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Old 12-10-2011, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Chicago
302 posts, read 417,431 times
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So, I'm pulling the Albert Pujols and taking my talents to Los Angeles. Definitely planning on doing the Rose Parade. A: any pointers on that and B: what absolute must sees that are specific to LA would you recommend seeing while I'm there? Of course, there's probably going to be the standard go to Hollywood be a dumb tourist and stalk celebrities day, and a night or two out on the town (GLBT) but other than that I wanna def make the most of my time there, have a blast, but also have an experience that gives a true feel to LA--what corner dive restaurants would I just have to eat at, are there any ocean-related activities that can be done in January, what would recommendations be as to something that attests to the history of the region/how it became great/etc? Thx in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:24 AM
 
5,845 posts, read 11,145,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swandaddy View Post
So, I'm pulling the Albert Pujols and taking my talents to Los Angeles. Definitely planning on doing the Rose Parade. A: any pointers on that and B: what absolute must sees that are specific to LA would you recommend seeing while I'm there? Of course, there's probably going to be the standard go to Hollywood be a dumb tourist and stalk celebrities day, and a night or two out on the town (GLBT) but other than that I wanna def make the most of my time there, have a blast, but also have an experience that gives a true feel to LA--what corner dive restaurants would I just have to eat at, are there any ocean-related activities that can be done in January, what would recommendations be as to something that attests to the history of the region/how it became great/etc? Thx in advance for your thoughts.
I'll be moving to LA soon at the end of the month.

I visited last year for a few days, and carefully planned my trip well.

Pasadena where you will be is a really great town. The downtown is historic and very walkable. There are some cool museums in Pasadena, however the day I was in Pasadena was the day they were all closed darn.

But there is an art museum/gardens there called the Huntington in Pasadena.

Ocean activities: Santa Monica Pier is quite bustling even in the winter.

Which brings another point: People seem to think that SoCal is the land of perpetual summer. Its mild in the winter but it is not WARM. Usually it is highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s. Colder spells would be highs in the 50s, lows in the 30s. Sometimes it gets into the 70s in the winters, but it doesn't stay like that. And even in the summer the Pacific waters are still chilly. SoCal is not Florida. The climate is awesome, I love it, but it doesn't really get hot hot very often, (not on the beach, in the valley - YES it gets hot, but the beach is about 10-20 degrees cooler in the summer).

Don't let anyone tell you LA has a weak history. LA has just as long if not longer of a history than cities back east, its just that LA got BIG later.

Go to Olvera Street/El Pueblo, a preserved and restored street of Spanish colonial buildings with a square, old mission church, etc. You can get a feel of what LA was like when it was a village. There is also a Chinatown and Little Tokyo nearby. Also, there might be some tours of historic buildings, hotels in downtown.

If you are curious as to what LA looked like long ago, I supposed you can drive out toward Ventura where there is still some orange groves. Also, (in terms of understanding what made LA great) you could go out to Long Beach, see the harbor, and check out museums, aquariums there, view beautiful Palos Verdes.

The actual Hollywood neighborhood is actually more eclectic and historic than one would think, and with the exception of film debuts, etc. is not really quite so much the area where you would expect to see a lot of celebrities. As the studios moved over on the other side of the hill in Burbank and Universal City, etc., and the glitz and glamour moved to Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, Hollywood the neighoborhood started to decline, then got revitalized. So if you are interested in the early days/golden age of film there is quite a lot to do around Hollywood itself. Check out the sights in Griffith Park.


Bottom line, LA is the best city in the country for those who like to EXPLORE a whole county. Its not the top city for those who want to be in one place, stuck in a centralized urban bubble, and rely on public transit. Thats what San Fran, north side of Chicago, and and New York are for.

I hope you enjoy your trip. Theres so much to see!
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,045 posts, read 1,682,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post

Pasadena where you will be is a really great town. The downtown is historic and very walkable. There are some cool museums in Pasadena, however the day I was in Pasadena was the day they were all closed darn.

But there is an art museum/gardens there called the Huntington in Pasadena.
!
Superb post Tex...I am a native and could not have said it better.

