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Reload this page Guide to LA LA Land (Southern California area)

I use this to plan what to do with my leisure time and where to take people from out of town.

View of downtown LA from Rainbow's End B&B


Topics this page:

  • Guidebooks
  • Tours
  • Movies
  • Down PCH
  • Orange County
  • Downtown LA
  • Inland
  • Seasonal Events


  • LA TV/Cable Stations
  • LA Companies
  • Museums of the world


    Site Map List all pages on this site 
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    Recent earthquakes in California and around the world

    Set screen Guidebooks

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    Set screen Lodging - Bed & Breakfast Southbay

    • $80 The Exley House 4273 Palos Verdes Dr S 310-377-2113. A little advertized gem overlooking the ocean near Trump's new golf course.
    • $50 - 120 1168 Paseo Del Mar Inn San Pedro 90731 310-547-3736
    • $105-145 Turret House Long Beach 556 Chestnut Avenue 888-488-7738
    • $100 GuestHouse Hotel Long Beach
    • $135 Ayres Hotel Seal Beach

    • losangeleshotelaccommodations

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    Set screen Tours


      Paper Guidebooks

      Buying Retail is Stupid! If you want designer stuff, this guide can save you hundreds off prices those at Beverly Hills boutiques. You can buy clothes and flowers cheap at the garment and flower districts downtown.

      Backroads of Southern California

      Diving & Snorkeling in Southern California Southern California waters are typically murky, but Catalina has one of the largest kelp forests in the world.

      Hidden Southern California

      A Guide to Historical Outings in Southern California

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    Set screen Books and Moviesanother page on this site Filmed In LA

      With major studios all around, Los Angeles is a natural back lot for many movies. But here are the movies that specifically refer to the culture in Los Angeles.

      Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986/103 min.) Paul Mazursky directs Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss, Little Richard.

      Welcome to L.A. A depressing movie about what I can't figure out. Features Sissy Spacek vacuuming naked. That's about the only thing memorable and that's not much.

      L.A. Story (1991/95 min.) Written and stars Steve Martin. With Victoria Tennant and Sarah Jessica Parker.

      Choose Me (1984/114 min.) A depressing piece written and directed by Alan Rudolph. Features Geneviève Bujold, Lesley Ann Warren, Keith Carradine.

      Shampoo (1975/109 min.) A parody of cliches about LA, with hairdresser Warren Beatty sexing up Goldie Hawn married to a clueless rich businessman husband.

      Collateral (2004) Hit man Tom Cruise hijacks a taxi cabbie who can predict exactly how much minutes it takes to get across LA. "One can die on the MTA and not be noticed for 6 hours."

      The Big Sleep 20's L.A. noir written by Raymond Chandler.

      Horse Latitudes A murder mystery set in Southern California beaches.

      Mystery writer Jonathan Kellerman is a former child psychologist from the Westside. 'Nuf said.



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    Set screen DLP Movie Theatres in LA

    Set screen TV Shows Taping in LA

      AAA members call (626) 844-3333.


      at 7800 Beverly Blvd. call (626) 844-3333. The popular game show hosted by Tom Bergerson

      Sony Pictures Studios Culver City

      3970 Overland Ave.


      JEOPARDY hosted by Alex Trebek


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    Set screen Down PCH (Pacific Coast Highway)

      Skaters-Venice by David Hockney. Get this print framed on your wall!
      Get this print framed for your wall!

      Can't skate? Take a lesson from the Skate School to the stars.

      Set screen Westide

      by Plien Air artist Ray Roberts
    • Gladstones Restaurant sits over a Malibu beach on PCH and Sunset has nice thick clam chowder and tasty broiled lobster. There is usually a long wait there -- it pulls in the highest sales among all restaurant in Los Angeles. They have barrels of peanuts in the bar. So I'm usually full by the time we get a table.
      'Pier, Early Morning' by Arthur Mortimer
    • Santa Monica has the open-air Third Street Promenade and next to it, the mall and the Pier with a ferris wheel and other rides.

