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West Los Angeles, which stretches from the Miracle Mile to Brentwood, is an oasis of culture paired with chic, urban perks. A wealth of amenities, including world-class museums, chic shopping areas and chef-driven restaurants, are in store.

Miracle Mile

The Miracle Mile is home to several of LA's top museums, all within walking distance of one another. Among them is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), one of nation's top art institutions. Since it opened in 1965, the museum has grown into a 20-acre campus that exhibits 100,000 objects dating from ancient times to the present. Seven buildings house rotating exhibits and a permanent collection that includes works of all media from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. The campus is in the midst of a 10-year expansion known as the Transformation, designed by celebrated architect Renzo Piano. Already open are the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, featuring post-war works, and the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, with a rotating selection of major exhibitions.

Adjacent to LACMA is the Page Museum/La Brea Tar Pits, a working laboratory where paleontologists uncoverLaBreaTarPits PictureThe La Brea Tar Pits in another era. the remains of Ice-Age mammals like mastodons and saber-toothed cats from actual tar pits, where these creatures met their ends 11,000 years ago. Inside the Page Museum, you can watch as they clean, reconstruct and examine the fossils.

Across Wilshire Boulevard, the Petersen Automotive Museum is unmistakable, with decorative elements on its façade that resemble giant fins from a classic car. The museum's lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 vehicles, including rare and classic cars, racecars, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It also features the history of the automobile, as well as auto design and technology.

The nearby Craft and Folk Art Museum was founded by the late Edith R. Wylie, who was self-described as "a chronic enthusiast of indigenous art." The art tells stories via original exhibitions, workshops, lectures and community events. Works have included photographs of contemporary Iran, solar ovens, and L.A.'s Asian-Latin fusion.

After a day of museum-stomping, it's time to relax in one the more than 92,000 hotel and motel rooms throughout LA. The boutique Hotel Wilshire houses 74 of these rooms and is located in the heart of the Miracle Mile district. The hotel has a rooftop pool, restaurant and bar, featuring stunning city views, as well as modern amenities.

And for dining, you can head back to LACMA, where Ray's and Stark Bar opened in the expansive, central BP Pavilion last year. Esquire magazine named this Mediterranean restaurant, with its adjacent, al fresco bar, "one of the best new restaurants of 2011." Or drive north just a few miles and dine at an LA institution, Campanile. This 20-year-old restaurant in a rustic setting serves California fare with a menu that changes daily. Adjacent is the original La Brea Bakery, specializing in artisan breads.

The Original Farmers Market/The Grove

There are many farmers' markets throughout LA, but The Original Farmers Market is at Third and Fairfax, walking distance from the Miracle Mile. It all started in 1934, when18 local farmers gathered at that intersection and sold produce from the backs of their trucks. Today, it boasts more than 100 boutiques, specialty food shops, produce stands, butchers and restaurants, including a few retail outlets and eateries in the newer North Market. Stroll through the stalls and shops in the open-air market and treat yourself to a scoop of freshly made cabernet sauvignon sorbet or pumpkin ice cream from Bennett's Ice Cream; buy a decorative, non-leaded candle at By Candlelight; or savor a glass of wine and artisan cheese at Monsieur Marcel wine bar and gourmet market.

In 2002, The Grove, an open-air shopping, dining and entertainment mecca, opened next door to the Farmers Market. Built to resemble a Tuscan village, The Grove is anchored by Nordstrom and an art-deco multiplex cinema and features dozens of shops, from Abercrombie & Fitch to UGG Australia. Attracting more than 18 million visitors a year from around the world, The Grove has become a tourist haven because of its central fountain, which dances to music, and a vintage-style, double-decker trolley that runs between The Grove and Farmers Market. On weekdays, the entertainment news show "Extra!" with Mario Lopez is filmed live on The Grove's cobblestone streets. And if you want to savor the cuisine, as well as the scene, there are several restaurants offering indoor and al fresco dining, like The Farm of Beverly Hills, which offers its own spin on American comfort food with items like Dill Pickle Fried Chicken and Truffle Mac & Cheese.

Just north of The Grove, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the nation's oldest Holocaust museum, exhibits artifacts from survivors of Nazi concentration camps. Its interactive audio and video exhibits depict the Holocaust era and the worldwide effort by non-Jews to save Jewish lives.

