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Best Tourist Attractions In Los Angeles Worth The Hype

November 23, 2013 4:00 AM

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(credit: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images)

(credit: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images)

(credit: Gabriel Bous/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Gabriel Bous/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s no need to be modest. Los Angeles has become a legendary place recognized by everyone from all over the world. But is The City of Angels as enticing and exciting as everyone seems to hope and dream this metropolis will be once reality sets in during an up-close-and-personal visit? No doubt. As one of the biggest and brightest destinations on every bucket list, our neck of the woods couldn’t be better, for not only is LA diverse, but the city is also as exciting and nostalgic as the one you are used to constantly seeing depicted on the silver screen. To prove the point, following are the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles most definitely worth the hype.

Griffith Observatory (credit:  www.griffithobservatory.org)

Griffith Observatory (credit: http://www.griffithobservatory.org)

Griffith Observatory
2800 E. Observatory Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800
www.griffithobs.orgHigh on a hill in Griffith Park, this iconic Art Deco building is a Los Angeles lure that doesn’t disappoint. Erected in 1935, Griffith Observatory has long served as a symbol of the City of Angels and has been a performer in many milestone movies, the least of which is “Rebel Without a Cause” starring the late, great James Dean. Beyond the cinematic crush everyone has on Griffith Observatory, his massive monument to public astronomy features everything a great observatory should offer, up to and including the celebrated Samuel Oschin Planetarium, located in a distinctive aluminum dome and considered the entire world’s top planetarium. Talk about star power.

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Angels Flight
351 S. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 626-1901
www.angelsflight.orgDubbed the shortest railway in the world, the century-old Angel’s Flight in downtown Los Angeles is only 298 feet long but worth a trip or two as a way to relive history. After all, how many times have you had the experience of riding a genuine funicular? Ours takes on one of the City of Angels’ steepest slopes situated between Hill and Olive streets, delivering passengers up and down the Bunker Hill. The ride costs 50 cents but when this unique railway opened in 1901, the price was only a penny. Inflation may not be on our side but this ride is definitely worth the extra 49 cents.

Related:Best Places To Play Tourist In Downtown LA

(credit: Grauman's Chinese Theater)

(credit: Grauman’s Chinese Theater)

TLC Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s)
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 461-3331
www.tclchinesetheatre.comThis iconic place gives you three sightseeing treats in one: authentic Chinese architecture presented with Hollywood-style pizazz, a chance to see first-run movies in the place where many of these flicks premiered and the opportunity to walk in some of Tinseltown’s biggest (and smallest) celebrities’ shoes. It is the latter in its famed forecourt where every star you can think of has come down to earth to plant his or her footprints and/or handprints in cement. Other celebrity body parts can intermittently be found here as well, such as Betty Grable’s leg and Jimmy Durante’s nose. Not such a fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood but rather one who revers pop culture? Get a load of a couple of “Star Wars” stars’ impressions from 3CPO and R2D2 — definitely worth bragging about.

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Forest Lawn Memorial Park
1712 S. Glendale Ave.
Glendale, CA 91205
(323) 245-3131
www.forestlawn.comAlthough this cemetery became a world-renowned resting place and actual tourist spot when Michael Jackson was interred here, this branch of Forest Lawn has always been an important stop for travelers and locals alike. An idyllic park, with its signature duck pond at the entry and its many attractions beyond the grave, this is where many other stars have made their last stand. In fact, Glendale’s Forest Lawn is like a movie set with reproductions of famous chapels and works of art, such as Da Vinci’s Last Supper and Michelangelo’s David, to sanctify the place where, among other luminaries, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and a couple of the Marx Brothers are laid to rest. All in all, the scenic grounds and carefully constructed monuments make this a pleasant place for the living, a true pilgrimage spot for Hollywood lovers that definitely rises above any morbidity.

farmers market
Farmers Market LA
6333 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-9211
www.farmersmarketla.comA tradition in Los Angeles since 1934, the Farmers Market provides a county fair atmosphere every day of the week. Food stalls, restaurants and vendors take over the festive premises with all sorts of eats. Depending on what you desire at that very moment, you can munch on just about anything the storied Farmers Market has to offer. This bounty includes sweets from Bennett’s famous ice cream and Little John’s English toffee and full meals from DuPars and Charlie’s Coffee Shop. In addition, the cuisines available are numerous, ranging from Brazilian to French to Greek to Italian. Also expect to find the freshest produce in the West, and if you’re with visitors, encourage the out-of-town folk to pony up for a crate of oranges to be sent to their homes so the people who handle this citrus fruit can get them there in perfect shape and without any hassle on your part.

Related:Best Romantic Hotels In Los Angeles

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Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.

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