A Week in Los Angeles
You could certainly use more than a week to discover the many activities and sights of Los Angeles; in fact, you could spend a lifetime. If you have seven days though, here is a great start! Nights are left free for you to rest and recover or go out on the town, which is never hard to do in La La Land.
You know you want to: head to Hollywood and give in to being a tourist. Follow the pavement stars on Walk of Fame and gawk at the illustrious facades of the historic Kodak, Chinese, Pantages and Egyptian Theatres. Head into Ripley's Believe It Or Not or the Hollywood Wax Museum, visit legendary Amoeba Records, check out the current blockbusting movie, or go shopping at the many huge mega-stores and tacky souvenir shops.
Re-up your brain and get to the magnificent Getty Museum, perched on top of the I-405 and free for all who enter (you must pay for parking). Though the Getty boasts a myriad of masterpieces including Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Cezanne to name a few, the real treasures lie in the museum's gorgeous location with stellar panoramic views of Los Angeles, eye-pulling architecture, and immense and fragrant gardens.
Hit the beach! No trip to LA is complete without a dive into Venice Beach- not for the salty sea air but for the freaks that call this stretch of sand home. Wander past muscle men and street performers down the long walk of booths and blankets selling sunglasses, hemp necklaces, hand-sewn Rasta hats, silly tee shirts, and fish 'n chips. Not beached out? Head next door to the Santa Monica pier for a whimsical evening of amusement park rides, boardwalk games, and seaside dining.
Pick your poison apple: Disneyland, Disneyland California Adventures, or Universal Studios, and enjoy a fun-filled, whirling, swirling, spinning day. The Los Angeles area is home to some of the world's best amusement parks, and they all usually offer some sort of deal on tickets; make sure to check websites before you go. Ride the roller coasters, eat some cotton candy, and take your picture with the princesses- if you can manage to elbow the eight year-olds out of your way!
Visit the home of the Hollywood sign, the rugged and wild Griffith Park. Even if you are not a big hiker, Griffith Park offers plenty to keep you occupied. Make silly faces at the animals at the LA Zoo, gaze at the nighttime skies from the famous Griffith Observatory, and catch a live music show under the stars at the popular open-air Greek Theatre. Also in the park: Museum of the American West, two golf courses, a swimming pool, a merry-go-round and a miniature train for those of us who never grew up.
Shop! If you are celebrity crazed like most of the world, first grab a star map and hit Beverly Hills. Fat wallet? Drive up and down Rodeo Drive and stop at the ritzy stores. On a budget? Lunch at the historic Farmer's Market at the Grove, indulging in fresh pastries and deli sandwiches, and then hit the giant complex of stores that surround it for some good-old American name brands, all for sale with a beautiful outdoor mall backdrop of flowers, fountains, and classical music.
And on the seventh day you rest. Pick a beach and go; pack your sexy novel, your sunscreen, iPod and snacks and have a relaxing day at Hermosa, Redondo, Newport, or Manhattan beaches. Don't feel compelled to do any activities that do not start with XXX which leaves you free to swim, sunbathe, snooze, snorkel, strut, or socialize. Welcome to LA. Now don't you want to stay longer than a week?