5 Ideas to Do in LA – For Tourists

So you’re finally making the journey (or the flight) to Los Angeles,California to visit the city the entire world has heard of. You’ll definitely enjoy the weather,individuals and the history,and while you’re at it,you’ll probably find a respectable souvenir or more to show off to your friends.

Here’s a short list of a few of the big stops you almost need to hit if you’re visiting from anywhere further than 100 miles away.

1. Visit Hollywood

It was called Tinseltown for a reason– the piece de resistance in this particular movie buff’s paradise is Hollywood and Highland,the famous intersection where nearly every little thing is designed to glamor visitors. From a towering complex of designer stores to a crowd of costumed street performers,to a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex poking its head through the roof of the Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not museum,this area can provide a busy afternoon. Especially if you venture further south and west to check out the area’s vintage stores (like Wasteland),cult restaurants (Pink’s Hot Dogs) and historical attractions (the La Brea Tar Pits). The many shops and tourist attractions along Hollywood Blvd contribute to the fun,as do the holiday decorations of you come in December.

2. Go to Universal Studios

Not far from Hollywood,this hive of fun tourist activity (100 Universal City Plaza,Universal City) combines theme park rides and a carnival atmosphere with a movie-studio feel that almost puts you inside your favorite flicks. On the famous Backlot Tour,you can take the Jaws ride to see “Bruce” (the shark’s nickname) charge out of the water at you,see the New york city set where Manhattan-based movie scenes are filmed,and see how a heavy thunderstorm is created. Or you can go on rides designed after your favorite movies,where you can be taken up and swept together with the plot,then probably dropped from a staggering height. Only a 9.5 mile ride from Los Angeles

3. Hit the Beach

Santa Monica State Beach offers a nice,tourist-friendly getaway,though it can get crowded and hectic on weekends. The bright side is it’s right next to the Santa Monica Pier,a well-trafficked theme park area where you will find an abundance of food,entertainment and more costumed performers. This beach can be found along Ocean Avenue in the vicinity of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. For a more relaxing beach hangout,Manhattan Beach has to do with 30 minutes south,where a paved walkway makes it helpful for sightseeing. Or you can set about 40 minutes north to get to El Matador Beach near Malibu for a more secluded,scenic beach.

4. Go to a Dodger game

Catching a baseball game is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon,and the local team exists to entertain visitors and rabid fans alike. Baseball fans can find Dodger Stadium at 1000 Elysian Park Ave Los Angeles,and the area’s public transport is an easy way to arrive without spending for parking. Ticket prices range from $9 for upper-deck seats to around $70 for most other seats,for full-priced adults. More ticketing information can be found on the Dodgers Web site (Dodgers.com). Just watch out,because Dodgers fans are fiercely passionate about their team,and they also like to drink huge cups of beer.

5. Go to Disneyland

It’s what every major athlete does after scoring a touchdown or hitting a crowning achievement. Disneyland (1313 S Harbor Blvd,Anaheim) isn’t only for kids (even though it tends to send them into ecstatic spasms),as the park offers the biggest,brightest and most complete theme park experience you’ll find beyond a dream. The rides last longer,the park-wandering characters are happier,and even the customer support folk are more helpful than any other park,despite the crowds. Explore the park’s many themed “lands,” see the light parade and jump onto the newest rides,as well as the nostalgic classics like Pinocchio and Small World. Obviously,Pirates of the Caribbean never ceases to amaze – look out for Captain Jack Sparrow sightings,which can seem surreally lifelike.

Here are some things to accomplish if you are spending on one day in Boston

A single day affords the chance to sample some encounters unique to Boston. You will not have time for full engagement,but you can discuss several singular attractions and destinations. Your focus will be the downtown area,home to the city’s oldest and most historic communities.

Start: Boston Common (Red or Green Line to Park St.),15 State St. (Orange or Blue Line to State),or Faneuil Hall (Green or Blue Line to Government Center).

One Singular Sensation: On a 1-day visit,think about concentrating on just a couple of things you’re most excited about,plus a good meal or two. If what really gets you going is the Museum of Fine Arts,the Museum of Science,Newbury Street’s art galleries and boutiques,or even an outing,you have a good excuse for not doing more– and for a return trip to Boston!

1. The Freedom Trail

Boston’s signature attraction is a 2.5-mile line of red paint or brick laid out at the idea of a local journalist in 1958. Following the entire Freedom Trail can consume the lion’s share of a day,but a number of options that concentrate on the downtown part of the walk take 2 hours or two. Your goal is to cover– at whatever pace suits you,as carefully or as casually as you like– the first two-thirds of the trail,from Boston Common through Faneuil Hall. Begin at the Boston Common Visitor Info Center with a pamphlet describing the self-guided tour or with the audio tour available from the Freedom Trail Foundation. If you prefer a guided tour,check the schedule of tours with National forest Service rangers,Boston By Foot,and the Freedom Trail Foundation.

2. Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall Marketplace offers a host of shopping options,a number of which are outlets of national chains. You can provide your wallet a workout before,after,or even (this could be our little secret) during your sightseeing and tour.

3. Quincy Market

The main level of Faneuil Hall Marketplace’s central building,Quincy Market,is a gigantic food court. You can eat at the marketplace,but I suggest crossing Atlantic Avenue and enjoying your snack or lunch with a glorious view. Stake out a seat overlooking the marina next to Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. If you prefer to eat indoors,head nearby to Union Oyster House

4. Paul Revere House.

Our preferred Freedom Trail stop is a little 17th-century home overlooking a stunning cobblestone square.

5. The North End

The Freedom Trail continues here with another famous Paul Revere hangout,the interesting Old North Church. But there’s more to this historic neighborhood than just history. The city’s “Little Italy” (locals don’t call it that) is a great place for wandering around.

6. Hanover Street

Coffee outlets throughout the city valiantly attempt to serve good espresso and cappuccino; the shops here always are successful– and if they don’t,they don’t stay in business very long. Pair your caffeine with a fresh-baked pastry,settle in at a bakery or caffè,and take in the scene on the North End’s main road. Top choices: Caffè Vittoria,Mike’s Pastry,and Caffè dello Sport.

7. The Waterfront

Now the center Boston’s small size settles: In almost any direction,the stunning harbor is a brief stroll from the North End. As the day winds down,you can take a sightseeing cruise from Long Wharf or Rowes Wharf– though a ferry ride from Long Wharf to Charlestown and back may be much better for your schedule and budget. If cruises aren not for you or run out season,explore the New England Aquarium or the Boston Children’s Museum. If those don’t interest you,head for the nearby Seaport District (also referred to as the South Boston Waterfront) and visit the Institute of Contemporary Art. It’s a 20- to 30-minute walk or 10-minute cab ride.
Or– it’s not the Waterfront,but bear with us– abandon the sightseeing after the Paul Revere House and go shopping in the Back Bay,starting with a stroll along Newbury Street.

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