      Shutters is on the beach at the end of Pico 310.458-0030
      Bungalows at the Fairmont Miramar up the street at 101 Wilshire have in-room jacuzzi tubs. 800-325-3535 or 310.576-7777

      For a $200-$270 beach-front room at Loews Santa Monica, call Express Hotel Reservations at 800-356-1123 or 303-440-8481. They offer discounts of 20-50% off rack rates, and since they receive a commission from the hotels, there's no charge to you.

      Creativity (208 N. Pier Avenue) is a performance space with computers.
      On Sunset Boulevard, after you pass UCLA from the beach, is a house with life-sized figures on the front yard. They look like workmen, but they're really statues. Only in LA. Hollywood by William Buffett.  Get this framed for your wall

    • Venice beach cam

      The 26 Beach Cafe 26 Washington Blvd., Venice, 310 - 821 - 8129 Partisans claim this beach-adjacent Cal-Italian-Eclectic is home to the "best burgers in town" - "huge", "delicious" and "cheap" - along with good turkey chili and spaghetti, too; it's a "favorite" with those looking for reasonable beach eats; "more restaurants should take a clue from this place."
      Cyberjava Cafe at Abbot Kenny Blvd.

    • Marina del Ray -
    • Playa del Rey -
    • El Segundo - The fire pits under the LAX flight path is a cheap but still romantic place for dinner on the sand.

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      A website external to this site South Bay

      Set screen Southbay

      Hermosa Beach by William Buffett.  Get this framed for your wall
    • Manhattan Beach
      Barnaby's has small but cozy Victorian B&B rooms. Their gardens (for afternoon tea) and menus are not as charming as when former family owners were running it, but their outdoor Jacuzzi is open til 11pm. And it's across the street from a Fry's Electronics store!
    • The Hermosa Beach Strand features waiting taxis. Stay at the Beach House motel.

    • Redondo Beach has a pier. Its inland Gallaria mall features Nordstroms.
    • In Torrance, the Del Amo Mall is the largest in the West Coast. 'Rocks Along the Coast' by Franz Bischoff
    • Palos Verdes is the home of the Norris Theatre
    • Lomita
    • San Pedro - where cruise ships dock and Cabrillo Museum
    • Wilmington
    • Long Beach
      • Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at Cal State University 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach 90815. 562/985-8885
        The University Art Museum at CSULB, Library, Fifth Floor, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach 90815. 562/985-4111 x5761
      • Rancho Los Alamitos 6400 Bixby Hill Rd., Long Beach 90815. 562/431-3541
      • Rancho Los Cerritos 4600 Virginia Rd., Long Beach 90807. 562/570-1755
      • Banning Residence Museum 401 E. M St., Wilmington 90744. 310/548-7777; 562/548-2644 (fax).
      • The Queen Mary 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach 90802. 562 5-3511,
      • Toyota Grand Prix 562-436-9953 More Info.
      • Shoreline Village 401-435 Shoreline Village Dr., Long Beach 90802. 562/435-2668
        The Tallship Californian/Nautical Heritage Society Shoreline Village. 800/432-2201
      • Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific 200 S. Shoreline, 90801-3268.562/590-3100
      • Museum of Latin American Art 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach 90802. 562/437-1689, 562/437-7043 (fax).
      • Long Beach Museum of Art 2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach 90803. 562/439-2119.
      • Long Beach Museum of Art Video Annex 5373 E. Second St., Long Beach 90803. 562/439-0751.

