Address: 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles
Phone: (323) 436-2827
An 86-year-old slap in the face to Hollywood’s historical amnesia, the Hollywood Bowl is a refreshing reminder that some things in this town can survive beyond the last pilot season. Since 1922, the Bowl at Bolton Canyon has been thrilling audiences under the stars as the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The nearly 18,000-seat amphitheatre has also hosted hundreds of musical events under the famous orchestra shell (the fifth and newest shell was constructed in 2004). From the Playboy Jazz Festival to Radiohead, the Bowl continues to be a world-class music destination in the heart of Hollywood.
Address: 1000 Elysian Park Ave., Los Angeles
Phone: (323) 224-1471
Nothing says it's summer in L.A. more than the boys in blue taking the field at Dodger Stadium. The ballpark in Chavez Ravine was built in 1962 at a cost of $23 million and despite its distinction as the soon-to-be third oldest facility in Major League Baseball following the Yankees’ move to their new home next year, Dodger Stadium is still one of the finest places to see a game in the country. The 56,000-seat stadium has one of the best attendance records in baseball. Expect that trend to continue as new skipper Joe Torre leads recently acquired slugger Manny Ramirez and rest of the team in their battle with the Arizona Diamondbacks for National League West supremacy. Thankfully Dodger Stadium won’t see the wrecking ball anytime soon as owner Frank McCourt recently announced a $500 million dollar project to keep fans happy for years to come.
Address: 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles
Phone: (323) 665-5857
The Greek Theatre is one of the best outdoor venues in the country to see a concert. The amphitheatre is a straight shot up Vermont Ave. from the trendy Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, but it feels miles away from the bustling city below. The smog stays at the bottom of the hill and the first thing visitors notice when arriving at the Greek, which is in a wooded area of Griffith Park, is the mountain fresh air. The 5,801-seat venue offers excellent site lines in every seating area because of the small size. The acoustics are just about perfect as the 75-year-old theater, which is owned by the city of Los Angeles, has spent a lot of money on sound quality and concertgoers can hear the difference. No wonder the Greek has been named the country’s “Best Small Outdoor Venue of the Year” by Pollstar seven out of the past eight years.
ANSON FORD AMPHITHEATRE
Address: 2580 Cahuenga Blvd E., Los Angeles
Phone: (323) 461-3673
While the Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theatre steal most of the spotlight, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre has more history than the Bowl and is more intimate than the Greek. The original Pilgrimage Theater opened in 1920 and in 1976 was renamed for former Los Angeles County supervisor John Anson Ford, who was a big supporter of the creative arts in L.A. The Ford is currently operated by the L.A. County Arts Commission. The facility includes the 1,241-seat outdoor amphitheatre and an 87-seat indoor theater space. Since 1995 more than $4.3 million in renovations has taken place at the Ford. With the farthest seats no more than 96 feet from the stage, the Ford is one of the coziest concert venues in L.A.
Address: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena
Phone: (626) 577-3111
One of the most recognizable stadiums in the country, Pasadena’s Rose Bowl is perhaps best known as the host of the annual college football bowl game of the same name. For UCLA fans however, the Rose Bowl is simply the home field of their beloved Bruins. Anytime the Bruins host their crosstown rivals the USC Trojans, the atmosphere is electric from Westwood to University Park. The Rose Bowl opened in 1921 and the design was influenced by the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut. Over the years the 92,542-seat stadium has hosted events for two Olympics, five Super Bowls and two FIFA World Cup finals. Non-sporting events include an annual 4th of July fireworks show and a flea market the second Sunday of every month.
ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM
Address: 3911 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
Phone: (213) 747-7111
Adjacent to the University of Southern California campus, the massive L.A. Memorial Coliseum holds the distinction as the only stadium to host the Olympic Games, the Super Bowl and the World Series. The 92,516-seat capacity Coliseum is currently the home of the USC Trojans football team. The stadium also hosts special events, including a 50th anniversary exhibition game last March 29 between the Dodgers and Red Sox that drew a record 115,300 fans. The Coliseum opened in 1923 and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events for the 1932 and 1984 Olympics. The Olympic Torch is still lit during the fourth quarter of USC football games and for other special events. While it is unlikely the NFL will return to the Coliseum, the stadium will continue to draw the masses to Exposition Park.
- ANGEL STADIUM OF ANAHEIM
Address: 2000 E Gene Autry Way, Anaheim
Phone: (714) 940-2000
Home to the red-hot Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (as of this writing they hold the best record in baseball), The Big A is a major destination in Orange County. However, Angels owner Arte Moreno is not content with just attracting the O.C. crowd. Moreno is making a fan grab into Dodgers territory as the name change and billboards plastered across Los Angeles city proper attest to. With the Angels poised to make a serious playoff run this year and Angel Stadium hosting the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, there are sure to be many more Angelenos taking the Katella Avenue exit off of the 5 freeway. Debuting in 1966, the 45,050-seat stadium was also the home of the NFL’s Rams from 1980 to 1994 and has hosted major musical acts such as the Rolling Stones.
Address: 18400 Avalon Blvd., Carson
Phone: (310) 630-2000
The newest venue on the list is also one of the most active. From L.A. Galaxy soccer to the X Games, the Home Depot Center is on the cutting edge of the sports world. Dubbed “The Cathedral of American Soccer” when it opened in 2003, the 27,000-seat soccer stadium is where the Galaxy’s David Beckham and Landon Donovan take the field and also where top musicals acts such as the Dave Matthews Band perform. The Home Depot Center also features a 2,500-seat velodrome, a 13,000-seat tennis stadium which plays host to the East West Bank Classic, and a 20,000-seat outdoor track and field facility.
Address: 1050 S. Prairie Ave., Inglewood
Phone: (310) 419-1500
Steeped in Hollywood lore, the Inglewood racetrack opened in 1938 under its chairman Jack Warner of Warner Bros. Among the original 600 shareholders were Al Jolson, Bing Crosby and Walt Disney. The hooves still hit the turf at Hollywood Park during racing season. Admission is only $7 and beers and hot dogs are $1 each on Friday nights, plus the chance to make it all back and then some by wagering on Topanga Love. That’s the horse to beat I tells ya!
Address: 8800 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine
Phone: (949) 855-8095
Orange County’s largest amphitheater, the 16,085-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine is a major stop on the West Coast concert circuit. Many notable acts have performed at Verizon including Aerosmith, Metallica, Kiss and the O.C.’s own No Doubt. Recently, Verizon was the first stop on the Roger Waters comeback tour. Since 1987, the venue has been home to the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.