GTA:V Inspired trip to California (Now with photos!)

Discussion in 'Grand Theft Auto' started by R1600Turbo, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    So I am planning a trip to California in May or June and plan on hitting up a few of the real life locations that are represented in GTA:V. I live in south central Arizona, so I will leave my work and get on Interstate 8 which is nearby. Take that to El Centro and head north on 111. That will take me along the east side of the Salton Sea. While there, I will make the following stops:
    I would have done the North Shore Motel (abandoned motel in Sandy) but it was torn down in 2008. :(

    Then I will take highway 86 to Interstate 10 and head to Los Angeles. I will stay in the Glendale area, which will put me in prime position for:
    • Griffith Observatory (Galileo Observatory)
    • Hollywood Sign (Vinewood Sign)
    • Hollywood Bowl (Vinewood Bowl)
    • Santa Monica Pier (Vespucci Pier)
    • Venice Beach (Vespucci Beach)
    Depending on time, I may hit a few others which I am still sorting out.

    On the return trip home I will go back to highway 86, but instead of getting back on the 111, I will stay on the 86 and go down the west side of the Salton Sea. That will get me access to Desert Shores (aka Sandy Shores) and:
    • Lorenzo's Gas Station (Sandy's Gas Station)
    • Mountain View Drive (Algonquin Boulevard)
    • Desert Shores Fire Dept. (Sandy Shores Fire Dept)
    This will be a Thursday to Sunday trip. Lots of driving but I'm fine with that. If anyone has any other suggestions, let me know. Going to take photos of all locations and then try to take similar photos of the locations in the game when I get back and try to match them up pretty close. :tup:

    californiatrip.png
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  2. STI9

    STI9

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    What about vising Grove street? (not sure what it is called irl)
     
  3. 250 GTO

    250 GTO

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    As far as I remember Grove Street is based on somewhere in Compton.
    If Dr. Dre’s songs are anything to go by, maybe don’t go there ;)
     
  4. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    Some research suggests that nobody is quite sure exactly where it's at. Might be a little out of the way too, but I will look into it.
     
  5. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I've also done something similar. You should try to add The Getty (Kortz Center), City Hall, Union Station, Neptunes Net (Hookies) and Silver Lake/Echo Park (Mirror Park) to your itinerary.

    On the subject, I really wish Rockstar had included Palm Springs and/or Santa Barbara instead of Paleto Bay. Paleto Bay does not feel like SoCal and its inclusion always puzzled me. The closest similar town is Morro Bay (probably) but really it feels more like a Big Sur town (Cambria or something). Parts of the east side of the map actually feel like Mendocino County to me, which is quite far from LA.

    Other places I feel like would be great to have in GTA:

    Laguna Beach
    Rancho Palos Verde
    Las Venturas! + some fictional version of Barstow along the way

    I feel like the scope and ambition of GTA:SA was much higher than GTA V, even if it wasn't 100% successful. San Fierro was not very well developed. But Las Venturas was pretty fun and the desert around it was a little more entertaining than GTA V's rendition.

    If GTA VI is set in Las Venturas and/or San Fierro, I would be thrilled.
     
  6. Nuschel01

    Nuschel01

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    I‘d guess if there is a GTA VI it‘ll be playing in Vice City :D
     
  7. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    Way too far out of the way, but I will look into the others. :tup:

    Anyone remember what that road is called that goes up the hill near Vespucci Beach?
     
  8. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Maybe mark it?

    http://www.igta5.com/images/gtav-map-satellite-huge.jpg

    Oh, also if you are going to Beverly Hills, be sure to check out Rodeo Drive. It will certainly make you feel poor, but its worth a look. (Portola Drive in GTA)

    EDIT: I think you are thinking of Sunset Boulevard (IRL). I highly recommend cruising all the way down Sunset from Union Station to Santa Monica Beach. It's a long road, and you'll see a lot of GTA-IRL stuff including Echo Park and the real life version of Eclipse towers along the way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  9. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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  10. Touring Mars

    Touring Mars Moderator

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    If you are spending a night in or near Hollywood, you could drop in to the Whisky-A-Go-Go on Sunset Boulevard (the Tequi-La-La in GTA V), though you may want to check that there's a gig on as it may be shut if there isn't - we arrived early and got free tickets, so that was a bonus! If you don't have time for anything else, I'd recommend the Griffith Observatory just for the views of the city... but you may want to avoid peak times. We arrived late Saturday afternoon and the roads/parking were busy - the problem was that they were turning cars away from the main car park and people were having to park much further away. (Again we got lucky and got into the main car park on our second attempt.)

