Los Angeles   Travel Guide

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fun places to visit los angeles

33 Best Things to Do in LA

Los Angeles has an exhaustive array of fun things to do, from the family-friendly La Brea Tar Pits and the must-visit Natural History Museum to a behind-the-scenes studio tour at Universal Studios or Warner Bros. Out-of-towners love the palm-lined

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fun places to visit los angeles

Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park free

Griffith Observatory sits on the south face of Mount Hollywood and overlooks the Los Angeles basin. Its location gives visitors impressive views of the surrounding area, which many rave about. But there's more than just a pretty photo-op here. The observatory hosts fascinating exhibitions and features a top-notch planetarium.

Most recent visitors cited the beautiful setting as Griffith Observatory's main draw, though the free entry was certainly a bonus. However, you will have to pay between $6 and $10 to see the planetarium shows. Griffith Observatory is open Tuesdays to Fridays from noon to 10 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. A gift shop and cafe can be found on-site as well. For information about parking, public transportation and other information to plan your visit, check out Griffith Observatory's  website .

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The Getty Center The Getty Center free

The Getty Center is one of the most impressive architectural achievements in the United States – and it also contains some of the finest works of art in the world. The circular concrete-and-steel structure was designed by renowned architect Richard Meier, and it houses an abundance of art from various ages and nations. Here you'll find Renaissance paintings, 20th-century American photography, Baroque sculptures, historic manuscripts and more, all housed inside a sprawling, modern campus amid the Santa Monica Mountains. The museum also offers spectacular views of Los Angeles on clear days.

Recent travelers loved the museum for its vast collection and beautiful grounds and views, with some stating that they enjoyed the tram ride to get to the museum. Many visitors suggest taking a guided tour, noting that the volunteer guides were very knowledgeable. Tours of the Getty Center's architecture and gardens are available, as well as a Collection Highlights tour and tours of art in specific eras. Tour times and days vary depending on tour type. Check the Getty Center's website for a complete calendar . Visitors can also download the GettyGuide app for self-guided tours.

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Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre free

U.S. News Insider Tip: In this area, you'll find people dressed as celebrities and Hollywood characters, such as Spiderman, Shrek, Marilyn Monroe and Darth Vader. Have some cash on hand as a tip if you want to take photos with any of them. –  Sharael Kolberg, Contributor, Travel

One of Hollywood's most iconic and memorable sites, the TCL Chinese Theatre (originally Grauman's Chinese Theatre) opened in 1927 and represents the excess of Hollywood's Golden Age. You can take a 30-minute walking tour of the theater for $16; tours are offered daily at multiple times. Because of this attraction's popularity, it's best to reserve your spot online in advance. This working theater also shows various newly released films throughout the year.

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Popular Tours

Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches and More

Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches and More

(4359 reviews)

from $ 99.00

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

(3925 reviews)

from $ 70.00

Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open Air Bus

Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open Air Bus

(980 reviews)

from $ 44.00

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Santa Monica Pier and Beach Santa Monica Pier and Beach free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Don't miss trying the classic (and yummy!) funnel cake, a kind of fried waffle topped with powdered sugar and your choice of toppings, such as strawberries, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, whipped cream and ice cream. They are big enough to share. –  Sharael Kolberg, Contributor, Travel

West of downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica contains one of the most legendary beach scenes in the United States. It also boasts an abundance of great restaurants and excellent nightlife spots. Its more than 3 miles of shoreline are renowned as some of the best in the area thanks to the soft sands, ideal weather and bevy of attractions. "State Beach," as it's known, has more than 300 days of sunshine a year and acted as the backdrop for the popular TV series "Baywatch."

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Zuma Beach Zuma Beach free

Malibu has a reputation for excessive wealth and exclusivity, yet all of the town's beaches are public – everyone's welcome. If you're seeking an LA beach spot for sunbathing and swimming, look no further than Zuma. This 1.8-mile beach is far cleaner than those at Santa Monica or Venice Beach .

Malibu's Zuma Beach is considered one of the finest beaches in the Los Angeles area. Locals and tourists laud Zuma for its awesome waves, ample parking and easy access to beachside snacks. Plus, there are a plethora of lifeguard stations and bathroom facilities. Beach wheelchairs and a beach mat (from April to October) are also available.

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Sunset Boulevard Sunset Boulevard free

One of the most iconic thoroughfares in the United States, Sunset Boulevard continues to live up to its legend. In the old days, it represented the classic and glamorous Hollywood lifestyle and became the setting of several famous films, including the obvious classic "Sunset Boulevard." Today, the palm-lined street (which connects downtown LA to Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Pacific Coast Highway) retains its cinematic appeal, and the Sunset Strip portion has become a popular nightlife spot. The strip is also home to many classic music venues, including the Rainbow Bar & Grill and The Roxy Theatre .

Recent visitors loved driving along this famous boulevard, adding that gorgeous sunsets can be enjoyed during late afternoon drives. But like other parts of LA, this thoroughfare gets congested with traffic.

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The Original Farmers Market and The Grove The Original Farmers Market and The Grove free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Kids will love riding the free, open-air, double-decker trolley that runs through The Grove and connects to The Original Farmers Market. It runs daily from 1 to 8:45 p.m. – Sharael Kolberg, Contributor, Travel

Sitting south of West Hollywood is one of LA's most beloved landmarks: The Original Farmers Market. Founded in 1934, this cream-colored facility reels in both residents and tourists with the promise of fresh produce and the aroma of ready-to-eat snacks. You can visit throughout the week, although hours vary depending on the day. Entry is free, but you'll want to have some cash on hand should any of the treats whet your appetite. You can park for free for up to 90 minutes at the market's two lots, provided that your ticket is validated at the market. (Fees apply for parking after the allotted 90 minutes and for non-validated tickets.) For a little help navigating the market, you can also take a guided foodie tour  (one of the best California tours ).

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Next door to the La Brea Tar Pits sits the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the linchpin of the Los Angeles museum district. Since its 1965 opening, LACMA has showcased thousands of pieces, from Islamic artifacts to European impressionist paintings to modern art. With constantly shifting exhibitions and unique architecture, LACMA offers a rewarding experience for both serious art buffs and casual travelers.

Currently, the museum is constructing a new building for its permanent collection, called the David Geffen Galleries, which is scheduled to open in 2024. For now, pieces will be on display in the BCAM and the Resnick Pavilion. The Urban Light and Levitated Mass exhibits remain open to visitors. There is a restaurant and grab-and-go eatery on-site. Many visitors appreciated both the indoor and outdoor art exhibits and were impressed with the size of the collection of modern and contemporary art.

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Perfect 5 ½ Hour LA & Hollywood Tour from Santa Monica

(906 reviews)

from $ 76.50

Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of the Best of Los Angeles

Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of the Best of Los Angeles

(605 reviews)

from $ 84.00

The VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood

The VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood

(441 reviews)

from $ 379.00

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The Broad The Broad free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Two of the most popular exhibits that have blown up on social media are Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirror Rooms." You have to book tickets online for timed entry to these exhibits, but they are free and include general museum admission. – Sharael Kolberg, Contributor, Travel

Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad founded The Broad museum in 2015 and the structure made for a stunning addition to downtown Los Angeles. The eye-catching, honeycomb building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, is home to an expansive collection of contemporary art dating from the 1950s to the present. The collection includes works by Jean Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol. In addition to the permanent collection, temporary exhibits showcase new and emerging artists. The museum gets high marks from recent visitors who loved both the artwork and the architecture.

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Runyon Canyon Park Runyon Canyon Park free

Just two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard, Runyon Canyon Park is an often-overlooked urban park that offers some great views. The park boasts several hiking trails and is a popular spot for celebrities to exercise. During your hike, you'll see plenty of palm trees. Atop the canyon, you'll be treated to sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley.

Hikers recommend bring plenty of water and going later in the day since it can get hot on the trails. Some recent visitors lamented the lack of facilities, while others raved about the views.

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Paramount Pictures Studios Paramount Pictures Studios

Since 1912, Paramount Pictures Studios has showcased the talents of film's all-time heavyweights, including Mae West, Alfred Hitchcock, Eddie Murphy and Meryl Streep. The notable site has been home to everything from classic television shows like "I Love Lucy" to modern favorites like "Glee" to box-office hits like "Mission: Impossible" and "Titanic." Today, Paramount Pictures is the only remaining film studio in the Hollywood area.

For an authentic Hollywood experience, set aside some time to tour the grounds . On the 2-hour studio tour, a guide will take you around the site's 65 acres in a golf cart, and you'll also be able to hop off and explore sound stages and recognizable studio sets from many current TV shows and movies. Previous visitors praised the friendly and knowledgeable tour guides, although some felt the tours offered at Warner Bros. Studio were better. Also, keep in mind the tours' age restrictions. Studio and VIP tours permit visitors ages 10 and older.

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Hollywood Bowl Hollywood Bowl free

If you can catch a gig at the Hollywood Bowl , LA's beautiful amphitheater, don't pass it up. Since its inaugural season in 1922, this unique stage, set in the Hollywood Hills, has entertained thousands of fans and hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Stevie Wonder, Igor Stravinsky, Madonna, Elton John and Tina Turner.

Many travelers praise the Hollywood Bowl, touting everything from the sound quality to the scenic overlook. Several also add that all of the seats offer great views and suggest arriving early with a bottle of wine and a picnic basket.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall Walt Disney Concert Hall free

This Frank Gehry-designed concert hall's curvaceous, stainless-steel façade is an imposing structure in downtown LA. The hall helped revive this particular section of downtown, which was once dominated by mundane office buildings and lackluster entertainment options. Now, nightlife and culture burgeon in the area and the concert hall is at the forefront. Music-loving travelers will want to catch one of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's performances here. (For ticket and price information, visit the Los Angeles Philharmonic's website .)

You don't have to invest in concert tickets to experience this performance venue: You can follow  a self-guided audio tour of the exterior and interior (though the actual concert auditorium is off-limits). Past visitors recommend the free hourlong audio tours; self-guided tours are also offered daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a full tour schedule, visit The Music Center's website .

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Universal Studios Hollywood General Admission Ticket

(1196 reviews)

from $ 109.00

Shared 3 Hour Los Angeles VIP Tour

Shared 3 Hour Los Angeles VIP Tour

(1362 reviews)

from $ 49.00

The Best of LA Tour: Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Griffith Park +More

The Best of LA Tour: Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Griffith Park + More

(572 reviews)

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Hollywood Homes Tours Hollywood Homes Tours

Once you've seen where the stars shop, where they eat, where they surf and where they party, you'll want to see where they live. A variety of Hollywood homes tours provide ample opportunities to spot homes owned by the rich and famous. You probably won't see the celebs themselves, but you can snap pics of the homes affiliated with A-listers like Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise, Bruno Mars and Halle Berry. Also, expect to see facades that once housed the likes of Lucille Ball, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. Along with the stars' abodes, buses usually make stops at the Hollywood Walk of Fame , the Sunset Strip and Rodeo Drive .

Some recent travelers were disappointed because many homes are at the end of long driveways or behind hedges. Be sure to check the weather for the day: Extreme heat or a sudden shower can put a damper on an open-top bus ride.

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Rodeo Drive Rodeo Drive free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Stop for lunch at the hidden Mexican steakhouse, The Hideaway, on the subterranean level of the Rodeo Collection. – Sharael Kolberg, Contributor, Travel

Immortalized by Julia Roberts' "Pretty Woman" shopping spree, Rodeo Drive is an upscale shopping street in Beverly Hills that features world-class designer stores and small private boutiques. The area is popular with wealthy shoppers, sunglass-wearing celebrities and tourists hoping to see fashion icons.

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Hollywood Forever Cemetery Hollywood Forever Cemetery free

As morbid as it may seem, your best chance of spotting a celebrity in LA is at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Here, you'll find the final resting places of Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Judy Garland, Cecil B. DeMille and other stars who once worked at the adjacent Paramount Pictures Studios . Maps detailing the celebrities' gravesites are available at the cemetery's flower shop or on its website . A 2 ½-hour walking tour is also available starting at $25.

Recent visitors described the cemetery's quiet grounds as "peaceful," adding that the grounds are well-maintained. Some recommend doing a walking tour to learn the stories of famous people buried there. The venue also offers cultural events, such as outdoor classic film screenings, concerts and author evenings. Visit their events calendar to find out more.

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The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

You could spend an entire day at this property that includes a research library with 11 million items, an art museum with more than 42,000 pieces and a 130-acre botanical gardens with more than 12 themed gardens. The Huntington opened in 1928 and is a nonprofit that provides humanities scholarships, fellowships, special exhibitions and hosts more than 800,000 visitors a year. Ongoing exhibitions feature items such as Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" manuscript, replicas of Pacific Electric Railway Company's "red cars," rock slab art in the Japanese Garden, contemporary art and so much more. There are also temporary exhibits that rotate regularly. The Botanical Gardens include themed gardens – such as the California garden, jungle garden, rose garden and Japanese garden – botanical living collections and is the site for botanical conservation and research. Most visitors enjoyed touring the gardens the most and said that the gardens alone can be a full-day excursion.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is open from Wednesdays to Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended from Monday to Thursday and required for weekend visits. Weekday admission is $25 for adults, $21 for students, $13 for youth (ages 4 to 11) and children younger than 4 explore free. Weekend rates are slightly higher. Admission is free the first Thursday of every month; you can snag tickets on the final Thursday of the month prior at 9 a.m. PST. Free parking is available. A variety of guided tours and events are offered; dates and prices vary.  View the online calendar for more information. There are restrooms, a gift shop and dining facilities on the property, as well as a limited number of picnic tables. Picnics in the garden are not permitted. For more information, visit the website .

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Angeles National Forest Angeles National Forest

In about a half-hour, travelers can trade busy downtown LA for the serenity of nature at the Angeles National Forest. The almost 700,000-acre forest is an easily accessible place for locals and visitors to hike, bike, ski, ride horses, swim, fish and even camp. Encompassing the San Gabriel Mountains, terrain ranges from desert to dense forest. Perhaps one of the most visited sites is Mount San Antonio (nicknamed Mount Baldy), which is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains at 10,064 feet. There you will find a variety of hikes, from moderate to challenging. Recent visitors loved the views and found the range of trail options perfect for different types of hikers.

Visitors to the Angeles National Forest must purchase a National Forest Adventure Pass. It’s $5 for a daily pass or $30 for an annual pass; the pass is good at other national forests in the area. There are visitor and information centers in different areas of the forest, which offer general information, activities and educational events. Visit the forest's website for specific hours and details.

