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credit: Pinellas County Sheriff(CLEARWATER, Fla.) -- A deputy's dashcam captured the moments when a small plane crashed onto a road in Clearwater, Florida, Sunday morning.

As seen in the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office's dashcam footage, the single-engine plane is flying low over the road and suddenly banks to its left, soaring right over the deputy's squad car.

Two deputies responded within seconds of the plane's crashing onto the road. Luckily, according to authorities, the pilot who owns the plane and his passenger were able to walk away from the crash.

Fortunately, no bystanders were injured, either.

The plane is a four-seater 1975 Rockwell International 112A fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft, according to ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa.

The sheriff's office said the pilot and his passenger took off from Clearwater Air Park earlier that morning and went to Zephyrhills, which is about 50 miles away. The pilot told authorities they were returning to the Clearwater Air Park when "something went wrong." The plane went down about half a mile away from the air park.

Deputies say the pilot thinks an engine problem was to blame, but no official cause has not been determined yet.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A Texas teenager has a forever home in time for the holidays after being adopted by his former teacher.

“I really couldn’t sleep last night,” Anthony Berry, 16, told reporters last week after being adopted by Bennie Berry, who became a first-time mom.

“I told mom, I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep,'" he said. "She was like, ‘I don’t think I am either.’”

Anthony of Beaumont first met Berry last November when she was his English teacher. By January, Anthony asked her to adopt him.

“How many kids my age get adopted nowadays?” said Anthony, who had been in foster care since the age of 9.

He did not think he ever wanted to be adopted, until he met Berry.

Anthony asked his now mom to adopt him by asking her to look at a website. Berry told him to finish his work first.

"Finish your assignment and then you can show me the website,” she recalled telling Anthony. “Then later I found out that it was really an option to adopt him, so we pushed forward.”

Berry described her son as an “ideal” and “model” student.

“I have a son. I’m more than elated,” she said. “I have a son for the rest of my life.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who died in the line of duty on Sunday, will be remembered as a loving and giving family man, according to a longtime friend.

Martinez, a native of El Paso, had been a border agent since August 2013.

"He would be the type of guy to give the shirt off his back and wouldn't ask for nothing in response," Emory Crawford, a lifelong friend of agent Martinez, told ABC affiliate KVIA Sunday.

Crawford, who said the two were classmates at Irvin High School in El Paso, Texas, described him as caring person who wanted to make a difference in the world.

“All he wanted to do was just help people and help the world and try to make a difference," he said. "I just wish him the best, that he rest in peace, I love him."

 Martinez, 36, died in West Texas while on a patrol on Sunday morning, according to the federal authorities. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not provide many details about the incident, but Texas Senator Ted Cruz described it as an “attack.”

“Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who was killed this morning in the line of duty. We are also praying for the full recovery of his partner, who was also attacked,” Cruz said in a statement.

“This is a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them,” he added.

 Meanwhile, Rep. Martha McSally, R-AZ., alleged that the Martinez had been "murdered."

"The senseless death of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who was murdered along our southwest border in Texas, should be a wakeup call to our country that we must have the resolve to secure our border and protect Americans from deadly threats like these," she said in a statement late Sunday.

Officials said the agents were responding to activity while on patrol near Interstate 10 in the Big Bend Sector, which runs along the U.S.-Mexico border, when Martinez's partner reported that they were injured and in need of assistance.

Responding agents provided immediate medical care, and transported both agents to a local hospital, where Martinez later died, according to the CBP. His partner is in serious condition, according to the agency.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Agent Martinez and his family, and with the agent who was injured,” CBP said in a statement.

Crawford said he got the news of his death while on social media.

"Unfortunately, it was him," Crawford said. "He was such a good guy, it's so unfortunate."

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences on Sunday evening as he renewed his call to build a border wall.

“Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt,” Trump tweeted. “We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

The Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group and agents from CBP’s Air and Marine Operations are searching the area for potential suspects or witnesses, according to the CBP.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The storm system that hit hard in the Midwest and the Northeast over the weekend has moved off the East Coast but behind it remain cold gusty winds and lake effect snow.

