread far and wide, without a true focal point. Not to mention, the traffic flow in LA is notorious for being among the most congested and troublesome in the country.
Take the touring slow and practise patience, but be sure to spend some time on any one of the city's gorgeous beaches, under the spotlight in one of the famous movie production houses, or among the beautiful people in West LA.
Recommended sightseeing in Los Angeles
Hollywood is the epicentre of the world's entertainment and film industry. The looming white letters of the Hollywood hillside sign are constant encouragement for expats to explore some of the city's landmark attractions, most of which are centred on the famous Hollywood Boulevard. Check out Graumann's Chinese Theatre and the mile-long and literally star-studded Walk of Fame in front. The Hollywood Wax Museum and the Dolby Theatre are also well worth a visit.
Universal Studios Hollywood
For the film transfixed foreigners, Universal Studios is an unforgettable experience. Visitors young and old will be transported through the dressing rooms of the stars, iconic back-lot sets, and through staged earthquakes, shark attacks and monkey madness. Alongside this tram experience, the theme-park portion of the site marries special effects and adrenaline-inspired adventures to keep visitors on the edge of their seats.
As famous as LA may be for the glitz and glamour of its film industry residents, it's nearly as celebrated for the miles of sandy beach stretching up and down the Californian Pacific coastline. Numerous communities line the oceanfront, each with its own fair reputation and allure. Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice all claim their own unique sway, some more stately and others more indicative of the city's underbelly, but all nonetheless are worth a gander. The wide beaches and rocky outcrops of certain areas are, of course, attractions in themselves.
Home to the haughty, the rich and the famous and the stars of the biggest blockbusters on earth, West LA is simply the best place to rub shoulders with the swanky and the stylish. The area includes the city's most prestigious neighbourhoods, specifically Beverly Hills and Bel Air, as well as an assortment of the hottest nightlife venues and the trendiest shops, restaurants and cafés in the metro. Expats interested in taking a tour of celebrity homes in the area can sign up for one of the many scheduled departures, or pick up a map from any street corner vendor and traverse the route themselves.
Griffith Park and Observatory
This sprawling gush of green is famous for its stunning views of the city unfolding below and its well-kept grounds. Often cited as the Central Park of LA, Griffith Park is situated beneath the legendary Hollywood sign and also hosts the Griffith Observatory. Expats can take time out of their bustling LA life to enjoy a bike ride, gaze into the cosmos or even just enjoy a dose of quiet – a rare experience in this busy city.
Los Angeles Zoo
Within Griffith Park is the Los Angeles Zoo. Over 1,100 animals exist in a variety of natural habitats, and shows, workshops and a petting zoo are open and accessible throughout the day.
This is a must for all music lovers. Visitors to the museum can get lost in interactive exhibits, which focus on different musical genres, while live footage is shown. There are also fun interactive sound rooms where guests can try their hand mixing, remixing, singing and rapping while using some state-of-the-art music technology.
Museum of Contemporary Art
This museum hosts art collections from the 1940s up to the present. It is home to stunning works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Galleries are flooded with lots of natural light and this is a great place for a day out. It is well worth taking one of the tours that are included in the price of admission.