      Malibu Grand Prix 818.964-3071

      Set screen Orange County

    • Seal Beach
    • Huntington Beach
    • Dana Point
    • Solana Beach
      'Highway One, Marshall' by Jerrold Turner

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    Set screen Orange County

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    Set screen Toward Downtown

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    Set screen Further Inland East (on the 91 and 10 Freeway)

    • Glen Ivy Hot Springs Club Mud in Corona on the 15 South of 91.
    • Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts 562.916-8500 off the 91 fwy.
    • The Krikorian Monrovia Cinema 12 (North of the 210 Freeway on 410 South Myrtle Avenue) shows 70mm film on its large format LFX (Large Format Experience) screen — 3,500 square feet and over six stories in height, with a 20,000-watt DTS digital sound system.

      Mapquest has an oversized printed map with codes to online maps
      $12 Road Atlas of North America Oct 2002

      When I'm driving to Arizona, I like filling up near the CA-AZ border at the Flying J because they have the cheapest gas and a big market. You get an additional cent off gas if use their club card.


    • Mt. Wilson Observatory

      Blockbuster Pavilion in Davore seats 65,000, making it the largest outdoor amphitheatre in the US.

      Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner train runs along the coast from Los Angeles Union Station up thru Santa Barbara and down to San Diego. The Coast Starlight goes Northbound from LA at 10am and goes all the way to Vancouver. It arrives LA again 9:05pm to continue South to San Diego. The Southwest Chief leaves Union Station at 6:45pm inland all the way to Chicago thru NM, AZ, KS. Commuters from San Bernardino get on at 5:45am and 6:42am in Fullerton to arrive in LA 8:40am.

      Palm Springs

      Built by a manager of the local electric company in 1963, the Palm Springs Tram in Chino Canyon on Tramway Road off Hwy. 111 (north) takes 80 passengers at a time from the hot, dry desert floor 8,000 feet up to San Jacinto Mountains where it's 30-40 degrees cooler. It's the longest single span lift in the world, built using helicopter transport. 760.325-1391 At the top of Mt. San Jacinto, (800.444-7275) you can rent mules in the summer or cross-country ski in the Winter. Hike a mile to a camp at Tamarack or Round Valley. Reservations are only by mail using this form with a SASE to U.S.F.S. at Idlywild (909.659-2607).

      Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 760.767-5311 a one-hour drive south on Hwy. 86 from Palm Desert, has 600,000 acres which includes a real oasis.

      The "hands-on" Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert on 71-701 Gerald Ford Dr. in Rancho Mirage. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. 760.321-0602.

      Palm Springs Desert Museum and Annenberg Theater at 101 Museum Dr. off Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m. 3 p.m., Sun. Noon-3 p.m. 760.325-7186 (Recording 325-0189)

      Joshua Tree National Monument at Twentynine Palms where the low Colorado and the high Mojave come together to create a geological and floral fantasy land. 760.367-7511

      THE LIVING DESERT 47-900 Portola Avenue Palm Desert, CA 760.346-5694

      At -282 ft., Badwater is the lowest point in the western hemisphere. It's within the Death Valley National Park.

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    Set screen Seasonal Events in Southern California

      Spring time (March/April/May)

    • Crystal Cathedral Glory of Easter - the largest and most spectacular passion play, with lifelike recreation of earthquakes, thunder storms and lightening inside the all-glass building. Angels fly overhead while live animals parade down the aisles.
    • The Pageant of Our Lord combines real models with famous works of art.
    • The Ramona Pageant retells the tragic romance between Ramona (the adoptee of an aristocratic Spanish hacienda in early California) and her valiant native American lover Alessandro as they suffer mistreatment from American settlers who stole their land. Based on a propaganda novel written in 1923 by Helen Hunt Jackson, the massive play is put on only 3 weekend annually by hundreds of volunteers at an outdoor theater in Hemet. How many other plays can you see galloping horses and a crowd of actors covering a hillside? For an elegant immersion in the early Californian theme of the show, stay at the historic Mission Inn in nearby Riverside. It's hardly Pueblo life, though. A convenient alternate is the Hemet Inn.

      Immerse yourself in the milieu by watching films such as the sexy Like Water for Chocolate, the tamer Pocahantas or The Indian in a Cupboard, Zorro, or then Last of the Mohicans.

