The Broad Museum Gives Los Angeles Art a New Place To Call Home

Los Angeles is home to one of the liveliest abstract art scenes in the country. It’s also becoming known for its recent cutting edge architectural projects. It’s appropriate that a collection of Los Angeles abstract art and Pop Art is housed in a building as adventurous as the works on the walls. The newly opened Broad Museum at 221 South Grand Avenue is drawing praise from art lovers and architectural critics.

Contemporary Art Covers a Lot of Ground

The Broad includes an eclectic and wide-ranging collection of works from some of the greatest postwar artists in the world. The collection reaps the benefits of careful acquisitions over a long period by Eli and Edythe Broad, the museum’s patrons. They assembled their collection of Modern Art as the works were being produced, not as a retrospective after the public embraced styles like Abstract Impressionism, Pop Art, and Color Field painting. The Broad’s collection nimbly covers the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. It also features rare canvases from artists better known for their sculpture.

A Building Worthy of Its Contents

The designers of The Broad have created a truly memorable building. It adds to the Los Angeles architectural landscape without overshadowing the works inside. For many years, abstract art in Los Angeles, like most contemporary art, was displayed in re-purposed warehouse galleries. Converted industrial buildings often make excellent gallery spaces for exhibits of artwork of all kinds. However, warehouses don’t add much to a patron’s viewing experience. The Broad has a fun design that makes a  more interesting backdrop for the works inside than a bland, off-white hangar.

The Broad Museum Just Might Be the Ultimate Art Gallery

Contemporary art looks best in spaces that draw your eye towards interesting objects, and that add surprise to the experience of viewing a work. Modern art installations often require multiple sight lines to fully appreciate the theme that the artist was trying to convey.

The Broad delivers interesting spaces for visitors to enjoy the works. The spaces in the building are versatile enough to suit any type of show from the Broad’s gigantic collection, or the visiting collections that are sure to follow.

The pierced screen facade on The Broad museum looks fun and funky, but it’s more than just an architectural gimmick. Museum designers must balance the proper amount of indirect light with the structure and appearance of the building itself.

In less ambitious buildings, this is accomplished by simply adding a glazed clerestory with translucent glass. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in a stark, monotone effect that detracts from the displays.

The pierced facade on The Broad lets sunlight enter from countless additional angles without exposing the artworks to direct sunlight. That’s a neat trick, and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro pulled it off brilliantly. The corrugated pattern of the ceiling in the main gallery complements and enhances the overall effect.

A Worthy Neighbor to the Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles is currently a hotbed of adventurous architecture. The Broad sits next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, one of the most notable and exuberant designs from local starchitect Frank Gehry.

The Broad adds interest and energy to the local streetscape, but it doesn’t make the mistake of trying to outdo the Disney. The designers avoided the urge to be outrageous. They never forgot that the building is ultimately a display space with important design requirements that shouldn’t take a back seat to architectural excitement.

Destined to Become a Los Angeles Landmark

Los Angeles art lovers have long supported the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art, despite the fact that the building isn’t innovative or compelling in its own right. The public deserves to view contemporary art in surroundings that suit these important trends in the art world.

The Broad has become an immediate sensation in downtown L.A. It’s likely to take its place alongside destination museums like the Guggenheim in New York that attract visitors to see the building as much as the collections inside.

Visit Los Angeles Landmarks With an Economical Rental Car

The best way to visit Los Angeles landmarks like The Broad museum is with a rental car from Value Rental Car. You can rent a late model Toyota for local driving at a fraction of the cost of traditional car rentals. Call or email Value Rental Car today!

Photo courtesy of Peter Alfred Hess at Flickr.com

See the Biggest British Movie Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

If you’re visiting Los Angeles from the United Kingdom, it’s fun to find a little bit of home smack dab in the middle of Hollywood. The United Kingdom has as much or more movie history as the United States, but getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is as important to actors from the British Isles as it to their American cousins. Car rentals in Los Angeles California make it easy to tour the whole city, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If you’re visiting Los Angeles from anywhere in the United Kingdom, or you’re just interested in the British film industry, here’s a handy list of the biggest British stars honored with the star that never fades:

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie’s ability to mimic an American accent fools a lot of TV viewers. His iconic portrayal of House on American TV made him an international star, but he’s British, right down to the Union Jack socks he wore when he got his star on the Walk of Fame in 2016.

Of course Laurie was already well-known in England for his portrayal of Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster on British television, with close friend Stephen Fry as the inimitable Jeeves. They also performed as Fry & Laurie on their own comedy sketch show. Fittingly, you’ll find Hugh Laurie’s star outside the Pig ‘n Whistle British pub on Hollywood Boulevard.

Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren is one of the most well-known British actresses working in today’s cinema. Mirren was born in London, and her most famous roles were portrayals of three different queens of England. She played Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George, and Queen Elizabeth I for a made-for-TV miniseries. She won an Oscar for her portrayal of the reigning Queen Elizabeth as well. Mirren became a Dame of the British Empire in 2003. Car rentals in Los Angeles California make it easy to visit her star at the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard.

Colin Firth

Colin Firth is another actor made famous for playing a British monarch. His turn as King George the VI in The King’s Speech won a slew of awards. It was also one of the most successful productions ever made in the United Kingdom. Firth won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his portrayal of the stammering prince who is suddenly thrust onto the throne when his brother abdicates. You can find Colin Firth’s star on the Walk of Fame very close to Helen Mirren’s. In movie terms, they’re also very close. Firth’s George VI was Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth II’s father!

Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh rose to stardom playing a southern belle in the antebellum United States in Gone With the Wind, but she was a British subject through and through. She was born in India when it was still part of the British Empire. Leigh was married to another luminary of the English stage and screen, Laurence Olivier.

Leigh had many other notable movie roles, like Blanche DuBois in Streetcar Named Desire, but she will always be remembered as Scarlett O’Hara. You can see her star on the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard.

The Beatles

The Hollywood Walk of Fame has stars for work in television, radio, live performance, music, and film. Only one performer, Gene Autry, has a star for each of these five specialties, but the Beatles surely qualify for all five, too. Everyone knows the Beatles for their superbly crafted record albums, wild live performances, and influence on pop culture. It’s easy to overlook the fact that they were popular actors as well. Of course they simply played themselves in A Hard Day’s Night, and Help!, but that’s a testament to how entertaining they were no matter what they set their mind to. In the UK, the Beatles were also well known for their Christmas radio broadcasts. Perhaps the Walk of Fame should consider making the Beatles the only other group with five stars. Look for their star on the north side of the 7100 block of Marshfield Way.

Car Rentals In Los Angeles California

The easiest way to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and many other notable sights, is by car. One of the most economical ways to hire a car is to use car rentals in Los Angeles California from Value Rental Car. They have short and long term rentals of late model cars for local driving, at rates other car rental companies can’t match. Call today to make your reservation!

Photo courtesy of the The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Five More Fabulous Things To Do In Pasadena

You may have read the recent article covering things you can do in your Pasadena car rental. However, there are so many things to do in Pasadena, it needs another entry. Get ready to pack up your Pasadena car rentals, because this list is sure to keep you busy. From museums to gardens, even nature centers, Pasadena is chock full of entertainment for the whole family.

Pasadena City College Flea Market

If you’ve gotten your Pasadena car rentals on the first Sunday of the month, this flea market is not to be missed. Your flea market trip will have you finding antiques and collectibles, ranging from valuable antiques to things you’ll find at rummage sales. There are usually more than 400 vendors, so you’re certain to find a wide assortment of interesting things. As a bonus, a portion of your purchases will go towards student scholarships and activities.

Pasadena Museum of History

For history lovers, the Pasadena Museum of History can’t be beat. It’s an easy drive using Pasadena car rentals. It’s fun and interesting to learn all about Pasadena’s rich history. You’ll see exhibits like “Art in the Street: 25 Years of the Pasadena Chalk Festival.” Pasadena dates back to 1874, so there’s a lot of history for your family to learn about.

Pasadena Playhouse District

You’re sure to find excitement during your trip to the Pasadena Playhouse District. This district combines tradition with modernity in a unique way that is sure to appeal to everyone in your family. You’ll find public art throughout the district. Additionally, they’ve started a “parklet” project, to create fun walking-friendly places. This is a great place to get out of your Pasadena car rentals and walk around seeing the sights.

