The City of Los Angeles has been a boomtown since the railroad arrived in 1876. It has attracted a diverse population of people from the Midwest United States, the Pacific Rim, and Latin American countries. It is a huge megapolis, stretching almost 70 kilometers along the Pacific Coast from Santa Monica to Newport Beach and over 48 kilometers from Pasadena in the east to Los Angeles city in the west. It is home to world-famous Hollywood and thousands of celebrities and to more attractions and activities than a family could experience in a month! For complete information on the many things to see and do in the Port of Los Angeles, please visit the city's tourism website.
Photo by Horst Frank
The Port of Los Angeles has a subtropical, Mediterranean-like climate with lots of sunshine and only 35 days with measurable rain. From May to October, it is warm to hot and dry. From November to April, it is mild and relatively rainy. Covering such a large area, the temperature can vary as much as 10 °C (18 °F) between the inland areas and the coast. The Port of Los Angeles gets about 385 millimeters (15 inches) of rain per year, usually in the winter and spring. Rains are usually light showers, although thunderstorms do occur. Snow is rare except in the mountains. Temperatures range from an average high of 25 °C (77 °F) in August and September to an average low of 9 °C (48 °F) in December and January.
Most people think of Hollywood when they think of the Port of Los Angeles. The first motion picture studio was established there in 1911. The 15-meter tall Hollywood sign atop the Hollywood Hills is known around the world. Visitors to the Port of Los Angeles will not want to miss taking a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 18 blocks of large metal stars in the concrete sidewalk that recognize the greatest movie stars from the past and present. At the center of the Walk of Fame is Grauman's Chinese Theatre where over 200 hand- and footprints of the stars are embedded in the sidewalk.
Photo by Sailko
Grauman's Chinese Theatre is one of the Port of Los Angeles' most famous landmarks. Part of the Hollywood scene for more than 75 years, the theater's grand opening in 1927 was as spectacular as any Hollywood movie opening. Thousands of people gathered to watch movie stars and would-be movie-stars arrive. The same night, Cecile B. DeMille's "The King of Kings" opened with an introduction by Sid Grauman and a 65-piece orchestra. Built at a cost of $2 million US (1927), the building incorporated imported temple bells, pagodas, stone Heaven Dogs, and other Chinese artifacts. Many pieces of statuary were created by Chinese artisans, most of them still decorating the theater's interior today. In 1968, the theater was declared a Port of Los Angeles historic-cultural landmark, and restoration programs have been constantly in progress to maintain the building's integrity. It has undergone one major renovation and been retrofitted to withstand earthquakes.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is another famous Port of Los Angeles landmark. This historic Spanish-style hotel on Hollywood Boulevard was financed by early Hollywood royalty that included Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Louis B. Mayer. Opening in 1927, the 12-story building has 302 rooms and suites that have hosted the famous and the infamous. The hotel is also reputed to be haunted by tragic celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.
Links San Pedro, Los Angeles, California to Terminal Island, California. S.S. Lane Victory is visible in the foreground.
Photo by Wknight94
In the heart of the city is the Page Museum at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, one of the world's best known fossil locations. The La Brea Tar Pits have revealed the world's biggest and most diverse group of extinct Ice Age plants and animals. Visitors to the museum will learn about the area as it was from ten- to forty-thousand years ago when animals like mammoths and saber-toothed cats wandered the lands. Visitors can also watch bones being cleaned and repaired and view life-sized replicas of some of the extinct mammals in the adjacent Hancock Park.
The Venice Beach Boardwalk is the attraction at the Port of Los Angeles' three-mile long Venice Beach. During the summer and on weekends, the street is alive with entertainment that includes street performers that include musicians, singers, acrobats, mimes, magicians, and a variety of circus-like performers. The boardwalk is also crowded with strange people with tri-color hair, painted faces, amazing tattoos, and various stages of dress and un-dress. The boardwalk is lined with shops and food stands. A visit to the Venice Beach Boardwalk is like a visit to the circus. It's complemented with basketball, handball, shuffleboard, and paddle tennis courts. It is also home to the well-known Muscle Beach where bodybuilders show off their strength and skills.
Once again, there are far too many things to see and do in the Port of Los Angeles to describe in this article. The Experience LA website will give you information that will help you plan your visit.
Photo by Wknight94
Travelers who want to see the Port of Los Angeles by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.