If you're looking for a unique place to stay, The Farmer's Daughter Hotel across the street from The Grove offers a country cool retreat in the middle of LA's urban scene, with 66 rooms and Tart restaurant.

West 3rd Street/Beverly Center

Go west on 3rd Street from Farmers Market, and you'll find an area that attracts LA hipsters, young families and the arts crowd. The street is lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques, like Polkadots and Moonbeams, selling vintage clothing and accessories; Kristin Londgren, specializing in cocktail-length, bias-cut dresses with soft draping; and Milk, featuring fashionable clothing for the family.

Bordering the west side of West 3rd Street is the Beverly Center. This indoor shopping emporium includes 160 specialty boutiques and restaurants reflecting the diverse styles and tastes of Los Angeles, including those of celebrities, who often shop there, sometimes unnoticed. Anchored by Bloomingdale's and two Macy's stores, the Center also offers brand-name stores like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and True Religion Brand Jeans.

Along the way, you'll find some of the City's hippest hotels. For example, The Orlando, a European-style boutique hotel, recently completed a $6 million facelift. In 2006, the Sofitel Los Angeles completed a $35 million transformation mixing European sophistication with the energetic pulse of Hollywood by the award-winning design team of George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg. The hotel now features Simon LA restaurant by Chef Kerry Simon, offering a Hollywood take on American comfort food. And the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, a Luxury Collection Hotel adjacent to Beverly Hills, is the first of that brand to open. SLS stands for style, luxury and service, and this hotel has it all. Its sixth-floor pool deck has two pools, private cabanas and a pool concierge; and its onsite restaurant, The Bazaar by James Beard Award-winning Chef Jose Andres features innovative delicacies.

But West Third is a walking street, and you might want to try some of its standalone eateries. For example, you can get breakfast all day at Toast Bakery and Café. At Joan's on Third, you can dine in a deli type atmosphere and buy tapenades, fancy deli meats, hard-to-find cheeses, breads and pastries at the restaurant's Gourmet Marketplace. And The Little Next Door offers healthful organic indulgences using local ingredients.

Century City

Century City  Photo SMALLCentury City at nightfall.Once a backlot for 20th Century Fox (now Fox Studios, which is still in operation nearby), Century City is a 176-acre "city within a city" with high-rise office towers, residential properties and an upscale, open-air shopping mall.

Tucked among these urban structures is the Annenberg Space for Photography, located on the former site of the Shubert Theatre. The intimate museum, which offers free admission and features an interior design influenced by the workings of a camera, is dedicated to the exhibition of print and digital photography with rotating exhibits by renowned masters.

Century City's two main hotels are the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza and the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, both located on Avenue of the Stars. The Hyatt, with its distinctive curved main structure, originally opened in the 1960s and hosted many celebrities and dignitaries. Its award-winning Breeze Restaurant serves locally sourced California cuisine and also offers a sushi bar and vegan selections. The InterContinental Los Angeles Century City is a newer luxury hotel with 361 rooms, a spa with Zen-inspired villas, and the casually elegant Park Grill, serving globally inspired California cuisine.

Some of the best shopping in the City is at the Westfield Century City, an outdoor plaza with 111 stores, including designer stores like Armani Exchange, Coach and Kenneth Cole. Anchored by Macy's and Bloomingdale's, it also features a multiplex cinema. Dining includes upscale casual restaurants, such as RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen, featuring cuisines from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India. Other options include a dining terrace and specialty food shops.

Westwood

Westwood is best known as home to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the adjacent Westwood Village. UCLA is one of the country's top educational institutions, but it goes way beyond that, with museums, a sculpture garden and landmark architecture in and around the campus. For example, its Royce Hall performance venue features a façade inspired by a Milan basilica. It is the main venue for UCLA Live, one of LA's most varied programs of dance, music, spoken word and experimental theater. UCLA's five -acre Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden is among the finest in the country, with more than 70 major works by famous sculptors, including Matisse, Moore and Noguchi. The campus' seven-acre Mildred Mathias Botanical Garden is home to more than 5,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world. The Fowler Museum features works from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific.

Adjacent to the south end of the campus lies Westwood Village, with dozens of restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, shops and movie theaters, all within a few blocks of one another in a quaint yet urban village setting. The UCLA Hammer Museum features a permanent collection with works by such noted artists as Rembrandt, Cézanne and Gauguin. For live theater, the Geffen Playhouse features classic plays, new works and musicals, and world and West Coast premieres.

