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Los Angeles

Los Angeles (Courtesy of Byron W. Moore/Shutterstock.com)

The city of Los Angeles has a lot more going for it than Woody Allen leads us to believe. Stretching along the Pacific from Malibu to Long Beach, the region offers plenty to see and do in what can only be called a sun-kissed blend of adventure, culture and whimsy.

It all melds stylishly with an anything-goes attitude, and whether you're kicking back on one of its fabled beaches, grabbing a ride at a world-class amusement park, plunging into glittery shops for the latest Oscar-worthy fashions (you need to practice a regally bored look to fit in better), dining at Tinseltown hot spots or exploring inspiring world-class museums -- you're in for a magic-carpet ride like no other. And in a city dominated by "show business," prepare for a ride that comes with a good deal of self-indulgent dazzle any time of day, be it a Malibu glamour tan while nonchalantly reading Variety, catching the Pussycat Dolls at the Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard or browsing breathtaking works of art at the Getty.

For those who never watch TV or go to the movies, we should tell you that L.A. is a sprawling metropolis (with an atypically high percentage of beautiful people) with no "center" -- which means you'll wind your way through various neighborhoods and independently incorporated communities, keeping your eyes peeled for celebs and clusters of paparazzi everywhere (did you know that the city's Zagat restaurant guide actually has a "stargazing" category?). And still under the heading of Geography 101, try to think in terms of the major "areas" like Santa Monica and Malibu, the San Fernando Valley (the "valley" to locals), the Westside and Beverly Hills, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown and Pasadena.

Glamour and Grit: A Tale of Two Los Angeles Tours
Los Angeles Without a Car

--written by Jana Jones; updated by Sarah Schlichter


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