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Los Angeles can’t fail to please families who enjoy sunshine and lush vegetation – not to mention glamour which, after a century of movie-making, the city is steeped in. And though Hollywood’s iconic sights are a must, especially the Walk of Fame collection of stars‘ hand and footprints, there’s more to LA than Hollywood.
If you like the outdoors try the Hollywood Bowl. The whole family willl enjoy its fun programme of open air concerts, firework displays and picnics (or eat at one of the onsite restaurants) during the summer season.
Then take the scenic route on Laurel Canyon Boulevard to Universal Studios, for a world of exciting theme rides.
The Backlot Tour is not to be missed by movie fans – it includes the explosive effects from The Fast and the Furious, a visit to Desperate Housewives Wisteria Lane and a scary 3D experience with King Kong.
Culture lovers will like Wilshire Boulevard, running all the way from the beach to downtown, it’s home to the excellent LA County Art Museum.
Or, travel into pre-historic times at the exciting La Brea Tar Pits, where mammoths, sabre-tooth tigers and giant sloths became trapped 40,000 years ago. Here, kids will enjoy the Ice Age fossils in the Page Museum as well as the prehistoric footprints.
Shopping: The Grove is a new outdoor shopping mall with designer boutiques.; try Rodeo Drive or funky Melrose Avenue. Also check out the eclectic little shops on Main Street, which runs between Santa Monica and neighbouring Venice, famous for its Muscle Beach and charming canals.
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With so many options, you’ll never be hungry in LA. For sea-view dining go down to the pier and visit The Lobster, or drive up Pacific Coast Highway to lovely Malibu, where eateries like Moonshadows make it possible to dine right on top of the crashing surf.
Excellent Mexican food can be found at Chipotle. Or, if you’re partial to a burger, try superior fast-food outlets Fatburger and In-N-Out or Nate’n’Al‘s, a Beverly Hills deli that uses Angus beef and is frequented by the movie crowd.
For a real Smörgåsbord, visit West Hollywood farmer’s market. The bustling area is divided into kiosks dispensing every kind of food, so each family member can choose their favourite and eat together at a table in the middle of this lovely retro spot.
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Where to stay: To avoid busy freeways base yourself in fashionable West Hollywood, smart Beverly Hills or family-friendly Santa Monica. West Hollywood is close to Hollywood proper with attractions including Sunset Strip and the laid-back farmers‘ market. We especially love Santa Monica for its easy public transport system.
Travel time: A flight from London to LAX takes 11 hours.