Westwood has two hotels: Hotel Palomar, a chic hotel with 264 guestrooms, celebrates art in motion pictures with glamorous decor. It's a Kimpton hotel, and its chef-driven BLVD 16 restaurant serves farm-to-table California cuisine by Chef Richard Hodge. The W Los Angeles-Westwood, located on a quiet, residential street, features 258 modern rooms. It features a pool lined with lavish cabanas, Bliss Spa, Whisky Blue by bar magnate Rande Gerber, and NineThirty restaurant, serving California cuisine in a cozy environment.

Restaurants abound in Westwood Village and beyond. One of the oldest is Matteo's Restaurant, which opened in 1963. This Italian favorite was once frequented by Frank Sinatra and the other members of the Rat Pack. Other eateries include Yamato, serving Japanese pub food, and Palomino, with a rustic, European menu. South of Wilshire Boulevard, the area known as Little Persia features restaurants serving authentic ethnic food.

Bel Air/Brentwood

The Bel Air and Brentwood neighborhoods are home to some of LA's wealthiest residents and grandest mansions. But the grandest structure, which sits atop a hill overlooking the City, is the Getty Center. The Center is an art mecca with galleries, a garden, a café and research facilities. The collection includes paintings by masters such as van Gogh, Cézanne and Monet, as well as photographs, decorative arts, drawings, sculptures and other works of art.

Nearby is one of the world's most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions, the Skirball Cultural Center, which traces the experiences and accomplishments of the Jewish people for more than 4,000 years with multimedia installations, rare artifacts, photographs, interactive computer stations and sound recordings.

Among the hotels in this area is the 103-room Hotel Bel-Air, A Dorchester Collection Hotel, which reopened in 2011 after a major transformation. Set in a luxury residential area in the hills of Bel Air, the award-winning hotel originally opened in 1946 and became a hideaway for the rich and famous. Among the new amenities is a Wolfgang Puck restaurant serving farm-to-table, California cuisine. Tucked into lower lying hills to the west is the 160-room Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, an urban retreat on seven acres at the intersection on Brentwood and Bel Air. On Sunset @ Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel restaurant features seasonal California fare with a French accent. And the Hotel Angeleno, a Joie de Vivre hotel, offers 208 rooms in a cylindrical tower. Each room has a private balcony and views. There's also a heated, outdoor pool with a fireplace and West Restaurant and Lounge, which offers 200-degree views of LA.

High-end shopping and upscale casual dining can be found in Brentwood Village, with dozens of independently owned and operated stores and restaurants, as well as major chains. You can also find services like nail salons, yoga studios and pet grooming there.

 

(TravMedia.com contributed to this article)

 

Editor's note: Links to the websites of hundreds of lodging and dining options in the Los Angeles area can be found at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

Venice is a neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles, but that doesn't stop a lot of people from mistaking it for its own city. Some would go as far as calling Venice its own planet. From the chaos of Ocean Front Walk to the fashion consciousness of Abbot Kinney Boulevard to the dozens of narrow streets lined with a mix of century-old homes and modern architectural statements, Venice is a singular destination in a city known for its individualism. The brainchild of New Jersey-born entrepreneur Abbot Kinney, Venice opened as a beach resort modeled after the world-famous Italian destination in 1905, complete with 16 miles of canals. While most of the canals were filled in by the 1930s, about a mile and a half of canals — complete with arched bridges — still wind their way through the enclave, providing a great way for people to explore the district and a great place for ducks to hang out. And, while about 40,000 people live in the three-square-mile district, a lot more flock there during the warmer months of the year to experience the urban-beachy-artsy vibe that can be found in few other places.

No Explanation Possible: Ocean Front Walk

A walk along Ocean Front Walk, aka the Venice Boardwalk, which stretches about a mile and a half from Santa MonicaMuscle Beach Two SMALLPumping iron at Muscle Beach. to Marina del Rey, can stun even the most jaded traveler or local. Buskers, hippies, body builders, chainsaw jugglers and even turban-wearing, roller-skating guitar player Harry Perry don't even begin to tell the whole story of the Venice Beach Boardwalk on a sunny weekend day. Pickup basketball players battle for supremacy on the Boardwalk-adjacent courts, which were featured in White Men Can't Jump; handball and paddle-tennis players take each other on nearby; surfers battle for position off the Venice jetty; and hundreds of vendors compete for your attention by selling everything imaginable. And if you want a view of the madness from above and don't want to leave the area, the Cadillac Hotel, which was built in 1914 and once served as Charlie Chaplin's summer residence, has been upgraded with art-deco touches. The Inn at Venice Beach is a mere four blocks from the southern end of Ocean Front Walk.