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Skip the Line: Express Ticket at Universal Studios Hollywood

(1060 reviews)

from $ 213.81

Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

(1413 reviews)

from $ 45.00

Authentic 3-Hour Hollywood to Beverly Hills Tour

Authentic 3-Hour Hollywood to Beverly Hills Tour

(83 reviews)

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La Brea Tar Pits La Brea Tar Pits free

If your kids go crazy for dinosaurs – and really, what kid doesn't? – then a visit to La Brea Tar Pits is sure to be the highlight of their trip. Although the pits look like the set of a cheesy PG movie, hot tar has been bubbling from the earth at this spot along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile for about 50,000 years. And from the gooiest part of LA, more than 3.5 million fossils have been discovered. The adjoining museum houses many of the artifacts found at the tar pits; consequently, it is home to one of the largest collections of Ice Age fossils in the world. Recent visitors said the site was very educational and the amount of fossils was impressive.

You can check out the tar pits completely free of charge, but museum tickets start at $15 for adults and $7 for children 3 to 12; reduced entry fees are available for students and seniors. LA County residents get in free Mondays through Fridays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. All tickets include tours of property facilities like the fossil lab, lake pit and observation pit; some special exhibits will cost extra. Ticket lines can be long, so consider purchasing your ticket online before you arrive. Even if you have to pay to visit, most visitors agree that the exhibits are well worth perusing.

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California Science Center California Science Center free

A world of fun and exploration await kids, as well as curious adults, at the California Science Center. In the permanent "Ecosystems" exhibit, museumgoers will learn about everything from islands to rivers to forests across ten different zones via interactive displays. In "Life! Beginning," visitors learn about reproduction, mating and genes. Many recent visitors were impressed with the museum's "Air & Space" section that includes the Space Shuttle Endeavour and the Gemini 11 Capsule. An IMAX theater is also on-site. Recent visitors say the center is wonderful, lots of fun and especially great for kids.

The center is free to visit (including the Endeavour) though special exhibits and IMAX screenings incur a fee. Timed tickets for IMAX and special exhibits are required and can be purchased online . The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking costs $15. You can also take the Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station and walk five minutes to the center. Visit the center's website for more information.

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Dodger Stadium Dodger Stadium

Baseball fans should enjoy a visit to Dodger Stadium, which is home to the LA Dodgers and is Major League Baseball's third oldest continually used park. The stadium is carved into Chavez Ravine and overlooks downtown LA to the south and the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, making this ballpark quite unique. If the Dodgers aren't playing when you're in town, you can still see the stadium on a guided tour. Tours of the 56,000-seat stadium last approximately 90 minutes. During the tour, visitors will learn about the stadium's history and may get to go on the field, look at the Dodger Dugout or peek into the Yaamava' Dugout Club (the VIP restaurant and lounge located behind home plate), which houses the team's World Series trophies and various other awards. Additional specialty tours, such as a Jackie Robinson tour, are also offered. Recent tour-goers say the guides are knowledgeable and engaging.

The Dodger Stadium Tour is offered on the hour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (on game days ) or 3 p.m. (on nongame days). Tickets cost $30 for adults and $25 for kids 14 and younger. Specialty tours are also available for varying fees. Parking is $25 in advance and $30 to $50 at the gate, with no in-and-out privileges and no refunds. Tickets to baseball games are seasonal and prices vary.

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Greystone Mansion and Park Greystone Mansion and Park free

Greystone Mansion is one of the largest mansions in Beverly Hills and an important landmark for American cinema. The nearly 13-acre parcel of land was a wedding gift from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny to his son, Ned, in 1926. Construction on the mansion began in 1927 and took almost three years to complete. Greystone now represents a golden age in American cinema. Many films, including "The Big Lebowski" and "Ghostbusters," and television shows like "General Hospital" and "Gilmore Girls" have been shot on these gothic-inspired grounds.

Visitors can walk around the property and self-guided tours of the inside of the mansion are offered monthly. Many visitors say Greystone Mansion has stunning grounds with picturesque views. Travelers describe the park grounds as spectacular and enjoy learning which of their favorite movies and shows used Greystone as a backdrop.

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Venice Beach Venice Beach free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Rent an e-bike at the boardwalk and spend the day riding along "The Strand" (aka the Marvin Braude Bike Trail) to the Santa Monica Pier. Enjoy delicious Mexican dishes at MariaSol, which sits at the end of the pier. – Sharael Kolberg, Contributor, Travel

Developed in the early 20th century, Venice Beach is modeled – canals and all – after its  namesake city in Italy . Admittedly, the experiment didn't live up to its Italian inspiration, but the neighborhood has become distinctly Californian, embodying the spirit of the wealthy, the alternative and the just plain bizarre. Rather than towering churches and intimate pizzerias, you'll find canal-side mansions near funky boutiques and restaurants.

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The Official Hollywood Sign Walking Tour in Los Angeles

(1828 reviews)

from $ 18.00

Mulholland Trail Horseback Tour

Mulholland Trail Horseback Tour

(52 reviews)

from $ 75.00

Skip the Ticketing Line: Aquarium of the Pacific General Admission Ticket

Skip the Ticketing Line: Aquarium of the Pacific General Admission Ticket

(431 reviews)

from $ 44.95

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Explore the Arts District in Downtown L.A. Explore the Arts District in Downtown L.A. free

If you're looking for a trendy hot spot, heed the advice of recent visitors and head to the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. Formerly an urban artists' colony in the 1970s, the area is now filled with restaurants, cafes and bars serving creative cuisine and craft cocktails. Popular favorites include Angel City Brewery, Bestia, Girl & the Goat and EightyTwo, a bar that features vintage pinball and arcade machines. The neighborhood is also home to art galleries featuring a variety of genres showcasing inspiring art, art shops and art classes. One example is Art Share L.A., a 28,000-square-foot creative art space featuring community art classes, art exhibits and live performances.

According to past visitors, parking in this area can be challenging. Though there is street parking, it's limited. Travelers advise leaving your car in a public parking garage.

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Universal Studios Hollywood Universal Studios Hollywood

One of the most popular attractions in the Los Angeles area, Universal Studios Hollywood features rides and amusements based on some of the most popular scenes and characters from film and television. You can take the tram Studio Tour past the creepy Bates Motel from "Psycho" and get caught up in a high-speed chase with the "Fast & Furious" cast. Kids can shake hands with cartoon favorites like The Minions and Scooby-Doo. Of course, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is another huge hit, as is Jurassic World – The Ride. SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, a new attraction opened in 2023, features a Super Mario-themed ride, interactive games, a restaurant and shop.

If thrills are your thing, there are plenty of hair-raising coasters and rides. On Transformers: The Ride-3D, riders join Optimus Prime in his battle against the Decepticons; meanwhile, youngsters will love the 3D ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem (complete with a Minion dance party).

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Abbot Kinney Boulevard Abbot Kinney Boulevard free

Shoppers will love this retail mecca that stretches for a mile from Washington Boulevard to Main Street. Located a half-mile inland from Venice Beach , the boulevard features popular chain stores, such as Lululemon, Birkenstock and Warby Parker, as well as local boutique shops, including Ananda Venice, Satine and The Stronghold. In between shopping, stop for a bite to eat at The Butcher's Daughter, Plant Food + Wine or Gjelina. Or, plan your visit for the first Friday of every month, when starting at 5 p.m. dozens of food trucks serve up casual craft meals along the street.

Recent visitors suggested you stroll along Abbot Kinney Boulevard if you're in the Venice Beach area, praising its hip collection of boutiques and restaurants. In addition to the shops and eateries, reviewers also admired the colorful murals and street art. 

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Grand Central Market Grand Central Market free

U.S. News Insider Tip: For something fun and unique near the market, check out the Angels Flight Railway. Built in 1901, the funicular takes passengers between Hill Street and Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill. One-way tickets cost $1. – Sharael Kolberg, Contributor, Travel

Grand Central Market, or foodie heaven according to visitors, is located in downtown Los Angeles by the Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Broad . The venue features high ceilings and an open layout, with food vendor stalls offering different cuisines that represent cultures from the Los Angeles area and beyond. The market has been in operation since 1917 and serves everything from coffee and pressed juices to deli fare, egg sandwiches, falafel, tacos and chow mein.

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Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Whether you're interested in the deep sea, dinosaurs, insects or gems and minerals, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County offers hours of exploration of all things related to natural history. Ongoing exhibitions include the impressive Dinosaur Hall (where you can view more than 300 fossils and see 20 life-sized dinosaur skeletons), Nature Lab, Hall of Birds and Visible Vault, which houses artifacts from Aztec, Maya and Inca civilizations. Visitors said that the museum is great for all ages, with the Dinosaur Hall being the most popular attraction. There are also special exhibitions that are on display for a limited time. Kids will love the Dinosaurs Encounters Show that features juvenile dinosaur puppets. The shows are offered Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 per person.

Guests can also explore the nature gardens with more than 600 varieties of plants and a plethora of garden wildlife. Free guided tours are available daily. If you want to dive deeper into natural history, special programs are available for children, adults and families. Check the events calendar online for more info.

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Grand Beach Tour: LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica

(925 reviews)

from $ 95.00

Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open Bus tours

Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open Bus tours

(1272 reviews)

from $ 35.00

3-Day California Coast Tour: Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Yosemite

3-Day California Coast Tour: Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Yosemite

(77 reviews)

from $ 620.00

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Battleship USS Iowa Museum Battleship USS Iowa Museum

A visit to the iconic Battleship USS Iowa Museum includes access to both interior and exterior areas on seven decks. The self-guided tour lets visitors see what life was like on the ship. You'll also view the officer's wardroom, senior officer's cabins, admirals bridge, navigation bridge and crew's quarters. Recent visitors enjoyed the multiple exhibits along the route that tell the story of the Battleship USS Iowa, as well as the U.S. Navy, through artifacts, photographs, artwork and equipment. Kids can participate in the "Vicky the Dog" scavenger hunt to get a more in-depth look at the ship through the eyes of its canine mascot.

The General Access pass is valid for two hours and costs $29.95 for adults, $21.95 for kids 3 to 11 and are free for kids 2 and younger. For an additional fee, visitors can upgrade to a themed guided tour, such as the Gun Tour or Engineering Tour. Past visitors said it is worth paying extra for a guided tour. They also enjoyed their visits overall. While visiting the ship, check out the waterfront views, grab a snack at Vicky's Doghouse Café and pick up a souvenir at the Ship's Store. The ship is open daily at 10 a.m. and closes around 4 p.m. (or whenever the final guided tour ends). Parking is available, with the first hour free and $2 each hour after that, with a maximum of $20 a day.

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Shop along Olvera Street Shop along Olvera Street free

Stroll this historic street in Downtown Los Angeles for authentic Mexican culture, music and cuisine. Along the block-long, brick-lined street, you'll find strolling mariachi bands, taco shops, Aztec and Mexican folkloric dancers and vendors selling handcrafted souvenirs, such as pottery, leather goods and traditional clothing. The street also hosts various traditional events throughout the year, including the Blessing of the Animals (Saturday before Easter), Cinco de Mayo, Fiestas Patrias (Mexican Independence Day), Dia de los Muertos and Las Posadas.

This Mexican marketplace is part of the El Pueblo Historic Park, the "birthplace of LA," which also includes historic sites, such as Avila Adobe (LA's oldest house), Pico House and the America Tropical Interpretive Center. 

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L.A. Live L.A. Live

L.A. Live is the hub of entertainment in Downtown Los Angeles. It's features the Crypto.com Arena, home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers basketball teams, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, as well as the Los Angeles Sparks women's basketball team. It's also where music fans attend world-class concerts by some of the biggest names in the industry. Other entertainment includes the interactive GRAMMY Museum, a Lucky Strike bowling alley and a Regal movie theater, as well as smaller event venues like the Microsoft Theater, The Novo and The Conga Room.

There are more than a dozen eateries to choose from, including Yard House and Katsuya. After a night of entertainment, stay over at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE or The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles.

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Petersen Automotive Museum Petersen Automotive Museum

Car enthusiasts will be thrilled with a visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum as it houses a range of impressive cars, from high performance to historic. In the permanent galleries, travelers can try an exhilarating racing simulator, see the “Commutercycle” from the HBO documentary "The Lady and the Dale" and participate in hands-on activities with a Disney "Cars" theme. Featured exhibitions rotate frequently. There are an additional 250 cars that are stored in The Vault. The museum also hosts a variety of events, from exhibition openings to hands-on workshops. Visit its online calendar for more info.

Admission is $21 for adults, $13 for youth ages 12 to 17 and $11 for kids 4 to 11. There is an additional $27 fee for people 12 and older to tour The Vault (children 4 to 11 will pay an extra $10); many visitors say it's worth the fee, but warn that it could take you a half-day to explore. Keep in mind children younger than 4 cannot enter the museum nor the vault. If you're a true car fanatic, consider taking the guided Vault and Workshop tour to see both the Vault and the museum's restoration area. Tickets for this tour are limited and run on Saturdays only. Fees are $150 for individuals 4 and older.

fun places to visit los angeles

Warner Bros. Studio Warner Bros. Studio

Located in Burbank, California – a city that sits just 5 miles north of Hollywood – Warner Bros. Studio gives visitors a close-up look at iconic movie and TV sets and props, such as the original Batmobiles, costumes from the "Harry Potter" movies and a replica of the cafe featured in "Friends." Travelers will also drive around the studio's 110-acre backlot, where 30 soundstages are used for producing shows like "Young Sheldon," "Bob Hearts Abishola," and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Previous visitors loved exploring this property and appreciated their "fun and knowledgeable" tour guides. Additionally, many enjoyed getting out of their golf carts to go inside a working set and other buildings used for filming, citing this as the main reason to tour this studio instead of others like Paramount Pictures Studios . But keep in mind, children 7 and younger are not permitted on any tour.

fun places to visit los angeles

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The 26 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles

By Maxwell Williams

Aerial view of Griffith Observatory towards the Hollywood sign on the slope of Mt. Hollywood

Los Angeles: Of course, the weather is nice, the beaches iconic. But it’s a city that's much more culturally inclined than many non-Angelenos give it credit: It’s solidified itself as an international playground for artists, the museums are top-notch, and L.A.'s vastness checks so many boxes. There's spectacular natural scenery, a cemetery that becomes a nightclub, and sports stadiums galore (including many new ones that will play host to the 2028 Summer Olympics.) Of course, there's ample shopping and celebrity spotting, too. Here are our picks for the best things to do in Los Angeles, no matter how many trips they may take to complete.

Read our full Los Angeles travel guide here .

