Los Angeles is a fun city to visit, whether you are planning a quick weekend getaway or a longer family vacation. From world-class museums and free attractions to unique activities, beaches and restaurants, there is plenty to see and do. What should I do for a day in LA?
Go on thrilling rides inspired by your favorite movies at Universal Studios Hollywood, spend a romantic evening at Griffith Observatory, stroll through the Farmers Market and relax at natural hot springs.
1. Universal Studios Hollywood
© Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is a theme park and film studio that offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood’s oldest and most famous film studio. Offering tours of real Hollywood sets from famous movies and a fun-filled movie-based theme park, it is one of the world’s most visited attractions and one of the top things to do in LA. The NBC Universal Experience takes you on an intimate journey through some of Universal Studio’s greatest films, showcasing authentic artifacts, costumes and props from blockbusters like Jurassic Park, Jaws, Back to the Future and The Sting.
Transformer fans will delight in this interactive and immersive 3D ride, which uses 3D media and flight simulation technology to create an epic experience based on the popular movie. Rated as Universal Studios #1 show, WaterWorld is a wet and wild adventure that springs to life with death-defying plunges, deafening explosions, roaring firefights and a terrifying plane crash that will have adrenalin pumping through your veins.
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California 91608, Phone: 800-864-8377
2. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
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One of Southern California's most popular attractions, Griffith Observatory is an iconic landmark of Los Angeles and a national leader in public astronomy, inspiring visitors to observe, ponder, and understand the beauty of the sky and surrounding universe. Located in Griffith Park on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, the Observatory sits 1,134 feet above sea level and offers spectacular views across the city for miles. Made up of a public observatory, planetarium, and exhibition space, Griffith Observatory acts an important informal educational facility for the public and has welcomed over 76 million visitors since its opening in 1935.
The Observatory offers free public telescope viewing every evening to visitors, as well as interactive presentations and shows at the 290-seat Samuel Oschin Planetarium. If you are looking for things to do as a couple in LA, the museum hosts exhibitions and workshops throughout its six sections, covering a variety of topics from the solar system to sunsets and moon skies.
2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, California 90027, Phone: 213-473-0800
3. The Original Farmers Market
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The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles is a historic landmark and one of the city’s top attractions, selling and serving organic and locally grown produce, food and craft items for over 80 years. Located at Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street, the market has long been the go-to place for foodies, aficionados, gourmands and market lovers alike. Featuring over 100 vendor stalls, specialty food markets, fresh produce grocers, prepared food stalls, restaurants and tourist shops, the Market is a permanent installation and is open seven days a week.
One of the many highlights of the market is the variety of local, international and ethnic foods, letting you can sample cuisine from all over the world. The Market also hosts special events throughout the year, such as live music on Friday evenings, Tuesday Night Trivia, and private parties. If you are looking for best romantic things to do in LA, the Original Farmers Market is a great place to visit.
6333 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, California 90036, Phone: 323-933-9211
4. Hollywood Bowl Museum, Los Angeles
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One of the world’s most famous concert venues, the Hollywood Bowl is a 1920s Amphitheater in Hollywood that hosts a variety of music performances throughout the year. Named for the shape of the concave hillside the amphitheater is carved into, the ‘Bowl’ is known for its distinctive shape. The Hollywood Bowl Museum showcases the history of the Hollywood Bowl and features an array of exhibitions and displays from various music concerts, shows and performances at the Bowl over the years.
The Museum is also home to the ‘Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame’, where visitors can watch videos of all the honorees including Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, and Garth Brooks, among others.
2301 Highland Ave, Los Angeles, California 90068, Phone: 323-850-2000
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5. A Day in LA Tours, Los Angeles
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A Day in LA Tours is a small company run by travelers will a passion for LA, who offer five-star sightseeing around Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Beverley Hills. Tours are led by friendly, knowledgeable guides in air-conditioned buses, with plenty of time to see the city’s most famous attractions, as well as the off-the-beaten-track ones too.
Tours include a free hotel pick-up in the morning and visit areas such as Santa Monica and Venice Beach, checking out all the best known sights – Griffith Park, Sunset Strip, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Rodeo Drive, to name but a few. There are plenty of opportunities to get off the bus and explore the sights, with an hour for lunch along the way (Phone: 818-538-6287). LA tours.
6. California Science Center
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One of the country’s largest interactive science centers, the California Science Center was established to inspire learning through science for everyone. Located in Exposition Park, the Center is a dynamic educational center where children, students and adults alike can explore the wonders of science through innovative programs, interactive workshops, and mind-boggling exhibitions.