Slanted and Enchanted: Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Leave it to Venice to have its primary shopping thoroughfare named after its founder to cut perfectly diagonally through the district. Everything from furniture shops to home décor stores to vintage clothing boutiques and perfumeries line the street. Ananda features scented candles, Indian-inspired clothing, mini-Buddha figures and more. Surfing Cowboys hawks vintage skateboards, Navajo rugs and — yes — the occasional surfboard. Pamela Barish attracts a high-end clientele looking to mix in the funky with the finery. Modern, eclectic housewares abound at Firefly, while Heist's designer clothing bespeaks an urban sensibility. And Minnie T's has attracted trend-seeking folks since 2001. Meanwhile, shops like Milkmade and Guild give guys a chance to get stylish, while Waraku supplies hard-to-find imported shoes for men and women. And if all that shopping's making you hungry, Hans Rockenwagner's 3 Square Café + Bakery combines high-end ingredients with an informal atmosphere; Gjelina brings a modern approach to new-American cuisine; Glencrest represents old-school Abbot Kinney with serious barbeque; Primitivo combines Spanish-style tapas with an outstanding wine list; and Brig is a casual eatery complete with pool tables and music. For a good old-fashioned caffeine fix amid modern, architecture, there's Intelligentsia Venice Coffee Bar. And when all else fails, there are always the Abbot Kinney standbys: Joe's for classic American brunch or dinner, Hal's for a traditional  bar and grill experience, and Abbot's Pizza for piping hot, bagel-crust pies. Also, the Abbot Kinney Festival has been sending off the summer every year since 1984 with a party that includes live music, artisan crafts and other events that attract more than 150,000 people. And if you can't hit the Festival, no worries, as Abbot Kinney 1st Fridays brings the community together and welcomes all others on the first Friday evening of every month.

Non-Traditional Traditional

When Venice was first built more than a century ago, its heart was a group of Venetian-styled buildings and a colonnade at the corner of Pacific and Windward Avenues, which are still there today. Nearby, Hotel Erwin has 119 rooms, as well as a rooftop lounge and the well-regarded Barlo Kitchen & Cocktails, and the property is undergoing a $1 million upgrade in time for summer 2012. Meanwhile, two blocks east on Main and Windward (formerly the site of Venice's Grand Canal), Hama Sushi has been serving regulars and visitors since 1979. No less a Venice institution is Chaya Venice, which has been serving its French-Japanese cuisine about a mile north on Main Street near the Santa Monica border since 1990. Finally, no local trip is complete without a photo op in front of the Clown Ballerina building at Main Street and Rose Avenue. Yes, only in Venice.

 

(TravMedia.com contributed to this article)

 

Editor's note: Links to the websites of hundreds of Los Angeles area lodging and dining options can be found at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

Key components of the year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge are the 75 Opening Day cars SMALLCars lined up on the Bridge on opening day. From the holdings of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, used with permission, www.goldengate.org Community Tributes being hosted by a diverse array of San Francisco Bay Area organizations and talents.

The complete year-long schedule of all 2012 Community Tributes—including the dozens of events over Memorial Day weekend leading up to the official Golden Gate Festival celebration on the San Francisco waterfront May 27, 2012—is updated frequently on the official Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary website at www.goldengatebridge75.org.

 

The following is a listing of programs and activities honoring the Golden Gate Bridge throughout 2012:

 

Through September 1: Marin History Museum - The Golden Gate Bridge, An Icon That Changed Marin exhibit, 1125 B Street, San Rafael, Tuesday-Saturday, 11AM-4PM, (415) 454-8538, marinhistory.org.

 

Through December 31: Antenna Theater - Golden Gate Sunset Sundial: Map of the places and times sunset can be viewed between the two Bridge towers. Various locations: sunsetsundial.org.

 

Through October 14: California Historical Society - A Wild Flight of the Imagination: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge. Exhibit featuring artwork, photographs, and historical Bridge artifacts. 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, Tuesday-Sunday, 12-5PM, 415-357-1848, californiahistoricalsociety.org.

