Day 1 You'll See:
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So you want to take your student group to Los Angeles, but you actually want to learn something while you're there? Have no fear, AST is here with the perfect solution! Just look to our new 2-Day Educational Getaway in L.A for destination ideas and tips, then give us a call and we'll set it up for you and your group (no matter how big!).
La Brea Tar Pits - Over 10,000 years ago, the Los Angeles Basin was teeming with wildlife large and small. Most of these creatures do not exist today, having gone extinct or evolved into other forms of life. However, we have a unique and rare opportunity to look back into the distant past through the bubbling window that is the La Brea Tar Pits. Come to the La Brea Tar Pits and step back into Los Angeles of 10,000 years ago in the Pleistocene Gardens, a landscape recreated from fossils of plant life known from the area. Explore the park, the sculptures of American Mastodons and Saber-toothed cats, and the pits themselves. Take the Excavator Tour and visit the Fossil Lab to see working scientists and look into the bubbling tar lake from the Observation Pit, open now for the first time in 20 years!
LA Natural History Museum - The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is the largest nature and history museum in the Western United States. This entire collection holds around 35 million specimens and artifacts and spans over 4.5 billion years of history! Founded in 1913, this museum will show you everything from T-Rex skeletons to butterfly and spider pavilions. Explore the Insect Zoo, Mummies, North American Mammals, Haaga Family Rotunda, and even Ancient Latin American Art while here, either on your own or part of a guided group tour. Take the Gallery Exploration Tour, Insider Museum Tour, Dinosaur Experience Tour, or Nature Gardens Tour while here, or perhaps just sign up for any daily event, workshop, or festival that may be taking place! You may need a little brain food while here, so plan on either packing a picnic or heading to NHM Grill, the onsite eatery that provides guests with delicious, local foods like burgers, soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Griffith Park Observatory - The largest municipal park in Los Angeles and one of the largest in the country, Griffith Park offers a beautiful and peaceful respite from the bustling city. Covering a stunning 4,310 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains in the Los Feliz neighborhood, Griffith Park gained its origins in the annals of L.A. history. Among the beautiful greenery and water features, you can find an abundance of attractions in Griffith Park that make for perfect vacation outings. The Griffith Observatory is located at the top of the tallest peak in the area and is open during regular visitors hours to explore the facility, see shows at the planetarium, and get some of the greatest views possible of the iconic Hollywood Sign on Mount Lee. There are dozens of natural hiking and biking trails as well as sites for group gatherings here, as well!
Hollywood and Highland - What better way to end your L.A night than with a visit to Hollywood and Highland, the 387,000 square foot retail space that contains numerous local, regional, and international shops, eateries, and nightclubs. Here you and your group can sightsee along Hollywood Boulevard, go bowling, or even catch a movie at any of the local cinemas. This entire area is a landmark district for California, complete with views of the Hollywood sign, the iconic Hollywood handprints, the Hollywood Wax Museum, and so much more. Sightsee, eat, shop, and take in a movie while here, a really fun way to unwind for the night and get to know L.A and Hollywood even better!
California Science Center - Discover the science behind our beautiful and complex world at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Traverse the tiniest cells of the human body, look up into space, deep into the past, or into the far future with artifacts, activities, and explorations into our universe as we understand it. Permanent exhibits and traveling collections paired with programs, events, and demonstrations make this unique and interactive museum premier attraction for groups of all ages. Some of the museum’s permanent exhibits include a variety of world ecosystems including the Forest Zone, River Zone, L.A. Zone which looks into urban wildlife, and Extreme Zone as it explores how life adapts to extreme environments. Visit the Air and Space exhibits or the IMAX to see 3D films on the Hubble missions, Jerusalem, the Galapagos Islands, and Humpback Whales. If your group really enjoys learning new things in a creative, inspirational atmosphere, you’re going to have a one really great morning!
Aquarium of the Pacific - Located in beautiful Long Beach, Aquarium of the Pacific is Southern California’s largest aquarium. With the mission of serving the Pacific Ocean and its majestic animals while inspiring and educating the public, Aquarium of the Pacific curates gorgeous interactive exhibits to put you up close to the ocean’s most incredible creatures. Meet sea lions, seals, penguins, sharks, shorebirds, and colorful exotic fish in nature exhibits. Experience the wonder of the ocean without ever having to leave dry land. Scientists have estimated that approximately 95 percent of the ocean is left undiscovered, still holding curiosity for us as the final uncovered frontier left on earth. While here you can touch bonehead sharks, cow nose rays, and horseshoe crabs, see exhibits featuring Guam kingfishers, Southern California steelhead, and more. General groups may take behind-the-scenes tours daily to learn more about the animals and the mission of the aquarium to protect and serve the Pacific ocean, making this stop so entertaining, you may forget you're learning something!
Queen Mary Tour - Long Beach isn’t only the home of one of the best California aquariums, it is also the home of the famous (and infamous) Queen Mary ship! This former WWII troopship and the luxury liner is today still thriving as a hotel, eatery, and touring hotspot, all of which you can choose to do with a visit to this Queens Highway superstar. Get a personal look at the Queen Mary from an exciting and informative tour guide and learn all about its history, from its first days of construction to its launch as the ‘most luxurious and technologically advanced ocean liner’ at that time (the 1950's). You will be able to explore the ship from bow to stern, inside and out, as well as hear unique stories, facts, and insights from former crew members and current tour guides. You’ll even get to hear all about the liner’s infamous history as the ‘haunted ship’!