The museum boasts a number of exciting exhibits and displays, including the Frank Gehry-designed Air and Space Exhibits, the Sketch Foundation Gallery, an IMAX Theater, and the Science Center itself. The Center is home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour, which is on display in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, and hosts the California State Science Fair every year. If you are wondering what to see in Los Angeles for science fans, this is a great attraction.
700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, California 90037, Phone: 323-724-3623
7. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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Located on Los Angeles’ Museum Row in the Miracle Mile District, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest museum of art in the western United States. Founded in 1965 and situated in Hancock Park on over 20 acres in the heart of Los Angeles, the museum is home to over 120,000 objects and works covering a range of genres and periods throughout history.
The museum’s collection is divided into genres, ranging from Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art, Asian and Islamic Art, American and Latin American Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Decorative arts and design, Photography and Film, showcasing works that represent Los Angeles's unique and diverse culture.
A museum of international stature, LACMA also acts as an important education center, offering the public access to its collections through digital initiatives, such as online collections and catalogues, state-of-the-art research facilities, as well as hosting a variety of exhibitions, films and concert series. If you are looking for best things to do in LA for art lovers, this museum is a must-see.
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90036, Phone: 323-857-6000
8. Culina, Modern Italian, Los Angeles
© Culina, Modern Italian
Culina is a stylish Italian restaurant set in a gorgeous Mediterranean-Californian garden in the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Breathing life into the Four Season’s grand, old world ambiance, Culina boasts a modern, hip vibe with a laudable mix of food, fun and festivity, floating fires and music.
Savvy gourmands and oenophiles will delight in the tempting menu that features a modern take on authentic Italian fare and the carefully composed wine list that is beyond compare. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, menus include delights to appease every palate, with homemade pasta and creamy sauces, fresh seafood, and prime cut meats, to mouthwatering desserts.
The Bar at Culina features an expansive wine list with wines from all over the world, many of which can be enjoyed by the glass, carafe or bottle, as well as handcrafted cocktails, house-made bitters and syrups, and a selection of artisanal spirits. If you are looking for Los Angeles date ideas, this is a good place to try.
300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, California 90048, Phone: 310-860-4000
9. Beverly Hot Springs, Los Angeles
© Beverly Hot Springs
Beverly Hot Springs is a 100% natural hot springs spa that is located just outside of Beverly Hills. Fed by a natural artesian well that spouts a steady flow of 96- to 105-degree water, rich in sodium bicarbonate and other minerals, the spa offers an array of Balneotherapy treatments, as well as massages and other water-based remedies. Beverly Hot Springs offers guests a tranquil, elegant ambiance in which to relax, surrounded by natural elements of stone, rock, waterfalls, and beautiful flower arrangements.
The spa boasts separate facilities for men and women, including a variety of hot and cold pools, steam baths and dry herbal saunas, massage showers, powder rooms and quiet lounge areas in which to relax. If you are looking for fun things to do for anniversary, this is a relaxing idea in LA.
308 N. Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90004, Phone: 323-734-7000
10. Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles
© Hotel Angeleno
Enjoy scenic views and access to both Santa Monica and Beverly Hills from Hotel Angeleno which has a relaxing outdoor pool deck. The hotel offers a number of plush services and amenities such as free Valet parking, wine hour and free WiFi. Celebrate a special occasion at West Restaurant and Lounge which offers panoramic views of the city and the beaches of Santa Monica in the distance. Rooms start at $245 per night.
170 N. Church Lane, Los Angeles, California 90049, Phone: 310-476-6411
11. Romantic Things to Do in Los Angeles: Mystery Trip
© Mystery Trip
Mystery Trips is an event planning company that provides just that: mystery trips to weird, fun and unusual places. The company organizes trips for a variety of events, such as corporate events and team building, birthdays, networking and other special occasions, which can incorporate anything from visits to historic landmarks and museums to gourmet restaurants or a sumo-wrestling match – you just never know.
Types of trips are decided by founder Dave Green according to you and your guests and trip durations vary, but usually last between six and eight hours, with three or four venue stops. If you are looking for fun things to do in LA, give this unique company a call.
Trip costs include transportation in buses, limos and vans, one meal, and admission fees to whatever venues are on the list. Alcohol costs extra (Phone: 310-650-5656).