    A friend took me into the downtown area and we went to a posh rooftop bar overlooking Pershing Square (Legion Square in GTA V). Other than that, however, there's not a great deal to see in that area, and some streets in that area you'd be well advised to avoid, esp. on foot. That said, being driven around LA in general was a real eye-opener. Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach makes for a good walk - Venice Beach is a bit scuzzy, and hence it is fairly accurately represented in GTA V!
     
  11. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    @Touring Mars I may skip a bunch of the little stuff and just stick with the major attractions since I won't have much time, but if something is "on the way" to an item on my list, I may check it out.

    For anyone interested, I came across a Flickr Gallery of images from the Boat House Restoration. There are some in there from a movie shoot at the location, but most of the abandoned/restoration images are on pages 1 & 4.
     
  12. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    Made a few additions to the Thursday trip for buildings that are in the game. They are in the vicinity of others so not really going out of the way to see them. Also noticing that some of the street names match up with those in the game for that area. Might get photos of the street signs.

    I'm also thinking about creating an Instagram account where I will post my progress along the way. Details on that later.
     
  13. Aderrrm

    Aderrrm Premium

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    I visited California in September and did quite a few of those you've listed in the OP. I Agree with TM in that Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier is a nice walk. The road across the highway into the Pier area where the car park is scarily resembled in GTA. The Griffith Observatory is great and you get good views of the Hollywood sign from there and the surrounding views. Also went to the Getty but is a bit out of the way and I struggled to appreciate some of the art (mainly went for a friend) but that place is huge!
     
  14. R1600Turbo

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    Anyone have any leads as to what towns Harmony and Grapeseed may be based on? Most of the wiki's either don't list it, or say it's something that doesn't make sense.
     
  15. Marcus Garvey

    Marcus Garvey

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    So....the answer depends on how you define what an area is based upon. Is it based upon the exact address used to model the buildings(which changes what you consider Sandy Shores and other areas to represent) or is it based upon the geography, street layout, etc? Again using Sandy Shores, the geography relative to nearby areas clearly suggests Bombay Beach, however the shoreline and street layout is mistakable as none other than the area around the North Shore Yacht Club, yet many dwellings and other structures are found in Niland, Mecca, and other nearby areas. To really 'visit' what Sandy Shores is, you have to visit several locations. Grapeseed and Paleto are no different, with many dwellings from Niland and Mecca, but with nearly generic grid layouts that could be almost any town in the valley. Of course, that is to ignore the proximity in which they lie to other easily identifiable landmarks like the Bixby Creek Bridge is to Paleto and the Gaviota Tunnel is to Grapeseed. Harmony is difficult to identify as a particular location as there isn't even the geography or building correlation, but many of structures are from old Rte 66 between Barstow and Needles.
     
  16. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    So basically there's no point it trying to find anything related to either since it's not as easy as Sandy.

    On the subject of Sandy Shores, I find that it's a sprinkling of several areas near the Salton Sea, including Desert Shores (gas station, fire station, some roads) with a sprinkling of North Shore (boat house, motel, liquor ace, road names, signs), Bombay Beach (Ski Inn looks to be the inspiration for the Yellow Jack and the building next to Trevor's trailer, general road layout), Salvation Mountain, and possibly the Calipatria State Prison near Calipatria (which also has an airfield that looks similar to the one in Sandy). I will be hitting all of these places on my way to/from Los Angeles. :tup:
     
  17. Marcus Garvey

    Marcus Garvey

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    There really aren't any particular defining landmarks to visit that are represented in Grapeseed or Harmony, no. Grapeseed is sort of generic Imperial Valley farm town, while Harmony is a section of the ~120mi of rte 66 that is condensed down to the loop of roadway that runs from the highway near Grapeseed all the way round to Harmony and back to the prison. There is nothing that uniquely identifies either that you could stop and take a photo with that I can think of, though; no. There is probably some barn, footbridge, or similar that is out there; but I know the map about as well as any and I don't think a lot of the little details in in like that in the rural areas have been positively identified.

    You could probably pick the right individual structure, take a picture, and say that you were in Sandy Shores, Grapeseed, and Paleto all at the same time as several are reused. Take a ride up to Ventura Cty and Visit the Piru Methodist Church and you can say you were in Los Santos, Harmony/Chaparral, and Paleto all at once as well.
     
