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Sprawling over nearly 500 square miles and home to more than 4 million people, Los Angeles, California, is the second largest city in the United States and the heart of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.  
Credit: Corbis 
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Though palm trees are the iconic plant of Los Angeles, only one species is native to Southern California. The others were imported, mostly in the 1920s and 1930s.  
Credit: Grant Faint/Photographer's Choice/Getty 
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Since opening in 1927, Grauman's Chinese Theater has been a Hollywood landmark. The sidewalks in front of the theater are home to the hand and footprints of dozens of stars, and in the 1940s Grauman's hosted three consecutive Academy Awards ceremonies.  
Credit: Carol Highsmith/Wikimedia 
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Sunset on the pier at Manhattan Beach. The beach is a popular spot for surfing and volleyball.  
Credit: Richard Carroll/Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau 
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A view of downtown Los Angeles from Echo Park. With its lake and lotus blossoms, Echo Park is one of LA's most popular. The park and its surrounding neighborhood also have a long association with the arts. In its pre-Hollywood infancy, the film industry called the area home, and dozens of actors, artists, and writers have done the same. The park itself has also served as a location for a number of television shows and feature films, including the 1974 classic Chinatown.  
Credit: Richard Carrol/Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau 
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Dusk at Santa Monica Pier. The century-old pier is home to an arcade, an aquarium, a Ferris wheel, and a 1920s carousel.  
Credit: Photodisc 
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Serving Angelenos since 1939 and still family owned, the historic Pink's hot dog stand is a Los Angeles landmark as well as a link to the city's past and its role in the development of American car and fast food culture.  
Credit: Robert Landau/Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau 
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The beach at Santa Monica  
Credit: Photodisc 
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Designed by superstar architect Frank Gehry as the new home of the L.A. Philharmonic, the Walt Disney Concert Hall opened in 2003. Noted for curving steel panels (a Gehry hallmark), the Hall has also received rave reviews for its acoustics.  
Credit: Robert Landau/Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau 
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A complex of 17 connected structures, the Watts Towers are one of the nation's premier examples of folk art. The towers, two of which rise 99 feet, were conceived and built by a construction worker, Italian immigrant Simon Rodia. Rodia constructed the towers over a period of 33 years that began in 1921 using steel pipes and rods, mortar, and bits of porcelain, glass, and tile.  
Credit: Richard Carroll/Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau 
 
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