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Old 3rd June 2012, 05:11   #1
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Default A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

We planned a 4 day trip to cover three cities in two states of USA. Plan was to do a day in Los Angeles, 2 nights in Las Vegas and a day trip to Death Valley National Park.

This is a photologue of this trip which turned out to be awesome, memorable on memorial day weekend.

The photologue will be in 3 parts.

1. Los Angeles
2. Las Vegas
3. Death Valley

On Saturday, the 26th May, we started from Sacramento at 7.30 am towards LA. By 1 pm we were near Mulholland Drive. Our first sightseeing stop. This road is very popular with tourist and is a must drive/visit. It has some mind blowing views overlooking Los Angeles Basin, the San Fernando Valley and the Hollywood Sign. It is approximately 11 miles long. There are overlooks created at regular distance to some astonishing views of the valley.

It is advisable to take this drive starting from 405 freeway and ending in 101 freeway. The most famous overlook - Hollywood Bowl is at the end of 101 and is on the right side so parking is easy.

Just a little caution for fellow tourists. Please respect the residence privacy and drive at speed limit. I came across many tourist car which drove at 15-20 mph in a 30-35 mph zone. This pissed off me as they were inconsiderate to residents who drive their daily.
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Last edited by chevelle : 4th June 2012 at 22:18.
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Old 4th June 2012, 22:38   #2
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

We arrived at the last overlook stop before proceeding to Rodeo Drive.

The Hollywood Bowl Overlook. Its a great place where you can have the best view of LA. The downtown, the Hollywood sign and the see ocean too on a clear day.

Not the clear day we had. But pretty workable.

The view of downtown with U.S 101.

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This is the World's second largest Open-air Amphitheatre. It seats some 18000 at a time.

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A closer look at the downtown. The tallest building is the cylindrical top one which is office of U.S Bank. It is the maximum height allowed in LA.

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The valley view. Far ahead you see the ocean and Santa Monica. The closest homes on hills you can see are the ones that belong to Hollywood people.

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The world famous Hollywood sign.

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A wider view of Hollywood sign. You can't go very near to the sign. You can hike up to a certain point after which it is not allowed. Originally it was HollywoodLand. The last part fell off in a landslide. This sign is related to the booming real-estate property rather than Hollywood.

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The sign explained

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This house is overlooking the Hollywood Bowl Overlook. It is currently owned by a writer and is undergoing reconstruction. It is one of the most expensive homes in LA. And need I say, the one with Best view.

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The next is again a valley view with a home owned by a famous Hollywood Celebrity. The swimming pool is the most distinguished sight. It is surface to surface pool. Very unique at such height.

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Finally the downtown again.

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Next up will be the rodeo drive and some pics while enroute to Las Vegas.

Last edited by chevelle : 5th June 2012 at 04:55.
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Old 5th June 2012, 05:16   #3
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

Rodeo Drive is the most popular shopping area located in Beverley Hills. All the top notch brands are available here and it is a popular tourist spot for occasional celebrity sighting on a lucky day.

The most notable brand is the Bijan. It is the single most expensive store in Rodeo Drive. You must make an appointment in advance just to shop at Bijan (named after its Iranian owner). On a visit, Bijan's average customer spends in the neighborhood of $100,000 on men's fashions, which range from a $50 pair of socks to $50,000 suits. Reportedly, you have to pay an advance of $100k to make an appointment and have to shop something or other while you are there. Most popular person to have Bijan suit is Barack Obama.

Mine was a lucky day in a way i got to see some really good cars - The GT-R and RR DHC. Also saw Aston Martins and stuff but i was driving so couldn't take pics.

This is called Via Rodeo Drive. It was featured in Pretty Woman movie and has a dialog which says this is the first new street that was built in Beverly Hills in 75 years.

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The LV Store opposite to the Via Rodeo Drive.

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The GT-R.

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The RR DHC

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Rear view of RR DHC

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This is the Grove Mall where Farmer's Market is located. Its a very popular place with great stores, good food (especially for food junkies).

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Overall, its a great place to walk/stroll in the evening. As for buying, it just depends on how deep your pockets are. I did manage to grab a couple of things from Gucci and Guess but most stores were closed.

Got tired afterwards and went to check in at hotel - America's Best Value Inn. Got a nice, comfortable room for $60 including wi-fi and breakfast, a good price considering it was Memorial Day Weekend. It was near the LAX airport but no disturbance.

The next day, we started for Las Vegas.

Here are some photos while enroute to Vegas. They are miscellaneous, clicked while driving.

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The roads are pretty straight and you can maintain speeds of 85-90 mph easily and speed limit is 70 mph. One can find many cars doing above 100 mph without any issues. The elevation is close to 4000 feet wherever applicable.

