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The Sakai North American Conference 2011 will take place on the 14th, 15th and 16th of June, at the Westin Bonaventure*, Los Angeles. Pre-conference sessions will be held on June 13th.

Orientation

The greater Los Angeles area is a vast and sprawling metropolis with many cities, neighborhoods, and micro-communities.

Amusement Parks, Rides, and Zoos

Location

URL

Notes

Disneyland

http://disneyland.disney.go.com/

In Anaheim. A significant commute from downtown LA.

Universal Studios

http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/

A short freeway drive from downtown LA.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

http://www.sixflags.com/magicMountain/index.aspx

In Santa Clarita/Valencia. A commute from downtown LA.

Knott's Berry Farm

http://www.knotts.com/

A significant drive. Not as impressive as the others, IMO.

Santa Monica Pier

http://www.santamonicapier.org/

Carnival-style rides and games, food, beach...

LA Zoo

http://www.lazoo.org/

Great for kids. Gene Autry Museum across the street.

Aquarium of the Pacific

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/

Long Beach. A significant commute from downtown LA.

The Arts, Museums

There are many great art and history museums in Los Angeles. Here are some resources to explore and just a few options to consider:

Location

URL

Notes

Discover the Arts in Los Angeles

http://discoverlosangeles.com/thearts/

Resource to find deals for numerous museums, plays, etc.

LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

http://www.lacma.org

An amazing museum, including two new complexes. Check our BCAM for contemporary art.

Getty

http://www.getty.edu

Two locations, one in LA off the 405 and one at the coast on Pacific Coast Hwy. Both are amazing!

MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art

http://www.moca.org/

South Grand Ave near Pershing Square exit.

Annenberg Space for Photography

http://www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org/

A small space, but great photography. In 1-2 hours, you'll see it all and be ready for your next adventure in LA.

Petersen Automotive Museum

http://www.petersen.org/

If you're a car nut, this place is for you. Just across the street from LACMA.

Hollywood Bowl

http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/

Music, performances.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

http://www.laphil.com/visit/

Not sure if there will be performances, but worth a look!

Ahmanson Theater, Mark Taper Forum

http://www.centertheatregroup.org/

If a play's your thing, check out these great venues.

Griffith Observatory

http://www.griffithobservatory.org/

Great view of LA, planetarium, and much more!

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

http://www.huntington.org/

In San Marino-Pasadena.

Independent Shakespeare at Griffith Park

http://www.independentshakespeare.com/

Shakespeare. Griffith Park. Check schedule to see if playing during conference.

Autry Museum Of Western Heritage

http://theautry.org/

Learn about the American West.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

http://www.nhm.org/site/plan-your-visit

Exhibits on earth's biodiversity.

California Science Center

http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/

Future home of Space Shuttle Endeavor.

Los Angeles Central Public Library

http://www.lapl.org/central/

Check out the art and architecture.

Culver City Art District

http://www.ccgalleryguide.com/

Cool place to explore contemporary art for sale.

Bergamot Station

http://bergamotstation.com/

Cool place to explore contemporary art for sale.

The Beach

The main beach communities of the Los Angeles Area are, from north to south: Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice and Maria Del Rey. Unfortunately, Downtown LA is on the east side of town, so in order to dip your toes in the Pacific, you'll need a car or a bus trip. Access to the beaches is free, but parking is not.

If you're looking for suggestions, here is a link to recommendations for 8 great LA area beaches.

Info

Please be aware that we sometimes have coastal fog in June. It usually burns off my midday, but something to be aware of. Learn more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Gloom

Dining

There are many, many restaurants and eateries in the LA area.

First, you'll notice that restaurants have a letter grade on the door. This is a rating of cleanliness from the city. You want to eat at an "A" restaurant. Less than an "A" means the establishment hasn't met all health codes. You can learn more here: http://lapublichealth.org/eh/misc/ehpost.htm

Location

URL

Notes

The Original Pantry

http://www.pantrycafe.com/

An LA landmark. Good ole American diner fare.

Urban Spoon's Picks

http://www.urbanspoon.com/n/5/415/LA/Downtown-Los-Angeles-restaurants

 

Yelp's Picks

http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=restaurants+downtown&find_loc=Los+Angeles%2C+CA

 

If you're interested in exploring LA's food truck scene, try:
LAist Food Truck Twitter List
Roaming Hunger

If you're interested in sampling some of LA's amazing tacos and taco trucks, a great resource is The Great Taco Hunt. But seriously, almost any taco trunk you come upon is going to have something unique and delicious.

You may have heard that LA has excellent Chinese food. The best place to get some of the most authentic and regional cuisines is in the various towns of the San Gabriel Valley, just east of Downtown.

