<p>Photo: Venice Beach Street Fair</p>

A year-round street fair, the town of Venice Beach boasts tranquil parks, artsy enclaves, and raucous beach bars.

Photograph by Ian Shive/Aurora Photos

“Welcome to the Jungle,” famously sang the band Guns N' Roses. Situated on a wide, dry plain speckled with canyons, mountains, rivers, and beaches, vast and beautiful Los Angeles, California, is anything but a jungle in topography. And even though some junglelike qualities can emerge, such as during rush hour on the 405, to a visitor the city is a sunny, friendly place, filled with its own rich lore—stories that range from the days of the Spanish missions to the latest gossip about Hollywood stars. History oozes from the streets and buildings of L.A. All you need do is look around and listen.

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