Written by: Nathan Hines, Account Manager, Pro QC International
Without a doubt, Los Angeles, California is one of the most exciting and diverse cities in the world. World-class beaches, hiking, shopping, theater, live music, dining, museums and the highest concentration of movie theaters in the world are all within reach. In the “City of Angles”, there really is something for everyone. And, with over 320 days of sunshine per year, there’s little reason to stay inside.
Of course, there's enough to see and do in Los Angeles to fill an entire book. In fact, there are scores of travel guides dedicated to this city. Included within this article are just some of the more famous landmarks and a few of my own favorite places that I discovered during my two years there. There are links listed at the end of the article that include additional details, such as contact information for attractions and additional sights of interest.
Business and Industry:
When most people think of Los Angeles, they think of movies. The motion picture industry lived out its infancy there and by 1920, more than 80% of all the movies made in the world were produced in there. Even today, L.A. leads the world in the creation of motion pictures, television production, video games and recorded music.
Although entertainment production is the dominant industry in Los Angeles, it’s certainly not the only one. The city hosts one of the busiest ports and is the largest manufacturing center in the United States, making L.A. the 3rd largest economic center in the world. No matter what the industry, if you’re looking for it, chances are that you’ll find it in Los Angeles.
Getting there and away:
Planes - If you’re going to and from Los Angeles, chances are you’ll be traveling by plane. There are three airports, LAX, LA/Ontario International and the Van Nuys Airport. Information on all three can be found at www.lawa.org.
Trains - If you would prefer to travel by rail, then you’re in for a real treat. Built in 1939, Los Angeles’ Union Station is one of the most historic landmarks in the city.
For more information regarding transportation, visit www.metro.net.
Los Angeles is jam-packed full of things to see and do. But, you have to be able to get there. Here are a few suggestions on how to get around.
Metro Rail and Bus System – It’s easy and it covers almost every corner of the city. But be warned, you can be waiting for quite a long time for the buses. And some of the lines stop running before others, so be careful during transfers or you might end up stuck!
Taxis - Taxis in Los Angeles are expensive, but sometimes necessary. When visiting an unfamiliar city, the problem can be knowing how to get one. Below is the contact info of several taxi companies, just in case you find yourself stranded.
Automobile - The most common and convenient way to travel in L.A. is by car. The traffic is bad and parking is expensive, but you’ll always be able to go where you want, when you want. Of course, you can find all of the major car rental agencies at the airports, Union Station and several locations throughout the city. But if you’re in the mood to treat yourself, you can also find plenty of specialty car rental companies that specialize in everything from classic to exotic cars.
Bicycle - For those of you who want to be a bit more active, consider renting a bicycle. It’s cheap, fun and healthy. Most five star hotels can help arrange a bike rental for you and there are plenty of bicycle paths around the city. Of course, you can ride on the street as well but be careful!
Places to Stay:
Like all of the world’s major cities, Los Angeles has no shortage of accommodations. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for five star luxury, you’ll find it. As an added bonus, every hotel in Tinsel-Town comes with a score of stories about which stars lived there.
A few of the more historic luxury hotels include The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel Air and the The Peninsula. If you’re looking for something a bit more intimate, try Chateau Marmount or The Petite Ermitage.
For additional information regarding accomodations, visit http://www.los-angeles.us.
Places to Eat:
One of the best things Los Angeles has to offer is its food. There’s a never ending sea of options to choose from. Whether you have a craving for Mexican, Spanish, Thai, Indian, Ethiopian, or down-home American, it’s not a problem. L.A. offers dining options from virtually every country on the planet, and most of it is authentic.
Below are a few of my favorites personal favorites:
Canter's Delicatessan - One of the oldest delicatessens in Los Angeles, Canter’s has been a local landmark since 1931. With well over 100 delicious items on it’s menu, it’s hard to talk about just one or two. Chances are, if it’s Kosher, you can find it at Canter’s. Though the waitresses at Canter’s are famous for gruff attitudes, the food at Canter’s makes the experience worthwhile. I’ve never had a meal there that wasn’t absolutely delicious.
Yamashiro – If you’re hungry for Japanese food, this is some of the best the city has to offer. The cuisine, itself, is excellent, but when you put it together with the historic setting, stellar ambiance and spectacular views overlooking the city, it adds up to a dining experience you won’t forget.
In And Out Burger - In a rush and thinking of grabbing a burger? Skip McDonald’s and head over to your nearest In N’ Out Burger. Using only fresh, non frozen ingredients, these are, by far, the best fast food burgers I’ve ever tasted. They even cut their own french fries right in the store! They are all over Los Angeles, so finding one should not be a problem.
Pink's Hot Dogs - Family-owned since 1939, Pink’s hot dog stand is one of the most famous places to eat in L.A., and it’s easy to believe when you see the line leading up to the front door. No matter if you have a craving at noon or 1am, you’ll have to stand in a long line if you go to Pink’s. Is it worth the wait? If it wasn’t, that line probably wouldn’t exist in the first place.
Maggiano's Little Italy - Maggiano’s has fantastic food and old-world atmosphere. It’s the perfect place if you’re in the mood for Italian food. But bring your appetite because the portions are huge!
Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles - Direct from Harlem, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles arrived in Los Angeles in 1970, and it’s been a love affair ever since. A mouth-watering combination of the best fried chicken and the best waffles you’ve ever tasted, drenched in butter and maple syrup. You may have a heart-attack on the way home, but you’ll die happy.
