The Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Los Angeles has a lot going for itself — it’s close to Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world, within driving distance to countless beaches and features just about everything you could want in a major city. The California weather makes it an ideal spot to visit any time of year — the winters and summers are mild, but that doesn’t mean they are immune to the occasional blast of cold or hot air every now and then.
Los Angeles’ car cultures means that nothing’s off limits — if you drive 30 miles in any direction, there’s something to see or do. Venture into Hollywood to catch a movie at one of the iconic theaters or walk around to soak up the unique ambiance that so many come from around the world to enjoy, such as walking up and down Hollywood Boulevard, enjoying a Laker game at the Staples Center or check out the famous handprints in cement in the courtyard of the TCL Chinese Theater — you won’t have any trouble finding things to do! Los Angeles is also home to many museums — including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, also known as LACMA. There are a variety of popular installments here at any given time, as well as exhibits ranging from Asian, Latin American and Islamic Art. Museums and points of interest in the city pay homage to the cultural diversity and interest found throughout the city as a whole.
When you’re hungry, there’s an overwhelming number of options. Spend the day walking around The Grove, and peruse the famous Farmer’s Market, which features over 100 different vendors and stalls with an eclectic mix of foods and snacks for a variety of palettes. Pinks Hot Dogs is another famous spot for chili cheese hot dogs! Beaches surrounding Los Angeles are also worth a visit — from the unique and eye-catching Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier, you’re sure to be entertained and enlightened on the beach culture that has long been associated with the city. Finally, for those who want to do some shopping, there is no better place than Beverly Hill’s famous Rodeo Drive. Luxury goods not in your budget? There are countless malls and shopping centers located throughout the city and surrounding neighborhoods!
HERE ARE OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN LOS ANGELES…
Universal Studios Hollywood
Take a break from sightseeing and have a fun and exciting day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Tour the working studio, experience the plethora of rides that everyone will love – from tiny-tots to adrenaline junkies – and see shows that will thrill and enthral! Of course, you will also find plenty of places to eat, drink and relax, as well as a variety of stores where you can pick up a special memento from your visit.
A visit to Los Angeles wouldn’t be the same without a visit to Venice Beach. With an eclectic mix of free-spirits – who let their artistic imagination go wild – Venice Beach is a fantastic place to visit for the day! Stroll along the beach and take in its natural beauty, then head to the Venice Boardwalk to soak up the music, fortune tellers and street performers! You will experience a kaleidoscope of people expressing their art in a myriad of ways. Its zany and its fun, so sit for a while and watch this enchanting world unfold before your eyes!
Lights. Camera. Action! You just must experience Hollywood! Head to Hollywood Boulevard and take the one-mile walk between La Brea Avenue and Vine Street, soaking up the glitz and glamour of the movie industry. Take the Walk of Fame and visit the Dolby Theatre, which is home to the Oscars! Hungry? No problem! Join the locals at nearby Thai Town! Hollywood is a great day out for all.
Santa Monica Beach & Pier
When you see the iconic Ferris Wheel, you know you’re getting close to Santa Monica Beach and its world-famous pier. Take your time exploring the pier, standing proud over the Pacific Ocean, visit the “Penny Arcade,” and watch the entertainers while you take in the natural beauty which surrounds you. For family-fun, head to Pacific Park or take in the free Historical Walking Tour. No matter what, you’re going to have a blast!
Head to Rodeo Drive for the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, and you won’t be disappointed. In three short blocks you’ll discover the high-end of Los Angeles shopping; it is the retail heart of the city and great fun to explore! Relax in one of the restaurants and bars and people-watch, or meander through the gardens and stroll along the walkways soaking up the atmosphere!
The Hollywood Sign
This famous sign – constructed in 1923 – stands tall above the city, on Mount Lee. A symbol to so many that have come to Los Angeles in search of fame and fortune, the fifteen-metre high letters symbolise their hopes and dreams. There are hiking trails that take you quite close to the sign, but if you don’t want to walk, the Griffith Observatory is a great viewing point!
If it’s time for a big night on the town, you can’t go wrong with the Sunset Strip – one and a half miles of Sunset Boulevarde, between Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Full of nightclubs and bars, people go for the music, the comedy, the restaurants, and the non-stop party atmosphere that the Strip is famous for! Who knows who you’ll see there – it really is the place to be!