On Saturday, five confirmed tornadoes were reported in three states: two in Kentucky, two in Tennessee and one in Indiana.

Overall, 111 damaging storms were reported in 10 states from Mississippi to Ohio, including damage in central Indiana with straight line winds up to 85 mph.

As the storm moved east, strong gusty winds up to 58 mph produced damage from New Jersey to Massachusetts

Now the storm has moved offshore, gusty winds and wind chills in the teens and 20s remain.

In addition, a lake effect snow warning continues this morning for western New York state where some areas near Syracuse could see more than a half-a-foot of snow. Slippery conditions are possible on I-90 from Syracuse to Buffalo, NY and Erie, PA.

Several storms brewing out West

If you are traveling to the Pacific Northwest, several storm systems will move through the area bringing a threat for flooding on I-5 from Redding, CA to Seattle, WA and heavy snow to the mountains from the northern Sierra to the Cascades.

The first storm is already bringing rain this morning from the San Francisco Bay area to Seattle.

The second storm will move into the Pacific Northwest Tuesday late morning into the afternoon, with mostly rain even for the mountain passes. With recent heavy snow in the mountains, storm drains are plugged with snow, so the rain on top of the snow could cause flooding.

Some areas could see more than a half-a-foot of rain in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state and nearly 4 inches of rain in northern California and southern Oregon.

Thanksgiving travel outlook

If you are traveling on Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year, there will be a few trouble spots around the country.

A coastal low pressure could graze the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C. to Boston with some rain and gusty winds. Inland Northeast on I-90 and I-80 could see more snow and icy road conditions.

There will be some wet roads in central and northern Florida on I-75 and I-90.

And in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, we will see wet conditions on I-5, I-90 and I-84.

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Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Debra Tate, sister of slain actress Sharon Tate, said she wasn't relieved on Sunday when she heard that Charles Manson, the notorious cult leader and convicted murderer responsible for her sister's death, had died in prison.

"People are saying that this should be some kind of relief, but oddly enough it really isn’t," Tate said in a phone interview. "While Charlie may be gone, it’s the ones that are still alive that perpetrate everything and it was up to their imaginations for what brutal things were going to be done. In an odd way I see them as much more dangerous individuals."

Manson was deemed responsible for a heinous rampage in 1969 that began at the actress’ California home.

Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time, hairstylist Jay Sebring, heiress Abigail Folger, writer Wojciech Frykowski and teenager Steven Parent, were fatally stabbed on Aug. 9, 1969 under the Manson’s command.

Prosecutors said he handed out knives and ordered his obedient followers to kill high-profile people in a bid to start a race war.

Manson, who was 83, spent more than 40 years in prison for his role in the killings, while Leslie Van Houten -- the youngest member of Manson’s so-called family -- was granted parole in September. California Gov. Jerry Brown will decide whether to approve or deny Van Houten's parole. Brown rejected Van Houten's parole last year. Other Manson followers have also been denied parole.

“Right now we have one Manson family member on deck who has been granted a parole date ... and it’s important for people to know that these are individuals that are still brutal monsters capable of committing heinous crimes,” Debra Tate said. “Although I’ve forgiven, I have not forgotten, and I feel it’s very important that they stay exactly where they are until they die.”

“And in that way Charlie was the least of my worries. And I actually pray for his soul,” she added.

Vincent Bugliosi, the attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson, said he wants Manson’s victims to be ‘remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death,” according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys.

"Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values," the statement quoted Bugliosi. "Today, Manson's victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death."

Manson "died of natural causes at 8:13 p.m. on Sunday," at the Kern County hospital, according to the California Department of Corrections.

He had been housed in the Protective Housing Unit at California State Prison-Corcoran since 1989.

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John Malmin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Notorious murderer and cult leader Charles Manson died at 83 of natural causes on Sunday evening, according to prison officials in California.

