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A Digital Wonderland of My Time in Los Angeles

Updated on June 13, 2017

City of Angels, and everything else...

Known as the City of Angles, Los Angels has had a rich and detailed history that is just as colorful and varied as the residences and travelers it attracts.
Though I only spent 8 days visiting family, it's left an impression that makes me want to go back for more.

Whether it's the stunning landscape that surrounds the city, the innumerable number of activities and restaurants to check out, or the all-walks-of-life characters that are to be found, LA has something to offer for everyone's taste.
Thankfully, I captured some of my favorite moments and want to share the experience in the hopes that others will appreciate the city just as I do.

Some of my experiences were checking out Griffith Park, the PBR rodeo show, and the Griffith Observatory, well-known restaurants like Tony Roma's and the ever-famous Venice Beach. All were highly enjoyable activities and locations. Culture wise, there are multitudes of street artists, photographic moments, and a laid-back atmosphere to most spots in the city, especially at the beaches, local food joints, and other family-friendly tourists locations. Since it was early February, the weather was primarily sunny, though slightly chilly at times. Though the city is densely packed, there was never a time that the crowds felt overwhelming or smothering.

Downtown LA During Sunset from Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

Although it was windy and more chilly than I anticipated, Griffith Observatory was everything I'd want in an observatory. It had a great scenic view, rich history, and plenty of exhibits to interact with. Families, students, couples, and other small groups that populated the observatory. There wasn't any point that the observatory felt overcrowded though.
Some of the interesting exhibits detailed the observatory's history, gave various facts on both scientists, including a life-size figurine of Albert Einstein, and astronomy, and had modules to show info about the planets. An enjoyable aspect for children was the ability to see one's weight on the different planets. Another fun feature included the interactive fact videos that were also featured.
Planning to spend the day?
Take the elevator down a floor or two and grab a bite at the cafeteria. Located next to the gift shop, the cafeteria offers a mountainside view overlooking LA. The outside eating area is spacious and sure to be a moment to capture for those wanting landscape photos or family snapshots.

Hollywood Sign

The famous Hollywood sign viewed from Griffith Park.
The famous Hollywood sign viewed from Griffith Park.

Is LA a City to Visit?

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Tasty Eats!

Famous In-N-Out bag.
Famous In-N-Out bag.
Perfect rack of ribs.
Perfect rack of ribs.

Restaurants and Beaches

California is known for its good vibes and sandy beaches. Checking out Venice Beach, it featured a whole bazaar of market vendors on the boardwalk who were selling clothes, street art, and other quirky items to catch a buyer's eye. I was even able to haggle a custom t-shirt being made for a friend of mine. The beach itself had plenty of dunes, soft sand, and a soothing atmosphere with how underpopulated it was during February. Another interesting point was the famous Muscle Beach, which had bodybuilders working on their physiques. Regardless of the time of year when visiting Venice Beach, there are plenty of picturesque moments to capture.

One of the best restaurants that I had the pleasure to check out was Tony Roma's, which had fantastic ribs, an extensive menu, and was in Universal City. Another fun place I got to check out, was one of the well-known In-and-Outs that dotted the city. Surprisingly, In-and-Out always had a fast-paced and very packed seating area when going to grab something to eat. If going out to eat isn't in the budget, cooking old favorites or new dishes where one is staying is still affordable and a bonding experience to try out with friends or relatives.

Sunset Strip

Check out legendary sites on the Sunset Strip. There's the Hollywood Walk of Fame, various street artists, and theaters to catch anyone's interest.
Check out legendary sites on the Sunset Strip. There's the Hollywood Walk of Fame, various street artists, and theaters to catch anyone's interest.

Sunset Strip and Hollywood Studios

Some other places I'd recommend are the Sunset Strip, which hosts a plethora of places to shop, eat, and take in. From hole in the wall food joints, to up-scale venues, there are options for any price-point and every multitude of craving. In terms of local culture, street artists that specialize in different styles that are sure to tempt one into buying at least one or two custom-made pieces. Seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a highlight anyone should try to take in. There is also 8000 Sunset, which features restaurants, a movie theater, and a whole array of shops all in one convenient place, right next to its own parking garage.

Hollywood Studios was one of the last places I saw on my trip. It was full of excitement and families enjoying the evening. There was even a sideshow concert with singers and dancers being performed that drew both kids and adults to take part in. Whether it was the dancing competitions or just enjoying the boisterous environment, everyone seemed to have a smile on their face. Restaurants and various gift shops lined the spacious avenues. It was bright and cheery, which was a perfect way to end my trip.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Although I didn't get to spend much time at Universal Studios, it was a fun place to check out with family.
Although I didn't get to spend much time at Universal Studios, it was a fun place to check out with family.

Saying Goodbye

There were many locations I had the chance to see, even including the Hollywood Pantages Theatre and the Glendale Theater, both that put on fantastic productions. Motown The Musical was performed at the Pantages and is a musical I'd recommend for everyone to see. The theater itself has a vintage decor and interesting cultural history. Glendale put on the show "Lights Out!' which was based in the style of British comedy, which was a treat to take in. The culture that I was able to see in the plays, parks, people, and artwork made me appreciate the life that lives in enormous cities like Los Angeles. Yet the specific essence I was drawn to was the creativity, freedom, and spontaneity, which I noticed no matter where I went.

The time I spent in LA made me cherish the family I was able to spend time with, see events and places so uniquely unlike where I live in Florida, and it helped revitalized my passion to explore, travel, and pursue my creative interests. It's also a reminder to work hard to thrive, as I saw so many people do to stand out in such a populated city.

I'm grateful for the vacation I was able to take, and hope that this overview has helped others to think about making a trip out to California. Be it the artistic culture, relaxed environment, or different styles and speed of vacation plans, there is something to entice singles, families, or groups of friends to this vibrant city.

Thousands of Feet Up in the Air

Time to fly home.
Time to fly home.

© 2017 Blair Runge

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    • Blair Runge profile imageAUTHOR

      Blair Runge 

      13 months ago from Tampa

      Thank you Cyndi for the feedback and I'm glad I was able to help renew your interest :)

      I hope you'll have the chance to take up those invites from your friends and son soon, and be able to see the Walk of Fame .

      Have a nice day!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      13 months ago from Georgia

      It was a pleasure to see Los Angeles through your eyes. It is on my list to visit receiving constant invites from friends and my son who live in various cities surrounding the city. It seems you were surprised by the weather, just as I was when I went to the West coast. Maybe finding that sunshine and blue sky is tricky these days.

      As a movie buff, I look forward to seeing the Walk of Fame. Your pictures are great and you have renewed my interest in visiting LA. Take care. Cyndi

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