Los Angeles is known for many things, sunshine, movie stars, beaches and has become a hot destination for travelers from all over the world. Doing a little research before traveling to Southern California can make your trip more enjoyable, but for those looking for some advice, here is a closer look at the city and its surrounding areas with a bit of local flare.


The downtown area has changed significantly over the last few years and now offers a host of cultural centers. Art and theater lovers now have several options to choose from, but a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art is a must. With over 5,000 paintings, prints, and photos, this center has something for everyone and a place you can plan a whole day around if your an art lover.


For those looking for a different experience, visit Little Tokyo and Chinatown for some great Asian cuisine and a stroll through one of the more unique areas in all of Los Angeles.


Of course no visit to this part of California is complete without a trip to Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The Hollywood sign is one of the most popular landmarks in the world. The Walk of Fame down Hollywood Boulevard and a visit to Grauman's Chinese Theater will take you back in time. This area also has a rich history in Rock music and several of the local clubs where Poison, Guns and Roses, and other metal bands from the 80's got their start are still open for business and offer some great entertainment with the latest upcoming and coming stars of the music industry.


Beverly Hills is a must for shoppers and star seekers. Rodeo drive offers some of the most glamorous styles of clothing and accessories offered and has a great atmosphere for those in town for a few days. Sight seeing tours of the mansions that surround this upscale community are terrific and with a little luck, you could get a glimpse of one of the top movie or entertainment stars on your trip.


Venice Beach is another popular spot and one for the whole family to enjoy. With beautiful beaches and an array of entertainment, including some carnival rides, a trip down the boardwalk will not only bring a smile to your face, it will give you some of the most lasting memories of your trip to Los Angeles.


If your willing to take a trip out of the big city, several amusement parks are within a short drive. Disneyland is of course the most famous and one the kids will love, but for those looking for more excitement, visit Knott's Berry Farm or Six Flags Magic Mountain for some heart pounding thrill rides that will take your breath away.


With great weather year round and so much to offer, Los Angeles has become one of the top destinations for family vacations in the world, but this town more to offer and for those looking for some culture or just a relaxing time away from home, a trip to California's biggest city is just what the doctor ordered.