Los Angeles is on many people’s bucket lists, and it’s easy to see why – with the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood sign, and iconic movie sets, this city has so much to offer.
You may already be familiar with a lot of the popular highlights, but we want to offer some of the more interesting locations and experiences you should experience in order to make your trip that much more memorable. Here are some of the best things to do in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Activities & Attractions
Hollywood Walk of Fame & TCL Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
The TCL Chinese Theatre is one of the most iconic spots in Hollywood. Whether you want to measure your hands up to those of many celebrities, or take some time to watch a movie in the iconic theater itself, this is a must do.
Warner Brothers Studio
3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
If you’ve ever wanted to take a look behind the scenes of some of your favorite TV shows and movies, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour is the perfect experience for you. You can explore both active sets with a tour guide, and the self-guided portion where you can explore some iconic sets like the one from Friends.
Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108
The Huntington Library has so much to offer, from one of the world’s largest independent research libraries, an art museum that highlights both European and American art, and a botanical garden that spans about 130 acres around the property.
2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
World famous from appearing in movies like Rebel Without A Cause and La La Land, the Griffith Observatory is out of this world! You can start by catching a show in their massive planetarium, move on to learn about the (literal) stars by walking through their exhibits, and end by enjoying a walk through the largest urban-wilderness park in the United States.
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
6067 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
A must-see museum for any movie lover, this brand-new museum dedicated to the art of movie making is operated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the same group that puts on the Oscars. Here you can explore their permanent collection of movie artifacts and costumes, take in one of their exhibitions spotlighting a particular movie, and even get your picture taken with a real Oscar statue!
The LA Zoo
5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
One of the largest zoos in the US, the LA Zoo is a great place to visit with the whole family! Home to a wide variety of animals, exotic birds to tropical fish and everything in between, you can spend hours here marveling at all the natural world has to offer.
The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
The Getty Center offers a one-of-a-kind artistic experience. You can enjoy free admission to a museum filled with centuries’ worth of art and gorgeous architecture and gardens if you book in advance.
Santa Monica Pier/Third Street Promenade
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Locals and tourists alike flock to the Santa Monica Pier for the endless entertainment options including bars and eateries, shops, pier fishing, arcade and the iconic Ferris wheel and other rides. Visitors can walk, bike or ride to the Santa Pier including taking the paved beach path known as The Strand.
The 3rd Street Promenade consists of three open-air, car-free blocks with restaurants, bars, shops and street performers.
1418 Descanso Dr, La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
If you love being out in nature, you will not want to miss visiting the Descanso Gardens. With several different gardens and wooded areas, you can spend hours exploring all the greenery here before stopping in for a bite at their kitchen and viewing the most recent exhibits at the Sturt Haaga Gallery dedicated to art that blends both the creative and the scientific aspects of the garden.
Sunset Strip & Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood/Marmont Lane to Beverly Hills/Phyllis Street
The 1.6-mile iconic strip of Sunset Boulevard known as the Sunset Strip features swanky hotels, glam-grunge rock clubs like the Whiskey a Go-Go and The Viper Room. For a good laugh visitors can check out long-standing comedy clubs such as The Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store. You can spend the afternoon shopping the many storefront shops and sipping spirits at nighttime hotspots like Chateau Marmont and the Mondrian’s rooftop SkyBar.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
LACMA is the largest art museum in the western U.S. and features a collection of over 135,000 objects over 6,000 years including Islamic art, Asian art and Latin American art.
3 blocks between Wilshire Boulevard and South Santa Monica Boulevard
Rodeo Drive is one of the most luxurious places to shop in the world but even if shops are outside your budget there’s plenty to do, including window shopping. Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you’ll find the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style, which are plaques in the ground that pay homage to fashion icons of the world. Visitors can also explore art galleries, dine at upscale restaurants and take insta-worthy photo pictures. Did we mention the people watching and the cars parked along Rodeo drive are amazing!
Venice Beach “Muscle Beach”
Central location Venice Pier: 3100 Ocean Front Walk & W Washington Blvd
Venice is home to Muscle Beach, Skate Dancing plaza, basketball and volleyball courts, a walking and bike trail, and of course the beach itself. Venice is known as an eclectic scene that with artists, palm readers, bikini-clad roller skaters, vendors, street performers and of course bodybuilders. The area is great for people watching.
La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Visitors can not only see one of the richest depositories of Ice Age Fossils but they’ll also find up close views of bubbling tar, a fossil lab, shows and an Atrium with a koi fish pond.
Off the Beaten Path Favorites
Two Bit Circus
634 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the evening, Two Bit Circus is an incredible place. With a VR playground that’s filled with motion simulators, team based games, and a Jurassic flight, you can fill a whole night here.
6633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
For a fun activity to get your blood pumping, Escape Hotel is perfect. These horror themed escape rooms fully immerse you into the story with amazing props and puzzles. And if you want a bite or drink before you try to escape, there’s the Room Number 13 lounge and restaurant.
The Last Bookstore
453 South Spring St, Ground Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013
With over 22,000 square feet packed with books and other crafty things, The Last Bookstore is California’s largest used and new bookstore. Take your time exploring the store, which includes a huge yarn shop and an art studio, and take pictures going through their famous book tunnel.