Some call it affluent and some label it pretentious, but all agree a trip to Los Angeles isn’t complete without a visit to Beverly Hills. Meander through the palm-lined streets and huge mansions, and take in the high-end boutiques of Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard. Maybe join the “locals” at one of the fine-dining restaurants on offer? Then, come back to the real-world with a visit to the hidden gem, Virginia Robinson Gardens!
Olvera Street is a great place to experience “Old Los Angeles”. The streets are colourful, and full of vendors selling food, crafts, and souvenirs. A walk along these narrow, tree-lined streets, is a delight to the senses, with the aroma of the food, and the lull of music filling the air – not to mention the fascinating arts and crafts on display! Head to the Old Plaza – particularly on weekends – where the music and dancing really cranks up!
26-Mile Bike Path
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, and spend some time enjoying the natural beauty of the region with a stroll along the 26-Mile Bike Path. The pathway follows the ocean from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach. Most people hire bikes at the Pier and venture out from there, stopping at the many eateries along the way. How long you explore is up to you, but there’s plenty to see so take your time!
Capitol Records Building
As you stroll around Hollywood, you are sure to come across the world-famous Capitol Records Building. The building is designed to look like a pile of LP records (remember them?), complete with a ninety-foot spire on top. The Capitol Records Building was the first circular office building ever constructed and it remains a working recording studio to this day.
Historic Route 66
This iconic road – Historic Route 66 – stretches nearly 2500 miles, from Chicago to Los Angeles. One of the country’s first highways, Route 66 was made famous by the many songs and movies that have immortalised it over the years. Today, the trip is on the “Bucket List” of visitors from all over the world, trying to replicate those from times past, who migrated west across the country.
Los Angeles Farmers Market
Since 1934 the Los Angeles Farmers Market has been serving the local community – come down and visit a true foodie’s paradise! With over one hundred vendors selling food and mementos, and with restaurants scattered throughout, this is an amazing experience for the senses! If you really want to appreciate the history and variety of this market, why not go one step further and take the Melting Pot Food Tour with a real chef!
Serving the city since 1922, the Hollywood Bowl is a magnificent amphitheatre that holds more than 18,000 people. It should go without saying, that the best way to appreciate this theatre is to get a ticket to one of the fantastic shows on offer! The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra are regulars to the Hollywood Bowl, complementing the many other famous artists who have graced its stages. While you’re there, make sure you see the Hollywood Bowl Museum, and learn about the fascinating history!
Used in many movies of the past, the Beverly Center is a large shopping mall in Beverly Hills. Movie aficionados like to make sure they have seen the mall up close, but locals seem to have mixed views about its architecture. There are hundreds of shops to explore, including department stores and specialist boutiques, and also lots of eateries on offer too, for when you need to take a break!
Little Tokyo has the largest population of Japanese-American people in the country, and is a fascinating mix of history that continues to blend in with modern society. Make sure you visit the Japanese American National Museum to learn about the 130 year history of the Japanese people in California. And of course, as you wander the streets you will also come across fantastic restaurants and vendors of authentic Japanese wares!
Los Angeles Zoo
Take a break from sightseeing and relax for a day at the Los Angeles Zoo. You’ll be fascinated by animals from around the world, with shows and demonstrations on many that call the zoo home. See giraffes being fed, encounter real-life hippos, and in summer time, the zoo hosts a variety of additional special events too. It’s a great place to visit for all of the family!
Hollywood Walk of Fame
How well do you know your celebrities? Find out as you explore the Hollywood Walk of Fame! As you stroll the Walk of Fame, there are over 2500 pink marble, five-pointed stars to be found! Start at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland and see how many names you recognise! Find a favourite and get a photo with your friends – it’s a fun way to spend a few hours, and it’s free!
The coastal town of Santa Barbara is just a short 90-minute drive from the world-famous city of Los Angeles and is a must-see for any traveller visiting the area. This is a region of the world where the scenic mountains come together as one, and blend right into beautiful oceans of the Californian coastline. This pristine wonderland is a magnificent collection of breathtaking beaches, exhilarating mountainous countryside, and endless vineyards, so it should come as no surprise, you might never escape the whimsical charm of this truly delightful destination!
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