Downtown, Walk of Fame, Hollywood, Santa Monica Beach
The city of angels is full of experiences and places that every traveler would like to see. Choosing between them, in an often tense vacation schedule, is not easy. Our preference was to walk through the city center – Downtown, the Walk of Fame with the stars, hike up the hills above Hollywood and end the day on the beach in Santa Monica.
Arrival to the city
America is built for cars, so it is standard for large cities that several 6 or more highways pass through the city. This is how the city of Los Angeles greeted us on our arrival from the north. The skyscrapers of the Downtown rise in the distance and attract you like a magnet and the traffic thickens as you get closer to the center.
Sunset over Downtown
It doesn't seem like that, but since we first saw the skyscrapers, it took us over an hour to get to the city to reach them. But we had fun because the sunsets are really spectacular.
Walk through the city center - Downtown
In America, they use the term downtown (historically given) for the city center, and it is mostly a business center with modern skyscrapers. You will find here mainly the headquarters of large banks and their main office locations. We drove under them and parked here (for about 4 hours 10 dollars). Next we went for a walk around.
The main library building
America does not have many historic buildings in our European concept. Everything older than 100 is a historical monument. Nevertheless, even in the heart of modern Downtown, you can find this building of the Central Library, which at least tries to look older than it is with its style (built in 1986).
Skid Row - the largest squat in the entire US
It wouldn't be America not to be full of contrasts, and we came across one of them by mistake. During our random evening walk around Downtown, we wandered all the way to the next neighborhood. From the city center, we took about 15 minutes' walk from luxury restaurants to the center of the largest official squat in the United States. We were „lucky“ that we went through it all (about 6 blocks), because we had no idea about something like that and with each block the surroundings got worse. After this experience, which may not always be positive, especially when it is strong, we googleed the area. The rich, many decades-old history of this district is worth reading, for example, on Wikipedia (who knows English), who is interested. In short, I would like to summarize here that a very large homeless community here has legally won its right to live on the streets. The court acknowledged that not having a home was not a crime and banned police raids.
Los Angeles Theater
On the way back from the squat and through Downtown to our car, we still walked through the part where there are many Los Angeles theaters, like this one on South Brodway.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The next day we set off for the well-known Walk of Fame. It is a long street lined on both sides by a sidewalk with stars featuring the names of famous actors, singers, directors and other artists for whom Hollywood is so famous. Probably all of their film studios have a big name here, such as Warner Bros., etc. During the walk, you pass an alley of souvenir shops and in the very center you can take pictures with local performers in costumes of famous film characters.
Stars of fame
Everyone will probably find their film hero here. People like to take pictures kneeling by a star that was touched by a personality. So for some favorites, you have to wait for your turn to take photos.
Hollywood sign on the hills above the city
Our next stop was another popular tourist attraction, a visit to the giant Hollywood sign above the city. In the end, we did not go under the sign itself, but on the hill, which is closer to the parking lot and thus provides a view of the sign, as well as a distant view of the surroundings.
Observatory - 1st stop on the way up
You can park for free under the hill and walk upstairs. The first few meters you climb the sidewalk, which leads to the observatory and lines the road, which can be reached by car. Upstairs is a small (quite expensive) parking lot, or you can just turn around and go down again. You can also buy an entrance to the observatory, but we were unlucky because it was closed for the New Year, when we were there. But we didn't mind this, because the main reason we came here was the view, and it was worth it with each meter climbed.
The path further above the observatory leads only along dusty footpaths. Of course, we chose the steepest one with a steeply slippery dust up. When resting and breathing, there is still something to enjoy, so we didn't even realize how fast we were climbing. We haven't even met many people on this journey. But there are many paths of different inclinations leading up. After all, the whole hills above Hollywood are crossed really densely by roads.
Downtown from the top
From the top against the reclining mountain from the Hollywood sign you do not know which side to look at first. You have a view of the Hollywood Sign, the observatory below you, or the city with its downtown skyscrapers.
Ceiling from the top to the other side
The top also provides a view of the other side, which was hidden until now. There is a view of the mighty mountains above the city (there are even 3 thousand), where locals go skiing or just look at the snow. The next day we drove along the Angeles Crest highway, which is definitely worth it.
View of Hollywood Sign from the top
One last look at the surroundings, admiring the view of the famous Inscription and the descent down again and that it was pretty steep. We managed the whole ascent in about 2 hours, but if you feel like it, you can spend the whole day walking along the roads.
Beach in Santa Monica
At the end of the day, we drove through the Beverly Hills neighborhood to the suburbs of LA, which is a beautiful beach in Santa Monica. You will find an endless golden sand beach, sea waves, seagulls and well-being.
Along the beach between the sand dunes is a many kilometers long asphalt road, which is used by skaters, cyclists, pedestrians and daredevils on skateboards. Pioneers of skateboarding and in-line skating first appeared on this California highway in their beginnings.
Pier with attractions
Not every good American beach can do without its pier, on which people can walk and get a little closer to the ocean. Santa Monica Beach is famous for its many pilgrimage attractions and delicacies. You will also find the Bubba a Gump restaurant, most of which is probably associated with the film Fotest Gump.
Sunset over the beach
At the end of our day, we said goodbye to the ocean here at sunset, because we headed inland to Las Vegas the next day. The scenery at sunset with a baywatch booth reminded us of the famous 90's series from this environment – the Coast Guard.
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