One of the places I have visited which I think is completely unique was the House on the Rock. It is one of the famous spots located in Wisconsin. From Chicago, our family went for a road trip to specifically visit this unusual place. Besides who wouldn’t like to visit another state by traveling by land? From Chicago to House on the Rock, it took us approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes.
House on the Rock has a vast collection of amazing artwork and anything that you may think of. Alex Jordan is the man behind the House on the Rock. It was opened to the public in the year 1960. The look from the outside will let you think it is just a simple house but then as you walk through it, you will notice it’s a house turned into museum. They have eclectic, exotic, bizarre collections of stuff and displays. There is a room where you can see vast collection of mechanical music machines. Put some coins on it and it will play. There is a collection of doll house with such a detailed display. The infinity room was my favorite, extending an unsupported length of 218 feet and soaring 156 above the valley floor. If you are afraid of the heights it is bit scary but it shouldn’t be missed. There is also a section called Street of Yesterday. It is like having a trip to a small town America. If you will be touring inside, you will be astounded how a man created such unique place. There is even a display of a huge sea creation which is longer than the Statue of Liberty as described!
One can also find the world’s largest carousel featuring 269 handcrafted animals, 20,000 lights and 182 chandeliers! It is hard not to be amazed and overwhelmed by the great place. It is kind of weird and strange but definitely fun. It is uniquely different! 1-2 hours of seeing the place may not be enough to see all the displays. We toured the museum for like 5 hours! If you feel hungry, there is a restaurant inside of the house, outside foods are not allowed. To end the trip, there is a souvenir shop once you are on your way out. House of Rock was sold to Art and Karen Donaldson, one year before Alex Jordan’s death. Admission fee costs around 29.95 USD per person. It was kind of expensive though but it was worth the experience. The House on the Rock has a resort which offers lodging and spa if you wish to stay and enjoy the place. Though we didn’t have the chance to go around Wisconsin, we had our dinner in one of the local restaurants. I like the vibe of the place. It is definitely experiencing American kind of restaurant in a country side. I had a great fun on that trip, after all it is a family bonding…
Los Angeles is located in the Southern part of California. There are so many places where you can go and multiple of things you can do in LA. It is the second largest city next to New York. It is the city of entertainment and city of dreams. Here are the top suggestions:
Walk along Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard is one of the best attractions in Los Angeles. Just walk and look down along the Hollywood Blvd and there you can see the Hollywood Walk of Fame and see the 2400 figures from around the world of entertainment that are written on pink terrazzo stars and gold letter. Since I love Keanu Reeves, I took picture of his name as a souvenir. There are also a lot of impersonators along the streets of Hollywood where you can take photos with them and pay them a dollar or give them some tips. For a first timer visitor, it is a must see. If you are lucky you might even see a concert, star ceremony or movie premiere on that area. In my case, I saw One Direction doing there rehearsal that time (Oh well just a peep!)
Take a Pic with the Hollywood Sign
Los Angeles experience wouldn’t be complete without a souvenir picture with the famous Hollywood Sign. There are several places where you can have the beautiful view of the sign. I took pics when I had my hiking to the Hollywood sign, in Griffith Park Observatory and in Hollywood & Highland.
Indulge at Farmers Market
Farmer’s Market is a destination for food lovers. There is wide variety of foods to choose from- prepared food stalls, specialty food market and a lot more. Market is open 7 days a week. Beside the Farmer’s Market is The Grove Mall so people can just walk around and enjoy the area. Since it was Holiday season that time, I enjoyed the lights everywhere too!
Be a Kid in Universal Studio
Originally Universal Studio was created to offer tours of the famous recording studios and film sets but now evolved to be fun filled theme park. Park that has all the attractions where kids, kids at heart and movie fans can enjoy! The park has lots of thrilled and exciting rides and shows. I like the Fast and Furious Supercharged ride with 3D effect that made me part of the action packed scene. It will make your heart pound! There were also live show presented in Waterworld. There are varieties of restaurants, souvenir shops located at City Walk too.
