As the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles is overflowing with theatre, art, dance, film and television. The city has a variety of options for every entertainment taste.
The creative activity in the theatres of Los Angeles proves the naysayers wrong: just because the city's more frivolous side is the most publicized, Los Angeles does indeed have a rich history of culture and soul. The Performing Arts centre of Los Angeles County complex in downtown Los Angeles houses many of the city's major theatre venues, including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum, Pantages Theatre, and the Ahmanson Theatre.
Los Angeles is indeed multi-faceted: with beautiful beaches on one end, trendy clubs on another, and amazing museums spread throughout, it's no wonder people flock here to get a taste of everything it has to offer. The Getty centre is a breathtaking architectural work before you even see the collections inside. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
has impressive permanent collections as well as top-billed shows. If contemporary art is more your cup of tea, then pay a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) which has featured extremely innovative art exhibitions. L.A. is also home to many smaller, private galleries, concentrated especially in Venice and the Melrose area of Hollywood. If nature and science excite you more than a rare Van Gogh, the California Science centre is a hands-on educational facility that takes science to the extreme while the Natural History Museum has 35 galleries of environmental science displays to explore. For a more serious-minded museum visit, the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance is a stop for the humanitarian-minded tourist. The museum offers classes in racial diversity and acceptance, and offers tours for school children and interested adults. It is a powerful, moving and informative institution.
For those who have eclectic or more specialized tastes, be sure to check out the Museum of Neon Art
, the Vintage Animation Gallery and the Museum In Black.
Film Mann's Chinese theatre
on Hollywood Boulevard stands out as one of the most famous cinema houses ever built. Crowds descend upon the faux-Asian theatre every day to measure the famous feet and hands imprinted on the pavement outside. Across the street from the Mann's Chinese, the Egyptian theatre stands in its Vegas-style glory.
With countless small theatres and clubs in Los Angeles, open mic
nights for struggling comedians are everywhere. For a more polished performance check out the famous Groundlings. This well-known "training camp" for television shows like Saturday Night Live
has an ever-changing lineup of up-and-comers with an occasional star headliner. The Improv and the Comedy Store consistently feature well-known, professional headliners as well as budding new talent.
When they are not out partying on the Sunset Strip, rock and roll musicians can be found performing at several Los Angeles venues. The El Rey Theatre and the Palladium
are great for watching shows while in the city. The Forum, the Gibson Amphitheatre and the Staples centre are the location of choice for larger rock shows. Classical and jazz concerts are usually found at the Hollywood Bowl and The Greek Theatre.
L.A. sports fans have plenty to keep them busy with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Clippers, the WNBA's Sparks, the Dodgers and the Kings. If those sports aren't your bag, check out the Hollywood Park Racetrack
for some fast-paced betting fun.
Amusement and Theme Parks
Los Angeles and its surrounding areas are home to many world-famous and exciting amusement parks. The most well-known the world over is Disneyland, America's Magic Kingdom and Disney's California Adventure. Experience the magic of moviemaking at Universal Studios
and check out the good-time rides and attractions of Knott's Berry Farm
. For roller-coaster thrills go to Six Flags Magic Mountain, and for watersliding chills, don't miss Raging Waters. Nightclubs
What's hot in this city changes almost overnight, and word of mouth is everything. However, for a good sampling of what L.A. has to offer, be sure to check out: Area, The Knitting Factory
, LAX, and Beauty Bar
Shopping and Hanging Out
People-watching in Los Angeles can definitely be considered a spectator sport. Although it bears no resemblance to the former hit television show, Melrose
is the best pavement spectacle. Crammed full of pavement cafes, bars, coffeehouses and boutiques, the street is always full of activity and unusual characters.
If true Hollywood stars and Ubër-Glam shopping are what you are looking for, Rodeo Drive
is the ultimate destination. The world-renowned street is always bustling with film stars in baseball caps trying to blend in and Hollywood wives in diamonds trying to stand out. Gucci
and Tiffany & Co.
are all represented here, so if you have buying in mind be sure to bring all of your credit cards.
If the ultra-chic shops and thousand-dollar price tags aren't exactly what you seek, Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade
offers shoppers a wide variety of upscale boutiques and well-known chains, all under the shining sun of this beach town. Universal City Walk is the Valley's answer to great shopping and entertainment along a stretch of pedestrian walkways. And if you're looking for something downright bizarre or unique, don't leave town without checking out Necromance
for all of your Gothic, bone jewellery and dead animal specimen needs or the Wound & Wound Toy Company
specializing in amazing wind-up toys from past and present.