Los Angeles is in southern California.
Most visitors have three major targets on their must-see list when visiting Los Angeles-- movie studios, theme parks and beaches. Billy Thorpe took the Getaway crew around Los Angeles to show where his favourite places were, mostly away from the glitz and glamour of California's largest and busiest city.
Beaches are a big draw card for the Los Angeles area, but you won't find Billy Thorpe at the more famous ones like Zuma Beach in Malibu. Billy would be at Leo Carillo State Beach, about an hour north of the city itself at Point Magoo in Ventura County. It boasts natural beauty with a rocky coastline and rugged hills behind it, without the throngs of g-string-clad sun bathers.
Heading south on Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu past the million dollar mansions and expensive restaurants, you arrive 30 minutes later in Santa Monica. Santa Monica has it all-- trendy night clubs, restaurants, shopping, beaches, cinemas and even an English pub called "Ye Old King's Head". This pub has been a hang out for musicians, English and Australians for 25 years. It serves good fish and chips, bangers and mash and pasties in a traditional pub setting filled with English memorabilia.
Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Mall are popular with locals and tourists. Night and day, the promenade (which is open only to pedestrian traffic) is filled with shoppers, buskers and those who just want to people-watch.
Universal City "Citywalk" (adjacent to Universal Studios) has all the hype of Hollywood with the numerous tourists who visit during the day, but after the sun goes down is when most of the locals will appear. Billy likes to shop here, especially at the sports memorabilia store. Citywalk is an innovative shopping, dining and entertainment area that opened in 1993. Its eclectic design features dozens of eye-catching building facades including a '57 Chevy bursting through a freeway sign and an 8 metre tall gorilla guarding a music store entrance. The 40-plus shops include over a dozen restaurants with everything from sushi to the famous BBQ ribs at Tony Roma's. B.B. King's Blues Club is also here, which is where Billy likes to listen to live bands. Citywalk is open daily from 11am until late.
The Los Angeles metropolis is sprawled over 160 km from east to west and 130 km north to south. Traffic is always a problem anywhere in the area, but a car is almost a necessity because the public transportation system is limited and infrequent.
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