Los Angeles is famous for Hollywood and the movies. Here are a few must see Los Angeles landmarks;
- Hollywood Sign
- Capitol Records Building
- Los Angeles City Hall
- US Bank Tower
- Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Griffith Park and Observatory
- Universal Studios and Disneyland
- TCL Chinese Theater
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
- Rodeo Drive
- Santa Monica Pier
- Beverly Hills
- Dodger Stadium
- Venice Beach
Los Angeles is a huge city therefore you’ll need a vehicle to get around. Walking Los Angeles is not an option! Make sure you choose a hotel in a location near the landmarks you’re planning on visiting so you don’t spend all your time commuting. However, it’s inevitable that you must hire a car to explore the Los Angeles landmarks.
Bradbury Building – Top Instagram Spot
The Branbury Building is an office building which was built in 1893. From the exterior, it’s nothing special. However the interior features staircases lifts and landings decorated with ironwork. For this reason it’s a top Los Angeles Instagram spot. Moreover, it’s featured in movies such as the original Blade Runner, Lethal Weapon 4 and Wolf.
Capitol Records Building
Also known as the Capitol Records Tower, it resembles a stack of records with the spindle pointing upwards. As a result of this design it’s the most iconic building of the city. Did you know the building collapsed during the 1974 movie, Earthquake.
Los Angeles City Hall
The easily identifiable Los Angeles City Hall was built in 1928. Inside is the current mayor of Los Angeles office. It’s free to ascend to the Observation Deck for panoramic Los Angeles views. An interesting fact about the building is that it’s the tallest base isolated structure in the world. The reason it’s base isolated is because Los Angeles is earthquake prone. Finally, you may recognise it as the Daily Planet from the original Superman series.
Hire a Car to Explore the Los Angeles Landmarks
US Bank Tower
The US Bank Tower became an iconic building on the world stage when it was zapped by aliens in the movie, Independence Day. At 310 meters tall it’s the second tallest building in Los Angeles after the Wilshire Grand Center. Finally, the Wilshire Grand Building is also a hotel therefore you can sleep in the tallest building in Los Angeles.
Maybe the most iconic of all Los Angeles landmarks is the Hollywood sign. Unfortunately, you cannot get close to the Hollywood sign. However, you can admire it from a distance. There’s even a viewpoint from the Hollywood Hall of Fame.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Who is your favorite Hollywood star? Part of the fun of the walk of fame is finding the star of your hero. More often than not, there’ll be an impersonator next to each star. In my case, I not only got a photo with the Michael Jackson star but also a photo with a Michael Jackson impersonator. Did you know Michael Jackson made the ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ short movie in Salvador, Brazil? Lastly, you’ll also find lots of souvenir shops as well as tour companies surrounding the walk of fame.
TCL Chinese Theatre
The TCL Chinese Theater is part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s a movie palace built in 1926. As a matter fact it now houses one of the largest movie screens in the United States. In front of the theater are handprints, footprints and autographs of Hollywood stars in the concrete floor.
Griffith Park and Observatory
For panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline I recommend you visit Griffith park. Can you identify the US Bank Tower in this image?
Universal Studios is one of the major theme parks in not only Los Angeles but the whole of America. In addition, there’s no more suitable city to visit Universal Studios than Los Angeles, home of movies! I was lucky enough to meet my countryman Mr Bean, plus you’ll encounter several meet and greets throughout the park. There are real life Transformers outside the famous ride who’ll come out for meet and greets to a schedule. Bumble Bee, Optimus Prime and Megatron are the 3 you can get your photo with. I chose to get a VIP pass whilst in the park which meant I could jump the queue for all the rides and shows, I recommend this on busy days!
Los Angeles has its own Disneyland. Need I say more? Did you know the Disney Castle was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle near Munich, Germany.
Jim Henson Studios
Who hasn’t heard of the muppets? Both the Muppet Show and the Muppets Movie were produced at Jim Henson Studios. If you drive past, you’ll see a Kermit the Frog statue on top of the gates.
The Staples Center is the home of both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers basketball teams. In addition, it’s home to the Los Angeles Kings ice hockey team. Finally, for Michael Jackson fans, this was the location of the ‘This Is It’ rehearsals and the Michael Jackson memorial service.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. What’s more, it’s a unique building which features stunning architecture. For this reason, it’s one of the most iconic Los Angeles landmarks. An interesting fact about the building is that the widow of Walt Disney made the initial donation to this project. It’s was intended to be a gift to the people of Los Angeles.
Rodeo Drive is where the rich and famous of Hollywood shop. As you walk on Rodeo Drive, it’s not unusual to see famous movie stars!
Santa Monica Pier
Firstly, Santa Monica Pier is the end of Route 66 (or the start!). Additionally, there’s the famous Pacific Park sign at the entrance to the pier which is an iconic Instagram spot. For these reasons, this is definitely an important Los Angeles landmark.
As a Michael Jackson fan it was interesting to see the home where he died. The tour driver said he moved here so he could be close to his ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley. Who knows if that is true or not but he was living there to rehearse for his ill fated ‘This Is It’ tour. As you would imagine, you can’t just drive around the houses of the rich and famous therefore you must visit as part of an organised tour. Although the whole of Beverly Hills is an important place to visit, the most famous place to photograph is the Beverly Hills street sign.
The Dodger Stadium is home to the LA Dodgers baseball team. Moreover, it’s the largest baseball stadium in the world. For this reason, a visit to the Dodger stadium is a must for any baseball fan.
You’ve probably heard of muscle beach which is part of Venice beach. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno (the original Incredible Hulk) used to train here back in the 70s/80s. In addition, you’ve probably seen the ladies walking the promenade in the movies. As a result, Venice beach is an interesting place to visit and you’ll love people watching here!
How to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco
To get to San Francisco is very easy, just take I5 North. However, as you’re on vacation in California and you didn’t come to see a highway, consider the picturesque coastal route. Finally, San Francisco is quite a distance from Los Angeles so you may consider taking half the journey on I5 and half on the coastal route. Alternatively, you could stop half way to break the journey.
San Francisco to Reno