Norton Simon Museum

Art lovers should definitely make time for a trip to the Norton Simon Museum. Here you’ll see a wide collection of art from lots of different artists. As a matter of fact, the museum itself has a deep history, stretching all the way back to 1922 with the Pasadena Art Institute. Some of the exhibits you’ll find are for Pietro Rotari, and the “Blue Four,” a group of artists that created the art phenomenon of the same name. Finally, your trip to this museum will inspire curiosity and wonder at all the great works of art.

Huntington Library and Gardens

The Huntington Library and Gardens was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington. This destination is filled with the things Henry loved. You’ll find books, art, and gardens on your trip here. There are three galleries on site, boasting one of the most complete collections of 18th to 19th century American, British and French art.

The library has over nine million items from British and American history and literature. Consequently, you’ll find rare books, manuscripts, and prints that you won’t find anywhere else. If your family has a bookworm, you don’t want to pass this up. Once you’ve seen the beautiful art works, you can explore the botanical gardens. At 120 acres, these gardens are huge, offering hours of interesting exploration possibilities.

When you’re looking for Pasadena car rentals, Value Rental Car has a great fleet of cars ranging from budget compacts like the Toyota Corolla, to large SUVs and vans.

Photo courtesy of the The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The Los Angeles Comedy Club Scene Is No Joke

Everyone needs a good laugh now and then, and a good comedy club is the place to get one. If you need a good laugh and happen to be visiting the Los Angeles area, there are plenty of venues you can check out in your rental car to get a good chuckle. The best comedians from around the world perform in Los Angeles. In fact, and the comedy scene in LA has never been stronger than it is right now. Even if you came straight from the airport in a rental car from LAX, you can easily find a place to settle in, relax, and enjoy some great comedy. Here are 12 great comedy club venues you can drive to in your car rental to get your laugh on while you visit Los Angeles:

1. The Comedy Store – West Hollywood

One of the biggest venues in Los Angeles. There are actually 3 separate theaters in the venue, for 3 times the fun. Most top line comedians have played there, such as Dana Carvey, Dane Cook, Gallagher, and more. You can see the names of those comedians and many more scrawled across the building’s exterior. Their iconic outdoor bar is also great to enjoy a drink, and looks out right over Sunset Blvd.

2. The Laugh Factory– West Hollywood

If you can’t get a seat at the Comedy Store, you can always drive down the street in your rental car from LAX to the Laugh Factory. Star comedians like Dave Chapelle, Tim Allen, and Kevin Nealon have been known to make appearances there. The cozy venue even boasts a VIP room for more private evening of laughs. Of course, they also show new and upcoming talent daily. So it’s a perfect place to get your laugh on any day of the week.

3. The Improv– Hollywood

The Improv in Hollywood is one of the most famous and iconic comedy clubs in Los Angeles. Many famous comedians made their name at this venue, like Drew Carey, Richard Pryor, and Jay Leno. In fact, alumni from the club still enjoy stopping in from time to perform a stand-up comedy set for the crowd. In addition to the big name comedians, they have many new and rising comic stars. They’re continuously adding new talent to their venue, so check their list online to see the latest talent.

4. Flappers Comedy Club– Burbank

Nestled in the city of Burbank, Flappers is a great place to get a laugh if you just picked up your rental car from LAX . Great comedians like Jerry Seinfeld have graced this comedy venue with their presence. Flappers not only hosts parties for private parties and kids, but they also hold classes and work with newer comedians to hone their skills. If you’re planning on a longer stay, you can drive there in your long term car rental and take a class or two yourself.

5. The Ice House– Pasadena

The Ice House has been serving up laughs since 1960. Located in Pasadena, the venue has welcomed big name stars like George Lopez and George Carlin. The club also features a restaurant, and you get free preferred seating with your meal. With your Pasadena car rental, you can drive there easily for an evening of food and fun with some great comedic talent!

6. The iO West Theater– North Hollywood

The iO improve theater in Hollywood shares its name with another similar venue in Chicago Illinois, and it shows. You can the faces of iconic comedians from Chicago, and a Chicago Cubs or Bulls game is usually on the TV in the bar. But it is still one of the great meccas of improve comedy in Los Angeles. You can catch a team of improv artists 7 nights a week, so any day is a good day to drive your rental car over for some good improve laughs.

7. The Groundlings– Hollywood

Another of the great meccas of Los Angeles for improvisation is the Groundlings. It’s the place where LA locals check out some of the best in improv comedy. One of their top shows, “Cookin’ with Gas” each show features some of the best audience-suggestion-based improv in Los Angeles. A surprise guest is featured every week from famous shows and sitcoms on TV and cable.

