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Anaheim - Anaheim is where one goes to Disneyland and the sister park by Disney, California Adventure. Close by to Anaheim is Buena Park, home to Knotts Berry Farm, Medieval Times, and Pirates Dinner Adventure. (Note: Nearby to Anaheim is Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and the Huntington Beach areas.).
Getty Museums (Info at: Getty.edu/visit/) -- There are two locations: The Getty CENTER in Brentwood (westside of Los Angeles) and the Getty VILLA in Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway (overlooking the Pacific Ocean).
The Getty CENTER - The museum admission is free of charge but there is a parking fee of $15. The museum grounds offer an excellent view of the Los Angeles area, The Getty Center has an extensive European collection. The architecture of the museum is modern and there are extensive gardens between the galleries. Computer-aided narrations are provided to enhance your vist. There are also several places to eat at the museum, in all price ranges.
The Getty VILLA - The museum admission is free of charge but there is a parking fee of $15. The museum features Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities arranged by themes including "Gods and Goddesses", "Dionysos and the Theater", and "Stories of the Trojan War". The main museum building (the villa) is a reproduction based on the Villa dei Papyrii at Herculaneum that was covered with lava and ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ancient times. The museum is set amidst a background of Roman-inspired architecture and gardens.
Grand Tour of LA ( Los Angeles ) - This is "a must" for all visitors to help in grasping the size of the city as well as provide a concise exposure to many of its popular tourist attractions. Excellent value for the money. Some popular companies offer this type of tour are: Starline Tours, All Los Angeles Tours, and Grayline Tours.
Hollywood - The main attractions here are the Chinese Theater, the Dolby Theater (formerly known as the Kodak Theater) -- home of the Academy Awards Show, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, the Hollywood Wax Museum, Madame Tussaud's, the Hollywood & Highland Center Mall and the Hollywood Walk of Fame -- a 1 mile/ 1.6 km stretch of Hollywood Bl plus a small section of Vine Street saluting the stars of yesterday and today in the form of bronze plaques imbedded in the sidewalk identifying the individual being honored and the medium he or she represents: movies, television, radio, or music.
In the summer, the nearby Hollywood Bowl is a grand outdoor venue for musical performance -- borh classical and modern. You can dine at the Bowl or bring your own picnic fare and enjoy it in one of the many, nearby picnic areas. Hollywood is served by both metro rail (the 'red line' subway) as well as numerous metro buses. The Hollywood & Highland station of the red line, adjacent to the Mall of the same name, is the closest metro rail station to the Hollywood Bowl. The station is just around the corner from the Chinese Theatre, the Knitting Factory, the Eqyptian Theatre, The Pig and Whistle, Musso and Franks, and many other restaurants, shops, bars, live music venues and dance clubs. There are also numerous metro buses that pull up adjacent to the Hollywood & Highland Center Mall.
You can even take the red line train to Universal Studios (1 stop north of Hollywood/Highland), or head south into downtown which has numerous stops including the final one at Union (rail) Station. From there, you can hop the Gold Line metro rail train to Pasadena (great if you are visiting during the Rose Parade). To learn more about public transit, look at the FAQs link at the top of the TOPIC LIST in the Los Angeles Forum, here on Trip Advisor. Once there, click on "Local Transportation". This section explains how to use L.A.'s public transit website, www.metro.net.
Santa Monica - A coastal city with the largest beach area in the region. Santa Monica's beaches are the closest ones to the city of Los Angeles. Santa Monica also boasts the Third Street Promenade, an outdoor, shopping dining, and entertainment area featuriing numerous movie theaters and live "street performers" -- musicians, jugglers, etc. In additon, the nearby Santa Monica Pier has a small amusement park and arcade.
Access to the Beach and Boardwalk (known as "the strand") is afforded at the Pier as well as from several staircases from the bluffs overlooking the beach in Palisades Park. The strand and its associated bike path follows the beach southbound through various beach communities and terminates at the city of Redondo Beach.
Malibu - Traveling north and west from Santa Monica (on the Pacific Coast Highway). will bring you to the exclusive community known as Malibu. There is also a single metro bus (the #534) that goes from downtown Santa Monica into Malibu)
Venice & Marina del Rey - To the south of Santa Monica (via the street or the strand) is the contiguous beach community of Venice. Inland from Venice is Marina del Rey, a beautiful yacht harbor with an inland waterway and extensive outdoor dining with views of the area.
Six Flags Magic Mountain--From thrilling roller coasters to mild rides for the tots, check out this location of Six Flags. Featuring Batman the Ride, Superman the Escape, and superheroes shows, this park offers a wide variety of entertainment. Located in Valencia, to the north of the sprawling city of Los Angeles.
Universal Studios - A theme park which includes a tour of the backlot of Universal Studios. The tour is aboard a tram of about 250 people which drives through familiar exterior sets seen in the movies and countless television shows, and by the soundstages and other buildings essential to movie-making at Universal. In addition, the tram becomes "an theme park ride" to some extent since it drives through various "special effects" environments such as the parting of the Red Sea, an avalanche, and an attack of the shark from the movie "Jaws". In addition to the tram tours, there are several live, movie-themed shows and "movie-themed" rides. Nearby the Park (outside of the entrance gates) is Universal Studios City Walk, an outdoor mall with restaurants, stores, and and night clubs.
Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour - This is a "tram tour" of the back lot of Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank. The tram holds only 11 guests plus a tour guide/driver so the tour has a personal feel to it and you will be able to ask questions of your tour guide easily. Warner Bros. is heavily involved in television production (as well as movies, to a lesser extent) so it is likely that you will have the opportunity to explore several soundstages and auxiliiary buildings for TV programs that are familiar to you. Unlike the standard Universal Tour, you have the opportunity to get off the tram a number of times to get a closer look at things. (Universal offers a more "in depth" tour that affords this same ability).