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Angeles National Forest Hike hiking Los Angeles Woods

Angeles National Forest Arrow

With over 1,000 square miles of wilderness and 53 trailheads, it's no wonder Angeles National Forest is one of the most popular day trips for locals and visitors alike. Whether you're hiking, biking, running, boating, or even skiing, there's something for every outdoors-y type here. The drive up Mt. Baldy is pleasant and results in spectacular views from nearly 10,000 feet. The hikes to the Devil's Punchbowl and the Bridge to Nowhere are some of the best full day options in the region.

Interior of ornate Bradbury Building. architecture. iron

Bradbury Building Arrow

The Victorian-style atrium of the Bradbury Building, built for gold baron Lewis Bradbury, is filled with architectural flourishes like open-cage hydraulic elevators, marble staircases, and wrought-iron balconies. The massive skylight and  open balconies create a mood that is like no other building; it's both haunting and magical. Culture buffs will know it from appearances in movies like Chinatown (1974), Blade Runner (1982), 500 Days of Summer (2009), and a smattering of music videos and commercials.

people walking in building. architecture. escalator

The Broad Arrow

Housed in a building with a dimpled façade that many say looks like a cheese grater, the Broad houses the collection of Edythe Broad, who accumulated a formidable cache of contemporary art with her late husband Eli. The collection is more pop than academic, earning it a reputation as a stop on tourists' lists, if only to take selfies in front of Jeff Koons' balloon dog or Robert Therrien's enlarged table and chairs. There are also works from the likes of Ruscha, Warhol, Basquiat, Murakami, and Sherman. A reservation is required and hard to come by due to the museum's popularity, so plan in advance. It's free, and if you hustle, you can see the museum's hits in no time.

aerial view of The Getty Center

The Getty Center Arrow

The Getty has established itself as the nexus of Los Angeles art , and its palatial grounds reflect that. Perched atop a hill in the Brentwood neighborhood of West Los Angeles (with 360-degree views), the Richard Meier architected space is a perfect union of medieval castle and rigorous academia. Floating bridges connect marble buildings, and you're never too far from a burbling fountain. And of course, the garden, built by legendary Southern Californian artist Robert Irwin, is a magical place to reset once you've had art overload. The museum's collection is vaunted. In fact, few collections in the world match up to the mix of ancient and modern. Seeking 2500-year-old Etruscan statues? Van Gogh's Irises? Delicate and rare illuminated manuscripts? 20th century photography from the likes of Robert Mapplethorpe and Walker Evans? The Getty has it all.

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Santa Monica Farmers Market

Santa Monica Farmers Market Arrow

The Los Angeles area is famous for having a farmers market every day of the week, and the Santa Monica Farmers Market, held on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, is the mother of them all. Taking up several city blocks, the market is lined with seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other products and provisions. There are some remarkable splurge items that you won't find other farmers markets; for instance, black truffles, bergamot, emu eggs, and sea urchin. This farmers market has a huge following within L.A.'s restaurant industry.   Some of the city's most famous chefs, including Niki Nakayama of n/naka and Michael Cimarusti of Providence , shop here. You'll also be among locals, many of them regulars, shopping for their home kitchens.

LACMA Los Angeles Museum Exterior

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Arrow

LACMA describes itself an "encyclopedic museum." There are different buildings for different collections, separated by culture (i.e. the Korean Art Galleries, Pavilion for Japanese Art). Though right now, the museum is going through a massive, controversial construction project, which is set to complete in 2024. When it's complete, there will be one large building—the Geffen Galleries, by Peter Zumthor—that will house LACMA's vast collections. The collections, when they come back on view, are world-class. There's a mix of Islamic, Korean, Japanese, Greek, and Mexican art, as well as collections of contemporary art, jewelry, fashion, and design. Chris Burden's Urban Light (rows of street lamps) and Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass (a giant boulder suspended above a walkway), are two of the most popular selfie spots in town.

Venice Canal park Los Angeles

Venice Canals Arrow

Hidden in plain sight, the canals flow behind adorable bungalows just blocks from Venice Beach . Built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney, it’s not unusual to see herons, egrets, pelicans, and parrots, making it one of the best off-the-beaten-path landmarks in all of L.A. There are a number of bridges perfect for romantic photo ops, and there are enough quiet corners to find your own little patch of bliss. It’s a perfect place to stroll and catch your breath amid the hustle and bustle of the city.

fun places to visit los angeles

The Museum of Contemporary Art Arrow

Three museums in one, really, MOCA is a cutting-edge museum with temporary exhibitions by established and emerging artists. Also, it's home to one of the greatest contemporary art collections in the world. The 6,000-piece collection contains prime works by Agnes Martin , Nam June Paik, Jackson Pollock, and Mike Kelley. MOCA has two main buildings: the Grand Avenue building in Museum Row, the Geffen Contemporary in nearby Little Tokyo—start at the Grand Avenue building and then grab lunch in Little Tokyo before taking in the works at the Geffen. The exhibits are what make MOCA crackle; under the watchful eye of director Johanna Burton and a crack team of curators, MOCA has seen blockbuster shows by the likes of Pipilotti Rist, Tala Madani, and Simone Forti.

Items for sale on display during the monthly flea market held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena

Rose Bowl Flea Market Arrow

Rose Bowl Flea Market is held on the second Sunday of every month in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, a historic athletic stadium built in 1922. The flea market is a behemoth, the biggest on the West Coast, with approximately 2,500 vendors serving 20,000 visitors each month. It has a little bit of everything, but it's best known for its selection of mid-century modern furniture and vintage clothing. It's best to go with a few things in mind (a coffee table, or a few t-shirts) and a budget. Wear comfortable shoes, bring snacks, and make sure to get cash before going. 

Hollywood bowl music venue amphitheater Los Angeles

Hollywood Bowl Arrow

The Hollywood Bowl is an icon of the past, and one of the most unique concert-going experiences you can find anywhere. Since its opening day in 1921, the Bowl has seen the L.A. Philharmonic play hundreds of concerts, as well as ballets, jazz concerts, and operas. More recently, it's become a hub for pop stars to perform in front of a regal backdrop with state-of-the-art acoustics. As an amphitheater, the sight lines at the Bowl are almost always unobstructed no matter where you're seated. The sound at the Bowl is always crystal clear, and top notch. Depending on the night, the Bowl is truly a mixed crowd. From those looking for some highbrow entertainment to pop star super fans, the Bowl is for everyone.

Kapowui Surf Lessons Malibu

Kapowui Surf Lessons Arrow

For anyone who has ever admired the majestic surfers carving up waves, Kapowui is the best crash course out there. Kapowui has one goal: giving nascent surfers the shaka spirit and leaving them stoked to surf a wave. With a list of clientele that includes 5-star hotels like Shutters on the Beach , Kapowui has a reputation for turning even the most knock-kneed landlubber into a verifiable porpoise. The lessons are two hours, and start on the beach in Santa Monica or Venice. Instructors will run you through surfer safety, a physiognomy of the board, and the dynamics of popping up. After the preamble, you hop in the water, and stay out there for the rest of the lesson. Everything you need—the board and a high-end a wetsuit—is included. Kids are more than welcome and you're practically guaranteed to leave ready to go it alone next time

Melrose Place

Melrose Place Arrow

Just off Melrose Avenue, Melrose Place is a surprisingly quiet little street that deserves a closer look. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills might be iconic, but let's not forget Melrose Place also had a TV show named after it in the 90s. From Balmain's classic men's looks to Rachel Comey's "cool mom" mules, the Row's edgy elegance, and Zimmerman's Aussie-style festival garb, Melrose Place is a shopping destination that can take care of all of your needs, plus offer a relaxed stroll down a quiet street. Full of stylists, fashionistas, and the occasional celebrity, keep your eyes peeled and grab a bite at Fig & Olive's Melrose Place location, a favorite of Kim Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari, and Halle Berry. The best tip is to show up to Alfred Coffee early to try and sample their seasonal menu to keep you warm while you shop—in winter, it's an Oatnog Latte or a Mint Mocha. Grab a cup before letting that credit card loose.

fun places to visit los angeles

Wi Spa Arrow

Koreans spend nearly 1.5 billion US dollars on the spa life in South Korea, so when we say this jimjilbang (a traditional K spa) is an iconic Koreatown staple, just know that this spa is probably going to surpass your expectations of what a spa can be. Separated into men's and women's sides, guests strip down, shower, and then hop into one of the treated medicinal tubs (see how long you can stay in the cold one). Then head up to choose a treatment, which costs extra, from the vast menu of body buffs, seaweed massages, and facials. After your treatment, you'll head up to the next floor to the common area, where you can grab a bite at the cafe, which offers healthy Korean soups and noodles, before heading into the multitude of cavernous saunas. There's even a sleep room, a room full of soft leather recliners, and a full gym. Oh and you'll be doing all of this in your comfy Wi Spa shorts and t-shirt, which are provided.

Grand Central Market. Shopping

Grand Central Market Arrow

Not much has changed structurally in the 103 years since Grand Central Market opened, though of course none of the original vendors are around. Today, it is the epicenter of the high-low culture that Los Angeles pulls off so well. The cheaper takeaway spots—the tacos and sandwiches—are just as good as the more ballyhooed counters. It just depends on what you're in the mood for. Villa Morelianas carnitas tacos are as good a Michoacan offering as you can find, while For the Win serve up a classy grass-fed beef burger with onions, cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on a potato bun. Then of course, there is Egg Slut and it's sometimes hour-long line for one of America's most famous breakfast sandwiches. It may seem like the line itself is the point, those sandwiches deliver.

Magic Castle Los Angeles

The Magic Castle Arrow

There are few places in the world quite like the Magic Castle. This mansion in Hollywood serves as a clubhouse for magicians (it's quite hard to become a member), with illusionists, mentalists, and more performing nightly to a crowd required to dress in vintage formal attire. At a small magic club's show, you may see few magicians in the course of an evening, but at the Magic Castle you could see a dozen shows in a single night. You have to be invited by a magician to get in but there’s a secret tip: Find out which magicians are performing the night you’d like to see, and email them a few weeks in advance to see if they’ll get you an invite.

WAtts Tower Arts Center Los Angeles

Watts Towers Arrow

Somehow both space-age and D.I.Y., the Watts Towers are an awe-inspiring series of 17 interwoven sculptural pillars built from scrap metal and concrete and decorated with found objects like glass bottles, volcanic rock, and ceramic tile. Coming here is nothing like any other museum experience in Los Angeles . Italian immigrant construction worker and artist Sabato "Simon" Rodia built the towers over a 33-year period, from the 1920s through the 1950s. They're considered a prime example of "outsider art," and can be visited for free in the Simon Rodia Historic State Park in the Watts neighborhood in south Los Angeles.

Griffith Observatory Exterior Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory Arrow

Griffith Observatory is an Art Deco stargazing spot atop Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park and one of the most visited observatories. It got it's reputation for a reason: It's rich with exhibit halls (one of which houses a rare, electricity-pulsing Tesla coil), photogenic views of the Hollywood sign, a planetarium that hosts brainy but fun shows about the universe, and, of course, the 12-inch Zeiss telescope. More than 600 guests look through that telescope each night, which the observatory claims makes it the highest trafficked telescope in the world. Emotions range at Griffith Observatory, from the romantic (see: La La Land , when Ryan Gosling waltzes Emma Stone into the stars in the planetarium) to the gleeful (try not to smile in wonder at that Tesla coil) to the odd feeling of insignificance looking up at the universe can give you.

Los Angeles Hiking The Strand

Marvin Braude Bike Trail (The Strand) Arrow

A mostly flat, leg-friendly ride along the coastline, the Strand is 22 miles each way, and easily doable in a day. With the Pacific breeze against your face, it's one of the most pleasant rides with some beautiful views along the way. You'll pass by Dockweiler Beach in Vista del Mar, famous for its hang gliders, and Manhattan Beach, where you can post up and watch the surfers as they ride the waves. You can start and end your ride at Santa Monica Pier , which is worth a visit in and of itself, and afterward have a bite to eat at one of Santa Monica's many seafood restaurants.

Barnsdall Hikes Los Angeles

Barnsdall Art Park Arrow

Quiet, big, secluded, and full of art galleries, historic buildings, and a theater, the Barnsdall Art Park is one of L.A.'s best-kept secrets. Start with a tour of the Hollyhock House , the first Frank Lloyd Wright project in Los Angeles; the building has a fascinating history. The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) and the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, built in the mid-century, play host to excellent exhibitions of contemporary art, plays, and panel discussions. You can also just swing by for a picnic; the park is an ideal setting.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery outdoor Los Angeles

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Arrow

Home to the graves of silent film stars like Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino, you'll also find the tombs of modern celebrities like Johnny Ramone and Kim Fowley. Try and find the memorial to Toto, Dorothy's dog in The Wizard of Oz ; there's also a section of the cemetery where peacocks roam. Nighttime events like movies projected on a mausoleum for an ongoing film series and nightclubby DJ sets are perfect for an al fresco night out on the town.

Los Angeles Hiking Huntington Park

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Arrow

Millions of manuscripts, hundreds of thousands of books, tens of thousands of plant species, and thousands of art objects add up to a lot to see here. The Huntington is more than your run of the mill institution—in fact, there are few places in the world quite like it. The area tends draw a crowd of older couples (think: symphony attendees) , but the Huntington has an area that that can be calibrated to suit every group and mood. The Desert Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Japanese Garden are all spectacular enough that if a visitor wanted to just go to one of them it would be enough. The Library or Gallery could be zoomed through, adding on a quick pop over to the Conservatory, where the Carnivorous Plant Bog and the Rain Forest offer educational opportunities for the whole family.

fun places to visit los angeles

Bob Baker Marionette Theater Arrow

Marionette puppetry is an ancient form of entertainment—they've even found wire-controlled puppets in Ancient Egyptian tombs—so it makes sense that stepping into Bob Baker Marionette Theater would be like stepping into a time warp. Set in a 1920's-era silent movie theater in the Highland Park neighborhood of Northeast L.A., the children's theater playhouse is adorned with red curtains and carpet; when the curtains come up, and the puppets come out, you might be mesmerized that this art form remains practiced by top-notch artists. Many of the marionettes were actually made by Baker himself, who passed away in 2014. Around Christmastime, the puppeteers put on a rendition of the Nutcracker, and there's currently a run of shows featuring Baker's most beloved puppets doing some of the theater's greatest hits in a show called Magic Strings.

fun places to visit los angeles

Philosophical Research Society Arrow

What's L.A. without a little occult? Founded in 1934 by Canadian astrologer and all-around mystical man of mystery, Manly P. Hall, Philosophical Research Society is something of a tribute to the man himself. The library is chock full of Hall's esoterica accumulated over the years traveling as a mystic, containing some 50,000 books—a treasure trove of knowledge on obscure and rare religions and philosophies (impressive even if you're not about to hold a seance). When Elvis was going through his divine knowledge era, he sent Priscilla to Philosophical Research Society to do some recon; Charles Bukowski was married by Hall himself on the Society's campus; it's a historically protected building and definitely a major hub of mystical activity. Be ready to stare into the abyss of knowledge.

