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Things To Do and See in Los Angeles

Tuesday, 25 May 2010 00:25 by Jon

Los Angeles is one of the most thrilling and exciting cities in the world.  Millions of people visit every year to take in the attractions in a place where running into a famous celebrity is always a possibility.  Hollywood is only one of the things that makes the city so popular, however, and as you will see there are a great number of attractions on offer in LA.

Mann’s Chinese Theater

This theater was built in 1927 and to this day remains one of the most popular attractions in the city.  This Hollywood treasure boasts a remarkable collection of signatures and footprints, legendarily created when a silent film actress walked on the wet cement during the theatre’s construction.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was created in the 1950’s as a way to help improve the look of the city and to bring in visitors.  The walk holds more than 2500 unique stars, each of which is fitted with the name of a popular actor, singer, or other Hollywood professional.  The Walk brings in thousands of visitors annually and provides an excellent way to celebrate those who work hard to excel in the industry.

J Paul Getty Museum

The J Paul Getty museum is a complex that takes up almost a full square mile.  Created in the 1890’s by oil tycoon J Paul Getty, the museum houses a number of simply amazing exhibits.  From sculptures that are nearly 4,500 years old to pieces by Raphael and Rembrandt, there are certainly many classic pieces to be found.  The museum also houses Bernini sculptures as well as numerous modern pieces.

Sunset Strip

The Sunset Strip is another of the most famous places in the city of Los Angeles.  This one and a half mile stretch of road passes through the city’s West Hollywood district and offers a wide array of nightclubs, upscale shopping boutiques, and more.  The strip is also known to be one of the best places in the city to see celebrities of all sorts.


Malibu is one of the most upscale parts of Los Angeles.  Here, visitors will find the area’s most beautiful beaches as well as some of the most remarkable houses in the city.  Malibu is home to a large number of celebrities and is a favorite destination for celebrity house tours and similar excursions.

Simply put, there is always something unique to see and do in LA.  There are bright lights and excellent entertainment options as well as a wide range of attractions that simply can’t be seen anywhere else.  The city brings in people from all over the world every day and is one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations.  From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to beautiful beaches, outstanding museums, and more, there is certainly always something special going on in LA.

When your vacation or travel needs to be something memorable, L.A. is an excellent choice.  There are ample attractions to explore and there is always something to do.  Where else can you spend the day knowing that if you just look hard enough, you are bound to spot a famed celebrity?

Eco-friendly Lodging options at Los Angeles Airport

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 00:43 by Jon
Are you among the growing number of travelers who prefer to stay at eco-friendly hotels? If so and you are planning to stay near LAX, there are a couple of hotels you should know about. 

The Radisson Hotel at Los Angeles Airport receives great ratings from "green" organizations, including the California Green Lodging Program in Sacramento, the Green Hotel Association in Houston and Green Seal of Washington, DC. This means the property engages in a variety of eco-initiatives. 

Some of the environmentally friendly measures these organizations use to audit and evaluate hotels include water conservation, recycling, reduction of waste, environmentally safe cleaning, energy conservation and maintenance, among other things. The Radisson hotel at Los Angeles utilizes 32 eco-initiatives.

The Hilton Los Angeles Airport and Towers at LAX also passed the rigorous audit administered by the California Green Lodging Program. This hotel holds State of California Green Hotel Certification. It also offers convenient "park and fly" package deals that can save you money on airport parking as you go green. 
The Westin Los Angeles Airport hotel holds State of California Green Hotel Certification. Another option for "green" lodging at LAX, the Los Angeles Airport Marriott hotel was Energy Star Certified in 2003. 

One of the biggest myths held by travelers is that staying in "green" hotels equates to a bigger price tag for lodging. The Super 8 Motel at LAX is a great example of the many "green" hotels available for budget-minded travelers. This hotel is a voluntary member of the Green Hotels Association, a group designed to bring hotels that are concerned about environmental issues together. The Association encourages, promotes and supports eco-friendly measures within the hotel industry. 

Green hotels are a great choice for travelers who care about the environment. In the past, few people thought much about the massive impact the hotel industry has on the environment. Today, word is finally getting out and spreading about why going green with lodging matters so much. 

According to California's Department of General Services, as much as 30 pounds of waste may be generated per hotel room per day, and up to 80% of that waste contains materials that can be recycled. In addition, the hospitality industry spends more than $3 billion a year on energy, with electricity accounting for 60 to 70% of a hotel's energy bill. Energy efficient products and practices can dramatically reduce hotels' levels of energy consumption. 

