Los Angeles is a sprawling Southern California city and the center of the nation’s film and television industry. Near its iconic Hollywood sign, studios such as Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers offer behind-the-scenes tours. On Hollywood Boulevard, TCL Chinese Theatre displays celebrities’ hand- and footprints, the Walk of Fame honors thousands of luminaries and vendors sell maps to stars’ homes.
Highlights of LA beyond the entertainment industry include the Getty Center, home to European and American art and extensive gardens. Griffith Observatory has panoramic skyline views, while the Lakers and Clippers basketball teams play at Staples Center. In and around the city are notable beaches including Venice, complete with funky shops on a colorful boardwalk, and Santa Monica, whose pier offers rides and games. Live music venues dot the billboard-lined Strip, a stretch of Sunset Boulevard running through the West Hollywood area. Beverly Hills is the site of the famously upscale shopping street Rodeo Drive.
When to visit Los Angeles
Los Angeles is a year-round travel destination. The weather’s mostly warm and mild, with hotter temperatures Jul–Oct. Arts and cultural events happen regularly, including film festivals such as LA Film Fest (Jun) and AFI Fest (Nov). In summer, there are free outdoor concerts and film screenings at venues across the city. Other major annual events include the Academy Awards (Feb/Mar) and the LA Marathon (Feb/Mar).