As one of the world's most famous cities and the nation's second-largest metropolis, Los Angeles has plenty to see and do. There's nothing you can't find in good ole' Tinseltown so here's an idea about what's worth seeing and doing while you're in L.A. on your next student trip.
1. Hollywood Sign
You can't take a trip to Tinseltown and not see the Hollywood sign. That would be tantamount to blasphemy. It's a national landmark of industry, imagination, and talent that marks Los Angeles as unique and individualistic.
2. Griffith Park
Covering approximately 4,300 acres of land, Griffith Park is not only one of the nation's largest urban parks but full of opportunity. Home to the Griffith Observatory scientific center, the L.A. Zoo, Hollywood Sign, as well as recreational trails, Griffith Park is a natural paradise within the city. Also, the views from the observatory are absolutely spectacular.
3. Hollywood Forever Cemetery movie night
It may sound abominably morbid but this L.A. classic activity draws in thousands of locals with its odd yet comfortable community events. Watch a classic film surrounded by the headstones of the past actors who made Hollywood what it is today. Don't worry, you don't have to sit on graves - that is, believe it or not, discouraged.
The original Disney theme park designed by the great Walt Disney himself, this classic and popular attraction marks the world's second most visited theme park after Disney World. Take a day trip down to Anaheim and peruse, explore, experience, and wonder at the sublime magic of Disneyland. Make sure you ride the classic Pirates of the Caribbean and make a silly face for the camera as you plummet down Splash Mountain.
5. La Brea Tar Pits
Educational and supremely interesting, the La Brea Tar Pits is an archaeological endeavor to uncover the past, 40,000 years ago to be precise. A natural pit of preservation, scientists are able to look into the Pleistocene era and beyond, pulling up thousands of fossils and bones from extinct creatures. Tour the pits, look down into an open dig site and tour the artifacts and abundance of bones that they have retrieved over the years.
6. Universal Studios Hollywood
Famous for their original backlot tours of the working studio, Universal has created a theme park around the inner workings of the movie industry. Step inside your favorite films and ride Jurassic Park, King Kong, and more.
7. Natural History Museum
The largest museum of its kind in the western United States, the Natural History Museum of L.A. County contains almost 35 million specimens spanning over 4.5 billion years. Established in 1913, L.A.'s popular museum has an entire insect zoo within its walls as well as 20 complete dinosaur skeletons and over 300 fossils, an interactive Nature Lab where kids can experience hands-on learning, and a large six-sectioned exhibit on the history and period evolution of Los Angeles.
8. Getty Villa
Located along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood, the Getty Villa is a stunning oasis of Greco-Roman architecture, lush gardens of opulent design, and a collection of nearly 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. Art galleries applaud themes such as mythological deities and the Trojan War. The beauty and timelessness of the Getty Villa make it a perfect relaxing getaway from the city.
9. Dodger Stadium
Home of the L.A. Dodgers since 1962, Dodger Stadium is both historic and intrinsically thrilling. The third oldest stadium in the MLB franchise, Dodger Stadium celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. Experience the excitement of seeing a ball game, America's favorite pastime, in one of the nation's best stadiums. Take a tour or, better yet, catch a game to see the Dodgers in action.
10. Dolby Theatre (aka Kodak Theatre)
A landmark and Hollywood icon, the Dolby Theatre has hosted the Academy Awards since 2002 and remains the first official host location of the ceremony. Also an operating theater in the exciting Hollywood and Highland entertainment and shopping district, Dolby Theatre is the perfect and grandest place to catch a live show, take a tour, and simply experience the magic of visual entertainment.
11. Runyon Canyon Park
This 160-acre park in the Hollywood Hills may be small but it is a local favorite for hiking and other recreational activities. Just two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard, Runyon Canyon Park is a frequent celebrity spotting site for those fitness conscious celebrities. Make a game of it and get fit at the same time. See how many celebrities you can spot while you tour the native southern Californian landscape.
12. Pacific Coast Highway
While the PCH runs from Los Angeles (Long Beach) to San Francisco and is technically not an L.A. based attraction, it's too good and too scenic of a drive to miss. You don't have to go far out of the city to find spectacular ocean views or stops for picnics along the way. In the summer, if you time it right, the humpback whales will be migrating down from Alaska to Baja and may be seen off the coast. You can also witness a number of other wildlife like elephant seals, California sea lions, and more in the water.
13. Santa Monica Pier
Although Santa Monica is technically a city in Los Angeles County and not Los Angeles proper, it is still often counted among the neighborhoods in the sprawling metropolis. This double-jointed pier is a local landmark, standing for over 100 years and adding to local color with a full boardwalk amusement park. Check out the carnival rides, the iconic Ferris wheel, as well as the Pier Aquarium.
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