This was the first temple built in California and it was the largest temple when it was built in 1956. The spire stands 257 feet tall. To give you an idea of height, the Salt Lake Temple reaches 217 feet. The Los Angeles California Temple was actually announced in 1937. Why did it take 19 years to build? World War II took many of the economic and building efforts away from the temple. This is one of only a handful of temples that feature the angel Moroni holding the gold plates. The others are Washington DC, Seattle, WA, Jordan River, UT and Mexico City, Mexico. The angel Moroni that stands atop this temple is the only one that is dressed in a Mayan-style robe and headband, wearing sandals on his feet and bearing distinctive Native American facial features. The area is unique, as the temple sits on Santa Monica Boulevard, which is a busy street in the middle of the city. The grounds are very large with beautiful gardens, plants, flowers and water features. There is also a large visitor's center on-site.
Pioneers and Mormons from Europe that arrived in San Francisco on the ship Brooklyn in the 1840's helped shape, grow, establish and build California. The Mormon Battalion is, of course, an important part of history when in 1846 brave men enlisted and marched from Iowa to California to help fight the American-Mexican war. The Mormon Battalion also helped build Fort Moore in Los Angeles to ward off Mexican attacks. The hill that Fort Moore stood on was mostly removed to build freeway. There is a large stone mural near Sunset Blvd. that stands as a Pioneer Memorial depicting the raising of the flag for the first 4th of July celebration.
Of course Los Angeles is full of glitz, glamor and Hollywood stars as well as beaches, boutiques and miles of winding traffic. There are a dizzying array of attractions and food establishments. Some of the finest chefs work at their popular restaurants daily producing A+ food. If you're looking to spot a celebrity or two, check out The Ivy (http://www.theivyrestaurants.com), Nobu (http://www.noburestaurants.com/los-angeles/experience/introduction/) or Toast Bakery (http://www.toastbakerycafe.net/) just to name a few. For a more family-oriented experience, The Original Farmer's Market has something for everybody with merchants selling everything from Chinese to Creole. Komodo's motto is "Dangerously Good Food" with choices ranging from seafood to hamburgers. The menu is fresh as well as the food. Bossa Nova specializes in Brazilian food with an Italian twist. Grilled meats, pastas and pizzas are served. Ever had a pasta entree for breakfast? If not, you definitely need to try Hugo's. A casual, family restaurant with innovative food creations. Langer's Deli has one of the best pastrami sandwiches around as well as many other sandwiches and entrees. Blu Jam Restaurant serves breakfast all day and has amazing french toast. For some darn good donuts and to see an LA icon, make a quick drive-thru at Randy's Donuts.
Top-notch attractions line the streets of Los Angeles. For some fun family adventure, steer your car to La Brea Tar Pits & Page Museum to see excavated tar pits and a working lab. Take a tour of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and admire all the state-of-the-art sound features. The Getty Center is famous for it's art and sculpture displays. Don't forget to check out the incredible views and the immaculate gardens. Train enthusiasts will love Travel Town (Griffith Park) where climbing and exploring locomotives is encouraged. Climb the hills to the Griffith Observatory and learn about all things astronomy related. Great views of the valley and the Hollywood sign.