 

Through May 25: Port of Oakland and Oaklandish - International Trade Photo Contest: Golden Gate Bridge to Oakland call for submissions of photos representing the theme. Selected photos will be exhibited in various venues in Oakland from May 25 - September 7, 2012.

 

Through December 31: Exploratorium - Outdoor exhibits focused on bridge movement, cable suspension and related science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with technical support from the Consortium of Universities for Research in earthquake Engineering (CUREE) and funding from the National Science Foundation. Battery Lancaster, the Presidio, San Francisco, exploratorium.edu.

 

April 14: The Golden Gate Brass Band - 75th anniversary tribute performances at the Corte Madera Recreation Center, 498 Tamalpais Drive, 2-4PM. Free.  Also April 14, April 26, May 6, May 27 and August 19, goldengatebrassband.org.

 

April 14 - July 14: San Francisco Public Library - Bridging Minds: San Francisco Reads, 1933-1937: Exhibit of first editions, photographs and ephemera featuring the best sellers of the period and works of California authors. San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., 6th floor, sfpl.org.

 

April 18 - 30: Marin Symphony - The Bridge and Marin: Golden Gate Opus Poster Contest: contest to design a creative interpretative poster of the Golden Gate Bridge for the Golden Gate Opus on May 6 and May 8. Open to Marin students aged 10-18. Deadline for submission April 18, marinsymphony.org.

 

April 21: ArtSeed - Earth Week Art-a-thon: 10-hour art-and-music-making marathon in celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th birthday to benefit ArtSeed's Apprenticeship Program. Open to artists of all ages and experience. Art-a-thon, April 21, 10AM - 8PM, Acre Café, Thoreau Center for Sustainability, the Presidio, San Francisco. Spring Open Studios: April 28-29, 11AM-6PM, Bayview Hunters Point Shipyard, Studio 2513, Building 101, artseed.org.

 

April 23 - May 31: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco - Show Us Your Golden Gate children and teen art contest (April 23-30) and exhibit (May 2-31), 3200 California Street, San Francisco, jccsf.org.

 

April 28: Bay Area Ridge Trail Council - Ridge to Bridge: This signature Ridge Trail event provides a day of fun and raises money to complete the trail. Register at ridgetrail.org.

 

April 28: Slide Ranch - Self-guided hike from the Golden Gate Bridge to Slide Ranch as part of Slide Ranch's Annual Spring Fling Event, Muir Beach, 9AM-5PM, slideranch.org.

 

April 28: San Francisco Children's Art Center - Architectural Sculpture, Building Bridges: a free one-day workshop for children aged 5-10. 1-4PM, Fort Mason Center, Bldg. C, Rm. 170, childrensartcenter.org.

 

May 1 - October 31: YMCA - Guided bicycle trips for youth and families from the Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge by the Presidio YMCA, plus inclusion of bridge-related curriculum in outdoor education programs for the Point Bonita YMCA. YMCA members only, ymcasf.org.

 

May 3 - June 9: George Krevsky Gallery - Artistic Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge: An exhibition of local GGB Sunrise12-15-09 07 SMALLJanuary sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge. © Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Used with permission. www.goldengate.orgartists' interpretations of the Golden Gate Bridge. Opening reception: May 3, 5:30-7:30PM, Exhibit: May 3 -

June 9, Tues-Sat, 11AM-5:30PM, George Krevsky Galley, 77 Geary St. 2nd Floor, georgekrevskygallery.com.

 

May 5: Community Music Center - Crossing Bridges: A musical performance combining youth programs from San Francisco's Mission District and San Rafael singing in honor of the Golden Gate Bridge's birthday. 11:30AM-1PM, La Pena Cultural Center, Berkeley, sfcmc.org.

 

May 5: Art Deco Society of Northern California - Swinging on the Golden Gate: Art deco preservation ball themed with Bridge-era music and displays of Bridge work. 6:30PM-12AM, Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco, artdecosociety.org.

 

May 6: Marin History Museum - Golden Gate Bridge Garden Party:  A Bridge-era garden party with bridge building activities, a bridge trivia contest, and music of the era, Marin History Museum, 11AM-3PM, marinhistory.org.

 

May 6 & 8: Marin Symphony - Golden Gate Opus: Commissioned work by Rob Kapilow based on the sounds of the Golden Gate Bridge. May 6, 3PM, May 8, 7:30PM, Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, marinsymphony.org.

