Top Things to Do in Los Angeles That You Should Not Miss

Top Things to Do in Los Angeles That You Should Not Miss

Perhaps everyone has heard and read about Los Angeles, a county in southern California and its most famous city of the same name. But not everyone has had the chance to visit L.A. So if you have that rare opportunity to visit Los Angeles, then you should have listed down the “must-do” things while staying there. But if you haven’t, you may consider the following suggestions below:

1) Disneyland
Especially for a first-timer, any wide-eyed tourist won’t pass up the chance to visit Disneyland. Creator Walt Disney’s original vision of the “Happiest Place on Earth” has continued to enchant and delight kids and kids-at-heart. Being in Disneyland evokes feelings of excitement, romance or nostalgia, depending on how old you are or how you view Disneyland.

The newest addition to Disneyland, the sprawling Disney’s California Adventure (formerly Disney’s California Adventure Park), pays tribute to California and features more recent Disney characters and other attractions such as art deco-style Buena Vista Street. Unlike at Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure serves alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine and cocktails throughout its restaurants, stands and food stalls. There’s also live nighttime entertainment, as well.

2) The Hollywood Walk of Fame
Well, of course, Hollywood is a destination in itself. But you cannot afford to pass up the chance to take a literally star-studded tour to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are about 1,600 stars that run the trail of Hollywood Boulevard (and a part of Vine Street). These five-pointed terazzo-and-brass stars bear the names of the actors, actresses, directors, producers, musical and theatrical figures, and even fictional characters that made a significant mark on the (mostly) American entertainment scene.

3) Universal Studios Hollywood
Aside from being an actual working movie studio (in fact, it’s one of the oldest studios in Hollywood), Universal Studios Hollywood is also a theme park. It offers movie-and-TV-themed rides and attractions including the Waterworld ride, DreamWorks Theater and The Simpson’s Ride. For die-hard Harry Potter fans, you’ll surely have to time of your life living out your fantasies at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which is highlighted by the towering Hogwarts Castle.

4) Venice Beach
Venice Beach may not be the typical family-style beach; it’s California’s bohemian hub. The stretch of golden sand and its iconic beachfront boardwalk are always filled with tourists who take leisure walks, sunbathe, cycling, jogging, rollerblading and skateboarding. While it has turned somewhat high-end and mainstream – particularly on Abbot Kinney Boulevard which is considered one of L.A.’s best places to shop – Venice Beach still proudly embraces its eccentric and quirky spirit. There are vendors and street entertainers that amuse tourists; there are also food trucks, live music and creative art installations.

5) Rodeo Drive
If you are ready to whip up your American Express platinum card, there is no better place in Los Angeles to shop in style than Rodeo Drive. Otherwise, window shopping and sight-seeing may be your order of the day. That’s because this two-mile-long street in the affluent Beverly Hills is filled with luxury and designer stores. Unless you have the budget, all you can do there is to browse luxury goods and maybe do some celebrity star-gazing.

6) Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art still holds its position as being the largest museum in the western United States. It attracts almost a million visitors every year, so it’s really worth checking it out. There are about 130,000 pieces in the museum, which consist of a diverse range of Western and Eastern artworks and artifacts coming from different eras. Among the must-see artworks there include Katshusika Hokusai’s woodblock print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” Picasso’s oil painting “Woman with a Book,” and Rodin’s iconic “The Thinker” sculpture.

You won’t leave the museum without taking some pictures and posing for selfies at the famous “Urban Light” sculpture (pictured).

6) Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory
After mingling with Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland or immersing yourself with art and culture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, it’s time to cater to your passion surveying and exploring. Don’t forget to check out Griffith Park, which is located at the eastern end of Santa Monica mountains. The park covers 4,310 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. Griffith Park is home to a number of attractions including the Los Angeles Zoo, the Greek Theater, the merry-go-round and the Griffith Observatory.

At the Griffith Observatory, you can enjoy stunning views of downtown L.A., the iconic “Hollywood” sign, and the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, you can also spend hours browsing its space and science-related displays. The popular Ahmanson Hall of the Sky and Hall of the Eye let you examine the interaction between people and space.