8. Comedy & Magic Club– Hermosa Beach

This cozy seaside spot for comedy has provided lots of laughs to local residents. But it’s close enough so anyone who just got their rental car from LAX can drive there quickly for lots of laughs after a long trip. Big names like Gabriel Iglesias, Jay Leno, and Jon Lovitz make regular appearances here. Because of its location near the coastline, a trip to Nearby Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, or Long Beach are all only a quick drive away in your car rental.

With these great comedy clubs, it’s no wonder Los Angeles is the place to check out for quality laughs. And for those looking for a great quality rental car from LAX, look no further than Value Rental Car. At Value Rental, you always get great deals and more value on a great car rental. Our Inglewood location is perfect if you need a rental car from LAX for short stay. For extended stays, our Pasadena office offers great long term deals for a quality long term rental car. So go ahead and take that rental car to one of these comedy venues to enjoy a night of laughs you’ll be sure to share with all of your friends.

Five Fabulous Things To Do With Your Family In Pasadena

Pasadena is a great town. The community is friendly, and there are plenty of things to do. As one of the hot spots in greater Los Angeles, finding a Pasadena car rental and spending the day exploring all the sights is a great experience. You probably know that Pasadena is the home of the famous Rose Parade. Beautiful floats and marching bands to celebrate the new year. After the Rose Parade comes the Rose Bowl where the best college football teams face off for the title. Read on for a list of the best things to do in Pasadena.

 

The Rose Parade

As mentioned, the Rose Parade is the most famous attraction in Pasadena. If you want to watch you have a couple of choices. You can camp out overnight. This is fun if you’re still young at heart, and don’t mind the cold weather during this time of year. The better option is to purchase seats in the grandstands on Colorado Ave. You can get tickets through Sharp Ticketing Company.

The Gamble House

If you’re not going to be getting your Pasadena car rental when the Rose Parade is being held, there are plenty of options year-round. The Gamble House is just a five-minute drive from old town. Fans of the Back to the Future movie trilogy will recognize it as Doc Brown’s home. This building was built in the 20th century, and is a masterpiece of arts and crafts. You can get your tickets online for the one-hour tour, children 12 and under are free with paying adults. Once you’ve enjoyed the sights in the Gamble House you can drive around the neighborhood to see other homes designed by Greene and Greene.

Kidspace Children’s Museum

A great next stop after the Gamble House, the Kidspace Children’s Museum is just a two-minute drive away. The Museum features exhibits that focus on interactive experiences for younger children. The Arroyo Adventure focuses on connecting kids with nature. A trip to the EC Learning Center will create wonder and stimulate exploration. This place is a blast for kids that can last all day.

Eaton Canyon Falls

A great childhood playground, Eaton Canyon Falls is a beautiful foray into nature. It’s a bit difficult of a hike because you’ve got to cross streams to get there. Your children 5 or older can manage this hike with you. This is a good attraction year-round because even in December and January, the temperature is between 65-70 usually. If you plan to make this hike, you’ll want to park your Pasadena car rental up the trail, near the Henninger Flats Museum.

Hot Restaurants

Old town is full of great spots to eat. The Euro Pane Bakery is a great spot for breakfast and lunch. Their Eggs Benedict are to die for, and any people swear they’ve got the best Macarons in L.A.  Another lunch option is the El Taquito Mexicano Truck. Their authentic Mexican food is something you’ll remember forever. After that you can swing by Amara Chocolate & Coffee where they’ve got churros dipped in chocolate sauce you won’t want to miss. And to wrap it up for dinner, there’s the world class Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung. It’ll take you about 15 minutes to drive over to Arcadia in your Pasadena car rental. Most of their menu is great, but their soup dumplings, or xiao long bao, are highly recommended. Other options, particularly kid-friendly American food include Slater’s 50/50, and Dog Haus.

 

There’s a lot to do in Pasadena, and this article only scratches the surface of entertainment, so hop in your Pasadena car rental, and start exploring!

The Ultimate Guide To The Los Angeles Zoo

The LA Zoo is an iconic destination in Los Angeles, many locals carry memberships for year-round adventures. Kids love animals, and the Zoo is a great reason to get yourself an affordable rental car and spend the day with the family. Much like all the other fantastic tourist destinations in southern California, there are some great tips you can find from people who’ve been that will make your visit even better. These handy tips and tricks will help make your day at the zoo one to remember.

