Olvera Street dancing, Los Angeles General Attractions

Los Angeles General Attractions

Traditional Mexican dance in front of Olivera Street Gazebo, Los Angeles

Universal CityWalk
DESCRIPTION: Adjacent to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, kids from ages 2-90 have equal amounts of fun among the 65 restaurants, shops and entertainment establishments; you’ll find Hard Rock Cafe, Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway, Hollywood Harley Davidson, Adobe Road, Awesome Atoms, Billabong, Cafe Tu Tu Tango, Camacho’s Cantina, Captain Coconuts, Cirque du Bijoux, Dodger Dogs, Gladstone’s Seafood Restaurant, Howl at the Moon, Jillian’s Hi Life Lane’s, Magnet Max, Popcornopolis, Red Balls On Fire, Rubio’s Baja Grill, Rumba Room, Saddle Ranch, Team LA, The Wound & Wound Toy Company, THEM!, Things From Another World, Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers, Tropic Nut Company, Versailles and Zen Zone; all of that is topped off with a fabulous 18-screen Cineplex and IMAX Theatre; parking costs less with movie ticket validation. CityWalk Summer Block Party showcasing an indie band showcase series, a teen idol talent search, and free outdoor movie nights from June 28-September 1; on Thursdays 7:30p-10:00p, CityWalk’s giant outdoor screen presents a number of Universal Studios films.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Thu 9a-11p, Fri-Sun 9a-1a
ADDRESS: 100 Universal City Plaza, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: $12 general parking or $20 preferred parking
TRANSIT: Universal City Metro Station
WEBSITE: http://www.universalstudios.com

Hollywood Boulevard
DESCRIPTION: Although much longer, the portion from Vermont Avenue to La Brea Avenue is one of the most famous streets in America; in 1960, the first star was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which runs from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue; HWOF was later extended onto Vine Street; changing demographics and Americans switching to malls for shopping transformed Hollywood Blvd into a seedy area from the mid-1970s through the 1990s, if not for the Chinese Theatre and HWOF, it would have really tanked; then in 1999, the Hollywood extension of the Metro Red Line subway opened and several grand cinemas were restored to host movie premieres; biggest turning point was Hollywood & Highland shopping center with Kodak Theatre opening in 2001 and the Kodak Theatre began hosting the Academy Awards in 2002; shop and restaurant renovations are replacing more of the seediness each month; Hollywood Blvd is hip again — celebrities who in the past, would only hang out on Sunset Blvd, also patronize nightclubs here; housing conversions and a future entertainment complex at the corner of Hollywood and Vine also bode well; Hollywood Christmas Parade passes down Hollywood Boulevard every Saturday after Thanksgiving
DAYS & HOURS: daily from dusk to late
ADDRESS: 7100 to 6100 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: parking lots behind the boulevard
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Highland and Hollywood-Vine Metro Stations
PHONE: Hollywood Chamber 323-469-8311
WEBSITE: http://www.hollywoodchamber.net

Hollywood & Highland
DESCRIPTION: For best effect during your first visit, enter from Hollywood Blvd at the Kodak Theatre, which became the permanent home of the Academy Awards in March 2002; in fact, the theatre (now called Dolby Theatre) was built especially for the Academy Awards; take a tour which includes a visit to the site of post-show celebrity parties, an Oscar statuette, see 26 spectacular Academy Award® images displayed on four levels of the theatre lobby; the images measure 4 feet x 5 feet and feature Oscar winners such as Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry; an upscale Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and Grand Ballroom catered by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck provide a northern anchor the entertainment, dining, and nightlife; there’s more – 60+ specialty shops, public art exhibitions, six new movie screens at the Mann Chinese Complex, seven of LA’s finest restaurants, an excellent spot to photograph the Hollywood sign, and a working TV studio; the most memorable features may well be the two giant elephant statues overlooking the courtyard
DAYS & HOURS: daily to late
ADDRESS: Hollywood Blvd at Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: parking lots behind the boulevard
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood & Highland Metro Station
PHONE: 323-467-6412
WEBSITE: http://www.hollywoodandhighland.com

Capital Records Building
DESCRIPTION: Opened in 1956 at 13 stories tall and 150 feet high, the maximum building height permitted in Los Angeles until the 1970s, it remains an international icon of Hollywood; the building is also the recording home for many African American artists; Nat “King” Cole is credited with the concept of a record company building that looks like stacked records; Richard Wyatt’s “Hollywood Jazz” mural on the building’s side includes a likeness of Charley Parker, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and of course, Nat “King” Cole; building ownership has changed and its future is uncertain
DAYS & HOURS: by appt only
ADDRESS: 1750 North Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: Hollywood-Vine Metro Station
PHONE: 323-462-6252