7) Farmers Market
When Farmers Market began in 1934, it was originally a fruit-and-vegetables market. But nowadays, Farmers Market has become the place where you can find different kinds of produce, as well as meats, poultry, fish and seafood, gourmet foodstuff as well as specialty goods. Over the decades, it has expanded to accommodate more merchants. As you might have guessed it, Farmers Market has become a destination of foodies in search of the local cuisine. It boasts several food stalls that offer a mix of specialty, ethnic and gourmet cuisine.

8) The Broad
The Broad is one of Los Angeles’ most recent cultural attractions. When it first opened to the public in 2015, it enjoyed overwhelming success. Up to now, it still continues to attract tourists. Part of the reason of its popularity is the free admission, but you must reserve slots a month in advance.

Another reason of The Broad’s popularity is its unique architecture. The building’s design is based on the “veil-and-vault” concept, wherein the “veil” is a porous envelope that covers the entire building, filtering daytime light and transmitting it into the museum’s interiors. The museum features about 2,000 pieces of post-war and contemporary art. The “Infinity Mirror” rooms by Yayoi Kusama are perhaps the most sought-after, as they let visitors to experience the illusion of endlessness.

9) The “Hollywood” sign
The iconic “Hollywood” sign is situated on Mount Lee, in the Hollywood Hills area of Santa Monica Mountains. It was first unveiled in 1923, originally as an advertisement sign. Over the decades it has endured lots of damages brought about by natural causes as well as vandalism. And now, Los Angeles makes sure that its old glory shall be maintained. The area is one of the most popular hiking sites in Los Angeles. Plus, stunning panoramic views of Hollywood unfold before your eyes as you hike on the Hollywood trail towards the iconic signage, and knowing all about its history (check out the article The History of the Hollywood Sign) will make you appreciate it even more.

Getting around Los Angeles

Getting around Los Angeles

The county of Los Angeles, California is a popular tourist destination. It attracts millions of visitors every year; in 2017 alone, it received 48.3 million tourists, which has set a new record for the county’s tourism history.

When you think of Los Angeles, you automatically think of Hollywood and Disneyland. While these two are the most popular, there is more to see in the county and the city of the same name. There are other exciting attractions, unique neighborhoods, great beaches, historic landmarks, and more places to shop, dine, and relax.

Yes, Los Angeles can be a bit overwhelming, especially for the first-time visitor. A popular tourist destination should not be lacking in options to get to and around the place and luckily, Los Angeles offers a lot of those. If you have got your own car, you’ll be fine. But if you arrive in L.A. without your own automobile, here are some alternatives.

1) By renting a car
Say you are flying into Los Angeles and you want to drive around the city after you land, but obviously you don’t bring your own vehicle with you. The other option is to rent one. While it’s not the only option to get around the city, many tourists think that it is the most convenient and practical, especially when visiting a place as sprawling as Los Angeles.

Car rentals are the most accessible; many airport companies have their own car rental services and they are the ones that offer the best rates. There are also other car rentals outside the airport that sometimes offer one-off specials.

Driving a car is also the best way to knowing L.A.’s roads as they are essential for getting around the city. It enables you to know the major thoroughfares such as the Interstate 405, 10 and 5, as well as the famous roads like Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip. Journeying along the coast, such as the Pacific Coast Highway, will reward you with the most scenic drives.

2) By public transport
If you’re traveling on the cheap, public transport is certainly your best bet. In fact, traveling to Los Angeles without a car might be more sensible than you think, as it is the case in many other tourist spots. Public transit is the most feasible option especially if you intend to go to specific places or if driving to unfamiliar areas might be too stressful for you. In no time you’ll be traveling around L.A. like a local.

Plus, you can still catch a nap while commuting, right?

Luckily, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also known as Metro) serves commuters by way of buses, light rail and subway trains. The Los Angeles Metro Rail is a rapid transit system that consists of six lines serving 80 stations in the county of Los Angeles, connecting several cities such as downtown L.A., Hollywood and Long Beach. Tourists will be happy to know that the subways and over-the-ground train systems are just within walking distances to many of the city’s top tourist attractions.

