USA’s Most Entertaining Cities Vol 1: L.A.
For much of the globe, the perception of Los Angeles is of a land of rolling hills, populated by movie stars, beaches, and towering palms. Scratch beneath the surface of that stereotypical view and you fill find out that L.A. is much more than that and has an undeniable allure.
It’s endless sunshine, glorious natural surroundings, abundance of cultural venues, and world class attractions have long lured people into its fantasy world. Home of Hollywood, L.A. is an exhilarating hub offering a wide variety of things to see and do, for which it is named the “Entertainment Capital of the World”.
Since it is the city leading the world in the creation of motion pictures, television production, and recording music, one of the first must places to see in L.A. is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There, more than 2500 movie starts and performers have been honoured with a pink-marble sidewalk star.As a fan of classic movies and fine music, it was an amazing experiences to stroll down in the neighbourhood while checking out the mark of legends such Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Cary Grant, and Frank Sinatra.
One of the best way to discover L.A., is to go to Santa Monica, a captivating city on the fringe of Los Angeles. The city has a vibe like no other; it is the essence of the California lifestyle. Everything about it sizzles, from the numerous shops and restaurants, to its impressive 5-kilometre-long coastline. For me, the most impressive part was the beautiful sunset, filled with vibrant colors, looking as it is taken from a movie.
The Santa Monica Pier, which is the oldest pier on the West Coast, is perfect for taking a walk and enjoying the amusement park atmosphere where you can take the nine-story high Ferris Wheel. The Third Street Promenade, known for its multitude of restaurants, cinemas, and street performances is also fun to walk through.
Going through the Walk of Fame and the Santa Monica Pier is a great way to feel the laid-back lifestyle of Los Angeles but to really understand why it is considered the capital of entertainment you must visit at least one of its five theme parks. Since my last visit 10 years ago in Disneyland, I wanted to go there again, so choosing a theme park wasn’t really a question for me. The label “Happiest Place on Earth” is nothing less than reality here. It is designed as a huge city, where its little streets are always clean, employees are “honorary citizens”, and even has its own City Hall.
The park features seven distinct areas including: Fantasyland, Frontierland, Critter Country, Adventureland, Mickey’s Toon town, and New Orleans Square.There is definitely reason to visit every single one of them as it is like crossing into different worlds. One time you are at Tomorrowland, themed to the future and outer space with Star Wars themed restaurants having Jedi burgers, then you go to Adventureland, where you sail in the exciting rivers around the world and explore the jungle.It is one of a kind experience that entertains you and in a way detaches you from reality. Then, when the sun sets, an entire new world emerges. Walking through the looming streets of the now creepy-looking New Orleans square or immersing into the magical parade with spectacular fireworks that illuminate the night sky, you will feel like you are no longer part of the ordinary world but of a fantasy that you will want to never end.
If, however, visiting the magical place of Disneyland isn’t thrilling enough for you, Universal Studios Theme Park is the place that might satisfy you. There, you can immerse yourself in the Hollywood magic and rides based on blockbusters such as Transformers, Jurassic Park, Fast and Furious. Inside, there is even the Wizarding World of Harry Potter you can enter Diagon Alley, visit the iconic Hogwarts Castle, and even buy Voldemort’s wand. Since I already went to Disneyland, I did not go inside Universal Studious but went through the City Walk where you can get a glimpse of what the park is all about and shop from its thematic stores.
To be continued…