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Los Angeles California City and Parks

Los Angeles Griffith Park has over 4,210 acres and is the largest municipal park in the United States. It is situated in the eastern Santa Monica Mountain range with elevations ranging from 384 to 1,625 feet above sea level. With an arid climate, the park’s plants vary from coastal sage scrub, oak and walnut woodlands to riparian vegetation with trees in the deep canyons. The California native plants include the California species of oak, walnut, lilac, mountain mahogany, sages, toyon, and sumac. The threatened species of manzanita and berberis are in small quantities in the park.

A large portion of Griffith Park remains unchanged from when the Native American villages occupied the area's lower slopes. Recreational attractions have been developed throughout the park that offers numerous family attractions including a merry-go-round, zoo, camping, golf, picnic areas, soccer, swimming, tennis, and bicycle rentals. There is an assortment of educational and cultural institutions including the Autry National Center. And miles of hiking, jogging, and horseback riding trails. The Greek Theater was built in 1930 and the Griffith Observatory was built 1935. Griffith Park is also home to the Hollywood sign which stands on Mt. Lee.

Travel Info - Griffith Park 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Griffith Park is northwest of downtown Los Angeles, just west of I-5, between Los Feliz Boulevard and the Ventura Freeway (SR 134). Freeway off-ramps to the park from I-5 are Los Feliz Boulevard, Griffith Park and Zoo Drive.

Jason's thoughts - Don't waste your time here as it is nothing more than a glorified 4,000 acres of rocky hilly sand dunes. Little to no trees to hike under and unless you want to picnic only, that means drive in, pull over, sit at the table eat and leave, then there is nothing fun to do here. It exists so the city and county can point to it and say look at what we got. Well on paper it looks good but in reality it is not worth the drive. Hot dusty roads to walk on, steep boring walks, very little views, no wildlife, no water, no restaurants, and nearly every person had trouble speaking English. We asked for directions and there are none. That's right. We were told the trails are NOT marked. Surely that cannot be true we thought after all some of them are miles long. They are NOT marked and therefore the pathetic excuse for a trail map does you no good. If you want a nice bike, hike, run or walk simply find any number of the nice upscale neighborhoods all over LA and go through them. You will enjoy it a lot more.

Kelly's thoughts - I was seriously disappointed with Griffith Park. The sun was blazing down on us on every trail we tried to navigate. The trail map was pathetic and once on a trail there was no direction to any of the overlooks. We came across several people just walking around in circles asking for directions.

los angeles hollywood sign picture

Hollywood Boulevard is between Vine Street and Fairfax Avenue. There is a sense of history walking along the Boulevard as you look up to the architecture of the old buildings and when you read the names of the stars along the sidewalks. As well, there are tattoo shops, fake thrift stores where new clothes are made with old patterns trying to be thrift-store worthy, and an abundance of tacky souvenir stores. Hollywood Boulevard and its surrounding neighborhood isn't the glamorous place people imagine it to be. Hollywood is where the stars work, not where they live. Many people expect to find a glamorous street lined with fancy shops and populated with movie stars. There is nothing much to see on Hollywood Boulevard except for tourists walking the streets eagerly looking at each passerby in hopes of seeing a movie star. Most likely the only stars you will see are the ones you walk on. Most everyone has heard of Hollywood & Vine, but unfortunately there are no notable landmarks at the corner of Hollywood & Vine.

Walking Hollywood Boulevard is a small part of the Hollywood Boulevard experience. Landmarks include: Bob Hope Square (Hollywood and Vine), Grauman's Chinese Theatre and Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, El Capitan Theatre, Frederick's of Hollywood, Hollywood and Highland, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood Wax Museum, Janes House, Kodak Theatre, Masonic Temple, Musso & Frank Grill, Pantages Theatre, Pig 'n Whistle, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium.

Travel Info - Hollywood Boulevard is northwest of downtown Los Angeles. It is accessible from I-10, I-110 and US 101. Or, take the Metro Red line and get off at the Hollywood and Highland stop.