La Brea Tar Pits Los Angeles

The La Brea Tar Pits & Museum Arrow

The La Brea Tar Pits are pits of, well, tar that has been bubbling up from beneath the earth for tens of thousands of years. They're viewable for free, and the compact La Brea Tar Pits Museum (which does charge admission) exhibits fossils and bones that were preserved when animals became trapped in said tar. It's a major landmark, and one of the most visited tourist spots in all of Los Angeles. The collection of bones is extraordinary. There are spectacular composite skeletons of many extinct species, including Columbian mammoths, ground sloths, dire wolves, North American camels, and, of course, the famous saber-toothed cat. Beyond the skeletons, there are over a million Ice Age fossils to peruse.

Runyon Canyon Yoga Los Angeles

Runyon Canyon Yoga Arrow

Runyon Canyon itself is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Los Angeles —an undeveloped public park smack in the middle of Hollywood. It's not the prettiest place on Earth—it's mostly a dirt trail surrounded by scrub brush—though the top offers a nice view of Downtown. A bit further down the hill, near the South entrance to the park, is a small fenced-off area where you'll find donation-based Runyon Canyon Yoga every morning at 10:30 a.m. It's a relaxing counterpoint to the oh-so-crowded trails. The yoga area is in a nook away from the path, so no hiker hordes will disturb your peace. Consensus is that Daniel, who teaches the Saturday class at the park, is one of the best yoga teachers in L.A. 

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100 Fun & Unusual Things to Do in Los Angeles

fun things to do in Los Angeles, California

Boasting world-class food, entertainment, museums, nightlife and, of course, multiple award-winning theme parks, it’s no wonder that nearly 50 million eager visitors make the trip to the City of Angels every year.

Get behind-the-scenes access to Hollywood studios and see the homes of your favorite celebrities in the most valuable real estate in Los Angeles. Grab an adrenaline fix with Santa Monica Pier thrill rides. Have a bird’s-eye view of Downtown LA from Griffith Park and watch a planetarium show at the observatory.

Immerse yourself in art exhibits, theater shows and games in some of the most advanced virtual reality experiences in the country.

Naturally, the museums are fascinating or head out for the evening for a supper theater show. Board a pirate ship for your meal or whilst watching a medieval joust in a castle — only in LA.

Apart from the obvious, there are some unexpected adventures to embark on … Heading out to sea, enjoy a spectacular whale-watching excursion, or feel like you’ve been transported from the USA to Japan as you meander the streets of Little Tokyo.

With so many fun things to do in Los Angeles , you’ll truly be spoiled for choice!

Want to dive straight in? Browse our catalog now!

  • Los Angeles tours

1 – Walk in the actual footsteps of the decades’ rich and famous at the Dolby Theatre

Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles

Sitting near the famous corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, the Dolby Theatre is a Tinseltown icon.

Every year, Hollywood’s rich and famous walk its halls to receive their Academy Awards, with decades worth of past Oscar winners placarded on the pillars that line the red-carpeted entranceway.

Home to the Oscars ceremonies, the Dolby also holds premieres of blockbuster movies and popular events such as America’s Got Talent. Showcasing Dolby’s breakthroughs in entertainment technology, the theater provides super clear images and life-like audio.

Walk on the red carpet and feel like an Oscar nominee on the stage. Get inside the Dolby Lounge exclusive for celebrities and see an Oscar statuette up close. For film buffs, the movie-themed tour is simply unmissable.

  • Dolby Theatre tickets & tours

Hot tip: Join the best Hollywood tours for a chance to spot celebrities and learn the secrets behind blockbuster hits and classic films.

2 – See the Hollywood Sign from Griffith Park

Hollywood Sign from Griffith Park

No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a selfie in front of the Hollywood sign, and there’s no place more fitting for it than the lush urban greenery of Griffith Park – one of the greatest places for a walking tour as well.

At over 4,200 acres, Griffith Park is officially the largest municipal park in the country — which means hiking trails , city views, bike tracks, horse riding routes, and roaming animals to boot.

While at the park, take a picnic and explore the Travel Town Museum, an outdoor museum built to celebrate the railway development in South California.

See the different steam locomotives and railroads, and learn about their significant role in history. Have the kids experience the miniature train ride which has been running since 1978.

The gem of the park is the Art Deco Griffith Observatory which is free to visit but the planetarium requires an admission fee.

  • Hollywood tours

See also: fun things to do in Hollywood, California

3 – Snap a selfie with a celeb at Madame Tussauds’

Madame Tussauds, Los Angeles

Sure, you could spend hours on tour busses peeking through the hedges of celebrity’s fences — or you could see everyone from Jamie Foxx to Nicole Kidman and Denzel Washington simultaneously at Madame Tussauds’ Wax Museum !

Nestled among the hustle and bustle of Hollywood Boulevard, this famous attraction makes for a perfect stop on any Tinseltown itinerary.

Showcasing over 100 Hollywood movie stars, the wax museum also displays the King of Pop – Michael Jackson – and living pop icons such as Lady Gaga.

Its latest features include immersive experiences, including 90s music and iconic TV shows. You can also see a 4D movie with legendary Marvel superheroes.

Founded in London by Marie Tussaud, a wax sculptor, in the 1800s, the museum has grown to over 20 museums across the globe.

  • Madame Tussauds tickets

4 – Thinking of proposing? Candlelight concerts bring tears no matter the occasion

candlelight concerts in Los Angeles

Imagine walking into a space where hundreds of candles surround you, like a scene from a fairytale … Treat yourselves to an evening of melodies and magic in the most surreal setting during these spectacular Candlelight concerts.

Hosting these special concerts at select cities around the world, don’t miss the opportunity whilst you’re in LA, and there is a variety of performances to choose from, changing every few months, and each set in a uniquely dramatic location.

For example; listen to a tribute to famous composers like Hans Zimmer, or more modern artists of our time, or enjoy the sounds of sweet jazz for the night.

  • candlelight concerts in Los Angeles

5 – Spot the planets, get a close-up view of the sun and stargaze at the Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Jutting 1,134 feet above sea level, at the peak of Griffith Park, the famed Griffith Observatory is Los Angeles’ gateway to the Milky Way.

The 290-seat Samuel Oschin Planetarium is considered one of the finest planetariums in the world; the giant telescopes are nothing short of impressive, and numerous educational films play in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater.

See how humans’ observing the sky has changed over time through exhibits at The Wilder Hall of the Eye. Discover how myths and scientific theories converge, and experience our connection to the infinite universe.

Outside the observatory, step on a lawn model of our solar system and understand the movement of the sun and the moon. Look around and admire the panoramic views, including the cityscape, the Hollywood Sign and the Pacific Ocean. It’s also a perfect spot to watch the sunset in LA.

6 – If you’re lucky, you might see your favorite celeb during a ‘Celebrity Homes’ tour

celebrity homes tour, Los Angeles

Jump on an open-air bus, grab the camera and see first-hand how some of Hollywood’s most famous live their lives!

On a Hollywood and Beverly Hills sightseeing experience, expect to see the over 50 celebrity homes, cruising past notable sights — like Rodeo Drive, Bel Air, and Hollywood Boulevard along the way.

Admire the architectural designs in LA’s most high-priced neighborhoods. Drive around and spot some mansions of celebrities like international singer Adele, famous couple Beyonce and Jay-Z, and TV host Ellen DeGeneres.

Read more about Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Tours .

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7 – Check out the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Richard Nixon Library & Museum

History buffs, look no further. As the burial site of the 37th President of the United States, the Nixon Museum showcases the life and legacy of one of America’s most influential leaders.

Visitors are blessed with the opportunity to explore his boyhood home, sit in a presidential helicopter, and learn about the former president’s 50-year career in public service.

You can see an exact copy of the White House East Room, the Executive Mansion’s biggest room. There’s also a replica of the President’s office in San Clemente.

Nixon is known for ending the Vietnam War and easing tensions between China and the then Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Join an interactive experience to see how the First Family spent their days and some of the occasions in the Nixon White House.

  • Nixon Library tickets & tours

8 – Tick whale-watching off your lifetime achievements list

whale watching in Los Angeles

Rarely are Mother Nature’s largest creatures visible from a city — let alone a sprawling metropolis — but in LA, whale and dolphin sightings are a dime a dozen.

Perfect for the whole family, a professionally-narrated whale-watching cruise is one of the most fun things to do in Los Angeles, hands-down.

Sail off the Palos Verdes Peninsula on a medium excursion boat to see marine life up close. Spot humpback and sperm whales, dolphins, and sharks, as you sail along the coastline with a refreshing drink on hand. Keep an eye out for seals and sea lions too!

Most tours make stops at Balboa Pier and Fun Zone so children and adults can enjoy the beach or ride the Ferris wheel.

Depending on the type of cruise you choose, there are dolphin-watching and whale-spotting excursions that venture to Newport Beach side instead. Over 2.5 hours, be driven to secret spots around the bay where the intelligent sea mammals are known to call the waters their home.

If you’re staying closer to this part of L.A., opt for tours in Newport, however, if you’re near the Long Beach area, whale and dolphin-watching boat trips around Palos Verdes Peninsula are more convenient.

  • whale watching in Los Angeles

Read more: Fun things to do in Long Beach

9 – Experience the wet and wild fun of Raging Waters Water Park

Raging Waters Water Park, Los Angeles

California’s largest waterpark (60 acres) Raging Waters has activities for all ages, including the Aqua Rocket — the only hydromagnetic water coaster in California — and Speed Slides with an eight-story-high apex.

For a different challenge, however, take on the Lily Pads obstacle course: walk across the pads using the overhead ropes and try not to wipe out as you cross the lagoon!

If you’re looking for a more intense ride, try getting inside a tube that drops you straight at 26 feet per second. With Bombs Away, you can also choose to go through loops to the pool — from a height of 300 feet.

While there are plenty of adventures for children such as Volcano Fantasea, a family can splash down together in a five-person raft through a 550-foot long channel.

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10 – Do you have the brains to make it out? Try your luck in an escape room

The Escape Game, Irvine

It’s time to put on your thinking caps! LA’s escape games will challenge your teamwork skills, problem-solving, and creative thinking, all at once.

Grab your team and visit The Escape Game . You might try to pull off a heist, break out of prison, or even save the world — each game has multiple rooms to explore and you can get unlimited clues without penalty or judgement.

Together with your teammates, find clues and work out puzzles to complete a mission. You have 60 minutes to complete your mission in time.

Think you’ve got what it takes to escape before time runs out? There’s only one way to find out! You might escape. You will have fun!

  • Escape games in LA

11 – See everything at once on a hop-on-hop-off bus!

hop on hop off bus tour in Los Angeles

Easily the most efficient way to tick off all of LA’s notorious destinations at once, the open-aired Hop-On-Hop-Off busses are perfect for travelers strapped for time.

With 24, 48, and 72-hour passes available, and more than 50 stops at locations across Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood, and downtown LA, you’ll be able to see the Universal CityWalk, La Brea Tar Pits, Venice Beach, and so much more.

Learn about the history of LA from a local guide, as you ride around the vibrant streets from an open-top sightseeing bus.

Hop off at popular attractions, including the Santa Monica Pier and its famous Ferris wheel run by solar power. You can drop at Melrose Avenue to have a shopping spree or jump off the Pacific Coast to ride a bike.

Choose the bus route you want for the day, either Hollywood, Santa Monica Beach or Downtown LA. Why not get a three-day pass so you experience all routes?

  • bus tours in Los Angeles

Hot tip: Embark on an urban adventure with the best bus tours in Los Angeles , a perfect way to see the city’s highlights without the stress of navigating traffic.

12 – Go rollerblading down the famous pier in Santa Monica

Santa Monica, Los Angeles

The golden sands of Santa Monica beach are nothing short of iconic — with the picturesque amusement park straddling the pier, the seemingly never-ending boardwalk, street performers to boot, and the vibrant Farmers’ Market, there’s never a dull moment at this seaside locale.

Grab your favorite cold drink to this lively beach and sit on the soft sand while looking out to the sea. Make sure you bring a swimsuit in case you fancy dipping. Stroll along the coast where plenty of restaurants line up and ready to serve you with delicious foods.

You can wait for your dessert and walk towards the Santa Monica Pier to grab the highly recommended funnel cake and ice cream. Whether you explore on foot, bike or segway, it’s a destination not to be missed.

Pacific Park, Santa Monica

Located on the famous Santa Monica Pier, the Pacific Park Wheel has 174,000 LEDs that light up the LA coastline every night. Ride the wheel by day for stunning views of nearby Venice Beach.

The Pacific Wheel is known as the only Ferris wheel that is run by solar power and has appeared in hundreds of movies, TV shows and ads.

Don’t miss the signature ride of the park, West Coaster which has a double-helix track. It starts with a climb to a height of 50 feet and plunges to the first and second loops at 35 miles per hour.

  • Santa Monica tours

13 – Go surfing (or biking) at Venice Beach

Venice Beach, Los Angeles

On those sizzling California summer days, there’s no better way to cool off than with a swim — or even better yet, a surf — at the shores of Venice beach .

First timers or pros, just bring your swimwear and rent a surfboard with a wet suit. If you enroll in a class, your instructor and equipment are included in the package.

Lessons usually take over an hour, the first half is for basic techniques and the rest is surfing with your instructor. You’re sure to enjoy riding the waves and paddling in the water.

After catching a few waves, the area boasts plenty of bars, restaurants, bike paths, and entertainment to fill up the rest of the afternoon. For something a little different, consider one of the area’s walking food-themed tours.

  • surf lessons in Los Angeles

14 – Try ramen in Little Tokyo and stock up on all sorts of kawaii Japanese goodies

Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

Home to the largest grouped Japanese-American population in North America, Little Tokyo is found five blocks away from Downtown LA .

One of the first Japanese towns in the US founded in the 1880s, this plaza looks like the center of Tokyo with a mall in the middle. It is booming with fascinating food, culture, shopping, and art — all inspired, of course, by Japan.

Adorned by paper lanterns, this festive village has a Japanese supermarket and many other shops and restaurants. You’re sure to get all your Japanese cravings from cake and ice cream to cosmetic products straight from Japan.