If you want to get around by bus, Metro operates around 200 buses in the city and provides three types of bus services:

  • Metro Local buses (in orange) frequently make stops along the major roads throughout the city.
  • Metro Rapid buses (in red) make fewer stops and use special transponders that cause traffic signals to turn the green light in favor of such buses.
  • Metro Express buses (in blue) link communities from downtown LA and other business districts and usually pass by the city’s freeways.

3) By riding a bike
Riding a bike is also a good way to navigate Los Angeles, thanks to the increasing number of bicycle paths and lanes that welcome both passionate cyclists and regular commuters who ride bikes. Metro helps cyclists to explore Los Angeles by offering them options to take the bus and train for lower fares. There is a major event that held every four times a year, called CiCLAvia, where streets are closed to motor vehicles to allow the public to walk, skate as well as bike in the open streets.

Among the most popular places for biking in Los Angeles include the famous Venice Beach (and the iconic Venice Beach Boardwalk), Santa Monica State Beach, Griffith Park Trail, the Santa Clarita Cloverleaf, Ballona Creek Bike Path, Metro Orange Line Bike Path, and many more places that offer safe and scenic bike rides.

There are numerous bike rentals in Los Angeles which offer different kinds of bikes for lease – road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes and hybrid bikes.

Even cyclists are prone to foot pain and soreness because of constant pedaling. To give your feet additional comfort and protection, you should have insoles to your shoes. Give your feet the additional care and pampering that they deserve. Check out the article “Best Foot Massagers and Inserts for Runners and Athletes” and browse foot care options that will heal your overworked feet.

Alternative Things to Do in Los Angeles

Alternative Things to Do in Los Angeles

You have gone to Los Angeles’ most popular attractions: Disneyland, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and beaches such as Venice Beach and Long Beach. You may have “shopped til you dropped” at the luxury stores along Rodeo Drive, screamed at the top of your lungs on one of those rides at Universal Studios, or peered into the telescopes to look for heavenly bodies at the Griffith Observatory.

But Los Angeles offers endless opportunities to explore and enjoy, including activities that seem to be not too mainstream, or otherwise “off-the-beaten-path” and un-”touristy.” They border on the weird and even somewhat on the morbid. These will certainly add to your bucket list when you plan to go on a holiday in the Los Angeles county and its most famous city of the same name. Sometimes when traveling, the greatest delights and rewards come from the unexpected.

To know more about the other side of Los Angeles that many people may not know, read this interesting article “Interesting Facts about Los Angeles.”

1) Visit the Evergreen Cemetery
Cemeteries may not be everyone’s idea of a tourist spot. However, many of the most popular cemeteries are quite scenic. Most of all though, these cemeteries’ tourist-drawing power comes from the fact that many of the notable historical figures are buried there. And Los Angeles’ Evergreen Cemetery seems to have these qualities.

Evergreen Cemetery is located in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in downtown Los Angeles. Founded in 1877, it is the city’s oldest cemetery. A visit to this cemetery will matter more to you if you are an ardent devotee of some of the famous people buried here. Some of the well-known politicians (notably the city’s past mayors), war veterans, actors, musicians, sports figures, religious leaders and early American pioneers are interred at the Evergreen Cemetery. Among the most notable names include Bobby Nunn, Johnny St. Cyr and Van Nuys.

2) Explore Descanso Gardens
When you think that the popular Huntington Library gardens are too crowded (and too mainstream to your taste), Descanso Gardens would be an ideal alternative. This 150-acre botanical garden is located in the city of La Canada Flintridge in Los Angeles county. It is open all-year round and features several areas to explore such as the oak forests, the Lilac Garden, a Japanese garden, and probably the most popular the Rose Garden.

But the great thing about Descano Gardens is that it is less touristy, less crowded and much quieter, but just as gorgeous as the other botanical gardens in L.A. So enjoy the beauty and wonder of Mother Nature in relative peace and tranquility.

3) Discover the city’s “storybook architecture”
Los Angeles has an established reputation as the “city of dreams.” That’s why it’s not too odd that a style of architecture called “storybook” flourished in L.A. during the 1920s-1930s, but rarely became popular elsewhere in the United States.