The amount of water used by typical hotels per room each day is also astounding. A hotel uses 218 gallons of water per day for each occupied room. Hotels that invest in water-efficient fixtures can drastically cut water consumption. As for food, hotels generate some 112,000 tons of food waste per year. Instead of ending up in landfills, food could be donated to charities or composted. 

Clearly, hotels have a huge impact on the environment, and every green effort made by hotels should be applauded. When a hotel recycles more waste, reduces water consumption, cuts energy usage and chooses to make environmentally friendly purchases, it's more than just a way for them to save money. It's also a way to support the health of the environment and the people living in it. You can show your support of hotels taking green initiatives by booking with them when you have a choice. 

Airport Parking Websites-A Necessary Service or A Scam?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010 05:37 by Jon

We’ve all experienced what it is like to try to park at the airport.  Sometimes you get lucky and there are available spots on the first floor that you try, but other times you can drive for twenty minutes or more just looking for any spot big enough to wedge your vehicle into.  In acknowledgement of this predicament, many companies have started up online parking websites that enable you to pay for and reserve a parking spot online.  The question is, do we really need this service or should we just be able to find a spot?  Looking around, I find that the opinions on this are quite mixed.

In examining this service, I want to give an equal description of both sides of the coin.  I have spoken with a few people who feel that the service is unnecessary, and I believe the summary of this opinion was best worded when it was called “a solution in search of a problem”.  For many people, that is just what these websites seem to be.  For people looking to fly on slow weekdays or people catching a red-eye, a parking spot can be easy to find.  The same holds true for people traveling from smaller airports.

I have heard many people say that airport parking websites are promising convenience when in truth finding a spot on your own is not overly difficult.  I have also heard it said that the need to visit a website and reserve a space in advance is simply added hassle for travelers and that it is simply easier to drive onto the lot and park your vehicle.  The naysayers seem to have a rather cut and dry approach to the entire issue, but in truth I find that most people who think that the sites offer benefit are pretty adamant in their opinions as well.

There are in fact many people who believe that airport parking websites provide a beneficial service to travelers.  For offsite operators and airports that see a great deal of traffic, these people feel that the sites help to make travel easier.  They also believe that offering a guaranteed parking spot and a clear definition of where a traveler will be parking makes the travel experience run more smoothly rather than adding an unnecessary hassle.

In major cities with large airports, such as LA, Chicago, and NYC, people often spend a great deal of time searching for parking or even driving from one lot to the next comparing parking prices.  Using a parking website offers a greatly reduced search time and even allows parking owners to offer discounts, something that customers will never receive when paying at the booth.  Many people feel that the service also helps to contribute to the green movement by sending travelers directly to their assigned spots rather than forcing them to drive around searching.  This of course reduces emissions, and while it may seem minute for a single car the cumulative savings is significant when many people are utilizing the service.

Having examined both sides of this argument carefully, I tend to walk away with a bit of a mixed opinion.  If forced to choose sides, I am certainly in favor of airport parking websites, but I am able to see both sides of the coin.  In smaller airports and in places where parking is simply never an issue, it may truly be both faster and better to simply seek out a spot on your own.  Even in this event, however, with parking sites offering discounts on spots it is something worth considering.

When it comes to busy cities and major airports, however, I am certainly in favor of the sites.  Having tried on many occasions to find a spot at JFK or LAX before missing a flight, I can appreciate what these sites have to offer.  For most of us, a trip to the airport is already rushed and hectic and being able to avoid the stress of parking is far more of a convenience than a hassle.  I don’t see these sites as a solution in search of a problem, but I also don’t think that they are needed at every airport.  Ultimately, I think that they are needed for the places where parking is an issue and simply welcomed elsewhere by travelers who would rather pay in advance than risk battling other travelers for the last great parking spot.

This article was also published in the April issue of Parking Today magazine.

Visit the Flight Path Learning Center on your Next Visit to LAX

Monday, 3 May 2010 07:17 by Jon

The next time you're asked to pick up a friend or relative at Los Angeles International Airport, stop groaning and jump at the chance to visit the Flight Path Learning Center. Flight Path is an educational facility and museum located in the Imperial Terminal at LAX.

Initially, Flight Path came to LAX as part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the airport and the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first powered flight. It started out with sidewalk plaques placed in the airport's business district. The plaques saluted aviation organizations and pioneers and highlighted key aviation-related locations.

Today, the "Flight Path" is just one aspect of the Learning Center at LAX. The museum now provides historical exhibits, research facilities and educational tours and programs. There are also special community events held at the aviation museum throughout the year.

