Walt Disney Concert Hall#16 in Best Things To Do in Los Angeles
This Frank Gehry-designed concert hall's curvaceous, stainless steel façade is an imposing structure in downtown LA. The hall helped revive this particular section of downtown, which was once dominated by mundane office buildings and lackluster entertainment options. Now, nightlife and culture burgeon in the area, and the concert hall is at the forefront. Music-loving travelers will want to catch one of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's performances here. (For ticket and price information, visit the Los Angeles Philharmonic's website.)
But you don't have to invest in concert tickets to experience this performance venue: You can follow a docent-led tour or a self-guided audio tour of the exterior and interior (though the actual concert auditorium is off-limits). Hourlong guided and audio tours are both free; audio tours are offered Monday through Saturday from either 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 2 to 5 p.m., while guided tour hours vary by day and are generally available on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For a full tour schedule, visit The Music Center's website.
While some past travelers found the tour dull, others left awestruck. If you're interested in architecture – or simply want to see another side of Los Angeles – a visit to the hall is highly recommended.
You'll find the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, a few blocks northeast of the 7th Street/Metro Center and Pershing Square Metro stations on the Red, Purple, Blue or Expo lines. There is parking available underneath the venue (which generally costs $9 per vehicle), and there are also additional parking garages nearby. The hall's box office is open Tuesday through Sunday between noon and 6 p.m., and facilities like restrooms, refreshment concessions and a gift shop can be found inside.
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#1 Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park
Griffith Observatory sits on the south face of Mount Hollywood and overlooks the Los Angeles basin. Its location gives visitors impressive views of the surrounding area, which many rave about. But there's more than just a pretty photo-op here. The observatory hosts fascinating exhibitions and features a top-notch planetarium.
Most recent visitors cited the beautiful setting as Griffith Observatory's main draw, though the free entry was certainly a bonus. However, you will have to pay between $3 and $7 to see the planetarium shows. Griffith Observatory is open from noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with extended hours on weekends. Free but limited parking is available along the winding roads leading up to the property, or visitors can park in the small lot by the observatory for $10 per hour. A gift shop and cafe can be found on-site as well. For more information, check out Griffith Observatory's website.
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