Make sure to check out the Japanese American National Museum, and grab a bite to eat at the area’s oldest Japanese restaurant: Shabu Shabu House (your tastebuds will thank you).

Spot the tree in front of the Shabu-Shabu house which bears paper mosaics and letters containing wishes and prayers.

Explore the Medieval Torture Museum

Medieval Torture Museum in Los Angeles

Are you interested in Medieval history and its darkest side of tortures? The largest interactive museum about Medieval torture processes has just opened in Los Angeles.

Located near the Dolby Theather, the Mediaval Torture Museum is an interesting stop while you discover the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd.

See over a hundred gruesome devices and tools from the darkest age of human history. Learn about the pain-inducing techniques demonstrated with historic torture mechanism!

The museum is recommended only for adults (over 18). Kids and teenagers are admitted only with an accompanying adult!

  • Official Tickets and info

15 – Transport yourselves to Europe boating along the Venice Canals

Venice Canals, Los Angeles

Who says you need to fly to Italy to uncover Venitian canals? A stone’s throw from the Venice Beach shore, the man-made canals have been delighting tourists and locals alike since 1905.

Despite the area’s popularity, the canals are often quiet and relaxing — a welcomed change from the nearby boardwalk.

Coined as “Venice of America,” these man-made canals in 1905 brought a touch of Europe to Southern California. The four canals are the remaining ones from the original construction.

Today, these historic canals play a part in a chic neighborhood. You can see colorful little creative boats that look like flamingos or ducks in front of the houses. Some of the residents have their own mini docks.

16 – Marvel at the Beverly Hills mansions

Beverly Hills

The infamous 90210 has been housing A-listers for decades — its rolling hills and sprawling mansions falling nothing short of astonishing.

Among the famous celebrities living in Beverly Hills are Denzel Washington, Sylvestre Stallone, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber.

Take a segway tour or bike tour (read: calories will be burned!), rent your own car, jump on a sightseeing bus or, for the ultimate experience.

Join a popular tour to guide you past their glitzy mansions. Drive along tall palm trees lined outside one of the most insanely priced real estates in the world.

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17 – Go behind the scenes on a studio tour!

Warner Bros Studio Hollywood

Warner Bros Studio Hollywood

For almost 100 years, Warner Bros Studio has been bringing entertainment to our movie theatres and lounge rooms. Take the Studio Tour through the 110-acre backlot that brought you Batman and Friends; create your own batmobile, ride Harry Potter’s broomstick, and sip coffee at Central Perk.

If you’re still craving more, why not add in the Classics Tour and Deluxe Tour?

Revisit the Golden Age of film and TV shows with famous classic movies in a three-hour tour. Your guide takes you to backlots and backstages, as well as The Prop House and Big Bang Theory sets.

  • Warner Bros Studio Hollywood tickets

Sony Pictures Studio Tour

Enter the famous gates and go behind the scenes on a two-hour guided tour to learn what it’s really like on-set at a working studio.

The Sony Studio Tour reveals iconic sets such as The Wizard of Oz, Men in Black, Spider-Man, and Jeopardy, while the museum houses memorabilia from classics like On The Waterfront to modern TV masterpieces like Breaking Bad.

If you’re visiting with family or a group, get an exclusive “Star Treatment” tour in a real working studio.

Want more? Have VIP access to actual props and virtual reality experience at Sony Museum in a three-hour lunch tour.

Paramount Pictures Studio Tour

Take note: the studio behind Psycho, Indiana Jones, and Titanic will not disappoint. Grab the camera because you’ll be checking out locations like the Bronson Gate, Prop Warehouse, and New York Street backlot, with separate areas for each NYC borough.

Visit Paramount Pictures Studio Tour and choose from two-hour or four-hour tours — either way, it’s one of the most fun things to do in Los Angeles.

A VIP tour offers access to exclusive spots such as prop warehouses and sound stages. A fine dining experience awaits at one of the production sets.

18 – Rent a swan boat in Echo Park

swan boat in Echo Park, Los Angeles

One of the best places to visit in Los Angeles , Echo Park (read: more specifically, its shimmering lake) provides the perfect fresh-air activity for couples or families.

The swan-shaped pedal boats come in two-seater (for the romantics) and four-seater (for groups) varieties, but it’s the neon-lit night rentals that truly steal the show.

Walk around the lake and spot some ducks, turtles and birds in this beautiful park that offers an impressive view of Downtown LA.

You can rent a pedal swan boat and explore the sights while doing a slight exercise.

If you go early in the morning, you can get a scenic view of the lake and a beautiful sunrise. Make sure you bring a camera!

  • boat tours in Los Angeles

19 – Lights, camera, ACTION; stroll the one and only Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

You simply cannot claim to have visited LA without having a semi-awkward photo crouching next to your favorite celebrity’s star amidst a wave of pedestrians. There are at least 2,700 terrazzo and brass-made stars you can all step on if you like.

Whether you’re after the Beatles, Mickey Mouse or Ryan Reynolds, consult the Star Directory on the official Hollywood Walk of Fame website so you know exactly where to look.

If you’re wondering if you could nominate your latest favorite star, the answer is yes! Anyone, including fans, can submit an official nomination for a $250 fee.

20 – Be your own pilot for the day with an airplane tour over LA

airplane tours in Los Angeles

With its sparkling blue coastline, golden sands, built-up Downtown area, and rolling Hollywood Hills, the aerial views over Los Angeles are simply second to none.

There’s an option for every budget and preference. You can either hop on the passenger seat of a plane or ultralight trike (similar to a powered hang glider), or sign up for a private flying lesson!

If you want to try simulation, you can take a tour that includes simulation training and an amazing flight with you at the controls for a few minutes.

With astonishing cityscape and sunset view, it’s highly recommended for a romantic or surprise date with your special someone.

  • airplane tours in Los Angeles

Celebrate 50 years of hip hop!

fun places to visit los angeles

Dive into Hip Hop Til Infinity, a visual mixtape celebrating 50 years of hip hop. More than a showcase, it’s a tribute to hip hop’s transformative power, inviting you to experience the rhythm and soul of a global movement. With DJ Clark Kent’s beats accompanying iconic moments in hip hop history, experience the legacy of this musical revolution and its cultural impact.

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21 – Drive or ride in a red Ferrari for the ultimate LA city tour

ferrari driving experience in LA

Experience the ultimate Hollywood VIP tour in a stunning red Ferrari.

Choose to drive or ride and explore the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Beverly Hills mansions.

Opt for the 30-minute tour for panoramic views or the 50-minute tour for an up-close look at the Hollywood Sign.

The 4-hour tour includes stops at beautiful beaches like Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

No matter which tour you choose, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience in the city of dreams.

  • Ferrari driving experiences in LA

22 – Photographers, see the City of Angels from a bird’s eye with a helicopter tour

helicopter tours in Los Angeles

If an airplane tour doesn’t quite quench that appetite for adventure, then a private helicopter flight over the Hollywood sign ought to do the trick.

With durations ranging from 10 minutes (solely the Hollywood sign) to 90 minutes (flying across the entire city and beyond), there’s something for every budget. For something truly spectacular, opt for the sunset flight.

It’s worth trying if it’s something that you’ve never done before. You can see spectacular landscapes up close and take your time to admire them.

Unlike airplanes, helicopters are able to fly much lower, slower, backward and sideways — and they can also hover! Helicopters can be maneuvered to do acrobatics, so your ride can be more fun and thrilling.

Read more about helicopter tours in Los Angeles .

  • helicopter tours in Los Angeles

23 – Embark on a horse-riding adventure to the Hollywood sign!

horse riding tours in Los Angeles

A welcomed change from the Downtown crowds, Sunset Ranch ‘s horse riding adventures take tourists out of the concrete jungle and up into the fresh air of Mount Hollywood, led by friendly guides and trusty steeds.

From the summit, get ready for 360-degree views of the Los Angeles basin, including, of course, up-close viewing of the Hollywood Sign.

​​You can also start from the foot of the hill near Hollywood Boulevard. Ride all the way through an impeccable neighborhood up to Griffith Park and catch the sunset. It’s ideal for families and couples who want a relaxing ride and don’t need to gallop or canter.

Perfect for first-timers, this tour offers a friendly environment, well-cared horses and kind staff. The guides teach you how to ride, steer and stop your horses — and of course, they know the trail very well.

  • horse riding tours in Los Angeles

24 – Stop by a library, art museum, and botanical gardens at The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles

You can’t help but feel naturally invigorated and culturally enriched after a couple of hours spent at The Huntington — a botanical garden, museum, and library spanning 83 hectares of land.

Surrounded by a natural landscape of 16 themed gardens, start by navigating your way through all the greenery, home to over 83,000 plants.

The Australian Garden, Rose Garden, Children’s Garden, Chinese Garden, Desert Garden, Jungle Garden and the Shakespeare Garden are a few teasers to expect to find. Visit the conservatory greenhouse where you can investigate 50 interactive fauna and flora exhibits.

Moving from the glorious gardens to the museum, dive into a world of art from across Britain, Europe, America, and Asia at the Huntington Art Gallery. Housed inside the former home of the founders, Henry and Arabella Huntington, works on display cover a variety of mediums from oil paintings to antique ornaments.

Arriving at the Huntington Library, history buffs delve into the past and analyze visual (and now digital) evidence and historical research from the 11th to the 21st century.

Collection highlights to expect are the likes of American History, British History, Hispanic History and Culture, Architecture, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Early Printed Books, Maps and Atlases, Literature in English, Medieval Manuscripts and more intriguing reads.

Sip and paint in the dark at this unique workshop!

fun places to visit los angeles

This retro-futuristic experience combines the thrill of painting with a fluorescent twist, offering a brush in one hand and a choice of drink in the other. The musical backdrop adds to the atmosphere, making it a perfect outing for friends. By the end of the night, not only will you have had an unforgettable experience, but you’ll also leave with a personal masterpiece to proudly display at home.

25 – Shop for all your favorite big brands at the Ovation Hollywood

Ovation Hollywood, Los Angeles

Familiar with rolling out a red carpet or two, the Ovation Hollywood is a premier shopping, dining and entertainment complex in, you guessed it, Hollywood!

Shop iconic brands and stores from Footlocker to M·A·C Cosmetics, or grab something to eat at one of the trendy cafes and eateries with flavors from around the world, like JINYA Ramen Bar and PokiNometry.

But it’s really the entertainment options that steal the show. Starting with activities; step into a virtual reality at ANVIO VR or try to clock in the highest score at Lucky Strike — the complex’s premier adult bowling alley where DJs add more ambiance to the scene.

There are epic shows such as the “Icons of Darkness” featuring haunting characters like Dracula, Frankenstein and Edward Scissorhands, or visit the JAPAN HOUSE LA gallery for a world of Japanese art.

Stop by the iconic Dave & Buster’s for drinks and fun games designed to bring out every adult’s inner child.

If you’re visiting LA in time for award season, the famous 3,332-seater Dolby Theatre is at Ovation Hollywood, home to the Oscars event as well as world movie premiers. The Hollywood Bowl hosts live music concerts for some of the biggest international stars.

FYI: Ovation Hollywood was formerly known as Hollywood & Highland.

26 – Escape the city bustle down at the waters of Marina Del Rey and go kayaking

kayaking in Los Angeles

Nestled in the southwest of LA, Marina del Rey is the largest man-made harbor in the US and second world’s largest with an area of 1.5 square miles.

Explore the harbor on your own kayak or paddle with a friend on a watercraft for two people. Aside from spotting wildlife, admire over 6,000 charming and unique houseboats.

Rent a kayak or paddle board, and meet your guide to tell you about marine life and its habitat. Not only do you see beautiful creatures and boats, but also have a relaxing time while in LA.

Lounge on a rooftop and watch the famous LA sunset, cycle to nearby Venice Beach, or hire a private yacht and live large for the day, all by the dazzling waters of the Marina del Rey.

Don’t forget the paddleboard tours: a two-hour guided tour will take you to the marina’s hidden gems, where local sea lions and dolphins often say hello!

  • kayak tours in Los Angeles

27 – Learn about the world of still and moving images at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles

Cinephiles, this one’s for you, and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is just as its name states … a museum dedicated to motion pictures through the ages.

Not only learn about the grand impact that film has had on society and the development of its role but see awe-inspiring displays comprising props, manuscripts, preserved films and more from some of the most iconic movies throughout the decades.

Through its permanent collections, as well as temporary exhibitions, it aims to shine a light on the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. For example, explore visual effects and the making of digital dinosaurs, or the world of 3D animation.

Some of the most prominent collections to investigate include Posters, Production Art, Lobby Cards, the Academy Award Nominated Films and Academy Award Shows exhibits.

  • Academy Museum of Motion Pictures tickets

28 – Visit an aquarium!

Aquarium of the Pacific, Los Angeles

Explore the Aquarium of the Pacific

This giant aquarium houses a plethora of creatures – from adorable penguins to domineering sharks and even a colorful lorikeet forest.

A lot of the aquarium is remarkably interactive, including the Moon Jelly Touch Lab where you can feed and touch the jellyfish, a crawl-space to feel like you’re chilling with the penguins.

Meet the sharks up close and feed them their breakfast at Shark Lagoon. Join the rays in an 18-inch pool where you also feed and interact with them!

  • Aquarium of the Pacific tickets

Stop into the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

The Cabrillo Marine aquarium has a lot of smaller tanks with a vast array of sea creatures, skeletons of large aquatic animals and a touch tidal pond.

Take some time to go through all the various buildings and read the explanations for a crash course on the local aquatic life. Learn more about the Southern Californian marine life in their habitat from finding food, reproducing and protecting themselves.

The aquarium exhibits major ecosystems, which are open ocean, rocky shores, sandy beaches, mudflats and kelp forests. Admission is by a suggested donation of $5 per adult.

29 – Go animal spotting at Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The 133-acre zoo hosts over 1,100 animals, highlighted by gorillas, elephants and a recreated south-east Asian jungle with orangutans!

LA Zoo also has 29 endangered species and has successfully bred animals in captivity that are nearing extinction in the wild.

As for the Botanical Gardens, stroll through the greenery and past the water, looking out for peacocks on the way.

Discover some unusual species of plants such as bald cypress and Chilean wine palm, as well as indigenous plants such as Southern California’s shrubs Manzanita.

The zoo also dedicates a garden as a home for migratory and native birds. You may see in the bird garden acorn woodpecker, western scrub jay and American bushtit.

30 – See a musical at Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Right in the heart of Hollywood is LA’s Broadway where, since 1930, the refurbished Pantages Theatre has stood tall.

