20 great things to do in Los Angeles for tourists
From star spotting on Rodeo Drive and at the Griffith Observatory to museum hopping between the Getty and LACMA, your guide to things to do in Los Angeles.
Study the dark past of Japanese immigrants
The Japanese American National Museum, one of the city's best, tells the compelling story of Japanese immigration to the United States. It all began in 1882 when employers were barred from importing Chinese labor, so thousands of Japanese flocked to the country instead. Yet they ended up being sent to internment camps during the Second World War and did not become American citizens until 1952. This museum tells their story in a lucid fashion, through documentary and art exhibitions, and a moving display of artifacts from their internment camps. See more in Museums.
See a concert
Not in the least bit cartoonish, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is the crown jewel of the LA Music Center. Designed by Frank Gehry, the auditorium has wonderful acoustics and an open platform stage. It is home to the internationally acclaimed, Gustavo Dudamel–led LA Philharmonic and the LA Master Chorale, but offers a surprisingly varied program of concerts throughout the year.
Stock up on fresh produce
For chic clothes and delicious food, the place to go shopping is the junction of 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue. Here, you'll find The Grove, an open-air mall where you can browse through about 50 top stores, including Abercrombie & Fitch and Barney's New York Co-Op. Adjacent, you'll find the Original Farmer's Market. Set up in 1934, it's expanded from selling fresh produce to offering an international culinary experience from a vast range of stalls. For comfort food, visit Du-Par's (stall 210, 323-933-8446, du-pars.com); for Texan grills, stake out Bryan's Pit BBQ (stall 740, 323-931-2869); and scoop up dessert from Bennett's Ice Cream (stall 548, 323-939-6786).
Raise the drinking bar
The Bar Marmont in Hollywood is fabulously elegant. It has an air of longevity lacking in many other LA hangouts and the décor is exquisite, especially the butterflies pinned to the ceiling. The old-fashioned fixture is livened up with a gastro pub menu, courtesy of Carolynn Spence, former chef de cuisine of New York's fabled Spotted Pig. For an alternative, stylish drinking experience, head Downtown to The Edison, a power-plant-turned-nightspot, with DJs and a weekly burlesque show. Dress up. See more bars and lounges.
Load up on CDs at Amoeba
Sure, iTunes is great, but anyone in search of that arcane track off of that mid-'80s Tom Robinson album knows it isn't perfect. Neither is Amoeba, but it is the largest independent record store in the United States, and the variety of music on offer is amazing, the prices are fair and the staff really know their music. It's a great place to find CDs that you can't track down elsewhere.
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