Our Favorite Spots from LA LA Land
One of the most beloved movies of 2016 has now turned into one of our favorite tours at LA Insider Tours! La La Land was not only a great love story, it was a story about our city. The good, the bad and everything in between. Which is why many of these places are on one of our newest tours. Here are some of our favorite sites that the movie portrayed. We hope you like them as much as we do!
Chateau Marmot was originally built in the 1920s as Los Angeles’s first earthquake-proof apartment building. Architect Arnold A. Weitzman modeled it after the Chateau D’Amboise in the Loire Valley in France. From the beginning, the Chateau was a place where celebrities flocked and scandals abounded. Secret romances were conducted there and there was always someone causing mischief of some sort. It was in 1982 that this castle-like apartment turned hotel became notorious when John Belushi died of an overdose of cocaine and heroine. It is also where Lindsay Lohan lived and was eventually barred from. And where Britney Spears displayed some very odd behavior. While many former employees say that there are too many stories to tell, one reason Chateau Marmont is so popular with the elite is that they are fiercely protective of their guests, especially celebrity ones. Even if you don’t want to get a room here, you can still stop at the Bar Marmont for a drink and probably spot someone famous. Celebrities who have hung out there include Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro, Keanu Reeves, Jude Law, James Franco, Lady Gaga, Kit Harington, Lana Del Rey, Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and many others.
Built by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia over 33 years, Watts Towers is a series of sculptures constructed of steel and mortar and embellished with whatever Rodia could find — mosaic tiles, soda pop bottles, shells, you name it. The towers rise to 99 1/2 feet, the city limit for structures.
It’s also a great excuse to venture down into South Central LA’s Watts neighborhood, which is infamous for the riots in 1965 and still a place where Los Angeles’s less privileged live, although now the African American community is sprinkled with Latin immigrants over the last 20 years.
The most visited public observatory in the world, The Griffith Observatory hosts around 1 million people a year. It is one of the first institutions in the United States that was dedicated to public science and is still a national leader in public astronomy. As stipulated in the will of Griffith J. Griffith’s (who gave the land to Los Angeles), entrance to the Observatory is free of charge. While at the Observatory, you can view shows at the Samuel Oshchin Planetarium for a nominal fee or participate in monthly public star parties, daily talks and presentations, and periodic special events. Last, but certainly not least, you can view the spectacular, sweeping views of Los Angeles from atop this amazing part of Los Angeles. You can see this on our All LA in a Day Tour!
Angels Flight is a landmark 2 ft 6 in narrow gauge funicular railway in the Bunker Hill district of Downtown LA. Originally built in 1910 with financing from Colonel J.W. Eddy,(fun fact… he was a good friend of Abraham Lincoln) as the Los Angeles Incline Railway, Angels Flight consisted of two vermillion “boarding stations” and two cars, named Sinai and Olivet which pulled up the steep incline by metal cables powered by engines at the upper Olive Street station. As one car ascended, the other descended, carried down by gravity. An archway labeled “Angels Flight” greeted passengers on the Hill Street entrance, and this name became the official name of the railway in 1912 when the Funding Company of California purchased the railway Eddy. It is estimated that Angels Flight has carried more passengers per mile than any other railway in the world, over a hundred million in its first fifty years. It was not without controversy though and has been closed down many times. The first time it was closed down was in 1969 when the Bunker Hill area underwent a massive reconstruction (and displaced around 22,000 working class families who lived there in the process). It was reopened in 1996, but after someone was killed on the railway 2001 it was shut down again. Ever persistent, the railway was opened again but after an accident in 2013, it has been closed permanently. On March 1, 2017, it was announced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti that Angeles Flight could be working again by Labor Day 2017.The reopening will be made possible after safety upgrades are made to the doors of the cars and an evacuation walkway is added to the track. Only time will tell if it re-opens again, but this icon of Downtown LA is sure a fun place to visit!
Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market has been in continuous operation since 1917. A hundred years ago, Broadway was the principal commercial and entertainment corridor of downtown Los Angeles. Bunker Hill, to the west, was covered with stately Victorian mansions, and the area’s residents rode down on Angels Flight to shop for groceries in the Market’s open air arcade.The Market has always reflected the changing population of downtown, and in the 1920s there were ninety-plus vendors including multiple green grocers, fishmongers, Jewish delis, and butchers, as well as stalls for dry goods, baked goods, flowers, coffee, cheese, notions—and even one vendor who sold nothing but eggs. As Downtown LA has grown, so has the Market. Today, classic neon signage over stalls spotlights the flavorful mix of fresh produce, meat, seafood, spices and prepared foods that reflect the ethnic diversity of L.A. In 2013 under the leadership of Ira Yellin’s widow, Adele Yellin, the Market began welcoming a new wave of vendors that are transforming the nearly century-old food arcade into a major culinary destination. And they aren’t wrong. The Market has been named one of the “Hot 10” restaurants nationwide by Bone Appetit Magazine. The markets fresh and delicious foods are a beacon for foodies around the world. Try out one of our personal favorites, Eggslut. We swear, it is worth the wait!
Come check out our La La Land tour or many of our other private, customizable tours. We would love to show you around our favorite city! Call us at 1-800-549-6625 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book!
- “Don’t Hesitate….Just Do It!!”
The tour was a lot of fun and he even took us to less well known spots for some great photo ops! Definitely recommend doing and would absolutely do another tour with these guys when next back in LA!
~ Kelly T
- “Perfect fit for our family!”
Our tour was AMAZING. This is one of the most professional companies I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I would recommend them in a heartbeat.
~ Michele G, El Segundo, California
- “LOOK NO FURTHER”
I can recall doing a bus tour of LA a number of years ago, and that tour did not remotely compare to what we experienced with our number one guide Rivers. Our family of four, including two boys aged 13 and 10, had the best day possible.
~ Lindsay O, Hepburn Springs, Australia
- “Worth the Splurge”
Eight hours seems like a lot of time, but the day just flew by. It was so fun and interesting. I would do this again with no regrets.
The Kozars, Lethbridge, Canada
- “Great family day”
A big thank you to Scott for our fantastic LA tour!! We got all the sights in, in one day including a last minute shop @ Dash!! Scott was full of information and my family including my 3 year old had a fantastic day!! Highly recommend !!