Within Grand Theft Auto V, there's a ton to see and do. One minute you're flying a blimp over the top of skyscrapers, the next you're in a gun battle in the middle of a shopping district. It'll literally take you hours on end to get everything done in the game, and even then, you'll find even more waiting around the corner. It's that loaded.
There are a few highlights within the city of Los Santos that are worth noting, whether you see them from a distance or make your way up-close to see how well they reflect the items they're based upon in Los Angeles or their surrounding districts. Here now are some things you should see and do while you're roaming around the idea. Save some time for them because they're worth the trip.
The Vinewood Sign
First making its debut in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas a few years ago, the Vinewood sign makes its return in Grand Theft Auto V – and looks better than ever. It's a fictional take on the historic Hollywood sign that hangs over the valley, with the ability to go up and sit behind the letters if you please – or perhaps unleash chaos from a distance with a rocket launcher or RPG. You'll also get a spectacular view of the city, especially if it's later in the evening. Try to do this first if you can, it's really something special.
Join the Mile High Club
If you're familiar with the L.A. Live area in real life, you'll be happy to know that it's completely intact in Grand Theft Auto V, even though the buildings aren't "officially" named due to licensing purposes. Watch out for a dome that resembles Staples Center, then take a walk over to the Mile High Club. This is a skyscraper based upon the combination JW Marriott/Ritz Carlton hotel that was erected in the center in 2010 – it's practically impossible to miss. You'll see a big banner on the side that indicates you're in the right place. Unfortunately, it's still under construction in the game, though you'll want to keep an eye out for another Easter egg – the company making the tower, which is named, you guessed it, STD.
Maze Bank Tower
If you're looking to get to the highest point in the city of Los Santos, then this building is the place to go. In real life, this building is in fact the U.S. Bank tower, and is easily distinguished by its circular build nearest to the top. In the game, it's referred to as the Maze Bank Tower, though the resemblance is uncanny. This is the place to go if you want to do some thinking, or better yet, feel like taking a really awesome base jump into the heart of the city. It may take a while to get there, but it's certainly worth it.
If you feel like getting away from the city for a bit – or you're in the mood to harass the upper class for awhile, head to the Hills. Vinewood Hills is based loosely on Hollywood Hills, and resembles the city streets very closely, complete with plenty of suburbia life. It's also the place where you can find a few characters in the game, including Martin Madrazo and Lacy Jonas, among others. Franklin eventually ends up moving here once he completes the Hotel Assassination mission, so it helps to get out there early and have a look around. Who knows, you might want to take residence there once Grand Theft Auto Online is available.
You're familiar with the famous stretch of road that is Hollywood Boulevard, right? Well, Vinewood Boulevard is a near exact replica of the street, giving you plenty of opportunity to cruise up and down however you please – and run over riff-raff if you're in a destructive mood. This is one of the many streets strewn throughout the city, but most noteworthy for its various sights, including the Cathay Theater, the Blastin' Fools Records shop, the Movie Stars Homes Tour and, for you less than reputable criminals, Sodom Sex Toys. There's even a cemetery if you feel like goofing around graves.
West Los Santos
Finally, there's nothing that says you have to remain within the general city limits. In fact, if you head out west, you'll discover a number of connecting communities and cities to visit.
Your first stop should be Del Perro. This is, in actuality, Santa Monica, and features its famous pier and activities. If you're bored, you can even ride the coastline roller coaster a few times, just to kick back and relax.
Other cities include Little Seoul (Koreatown), Vespucci Beach (Venice Beach), Backlot City (Culver City) and La Puerta (San Pedro), among others. If you're feeling gutsy, you can also head over to Davis, which is comparably similar to Compton. Be sure you have a gun on hand, though.
Enjoy looking around Los Santos. You don't even have to pay a tour guide!
Grand Theft Auto V is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Be sure to check out our Free Guide for complete coverage on the game!