What to do and see in Los Angeles

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Best Things LA

Are you heading to Los Angeles and do you want to know what to do in Los Angeles while you’re visiting? Find out exciting places and activities in this guide with a bonus for you, at then end!

Indeed, Los Angeles presents so many opportunities and activities, which could confuse people who are not familiar with the city. For this reason, we have gathered everything you need to have a great time and put them into small bits just for you to create your perfect schedule.

Los Angeles is a great place to live in, but to visit? Just like any other destination, it may be a bit complicated. Littered with so many world-famous attractions and sites waiting to be attended, making up your mind on the best options to consider in Los Angeles may be a daunting task.

It is quite an interesting phenomenon among those who visit for just a short time to visit several other exciting places without even visiting the famous Hollywood; this is to illustrate how big the city is. 

From the vibrant historic streets of the Arts Districts to the super-hip Silver Lake, there is a vast expanse of land characterized by choking traffic that is waiting to be explored.

This article piece will serve as your compass during your stay in LA and ultimately make it memorable.

What to do and see in Los Angeles

Continue reading to discover the best things you can do while you are on a visit to the City of Angels. And if you make the end of the list, you’ll find a pleasant bonus on how to see the Hollywood Sign as close as possible in Los Angeles.

1. Talk a walk Downtown

A visit to LA presents a fantastic opportunity to feast your eyes on the enticing architectural heritage at a close range. You can check out The Last Bookstore, have something to eat at the Grand Central Market, go down a glass slide at Skyspace or attend a concert at the Disney Concert Hall.

The Last Bookstore

2. Go Window-Shopping on Rodeo Drive

The shops on Rodeo Drive are expensive, but window-shopping is definitely free and if you’re a girl you surely want to recreate, even just for a little, that Pretty Woman feeling we all know about.

Rodeo Drive

3. Take a Hollywood Studio Tour

If you’re into movies and tv-series, taking a Hollywood Studio Tour is unmissable when in LA. There are various types of tours so the only thing you have to do is choosing the studio(s) you wanna see and plan everything. These are some of the Studio Tours in Hollywood and Los Angeles:

Universal Studios Tour

4. Challenge yourself at the Skyspace

Make sure you don’t suffer from vertigoes before heading to the Skyspace, an all-glass slide attached to the side of the U.S. Bank Tower’s exterior. Plan your day around this attraction if you feel inspired: the sunset is particularly memorable from up here.

5. Take a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood celebrities are regular and standard features in Los Angeles so you can catch a glimpse of the stardust upon which is laid the city’s foundation. Taking a cool stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame affords you the opportunity of interacting with an environment where about 2000 + of the world’s entertainment most illustrious personalities prestigiously immortalized in golden lettering and pink terrazzo

If you are a film fanatic, the Chinese Theatre housing the famous hand and footprints are an essential stopover. There are quite many movie premieres, award ceremonies and gala awards that goes on here. Although it may not be as glitzy as we see on screens, Hollywood is still very much endowed with charm.

Read Also: Where to eat in Los Angeles

6. Visit the Broad

Los Angeles houses quite many museums, and whenever a new museum opens, it’s a big deal. However, since the arrival of The Broad, the narrative has changed, and this is not far from its amazingly distinctive designs, its free admission and the post-war art collection.

Yayol Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room is one Insta-friendly piece that has been pulling in the crowds. Here, viewers are treated to twinkling, pulsating starfield of LEDs.

The experience may not span for more than a minute, but the wait time is measured in hours. So to make your way and cut down on the entry line, you can easily make your way to the first-floor installation as soon as you step your foot into the museum and get straight to grips with the ticketing system.

7. Griffith Observatory is waiting to get you smartened up

There is the popularly known Hall of the sky and Hall of the Eye; a pair of complementary displays that cross-examines the intersection between people and space.

The building in itself is a star attraction of its own, and the surrounding stunning view of the city from the Griffith park makes the visit worthwhile whether you’re a space buff or not.

Trust me, you can’t see all that much through its enormous telescope, but you can still spend a few hours browsing the Griffith Observatory quite happily.

Griffith Observatory and the Skyline of Los Angeles

8. Hop on the museum along Miracle Mile

Los Angeles County Museum of Art or LACMA for short houses quite many collections in a vast 20- acre complex of buildings, professionally renovated around 2008 with more redesigns waiting to be introduced.

The high point is the BP grand entrance, which includes the astounding installation of Chris Burden’s urban light.

The Broad Contemporary Art Museum plays home to a dazzling variety of modern works of art. LACMA sits majestically across the street from the Folk Art Museum & the Petersen Automotive Museum as well as the under-construction Academy Museum of Motion pictures.

