Los Angeles, along with neighbouring Hollywood, Burbank and Beverly Hills, is the heart of American cinema, and the home of countless stars. Book one of our holidays to Los Angeles and enjoy the pizzazz of this formidable city.
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Fans of both film and fun will love Universal Studios, a theme park that is based on the movies. You'll find experiences and rides that incorporate characters such as Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, and film properties including Jurassic Park, Transformers and Despicable Me. Ordinary Muggles will love the opportunity to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (opening in spring 2016), whether trying to Escape from Gringotts or boarding the Hogwarts Express.
Predating Universal Studios by a good couple of decades, Six Flags Magic Mountain sees its visitors undulating wildly, looping the loop, careening through the air and rushing headlong into rapids. This park has a distinct celluloid feel to it too. You can experience rides based on characters that include Superman and Batman, as well as a host of Looney Tunes personalities such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
In Anaheim, the traditional Disneyland Park offers great rides including Alice in Wonderland, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Indiana Jones Adventure and Pirates of the Caribbean. Be sure to also check out the shows, parades and fireworks that take place daily. Disney’s California Adventure Park has seven themed areas to visit, including Buena Vista Street, Grizzly Peak, Hollywood Land, "a bug's land", Pacific Wharf, Paradise Pier, and Cars Land. Whichever Disney park you choose to go to, you will be sure of a fun filled experience!
There's more to star-spotting in Los Angeles than looking out for Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie. At Griffith Observatory you can cast your gaze skywards and contemplate the celestial bodies – and enjoy the spectacular Planetarium show. Sticking with the stars, California Space Centre is home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour and is a great place to learn about the out-of-this-world accomplishments of NASA.
Petrolheads will love Petersen Automotive Museum with its collection of unusual and vintage cars. Here you'll see the original Batmobile, the Volkswagen Beetle Herbie and a De Tomaso Pantera that belonged to Elvis Presley.
For one of the best views of the iconic Hollywood sign, Griffith Park is the place to visit. And other than the being home to the aforementioned observatory, it's also the location of the Bat Cave! Yes, Griffin Park was used for the entrance to Batman's lair in the 1960s television series. Even if you're not especially interest in the stars of screen – or the stars above – the park has numerous trails to follow, whether on foot or on horseback.
Staples Centre is a great place to catch a basketball game, featuring either of Los Angeles' city rivals, the Lakers and the Clippers – or possibly both! The arena is also the venue for hockey and American Football. And for that other great American sport, baseball, head over to Dodger Stadium.
The Grove at Farmers Market has a host of shops, including Abercrombie and Fitch, and Barnes and Noble. There's also an array of restaurants, a 14-screen cinema and even an animated fountain. And if you need to take the weight off your feet, hop aboard a trolley car!
For classic American dining, try In-N-Out Burger for delicious fries and burgers. And at Water Grill, you'll enjoy a delicious seafood menu, great service and a fine ambience.