Manson shocked the world with a series of brutal murders and his face became a symbol of evil for many as he displayed seemingly no remorse and made dark, menacing statements.

He was deemed responsible for a two-day murderous rampage through southern California in August 1969 that left seven people dead.

Pregnant actress Sharon Tate, hairstylist Jay Sebring, heiress Abigail Folger, writer Wojciech Frykowski and teenager Steven Parent, were killed at Tate's rental home on Aug. 9.

The five were murdered in the California home Tate rented with her husband, Hollywood director Roman Polanski, in the secluded neighborhood of Benedict Canyon.

The next day, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were killed at their home.

While Manson didn't commit the killings himself, he commanded others to do so.

Prosecutors said he handed out knives and told his followers to commit savage murders of high-profile people around Los Angeles in a bid to start a race war. All seven victims were brutally stabbed.

The Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys released a statement quoting Vincent Bugliosi, the attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson.

"Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values," the statement quoted Bugliosi. "Today, Manson's victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death," the statement concludes.

Manson's followers recounted the gory details of the stabbings "with a certain amount of glee" after the August 1969 murders, Diane Lake, a teenager who was in love with Manson at the time, told ABC News.

Manson's apparent lack of remorse for the horrific murders added to the public outrage. He declared "I don't have any guilt," to the press ahead of his trial.

Manson and three of his followers were convicted in 1971 and sentenced to death, but the death sentences were commuted to life sentences when a California Supreme Court ruling abolished capital punishment in 1972.

Manson was later convicted of two additional murders and spent nearly five decades behind bars since his 1971 conviction. He was housed in a protective unit at a California state prison in Corcoran prior to his death on Sunday. He died in a Kern County hospital.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. Border Patrol agent died and his partner suffered serious injuries while on patrol in southwest Texas on Sunday morning, according to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"Agent Rogelio Martinez and his Big Bend Sector partner were responding to activity while on patrol near Interstate 10, in the Van Horn Station area," the release said. "Agent Martinez’s partner reported that they were both injured and in need of assistance. Responding agents provided immediate medical care, and transported both agents to a local hospital.

"Big Bend Sector was later told that Agent Martinez expired from his injuries. His partner remains in the local hospital in serious condition."

CBP did not mention the cause of the agents' serious injuries, but said the scene was secure and the Border Patrol's Special Operations Group was conducting a search of the area with CBP's Air and Marine Operations "for potential suspects or witnesses."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Agent Martinez and his family, and with the agent who was injured," CBP said in the release.

President Donald Trump responded to the agent's death in a tweet: "Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and we must, build the Wall!"

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Twitter/@ZenoMercer(NEW YORK) -- Wind gusts caused construction scaffolding to collapse above a subway entrance in New York City's busy SoHo neighborhood, authorities said.

Five people suffered moderate to minor injuries in the incident around 11:30 a.m. local time on Sunday when wind gusts were reported to be around 30 mph to 35 mph. They were taken to Bellevue Medical Center.

A New York City Fire Department official said the wind blew a piece of plywood that "acted like a sail" and brought the entire scaffold down. The official added that it was "absolutely" lucky no train had recently come into the subway station unloading passengers, which could have left more injured in the accident.

Passersby could be seen in video and photos on social media helping firefighters to lift lumber and metal siding that had fallen around the intersection of Prince and Broadway streets in the Manhattan neighborhood.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Protesters marched on Washington D.C.'s National Mall on Sunday morning to draw attention to the situation in hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico.

"The Unity for Puerto Rico March" featured politicians as well as boldface names, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose agenda was to turn a spotlight on the devastated island territory, and work to update the 1920 law called the Jones Act, which mandates that American ships distribute all its goods.

Representative Luis Gutierrez of Illinois said Puerto Rico had been neglected, which he called "one of the gravest injustices that I have seen" since he came to Washington as a congressman.

Then he took shots directly at President Trump.

The president recently unveiled a hurricane aid package that secures $44 billion in aid, a figure that many lawmakers said was too low.