      For a culinary prelude, drink horchata with tortillas and corn tamales at a Mexican restaurant such as La Fogata at 2940 W. Florida Hemet (909.925-4147). Or drink the Ramona brand water. Concessions and doors at the Hemet Bowl open at 2 pm for the show at 3:30-6pm. So if you can wake up before dawn, go ballooning. There's also skydying over Perris.

    Click to get this cheap from Amazon.
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      Set screen Wildflowers in the Spring

    • Blooming of the Roses Festival April each year at the Exposition Park Rose Garden (downtown LA).
    • Anza Borrego Visitors Center hours are 9am-5pm daily from Oct-Jun 1, weekends only in summer. 24 hour info line: 760-767-4684 or 760-767-4205
    • Every March and April, the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch (off hwy. 5 Palomar Airport Road) blossom into a spectacular sea of brightly colored ranunculus flowers in Carlsbad on Interstate 5 north. Open to the public seven days a week, 9am to 6pm. I-5 to Palomar Airport Road Exit. Adults: $5.00, Guided Tours: $7.00, Srs 60+ $4.00, Ages 6-12: $3.00, 5 and under: free. 760-431-0352
    • See poppies (the California state flower) blooming all over the high desert (Lancaster), or the oasis at Palm Springs.
    • Descano Gardens at 1418 Descano Drive, La Canada, 818-952-4401.

      Set screen Summer time (June/July/Aug)

    • Festival of Arts & Pageant of the Masters 949.494-1145 in Laguna Beach
    • Kids learn Java, C, and HTML at the American Computer Experience at UCLA 800-386-4223
    • Science Adventures 800.472-4362.
    • California Science Center Science Camp 213.SCIENCE. (10-5 daily)
    • Palos Verdes computer internships
    • Astro Camp in Idlywild is like SpaceCamp in Florida

      Set screen Autumn time (Sep/Oct/Nov)

    • Palm Springs
    • Pick pine nuts from the white mountains, after the Manzanita bushes turn red.
    • See date farms near Coachella and Indio. Have a "date shake."
    • The first Saturday in October over 100 County arts events are admission-free.
    • Halloween Frights in the Queen Mary, Knott's Berry Farm, Magic Mountain.

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      Set screen Winter time (Dec/Jan/Feb)

    • WALKING TOURS Ongoing, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon: Walking tours of the Las Angelitas Del Pueblo on the History of Old Los Angeles, Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tours begin on Olvera Street at the docent office next to the old fire house at 130 Paseo de la Plaza. Group reservations required. Tours are free. Also, bus tours of Historic Los Angeles are available. Reservations required. For more information on both tours call (213) 628-1274. Las Angelitas Del Pueblo seeks volunteers to become docents at El Pueblo Park. For more information call Frank Osmon at (800) 208-0012. To become a walking tour docent for the Los Angeles Conservancy, call Connie Humberger at (213) 623-2833.
    • Do MOMA in the afternoon.
    • Olvera Street Las Posadas Christmas Procession 6:30pm, Downtown, (213) 625-5045 December 16-24 Break out of the holiday routine for a little pinata-breaking, champurrado (a thick chocolate drink), hot punch and pan dulce (sweet bread).
    • Holidy light shows:
        Torrance North of PCH.
      • Griffith Park lights Dec 5-Dec 27,1998 Daily 5:30pm-10:30pm 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles 90027 (213) 485-8743.
        Known for having one of the largest holiday light displays in Southern California, Griffith Park hosts its annual tree-lighting ceremony.
      • Beverly Hills / Brentwood
    • 3-9pm Christmas Eve at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion broadcast live on KCET.
    • Universal City Walk has ice skating and a Santa's Procession.
    • Crystal Cathedral Glory of Christmas
    • Tournament of Roses on January first every year features floral floats and collegiate football game.

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