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Famed for its fabulous weather and a diversity of offerings that spans everything from beaches to theme parks to the world capital of film and television, Los Angeles is truly in a league of its own. But the City of Angels isn’t just for hopeful starlets or sun-seeking beach bums — this Southern California hub boasts such a wealth of vacation activity options that you are sure to find something that will please each and every member of the family.
For a true taste of Hollywood history, head to the TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s), where children and adults alike can enjoy the tradition of fitting their hands into the cemented prints of Hollywood’s most famous stars. While in the area, delight the kids by grabbing a bite at Pink’s Hot Dogs, a landmark Los Angeles eatery.
To keep the movie magic flowing, spend a day at Universal Studios for an inside look at the industry. While the park’s rides and shows are sure to thrill the whole family, the real treat is the studio’s backlot tour, which offers a peek at iconic film and television sets as well as impressive and exciting special effects demonstrations.
Take advantage of Los Angeles’ enviable year-round sunny skies with a visit to the Santa Monica Pier, which houses rides, games and even a small aquarium, all just steps from the beach, and the Third Street Promenade’s array of shopping and dining. For another outdoor option, take in a baseball game at Dodger Stadium, perfect for a lazy day in the sun or a warm summer evening. Or spend an afternoon exploring L.A.’s giant Farmers’ Market on Fairfax Avenue, which offers tastes of the world’s cuisines and unique culinary finds.
For fun times with a little learning on the side, the city’s most family-oriented museum is the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, which celebrates its centennial this year. Summer visitors can see 53 free-flying butterfly species in the Butterfly Pavilion, open until Sept. 2, and enjoy the new Nature Gardens, set to open this June. In the evening, head to the iconic Griffith Observatory, located on Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, to see the lights of the L.A. skyline, enjoy free stargazing and take in a show at the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.
With avenues for exploring everything from the stars of Hollywood to the stars in the sky, families will soon understand why Los Angeles is like no other.
What to Do:
Griffith Park Observatorywww.griffithobservatory.org
Natural History Museumwww.nhm.org
Santa Monica Pierwww.santamonicapier.org
TCL Chinese Theatrewww.tclchinesetheatres.com
When to Go:Los Angeles boasts a fairly moderate climate for most of the year, so it’s easy to plan a visit for almost any time, although winter can get a little too chilly to fully enjoy the beach.
Getting There:Los Angeles International Airport offers frequent flights from all major carriers to and from the city daily.
Where to Eat:
Canter’s Fairfax Delicatessen and Restaurant419 North Fairfax AvenueLos Angeles, CA 90036323-651-2030www.cantersdeli.com
Famers’ Market6333 West 3rd StreetLos Angeles, CA 90036323-933-9211www.farmersmarketla.com
Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood at Universal CityWalk1000 Universal Studios Blvd. #99Universal City, CA 91608818-622-7625www.hardrock.com
Pink’s Hot Dogs709 N. La Brea Ave.Los Angeles, CA 90039323-931-4223www.pinkshollywood.com
Where to Stay:
The Beverly Garland4222 Vineland AvenueNorth Hollywood, CA 91602818-980-8000www.beverlygarland.com
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows101 Wilshire BoulevardSanta Monica, CA 90401 310-576-7777www.fairmont.com/santa-monica
JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live900 W. Olympic Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90015213-765-8600www.lalivemarriott.com
Loews Hollywood Hotel1755 North Highland AvenueHollywood, CA 90028323-856-1200www.loewshotels.com/hollywood-hotel