12. USC Fisher Museum of Art
© USC Fisher Museum of Art
The oldest museum in Los Angeles, the USC Fisher Museum of Art was founded in 1939 by Elizabeth Holmes Fisher, who donated 29 paintings to start the collection. The only museum dedicated solely to fine art exhibitions and collections, the museum’s permanent collection today has more than 1,800 artworks that span five centuries. Highlights of the collection are Venus Wounded by a Thorn by Peter Paul Rubens, St. John the Evangelist by Anthony van Dyck, Lady Hamilton by George Romney, Mrs. Burroughs by Thomas Gainsborough, Femme Étendant Son Linge by Jean François Millet, and Richard Nixon by Andy Warhol. The museum is located on the USC Campus in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park and is part of a complex of museums that includes the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
823 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90089, Phone: 213-740-4561
13. San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
© San Antonio Winery
Established in 1917, the San Antonio Winery produces a range of red varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and white varietals of Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Chardonnay.
The estate boasts a modern tasting room where a selection of the farm’s wines can be tasted with daily tastings, artisan tastings and semi-sweet tastings.
The trattoria-style Maddalena Restaurant at the San Antonio Winery is perfect for a romantic celebration. The restaurant serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. If you are looking for date ideas in LA, try this unique attraction.
737 Lamar St, Los Angeles, California 90031, Phone: 323-223-1401
14. Sunset Ranch Hollywood
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Sunset Ranch is a horse ranch on the outskirts of Hollywood that offers a range of horseback riding tours for all levels of rider. Several types of tours are available, including hourly lunch time and evening rides, longer day rides, and romantic horseback proposal tours.
One of the most popular tours is the ‘Best View and BBQ’ Tour, which consists of a two-hour evening ride to Mount Hollywood, taking in magnificent 360 degree views of the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, Rancho Palos Verdes and the famous Hollywood sign, followed by a barbeque and live country music back at the ranch.
Another fun trip is the Friday Night Fiesta Ride, which is a four-hour ride suitable for competent riders that makes a round-trip expedition through Griffith Park, stopping at the Viva Fresh Mexican Restaurant in Burbank for lunch on the way.
3400 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, California 90068, Phone: 323-469-5450
15. L&E Oyster Bar, Los Angeles
© L&E Oyster Bar
If you crave fresh oysters, head to L&E Oyster Ba in Silver Lake. Located on Silver Lake Boulevard, L&E Oyster Bar is a new seafood restaurant that serves freshly farmed oysters, fish and other oceanic delights and crisp wines in a funky atmosphere. Parisian bistro meets Brooklyn funk in this small and cozy eatery with a busy vibe, whose friendly, hipster staff makes you feel right at home. Owners Dustin Lancaster and Tyler Bell wanted to create an oyster bar similar to those in coastal Europe.
Choose from over ten types of fresh oysters, ranging from Kachemaks from Alaska to salty shells from Mermaid Cove, as well as Canada and New Zealand. Fresh fish on the menu includes house-smoked trout, whole branzino, and wild salmon, accompanied by heavenly homemade sauces and sides.
1637 Silverrake Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90026, Phone: 323-660-2255
16. Melting Pot Food Tours
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Melting Pot Food Tours offer delicious food tasting tours in and around Los Angeles for food lovers. Visit some of LA’s best-known foodie spots and sample some of the local and ethnic cuisines this vibrant city is so famous for. Run by gourmand sister team Lisa and Diane Scalia, Melting Pot Food Tours aims to introduce visitors to the world-class cuisine of LA and ignite the passion for food they have had all their lives.
Tours include visits to the Original Farmers Market, Old Pasadena, the East LA Latin Flavors Tour, and a visit to Thai Town with celebrity chef Jet Tila. Meet the brains behind the fantastic food you will taste on the way, from farmers, local producers, and grocers to vendors, vintners, and chefs. If you are looking for fun things to do for your anniversary, this is a unique idea in LA. Explore the neighborhoods which are home to the delicious cuisine and taste samples of everything along the way (Phone: 424-247-9666).
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17. The Yellow Door Spa, Los Angeles
The Yellow Door Spa offers a great range of services, including skincare, tans, waxing, and more, while also providing exceptional customer care and friendly service for all. Facials are a big part of any spa service menu and the same is true at the Yellow Door Spa. There are various facials to choose from, lasting from around 45 minutes to one hour. Each facial has been designed to provide a range of positive effects like brightening skin tone, cleansing skin cells of oil and toxins, hydrating the skin, soothing inflammation, nourishing the cells, and more.
Along with waxing and facials, you can also visit the Yellow Door Spa for the application of a spray tan.