My only correction would be to note the the Huntington Library & Gardens is located in San Marino, not Pasadena. But San Marino is located right next to Pasadena and the Huntington is an amazing cultural institution and the gardens are beautiful.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: So Ca
17,606 posts, read 16,400,625 times
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Originally Posted by SalParadise View Post
the Huntington Library & Gardens in San Marino is an amazing cultural institution and the gardens are beautiful.
Don't miss it. The Huntington Library
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:44 PM
 
5,845 posts, read 11,145,058 times
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Originally Posted by SalParadise View Post
Superb post Tex...I am a native and could not have said it better.

My only correction would be to note the the Huntington Library & Gardens is located in San Marino, not Pasadena. But San Marino is located right next to Pasadena and the Huntington is an amazing cultural institution and the gardens are beautiful.
Gotcha! Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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I would suggest the Miracle Mile if you are interested in museums in particular the La Brea Tar Pits.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
1,422 posts, read 1,425,609 times
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Don't forget the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. I believe the first Friday of the month has free admission from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: So Ca
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Things to see, recommended restaurants and places to stay in the Pasadena area:
Southern California Close-ups: Hotels, restaurants and activities in San Gabriel Valley - latimes.com
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Texas
775 posts, read 1,018,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swandaddy View Post
So, I'm pulling the Albert Pujols and taking my talents to Los Angeles. Definitely planning on doing the Rose Parade. A: any pointers on that and B: what absolute must sees that are specific to LA would you recommend seeing while I'm there? Of course, there's probably going to be the standard go to Hollywood be a dumb tourist and stalk celebrities day, and a night or two out on the town (GLBT) but other than that I wanna def make the most of my time there, have a blast, but also have an experience that gives a true feel to LA--what corner dive restaurants would I just have to eat at, are there any ocean-related activities that can be done in January, what would recommendations be as to something that attests to the history of the region/how it became great/etc? Thx in advance for your thoughts.
Not sure what your time line is but here's a "quick tour" of the Los Angeles area:

LOS ANGELES - Part I (North & West)
  • Santa Monica Pier / Venice Beach
  • Griffith Park Observatory
  • Hollywood Bowl
  • Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame (if you're into that sort of thing. TV, Movie, Radio stars names imbedded in the sidewalk)
  • Grauman's Chinese Theatre (Good place to check out the Walk of Fame. It extends for several blocks. Go to Grauman's, kill two birds with one stone)
  • Pink's Chili Dogs on La Brea Ave. & Melrose Ave. (Long wait, great gut bomb food)
  • Beverly Hills
  • Westwood Village & UCLA Campus
HINT: Check out Griffith Park Observatory, then go to the Hollywood Bowl; pop down to Hollywood Blvd. to go to Grauman's.

Drop down to Santa Monica Blvd. (traffic traffic traffic, but good scenery), or Wilshire Blvd. to get to Beverly Hills (stop light every 100 feet, it seems). Drive through some neighborhoods in BH North of Santa Monica Blvd. Unbelievable!

Jump back onto Wilshire Blvd., head for Westwood Village and UCLA (nice campus). Go out the back door of UCLA and jump on Sunset Blvd. going west, all the way Pacific Coast Hwy. Make a left and head down the coast to Santa Monica and on to Venice. Believe it or not, you could quite probably do all of this in one day if you get an early start.

When you get to Venice, be sure to check out the C&O Trattoria. Outdoor/indoor Italian-themed cafe. Garlic rolls to kill for! It's at the end of Washington Blvd.



LOS ANGELES - PART II (South & East)
  • Downtown L.A. - Wholesale Garment District
  • USC Campus / Exposition Park & Museum Complex / Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum / 1932 Olympics Swim Stadium
  • Watts Towers
  • Compton
  • Queen Mary (Long Beach)
  • Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach)
HINT: This is definitely a day excursion. USC / Exposition Park, Watts Towers, and Compton are in less-than-utopian neighborhoods, but I would not worry about having any problems during the day.

One thing you can learn from driving through many parts of Compton is that it's really actually a working class neighborhood with a high percentage of very nice, well-kept homes. (Alondra Blvd. & Central Ave. just across from the Compton airport). Not at all what is portrayed in the media.

The Watts Towers are a very remarkable work of art once you realize the history behind them.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:15 PM
 
128 posts, read 196,874 times
Reputation: 185
You said something about the water...I would so recommend whale watching..its good in winter and summer....long beach downtown.....
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