He criticized Trump for failing to serve his country in the military, like so many Puerto Ricans do.

"We have a president of the United States who on four occasion ... said, 'My foot hurts, I cannot serve,'" he said. "But he was able to take those feet to every golf course all over the world and walk on them."

The congressman was referring to how Trump received four student deferments from serving in the Vietnam War.

During the presidential campaign, Trump told ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz that during the war he "had a minor medical deferment for feet, for a bone spur of the foot, which was minor."

Gutierrez went on to say how Trump has no right to disparage Puerto Ricans, who he said are being shortchanged in relief shipments of food, supplies and medicine.

"Well, let me just say to the President of the United States each and every time an airplane showed up in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, you filled it with Puerto Ricans and they said 'Presente!'" he said.

Sunday's march included protesters young and old who proudly raised the island territory's red, white and blue flag while snaking through the U.S. capital, singing and chanting in unison: "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!" "Who's in the house? Puerto Rico's in the house!" and also repeating "The Jones Act has got to go."

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Twitter/@BenVimont(NEW YORK) -- One driver in Long Island took the concept of "park and ride" a little too far on Saturday when they ended up parked right on the train platform.

The unbelievable photo captured by a commuter says it all, as a driver hopped a curb and drove right onto the Long Island Rail Road platform in Mineola, New York just before 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Authorities termed the driver as "confused" after emergency responders removed the person from the car. No one was injured. The driver was not arrested, police said.

The car ended up dangling off the platform, but an oncoming train was able to stop in time. The LIRR said on Twitter trains on the line were delayed briefly due to the accident.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The storm that knocked out power for thousands, closed down local businesses and dropped a tornado in Indiana on Saturday is tracking eastward, ABC News meteorologist Brittany Borer said.

Americans from Florida to Maine are getting a piece of this storm Sunday. Radar is showing rain for most, while parts of Maine and even the Buffalo area are seeing cool enough temperatures to receive a wintry mix or snow.

Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are expected in some areas, bringing power outages as wind speeds go high enough to break tree limbs.

Temperatures will be falling throughout the day as the cold air works in behind the frontal boundary around the East.

For the remainder of the day Sunday, lake-effect snow can be expected in eastern portions of the Great Lakes region.

Due to the colder air and high wind speeds behind the system, wind chill values will be in the teens and 20s from Marquette, Wisconsin, to Pittsburgh.

Folks in far upstate New York could be feeling wind chill values that are below zero Monday morning. Other areas, such as Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston, will feel like the temperature is in the 20s as people head out on their morning commute Monday.

In the Northwest, rain is expected to begin Sunday evening in Seattle with windy conditions ahead of the approaching front. Winds could gust up to 55 mph on Sunday.

A second system will move up the West Coast on Tuesday, bringing Pacific moisture ahead of it to tag onto the previous system. This will enhance rainfall totals through Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The highest rainfall totals of 4-plus inches will be at upper elevations along the Cascades. Portions of the northern Rockies will be seeing heavy snowfall with this system, making travel difficult as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- Police have found a vehicle they believe was involved in the killing of a Pennsylvania cop during a traffic stop, officials said Saturday.

"We were able to find and seize the vehicle that we believe to be involved in this incident," New Kensington Police Chief James Klein said. "The investigation into the vehicle’s full involvement and the occupants that were in the vehicle is ongoing at this time."

The discovery came after an announcement that the reward offered for information leading to an arrest of the gunman rose to $40,000 on Saturday, as an intense manhunt continued.

The shooting happened around 8 p.m. ET Friday in New Kensington, about 18 miles from Pittsburgh. Officer Brian Shaw was shot after a traffic stop led to him pursuing someone on foot, according to authorities.

Police later found an unoccupied Jeep Grand Cherokee not far from the scene that was wanted in connection with the shooting.

Shaw was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later, authorities said. The 25-year-old officer had been with the New Kensington Police Department for less than a year.

