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Best Ways To Spend 24 Hours In Los Angeles

3rd street 610 third street
(credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

From Santa Monica's music-engulfed Third Street Promenade and the parade of off-the-wall artisans at Venice Beach to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and other popular tourist destinations, there are lots of things to do within a single day in Los Angeles. Whether your preference is to see where some celebrities have anchored their roots or to grab a taste of L.A. from land or air, here are some picture-perfect options to squeeze into your 24-hour itinerary.

Griffith Park Observatory
(credit: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images)

Griffith Observatory
2800 E. Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

Located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, Griffith Observatory is an exemplary superstructure where many blockbuster movies have been filmed. Boasting more than one million guests each year, this free-admission facility is the most-visited public observatory in the world. It is a state-of-the-art watchtower, planetarium and exhibition amalgam, focused on science and informal education. On evenings when skies are clear and this architectural masterpiece is open, stargazers of all ages are able to peek through its historic telescope to view some of the more gleaming natural objects in orbit within our Solar System.

hollywoodhighland-tcl chinese theatre
(credit: Tee Burgess)

TCL Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 461-3331

Standing tall on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre has hosted an array of movie premieres and several Academy Awards ceremonies throughout the years. Tourists from the world over flock to its forecourt to capture photos of some of the near-200 signatures, handprints and footprints of iconic movie stars from the 1920s to present day, as they have been immortalized in concrete. If time permits, they'll also catch a recently released movie inside the single, largest IMAX auditorium in the world. Resembling a giant, red Chinese Pagoda, this palatial venue is one of L.A.'s chief attractions and pillars of entertainment distinction.

Lorenzo Lamas at Elite Helicopter Tours (Credit: Sharon Bush)

Elite Helicopter Tours
Van Nuys Airport
16425 Vanowen St.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(310) 948-4354

In L.A., locals and tourists alike are provided safe opportunities to soar above this remarkable global city, with a TV superstar at the controls. Best known for his stellar roles in such long-running CBS soap operas as "Falcon Crest" and "The Bold and The Beautiful," actor and philanthropist Lorenzo Lamas is the only celebrity tour and charter pilot in the nation. Whenever this certified flight instructor is not taping popular reality shows and other dramatic projects, the aviation aficionado and devoted family man is whirling adventurous sightseers around on thrilling excursions, giving them a rare, VIP illustration of this resplendent metropolis.

Related: Top Unique Tours In LA

(credit: Farmers Market)

The Original Farmers Market
6333 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-9211

Established in 1934, this expressive landmark offers an extensive mishmash of ethnic food items from many immigrant communities throughout L.A., with Latin American and Asian cuisine well-represented. Positioned just to the south of CBS Television City, it is a prominent waypost that features more than 100 tourist shops, restaurants and grocers. Because it joins hands with The Grove, with a trolley connecting the two sites, visitors are able to expand their shopping experiences, watch a movie or take in a free musical performance. Some even bump into a few well-known celebrities and infamous personalities that frequent this happening place.

Los Angeles Olvera St
(credit: Urban Adventure Quest)

Olvera Street
845 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 485-6855

This historic pedestrian mall is the oldest part of the downtown area, where pleasure seekers are greeted by roving troubadours and flashy displays of colorful piñatas, expertly crafted pottery, unique serapes and oversized sombreros, among many other ethnic offerings. As a popular attraction, the brick-lined marketplace actually attracts nearly two million visitors each year. Whether they choose to dine at an enlightening restaurant or marvel at a quaint building that has withstood the tests of time since 1818, they are contributing to a long-standing territorial claim that continues to pay homage to a dazzling and romantic vision of old Mexico.

Related: Best Activities You Wouldn't Think To Do In Los Angeles

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to

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