 

May 9, 23 & 27: Kathryn Roszak's Danse Lumiere - BridgeDance: Rehearsal and Performances: Open rehearsal with professional dancers and youth incorporating oral histories, poetry, memories, and stories about the Bridge. May 9, 4:30PM, Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, Berkeley. Performances include Union Square and the Golden Gate Festival. dlkdance.com, unionsquarepark.us.

 

May 10: Bay Area Open Space Council - Open Space Conference: The annual conference of the Bay Area Open Space Council convenes land conservation leaders from around the Bay Area. This year's theme is "Bridges" in honor of the 75th anniversary. Golden Gate Club, the Presidio, San Francisco, openspacecouncil.org.

 

May 11 & May 14 - 22: San Francisco Unified School District / Young at Art - Bridging Us All: Young at Art Community Celebration: The school district's annual Young at Art will be themed "Bridging Us All," and will celebrate the 75th anniversary through a student art exhibition and performances at the de Young museum. May 11, 5PM-8PM, May 14 - 22, Tues-Sun 9:30AM-5:15PM,  de Young Museum, sfusf.edu, youngatartsf.com.

 

May 11 - 13: San Francisco Museum and Historical Society - My Vision of My Favorite Bridge: Art contest among Bay Area middle and high school students. 11AM-4PM, The Old Mint, 88 Fifth Street, San Francisco, sfhistory.org.

 

May 12: San Francisco Architectural Heritage / National Trust for Historic Preservation - Spanning Space and Time: The Golden Gate Bridge and the Transformation of the Bay Area: A symposium to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. 10:30AM-12PM, Building 103, Montgomery Street Barrack, the Presidio, San Francisco, sfheritage.org,  preservationnation.org.

 

May 14 - August 4: San Francisco Arts Education Project - International Orange: The Bridge Re-imagined: A curated visual arts exhibition created by students from San Francisco public schools to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Norse Auditorium, 135 Van Ness Av., San Francisco, sfartsed.org.

 

May 16: San Francisco Public Library - On Location: The Golden Gate Bridge on the Silver Screen: Movie clips and an entertaining discussion of the Golden Gate Bridge in film, by local historian Jim Van Buskirk. 6PM-8PM, Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library, sfpl.org.

 

May 18: San Francisco Giants - International Orange Friday: Baseball game at AT&T Park dedicated to celebrating the color of the Bridge and our home team. AT&T Park, sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com.

 

May 20: San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra - New Music Competition: Performance of the winning composition about the Bridge's 75th birthday written for mandolin orchestra. 4PM, All Saints Episcopal Church, 555 Waverly Street, Palo Alto. Also June 2, All Souls Episcopal, Berkeley and June 3, Mission Dolores, San Francisco, sfmandolin.org.

 

May 22: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco / SPUR / AIA of SF - Lecture by Paul Goldberger: Lecture by Paul Goldberger, the architecture critic for the New Yorker, focusing on the Golden Gate Bridge and other legacy structures. 7PM, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, jccsf.org, spur.org.

 

May 22 - 25: Bay Area Discovery Museum - Happy Birthday Bridge: Week-long festivities, including art-based activities to create bridge crowns, bridge sculptures, and a giant Happy Birthday Bridge Card. 9AM-4PM, Bay Area Discovery Museum, baykidsmuseum.org.

 

May 23 - October 28: Presidio Trust - Before the Bridge - Sight and Sound at the Golden Gate: An immersive exhibition combining large-format images with sounds of the oceans, foghorns, birds, sailors shouting, soldiers marching and cannons firing - telling the story of life in and around the Presidio before the bridge was built. Wed-Sun, 11AM-5PM, presidio.gov.

 

May 24 - October 28: FOR-SITE Foundation - International Orange: Exhibition by a select group of artists who have created on-site installation works responding to the Golden Gate Bridge as a national icon, historical structure, and conceptual inspiration. Fort Point, for-site.org.

 

May 24: Commonwealth Club of California - The Golden Gate Bridge at 75: What Makes an Icon: A lecture and panel discussion on the history of the bridge and how it achieved iconic status. 6PM-7PM, The Commonwealth Club of California, commonwealthclub.org.

 

May 24: California Academy of Sciences - NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences: An evening themed around the Golden Gate Bridge that includes exploring various aspects of the Golden Gate Bridge such as color and scientific elements. 6PM-10PM, California Academy of Sciences, calacademy.org.