Before you go

After picking up the best affordable rental car you can find, there are a few steps to take before you even head to the zoo. Keep these in mind and your day will go smoother.

  • You can save time by buying your tickets online and printing them at home.
  • Remember to bring water, snacks, your camera, hand sanitizer and of course don’t forget your sunscreen.
  • Bees are sometimes present at the zoo. Sweets like cotton candy and snow cones will attract them, so leave the sugary drinks at home.
  • You can download an audio tour on your phone to bring with you.
  • If you have children on the autism spectrum, they may be more comfortable visiting during the slower hours, like weekdays and afternoons.
  • If you don’t want to carry your stroller, the zoo has strollers available for rent.

Where to Eat

There are great places to eat whether you’ve chosen to pack your affordable rental car with a picnic, or you want to buy food at the zoo. One of the best places for your picnic is on the shaded steps in front of the chimpanzee exhibit. Here, you can enjoy your meal while you watch a show from the chimpanzees. Depending on their mood you get to see the chimpanzees play or fight.

The Play Park has picnic tables and restrooms, making it a great area to eat, however this spot is busiest between noon and 1:00 PM. This spot offers a view of the garden where volunteers grow plants that are special treats for the animals. Even here you can learn things, like gorillas love to eat roses.

As a bonus tip, if you really love gardens, the cycad garden has some of the world’s most ancient plant species. These are plants are so valuable, GPS chips are used to keep them from getting stolen. Here you can see the same plants dinosaurs ate.

If you’re planning to eat the food available at the zoo there are spots throughout the entire park. You can find sandwiches, french fries, tacos, ice cream, churros, and much more. Wander down to the Mahale Café for a slice of pizza or a hot dog while you watch the giraffes enjoy their leaves. If you’re vegetarian, there are lots of choices at Reggie’s Bistro, which is in the front of the zoo.

When to Go

If you can make it work, the best time to get an affordable rental car and head to the zoo is during the week. Most families are at school or work so the park, and possibly more importantly, the parking lot, is almost empty. Once you’ve chosen the day to go, you really want to get to the zoo early. You’ll see more activity out of the animals in the morning. Another good time to go to the zoo is on days that are chilly or overcast. Most people don’t think of the zoo when it’s a little cold or overcast outside so you’ll have the place to yourself.

 

What You Should See, and When You Should See it

Once you get into the zoo, you’ll want to say hi to Reggie the alligator. After that, head straight for the LAIR, which stands for Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles. At the LAIR, you’ll see Scorpions, snakes, tarantulas, and all kinds of other creepers. If you get there in the morning, you might even see the herpetologists while they’re feeding the more venomous animals. If you think “gross”, your kids probably think “Awesome!”.

Once you’ve seen the LAIR, you’ll want to visit the Wasserman Family Thai Pavilion, which is at the Elephants of Asia habitat. Here you can see the pachyderms Tina and Jewel while they’re getting checkups. These huge, 7,000 pound elephants get checked from head to tail every day at 11:00 AM. You might even catch bath time.

You’ll also want to see Randa, an Indian Rhino. The Rhino Encounter takes you behind the scenes. For $10 per ticket during the weekend, anyone 4 and up can go on the noon encounter. You’ll want to book before you go though, because it’s limited to 25 people per day.

Lastly, you’ll want to stop and visit the gorillas. The gorilla is the most iconic animal at the LA zoo. This exhibit offers shady seats that make a great spot to relax or digest your lunch.

The zoo is great fun for people of all ages, so once you’ve got your affordable rental car it’s a great place to take the family for a fun filled day.

Top Tips To Make a Trip to Disneyland Even More Fun

Disneyland is a household name. It’s one of those attractions you should experience at least once in your lifetime. Disneyland is an easy drive from LAX using airport car rentals. You should do some planning before you head out for a day at the Magic Kingdom. Between the crowds, the lines, and all the fun things to do, it can be kind of overwhelming. Here are some tips for visiting Disneyland that will make sure your trip is truly unforgettable.

Pack the Right Things

Most tourists going to Disneyland worry that they’ll forget to bring everything they’ll need. That’s not as big a problem as you might think. The most common mistake travelers make is to bring too much stuff with them. Airport car rentals make it easy to haul a lot of gear with you wherever you go, but you’ll have a better time at Disneyland if you travel light.