As the name implies, this type of architecture is characterized by a sense of whimsy and playfulness. Mismatched doors and windows, deliberately uneven roofs and cobblestone-lined pavements are some of the most notable elements of the storybook architecture – just like the illustrations of houses that you find on storybooks. Some fine examples are the Hobbit House in Culver City, the Witches’ House and Harry Oliver’s Spadena House (both in Beverly Hills) and the Charlie Chaplin Cottages as well as the Snow White Cottages, (both located in Los Angeles city). If you want to live out your fairy tale dreams and fantasies, visit to any of these storybook houses.

4) Indulge your sweet cravings at Sweet!
If you are someone who has a sweet tooth, then Sweet! will be your ultimate candy paradise! Located along Hollywood Boulevard, Sweet! is not your ordinary candy store. Highlights include a chocolate lab where you can concoct your own sweet creations, and the Wonka Inventing Room which documents Willy Wonka’s bittersweet epic travels that inspired his famous chocolates. Visitors will be in for a delight by taking personal tasting tours, playing candy-themed games and of course shopping for lots of great variety of candies.

Sweet! is the biggest and the most extravagant candy store in the city, so if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth to the highest level possible, it’s certain that you wouldn’t want to miss this place.

5) Pig out at 626 Night Market
Los Angeles is not just a melting pot of cultures, but also a melting pot of different cuisines. The 626 Night Market festival, held only every summer, is the perfect event to gorge on a crazy array of food (predominantly Asian food) that you can ever think of. There are mouthwatering barbecues, yummy tacos, delectable seafood, the popular crazy milkshakes, and many more. It’s a paradise for every foodie and gourmand alike.

Inside a Soup Kitchen

Inside a Soup Kitchen

If you’ve never been inside a soup kitchen you may be unaware of what goes on inside it. Some people have very particular predictions of what it must be like. For example, some people think of a group of homeless people fighting over food with a couple of old ladies serving soup from a large bowl. Others imagine a very sad, quiet place full of people who barley have the strength to bring their spoon to their mouth.

The reality could not be more different.

There are certainly differences between soup kitchens, but most share some common aspects. The first and most apparent is that they don’t look like a “kitchen” at all – most soup kitchens are set up with tables and chairs and look no different from a standard eatery.

The food quality? It’s good. Soup kitchens may be run by volunteers but that does not mean the food is of below par standard. On the contrary, many of the volunteers have been cooking for years and are really no different from a trade certified chef. The kitchen is a hectic place, as is any kitchen in any restaurant. There is food to be made and orders to be filled.

The main difference is the clientele. Yes, there is plenty of homeless. You will notice a disproportionate amount of elderly folk coming to the soup kitchen. These are the folk that are not as visible on the streets. They hide away during the day to escape the crowds, but need to be fed like the rest of us. There are also those that simply can’t afford to feed themselves and their large family even though they are not homeless. And then there are the lonely – the people that come to eat around others because they have no one else.

The best part of a soup kitchen is also the volunteers. They are there for one major purpose – to help. So as you can imagine, they are some of the kindest people in the general population. This also results in an environment where regardless of whether of food quality, the people getting fed are happy and satisfied. This is not to say the quality is poor, but simply that it is not the purpose of a soup kitchen.

Soup kitchens are not depressing. They are a place to eat and enjoy food together, and if you have not volunteered in one yet, now is the time to do it. We can all lend a hand in helping others.

A Walk Down Rodeo Drive

A Walk Down Rodeo Drive

America is the place where anyone can be anything they want. It is the place you go to make your wildest dreams a reality, and no where is this more true than in Los Angeles. This is the city of glamor. To be seen without a designer handbag would be committing the worst crime that is known the man.

And yet, the city faces massive problems. It is a center of violence, crime and drugs. It also faces a homelessness epidemic – home to 47,000 homeless people it is one of the largest homeless population in the country. The article that was just linked to has some interesting reasoning on what needs to happen to control the homeless population in America.

But what about the glamor of Hollywood?