The Time Travel Mart
1714 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
For a unique, out of time shopping experience, visit the Time Travel Mart. With storefronts in both Echo Park and Mar Vista, you can step in and see gorgeous products spanning from super cool retro designs to futuristic art pieces all through the store. Even better, the proceeds from the store go to support 826LA, a non-profit dedicated to helping Los Angeles students with their creative and expository writing.
4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Describing itself as “The Second Happiest Place on Earth”, Soap Plant/WACKO are a pair of family-run stores that pride themselves on hosting some of the most distinctive and quirky items you’ll find for sale. From action figures to air fresheners, greeting cards to tarot cards, if you’re on the hunt for a unique gift there’s no better place to stop.
Places To Eat And Drink In Los Angeles
Black Market Liquor Bar
11915 Ventura Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 91604
In one of the most intimate settings in Studio City, Black Market Liquor Bar offers an incredible mix of delicious American Cuisine and sophisticated cocktails that will make your evening completely unforgettable.
2121 E 7th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90021
When it comes to an elevated Italian dinner, Bestia is the place to go. With delectable options like squid ink chitarra and slow roasted lamb neck, you can’t go wrong! And to top it off, there’s a delicious walnut caramel tart for dessert!
777 N Virgil Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029
Courage Bagels has risen to fame and there’s no question as to why. Whether you’re looking for a warm and toasty bagel, or a delicious sandwich, you’ll find some of LA’s best bagels here.
1451 N Gardner St., Los Angeles, CA 90046
The Electric Owl, located on Sunset Boulevard, is a Gastrobar that offers a reminiscent atmosphere of the 1920’s from its décor and ambience to its food. Not to mention the delicious and unique drinks they serve like a strawberry balsamic negroni.
22706 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Nobu restaurants can be found all over the world, and the Malibu location highlights some of the best dishes that Nobu has to offer along with a cozy ambiance that makes for a perfect dining experience.
1610 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403
There is nothing quite like Forma for cheese lovers. You are certain to have a rich and delicious dinner after eating one of their pasta dishes that are made right into a cheese wheel. As a snack, Forma offers a cheese bar that is sure to please!
1999 N Sycamore Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068
There is no doubt that Yamashiro should be at the top of your bucket list, thanks to the amazing view of Los Angeles’ skyline, the stunning architecture, and the rich history that comes with the restaurant. It won’t matter whether you choose one of their delicious entrees or treat your table to their sushi boats, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
Roxy & Jo’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar
6333 W 3rd St #428, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Those who are visiting LA for the first time should not miss out on the Grove, as it is a must-visit spot, and if you’re looking for a delicious seafood lunch while you’re in LA, this is the place to be. With both cooked and raw options, this is a great hidden gem.
176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
In if you want to spend an evening in a luxurious setting, Spago at Beverly Hills is a great place to go. Owned by Wolfgang Puck, this restaurant offers an American Italian cuisine that will make you feel like a celebrity.
Supersweet Tattoos and Coffee
1345-1347 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Supersweet gives you the best opportunity to keep a permanent record of your time in LA. With over 15 amazing tattoo artists, you’re sure to get an amazing memory of your trip. After you get your tattoo, you can head over to their cafe to grab a cup of coffee.
800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Looking for a casual, yet unique dining experience? Wurstküche is the perfect place to go. Located in downtown LA, Wurstküche offers both traditional sausages and specialty sausages like buffalo, duck, and rattlesnake sausages!
8351 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069
It’s no surprise that Carneys has made a mark on LA with two locations across the city. There is no doubt that they live up to their tag of having the best burgers and hot dogs in all of Los Angeles.
Saddle Ranch Chop House
8371 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
It’s no secret that the Saddle Ranch Chop House is one of the most popular spots on the Sunset Strip, and it’s definitely worth trying to snag a reservation when possible. Not only do they have amazing food and drinks, but the ambience and mechanical bull will have you leaving with a smile on your face.
11992 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
A favorite for many locals, Crave Café offers delicious bites for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even some late night bites. In addition to their incredible food, they also have a large selection of drinks that include coffee, milkshakes, and smoothies.
De Buena Planta
2815 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Upon entering De Buena Planta, you are greeted by a wonderful atmosphere both inside and out. Featuring music performances Tuesday through Sunday, and some incredible bites like a delicious green goddess salad and homemade guacamole.
813 Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
As soon as you walk into Lilly Rose, you will find that you have entered a new world of elegance. If you are looking for a unique cocktail to enjoy while you relax with your friends, this underground bar is the place for you.
1727 N Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
With No Vacancy, you’re transported back to the 1920s. The bar breathes new life into one of LA’s oldest Victorian homes, allowing you to leave the modern world behind and enjoy a night filled with unique cocktails and small bites.
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Morgan Mulac is a freelance writer who has spent years on the road as a nomad and now has settled back in California with her family. Some of her favorite spots to travel to in California are in Orange County and the many beaches along the coast. She’s an avid writer about her journeys and enjoys sharing the beauty California has to offer.