California Travel Articles
Fun in Los Angeles, From Hollywood to the Hills
Los Angeles is the 2nd largest city in the United States, with almost four million people, and 13 million in its metropolitan area. It is the many decentralized neighborhoods with different landmarks and atmosphere that make Los Angeles real estate a very diverse market. L.A. varies from the suburban sprawl of the San Fernando Valley, to Downtown, East L.A., South L.A., Harbor Area, Hollywood and other smaller neighborhoods such as Venice Beach, and more exclusive areas l ike BelAir and Brentwood.
In the Hollywood area, there are such famous sites as Universal Studios which is both a major tourist attraction and still, a film studio. You can go behind the scenes and see how movies are made, and see the guide to special effects known as 'the Fast and the Furious, Extreme Close-Up". Kids get to meet their favorite cartoon character. Attractions at the associated theme park include the Shrek ride and "Revenge of the Mummy" roller coaster ride.
L.A. is a large manufacturing and trade center, as well as being a center for the entertainment industry. Its port, Los Angeles combined with Long Beach, is number one in the US. It is still headquarters for leading companies such as Northrop Grumman, the defense contractor, and Occidental Petroleum. Nearby in L.A. County are headquartered Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros., in beautiful downtown Burbank and offices of major Asian car manufacturers.
Despite LA's reputation as a strictly Hollywood town, there is more serious culture there too. Take a look at the Getty Center, a museum of Western Art. It includes paintings from Rembrandt to Van Gogh. There is also the very luxurious and intimate setting of art at the Getty Villa in nearby Malibu. Likewise there is the huge Los Angeles County Museum of Art, on Wilshire Blvd., with the largest art collection in the western United States, whose plant and campus is undergoing extensive renovation and expansion. Other museums in the area are the Natural History Museum of L.A. County, at 900 Exposition Blvd., the Page Museum of the La Brea Tar Pits and the William S. Hart Museum and Ranch in Newhall, north of L.A. The Page Museum is located at 5801 Wilshire Blvd in Metropolitan L.A. and it's also the site of an actual tar pit where prehistoric remains are recovered in Hancock Park, a few blocks from Santa Monica Blvd.
Another thing that makes L.A. such an amazing city is the variation of topography, from sea level, to over 5,000 feet in the mountains of L.A. You literally can go from surfing to skiing in the same metropolitan area, perhaps in the same week. In terms of more vicarious recreation, major league teams in L.A. include the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Kings (NHL) Hockey and L.A. Clippers and the L.A. Lakers (NBA) Basketball.
The Los Angeles metropolitan area is served by 5 major commercial airports and other smaller airports. The main Los Angeles airport is Los Angeles International Airport and there are four other commercial airports, plus general aviation airport, Van Nuys Airport.
There are several public colleges and universities in the city, including the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), and California State University, Northridge (CSUN).
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