A walk down Rodeo Drive serves as a memory of what this city is known for. Not just a parallel of the southern states but of itself too. Standing beside the items that not even a middle class earner could afford is a man begging for a dollar. It is one of the most bizarre contrasts in the country if you open your eyes to it.

Still, Rodeo Drive maintains its charm and offers and opportunity to escape the real world. But this is the most important point of all – it is simply not the real world.

Once you leave the designer goods where a pair of shoes costs what a normal person spends in a year, you are again confronted with the situation that is really at hand. That the materialistic and consumerist society that we live in has dominated our greater judgement. We want to be seen wearing the top clothes, the best brands and with the best hair and make up to match. But what we forget is those that are left behind.

Rodeo Drive offers a nice escape from reality, but it is not reality.

Sights Of The Southern States

Sights Of The Southern States

Some of America’s states are like countries of their own. Their way of life and views totally differ from the other parts of the country, especially in the South. Here we discuss some of common differences and sights of the South.

Fast food

There is a fast food chain on nearly every corner, and the majority of the states with the highest obesity rates are positioned around the center and south of the country. This is quite literally a huge problem around the entire country, but even more so in these states.

Guns

Nowhere in America is support for gun lobby’s more prominent than in the South. There are signs of the belief in the 2nd amendment everywhere you turn. I spoke to James from BestGunSafeInfo who stated that a gun safe is something needed in a place where gun use is so prominent. Unfortunately, there is a reluctance to use one due to the belief that if you needed to access your gun fast, you wouldn’t be able to. But this is only part of the problem, and we encourage you to gun safe reviews and find the best gun safe here.

Trucks

If you ever want to see roads dominated by trucks and larger vehicles, visit the south. It seems as though nearly everyone drives a fuel guzzling truck in these states and it was quite a shock to see even young mothers driving them. I do not entirely understand the purpose, but it intrigued me nonetheless.

Hospitality

Although it can’t really be seen, it can be felt. The southern states are known for their warm hospitality and the southern charm. They know exactly how to make people feel right at home, even when they are miles away from their own home. I remember a situation where I visited a friend in Texas and was asked by her parents to stay for an additional week. They cooked for me and cleaned my clothes, and I have never felt less of a burden than when I stayed there.

Homelessness in America

Homelessness in America

Not only has the state of the American home changed, but the home itself (or lack of). Many people are either unaware or are simply not fully informed about the homeless epidemic that is hitting America. America’s homeless are known as the Hidden Poor and this description is quite accurate – they are not the people we see all the time and they are not malnourished as you may witness on TV in other countries.

However, they are poor. The 21st century is bringing with it an even greater divide of rich and poor. Sure, we have things we didn’t have years ago, but this is creating an even greater separation between the people that have those things and the people who don’t. This is not how it should be especially in a country of great wealth. You can read about the current state of homelessness here.

So what can you do to help? There are many things you can start doing right now to assist in stopping the homelessness epidemic in America.

Donate any spare clothes

Clothes are cheap to us but when you have to choose between clothes and food, food will win. For many people living on the street these sorts of choices are a daily occurrence. This is one of the many reasons why substance abuse occurs – it allows people to forget the magnitude of their problems. If you can assist in donating clothes, you will help put less emphasis on things we can help so that we can focus on dealing with the bigger issues at hand.

Don’t waste food

Another thing we often take for granted it food. The American diet today offers huge portions. We not only don’t need these huge portions for ourselves, but it also means that so much of it is wasted.

Don’t look away

The more we look away and pretend the problem does not exist, the more ignorant we become and the less willing we are to help. It is important to acknowledge that homelessness is a real problem in the community and not to deny that it exists. Help someone when you can and other people around you will follow and do the same.

Talk to the homeless

Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to turn someones life around. Even if it doesn’t turn their life around, it can be insightful for both you and them. You can only learn about someones situation by asking and the more informed and educated we become about the ways in which people become homeless, the less likely it will be to happen. This will help us to prevent others in similar situations from becoming homeless.

Volunteer your time

There are plenty of ways to use your time to help those less fortunate than yourself. Yes, your time is the most valuable thing you have. But it is best spent helping others. You can do several things such as volunteering at a soup kitchen, helping out at a shelter or helping at fundraisers.