Shaw's body was transported to a funeral home in Lower Burrell on Saturday afternoon after an autopsy was conducted.

"I can tell you standing there listening to the officers share stories about how he was vibrant, how he brought smiles and entertainment and wit and humor into their lives, he was obviously a very special person just by listening to how they talked about him," Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Steven Limani said at a press conference Saturday.

Limani would not discuss other details of the case, including the reason for the traffic stop, saying it could compromise the ongoing investigation. Police have not yet released a description of the suspect they are searching for.

Several law enforcement agencies are involved in the ongoing search for the suspect. Westmoreland County detectives are leading the investigation and the FBI is assisting.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) initially offered a $30,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest. On Saturday, the ATF increased its offer from $5,000 to $10,000 and the U.S. Marshals Service offered an additional $5,000, bringing the total reward to $40,000, authorities said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WEST CHESTER, Pa.) -- More than two dozen people were injured while others remain unaccounted for after a massive fire engulfed a senior living facility west of Philadelphia on Thursday night, authorities said.

The five-alarm fire at Barclay Friends Senior Living Community in West Chester, about 35 miles from Philadelphia, began just before 11 p.m. ET Thursday, authorities said. It burned for hours before firefighters brought it under control early Friday.

Hundreds of first responders scrambled to rescue the elderly residents from the burning building, evacuating them on beds and in wheelchairs.

Approximately 27 people were hospitalized for injuries related to the blaze, West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn said at a press conference Friday afternoon. All of them are expected to survive, Bohn added.

The police chief estimated that 160 people, including residents and staff, were evacuated from the flaming center. The blaze was contained Friday afternoon but continued to burn.

Authorities were unclear on the exact amount of people unaccounted for and whether that number includes residents or staff.

"As you can imagine it was a little chaotic during the evacuation. There were some folks who were evacuated to West Chester University, some folks went home with family, so we're still trying to account for everybody," Donald Robinson, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Center for Explosives Training and Research, said at the press conference Friday afternoon.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, and the ATF was on scene Friday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(KINGSTREE, S.C.) -- The family of an 86-year-old South Carolina man has settled with the city of Kingstree just a month after the man was tased by police following a car chase.

Police dash cam video of the incident shows Albert Chatfield immediately emerging from his car at an intersection and backpedaling from two police officers, who repeatedly shout for him to "stop." As he continues to back up through the street, one officer pulls out his Taser and, after the other officer is heard shouting "tase him," fires it. Chatfield is knocked to the ground instantly.

The city agreed to pay $900,000 to Chatfield's family over the incident, one of the fastest settlements in a Taser case in the state ever, according to the family's lawyer. Chatfield remains in the hospital after suffering bleeding on his brain due to the fall, according to ABC affiliate WCIV.

Police had claimed Chatfield assumed a "fighting stance" as he backpedaled from police. The video shows the man raising his hands, but he is slowly backing away from the officers throughout. The police report also described the scene as a busy street, saying they were trying to protect Chatfield and others' safety, though the video shows just one car in the intersection.

"Our lives have been permanently changed," Chatfield's daughter Jodie said at a news conference Friday to announce the settlement. "We've been in ICU for an entire month."

The family's lawyer, Justin Bamberg, blamed the police chase on a mental issue. Police had been called after Chatfield was aggressively tailgating other vehicles.

Bamberg said the money would be used to pay for Chatfield's medical expenses.


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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The City of Angels is getting all dolled up over the next decade - the Summer Olympics are coming to L.A. in 2028!

For value seekers, though, the time to visit is now, thanks to more places to stay - 9,000 new hotel rooms by the end of 2018 - and more ways to fly here - 10 new domestic routes in the last year. More availability almost always means lower prices.

Throw in the fact that what’s world-famous about L.A. hasn’t changed, from its celebrity residents to the perfect weather to an exploding food scene, and an L.A. visit is a no-brainer.

Haven’t been in awhile? Here’s more of what makes California’s largest city awesome.