Your essentials should fit into something you can carry comfortably. You’ll definitely need sunscreen and a refillable water bottle. You’ll also want to pack some small snacks to nibble when you’re waiting in line for rides and other attractions. If you’ve got food allergies or dietary restrictions, packing some extra food is highly recommended.

It’s also smart to bring a portable charger to keep your phone topped off throughout the day. If you’re relying on your mobile phones as a way of keeping your group together, a dead battery can be a real problem. Another way to get the most out of your phone battery is to put it in airplane mode or turn off data.

Dress Comfortably

There’s a lot of walking and standing in line at Disneyland. That means you should prioritize comfort over fashion when you choose how to dress. You’re going to be on your feet for most of the day. Wear shoes that you will be happy to be wearing eight or more hours later.  Be ready for cooler temps in the early morning and late evening, but remember that Anaheim can be scorching hot during the afternoon. Experienced park-goers pack a sweater or light jacket that they can carry in a backpack when it’s hot, or park in a locker. In addition to a sweater or jacket, you might want to bring a spare set of clothes, in case you decide to ride Splash Mountain a lot. Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses as well.

Use the FastPass System

The FastPass system is an invaluable tool for making your trip to Disneyland go more smoothly. Most of the popular attractions use the FastPass System. Simply visit the ride ahead of time and you’ll get a ticket with a specific return time that lets you jump in to the express line. You can only have one FastPass at a time, so you’ll want to start early and get a new one each time. Remember though, that the two parks are separate so you can get a FastPass from each one. The last thing to know about FastPasses is that there is only a limited amount of tickets for each window. If you don’t get to your ride’s FastPass in time, you won’t be able to jump the lines with FastPass. However, if you don’t mind being split up, you can go in the single rider line.

Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time

While a rigid agenda for the day can definitely take away from the fun, you should use some kind of time management. There are more than 50 major attractions to see at Disneyland, and hundreds of smaller places of interest. In addition to attractions, there are restaurants, shows, and shops you’ll want to see.

Start by blocking out time for specific events like parades and shows. Once you’ve decided which big shows you want to see, turn your attention to gathering your FastPasses. Which FastPasses are you going to get? In what order? Once you’re set with your ride schedule, you can decide if you want to eat at one of the nicer restaurants inside the park. If you do, make reservations well in advance to make your meal go more smoothly. The official Disneyland app  is a great tool for planning your day, and it’s available for Apple and Android devices.

Turn Off Your Flash

You’re going to want to take a lot of pictures of your outing. For most of the park, you’re better off without a flash on your camera. When you’re on rides, you don’t want to wash out the photos with a bright LED flash. Another common mistake is taking photos of fireworks using a flash. Flashes make objects in the foreground clearer, but anything far away will be a blurry mess. Additionally, it’s a nice courtesy for the other park-goers.

Value Rental Car in Inglewood has affordable airport car rentals that will make it easy and enjoyable to visit the Magic Kingdom for a day trip, or several times in a week.

Photo courtesy of the The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

5 Can’t-Miss Attractions In Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo in Los Angeles is one of only three districts of its kind in the entire United States. If you’ve just picked up your LAX rental car it makes a great first stop because there’s so much to do and see. There’s a seemingly unending list of things to do in Little Tokyo, and these experiences are sure to be both fun and educational. From Buddhist temples to arcades full of rare games, there’s something for everyone here. On this page, you’ll find the 5 attractions you owe it to yourself to see.

Japanese Village Plaza

The Japanese Village Plaza is a beautiful outdoor mall. The first thing you’ll notice is the cherry blossoms lining the mall. These cherry blossoms, coupled with the wood-accented architecture of the mall, make for a gorgeous scene that’s perfect for selfies. In the plaza, there’s no shortage of tasty treats like the imagawayki, or freshly griddled red bean cakes, at Mitsuru’s Café. Be sure to try the mochi ice cream at Mikawaya afterwards. Once you’ve had your fill of sweets, you’re in for an entire day’s worth of shopping. The Japanese Village Plaza is sure to please the fussiest shopper.

Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple

At this temple, you can stroll alongside their beautifully kept garden. This temple holds Shinshu Otani Services, which is a sect of Shin Buddhism. If you’re lucky, you’ll be visiting during a community event, which are always lots of fun. For visitors during July, before the Obon Festival, the temple organizes bi-weekly Bon Odori practices. Bon Odori is a traditional dance that celebrates the Bon festival. The Higashi Honganji Buddhist temple is a real crowd pleaser, and a great place to visit in your LAX rental car.

James Irvine Japanese Garden

The James Irvine Japanese Garden can be hard to find if you don’t know where to go. The challenge is worth it, however, as it’s considered one of Little Tokyo’s best kept secrets. The tranquil garden can’t be reached from the street. In order to get to this beautiful urban retreat, you must enter through the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. While you’re inside the center, check in with the information window you’ll find on your left. From there, you take the elevator down level B and make your way through a simple hallway. While you can’t bring a picnic, this is a great place to sit and enjoy a moment of peace away from the busy city.

The Union Center for the Arts

This building is a great destination in your LAX rental car. The Union Center for the Arts has been in the community since the ’20s. There are three community arts groups here that you’ll want to see: Visual Communications, LA Artcore, and the East West Players. Visual Communications uses workshops and training sessions that portray Asian-Americans honestly and accurately to promote intercultural understanding. LA Artcore has contemporary and traditional techniques from various cultures and underrepresented groups. Admission to LA Artcore is free, Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5:00 PM. At the East West Players, you can watch musicals and plays. These plays include original works written by members of the troupe. In addition to the original works, you can find productions of classics like Sweeney Todd, and amusing Japanese spin-offs of popular stories like The Nisei Widows Club: How Tomi Got Her Groove Back.

The Blue Whale

The Blue Whale is a jazz club on the top floor of the Weller Court shopping center. The club is known for its intimate performance space and strong list of shows. The owner, Joon Lee, performs at the club occasionally. In addition to Joon Lee’s performances, he likes to book exceptional local and international talent. The club is kept focused on the music by keeping the house and bar lit with low lights. As a member of the audience, you’ll relax on short, blue cubes. This seating arrangement coupled with great lighting ensures a good view of the show no matter where you are. At $5 to $15 per show, the best jazz venue in the city is very affordable.

Little Tokyo is a great reason to get a LAX rental car and see the sights. The memories you make in this endearing district will last you a lifetime.

Photo of Weller Court in Los Angeles courtesy of Justefrain on Wikimedia, Licensed under Creative Commons

How To Get The Most From a Trip to the Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is a classic piece of American history. First established in 1921, it has undergone many renovations over the years. Not all the work has been simple maintenance. The bowl has gotten many additions to its original features, but none that’s detracted from its original, very cool vibe.  If you’re in town for a visit, and have a Los Angeles rent a car to drive, a trip to the Hollywood Bowl is a must. We’ve assembled a list of helpful tips to make your visit to the Hollywood Bowl a trip to remember.

More Than Just Concerts

The Hollywood Bowl is certainly famous for memorable concerts, but it’s much more than a bunch of seats and a stage. The site has become as iconic as Carnegie Hall in New York, and the bowl now has its own museum right on site. Originally built in 1984, the Hollywood Bowl Museum gives a great historical context for many famous performances held there. Admission to the museum is free, so instead of hopping in your rental car at the last moment to take in a show, it pays to go early.  The Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame alone is enough to warrant an afternoon.

Traveling and Parking

Traveling to the bowl and parking isn’t as simple as rolling up at the grocery store. The Hollywood Bowl isn’t way out in the countryside, but it’s easy to take a wrong turn on the winding roads that lead to it. If you’re from out of town, and driving a Los Angeles rent a car, it’s worth a few extra bucks to rent a GPS along with the car. Depending on which direction you’re coming from, there can be a lot of traffic on nights with performances. Taking a wrong turn can cost you a lot of time.

There is limited parking at the Hollywood Bowl. Attendants stack the cars in rows, making it hard to leave early. If you can’t stay for the whole performance, it’s better to choose one of the nearby parking garages. At the Hollywood and Highland shopping center, you can get your parking validated buy purchasing something as inexpensive as a cup of coffee or a soda. You can take the shuttle to the Bowl from there, and wander around Hollywood when you return.