 

May 25 - September 7: Oakland International Airport / Oakland Museum of California / Port of Oakland - Trade and Tourism Art Contest, Golden Gate Bridge to Oakland: Display of selected artwork from media ranging from the digital and photo to paint and sculpture that centers on the topic of trade and tourism in the Bay Area. Oakland International Airport, flyoakland.com, museumca.org.

 

May 26 - 27: San Francisco City Guides - Interpretative Tours: Interpretative tours of the Golden Gate Bridge tent at the Golden Gate Festival. May 26: 10AM-6PM, May 27: 11AM-10PM, Golden Gate National Parks, Painter on Main Cable SMALLPainter on the main cable. © Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District. Used with permission. www.goldengate.orgsfcityguides.org.

 

May 26 - December 31: Roebling Museum - Spinning Gold: The Roebling Company and the Golden Gate Bridge: A special exhibit about the Golden Gate Bridge at Roebling Museum in New Jersey. Special birthday celebration on May 26 from 11AM-5PM, exhibition: Wed-Sat 11AM-5PM, Sun 12PM-5PM, roeblingmuseum.org.

 

May 26: Petaluma Museum - A Golden Relationship, a bridge to the agricultural bounty of Sonoma County: An exhibit on how the building of the Golden Gate Bridge opened the door to providing culinary delights between Sonoma and San Francisco. 10AM-4PM, Petaluma Museum, petalumamuseum.com.

 

May 26: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco - Building Bridges One Yoga Pose at a Time: Early morning yoga session for people of all ages. 8:00AM-9:00AM, Golden Gate Festival Waterfront, jccsf.org.

 

May 26 - 27: Fort Mason Center - "Seats" Exhibit, Bridge Cookies, and Bridge Books: Outdoor art exhibition of 35 unique seats from which to enjoy views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay and other tributes by Center organizations - Golden Gate Bridge Cookie offered by Green's restaurant - Reader's Café devoting a section of their store to Bridge books and memorabilia. Lower Fort Mason, fortmason.org.

 

May 26 - September 15: Presidio Trust / Walt Disney Family Museum - The Bridge on the Big Screen: The Presidio Trust and the Walt Disney Family Museum present a Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary commemorative film festival featuring seven films starring the Bay Area's iconic superstar. For details and screening times visit presidio.gov.

 

May 26 - August 31: SFMOMA - Golden Gate Desserts: An offering of bridge-themed desserts at SFMOMA's Rooftop Garden Blue Bottle Coffee Bar. Tues - Sun, 11:30AM - 5:45PM, sfmoma.org.

 

May 26 - July 31: SFMOMA - Reflections on Bridge Artwork and Writing: Reflections on artwork and writings about the Golden Gate Bridge with posts on the museum's blog: blog.sfmoma.org.

 

May 26 - June 30: SFMOMA - Local Bridge Interpretations: An exhibition of local artists' interpretations of the bridge. Lower Fort Mason, SFMOMA Artists' Gallery, sfmoma.org.

 

May 26 - 27: Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District - Music, History and Vintage Automobiles: Music, historic images, vintage automobiles and maritime history exhibits at Hyde Street Pier and Pier 45. visitfishermanswharf.com.

 

May 26 - 27: Ghirardelli Chocolate Company - The Bridge Story: Exhibition of panels telling the story of the Golden Gate Bridge. Sat 10AM-6PM, Sun 11AM-10PM, Ghirardelli Square, ghirardelli.com.

 

May 26 - 27: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park - 75th Anniversary Tours: Special 75th anniversary tours at the maritime park and an exhibit at the park's visitor orientation station at Fisherman's Wharf. San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, nps.gov/safr.

 

May 27: Oakland Symphony Chorus - Family Sing-a-Long: Family sing-a-long of California and the Golden Gate songs. Golden Gate Festival Waterfront, oaklandsymphonychorus.org.

 

May 27: Community Music Center - Mission District Young Musicians: A performance of Latin music by Mission District Young Musicians. San Francisco Festival Waterfront, sfcmc.org.

 

May 27: Pier 39 - Golden Gate Bridge-era Music and Dance Festival: Music and dance festival celebrating the era in which the Golden Gate Bridge was built. Pier 39, pier39.com.

 

May 27: International Orange Chorale - A special concert featuring newly-commissioned works that pay homage to the Golden Gate Bridge including the premiere of San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate. San Francisco Festival Waterfront, iocsf.org.