The Flight Path Learning Center at Lax is unique in more ways than one. First, it is the only museum, learning and research center located at a major airport. It is also unique in that it focuses on the historical significance of civil aviation in Southern California and how it has contributed to the region's development.

Exhibits at the Flight Path Learning Center Museum include aircraft models, photographs, aviation uniforms and other artifacts related to aircraft manufacturers, airlines and the airport's history. Items included in the exhibits are largely sourced from private collections. Many of the museum's exhibits contain items that would be otherwise be unavailable for viewing and have never before been included in public displays.

Another fascinating exhibit at the Museum is a large-scale model of the Curtiss P-6E Hawk bi-plane. This biplane is modeled on a 1930's era US Army Air Corps aircraft. This large model biplane is on permanent display.

With its 6-foot, double-deck wingspan and authentic detail, this model is sure to excite kids and aviation enthusiasts of all ages. It even has a working engine and was flown by remote control in the past. The Hawk is just one of the models on display at the Flight Path Learning Center Museum.

In addition to permanent displays, Flight Path also has changing displays at the Museum. Currently, a huge panoramic mural that salutes the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight and the 75th anniversary of LAX is on display. This mural includes authentic historic photographs related to the early history of aviation in Southern California.

You can visit the Flight Path Learning Center Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. There is no admission charge. The William A. Schoneberger Research Library is open during Flight Path regular operating hours. Researchers should call ahead to be sure the materials they need and staff assistance are available.

The Museum is located at 6661 W. Imperial Highway in the LAX Imperial Terminal on the south side of the airport. Designated Free Parking is available adjacent to the Flight Path.

The Flight Path Learning Center Museum is the perfect place to wait for a cell phone call to pick up an arrival at the airport. Depending on your interest in aviation, plan to allow yourself at least ½ hour to an hour to explore the Museum's exhibits.

Hybrid Vehicle Drivers Enjoy Preferred Parking at Midway and other Airports

Monday, 26 April 2010 04:47 by Jon

Hybrid vehicle drivers know all about the advantages of driving "green" cars.  These vehicles combine the best of regular cars with the best of electric cars. Hybrid cars have lower toxic emissions and better fuel economy. Owners save a considerable amount on fuel costs long term. These vehicles are safe, reliable and comfortable, and today there are even tax benefits for buying a hybrid car.

Today there's one more advantage of driving a hybrid to consider – preferred parking! Chicago's Midway airport offers preferred parking for hybrid vehicles. This makes parking at Midway much more convenient, and hybrid drivers are practically guaranteed a good parking space.

You can easily find and download a map detailing Preferred Parking spaces for hybrid vehicles at Midway. There are 6 spaces located in Employee Parking lot B, and 1 space designated in Employee Parking lot A.

Midway's Orange Economy Parking Lot offers 14 hybrid vehicle spaces. This is a great choice for hybrid drivers who prefer economy long-term parking. There are also 13 hybrid car spaces in the Terminal Parking Garage.

The Red Economy Parking Lot at Midway has 11 hybrid spaces available, while the Yellow Economy Lot has 3 spaces. The Terminal Parking Garage spots are the most convenient spaces as they are closest to the Terminal. The Yellow Lot and Red Lot options are the next in proximity to the Terminal respectively. The Orange Lot and Employee Lots are the farthest away.

Preferred parking spaces for hybrid vehicles at Chicago Midway International Airport are designated by the green leaf symbol. These spaces are located close to elevator lobbies in parking garages or near Shuttle Bus Stops in surface lots.

Midway airport is one among many airports across the nation that now offer preferred parking as a type of reward or incentive for drivers who go green with hybrid cars.

Some airports such as Boston's Logan International Airport not only offer preferred hybrid parking, but grant preferred parking privileges to clean fuel vehicle taxis. Clean fuel taxis get head-of-line privileges at the airport's taxi stand.

This is a big incentive for taxi companies that serve the airport, as it equates to more time on the road, less time in the taxi queue and subsequently, more earnings in fares. Not only do green taxi companies save on the cost of fuel, they're able to earn more on airport transfers in the process.

If you happen to drive a hydrogen vehicle and you're traveling out of a Los Angeles airport, you may be able to take advantage of the public access hydrogen fueling station at LAX. This BP station serves not only the fleet of hydrogen vehicles owned by Los Angeles World Airports and operated at LAX, but the growing number of owners in the community driving cars powered by hydrogen.

Promoting and supporting hybrid vehicle use is just one aspect of eco-friendly trends that are becoming popular with airports around the world. Airports can do little to reduce the emissions produced by airplanes, but they seem eager to support the reduction of ground level emissions through the use of clean energy cars.