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The first-time visitor may well find Los Angeles thrilling and threatening in equal proportions; it's a place that picks you up and sweeps you along whether you want it to or not. While it has its fine-art museums, California cuisine and a few old-fashioned urban plazas, what people really come here for is to experience the city that has come to epitomize the American Dream – the fantasy worlds of Disneyland and Hollywood, as well as the gilded opulence of Beverly Hills and Malibu.

Top Ten Los Angeles Attractions

Downtown Los Angeles
Every year an estimated 10 million visitors pass through Downtown L.A. for business or pleasure. Attracting travelers from all over the globe, LA offers the unique blend of perfect climate year round, the sparkle of the film industry and a diverse selection of incredible restaurants, entertainment, museums and nightlife.

Los Angeles Convention Center
Located three blocks from Hilton Checkers Los Angeles, the LA Convention Center is home to many large and small meeting every year. Some events, like the L.A. Auto Show and California Gift Show, are large scale consumer events open to the public. It offers 770,000 square feet of exhibit space, 54 meeting rooms, a 299 seat theater and on-site parking for 5600 cars.

STAPLES Center
Opened in 1999, the STAPLES Center is home to sports teams including the Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, Kings and Avengers, as well a major concert venue hosting the most popular entertainers. The arena has 1200 television monitors and, as part of a specially designed $1.5 million Bose facility sound system, 675 separate speakers outside of the seating area, so fans never miss any of the action. And a steep vertical pitch allows almost every seat a clear view of center stage.

Walt Disney Concert Hall
The L.A. Philharmonic's new home is a majestic and unique heart-stopping structure with superior aesthetics and acoustics. Designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall includes a main hall able to accommodate up to 2,265, the BP Hall for smaller, more intimate events, and the 250-seat Redcat theatre and art gallery.

MOCA
MOCA is the West Coast's premier showcase of modern art. Its mission is the understanding and exhibiting of art created since the 1940s. Financed by private donations and developed with pieces acquired from private collections, MOCA's permanent collection features a growing selection of challenging work by postwar artists such as Diebenkorn, de Kooning, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Mondrian, Pollock, Rauschenberg and Rothko. The museum also hosts major touring shows like the Andy Warhol retrospective during the summer of 2002.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Boasting one of the largest stages in the country, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion has a capacity of 3,189 and is the official home of the the Los Angeles Opera. It has also played host to noted dance companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet and events such as the annual Academy Awards presentations. Located at First and Grand, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is just four blocks from Hilton Checkers Los Angeles.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Located at Temple and Grand, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is the first Roman Catholic Cathedral to be erected in the western United States in 30 years. It opened after just three years of construction in September 2002. Designed by Spanish architect Professor Jose Rafael Moneo, the structure is a dynamic, contemporary design with virtually no right angles. The cathedral seats up to 3000 but superbly blends grand public spaces with more intimate private areas. Must sees include the 80-foot tall, 45-ton cherry wood pipe organ and the 50 foot concrete cross "lantern" adorns the front of the Cathedral. At night its glass-protected alabaster windows are illuminated and can be seen at a far distance.

Universal Studios
Located in Universal City, just north of Los Angeles, this world-renowned theme park features exciting attractions representing popular movies and television shows. Park houses thrill rides, great attractions and terrific live shows year-round. Attractions include a replica of the famous "Psycho" house, "Jaws" adventure ride and "King Kong" adventure.

Beverly Hills
There is no doubt that this is the most famous neighborhood in the United States, and worth visiting. A wonderful neighborhood for shopping, dining, and people watching. Beverly Hills manages to attract an amazing array of wealth and style. Bordered by downtown Hollywood to the east and the San Diego Freeway to the west Beverly Hills offers an amazing walking and sightseeing tour, including the Hollywood Bowl and Mann's Chinese Theater.

  • Rodeo Drive
    This famous strip of stylish shops is a shoppers paradise. Shoppers will find chic boutiques by Armani, Gucci, Christian Dior, Chanel, Valentino, and Bijan. In addition to brand-name boutiques, the area also boasts several small stylish shopping centers.

Hollywood
Hollywood, where dreams become reality, opened its first motional picture studio in 1911. Today, Hollywood is synonymous with the film industry, portraying visions of glamour and nostalgia to a degree unmatched anywhere else. Must sees include the infamous 50-foot Hollywood sign set atop the Hollywood Hills, Mann's Chinese Theatre, showcasing hand and footprints from stars dating back to 1927 and The Walk of Fame, 18 blocks of large metal stars honoring Hollywood's finest stars past and present.

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
    This legendary sidewalk honors more than 2,500 celebrities. Each bronze medallion, set into the center of a granite star, pays commemorates a famous television, film, radio, theater, or recording personality. Visitors are thrilled by the sight of famous names like Marilyn Monroe, Rudolph Valentino, James Dean, John Lennon, Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong. New names are being added on a continuous basis.
  • The "Hollywood" Sign
    These 50-foot-high white sheet-metal letters have come to symbolize the movie industry and the city itself. The sign was erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a real-estate development. A thorny hiking trail leads toward the sign from Durand Drive near Beachwood Drive, but the best view is from down below

 


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