 

May 27: San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra - New Music Competition: Performance of the winner's piece of music from the San Francisco Mandolin orchestra new music competition on the San Francisco Festival Waterfront. Additional performances on June 2 and 3 in Berkeley and Palo Alto. sfmandolin.org.

 

May 27: LaborFest - LaborFest Songs and Photographs: Songs and photographs honoring the workers who built the Golden Gate Bridge. Golden Gate Festival, laborfest.net.

 

June 16: Transit and Trails and Bay Area Open Space Council - Transit and Trails Alt Ride: More than just a bike ride, riders will tackle Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Tamalpais, and Mt. Diablo in one day, using public transportation between the peaks. Riders cross the Golden Gate Bridge as part of the event. altride.transitandtrails.org.

 

June 9 & 24: Headlands Center for the Arts - In the Shadow of the Bridge: A film by artist Ned Kahn about the shadows on the Golden Gate Bridge and what they reveal. 6:30PM-10PM, Headlands Center for the Arts, headlands.org.

 

June 22: International Orange Chorale - Concert of Newly Commissioned Works: A performance of newly commissioned choral works. 5PM, Solarium Public Space, 55 2nd St., San Francisco, iocsf.org.

 

June 25 - July 6 & July 23 - August 3: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy - Archi-Techies: Golden Gate Bridge Edition: Design summer camp program for kids in grades 3-5. Crissy Field Center, Mon-Fri, 9AM-4PM, crissyfieldcenter.org.

 

July 1 - Sept 30: San Francisco Parks Alliance - Park's View of the Golden Gate Bridge: A photo contest of images of the Golden Gate Bridge taken from San Francisco parks. sfparksalliance.org.

 

July 5 - 29: ArtSeed - 75 Reasons Why We Are the Bridge: Children, teachers and practicing artists give form to their ideas using the bridge's history and structure. Opening reception  July 5, 5PM-7PM. Exhibition July 6 - 29, Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM, Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Presidio Building #1014, San Francisco, artseed.org.

 

July 14: South End Rowing Club - Golden Gate Bridge Splash 'n' Dash: A club-sponsored swim in San Francisco Bay and a run across the Golden Gate bridge for members and sport. 9AM-1:30PM, south-end.org, splashndash.us.

 

July 29: San Francisco Marathon: Full marathon and 1 half marathon crossing the bridge and an additional half marathon, a 5k, and kids' race. thesfmarathon.com.

 

August 1 - October 1: American Institute of Architects - Postcards from the Edge: Exhibition of postcard views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM, 130 Sutter Street #600, San Francisco, aia.org.

 

August 19: Golden Gate Brass Band - Musical Bridges: Concerts featuring the top 40 hits of the period from 1930 to 1937. 2PM, Corte Madera Bandstand/Gazebo, "Old Town", goldengatebrassband.com.

 

September 1 - 30: American Institute of Architects - Architecture and the City Festival: A series of events that celebrate the Bay Area's architectural heritage, including the Golden Gate Bridge. aia.org.

 

September 9: NatureBridge - A Bridge to Nature: A family-oriented hike in the Marin Headlands with activities highlighting the cultural history of the Golden Gate. NatureBridge / Headlands Institute, naturebridge.org/headlands.

 

October 21: San Francisco State University Romberg Center: Discovery Day Bridge-building Activity: Bridge-building activity for the public at the center's annual Discovery Day. 11AM-4PM, SF State Romberg Center, Tiburon, rtc.sfsu.edu.

 

About the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary: The 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge is a project of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in cooperation with the National Park Service, The Presidio Trust, and the City and County of San Francisco. The year-long celebration and visitor services improvements are funded by private contributions, with major underwriting provided by Wells Fargo, Genentech, HP, and Kaiser Permanente. Anniversary events include The Golden Gate Festival along the San Francisco waterfront on May 27, 2012; 75 Tributes to the Bridge, a year-long series of public programs presented throughout the Bay Area; renovation of the historic Round House and construction of a new visitor Pavilion; and enhancements to the Bridge Plaza and Golden Gate National Recreation Area parklands on both sides of the span. For additional information and all public inquiries, please visit www.goldengatebridge75.org.

 

(TravMedia.com contributed to this article)

 

Editor's note: Links to the websites of hundreds of San Francisco & the Bay Area lodging and dining options can be found at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.