Experience Los Angeles
Adventure #1 in Los Angeles? Experience the Postmodern Curves of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It's the home of the L.A. Philharmonic (those lucky dogs). Frank Gehry's audacious masterpiece looks gift-wrapped by God in curvilinear steel, a stunning catalyst for the revitalization of Downtown. But the hall is no hollow shell -- the acoustics within are flawless. A must-see and a must-hear.
Gaze Up at the Watts Towers
The largest piece of folk art created by a single person, the Towers are colorful, 99-foot-tall cement and steel sculptures ornamented with mosaics of bottles, seashells, cups, plates, pottery, and ceramic tiles. They were completed in 1955 by folk artist Simon Rodia, an immigrant Italian tile-setter who worked on them for 33 years in his spare time.
Cruise Sunset Boulevard
It's a must for first-time visitors because you'll see a cross section of everything that is L.A.: legendary clubs, studios, and hotels that you'll instantly recognize from the silver screen and TV shows. The journey ends with a trip to Malibu's fabled beaches, where those classy Baywatch episodes were filmed.
Feel the Cool Pacific Breeze on Santa Monica Pier
When you say Santa Monica, people picture this classic wooden pier, a local institution. It's now home to seafood restaurants and snack shacks; a Mexican cantina; a gaily-colored turn-of-the-20th-century indoor wooden carousel; an aquarium; and an iconic Ferris Wheel.
Down a Dodger Dog in Chavez Ravine
Dodger Stadium welcomed the boys from Brooklyn back in 1962. While newer sports stadiums strain to manufacture a vintage vibe, Dodger Stadium is a SoCal classic, sunny and laidback, with swaying palm trees framing panoramic views of the San Gabriel Mountains and downtown. The park's signature Dodger Dogs only add to the old-school atmosphere.
Get Sketchy at the Getty Center
Feast your eyes on Monet's Impressionistic gems or on Vincent van Gogh's Irises at Richard Meier's stunning Getty Center. Once you're sufficiently inspired, head over to the sketching gallery, where you can try your hand at mimicking the masters.
Nosh at Grand Central Market
Open since 1917, Grand Central Market is L.A.'s largest and oldest food hall, selling everything from fresh bread, local and exotic produce, and fresh fruit juice, to smoked meats, Chinese noodles, chili, and loads of Mexican and Central American specialties such as tacos and cheese-stuffed pupusas.
Celebrate Some Lesser-Known Stars
At the Griffith Observatory, it's easy to get caught up in the scientific exhibits, the planetarium, and the spectacular views of the city and the HOLLYWOOD sign, but don't forget to use the free public telescopes and direct some of that wonder skyward.
Rock Out at The Troubadour
This West Hollywood mainstay radiates rock history. Audiences are consistently treated to memorable shows from the already-established or young-and-promising acts that take the Troubadour's stage. But bring your earplugs--this beer- and sweat-soaked club likes it loud. All ages are welcome.