The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles

19 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area, Hotels Reading Time:  8 minutes

© flickr.com - Chris Eason/cc-by-2-0

© flickr.com – Chris Eason/cc-by-2-0

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, originally the Los Angeles Biltmore of the Bowman-Biltmore Hotels group, is a luxury hotel located opposite Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles, California. Upon its grand opening in 1923, the Los Angeles Biltmore was the largest hotel west of Chicago in the United States. In 1969 the Biltmore Hotel was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles. In 1951, the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel Company sold to Corrigan Properties for more than $12 million. Regal Hotels purchased the Biltmore in 1996, and then sold it in 1999 to Millennium & Copthorne Hotels. As of 2009, the Los Angeles Biltmore is operated as part of the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels chain as the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The hotel has 70,000 square feet (6,500 m²) of meeting and banquet space. From its original 1500 guestrooms it now has 683, due to room reorganization. Since 2015, four restaurants and bars serve the hotel, including Smeraldi’s Restaurant (American continental cuisine), newly relaunched Bugis Street Brasserie, the Rendezvous Court, and the Gallery Bar.   read more…

Lombard Street in San Francisco

17 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, San Francisco Bay Area Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Gaurav1146

© Gaurav1146

Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California that is famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. Stretching from The Presidio east to The Embarcadero (with a gap on Telegraph Hill), most of the street’s western segment is a major thoroughfare designated as part of U.S. Route 101. The famous one-block section, claimed to be “the crookedest street in the world”, is located along the eastern segment in the Russian Hill neighborhood. It is a major tourist attraction, receiving around two million visitors per year and up to 17,000 per day on busy summer weekends, as of 2015. San Francisco surveyor Jasper O’Farrell named the road after Lombard Street in Philadelphia.   read more…

Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles

24 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area Reading Time:  7 minutes

© flickr.com - KimonBerlin/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – KimonBerlin/cc-by-sa-2.0

Mulholland Drive is a street and road in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California. It is named after pioneering Los Angeles civil engineer William Mulholland. The western rural portion in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties is named Mulholland Highway. The road is featured in a significant number of movies, songs, and novels. David Lynch, who wrote and directed a film named after Mulholland Drive, has said that one can feel “the history of Hollywood” on it. Academy Award–winning actor Jack Nicholson has resided at Mulholland Drive for many years and still lives there today.   read more…

San Fernando Valley in California

23 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area Reading Time:  12 minutes

Mission San Fernando Rey de España © Geographer/cc-by-2.5

Mission San Fernando Rey de España © Geographer/cc-by-2.5

The San Fernando Valley, known locally as The Valley, is an urbanized valley in Los Angeles County, California. Located just north of the Los Angeles Basin, the valley incorporates part of the City of Los Angeles, as well as the incorporated cities of Burbank and San Fernando. The valley is well known for its iconic film studios such as Warner Bros. Studio and Walt Disney Studios. In addition, it is home to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.   read more…

Manhattan Beach in California

20 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area Reading Time:  7 minutes

Manhattan Beach Pier © Jake Rome/cc-by-sa-3.0

Manhattan Beach Pier © Jake Rome/cc-by-sa-3.0

Manhattan Beach is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, United States, on the Pacific coast south of El Segundo, and north of Hermosa Beach. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,135, and in 2019 the population was estimated to be 35,183. Manhattan Beach is one of the three Beach Cities, along with Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach, that make up the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. The community is known for a long beach stretching approximately 2.1 miles (3.4 km) and roughly 450 feet (140 m) wide.   read more…

Lido Isle in Newport Beach

3 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© D Ramey Logan/cc-by-sa-4.0

© D Ramey Logan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Lido Isle is a man-made island located in the harbor of Newport Beach, California. Surrounded by the city, Lido Isle was incorporated as part of Newport Beach in 1906. At that time it was part sandbar and part mudflat. There are no commercial facilities on the island other than a small snack bar open in the summer, and its only link to the city is a small bridge. The man-made island is solely residential with approximately 1,800 people living on the island.   read more…

Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World

27 February 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, San Francisco Bay Area Reading Time:  8 minutes

Old City Hall © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old City Hall © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gilroy is a city in Northern California’s Santa Clara County, south of Morgan Hill and north of San Benito County. Gilroy’s origins lie in the village of San Ysidro that grew in the early 19th century out of Rancho San Ysidro, granted to Californio ranchero Ygnacio Ortega in 1809. Following Ygnacio’s death in 1833, his daughter Clara Ortega de Gilroy and son-in-law John Gilroy inherited the largest portion of the rancho and began developing the settlement. When the town was incorporated in 1868, it was renamed in honor of John Gilroy, a Scotsman who had emigrated to California in 1819, naturalized as a Mexican citizen, adopted the Spanish language, and converted to Catholicism, taking the name of Juan Bautista Gilroy.   read more…

Joshua Tree National Park in California

15 February 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  8 minutes

Cyclops and Pee Wee Formations © Jarek Tuszyński/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cyclops and Pee Wee Formations © Jarek Tuszyński/cc-by-sa-3.0

Joshua Tree National Park is an American national park in southeastern California, east of Los Angeles and San Bernardino, near Palm Springs. It is named for the Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) native to the Mojave Desert. Originally declared a national monument in 1936, Joshua Tree was redesignated as a national park in 1994 when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act. Encompassing a total of 790,636 acres (1,235.4 sq mi; 3,199.6 km²) – slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island – the park includes 429,690 acres (671.4 sq mi; 1,738.9 km²) of designated wilderness. Straddling San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, the park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation: the higher Mojave Desert and the lower Colorado Desert (including the Coachella Valley). The Little San Bernardino Mountains traverse the southwest edge of the park.   read more…

Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood

30 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area, Hotels Reading Time:  9 minutes

© flickr.com - Tony Hisgett/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Tony Hisgett/cc-by-2.0

The Chateau Marmont is a hotel located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The hotel was designed by architects Arnold A. Weitzman and William Douglas Lee and completed in 1929. It was modeled loosely after the Château d’Amboise, a royal retreat in France’s Loire Valley. The hotel is known as both a long- and short-term residence for celebrities – historically “populated by people either on their way up or on their way down” – as well as a home for New Yorkers in Hollywood. The hotel has 63 rooms, suites, cottages, and bungalows. In 2020, the Chateau Marmont converted to a private members-only hotel.   read more…

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