Skip Rodeo Drive, shop Abbot Kinney

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is a paradise for well-heeled shoppers, but the ritzy storefronts relegate most of us to window shopping. In nearby Venice, Abbot Kinney Boulevard is a mile-long thoroughfare close to the beach that’s quickly become a trendy epicenter for food, fashion and art. Aust features creative wares by Australia’s up-and-coming designers, The Tasting Kitchen draws big brunch crowds, and The Otheroom pours fine wine and beer late into the night. Every month, First Friday brings out dozens of food trucks and shoppers on the hunt for special deals.

Skip Beverly Hills, do West Hollywood

While he doesn’t completely discount Beverly Hills for celeb spotting, “West Hollywood is better,” says Gregg Gant, business development manager at Travelzoo’s L.A. office. “Check out restaurants like The Ivy on Robertson for a late lunch, and do the Nice Guy for dinner. Get a day pass to Equinox in West Hollywood and work out with stars like Common or Tyler Perry. Check out Catch, the hot new club. Or see a concert at the famous Troubadour, where bands like the Elton John, Kelly Clarkson, Van Morrison, The Eagles & James Taylor have played.” Exploring West Hollywood is easy when you board the WeHo Pickup, a totally free shuttle that runs weekends and does a six-mile loop along Santa Monica Boulevard’s hot clubs, eateries and shops.

Skip the hotel, stay at the ranch

“I recently discovered and stayed at Calamigos Ranch -- OMG, this is a serious hidden gem!” says Rifi Sachdev, business development director at Travelzoo Los Angeles. Although this Malibu property has been around since 1947, the on-site resort opened to the public just two years ago. “I planned a girls’ getaway here and we did a number of activities all within a 10-minute drive. On Saturday, we stayed at Calamigos, went horseback riding through the mountains, checked out Cornell Winery and Malibu Wines and had dinner at The Sunset restaurant. On Sunday, we enjoyed an amazing free breakfast at Calamigos Ranch (part of their $25 resort fee). They also have pretty snazzy Tesla cars that take you to Malibu Café or their private beach club, where you can take advantage of their SUP, kayaks or just lay out -- umbrellas and towels provided!”

Skip Malibu, see Pacific Palisades


Malibu is gorgeous, stretching along the Pacific toward the L.A.-Ventura County line. But neighboring Pacific Palisades, my hometown, is an alternative seaside, celeb-laden community. Much smaller and anchored by famous Sunset Boulevard, it's home to Tinsel Town names like Matt Damon, Steven Spielberg and Goldie Hawn. And special local attractions abound, from the peaceful oasis known as the Lake Shrine to bucolic Will Rogers State Park.

See the real stars

Celeb-spotting is a favorite L.A. pastime, but don't forget about the stars above. Griffith Park is open until 10 p.m., making it ideal for a night of hiking and sky watching. The Griffith Observatory -- its iconic architecture makes it a regular backdrop in movies, from “The Terminator” to “La La Land” -- features public telescopes, planetarium shows and interactive space exhibits. Getting in is free and, at more than 1,100 feet above sea level, the views of the city and even the Hollywood sign are beautiful. Griffith Park spans 4,500 acres, making it L.A.’s largest historical landmark.

Skip the entry fee, visit museums for free


Some of the best museums in L.A. are free every day. Art buffs flock to the Hammer Museum in Westwood. History buffs love the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades and the Getty Center in Brentwood (advanced reservation for $15 parking at both locations is a good idea). And kids are always awed by exhibits like the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center at Exposition Park. “The Broad museum featuring the Yayoi Kusama exhibit is a must,” adds Sachdev. “This block of L.A. is truly a piece of art. You can visit The Broad for free, catch a show at the iconic Disney Concert Hall or L.A. Phil and have a beautiful meal at Otium, all within a five-minute walking radius.” Many other museums, like the L.A. County Museum of Art, offer free days at least once a month. For a real art party, join DTLA’s all-day Downtown Art Walk the second Thursday of every month.