Of the 22 miles of Sunset Boulevard, the best-known 1 1/2 mile section is the famous Sunset Strip between Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The Sunset Strip, between Crescent Heights Boulevard and Doheny Drive, embraces a cutting edge collection of rock clubs, restaurants, boutiques, and Hollywood nightspots. In the evenings the Strip is vibrant with gaudy neon and on weekends the Strip is full of cruisers creating a virtual a traffic jam of celebrity wannabes and people-watchers.

Lining the street of Sunset Boulevard are "Vanity Boards". A Sunset Boulevard trademark, these are colorful, mammoth sized, hand-made billboards. Other landmarks include: The site of Schwab's Pharmacy, The Key Club, Gazzari's, giant billboards, Sunset Strip Tattoo, Chateau Marmont, The Argyle Hotel, Sunset Plaza, Viper Room, Rainbow Bar and Grill, The Roxy, Troubadour, Whisky-a-Go-Go, and London Fog.

Jason's thoughts - Famous, worth a 3-4 hour stroll, fun shopping, people watching, but the movie theatres are $12 - $20 a pop. Cool movie and music stores and clubs for hearing live upcoming bands nearly every night. No room for bladding on the crowded sidewalks and things actually start to look a little dangerous on the street with the thug count on the rise as the night falls.
Sunset Strip - A decent drive only, just people watching out the window, and some cool buildings and trees.

Kelly's thoughts - Personally, me, how I feel about Hollywood Boulevard, I might as well have been walking International Drive in Orlando. I wasn't impressed and I had no need or desire to buy anything. The only store I enjoyed being in was Tower Records, now how original is that. I am glad, however, that I walked Hollywood Boulevard or else I might have always wondered about it's draw. Sunset Strip - We did not walk the Strip, but I think it might have been a little more invigorating than Hollywood Blvd.

los angeles downtown picture

The San Antonio Winery is the only producing winery in Los Angeles of the 100 producing wineries that once lined the Los Angeles River Basin. Today, the Los Angeles River is paved and the vineyards have been replaced with industry. The winery is still in its original location on Lamar Street and the city of LA designated San Antonio Winery a Cultural Historical Landmark. The winery has a popular restaurant, a comprehensive tasting room, and an international wine shop with hundreds of domestic and imported labels.

The Maddelena Restaurant dining area sits among aging casks with European hospitality. The food is absolutely fresh with well-sized portions of fresh pastas, grilled entrees, rotisserie chicken, gourmet salads, delicious sandwich plates and desserts.

Travel Info - San Antonio Winery and Maddalena Restaurant are located at 737 Lamar Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031.

Jason's thoughts - Los Angeles' only remaining true vineyard and winery. Great fun with the complimentary wine pours, great lunch at the in-house restaurant. I would definitely recommend a visit if you are within 90 minutes of this place.

Kelly's thoughts - The San Antonio Winery is an oasis in this part of LA. As soon as I saw the building I was feeling good. The wine tasting area is large with plenty of room for many tasters. Even at lunch, the mood of the restaurant was romantic with white lights and casks stacked against the walls. I had a large portion of delicious Sea Bass with rice and fresh vegetables. Jason said his crab cake and shrimp was the best he had ever had.

los angeles original farmers market picture

The Farmer's Market a historic Los Angeles landmark which first opened in 1934. It has over 100 shops, restaurants and grocers and is definitely the best place to people watch. There is a whole world of cuisine to experience at the Market. The Grove at Farmers Market is an 80,000 square foot outside shopping district with bars and restaurants that opened in 2002. During the summer there are free concerts at The Grove. The Los Angeles Times lists the Farmers Market as the best place in Los Angeles to spot celebrities.

Travel Info - Farmer's Market is located at 6333 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Farmers Market and The Grove are located at Third and Fairfax, next to CBS Television City.

Jason's thoughts - Fun, outdoor multistoried mall combined with exotic fruit and vegetable market make this a descent day trip for sightseeing.

Kelly's thoughts - I totally loved the atmosphere at The Farmers Market and The Grove. Unfortunately I was unable to partake of all the exotic foods at the Market, but I did love my large portion of corned beef and cabbage and corn-on-the-cob. This is definitely a place I would frequent due to the casual and diverse market atmosphere and the trendy shopping all in one place. No doubt, this is one of my favorite places in LA. Map location Los Angeles. Click for California beaches or full-time rv diary.


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