2514 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90064, Phone: 424-326-9163
18. Nethercutt Collection
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Boasting some of the world’s most beautiful classic cars, the Nethercutt Collection is an exquisite assemblage of vintage automobiles and rare collectibles, ranging from mechanic musical instruments to antique furniture. Over 250 American and European vintage cars dating from 1898 to 1997 are at the heart of the collection, with automobiles from the Antique, Vintage, Classic and Post-War eras, all of which are in pristine condition and maintained to remain drivable.
Founded in 1971 by J.B.Nethercutt, who spent a lifetime following his passion for collecting valuable objects, the museum is housed in two beautifully appointed exhibit facilities consisting of two grand salons, a mezzanine level and a music room. Standing outside the museum is a 1937 Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson Locomotive and a 1912 Pullman Private Car .
15151 Bledsoe St, Sylmar, California 91342, Phone: 818-364-6464
19. Romantic Things to Do in Los Angeles: Casa Vega
© Casa Vega
A San Fernando Valley fixture for over 55 years, Casa Vega is a family-owned Mexican restaurant that serves authentic, delicious Mexican food and drinks in a warm and vibrant atmosphere. Opened in 1956 by Rafael ‘Ray’ Vega, and currently owned by his daughter, Christy Vega, the restaurant draws a mix of regulars, visitors and celebrities to dine in true Mexican style.
Feast on traditional corn and flour tortilla chips and beer-battered halibut tacos with chunky guacamole salsa or burritos with refried beans, marinated flank steak or pulled pork. Sip on coconut margaritas or Casa Vega margaritas on the rocks, and don’t miss the ever popular Tequila chocolate pots, which are a highlight of the evening. Located on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, Casa Vega is open all week.
13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, California 91423, Phone: 818-788-4868
20. Things to Do in LA: The Murder Mystery Company
© The Murder Mystery Company
Murder She Wrote meets Cluedo with the Murder Mystery Company, who pride themselves on being the “the experts in mystery entertainment”, offering public and private interactive murder mysteries. The company performs weekly interactive mystery shows in which someone dies in a comical way and the audience has to solve the crime.
Professionally trained actors bring live-action excitement and intrigue to the event, and guests are immersed in the mystery as they are turned in suspects or sleuths by the expertly trained playwrights and are encouraged to use their detective skills to solve the crime and discover the killer together.
The Murder Mystery Company offers private murder mystery events for a range of occasions, as well as a public dinner theater where shows are staged and audiences get to partake while having dinner.
51 N San Pedro St, San Jose, California 95110, Phone: 888-643-2583
21. Things to Do Near Me: Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons
© PJ Gomez / Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons
Learn how to surf LA-style with Aloha Brothers. Run by Nick Fowler and his team of surfing gurus, whether you are a beginner planning to learn from scratch, or looking for an experienced instructor to help you progress, Aloha Brothers will have you surfing in no time.
Lessons are held throughout the year and boards and wetsuits are provided. Lessons can be booked singularly or as a block booking at a discounted rate and need to be booked in advance due to popularity. Even if surfing isn’t for you, experiencing the power and the beauty of the ocean firsthand promises to be a good one.
22. Frogtown Brewery
© Frogtown Brewery
Frogtown Brewery is one of Los Angeles' most unique craft breweries, originally opened in 2016 by Adam Kestel and Mike Voss. The brewery and taproom, which is named for the nickname of the city's Elysian Valley neighborhood, is housed within a warehouse facility decked out in a unique steampunk-chic style and offers communal table and bar seating for guests looking to try pints of the company's seasonal and experimental brews. Rotating favorite brews include the company's Kinky Blonde Ale, Don't Shoot Your Rye Out Saison, Midnight Breakfast Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, and Hazy River New England-style IPA. Experimental variants include unique brews such as the Painkiller, a tiki-inspired milkshake IPA with tropical fruit flavors, and the bourbon barrel-aged Prince George, infused with Madagascar vanilla beans. Food trucks are frequently parked on site, and guests are welcome to bring their own food to the premises or order takeout from a variety of area restaurants.
2931 Gilroy St, Los Angeles, CA 90039, Phone: 323-452-2739
23. Kinjiro, Los Angeles
Kinjiro is an elegant izakaya, a casual Japanese pub, located in Honda Plaza at the end of Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo neighborhood. Small, elegant, and unpretentious, Kinjiro is so popular you will not be able to get in without reservation. All dishes are shareable, izakaya style, with such authentic delights as squid ink udon, uni udon with hijiki seaweed, or agedashi fried homemade tofu with organic mushroom ankake sauce. Kinjiro has a great beer selection that includes ten or more beers from the famous Japanese brewer Hitachino Nest. You can treat yourself with rare finds, such as Ancient Nipponia and XH, or enjoy the extensive sake list.