Skip the coast, go downtown

When I grew up in L.A., you avoided downtown. Today, thanks to major investment and concerted planning, downtown is a mecca for those seeking culture, dining and nightlife. “I did a guiding walking tour of downtown L.A., and it was awesome,” says Gant. “I learned so much about the city, its history and its culture.” There are dozens of happy hour hot spots here, like the Whiskey Lounge, Triple 8 China Bar & Grill and Orchid Bar Kitchen. There are plenty of parks and green spaces. And you’ll find famous entertainment venues like L.A. Live and the Staples Center here, too. One of the hottest not-to-be-missed attractions is OUE Skyspace LA on the 71st floor of the U.S. Bank Tower. Interactive educational exhibits about Los Angeles lead you to two large observation terraces that offer breathtaking views, from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Don’t leave without going down the Skyslide, a 45-foot-long outdoor glass slide perched high above the city.

Skip your flight, experience Pan Am

The golden age of air travel is alive and well in L.A. The Pan Am Experience is one of the city’s most unique dinner experiences, set inside a restored 1970s Pan Am jumbo jet. The multi-course meal -- served in either coach or first class -- is gourmet and modeled after actual Pan Am menus. Flight attendants wear vintage Pan Am uniforms. And guests, limited to only about 50, dress to the nines, the way it used to be. The experience is entertaining, energetic and one-of-a-kind. “No details were overlooked,” says Lily Fu, executive producer at Travelzoo LA who’s put together several Travelzoo member-only events here. “Everything down to the recipes, utensils and glassware are from original Pan Am flights. It’s like going to an elegant, retro dinner-theater show. It’s uniquely L.A. and still very much under the radar, but probably not for long!” The Pan Am Experience is located at Air Hollywood, a movie studio in Pacoima where hundreds of movie and TV show airplane scenes have been filmed.

Don’t waste your layover

“If you have a long layover at LAX, go to Manhattan Beach for a meal or a stroll on the pier or Strand,” suggests my friend and intrepid travel blogger Johnny Jet (Forbes named him one of the world’s top 10 travel influencers). His recommendations to satiate your sweet tooth: Manhattan Beach Creamery, Becker’s Bakery and Blue Star Donuts. If you need to stay a bit closer to the airport, and especially if you’re an aviation fan, he suggests dining “at the new and improved Proud Bird Restaurant,” where you can watch airplanes soar by right above you on their descent to LAX. “Download the Flight Radar 24 app to see which planes are coming in.”

Skip the drive, take to the skies

It's tough to avoid renting a car if you want to cover a lot of ground in L.A. So why not fly, instead? L.A. is home to several flight schools, including South Coast Aeronautics at Torrance Municipal Airport. The FAA-certified instructors here use a SOCATA Tobago airplane, featuring a 180-horsepower engine, a three-blade constant speed propeller and deluxe leather interiors. A 70-minute lesson begins with a 20-minute pre-flight briefing on flight fundamentals and includes 50 minutes of flight time. You fly past the Hollywood sign, downtown L.A., Beverly Hills and movie studios.

Skip Disney parking, take the train

If you’re planning on visiting the happiest place on Earth, consider the train. Board at Amtrak’s historic Union Station downtown and enjoy the traffic-free ride all the way to Anaheim. From ARTIC (the impressive Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center), Disneyland and California Adventure are about 5 miles away, an easy cab or rideshare ride. No paying for parking!

Skip the city, see the island

Anchored just 22 miles off the L.A. coastline, Catalina Island is an easy day trip. You can take an express one-hour ferry ride from Long Beach, San Pedro, Newport Beach or Dana Point; paying a little more gets you a quick chopper ride over the water. The main town of Avalon offers leisurely strolls -- by foot, bike, golf cart or Segway -- as well as eateries and shops. Golf, hiking and a new zip line will appeal to adventurers. And, yes, there are beaches here, too. Catalina enjoys a touch of Hollywood; more than 500 films have been shot here.

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