The homeless epidemic that is sweeping American can be stopped – but it requires a few things to make this happen.

  1. Acknowledge the problem. Don’t be one of those people who tries their best not to stare in the direction of a homeless person. You do not have to give, but at least acknowledge that there are people suffering.
  2. Give when you can. It is not rational to expect people to always give. But when you can, it is worth doing. If you have some spare change and you’re near a vending machine, get something and give it away.
  3. Sign local petitions. You can make a change. We all can. But we need to have the right people listen to us. So start signing local petitions today so that we can begin to tackle this problem.

We all play a role in helping end homelessness in America, and together we can make it happen.

How The Typical American Home Has Changed

How The Typical American Home Has Changed

Things have changed dramatically over the years. In the early part of the 20th century, even a radio was seen as a luxury item restricted to those with the money to afford it. The changes seen particularly in the later period of the 20th century have meant that more and more things have become affordable for the typical American. You can easily see the the trends in how homes have changed here.

Not only this, but the range of things we now consider standard in a home has changed dramatically. But to get a real idea of just how much it has changed, it is necessary to look into the past. We have asked around and gathered images taken of the layout of early homes. We have also asked you to submit your own images. We received some fantastic submissions and there were some reoccurring themes that were obvious.

Of particular interest was the radiogram. This was something that appeared in many photos of homes from the 1930’s and has since become an antique item. It interests us the most for a few reasons. The living room is centered around entertainment. This is clearly how it is now and how it has always been, but the method of entertainment has changed from radiograms to TV’s. There is no longer an emphasis on using these spaces to talk and catch up but they are better used to watch TV and forget about life’s problems.

The typical American home now includes a computer. The personal computer was something that once could not even be envisioned, and the availability of it has now made it into a staple in the American home. So much so is it a staple that often we could not image living our lives without it. For example, you are reading this now with the use of a computer or other device.

Something that has remained the same is games. Children continue to play games today just as they ever did – although the prospect of getting outside if slightly less appealing in this technological age. GameRoomMania reports that one of the early games that has remained is karaoke – although now we can use the best karaoke machine. You can see them here. One of the oldest games, jacks, remained popular throughout the 20th century but has unfortunately lost its standing in recent years.

Furniture has also changed dramatically. This is something that was always been needed but the styles have updated to suit the current trends. Patch work and homemade sofa covers are no longer the norm. Furniture is now affordable enough to be replaced every few years, whereas back 100 years ago one piece would be crafted by hand and expected to last a lifetime.

And who could forget the kitchen. Although things like electric kettles never really took off in America, the entire kitchen and stove were remodeled to suit a modern lifestyle. The small changes are the most interesting and ones that we now take for granted in the simplicity of using a kitchen. There is a fantastic video of the 1950’s kitchen that you can watch below.

Back when ironing clothes was even more important, it was also more difficult. An iron would be exactly that – a piece of iron that was heated. This is a huge contrast to the irons of today which are not made of iron but of ceramic, and are as simple as to use as plugging it into a switch.

Lets not forget the layout of homes too. Kitchens were often placed at the back of a property and bathrooms could be seen as an outhouse which was detached from the main property. This is a vast contrast to the homes of today that not only include indoor bathrooms as standard, but often include a separate one in every room.

Carpet was something that was seen throughout the entire house. These days it would horrify some people to witness carpet in a wet area such as the kitchen or bathroom due to the growth of bacteria and mold. This was less of a concern in earlier times and the comfort in a cold room such as the bathroom was more important. This shows not only how our methods have changed but how our knowledge of the world around us grew exponentially in this period.

There are plenty of other changes that occurred during this time. One must not forget that the world suffered through 2 major wars – not to mention the other ones. Looking inside the home can give us an insight into the thoughts and feelings that were experiencing during that time, and the great technological changes of our age. The knowledge accumulated during this period resulted in major developments not only for the home, but for the entire world.

There are certainly things we have not mentioned and we want to hear about other changes from the homes of yesteryear to the homes of today. Comment below and share your ideas.