About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Piers & Boardwalks, Beaches
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Historic Walking Areas
Historic Walking Areas, Piers & Boardwalks, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Science Museums, Aquariums
Theatres, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings
Historic Walking Areas, Flea & Street Markets, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Disney Parks & Activities, Points of Interest & Landmarks
The boardwalk at popular Venice Beach has pathways and parks for bicycles, skateboarders, and rollerbladers, and snake charmers and body builders alike come here to strut their stuff. Step off the boardwalk to take advantage of Venice Beach's waves, beach volleyball courts, and plenty of waterfront dining opportunities.
Located a short walk from Venice beach, Abbot Kinney is a hip mercantile city street where art, design, food, and nightlife rule. You won't find any chain stores in the eclectic mix here; you will happen upon plenty of delicious food and fantastic boutiques with unparalleled atmosphere.
After the busy rush of Venice's beach and boulevard, the Venice Canals offer a charming, peaceful respite to visitors. Marked on the National Register of Historic Places, the man-made canals were the brainchild of Abbot Kinney, who in 1905 decided to bring some of Italy's old-world charm to the LA social scene. Today, the area is home to some of the city's most scenic homes and is good for a stroll.
The Santa Monica Pier and beach is more family-friendly than Venice, and after a must-see visit to the former, you can spend your day lounging and playing at the latter. This 100-year-old landmark pier features an aquarium, Pacific Park on the boardwalk (with ferris wheel and roller coaster), a beginner's trapeze, arcade, and, oh yes, all the churros and classic soda pop you can consume!
A small local affair located below the Pier, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium focuses on the ocean life found in and around Santa Monica Bay. Education and conservation are its main aims, and to that end the aquarium offers a range of activities and special events to help visitors understand the complex ecosystem lurking below the fun and festivity of the pier.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry, is a grand architectural achievement, both visually and acoustically. The musical centerpiece of LA, it houses the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Worth a visit for the artistry of the building itself, it's also a great venue for an evening show, thanks to its vast auditorium.
Olvera Street, a Historic Landmark, is located in one of the most traditional areas of Downtown LA. It's a rustic oasis surrounded by industrial complexes, both colorful and romantic. Pottery, piñatas, and puppets line the stores of this tiny street, and it preserves its authentic Latin origin in the food and local atmosphere.
To experience another side of LA's wide cultural spectrum, take a walk around Little Tokyo. Los Angeles is home to the USA's largest Japanese-American population, and the landmarked Little Tokyo is one of only three official Japantowns in the country. There is plenty of history to take in here - including the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center and the Japanese American National Museum - but the area is also a popular entertainment district. Plus, the food choices are guaranteed to stop you in your tracks: soba, ramen, donburi, curry, sushi, and yakitori... all can be found here in abundance. Just be sure to save room for dessert at one of the wagashi sweet shops, operating since 1903!
After a day of play outdoors, why not rent a car (or book a bus tour) to see Mulholland Drive, one of the most scenic routes in LA, with views of the Hollywood Hills. Various routes highlight LA's natural beauty or its exclusive homes - take your pick!
Best known for its role as the permanent home of the world-famous Oscar Awards, the Dolby (previously the Kodak Theatre) is a live-performance theater in the Hollywood & Highland shopping and entertainment complex. A tour of this iconic venue is the ultimate behind-the-scenes peek at LA's theater scene and dexterous modern culture.
If you're looking to get off the beaten path in LA, you can't get off to a much better start than at Runyon Canyon. This park in the Santa Monica Mountains comprises 160 acres of nature walks and hiking trails for you to sink your feet into.
LA's Fashion District is home to 100 blocks of retail shopping. It is also the site of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, which puts on fantastic free exhibits featuring costumes from TV and movies.
The Watts Towers are a collection of 17 interconnected sculptures in Simon Rodia State Historic Park. Representing Italian-American ingenuity through a fantastic city installation, this remarkable collection was 33 years in the making, the life's work of artist and architect Sam Rodia. Take in the gorgeous, bright-tiled mosaic work at the base of the spires, which soar 99 feet in the air - beacons of history made up of bed frames, glass bottles, and scrap metal, and painted over in sea shells. This one-of-a-kind landmark houses the real story of LA's past in its metal bones.
The epicenter of action in Laurel and Hardy's classic film comedy "The Music Box," which won the first Academy Award for Live Action Short Film (comedy) in 1932, the 133 Music Box Steps have been preserved by the Library of Congress for being of culturally significant value. If you're looking to spend some time exploring Hollywood's history without the tourist traffic, check out this landmark open set - and even dare to climb to the top!
When you think LA, you're bound to think Disney - so why not experience it like a local? In addition to (predictably) housing the world's largest Disney Store, Downtown Disney is a mecca of food and entertainment geared toward adults (though with plenty of kid-friendly activity too). From an interactive theme park and dino-dining, to Wolfgang Puck's cuisine and cocktails - plus golf courses and even a spa - there is literally no end to what you can do, buy, see, and eat in this lively part of town.