  18. R1600Turbo

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    So this trip is happening at the end of April. (27-29) Current list of objectives, including non-GTA related items:
    • Salvation Mountain
    • Bombay Beach - Ski Inn (Yellowjack Inn & building next to Trevor's trailer)
    • Salton Sea Recreation Area Sign
    • North Shore - Beach & Yacht Club (Boat House)
    • North Shore - Abandoned Liquor Store (Liquor Ace)
    • LA - Echo Park (Mirror Park)
    • LA - Chinese Theater (I may get photos of other things while in this area)
    • LA - Griffith Observatory
    • LA - Hollywood Sign
    • LA - SpaceX Headquarters
    • LA - Santa Monica Pier / Venice Beach
    • Desert Shores - Lorenzo's Gas Station (Sandy's)
    • Desert Shores - Mountain View Drive (center road with palm trees in Sandy)
    • Desert Shores - Fire Station
    I figure the LA/Los Santos comparisons have been done to death so really going to concentrate on the Sandy Shores stuff.
     
  19. ImaRobot

    ImaRobot

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    Dunno if you're into beer and breweries, but I can suggest a few if you're interested :tup: Haven't played GTA much, so I wouldn't be much help with a comparison/insight.
     
  20. DJShadesUK

    DJShadesUK

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    You can imagine how excited I was about going to LA when I realised I would be seeing the real-world location of one of my favourite games (not GTA, but Midnight Club LA. Am I allowed to say that here? lol). The funny thing is I even stopped in one of the hotels that featured in the game as a scene location and didn't even realise it 'til the next morning; I had to fly into Vegas, stay there about 8 hours, drive to LA and when we got there there was a mix up with the (originally booked) hotel so we had to get our travel people find us somewhere else. After a lengthy wait, while we were booked into another hotel, I was absolutely exhausted and just glad to be in a bed (sleeping in the hire car had looked increasingly likely), I never paid any attention to the hotels name.

    When I woke, and was having a cigarette on the balcony, I stood there thinking to myself "Why do I know the name of this hotel?" before it slowly dawned on me where I knew it from... "Holy ****, I'm in a video game!" :lol::lol:. Anyone who has played MC:LA a lot will (or at least should) instantly recognise the name of the hotel; The Standard.

    Incidentally, while standing on the balcony, I realised I could see another location that was featured in a scene of MC:LA; the Chateau Marmont Hotel...
    Chateau Marmont Hotel.jpg

    It seemed really weird being in LA, I kept pointing out to the guy I was with "I know that place... I know that place... I know that place" :lol::lol:
     
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  21. R1600Turbo

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    Completed this trip. Got a bunch of photos I need to go through and match them up with in-game images, then I will post a summary. Overall I would say it was a successful trip except that I couldn't get a good photo of the Pier because parking was non-existent. My fault for trying to go there on a Saturday afternoon I guess. :ouch:
     
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  22. R1600Turbo

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    Sorry this took so long, had to re-shoot some of the in-game photos and I had to try to get my modded game to work again after the last update. Then there was going through and matching them all up. But here we are: (click on photos for larger)

    No idea if this has a name in the game, but in reality is called Salvation Mountain located outside Niland, CA.
    [​IMG]

    Comparison of the trucks sitting in the same areas.
    [​IMG]

    The famous Sandy Shores sign. Inspired by the Mecca Beach, CA recreation area sign.
    [​IMG]

    Well known Sandy's Gas Station, inspired by the Lorenzo's Gas Station in Desert Shores, CA.
    [​IMG]

    Algonquin Boulevard in Sandy Shores, known as Mountain View Drive also in Desert Shores, CA.
    [​IMG]

    Sandy Shores Fire Station. It's real life equivalent in Desert Shores, CA has seen better days.
    [​IMG]

    Here we have what I call the windmill house. Game location Sandy Shores. Real location Bombay Beach, CA.
    [​IMG]

    Sandy Shores Boat House. It's real life version in Mortmar, CA was restored in 2010 and served as a museum for a few years before they lost their right to use the building. I think it's currently used for special events.
    [​IMG]

    Nice comparison of the YellowJack and the building next to Trevor's trailer, both inspired by the Ski Inn. Bombay Beach, CA.
    [​IMG]

    Interesting comparison of the Liquor Ace and it's companion gas station. Rockstar was obviously inspired by the pictured buildings, however for some reason they decided to mirror them in the game. So I have included a mirrored view (center) with the standard view (bottom)
    [​IMG]

    A closer look at the Liquor Ace and it's sign, which was also used. (mirrored image center, standard bottom)
    [​IMG]

    Ron Alternates Wind Farm I believe takes some inspiration from the hill mounted turbines outside Palm Springs, CA.
    [​IMG]

    The GTAV Vinewood sign, of course inspired by the world famous Hollywood sign.
    [​IMG]

    Galileo Observatory aka Griffith Observatory.
    [​IMG]

    Oriental Theater aka TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA.
    [​IMG]

    Von Crastenburg Hotel inspired by the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard.
    [​IMG]

    Vespucci Beach vs. Venice Beach looking toward the Pier's.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
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