Hiking, Outdoors

Location

URL

Notes

Griffith Park

http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/griffithpk/

 

Los Angeles Mountains

http://www.lamountains.com/

Trails, parks, etc.

Off the Beaten Path

Location

URL

Notes

Adamson House, Malibu

http://www.adamsonhouse.org/

Beautiful location, learn about Malibu history, amazing tile.

Bergamot Station Art Center, Santa Monica

http://bergamotstation.com/

A collection of art galleries with new and old art and photography for sale.

Bradbury Building, Downtown LA

http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/downtown/bradbury.php4

Architecture.

Culver City Art District

http://www.ccgalleryguide.com/

A collection of art galleries with new and old art and photography for sale.

Gamble House, Pasadena

http://www.gamblehouse.org/

Architecture. Pasadena. Might remember it from Back to the Future.

Grand Central Market

http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/downtown/grand_central.php4

Food, etc.

Graystone Mansion, Beverly Hills

http://www.greystonemansion.org/

Nice grounds, good view, free...

Hollyhock House, Hollywood

http://hollyhockhouse.net/

Frank Lloyd Wright. 'Nuff said.

LA Metro Art

http://www.metro.net/about/art/

The art at bus stations, rail stations, etc.

MAK Center at the Schindler House, West Hollywood

http://www.makcenter.org/

Art and architecture.

The World Famous Magic Castle

http://www.magiccastle.com/

If you know a magician or member, ask for passes... it's worth the trip!

Shopping

More places than can be mentioned here. Just a sample:

Location

URL

Notes

Americana - Glendale

http://www.americanaatbrand.com/

Popular new mall.

Beverly Hills - Rodeo Drive

http://www.rodeodrive-bh.com/index4.html

Iconic. Expensive.

Beverly Center

http://www.beverlycenter.com/

Not in Beverly Hills, but a mall nonetheless.

3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

http://www.thirdstreetpromenade.com/visitors/index.html

Open-air walking mall. Moments away from Santa Monica pier and beach. Another major mall next door. A commute from downtown LA.

The Grove

http://www.thegrovela.com/

Another popular open-air mall. Farmer's market nearby.

Hollywood and Highland

http://www.hollywoodandhighland.com/

See the sights, buy some things. Mann's Chinese next door, El Capitan Theatre across the street.

Los Angeles Farmer's Market

http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

 

Los Angeles Fashion District, Flower District

http://www.fashiondistrict.org/

 

Universal City Walk

http://www.citywalkhollywood.com/

At the steps to Universal Studios.

Sightseeing

Location

URL

Notes

Discover Los Angeles

http://discoverlosangeles.com/

Links to options big and small.

Hollywood Sign

http://www.hollywoodsign.org/

A popular symbol of LA.

Hollywood and Highland, incl. Mann's Chinese Theater

http://www.hollywoodandhighland.com/

See the Chinese, glimpse the Hollywood Sign from the observation level, see the El Capitan Theatre across the street, gawk at people dressed in costume. A short subway trip from downtown.

Griffith Park

http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/griffithpk/

 

La Brea Tar Pits

http://www.tarpits.org/

LACMA next door. Petersen across street.

Beverly Hills

http://www.beverlyhills.org/

The Graystone Mansion is a free place to visit.

Santa Monica Pier

http://www.santamonicapier.org/

Rides, food, beach...

Venice Beach

http://www.venicebeach.com/

Famous or infamous?

Chinatown

http://www.chinatownla.com/

Culture, food, shops, and more. Downtown LA.

Union Station

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Station_%28Los_Angeles%29

Check out the architecture. Downtown LA.

Olvera Street

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olvera_Street

Culture, food, shops, and more. One of the oldest parts of downtown.

Little Tokyo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Tokyo,_Los_Angeles

Culture, food, shops, and more. Downtown LA.

Queen Mary

http://www.queenmary.com/

Long Beach

Angel's Flight Railway

http://angelsflight.com/

Shortest railway in the world.

LA Conservancy Walking Tours

http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/tours_main.php4

 

Sports, Concerts

Location

URL

Notes

Staples Center

http://www.staplescenter.com/

Lakers, Clippers, Kings, concerts, etc.

LA Dodgers

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=la

Home of the Dodgers

Anaheim or LA Angels

http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=ana

Home of the Angels

The Greek Theatre

http://www.greektheatrela.com/

Concerts, etc.

Nokia Theatre at LA Live

http://www.nokiatheatrelalive.com/

Concerts, etc.

LA Forum

http://thelaforum.com/

Concerts, etc.

House of Blues Los Angeles

http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/losangeles/

Concerts

Sunset Strip

http://thesunsetstrip.com/

Concerts, comedy, etc.

Just a sample of things to do in LA...

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