Things to do:
There’s never a shortage of things to do in Los Angeles. Virtually anything you can imagine is there to be done. It would be impossible to go through them all, but below is a list of a few of my personal favorites for daytime entertainment.
Grauman's Chinese Theater - Opening on May 18, 1927, Grauman’s Chinese theater is the most famous movie theater in the world. For more than 80 years, its been Hollywood’s favorite spot for star-studded movie premieres and award ceremonies. Just outside the front door, you’ll find the cement-cast hand prints and footprints of some of the biggest stars in history.
Grauman’s theater is currently attached to the Hollywood and Highland Center and the Kodak Theater, which is the current home of the Academy Awards. In front of Grauman’s is Hollywood Boulevard, you’ll find the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where every star hopes to see their own name honored.
Disneyland - If you’re going to Los Angeles, alone or with your family, Disneyland is a must. With so many rides and activities, it would literally take days to get through them all. They don’t call it “The Magic Kingdom” for nothing.
Universal City Walk - No matter if you’re looking for food, bars, dancing, live music, movies or shopping, you’ll find it at Universal City Walk. The perfect place for those who aren’t quite sure what they want to do, but they know they want to have fun.
The Getty Museum - Designed by world-renowned architect, Richard Meier, the Getty Center complex is as beautiful as the art it houses. Taking over seven years to complete, at an estimated cost of over $1.3 billion, it’s truly one of the impressive structures in all of the United States. A must-see destination for any art or architecture lover.
Runyon Canyon - Feel like a hike? No need to go out of the city. Right in the heart of Hollywood, there’s a 132 acre park with a challenging walking trail. A perfect place to get away from from the city, without actually having to leave.
Santa Monica Pier - What’s a visit to Southern California without going to the beach? And there’s no more famous beach than Santa Monica Pier. Located right next to world-famous Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier is a top location for food, shopping and fun in the Sun.
When the sun goes down, the night lights up in Los Angeles. Consistently ranked in the top three for cities with the “best nightlife”, there’s no lack of things to choose from no matter what your tastes.
The Kibitz Room - Attached to Canter’s Deli, The Kibitz Room has been a favorite venue of L.A. rock bands with dreams of stardom. Bands like Guns and Roses and the Wallflowers played many of their early gigs there. After eating a pastrami on rye, at Canter’s, why not pop over to the Kibitz room for a drink. You may catch sight of music’s next big thing.
House of Blues - Founded in 1992 by legendary Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd, The House of Blues is "where music and food feed the soul". Always a good place for live music and a great Southern meal.
The Viper Room - Opened by Johnny Depp, in 1993, The Viper Room has since been a hotspot of music loving celebrities.
The Roxy - With David Geffen as one of its original partners, The Roxy has been rocking out in West Hollywood since 1973. Literally hundreds of now famous acts have played this highly prestigious venue. For an aspiring musician, playing at the Roxy is just one away from headlining at stadium concerts.
The Whiskey A Go Go - The Whiskey is another place that is huge in the Southern California music scene. Scores of New Wave, punk and heavy metal bands from the West Coast got their start at the Whiskey. It’s also the place many British performers made their first headlining performance in the USA, including Led Zeppelin, The Who, Cream and Oasis.
The Groundlings - If you’re in the mood to have our funny-bone tickled, why not go check out The Groundlings? With stars like Phil Hartman and Will Ferrell getting their starts there, you can bet these shows are going to be funny.
Hollywood Billiards - Just feel like having a few beers and playing some pool? Hollywood Billiards is the place to go. Comfortable, fun and reasonably priced, Hollywood Billiards is a great place to spend a relaxed night with friends.
In Los Angeles, shopping is a sport and it’s widely considered the shopping capital of the United States. No matter where you are, you’re not far from a shopping center.
Let’s take a look at a couple of the jewels in Los Angeles’ shopping crown.
Rodeo Drive - If you’ve got more money than you know what to do with and you feel like picking up some new duds, then Rodeo Drive is the best choice. Even if $350 dollar t-shirts are out of your budget, it’s still definitely worth the visit. More than almost any other place in the world, there’s an excellent chance you might catch sight of a star.
Melrose Avenue - If you’re rich, but not fabulously wealthy, then Melrose Avenue is the place for you. A favorite for up-and-coming stars and starlets, this shopping district has something for everyone.
The Grove - Opened in 2002, The Grove is fun for the whole family. A lovely outdoor shopping center, styled to look like something from a more glamorous era, The Grove boasts a staggering total of 600,000 sq feet. It’s so big, they have their own trolley to take shoppers from one end of the complex to the other. Other attractions are a dancing fountain, which performs on the hour, and a giant movie complex with two, 500-seat theaters that are fashioned after the movie palaces from the 1920’s.
The Farmers' Market - If you’re at The Grove but you’re looking for something a little more traditional, take a two minute walk next door to the Farmers' Market. Started in 1934, when a few farmers decided to park their trucks together to sell produce, the Farmers' Market is now home to more than 100 restaurants, grocers and tourist shops.
For more information regarding travel to Los Angeles, contact a Pro QC account representative or use the links below as a reference.
Also, add our office to your list of activities. We're at 9327 Fairway View Place (Suite 304), in Rancho Cucamonga. Contact us at 909-829-5715 and ask for Wei Wei (firstname.lastname@example.org). She'll be happy to assist with travel plans and suggestions.
Nathan Hines can be contacted in our Taipei office at +886-2-2871-0188 or via email at email@example.com.