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Arriving in Vegas.
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Next would be Las Vegas and Death Valley National Park.
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Last edited by chevelle : 5th June 2012 at 05:19.
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Old 6th June 2012, 21:42   #4
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

We arrived in Las Vegas. The city of lights and the city that can change life of many in a minute (Happened in front of my eyes. I was not that lucky though)

We stayed in Harrah's. Its right on the strip and a very good place to stay. We got an upgrade to the Strip view room on 28th floor. It was great.

Here are some pics from the room clicked with Sony T90.
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Last edited by chevelle : 6th June 2012 at 21:54.
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Old 7th June 2012, 02:41   #5
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

Got freshened up and got ready to go for a stroll on the strip.

A few pics while on the strip.

Next up will be a complete Bellagio fountain show. I am sure it will leave you breathless just like the effect it had on me.
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Last edited by chevelle : 7th June 2012 at 04:48.
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Old 8th June 2012, 01:50   #6
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

This will be the Bellagio Fountain special. The view is from Bellagio entrance with Paris - Eiffel Tower in the background.
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Old 8th June 2012, 01:55   #7
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

Bellagio Fountains continued.

The shows happen every 15 mins from 8 pm to 12 am everyday. From 12 pm to 8 pm, its show every 30 mins. There is music accompanying the fountain and it is quite awesome feeling. One has to experience it atleast once in lifetime.
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Last edited by chevelle : 27th June 2012 at 00:22.
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Old 5th July 2012, 22:49   #8
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

The next day, we went to Death Valley National Park.

It is around 2 hours from Las Vegas. A must visit Park if you are in LA or LV.

A few pointers. Make sure you go as early as possible. The temperature increases later in the day. 3 pm- 6 pm will be worst. The heat wave is so strong, you will hardly survive couple of hours. Make sure you carry lots of water and electrolyte water that is Gatorade or Vitamin Water. You will lose lots of it just standing at one place.

We visited very few places because we were so drained of energy in 2-3 hours that it was not possible to go to other places that were around 1 hour drive in DVNP.

Here are the pics.

Our first stop was Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at 282 ft (82 m) below sea level. The water is not drinkable due to the salts and that's why the name. The first pic has a red circle showing sea level which i have zoomed in next pic. Gives you a perspective of how low we went.
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Last edited by chevelle : 5th July 2012 at 22:50.
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Old 5th July 2012, 22:58   #9
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

Our next stop in Death Valley was Artist Palette and the Artist drive.

It is a one way, one lane road that goes up the mountain. The view is pretty fantastic. It is recommended to go in late afternoon to get even better colors of the mountain. It truly was spell binding. The drive was also superb surrounding by natural colors. Truly amazing what nature can do.
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Old 5th July 2012, 23:10   #10
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

Now for some photos while on the road.
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Old 5th July 2012, 23:36   #11
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

Then we proceeded to Furnace Creek resort which has a camp ground and cottages for over nite stay. Then we proceeded to Zabriskie Point. The view from this point was also spell bounding. It was truly awesome with so many colors and patterns.
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Old 6th July 2012, 00:14   #12
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

Our last stop in DVNP was Dante's Peak. Its one of the highest easily accessible overlook at approx 5450 feet overlooking death valley and Black Mountains. This is a must visit point and shouldn't be missed. Breath taking is the word. The road that goes to this peak from CA-190 is superb. The last 10 miles of the road is curvy and simultaneously climbs from 3000 feet to the summit at 5450 feet. I loved pushing my G to the max here. It was fun while it lasted.

Let the pics do the talking.

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This is the Badwater Basin as seen from top.
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The top right salt land is Devil's Golf Course.
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Old 6th July 2012, 00:38   #13
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

We proceeded back to Vegas and it was fun journey back. Once we got freshened up, we were to ready to explore more of Vegas during our last night.

We first went to the most famous sign in Vegas and then we proceeded to my favorite part of this trip - The Fremont Street Experience (FSE)

Some trivia about FSE.

The attraction is a barrel Canopy, 90 ft (27 m) high at the peak and four blocks, or approximately 1,500 ft (460 m), in length.

Las Vegas is known for never turning the outside casino lights off, each show begins by turning off the lights on all of the buildings, including the casinos.

The initial display contained about 2.1 million light bulbs controlled by 32 computers located in kiosks in the mall. The sound system, using speakers suspended over the mall, was rated at 350,000 watts.

The 2001 upgrade to the sound system raised the power to 555,000 watts.

The 2004 upgrade featured a 12.5-million LED display. The old control system was replaced by a central control room using 10 computers. The LED display is provided by LG Electronics.
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Old 6th July 2012, 00:52   #14
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

The next day, before returning back to Sacramento, we visited Hoover Dam that impounds Lake Mead near Boulder City, Nevada. Its a 30 mins drive from Vegas and is another popular tourist destination.
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Old 6th July 2012, 00:55   #15
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Default Re: A memorable trip to Los Angeles, Vegas and Death Valley

We stopped by at Lake Mead overlook.
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