LACMA

9. Head up to the the Getty Museum

The Getty Center is famous for its amazing artistic masterpieces, and it enjoys an inspired hilltop location with incredible views of Los Angeles. It has impressive gardens with works by Miro and Moore, which can be found in the sculpture garden.

Even though it might not have the rich collections of the old world galleries, one thing, however, is that the Getty impressive exhibits cover a broad sweep of history. Among the highlights hanging out here are the works of Impressionists and Rubens such as Renoir, Monet, Cezzane and Van Gogh.

The French decorative arts gets plenty of affection, and the growing photography collections are also well worth taking a look over. 

Getty Museum

10. Catch some fun at Venice Beach

This vibrant district provides many side attractions, and it is welcoming to all from all walks of life. The Venice Beach has built a reputation for itself as the bohemian epicenter of Los Angeles, California, and while the district gets plenty of more mainstream tourists, it still ecstatically embraces its eccentric spirit.

Kinney Abbot has transitioned into a high-end neighborhood over the recent few years, but the boardwalk is still very much a very brilliant place people watching, with radically ready pamphleteers, and skateboarders all doing their thing.

You can grab lunch at the local Fig tree’s café before browsing through the shelves at the small World Books.

Do not miss some shopping on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

Venice Beach

11. Visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology plays home to a repository of so many curiosities; These range from scientific wonders like a bat flying through walls to nearly impossible tiny sculptures and many other artistic imprints that keeps you dumbfounded.

This particular institute is an excellent blend of fiction and facts.

12. Draw inspiration at the Watts Towers

The towers of strength at the Watts Towers is always a place of refreshing. A tile setter of Italian origin by name Simon Rodia began the building of the Watts Towers using scrap metal around the 1920s.

He decorated the building over a space of three decades with purely consumer objects like green glass from reusable bottles of Canada Dry or 7-up and tiles from Malibu pottery as well as marble, seashells, and jewelry.

He successfully scaled the towers with a window-washers belt and bucket in transport these items. Interestingly, there are 17 of these fantastic structures with the highest stretching nearly 100 feet into the sky.

These magnificent building still exudes unique beauty several years after they have been built.

13. Attend a stylish concert at the Disney Concert Hall

Interestingly, there is nothing cartoonish about the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is the pinnacle of the LA music center, which was designed by Frank Gehry, this auditorium has an open platform stage with some of the finest acoustics one can find anywhere in the world.

The same hall plays home to the LA Philharmonic led by the LA master chorale and by Gustavo Dudamel, but it offers a more surprising and varying program of concerts and thrilling performances all year round.

Disney Concert Hall

14. Shop around at the Grove

For delicious meals and chic clothes, the place to do some shopping is Fairfax Avenue and the junction of the 3rd street. Here, The Grove is located here, an open-air mall where one can browse through about 50 leading brands stores.

Adjacent to this place is the Original Farmers Market. This market was set up in 1934; it after that expanded from selling fresh produce to offering an international culinary experience from a wide range of stalls

15. Go to the Amoeba Record Store

At Amoeba, you’d find the largest independent record store in the whole of the United States, and the diverse music crammed in here is just incredible. The prices here are also, and the staff is always will to assist.

If you have not gotten your favorite music elsewhere, then you can get it here, it is the perfect place to stream live music in an instant.

Sometimes, having a physical product delivers that sense of fulfillment, and this is where Amoeba comes in.

Amoeba

16. Mulholland Drive is right for cruising

If you are looking for a fun and joy ride, then a cruise along Mulholland Drive is just essential. The Mulholland is one of Los Angeles’s most famous thoroughfares. This road is made of classic make-out points, exciting Hollywood hot chase scenes, and other spectacular scenic splendor.

The whole journey can be covered in less than an hour, which includes the time to stop at the midway or to take some exceptional views.

The simple advice here is to watch how you drive and pay attention to the blind curves, that’s all

17. Hit a comedy club

There are quite many new and brilliant laughter joints in the city of Los Angeles that regularly hosts up-and-coming as well as superstar comedians on the same platform.

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre is more famous for their cutting edge comedy performances that make them level up with their revolutionary identity.

You can be quite sure that you can catch some familiar sitcom faces over here particularly during the acclaimed Asssscat improv show. So if you are in the mood for some more traditional stand-up comic show, you can head to more iconic clubs like the Laugh Factory, Improv and also the Comedy Store.

18. Visit the Japanese American National Museum

The Japanese American National Museum is one of the city’s best; it effectively tells the compelling story of Japanese immigration to the United States.

