Welcoming more than a record-breaking 47 million visitors last year, Los Angeles continues to lead the way as one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse destinations.
And now, with the critically acclaimed film La La Land winning a record seven Golden Globes awards, there has never been a better time to get lost in the magic and romance of modern-day Los Angeles.
While the romantic and whimsical musical follows the story of aspiring actress Mia and passionate jazz musician Sebastian, played by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the third primary character is the city of Los Angeles, inspiring within the viewer an acute wanderlust for the city.
Described as a love letter to the city, the film beautifully captures more than 40 locations across the City of Angels, which you can experience for yourself thanks to L.A.’s official tourism board, Discover Los Angeles, launching a visitor’s guide highlighting the film’s must-see locations.
Here are our top five must-see L.A. locations from the film La La Land:
Providing a romantic backdrop to Mia and Sebastian’s budding romance, this 4,300-acre urban park is one of the USA’s largest parks. Home to caves, canyons, mountain roads, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Griffith Observatory and the iconic Hollywood sign, it is best explored by hiking, horseback riding, and biking. One of the film’s most memorable scenes take place here, at “Cathy’s Corner”, just off Mt. Hollywood Drive, where the two characters perform the captivating number “A Lovely Night” against a sunset view of the San Fernando Valley.
Located within Griffith Park, this iconic observatory has featured in various films throughout the years, including The Terminator, Jurassic Park, and who could forget Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean and Natalie Wood? Paying homage to the 1955 classic, Mia and Sebastian visit the Observatory where an unforgettable scene takes place in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. This stunning observatory is one of L.A.’s greatest cultural attractions and its beautiful grounds, exhibits and telescopes are open and free to the public. Perched on Mt. Hollywood, it offers spectacular views from the Pacific Ocean to Downtown L.A.
Since its opening in May 1949, this famous jazz nightclub has showcased some of the most legendary names in jazz music, including Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Art Blakey and Cannonball Adderley. Today the club hosts jazz, reggae and rock and is frequented by local Angelinos and visitors alike, and in La La Land, the club plays a significant role in Sebastian’s career path. Jazz has been an integral part of the L.A. experience for decades, so when you’re in town, be sure to check out the Discover L.A. guide for the city’s best jazz clubs and music nights.
Extending over the Pacific Ocean, the Hermosa Pier is a popular spot for fishing and watching the sunset over the ocean. It is where Sebastian strolls the pier and sings the beautiful melody “City of Stars.” Hermosa Beach and its surrounding seaside community boast a cool hipster vibe with funky outdoor cafes and boutiques, and Pier Plaza offering a great hangout spot. On the beach, you can get active in the sun with a number of volleyball nets and a paved walkway connecting Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, ideal for strolling, biking and rollerblading, or simply lie back, relax and work on that Californian tan…responsibly with SPF of course!
Colorado Street Bridge
With its majestic arches rising 150 feet into the sky, this incredible structure was named the highest concrete bridge in the world when building was completed in 1913. Located in Pasadena, northeast of downtown L.A., this historic bridge is a romantic landmark in the Los Angeles area and we spot Mia and Sebastian strolling along arm-in-arm just like many of the city’s couples enjoy doing. A beautiful city in its own right, Pasadena rewards visitors with many great gems, including the beautiful Norton Simon Museum housing priceless art collections and a stunning sculpture garden, the famous Rose Bowl sports stadium, romantic secret gardens at The Huntington, fantastic foodie spots, and Old Pasadena – a not-to-be-missed shopping and dining district known for its charming Victorian and art deco buildings.
To plan your very own La La Land getaway to the City of Angels, visit DiscoverLosAngeles.com/LaLaLand