Melrose Avenue
DESCRIPTION: this popular hang-out features a wide variety of upscale restaurants, wacky and trend-setting boutiques, coffeehouses, and The Improv comedy club; it is known as “The Place” to find garments before they become popular; it used to be home to one of Black LA’s most beloved restaurants, Georgia; each year it seems that a new black-owned boutique comes and goes on Melrose; another bit of trivia — the original Johnny Rockets opened on Melrose in 1986
DAYS & HOURS: from dusk to late
ADDRESS: between San Vicente Blvd and La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: one street and valet parking for restaurants
PHONE: no general number

Farmers Market & The Grove
DESCRIPTION: In 1934, farmers pulled into property known as Gilmore Island at the corner of Third & Fairfax to begin selling produce on the tailgates; customers parked on the dirt parking lot in spaces designated with chalk; then celebrities showed up to shop for fresh fruit and vegetables leading it to it becoming an visitor destination; today, the best of the old has been preserved, while all manner of upscale shop, restaurant and cineplex have been added, making it more popular than ever
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-9p,
 Sat 9a-8p,
 Sun 10a-7p
ADDRESS: 6333 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on premises
PHONE: 323-933-9211 or 866-993-9211
WEBSITE: http://www.farmersmarketla.com

Japanese American National Museum
DESCRIPTION: This informative and evocative museum and library will broaden your horizons about Japanese Americans contributions to our nation in both good and bad; it also shows the housing linkage between Japanese Americans and African Americans in LA; the museum’s showcase exhibit covers World War II when 120,000 Japanese Americans were interned in U.S. prison camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor; rather than remain interred, many men chose to prove their American loyalty by enlisting in the U.S. Army, where they were assigned to fight the Germans in Europe; their regiment became the most highly decorated unit during WWII
ADMISSION: Adults $3, students and ages 6 to 17
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sun 10a-5p, Thu until 8p
ADDRESS: 369 First Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: Civic Center Metro Station
PHONE: 800-461-5266
WEBSITE: http://www.janm.org

OUE Skyspace LA
DESCRIPTION: See unparalleled, 360-degree views on California’s tallest open-air observation deck, nearly 1,000 feet above Downtown LA. On a clear day you can see 36 miles. From the 70th floor, ride the Skyslide, a 45-foot, fully enclosed, all-glass adventure landing on the exterior of the iconic US Bank Tower down to the 69th floor. The $8 Skyslide ride will get your blood racing. The gift shop at lobby level has plenty of do-dads to help you boast of the adventure to family and friends.
ADMISSION: Adults $25, age 65+ $22, ages 3-12 $19
DAYS & HOURS: Daily 10a-5p, Thu until 8p
ADDRESS: 633 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: Pershing Square Metro Station
PHONE: 213-894-9000
WEBSITE: https://www.skyspace-la.com

DESCRIPTION: 4-million square foot sports, entertainment, dining and hotel complex located downtown; this complex began with the 20,000-seat Staples Center in 1999, then added the 7,100-seat Nokia Theatre, Grammy Museum, 2,300-seat Club Nokia, 1,100-seat Conga Room, Flemings Prime Steakhouse, Lucky Strike bowling lounge ESPN TV and Radio Broadcast Studio, Wolfgang Puck, Rock ‘N Fish, The Farm of Beverly Hills, Yard House, Katsuya, Trader Vics, Rosa Mexicano and Nokia Plaza which frequently hosts major events; a Regal Cinemas suitable for movie world premieres and 54-story JW Marriott Hotel, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and Ritz-Carlton Residences were also added by 2010; with 365 days of must-see attractions, L.A. LIVE competes with Universal Citywalk and Hollywood as a hub of nightlife, but surpasses everything when it hosts award shows
DAYS & HOURS: daily dawn – until
ADDRESS: 800 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: surrounds the complex
RAPID TRANSIT: Pico Metro Station
PHONE: 213-742-7275
WEBSITE: http://www.lalive.com