The highlight of the park would probably be the studio tour. You will have the opportunity to see the set-up, the famous Hollywood streets in which many movies were filmed. I was fascinated how the rain and flood was done in Hollywood. It was fun checking how a real movie was done. Ticket costs around 100usd for general admission, not bad for the awesome experience!
Drench in some Culture & Arts in Museum of LA
Getty Museum was designed by Architect Richard Meier and occupies 750 acres in Santa Monica Mountain hills. It has wide art collection which features pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts and 19th- and 20th-century American, Asian, and European photographs. There is also some outdoor sculpture and garden which looks fascinating. What I like most about this place, is the tram going up to the museum. The museum is free to the public. Aside from that, it offers a spectacular view of Los Angeles.
LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) is the largest art museum in the west side of United States. But sadly when I went there it was already closed so I just grabbed the chance to take a picture outside of LACMA which was a great place to have a photo session. But if you love art, this shouldn’t be missed!
Catch a Glimpse of Celebrities in Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills is the home for the rich, famous and glamorous personalities. The area which concentrates to expensive and luxurious houses. It reminds me of the movie 90210 and I am delighted I was able to see it in real life!
Dare to Shop in Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive is a district known for its high couture fashion and posh salon. It is one of the most visited places in LA by the tourists. Either you can just walk around or dare to go into one of the shops, just like what Julia Roberts did in the movie, Pretty Woman! Some of the famous retailers that can be found are: Hermes, Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co, Versace, Chanel, Miu Miu, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino and a lot more. Other shops need an appointment for a customer to be entertained. Either way be prepared to ready your 6-7 digits dollar figures! Oh well, I just walked around and that’s it! Hehe…
Discover Griffith Observatory
One of the popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. It is great place to have a view of the Hollywood sign and downtown Los Angeles. The observatory is an educational place with wide array of science and space related displays. The admission is free! There is a wide area outside the observatory where people can just sit and have some picnic. If you want to go for jog it is possible too!
Relax at Sta. Monica Pier
Sta. Monica Pier is very popular to both visitors and residents. A place great for relaxing, strolling, soaking up in the sun, swimming, sunbathing, exercising, carnival fun and even people watching. No wonder it is one of the shooting places of the popular Baywatch series! I felt like Pamela Anderson on my bikini, hehe! (Just kidding)There are also some restaurants and souvenir shops around. You can also rent some bicycles and go around which is the one I want to do but unfortunately the bad weather stopped me from doing it when I went there. Sta. Monica is also walking distance to Third Street Promenade where a lot of shops and restaurants to choose from.
Watch NBA Live in Staple Center.
Staple Center is a sports arena opened in 1999 that is home to different events. The arena is huge and I am really impressed. It has hosted different concerts of different famous artist. It is the home for Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. I had a great time watching my first NBA Live! I think this is one of the best thing I have done in Los Angeles. I like the vibe and energy of the people watching basketball live. It was worth to try!
Be Amazed at Little Tokyo.
Little Tokyo is located in downtown LA. Stores are everywhere selling Japanese stuffs. There are numerous Japanese restaurants along the area. Something new and different if you will be in LA. I feel like I was in Tokyo walking around!
Be a Studio Audience
Warner Brothers is one of the famous studios in Hollywood, located in Burbank California. It is just very close to the place where I stayed. I took the opportunity to be a studio audience to one of the shows. Take note it was free! Well I was aiming to be a live studio audience for the Big Bang theory but unfortunately it was full! So my brother and I took the chance by getting another slot for another show- 2 Broke Girls. Tickets were given online but no assurance to get in. When we got there, I was surprised of the long line for the studio audience. I guess there were like 200 people waiting. Unfortunately after we have waited, we didn’t able to get in! Anyway, at least I was able to get a glimpse of Warner Brothers Studio, mmm a bit!
Be Hippie in Venice Beach
The Bohemian neighborhood is what gives the area a unique experience. If you enjoy people watching and want to be hippie, it is a place to be. A place which is totally entertaining, you can have a sneak view of street performers, skaters, muscle men, Doctor Weed (which is quite intriguing) and a lot more. There are lots of outdoor shops to check and restaurants to choose from.