Flying into Los Angeles and looking down on the vast, sprawling city, it becomes obvious that this is not a place to be taken lightly. The world knows that L.A. is one BIG place, with snarled traffic to match, but did you know it actually encompasses 472 square miles? And that's just the city; Los Angeles County covers more than 4,000 square miles! So what's a tourist to do, when visiting the place where Hollywood was born, surfing is king and Mars explorations originate (at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena)?
Make a driving plan before you begin, for many of the city's top sightseeing attractions are – obviously – some distance apart. So visit Hollywood and the movie studios on one day, Venice Beach and Beverly Hills another. Plan to spend most of a day downtown, where the city first began way back in 1781. Downtown L.A. is in the midst of a Renaissance revival as well, as iconic structures like the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and the Staples Center are joined by numerous new galleries, shops and condominiums, as Angelenos rediscover the joys of living in an action-packed part of town. And once you've checked off all of these top sightseeing spots, plan to do ten more – places like Malibu, the Museum Miracle Mile and Manhattan Beach – for this city is too vast to be held at just ten!