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The sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles is spread across four thousand square miles of desert between the mountains and the ocean. It consists of several mini-cities bound by a network of freeways. LA is divided into five main districts: Downtown, Hollywood, The Valley, Westside, and the Beaches - each a world in themselves. The size of the place may be a source of confusion to a first-time visitor, but don’t give up! It all soon falls into place. Tourists tend to concentrate in the western part of the city, where beach hotels and attractions are located. However, it is worth venturing Downtown for a bit more grit and less glitz, as well as for some great eating and drinking, Downtown is home to the magnificent Walt Disney Concert Hall, an experience in itself. Los Angeles will always be associated with movies and movie stars. The huge Hollywood sign on the hill to Universal Studios, the glamour of Beverly Hills and the unavoidable celebrity spotting in bars and restaurants... You cannot help but be lured into this surreal and magical world. However, if you fail to look beyond this celluloid culture, you will be missing some of the most fabulous art collections and galleries in the world. The Getty Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Norton Simon Museum all house spectacular permanent collections. With most days of the year being sunny and warm, outdoor life is a large part of the Los Angeles lifestyle. Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu beaches offer some great urban beach culture with roller skating on the promenades and shopping on the boulevards. Griffith Park is one of the largest city parks in the country and offers all manner of outdoor pursuits (including the LA Zoo). With a population as diverse as its geography, Los Angeles has become a multicultural hub, which is reflected in the food, art, and streets themselves. Both Chinatown and Koreatown offer some great food, interesting shopping, and, when it comes to the latter, some top karaoke!
With so much to see and do, Los Angeles can be overwhelming to the first time visitor, especially if time is tight. Don’t expect to cover everything in one trip! The following is a selection of the most popular attractions, with a little something for everyone.
With its huge multi-ethnic community, Los Angeles is a veritable melting pot of culinary culture. Whatever food you are in the mood for, this town has it. Although the well-known restaurants tend to attract most attention, it is worth exploring the small neighborhood eateries which sometimes provide the most rewarding dining experiences. The list below names a few restaurants that are popular, interesting and reputable. Reservations are necessary for popular restaurants, especially at the weekend. Most kitchens close around 10pm, so go out early and enjoy your meal!
L.A. is awash with great breakfast spots, diners, and coffee houses that offer good value for the huge portions they serve. Finding café options is relatively easy and the variety is impressive. Settle in, order up, and enjoy!
L.A. nightlife is as diverse as its sprawling population, and there is definitely something for every taste. From flashy celebrity bars with high prices to down and dirty drive bars, you could spend months exploring this city by night and never exhaust its possibilities. Bear in mind that you need to be 21 to drink. Smoking is banned in all restaurants and bars in California. L.A. has one of the most cutting-edge music scenes in the world. If you are looking for live music, there is always something on at one one of the many LA locations.
Los Angeles has a diverse array of shopping areas. Whether you are looking for haute couture, trendy or vintage, ethnic, chic or designer, this city has you covered. Each area is distinct in its vibe, clientele and wares. The following list gives an idea of what to expect in some of the main shopping areas. Tax is generally not included in the marked price, so be prepared to add 8 percent.
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