8 Los Angeles Attractions that Won't Break the Bank, by Fly.com's Michelle Erickson.
Los Angeles combines Hollywood glamour with a laid-back beach lifestyle. Located in the heart of Southern California, lies the second most populated city in the United States. The vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley are about two hours away, and Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm amusement parks within an hour's drive.
Los Angeles has it all with entertainment studios, beaches, Universal Studios Hollywood and six major athletic teams: the NBA Lakers, WNBA Sparks, NBA Clippers, MLB Dodgers, MLS Galaxy and NHL Kings. The MLB Angels and NHL Ducks also play in nearby Anaheim. Not to be outshone by their professional counterparts, long-time rivals University of California Los Angeles and University of Southern California feature NCAA championship football teams. Every New Year's The Tournament of Roses hosts the Rose Parade followed by the Rose Bowl college football game.
With the addition of L.A. Live next to the Staples Center, downtown Los Angeles is entering a renaissance. Featuring ritzy new hotels, a trendy Lucky Strike Lanes bowling alley, a concert venue and restaurants, L.A. Live is the new one-stop shop for entertainment. Skyscrapers dot the horizon, the fashion district is bustling and the monthly DTLA Art Walk (every second Thursday of the month) bring the crowds.
For live entertainment, head to the Sunset Strip's legendary concert venues The Roxy, House of Blues and Whisky A Go Go, just to name a few. Catch a Broadway play or music concert at the Pantages Theatre, The Greek, Hollywood Bowl and Pauley Pavilion. The Staples Center, the most versatile of venues in Los Angeles, is home to four professional athletics leagues and some of California's largest concerts.
Hollywood and Highland, the city's most renowned intersection, echoes the relics of the prominent Hollywood sign. Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the original home of the Academy Awards which are now held at the adjacent Kodak Theatre, is surrounded by the handprints of celebrities past and present at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. El Capitan Theater, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, TV Guide Hollywood Center and the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, home to the Capitol Records Building, are nearby.
Museum Row, three blocks along Miracle Mile, features five museums and the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, the largest and most diverse Ice Age fossil collection in the world. Just south are the J. Paul Getty Museum and the free-to-enter Getty Center and the Getty Villa (online reservation required).
Los Angeles is home to several historical landmarks. Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright's first Los Angeles commission. It now resides in Barnsdall Park along with several art galleries. Watts Towers, a National Historic Landmark and State of California Historic Monument, underwent an artistic transformation by Simon Rodia in the 1920s-'50s and now has over 20,000 annual visitors. The recently re-opened Angels Flight in Bunker Hill is a funicular railway listed in The National Register of Historic Places.
See how the locals live, with a walk or drive along the 21 miles of iconic Malibu Beach, home to surfers and multimillion-dollar estates. Or take a hike through Griffith Park and partake in nightly star-gazing events at the Griffith Observatory. A sight not to miss is the historic Farmers Market, originally opened in 1934, and now attached to the outdoor Grove shopping mall where the stars often venture.
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