How To Do A ‘La La Land’ Inspired Tour Of Los Angeles
This one's for the dreamers.
La La Land swept up big at yesterday’s Golden Globes ceremony, including gongs for the film’s two main stars, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. But there’s also another star who features prominently in Damien Chazelle’s dreamy musical – the city of Los Angeles.
Sure, it sounds cheesy, but Los Angeles paints the perfect backdrop to a dazzling story like this. The film follows the budding romance between Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, as they attempt to chase their dreams in the City of Angels. Set in modern day LA, this original musical features more than 40 locations in and around Los Angeles, proving the city might just be La La Land‘s biggest star.
If you’ve seen the film, or are still deciding whether to (you should), here’s a handy guide to ten of La La Land’s most spectacular destinations that you can visit for yourself.
#1 Hermosa Pier
Stretching right over the Pacific Ocean, the Hermosa Pier is a popular destination for fishing, strolling and taking in LA’s stunning sunsets. Sebastian decides to do just that, strolling the pier and singing the film’s Golden Globe winning song ‘City of Stars’.
#2 Lighthouse Cafe
Hermosa Beach’s Lighthouse Cafe has showcased jazz since opening in May of 1949. Having hosted legendary jazz musicians like Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Art Blakey and Cannonball Adderley, these days the club hosts anything from jazz to reggae to rock.
#3 Griffith Park
After a Hollywood Hills party, Sebastian and Mia discover a spectacular view of the San Fernando Valley, where they perform the dance number “A Lovely Night”. The sequence was filmed in one take (!) at Cathy’s Corner, off Mt. Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park. Spanning more than 4300 acres, Griffith Park is the 11th largest municipally owned park in the US and provides a stunning backdrop to this show-stopping number.
#4 Colorado Street Bridge
Recreate Mia and Sebastian’s bridge interlude at the Colorado Street Bridge, which was proclaimed the highest concrete bridge in the world upon completion in 1913. Rising 45 metres tall, this historic bridge has impressed locals and visitors since its inception, and is a romantic landmark in the greater Los Angeles area.
#5 Griffith Observatory
Featuring prominently in the film, Griffith Observatory is one of LA’s greatest cultural attractions. As an homage to its scene-stealing cameo in 1955’s Rebel Without A Cause, Sebastian and Mia decide to visit the Observatory and spend a little time getting astronomical in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.
#6 Angels Flight
During a montage, Sebastian and Mia ride Angels Flight, a funicular railway in the Bunker Hill district of Downtown LA. While Angels Flight has been closed since September of 2013, the filmmakers got permission to use the iconic Los Angeles landmark for a day.
#7 Grand Central Market
The montage also sees the couple at Grand Central Market, just a hop, skip and a tap dance away from Angels Slight. Opened in 1917, this market houses a multicultural collection of classic and modern food vendors – including Sarita’s Pupuseria, which Mia and Seb are big fans of.
#8 The Smokehouse
This legendary steakhouse stands in for Lipton’s in the film, the supper club where Sebastian plays holiday tunes.
#9 Warner Bros. Studios
As she attempts to gain notoriety in the film industry, Mia takes a job working in the coffee shop on the Warner Bros. lot. Although the coffee shop she works in doesn’t actually exist, Mia and Sebastian take a tour of the lot and get a behind the scenes look into the daily goings-on at the studio – which visitors can actually do at the lot.
#10 Rialto Theatre
Built in 1925, LA’s opulent Rialto Theatre gained a spot on the National Register of Historic Places thanks to its elaborate and classic architectural features. While the theatre closed in 2007 and is now only opened for special occasions, Mia and Sebastian head here for a screening of Rebel Without a Cause.
To learn more, check out Discover Los Angeles’ guide to La La Land destinations.