424 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Phone: 213-229-8200
24. Emporium Thai, Los Angeles
© Emporium Thai
Emporium Thai is one of the United States' best Thai dining destinations numerous times since its opening in 2000 by executive chef Gina Sungkamee. The family-operated restaurant has received major acclaim, recognized for its high-quality authentic Southern Thai fare. Excellent takes on traditional favorites such as Massaman curry, Thai basil chicken, phuket lamb and duck, and turmeric sea bass are complemented by health-conscious takes on favorites such as pad Thai and pad see ew. Guests can choose their spice level on all dishes, ranging from mild level one entrees to extreme level 10 "Lava" settings.
1275 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024, Phone: 310-478-2838
25. Wilding Cran Gallery, Los Angeles
© Wilding Cran Gallery
Wilding Cran Gallery is a lovely downtown Los Angeles art gallery helmed by married duo art dealers Naomi deLuce Wilding and Anthony Cran, opened in 2014. The gallery, which is located within the city's burgeoning Lower Arts District, reflects the duo's love and history of art, which started in Cran's childhood, growing up with his father, celebrated Canadian artist Chris Cran. Initially, the gallery showcased a roster of the couple's artist friends, including artists such as Herald Nix, Vikky Alexander, John Will, and Christian Eckhart. Today, the gallery's roster has expanded to include hip Los Angeles artists such as Austin Irving, focusing on contemporary and modern art with interesting visual and multimedia elements. The gallery is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays throughout the afternoon hours.
939 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021, Phone: 213-553-9190
Things to Do Near Me: The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, California
The Greek Theatre is an internationally renowned venue in the picturesque locale of Griffith Park that presents an array of world-class performances throughout the year. So named for its architectural design, which is akin to that of a Greek Temple, the theater was designed by Samuel Tilden Norton and built in 1929, and has since become a world-renowned entertainment venue.
This 5,900-seat landmark of Hollywood has played host to some of the most memorable live performances in music history, including performances by Neil Diamond, Harry Belafonte, and Chicago. The theater also played a starring role in the Russell Brand movie, ‘Get Him to the Greek’.
Dine under the stars as you take in a show with a Greek Picnic Basket, which consists of delectable finger foods, dips, and snacks, as well as beverages of your choice. There are also some restaurants close to the venue for seated dining before or after an event. If you are looking for date ideas in Los Angeles, visit this unique venue.
2700 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90027, Phone: 844-524-7335
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Things to Do Near Me: Madame Tussauds Hollywood
The ninth of its kind in the world, Madame Tussauds is a wax museum and popular tourist attraction on Hollywood Boulevard. Established by sculptor Marie Tussaud, the museum features life-like wax models of favorite celebrities, film and music stars and other famous people. The museum features 115 wax figures of a variety of stars, the first of which to grace the museum halls were those of Beyoncé Knowles and Jamie Foxx, followed by other notable people, such as Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp, Michael Jackson and Clint Eastwood.
The largest figure in the museum is that of Shrek, which is made from plastic rather than wax as it is place outside the hall each day to attract passersby and would otherwise melt in the hot California sun. The museum is located next to the famous TCL Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame, where the handprints and stars of all of Hollywood’s legends have been set into the sidewalk.
6933 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, California 90028, Phone: 323-798-1670
Things to Do in Los Angeles, California: The GRAMMY Museum
Dedicated to the history and winners of Grammy Awards, the Grammy Museum is an interactive, educational museum that explores and celebrates the creative process. Opened in December 2008 and located in Los Angeles’ vibrant downtown district of L.A. LIVE, the museum features four floors of inspiring, interactive, and hands-on exhibits, displays and programs that aim to inspire and teach visitors about the world of music.
The museum boasts an extensive collection of historical music artifacts from a variety of genres, including instruments, costumes, records and recordings, and hand-written lyrics by some of music’s greatest artists. Exhibits include collaborative videos, touch-screens, and recording booths to explore with the aim of helping students, visitors, and budding artists to use music as a gateway to shape their cultural identity. The GRAMMY Museum also frequently holds live performances, classes, seminars and discussions at its Clive Davis Theater with award-winning musicians such as John Legend.
800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90015, Phone: 213-765-6800
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