The theater had hosted the Oscars ceremonies in the 1950s so you’re literally where many legendary Hollywood stars had been there.

With over 90 years of service, it remains one of the best places in LA to watch a musical.

This historic theater continues to be as busy as ever with My Fair Lady, Hamilton, Mean Girls and The Lion King (among the musicals lining up to be performed in the near future).

  • Hollywood Pantages Theatre tickets

31 – Meet a paleontologist at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Los Angeles

Channel your inner Ross Geller, everyone! At the La Brea Tar Pits , visitors can witness live excavations where 3.5 million fossils have already been found, some dating back to the Ice Age.

The museum’s fossils are perfectly preserved and put on display alongside remains of a giant mammoth, sloths and plenty more extinct animals. Discover about the huge creatures that once walked the Earth — right here in LA.

Watch scientists work and see fossils up close with Project 23. These are 23 wooden boxes filled with deposits that they uncover one box each day. Take a peek at Pit 91 where digging of mixed fossils out of the sticky black asphalt has begun since 1915.

Enter the Observation Pit to imagine what it’s like going down to an excavation pit and to learn about the techniques used by paleontologists.

  • La Brea Tar Pits tours

32 – Sample the treats at the Original Farmers Market

Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles

Offering more than 100 family-owned specialty shops, the Original Farmers Market is a must for foodies! Farmers used to sell their fresh harvests on their trucks before it became the market today. It was once a dairy farm then became an oil field which eventually ended.

Make sure to drop by and eat something before shopping at the Grove. Treat yourself from the arrays of stalls selling doughnuts, pastries, cheeses, roasted nuts, fruits, delis and more!

Let your nose be your guide to Nonna’s Empanadas, home of the largest selection of empanadas in the city. Next, take a stroll to the Tea Shoppe offering a selection of hundreds of teas.

If you’re up for something a little hotter, Light My Fire boasts hot sauces from around the world! Got a sweet tooth? Zia Valentina has you covered with their unique creation: The Waffle Shot.

33 – Watch a movie at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles

Welcome to the most iconic movie palace in the world! Hosting hundreds of red carpet movie premieres and film festivals, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre continues to make Hollywood history.

With the biggest and brightest stars, the theatre has a unique feature of cement hand and footprints ranging all the way back to 1927 — not to mention hosting the world’s largest IMAX auditorium!

Make the night even more memorable and feel the movies come to life with an MX4D motion experience. Imagine being part of the movie with your seat rumbling, air blasting and your leg or neck getting tickled!

Get VIP access to the red carpet on an exclusive walking tour inside this historic cinema — where most famous Hollywood celebrities watch their movies.

  • city tours in Los Angeles

34 – Speed down the raceway in an electric go-kart

go-kart in Los Angeles

Electric karting has risen to meteoric popularity in the United States and K1 Speed was the company that brought it to these shores. These karts produce huge G-forces that will force you back into your seat.

The handling, acceleration, and safety features are magnificent — so much so that professional racecar drivers often keep their skills sharp during the off-season by racing the indoor track here. Why not get behind the wheels and race with your friends as in a real competition? Bring some adrenaline and energy to conquer the fastest lap against all other racers.

At K1, you can see your results and compare with other drivers. Check them again later online if you want to know if nobody beats your record for a week or even month! First-timers can learn quickly by getting instructions once you arrive there. There are also instructional classes and night races.

35 – Feel like Captain Jack Sparrow at the Pirates Dinner Adventure

Pirates Dinner Adventure, Los Angeles

Ahoy mateys! Board the Galleon for a bountiful feast and a 90-minute show in the interactive theatre. Prepare to witness astonishing special effects, death-defying stunts, sword fighting, acrobatics and a captivating tale of the magical mermaid who has blessed the crew.

The Pirate Dinner Adventure show is rife with audience participation so don’t be afraid to order a hearty meal and get involved. Expect a lively dinner with lots of singing and cheering, you’d feel like in a Broadway show. It’s a perfect place to celebrate an occasion or bond with family and kids.

Capture the full action up close with the Captain Level tickets so you can seat in the first three rows. After a fun and adventure-filled night, make sure to check out the gift shop for some amazing knives and swords.

  • Pirates Dinner Adventure tickets

36 – Dine under the stars on a dinner cruise at Marina Del Rey

dinner cruises in Los Angeles

Board a yacht under the starlight, a glass of champagne in hand — the perfect start to a perfect evening with that special someone.

As the boat sets sail, the next 2.5 hours will include awe-inspiring views under the Milky Way, a four-course dinner, and DJ entertainment. Simply step on board, relax, and let the sparks fly.

See the world-famous harbor Marina del Rey glimmer in the evening as you head towards the ocean. The city lights and brightly lit houses look like a beautiful painting above the water.

After enjoying a delicious meal, step outside and listen to the sound of sea lions in the midst of a sublime night.

  • dinner cruises in Los Angeles

37 – Laugh till you cry at the local comedy clubs

The Comedy Store, Los Angeles

LA has recently become a petri dish of stand-up comedy where aspiring comics take their place on stage. Grab a table at The Comedy Store , a renowned venue where people like Chris Rock and Chelsea Peretti have graced the stage.

Established in the 1970s, the comedy bar is located at Sunset Boulevard, which was formerly home to Ciro’s supper club back in the 40s and 50s. It was once a hub where famous stars at the time used to hang out.

Head to Groundlings for a Sunday comedy show, where visitors can also take an improv class. Its name comes from poorer audience members who watched plays from the floor during the time of Shakespeare.

The club started in the 70s as a workshop where performers had honed their plays, songs, improv and dances, among others. They invited their friends to watch until more people were coming. The core group of performers began doing shows around carrying their current name.

38 – Plan an unforgettable day trip!

Catalina Island, California

Take a day trip to Catalina Island

One of the best day trips from Los Angeles , the beautiful Catalina Island boasts more snorkeling, diving, hiking, and outdoor activities than any traveler could ask for.

After exploring the quaint city of Avalon, keep an eye out for dolphins in a glass-bottom boat or zoom through the wilderness on a zipline eco-tour. Even getting there is an adventure: jump on the hour-long ferry or, for that extra thrill, fly over the island in a private plane!

Discover striking gardens, pristine beaches and island favorite seafood restaurants. Go hiking to admire the landscape and see many extraordinary plants and animals.

Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to see marine creatures such as seals and dolphins. Stride across the seabed and glance fish and corals up close with SNUBA (snorkel while having an unlimited air supply from the surface).

  • Catalina Island tours from LA

Take a day trip to San Diego

Just a two-hour drive from LA, San Diego has enough sights to spend a considerable amount of time.

If you only have the day, head to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, explore the USS Midway and San Diego’s Old Town, or shop at the worldly Bazaar Del Mundo.

You can also simply lay on white-sand beaches at Coronado Island — the options are endless! Known for its pretty beaches, San Diego offers a remarkable experience alongside the locals. Bring the kids to the amusement park on the seafront.

Walk along the boardwalk towards the Pacific and choose the most eye-catching restaurant you can indulge in a tasty meal.

  • San Diego tours from LA

Take a day trip to a winery

California is full of exquisite wine estates : Malibu Wine Safari lets you feed animals while on your wine-tasting journey; Rosenthal Winery has a gorgeous ocean view; Cornell Winery has an adjoining restaurant serving comfort food, and Cassa Barranca has an arcade with ice cream and boutique fashion shops.

Conveniently, all these estates are less than 2 hours from LA (of course, make sure to arrange a designated driver).

  • wine tours from LA

39 – Go to the Disney parks (obviously)

Disneyland Resort in California

Visit Disneyland and watch your childhood come alive around you! At this iconic theme park, notable experiences include the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where you can sip blue milk before flying the Millenium Falcon; the spooky Haunted Mansion; and following Captain Jack Sparrow on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

The main event, however, occurs as darkness falls: Mickey Mouse conducts scenes from Fantasia in a sea of enormous fireworks and special effects where Mickey faces off against a gallery of Disney villains, including Maleficent as a 45-foot, fire-breathing dragon!

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Disney’s California Adventure

A stone’s throw from Disneyland, the adventures keep on coming.

As Avengers Campus is being developed, keep checking for news on when the new Spider-Man and Doctor Strange experiences are opening.

In the meantime, partner up with Rocket Raccoon, as you rescue the rest of the Guardians from the clutches of The Collector.

Ride the Incredicoaster, the Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind, and Toy Story Midway Mania. Disney’s California Adventure is a must-visit for Disney fans visiting LA.

Have lunch in fairytale-inspired eateries outside the park with kid-friendly menus and enchanting desserts. It’s the perfect finale of your magical experience.

40 – Ride the rapids at Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm, Los Angeles

From its humble beginnings as a berry farm, Knott’s now boasts 160 acres of adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, a waterpark, a marketplace, and unique seasonal events.

Slowly rise to the air on a miniature hot air balloon with the Camp Snoopy. Prepare to get thrilled as the entire PEANUTS® themed ride rotates. Adults and children can sit side by side on Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer, as well as on the Camp Bus with Snoopy and the whole crew aboard.

The recent addition of the roaring Calico River Rapids is a must, likewise Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant — home of the fried chicken that launched Knott’s to stardom. It’s a must-visit to have a fun-filled day with family and children. Book online for discounted prices!

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41 – Go skiing in the nearby mountains

skiing near Los Angeles

California is a sunshine state, but there are still places to ski during the snowy season. Mountain High is an hour and a half away and as well as skiing includes zip lining and antique shops.

Explore the deep snow at Mountain High with nine decades of ski traditions. With plenty of hotels and cabin rentals around the area, you can prolong your winter escapades as long as you want.

Bear Mountain is a little further away (two and a half hours) but features boxes, rails, jumps, and a snowboard scene. It also offers a night session lift at Snow Summit so you can ski and snowboard under the stars.

Wherever you go, make sure to book in advance!

42 – Brave the Apocalypse at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles

The wooden Apocalypse coaster that runs more than 50 miles per hour is not for the faint-hearted. But if you’re a true thrill-seeker, look no further than X2, which takes you at 76 mph with a drop of 215 feet — not to mention the flamethrowers.

Impressively, Six Flags Magic Mountain holds the world record for most roller coasters in an amusement park, meaning screams are guaranteed.

If you want more maximum level, ride the world’s fastest and tallest looping roller coaster! Full Throttle swings up in the air as fast as 70 miles per hour and as high as 160 feet.

Make sure to try the world’s first 360-degrees looping roller coaster which appeared in several movies and TV shows.

Not satisfied yet? Hop on hyper-coaster Goliath, which does the world’s fastest and longest drop from a total of 255 feet at 85 miles per hour.

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43 – Discover indoor and outdoor Lego-centric fun at this Legoland resort!

Legoland California

Over two million LEGO bricks reconstruct the Big Apple at Legoland California , a wondrous theme park that also boasts a water park and an aquarium. While more oriented towards kids, it’s still one of the most fun things to do in Los Angeles.

Imagination Zone is a great area for adults to have fun with children. Ride and spin together the BIonicle® Blaster as fast as you want, depending on how dizzy you want to get.

One of the latest exciting activities at the zone is The LEGO® Movie™ World where you experience the world of some famous movies through different fun and thrilling rides.

The LEGO® Movie™ 2 Experience gives everybody the chance to go behind the scenes of the movie. Fancy an overnight stay? The Legoland hotels offer interactive LEGO Castle themed rooms: either Knights & Dragons, Royal Princess, or Magic Wizard.

44 – Ride the Tornado at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Los Angeles

Prefer water parks over old-school coasters? Look no further than Hurricane Harbor !

After climbing seven stories to Tornado’s peak, you’ll look down into the funnel where you swirl around like you’re, well, in a tornado!

If that’s not enough, try freefalling 50 feet through the Bonzai Pipeline trapdoor before some extreme body slide action.

The Black Snake Summit, a network of super-fast water slides as high as 75 feet, is strictly made for those who are daring and bold.

Families can dash together in five-lane water slides of Bamboo Racer designed to achieve maximum speed.

While the adults are busy competing at the slides, kids can enjoy playing and dabbling at Castaway Cove and Splash Island.

45 – Get to know Hollywood in old-school style with a classic convertible car tour

classic convertible car tours in Los Angeles

You’ll feel like a proper Angeleno cruising around the hills of Hollywood and the LA streets during a classic convertible car tour — in a vintage 1970s model and all!

What better way to explore Los Angeles? And you can bet your guide knows all the behind-the-scenes secrets of showbiz (past and present) and other fun facts surrounding Tinseltown.

Covering over 15 iconic attractions, areas or points of interest, the tour is extensive, ensuring you get the most out of it.

The Hollywood Sign, Dolby Theatre, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Greystone Mansion, Pacific Design Center, Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Drive, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Sunset Strip and Grand Central Market are examples of some of these.

  • classic convertible car tours in Los Angeles

46 – Ride the Shore Break at Knott’s Soak City

Knott’s Soak City, Los Angeles

Soak City , the waterpark section of Knott’s Berry Farm, offers plenty of fun! Try bodysurfing at Tidal Wave Bay or just float down Sunset River, taking in the scenery.

However, if you’re looking for some extra thrill, head to the Shore Break for a seven-story drop! Need more adrenaline fix? Take three more extreme thrill rides to get the most of your day.

Maneuver an inflatable raft alone or with a friend through the rough waters at Laguna Storm Watch Tower. From a height of 43 feet, slide through three dark enclosed tubes fast and end up in a catch pool.

Don’t stop the momentum and run to take another slide tower, the Malibu Run, from a 39-foot high platform.

Before you say you’re good, go for the ultimate thrill at Old Man Falls with sudden drops from a 63-foot tower! Be sure to book your tickets online as they are cheaper than at the gate.

47 – Hop onboard the early 20th-century Angels Flight Railway

Angels Flight Railway, Los Angeles

The historic Angels Flight Railway has been transporting guests up and down the world’s shortest track since 1901, these days zipping between Hill Street and Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill.

Angels Flight Railway has been featured in movies and short films since 1918. Its most recent appearances include the 2011 movie “The Muppets” and the 2016 film “La La Land.”

This historic railway operates every single day — including weekends and holidays.

At just $2 for a round-trip ticket, it’s one of the most affordable things to do in Los Angeles! When you’re done, make a beeline for the nearby Walt Disney Concert Center.

  • Angels Flight tickets

48 – See Michaelangelo’s sketches at the Getty Center

Getty Center, Los Angeles

Art-lovers, rejoice! The Getty Center houses European art up (pre-1900-era) amongst plush green gardens and stunning modern architecture.

Their rotating exhibits showcase some of the best artists the world has to offer and the current Michelangelo: Mind of the Master is no exception.