Food and Drink

You can find plenty of food and drink options offered at the Bowl. It’s perfectly acceptable to bring food with you if you prefer. It can be a bit of a challenge to carry everything on shuttle buses. A Los Angeles rent a car, a checkered blanket, and a basket full of goodies is all you need to turn a trip to the Bowl into the musical equivalent of a football tailgate party. You can bring glass bottles and dishware, but you’ll need to be careful if you’re sitting on the hill. There’s a substantial slope heading down towards the stage. You don’t want to send your bottles rolling into the crowd below you. Remember that you can only bring in outside food if the show is part of the regular Hollywood Bowl season.  Many performance events that lease the Bowl don’t allow outside food or drink.

Buying Tickets

Tickets to bowl events are available online at Ticketmaster. For many performances, it’s possible to park during the day and pick up tickets at the box office. You’ll save money on the reseller fees. If you’re in town for a few days, and using a Los Angeles rent a car service, it’s smart to book ahead to avoid being shut out.

Final Tips

The Hollywood Bowl management likes to avoid disruptions. They frown on attendees who use big professional camera with bulky lenses, which can distract the other patrons. You may be asked to check your camera rig at the desk if you’re tricked out like a paparazzi. Additionally, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. A lot of the walking is uphill and you don’t want to be climbing in uncomfortable shoes.

Value Rental Car has the perfect Los Angeles rent a car for your trip to the Hollywood Bowl, or anywhere in the city. Make Value Rental Car the first stop on your L. A. excursion, and make getting to all the other stops easier.

Roll On Over to the Petersen Auto Museum In Your Rental Car

A rental car is the perfect way for a tourist to see everything Los Angeles has to offer. Unlike many other cities, Los Angeles is very spread out. Having a rental car at your disposal makes it easy to see more while you’re in town.

One of the more interesting attractions in Los Angeles is a monument to the city’s car culture itself. The Petersen Automotive Museum re-opened just two years ago after $125 million dollars in renovations. Founded in 1994, the Petersen Museum has a vast array of vehicles that trace the history of motoring. From the moment you pull up to the building, you will enjoy striking visuals from both the building and the exhibits in the galleries inside.  The first thing you’ll notice is the building’s amazing new façade. It uses sinuous ribbons of stainless steel to give the feeling of speed, and to mimic the lines of the custom automobiles on display.

Huge Additions

The Petersen didn’t just remodel their museum. They also added 15,000 square feet of display space and 25 new galleries. Even if you’ve visited the museum in the past, you’ll be sure to see something new.  The museum still houses numerous galleries devoted to automotive history, of course. They’ve also added lots of more contemporary attractions. Younger visitors will love the exhibits from the Disney/Pixar Cars movies.  Everyone can also try their hand at racing on Xbox Forza racing simulators. The new mixed with the old means everyone can find something interesting at the new Petersen.

Race Car Galleries

If racing gets your motor revving, you’ll find plenty of race cars and racing motorcycles on display. The exhibits include historic examples, up to and including modern day race cars. You can sneak a peek at a new $400,00 Ford GT, and learn a little of the history behind it. A walk through the motorsports gallery makes you feel like you’re traveling through time. It’s informative and fun to see all the different ways engineers have tried to get the edge on the track. It’s also interesting to see how many racing design strategies eventually end up on regular passenger cars.

Industry Galleries

If you’re interested in the engineering that makes the rental car you arrived in run, take a stroll through the Industry floor. On this floor, you can learn everything from the beginnings of internal combustion to ow the assembly line revolutionized the automotive industry. It’s not a dry, technical exhibit, either. The museum features the personal stories of the mechanics, drivers, and inventors that have made the automotive industry so important to America and the world.

Art Cars

For the artist inside you, there’s an entire floor devoted to art cars. It’s fun to see cars that have been turned into fine art that can not only move you physically but move you emotionally and mentally as well. From the Mullin Family Grand Salon to the Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery there is no shortage of breathtaking art in the form of vehicles.

Fun Learning

At the Petersen Auto Museum, there’s no shortage of learning opportunities. With galleries like the Design Gallery and the Propulsion Gallery, you and your family will learn about both the aesthetics and engineering of vehicles. Everyone loves to see cars from movies at the Automobiles in the Movies gallery, including internationally famous James Bond cars.

When you’re visiting Los Angeles, rely on Value Car Rental for exactly the car you need at a price you can afford. You can choose from many kinds of immaculately maintained rental cars, and book your rental immediately, or reserve a rental car for a future trip.