Library Tower and Steps
DESCRIPTION: At 72 stories and 1018 feet tall, LA’s tallest building opened in 1989; its graceful, cylindrical architecture shows up in so many TV shows, commercials, magazine ads, web ads, and movies that it has no problem attracting a bevy of corporate naming rights suitors — changing names from Library Tower to First Interstate Tower to US Bank Tower today; unfortunately, there is no public viewing deck in the tower; adjacent to the tower is a sculpture of a graceful sistah in all of her natural glory — one of only two public nudes of a sistah in America; from the sculpture, one walks down architecturally cohesive steps that feature a waterfall in the middle leading to the magnificent Los Angeles Central Library across 5th Street
DAYS & HOURS: 24/7
ADDRESS: 633 West 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: garage behind the building
RAPID TRANSIT: Pershing Square Metro Station
PHONE: 213-626-3300
WEBSITE: http://www.maguireproperties.com/USBankTower

Olvera Street
DESCRIPTION: For a taste of Mexico without leaving the USA, visit the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles, otherwise known as El Pueblo Historic Monument; the pueblo was built by the 44 settlers of Los Angeles in 1781 and included people of African descent; always lively and more like a village than a street, it features 27 historic buildings, a traditional Mexican plaza and a marketplace (Mercado); an excellent place to sample tacos at the outdoor cafes, gather handcrafted Mexican wares and take a free docent tour by Las Angelitas; on weekends, enjoy outdoor entertainment by bollero musicians, Mariachis music and performances by Aztec Indians
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Thu 10a-5p, Sun 11a-5p
ADDRESS: 9786 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
RAPID TRANSIT: Union Station Metro Station
PHONE: 310-553-8403
WEBSITE: http://www.museumoftolerance.com

Westfield Century City
DESCRIPTION: Adjacent to Avenue of the Stars, it feels like a destination more than a mall. Its a great place to people watch, sample fine restaurants and take in epic movies. You can shop for hours among dozens of stores anchored by flagship Macys and Bloomingdales or dine among several pleasant outdoor cafes and indoor bistros. Considering that MGM headquarters is across the street and Fox Studios is only three blocks away, many people hang out after work to spark lots of movie and TV show conversation in the restaurants.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 10a-9p, Sun Noon-7p
ADDRESS: 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: first 3 hours are free self-parking; valet parking available
PHONE: 310-277-3898
WEBSITE: http://www.westfield.com/centurycity

Skirball Museum and Cultural Center
DESCRIPTION: Dedicated to exploring the connections between 4,000 years of Jewish history and other American groups and democratic ideals; has frequently hosted events important to the relationship and progress between African-Americans and Jewish-Americans
ADMISSION: small fee, free on Thursday
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Wed, Fri-Sat 12a–5p,
 Thu 12a–9p,
 Sun 11a–5p
ADDRESS: 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: free on premises
PHONE: 310-440-4500
WEBSITE: http://www.skirball.org

Santa Monica Third Street Promenade
DESCRIPTION: A popular three-block stretch of pedestrian-oriented quirky shops and restaurants; enjoy a leisurely stroll here and stop at one of its numerous cafes; a night a handful of Techno clubs come alive; there are plenty of parking structures surround the promenade; perhaps it is best loved for its profusion of restaurants, bistros and cafes that cater to every taste; it doesn’t hurt to be within walking distance of the Santa Monica Pier either
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9a-1a
ADDRESS: between Wilshire Blvd and Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA MAP
PARKING: garage parking
RAPID TRANSIT: 4th Street-Colorado Metro Station
PHONE: 310-393-8355
WEBSITE: http://www.downtownsm.com

Jazz Bakery
DESCRIPTION: An intimate non-profit jazz theater; tickets sell one hour before shows; arguably, LA’s best venue for traditional jazz; has featured Diane Reeves, Ahmad Jamal, Cyrus Chestnut and many other big name acts; this architectural treasure is a former bakery turned art center
ADDRESS: 1655 North McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street and lots
PHONE: 310-271-9039
WEBSITE: http://jazzbakery.org

Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
DESCRIPTION: An under-appreciated treasure; if you life aromatherapy, check out nature’s version here; this place is more about 150 acres of fantastic gardens and than the ho-hum art museum; you won’t regret spending 3 hours of quality time here
ADMISSION: $12.50 adults, $10 seniors (age 65+), $8.50 age 12-18 or with full-time student ID, $5 age 5-11, Free for children under age 5
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Fri Noon-4:30p, Sat-Sun 10:30a-4:30p
ADDRESS: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: not nearby
PHONE: 626-405-2100
WEBSITE: http://www.huntington.org


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