The sketches include designs for the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling and demonstrate the artist’s exceptional talent. Admission is free.

Visit also the Italian-inspired Getty Villa in Malibu. It features ancient Roman life with 4,000 years old artworks, serene gardens and views of the Pacific Ocean.

If you come on a Thursday or Saturday, have a cup of tea paired with sweet delights using ingredients from the villa’s own garden.

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49 – See Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can at The Broad

The Broad museum, Los Angeles

The Broad showcases 2,000 contemporary artworks from the 1950s to the present, highlighted by modern and pop art designed to inspire a counter-culture and depict subject matter that anyone could relate to.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Warhol’s glorification of the humble Campbell’s canned soup, which sits on permanent display.

Founders Eli and Edythe Broad have collected postwar and contemporary art over the last five decades.

The Broad building is also a work of art, a design called “the veil and the vault.” It’s a combination of the public art display space (the honeycomb-like structure that acts as the veil) and the storage for art collection (the vault).

Admission is free and regular public tours take place.

50 – Shop at The Grove

The Grove, Los Angeles

The Grove is a stunning retail and restaurant complex. As you walk past water features and fancy eateries, keep an eye out for your favorite celebrities trying to pick up (or set) the latest fashion trends.

This one-stop destination for the shopping experience also hosts various dining places for breakfast, lunch snacks and dinner.

Take the girls and their dolls (there are seats for them too!) to American Girl Cafe where they can eat cakes and all “girly” treats.

If you want to have a hearty meal first before desserts, dine at Bar Verde for fresh and seasonal ingredients straight from local farms.

Visiting around Christmas time? Make sure to stay until the evening to have dinner at the Grove and witness the lighting of the 100-foot-tall Grove Christmas Tree.

51 – Experience America’s best sports!

baseball at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

Watch an NBA match at the Crypto.com Arena

The famous Crypto.com Arena is home to one of the city’s elite basketball teams: the LA Lakers .

The stadium seats around 20,000 people, and if you can score yourself a ticket, you’ll be swept away by the electricity of the home crowd cheering on their beloved ballers. Outside of the season, check out the roster of concerts and events.

  • Crypto.com Arena tickets

Watch the baseball at Dodger Stadium

Baseball is synonymous with LA and the local Dodgers have been killing it recently! If you want to experience this great American past-time, join the home crowd at a game.

Better yet, sit in the Dodger Dugout during the 90-minute stadium tour that takes you down to the field of this 56,000 seat stadium!

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Watch the LA Kings at the Crypto.com Arena

Hockey lovers, this one’s for you. While the Kings have struggled of late, their diehard fans haven’t given up, and they remain as rowdy and as passionate as ever.

Besides watching the pros in action, the players have no qualms dropping their gloves and erupting into a melee — it’s all just part of the spectacle, so enjoy!

Watch the LA Galaxy play at Dignity Health Sports Park

No feeling quite compares to the roar of passionate soccer fans, and arguably none are more passionate than those who support the LA Galaxy .

With talented players like Javier Hernandez and Efrain Alvarez lighting up the pitch, there’s rarely a spare seat in the 27,000-capacity stadium.

Outside of the season, other sporting events take advantage of the track and field oval and velodrome

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Watch the NFL action at SoFi Stadium

When it comes to top-tier football, there’s no better place in LA than the magnificent SoFi Stadium, the gleaming home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers .

With its cutting-edge design and unmatched fan experience, experience the sheer grandeur of this 70,000+ seat stadium,

Feel the rush as the home crowd amplifies the atmosphere, celebrating touchdowns and pivotal plays.

Outside the NFL season, keep an eye out for world-class concerts and high-profile events that grace this architectural marvel.

  • SoFi Stadium tickets

Hot tip: If you are looking for a behind-the-scene experience, book a Sofi stadium tour and dive deep into exclusive areas of the stadium, from luxurious suites and team locker rooms to the players’ tunnel. 

52 – Ever held an AK-47? Test your aim at a shooting range

shooting ranges in Los Angeles

Sharpen your aim or learn all about gun safety when visiting a shooting range — only to be enjoyed responsibly.

Surrounded by the outdoors in a canyon-y type setting (with loads of open space around you), Angeles Shooting Ranges is one of the best places to practice shooting. Fire paper targets at the Rifle Range, cardboard hanging targets at the Pistol Range and the Shotgun Range is equipped with two clay throwers.

Around since 1989, The Los Angeles Gun Club knows a thing or two when it comes to perfecting your shot. They offer the biggest selection of firearms and is the only range in the US allowing full-power rifles. Practice happens indoors in individual booths.

You have a wide range of ammo to choose from when visiting the premier indoor LAX Firing Range (if that makes the difference). They offer classes like Self Defense & Firearms Training and Beginning Firearms Training.

53 – Listen to the LA Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

From the outside, the Frank Gehry-designed Concert Hall will entice you. Inside, it is home to the LA Phil , one of the most renowned orchestras in the world.

Music critics like Mark Swed have described the sounds emanating from the orchestra in the specifically-designed hall as a “new sonic dimension” — one that each traveler should hear with their own ears.

The architect envisioned creating a “living room for the city” that welcomes people to gather in a comfortable venue.

Lilian Disney donated $50 million to establish the concert hall which also serves as a tribute to her late husband Walt Disney and his love of music.

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54 – Explore the Nethercutt Museum and Collection

Nethercutt Museum and Collection, Los Angeles

Both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times have hailed the Nethercutt Museum and Collection as one of the finest in the world.

The museum houses over 130 antique, vintage and special interest automobiles, as well as a fully restored 1937 steam locomotive.

Walk into the glittering Grand Salon and admire the first-class cars in the early 20th century such as Cadillacs, Renault and Delahaye.

The museum also dedicates a music room for a collection of antique mechanized instruments. See vintage orchestrions and music boxes, and watch a demo of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

55 – Walk among dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM)

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

The Natural History Museum Los Angeles , the largest natural and historical museum on this side of the United States has nearly 35 million specimens on any given day – one of the best museums in LA right now.

Don’t miss the Dinosaur Hall where, across two floors, you’ll witness 20 prehistoric skeletons, including a grown tyrannosaurus rex! The lifelike skeletons are sure to amaze visitors of all ages, and transport you back to the dinosaur age.

Outside the museum, explore the Nature Gardens and see some of the 600 kinds of plants native to California and from all over the world.

Check out the pond and the animals living there, and watch the butterflies pollinating on the flowering meadows. Let the kids soil their hands digging compost at the Get Dirty Zone where they can get creative.

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56 – Fly off the edge of a mountain with a hang glide adventure

hang glide adventure in Los Angeles

Visit Windsports and tick off hang gliding on your bucket list. Experience the pleasure of launching from the 30-foot sand dunes in an unforgettable introduction to flight.

If you crave greater thrills and wilder views, there’s another option. Ascend to the top of Kagel Mountain in the National Forest and tandem glide with a professional instructor!

Many people have been carrying out this unpowered flight experience over Los Angeles since the 1970s. So if you want to try it for the first time, you’re in the right place.

You can choose where to take your lessons whether it’s from the beach or the mountain. After graduating from the novice program, why not get advanced soaring lessons to learn more techniques? Sky’s the limit!

57 – Check out Universal Studios (& CityWalk)

Universal Studios Hollywood

Don’t miss ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ at Universal Studios

On Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey — which was voted the best thrill ride in 2017 Editor’s Choice — you’ll walk through the castle gates and down the corridors of Hogwarts until you find Dumbledore’s office, the Room of Requirement and so many more.

This state-of-the-art ride is merely one of the countless magical experiences at Universal Studios. Buy a two-day ticket to Universal Studios so you can explore every gripping section of the park’s rides, shows, and attractions.

Learn how to save up to 30% on Universal Studios Hollywood tickets.

  • Universal Studios Hollywood tickets & tours

Universal Citywalk

Although adjacent to Universal Studios, CityWalk is a separate entity — it’s a bustling, concentrated complex of nightlife, dining, shopping, and cinema.

The dancing water fountain is amazing, there’s a seven-story-high IMAX screen, and even indoor skydiving amongst numerous shops and eateries.

If you want to soak the night vibe of LA, make sure to visit CityWalk and check out its array of restaurants and bars. Live music and light shows are a regular feature, and admission is free!

It’s a regular spot for the TV show “Access Hollywood” for shooting segments, so you might be lucky and see some crews and hosts.

58 – Admire the historic architecture of the Bradbury Building

Bradbury Building, Los Angeles

The Bradbury Building is a marvelous anomaly in LA, something of a Downtown architectural oasis.

The five-story office building from 1893 stays true to its heritage: it has a well-lit Victorian court rising to almost 50 feet with open cage elevators and marble stairs.

If the building looks familiar, it features countless films including Blade Runner, Double Indemnity, and Chinatown.

To fully appreciate the magnificence of this Romanesque-style building, see it from the interior in the daytime. The light from the dome at the center floods the whole interior and down below a fountain freshens up the atmosphere.

59 – See the Urban Light at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Urban Light, Los Angeles

LACMA is the largest art museum on this side of the United States, holding more than 150,000 works from ancient times through to the current day, while also featuring film and concert works.

Examples of its collection highlights include the Boardman Collection of Contemporary Jewelry, Spanish Colonial Art, Greek Ceramics, Fashion, 1900-2000 and Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East.

They are known to push boundaries with the Art + Technology Lab, however, the best-known feature is Urban Light , which has unofficially become an LA icon.

This famous work of Christ Burden is composed of 202 uniform gray lamp posts arranged in a symmetrical manner. It’s a celebrated public art that people not only see but also can touch and feel for free.

60 – Enjoy the Great Outdoors with a hike around a national park

Runyon Canyon Park, Los Angeles

Hike at Runyon Canyon Park

Searching for a breath of fresh air? Head to the Runyon Canyon Park . It covers an area of 160 acres with dusty trails situated at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Depending on how much of a challenge you want, trails range from under a mile to a 3.3 mile loop. The views, of course, are nothing short of magical — on a clear day looking over Hollywood, gear up for panoramic vistas of LA and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

Trek through the Angeles National Forest

Despite parts of the Angeles National Forest still rebounding from recent fires in the San Gabriel Mountains, the 650,000-acre forest is still a must-see — particularly the swimmable east fork of the San Gabriel River.

During winter, Mount Baldy attracts snow and chairlifters, while providing stunning panoramas of the nearby mountains and forests year-round.

  • hiking tours in Los Angeles

61 – Watch a classic film at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

outdoor movie screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Forever is a cemetery where many famous celebrities and notable people were laid to rest. However, it’s also a cultural hub that hosts regular community events. Since 2002, classic films have been projected onto a mausoleum on Fairbanks Lawn.

Screenings take place in the summertime (between May and September), and before the opening credits roll out, arrive a little early and enjoy the festive mood as DJs set the tone and themed photo booths are set up for a bit of extra fun.

If you’re around in the fall, on the last Saturday before November 2nd, Hollywood Forever plays host to the largest Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) celebrations in the country — complete with hundreds of Aztec ritual dancers and food vendors.

Other events include concerts, live podcast tapings, literature get-togethers and even public lectures.

62 – Explore the Autry Museum of the American West

Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles

Are you besotted with the Wild West? Nestled in Griffith Park, the Autry Museum displays Native American art and cultural materials including film memorabilia, historic firearms and paintings. It also plays host to public events to include all stories of the American West.

The museum strives to reflect that all the cultures and history of the American West are interconnected. Since its founding in 1988, the museum has grown its collection to over 600,000 artifacts and artworks.

For ease of navigation, its permanent collections are categorized and housed according to different themes. These are ‘California History,’ ‘Native America,’ ‘Environment and Western Resources,’ ‘Ranching and Cowboys,’ ‘Archaeology and Anthropology’ and ‘Popular Culture.’

Don’t miss the tranquil outdoor garden with seating by the waterfall, pond, and basalt columns.

63 – Marvel over the real 1989 Batmobile at the Petersen Automotive Museum!

Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles

With over 300 vehicles to admire in themed exhibits such as sci-fi movie cars, supercars, race cars, and electric cars — plus 250 more automotive treasures in ‘the Vault’ — the Petersen Automotive Museum is a must for motor enthusiasts.

Discover the 120-year history of automotive in one of the world’s largest collections of vintage vehicles. See for yourself famous classic cars and iconic sports cars like Maseratis.

For a more hands-on experience, the Forza Motorsports Experience gives you a captivating simulation of what it’s like to race. Get behind the wheel of this immersive virtual reality race.

At the Cars Mechanical Institute (like the movie “Cars”), learn about their design and engineering, as the cars explain to you how they are made. Children can trace and paint their favorite Cars characters to bring home.

  • Petersen Automotive Museum tickets

64 – Check out the street art along cool-kid Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Los Angeles

Abbot Kinney Boulevard , a mile-long road lined with shops, restaurants, cafes, galleries, and nightlife was named the coolest block in America by GQ magazine!

Soak up the vibe of the Venice arts community and enjoy window shopping at funky stores and boutiques. It’s a perfect spot for people watching and checking out the famous art murals the cool trends in LA.

Make sure to grab an ice cream from Salt & Straw (try the honey lavender flavor). Shop at Toms Shoes, a shoe-store-meets-cafe decorated with charming wood accents. Mark your calendar for the food truck fest every Friday of the month!

65 – Go to Hannibal Lecter’s jail cell at the Hollywood Museum

Hollywood Museum

Housing hundreds of costumes from Marilyn Monroe’s million-dollar dress to Rocky Balboa’s boxing gloves, no trip to Hollywood is complete without the Hollywood Museum .

The eerie lower level even includes Lecter’s jail cell from Silence of the Lambs. All in all, there are over 10,000 authentic Hollywood treasures including props, scripts, cars and posters.

Check out the make-up rooms with labels such as “Blonds Only” where Marilyn Monroe transformed into an iconic blonde. There are also rooms only for redheads like Lucille Ball, “brownettes” like Judy Garland, and brunettes like Elizabeth Taylor.

Spot Elvis Presley’s robe and prepare to be dazzled by special effects and amazing costumes used in movies.

66 – See Malibu like never before from a kilometer high in the sky when paragliding

paragliding in Los Angeles

Glide through the warm Californian air, overlooking the endless sands and enormous mansions of LA’s ritzy Malibu neighborhood, with a freeing paragliding experience.

The thrilling flights typically last 30 minutes — and with a professional instructor ensuring that you stay en route. All you need to worry about is soaking in the breathtaking scenery of the shores below.

Admire the Santa Monica Mountains, as you fly above the Pacific Ocean. Have a bird’s-eye view of the rolling hills and beaches of Los Angeles.

