Destination Directory

La La Los Angeles

Nominated for 14 Academy Awards and taking home six, La La Land dominated the box office in 2016. Now, sites from the film are ruling Los Angeles tourism. The film—which follows jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) as they fall in love and chase their dreams while living in Los Angeles—was shot almost entirely in the city and has since inspired droves of movie fans to flock to locations featured in the picture. For a limited time, Warner Bros. is even resurrecting the film's coffee shop set on its studio tour. Here are six other locations the starstruck won't want to miss.

1. Griffith Park and Observatory

In La La Land, so much happens at Giffith Observatory. Mia and Sebastian dance together for the first time in Griffith Park—and while the lamp and bench was planted by set designers, visitors could enjoy views from the observatory, where Rebel Without a Cause was shot. Views from the observatory stretch across Los Angeles' cityscape to the ocean, and are rumored to be best at sunset.

2. Lighthouse Café

The Hermosa Beach jazz bar near the city's pier is where Sebastian sings the film's feature song, "City of Stars." Lighthouse Café has been open since 1949 and features live music every night, a view of the beach from its outside patio, and an eclectic menu.

3. Angels Flight

Find the railroad Mia and Sebastian travel on in the revamped Downtown. While it's been closed for safety since 2013, the site is still worth a visit: The tracks and carriages have existed since 1901.

4. Grand Central Market

Across the street from the bottom of Angels Flight is a market where Mia and Sebastian have a date. Grand Central Market, which opened in 1917, operates seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and serves delicious food under brand names like Horse Thief BBQ and Eggslut.

5. Watts Towers

Mia and Sebastian visit the 17 captivating, interconnected sculptural structures of Watts Towers. Built over a period of 33 years by an Italian immigrant construction worker, the towers are located within the Simon Rodia State Historic Park.

6. Century Freeway

No trip to Los Angeles is complete with the congested interstates. La La Land, at the very least, might give visitors a new appreciation for them. The film's opening extraordinary scene—wherein Sebastian first spots Mia—features a horde of grinning drivers escaping the standstill at the interchange between I-105 and I-110 to dance (not recommended for visitors). 

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.


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