LA - j paul getty center . that's the only place really worth looking at. The rest of LA is just a sh1t hole. Trust me, don't spend too much time in LA. I live outside LA , 45 mins away in Ventura. 2 hours North of LA along the 101 highway you get some amazing landscape opportunities on the way to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is really worth the visit. You can get to Santa Barbara via Amtrak train ($50 roundtrip) or Greyhound. The Amtrak is really nice. Another place which is worth visiting, about 60 miles from LA is Orange County, where Forrest Gump was filmed, and that's where Disneyland is ( and i believe Universal Studios too). good luck
If you go to Santa Barbara or Ventura don't forget to visit Brooks Institute of Photography - the gallery is awesome. Brooks is probably the most recognized and renowned university along with RIT when it comes to photographers. (I'm a brooks student).. For photography interests, Santa Barbara is a must see. You can request a tour of the campus and maybe bump into our professors Ralph Clevenger (nature photographer) or Chris Orwig (the author of 'Visual Poetry')
Don't buy lenses/cameras/equipment from physical camera shops here, they are overpriced! Buy online from Adorama/BnH.
If you can go out of LA, there's Yosemite/King's Canyon/Sequoia Nat Park, about 4 hours away. To the west, there's the Pacific Highway 1, about 3-5 hours drive depending which part you want to go to (Big Sur/Monterey are good suggestions). If you're heading eastwards, there's Death Valley, Highway 395, but it's kind of out of the way. About 5-6 hours drive.
There aren't any nice landscapes until you get out of the city area.
If you've the time, visit Disneyland/universal studios/six flags theme park :thumbsup: