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Journal of ASPR - Summer 2012 - Things to See and Do in Los Angeles
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Things to See and Do in Los Angeles

By Laurie Pumper, ASPR Communication Director, St. Paul

L.A. LIVE bills itself as the most entertaining place on the planet; the district includes Staples Center (home to the NBA’s L.A. Lakers and L.A. Clippers, the WNBA Sparks, and the NHL Kings), Nokia Theatre, the GRAMMY Museum, movie theaters, restaurants, and clubs. Find out more with a tour! Tours depart every hour on the hour, starting at 10 a.m.; the final tour of the day departs at 4 p.m. Get more details at

For film fans, Los Angeles truly is the movie capital of the world. There are more than 50 film festivals in the city every year. In August, festivals include the Feel Good Film Festival (devoted to movies with happy endings or that highlight the beauty of the world) and the HollyShorts Film Festival (a showcase for short films from around the globe). Of course, you can also tour famous studios such as Warner Bros., Universal, and Paramount.

For the young and young at heart, Disney’s California Adventure Park offers up two brand new lands in Summer 2012. At Cars Land, the town of Radiator Springs offers up new rides, food, entertainment and shopping. The new Buena Vista Street takes visitors back to the carefree Southern California that welcomed Walt Disney in the 1920s — with Art Deco, Spanish-tile roofs, and a reproduction of the theatre where Walt’s first animated feature premiered in 1937. Of course, there is also the original Disneyland Park that started it all!

The wildly popular Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival returns with city-wide events August 9-12, 2012. Celebrity chefs and internationally acclaimed wineries will take over the entertainment capital of the world, as guests will enjoy intimate access to chefs and winemakers throughout the weekend at themed parties, dining experiences, wine seminars, cooking demos and a charity auction brunch. Featured chefs include Wolfgang Puck, Michael Chiarello, Giada De Laurentiis, and more than 30 other top chefs from across the US. Tickets and the full event lineup.

Want to immerse yourself in art while enjoying some southern California sun? Check out the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA. The site is considered by many to be among the best sculpture collections in North America. The Getty Center includes the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Collection, with works by many of the 20th Century’s most celebrated sculptors. The Norton Simon Museum also features a peaceful garden with sculptures ingeniously integrated into the landscape.

Baseball fans can tour Dodger Stadium (just north of downtown) — but alas, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be on a road trip during the 2012 ASPR Annual Conference.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be at home during our conference, playing Seattle and Cleveland.Information about games and stadium tours.

Thanks to its mild climate, Los Angeles is home to many locations that will delight fans of flora and fauna. Descanso Gardens is a 160-acre oasis with colorful flower displays, including a 5-acre Rosarium, and a bird sanctuary. Ringed by mountains, rivers and streams, the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve is haven of rest for wildlife and humans alike. More than 200 species of birds can be seen here. The Exposition Rose Garden is another peaceful spot.

Even if you’re on a budget, there are places in L.A. to delight. Admission to the Griffith Observatory is free; in addition to its celebrated planetarium, it has been featured in many films and TV shows over the years (perhaps most memorably in Rebel Without a Cause). Many popular TV shows offer free tickets to taped or live shows. Or check out Palisades Park for magnificent views of the ocean.

Journal of ASPR - Summer 2012