This dates back to 1882 when employees were barred from importing Chinese labor thereby leading to the arrival of thousands and thousands of Japanese workers instead, only to discover that they were to be sent to internment camps during the Second World War.

This museum articulately distinctly tells their story, through visual documentation and art exhibitions, and an also through a moving display of artifacts from their former internment camps

19. Take a tour of the Huntington Library

The Huntington Library, the Art Collections, and the Botanical Gardens are the city’s three-in-one attraction.

They are located in an original multi-purpose venue, which plays home to an art gallery, an elaborate botanical garden, and an engaging art gallery.

The cacti-filled Desert garden and the hilly Japanese garden are among the favorites. A whole day can be taken off to explore this eccentric Pasadena-adjacent place.

20. Have fun at Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica is a city within a city, and it’s famous for its State Beach and its Pier. On the Pier you can find the famous Pacific Park with a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, and many other things to do. Santa Monica is also the final destination for people traveling along the Route 66 and a sign is there to remember you’ve arrived at the end.

Santa Monica route 66
Santa Monica Pier

21. Catch One of the Many Sporting Events

Los Angeles is home to many sporting events: either you’re a fan or not, I suggest you catch at least one basketball’s game at the Staples Center. The atmosphere is amazing and it is like being at a big funny party.

Staples Center

21. Visit Malibu Beach

The city of Malibu is very close to LA and home to 27 miles of beaches, all public and all amazing, especially at sunset. You can spend a whole day moving from beach to beach and eating while on the road. Grab a car and drive along the Pacific Coast Highway: you’ll still be in LA, but it will look even more fancier. If you’re up for some celebrity spotting, head over to Calabasas, just 30 minutes from Malibu, and you’ll have a chance to get close to some of the most famous celebrities, or kind of celebrities (The Kardashians are among the residents of this city).

Visit Malibu Beach

22. Spend a Day at Disneyland

Disneyland is technically in Orange County, but if you’ve time you should plan to spend a day over. No one is ever too old for Disneyland, this amazingly legendary themed park where you can walk down the main streets for a taste of what the early 19th century America looks like, take a stroll Westwards towards Frontierland and savor the music of emanating from New Orleans square. There are dozens of other rides, which includes the wonderfully wet Grizzly River Run and the Indiana Jones Adventures, which never fades away.

Disneyland

23. Visit KoreaTown

Koreatown is a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, nestled between South of Hollywood and West of Downtown Los Angeles. Koreatown is known for its energetic nightlife, its 24-hour bars, clubs, restaurants, and karaoke hotspots. Koreatown is home to several multilevel shopping malls and if you’re into K-Beauty you may find this neighborhood extremely interesting (also, if you’re into K-Beauty have a look here). Koreatown is also famous for its food scene, unmissable.

24. After hours are to hit the clubs

One thing that is undeniable about Los Angeles is the city’s capacity for fabulous parties. Residents and tourists alike can treat themselves to choice clubs and venues after the exhausting tour of Los Angeles. Some of the most (in)famous nightclubs in the country make their home along L.A.’s Sunset Strip.

Los Angeles by Night

Bonus: How to See the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles

The Hollywood Sign is one of the most recognisable pieces of Los Angeles: it can be seen almost from everywhere Downtown but there are also places where it really looks extremely close. It is located on the south-facing side of Mt. Lee in Griffith Park above the Hollywood Hills.

If you’re thinking “How can I get close to the Hollywood Sign to take an Instagram worthy picture”? the answer is: you can’t because the sign is under security 24/24 and it is not open to the public.

The best way to see the sign quite close is to go for a hike in the hills of Griffith Park; the Griffith Park Observatory is the perfect place from where to spot the sign quite close (it’s all in prospective, because it’s actually quite distant from there). There’s not just one perfect spot in the Griffith Park Observatory but if you want the perfect picture you should find the James Dean bust with the Hollywood sign in the background.

While the Griffith Observatory is certainly a lovely place to view the Hollywood Sign, it isn’t the best.

Here’s the best way to get closer to the Hollywood Sign and get THE picture:

  • Set 3390 Deronda Drive, Los Angeles as your destination on your GPS
  • Start walking or driving and ignore signs that say there’s no Hollywood Sign access and that the road is closed.
  • When Deronda ends, you’ll see a metal gate on the right. Find a place to park nearby or just keep walking;
  • Look for an arched opening in the wall near the gate and go through the opening.
  • From there, walk a short distance uphill and see the Sign.

Please bear in mind people live in Deronda so be respectful!

The Hollywood Sign

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Categories: Travel & Food
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina

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