Is Beverly Hills worth a visit

Is Los Angeles worth the trip?

As the largest California city, Los Angeles is home to nearly 4 million people. Before my trip to the City of Angels, I had heard from various quarters that L.A. would not necessarily win the award for the most beautiful American city. Many corners are dirty, partly shabby and the glamor of the film metropolis has not been felt there for a long time anyway. However, one thing was told to me by everyone who was already there: One should definitely see Los Angeles once!

People cut themselves off from their ties of the old life when they come to Los Angeles. They are looking for a place where they can be free, where they can do things they couldn't do anywhere else. (Tom Bradley)

I think Los Angeles is one of those cities that you either like or you don't like. To be honest, I would rather belong to the latter group. Even if I found it super interesting to finally be able to see the many famous places with my own eyes, I just didn't like the city to the extent that I could, for example, imagine living there one day.

But I also have to say that I only spent a few days in L.A. and of course that will never be enough to be able to make a meaningful judgment about a city as big as Los Angeles. But maybe one day I'll be there again and have the chance to let L.A. inspire me after all.

Nevertheless, in the following article I would like to introduce you to some places that were on my travel list.

Reading material:

Walk of Fame

Okay, okay - a classic. But let's be honest: you can't avoid a walk along the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard on a trip to Los Angeles, right? The Walk of Fame didn't inspire me, even though I am a huge film fan myself.

Numerous names of some of the most gifted actors in the world line up here over 18 blocks, just so that far too many tourists can literally trample them underfoot. I think it's a shame. I expected a little more glamor and I think the big names in show business deserve it. For me, however, it was interesting to see the Dolby Theater, which has hosted the Oscars every year since 2002.

Griffith Observatory

Located south of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory is 300 meters above the city. I can only recommend a trip to the observatory to anyone planning a trip to Los Angeles, which, in addition to scientific exhibitions and the planetarium, is characterized by one thing in particular: the fabulous view over Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign.

  • Recommendable: climb the mountain in the afternoon and let the day end comfortably during the sunset.

The Griffith Observatory was definitely a highlight of the Los Angeles trip for me, which I would definitely visit again on another visit to L.A. I found parking to be a bit difficult and that should be a problem, especially during the main travel season. But there are also shuttle buses * that take you from Hollywood to the Griffith Observatory and back again later.

Beverly Hills

One could almost think that the posh residential area “Beverly Hills” is less interesting for tourists, as the view of the magnificent villas of the rich and famous is (understandably) often blocked by high fences or stone walls. Apparently, that doesn't stop some tour operators from offering bus tours that go to the homes of some of the stars. Maps showing the houses of the stars are also sold on the roadside.

I'm not a big fan of such tours myself, because I can't really understand the attraction behind them. What I have a lot of fun with, however, is looking at modern architecture and so Beverly Hills was on the itinerary, as it were as a stopover on the way to the Griffith Observatory. Why the hilly Beverly Hills seems to attract so many stars and starlets can be seen on the drive through the district, as you can enjoy a great view of the city from there and it is comparatively very quiet here.

Universal Studios Los Angeles

Oh yes, as an old film and series junkie, a visit to Universal Studios in Los Angeles was of course on the program. What interested me most was the cool bus ride through the filming landscape. Along Bates Motel or Wisteria Lane - that's really impressive when you can take a look behind the scenes of series and films that you otherwise only know from the cinema, television or one of the streaming services.

I also took a look at one or two rides and of course a visit to Krusty Land was a must.

So that's the trick for television: Wisteria Lane in Universal Studios

Santa Monica and Venice Beach

California is famous for its long coastline and great sandy beaches. Venice Beach, about 30 minutes from Los Angeles and 4.5 km long, is one of them.

The beach promenade, which is equipped with numerous souvenir shops and stalls and the famous Muscle Beach, is an absolute tourist magnet, because everyone here is somehow crazy, freaky and unusual. For example, I remember well an elderly country-style man who was sitting on a folding chair and pointing to a sign that said “Shitty Advice - $ 1”. He seemed to be successful with his small business model, with three people paying for his advice in the few minutes I had time to watch.

Venice Beach is kind of cool, hip, and yet also shabby and dirty - at least at the front of the boardwalk. But the kilometer-long sandy beach is all the more beautiful, and you could stroll for hours on it. If you fancy a bit of exercise, I can recommend the beach walk to the Santa Monica Pier, which can be reached in just under 50 minutes on foot from Venice Beach. In between you can stop every now and then and watch the cool surfers doing their tricks. If you even feel like surfing yourself, you can easily book a surf course * in Venice Beach.

My highlight in Venice: the “Venice Canal Historic District”, a few streets inland, which you absolutely have to pay a visit once you are there. Inspired by Venice, this district is criss-crossed by some beautifully designed canals, which are an absolute contrast to the rather trashy promenade.

Typical Venice Beach - skaters in their element

A dream: the kilometer-long sandy beach of Venice Beach

It's definitely beautiful here: in the Venice Canal Historic District

Conclusion

As already described at the beginning, Los Angeles absolutely didn’t knock me off my feet, but this may also be due to the fact that the west coast of the USA has so incredibly beautiful other excursion destinations to offer.

Nonetheless, I can only say that it was nevertheless extremely interesting to see Los Angeles “live and in color”. Especially if you are planning a road trip through the western United States, in my opinion L.A. is a very good starting point and / or destination that is worth exploring for a few days, but not necessarily for much longer.

If you don't have that much time in Los Angeles, but still want to see a lot of the city, the GoLosAngeles Card * may be something for you, which offers you discounted entry to over 35 attractions.

Have you ever been to Los Angeles? How did you like it there?