Flights depart from Carbon Beach or atop a 900-meter-tall mountain (you decide), but only after a short safety briefing, and all adventures land back on powdery soft beach sands.

Essential to know prior; while most paragliding stints are 30 minutes, if the wind isn’t performing well, this might be shortened to 15.

  • paragliding in Los Angeles

67 – Listen to a talk at Skirball Cultural Center

Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles

The Skirball Center aims to foster people of all communities and ages to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate hope and discovery.

There are concerts and classes available, but you might fancy one of their question-answer sessions on topics such as political cartooning and the ideals of justice.

The center is inspired by Jewish values such as welcoming strangers and showing kindness. Take the kids to Noah’s Ark, an award-winning destination that encourages playing, exploring and making friends.

Immerse in the story of building the ark with toy animals and puppets handcrafted using recycled materials. It’s an ideal place for children to have fun and learn some values.

68 – Shop your favorite designers/brands for discounted prices at Citadel Outlets

Citadel Outlets, Los Angeles

Looking like an ancient Babylonian temple, Citadel Outlets , is where high fashion meets low prices.

There’s something for everyone: Armani, Disney Outlet, Lacoste and Adidas are just a microcosm of the 130 famous stores here — along with plenty of eateries where you can put your feet up in between shops.

This outlet mall reflects the vibrant fashion style of LA. Check out some big discounts in the outlet stores of your favorite designers.

After getting great bargains, treat yourself with a refreshing drink or snacks at the food court or one of the quaint cafes.

69 – Feel the power of music at the GRAMMY Museum

GRAMMY Museum, Los Angeles

The GRAMMY Museum is more than just pictures of musicians. Their exhibits will compel you to celebrate and appreciate the legacies left by all different music.

Navigate the touch screens, recording booths and historical musical artifacts. Discover just why that song has been stuck in your head and the creative process behind it.

Portraying the history and importance of American music, the museum also aims to inspire everyone to create and discover new forms of music.

Check out the Mono to Immersive exhibit which demonstrates the sounds recorded from the 19th century to the modern ones.

70 – Board the USS Iowa Battleship Museum

USS Iowa Battleship Museum, Los Angeles

After serving in WW2, the Korean War and the Cold War, the USS Iowa — which formerly housed 3,000 sailors — now serves an educational aim.

The best way to explore its 900 feet of passageways, compartments, turrets, and well-preserved sailors’ washrooms is with the self-guided tour, best done by downloading the free Battleship Iowa mobile app.

It’s a fantastic place to bring children to learn about battleships and heroic deeds. Discover the ship’s history and the life of sailors on board. Hear war stories from Navy sailors as they’re usually present to engage with visitors.

Get ready to climb up and down ladders and easily you can spend a couple of hours exploring the ship.

  • USS Iowa Battleship Museum tickets

71 – Stroll through the Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park

Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built around 1920, the Hollyhock House and the surrounding 12 acres within Barnsdall Art Park were donated to the city as a memorial.

The Hollyhock House is named after the hollyhock flower, depictions of which are found throughout the house. See the documentation of the planning and construction with 500 archived drawings and blueprints, among others.

Inside its perfectly preserved walls is a dream for architects and art aficionados, displaying mid-century furnishings, abstract art pieces and homeware, and showing off its interior design compiled from geometric lines, clean spaces and a neutral color palette.

Barnsdall Art Park, including the Hollyhock House and an olive grove, is the only UNESCO heritage site in LA. Fun fact: This was the first time modern American architecture was placed on the World Heritage List.

72 – Bless the animals at El Pueblo de Los Angeles

El Pueblo de Los Angeles

This historic district around the old plaza was the LA town center for most of the 19th century. Nowadays, visiting El Pueblo is one of the best things to do in LA. This living museum is the birthplace of LA — the early town (pueblo) founded by over 40 settlers from Africa, Europe and Native America.

At the Olvera Street Mexican Marketplace on Easter Saturday, it is traditional to bless animals for the benefits they provide us. However, if that doesn’t line up, fret not. The Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day are still there to mark on your calendar.

73 – Trick your mind’s eye inside the World of Illusions

Museum of Illusions, Los Angeles

A surefire hit on Instagram, the World of Illusions is full of extraordinary 3D illusions, an upside-down house, and a giant’s house.

Employing artists from around the world to envision and create these interactive art pieces, pretend to walk a red carpet, travel to Africa, balance off the edge of a skyscraper or escape the jaws of a dragon! Thanks to the artwork’s trippy perceptions, it tricks your eye, appearing as if you’re really there!

Has something been stressing you out? If so, this museum will let you write down what’s annoying you on a plate (the website suggests ‘the year 2020’) and throw it against a wall.

This interactive and fun place also teaches you about perception and the human brain. It’s a fantastic destination for all ages!

  • World of Illusions tickets

74 – Savor the yummiest dim sum and authentic dumplings in Chinatown

Chinatown district, Los Angeles

LA’s Chinatown is peppered with great food and Chinese specialty stores — you’ll be spoiled for choice. For stories of history and art, the Chinese American Museum in El Pueblo is a fascinating attraction, highlighted by its watercolor works.

The neighborhood covers five blocks of Downtown LA and has over 25,000 residents, playing a vital role in this thriving commercial center. Walk around to see several herbal stores, restaurants and temples, as you experience some of the best things from Asia.

Feeling peckish? Head into Yang Chow and order the goopy slippery shrimp which put the dish on the map in LA. Chinatown Central Plaza is not just known as the heart and soul, but it also holds a special place for locals.

During the 1800s, the railway was built in place of the old Chinatown and the neighborhood was demolished. After the local Chinese immigrants combined their savings together as a community, they purchased buildings in the current area and a new Chinatown opened up in the 1930s.

Central Plaza was the first shopping plaza, designed as a destination experience filled with traditional stores and authentic restaurants.

75 – Live out your Disney Princess fantasies when dining at the Magic Castle

Magic Castle, Los Angeles

Reserve your spot at The Magic Castle for a formal Victorian brunch or dinner with a magic show!

This mansion requires elegance so this is your chance to wear that gown or tuxedo, and it offers excellent dining and many magic shows. Make your magical experience last and bring home a souvenir, playing cards or mementos at the gift shop.

The venue screams exclusivity — you need to be invited or accompanied by a member of the Academy of Magical Arts.

However, you can better your odds of a courtesy invitation by staying at the Magic Castle Hotel, asking a magician nicely or enrolling in a magic class.

76 – Browse the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA LA)

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

As the only artist-founded museum in the city, MOCA LA has committed itself wholeheartedly to contemporary art created after 1940.

Works by the likes of Andy Warhol, Rothko (and a whole wall lined with them), Piet Mondrian, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Barbara Kruger and Joel Shapiro are just the tip of the paintbrush.

Founded in 1979, it has collected about 7,000 captivating artworks from around the world. Discover concepts and definitions of what is art in the eyes and minds of contemporary artists — from minimalist to abstract to pop to conceptual art.

If you’re wandering through Downtown, make sure to stop into one of its two city locations: one at Little Tokyo and the other at Grand Avenue

77 – Take a street art tour in the Arts District

Arts District, Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a rich history of bohemian and street art, and plenty of walking and cycling tours through the Downtown LA Arts District will teach you all about it.

The Arts District is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and has seen significant developments over the past years.

With street art all around, it has kept its industrial character, while becoming a hub for artists and art lovers.

Aside from its many art galleries, quaint shops and restaurants, the district hosts events such as the Art Walk every first Friday of the month.

Street art is often a reflection of local themes, so having a good guide will let you appreciate stunning art as well as grasp a better understanding of life in LA.

  • Arts District tours

78 – Be amazed at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Los Angeles

This weird and wonderful place is a hodge-podge of fascinating and wacky attractions that is certain to entertain.

Enter the Ripley’s Hollywood Odditorium for optical illusions, a shrunken head, celebrity heads carved from phone books, 17th-century dog armor and so much more. Take a selfie with pop-culture icons and play with some hands-on striking interactives. Over 500 pieces are on display, all fascinating and family-friendly.

It’s located on none other than Hollywood Boulevard (which is rather fitting when you think about it), and because we’re in La-La Land, a lot of the artifacts on display are centered around Hollywood and all things VIP.

Given even more attention since Kim K wore the exact dress to the 2022 Met Gala, Marilyn Monroe’s (in)famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” gown dangles from a glass case.

79 – Lose yourself in a labyrinth of books at The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles

In this day and age where books are going electronic, seeing 250,000 new and used books across two floors is a bibliophile’s heaven.

The Last Bookstore is one of the largest — and last — independent bookstores that also offers graphic novels and vinyl records, all combining for a complete artistic experience.

Owner Josh Spencer loves books and wants to revive and preserve the printed world. His bookstore continues to sell and trade physical books with those who share the same passion.

Director Chad Howitt described the space as a “mix of Victorian drawing room, sci-fi spectacle and artist loft bohemianism.” Sounds intriguing, right?

80 – From the likes of Bruce Springsteen to Carlos Santana, attend a gig at the iconic Greek Theatre

Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

Modeled after an ancient Greek theatre, this circa-1930 outdoor amphitheater is built into a canyon and regularly holds gigs for the likes of Sir Elton John, Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys.

It’s been a spectacular concert venue with amazing acoustics and the beautiful backdrop of canyons and Santa Monica mountains. The open 5,900-seater venue has undergone a few refurbishments and makeovers since it initially flung open its cultural doors, the last one in 2015.

Book one of the premium elite seating options or box suites for the best views in the house, so close to the stage you can almost smell the performers. Seeing as the Greek Theatre is nestled in Griffith Park, why not rent a bike and ride around the plush nature before the show?

  • Greek Theatre tickets

81 – Experience a performance at the Hammer Museum

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

There’s a reason why art has stood the test of time, chronicled back to the earliest of humankind. The Hammer Museum champions the power of art to be more than an aesthetic experience, giving insight into the most relevant cultural and social questions of our time.

With that in mind, the Hammer Museum is not only an art display, but also hosts lectures, film series, readings and musical performances — all of which are worth checking out.

The museum began with galleries for collections of Dr. Hammer, including old paintings and drawings, and for traveling exhibitions. Today, it supports artists in its residency program, with research and experience as the main objectives.

Founded in 1990, it houses more than 2,000 artworks in its collections.

82 – Stand toe-to-toe with your favorite celebrity at the Hollywood Wax Museum

Hollywood Wax Museum

Explore the Hollywood Wax Museum and meet Christian Bale, Angelina Jolie, and Daniel Craig all in one day. They will take a picture with you (but don’t be offended if they don’t sign an autograph).

Besides the host of famous faces, the affordable ticket also gets you entry into the nearby Guinness World Records Museum ! Discover record-breaking abilities and facts known in the world, such as the heaviest person, the most tattooed, and the tallest.

Why not challenge yourself to break a record? Someone did it in 2019 for the “fastest time to write a phrase with magnetic letters.” You can be the next!

83 – Get a taste of LA on a Downtown food tour

food tours in Los Angeles

Taking a food tour with a dynamic local guide is a surefire way to delight your taste buds! Indulge in mouthwatering dishes and learn about the history and culture of Downtown LA.

It won’t break the bank either! For less than $100, you can get the best culinary experience.

With a tour guide, sample the treats of six different eateries, bakeries and ethnic food destinations (drinks included). Don’t miss some local favorites such as crispy doughnuts filled with fresh strawberries and glazed with strawberry jelly.

Be sure to hit up some of the legendary taco trucks hidden within the city – there are at least 3,000 taco trucks spread across LA – these food services have been essential to people’s everyday life. It’s also a perfect stopover for party-goers who want midnight snacks before going home.

  • food tours in Los Angeles

84 – Kayak, paddle, or cycle down the LA River

LA River kayaking

A major river in the county, Los Angeles River is 77 kilometers long with an 8-mile bike path on the banks. For a really unique experience, visit LA River Kayak Safari and explore the LA River with the Frogtown locals.

The 2.5-hour trip includes a bike ride, a downstream paddle, and the lore of the picturesque Los Angeles River. You don’t have to be a pro for this, just arrive at the meeting point and you’ll be taught everything you need to know!

Offering urban kayaking tours for years, LA River Expeditions promotes protection of the river through this recreational activity.

85 – Take a picture of the Stahl House

Stahl House, Los Angeles

In 1954, the Stahl family bought a small plot of land above Sunset Boulevard. Years later, they hired Pierre Koenig to design and build the house which now exemplifies modern LA architecture.

The Stahl House shot to fame in a famous Julius Shulman photograph and has since appeared in films, television shows, and video games alike.

Owned by Buck and Carlotta Stahl, the house was built in 1954 and became one of the world’s most iconic examples of mid-century contemporary homes.

It’s declared as a historic cultural landmark by the City of Los Angeles and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

86 – Play a round of golf at Angeles National Golf Club and the other courses

golf in Los Angeles

There are a plethora of golf courses around LA where it’s always sunny and perfect golf weather.

If you’re looking for a nearby course, Angeles National Golf Club is a public course donning Spanish-inspired architecture and views of the lake on the 18th hole. Offering dedicated lessons to sharpen your skills, as well as an awesome practice facility, Westchester Golf Course is an 18-hole course near LAX.

On vacation with your entire golf-loving family? With its golf camp, kids and adult lessons, spend hours teeing off from Rancho Park Golf Academy , perfecting your backswing. Plus, they regularly host tournaments for the little ones.

Established in 1923 inside Griffith Park, Harding Golf Course is a classic, offering 18 holes with a Par 72. Also within the same park is another, the Wilson Golf Course opening four years later in 1927. Both courses share amenities such as a golf shop and driving range.

87 – Explore the city… Amazing Race-style!

scavenger games in Los Angeles

Driving around a city is so mainstream, right? Take your experience to the next level with an interactive, challenging, high-speed scavenger hunt instead!

With options for either Downtown LA and/or Hollywood, and the choice of a leisurely self-guided game or an Amazing Race-esque competition, there’s something for every kind of traveler.

Whether you’re solo or with a group, download an app that suits your style and explore LA as you solve puzzles and obstacles. For those in Hollywood, wander around the downtown area to discover the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles , such as the Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre.

If you like to explore the spots near the beach, you can choose to spend your hunting day in Santa Monica. Either way, you’re bound to have lots of fun and meet new friends along the way.

  • scavenger games in Los Angeles

88 – Reel in a grouper, snapper or redfish from the Venice Fishing Pier

Venice Fishing Pier, Los Angeles

Whether you’re an expert or novice fisher, the 700-foot Venice Fishing Pier is a must-see. With free access to the pier, no fishing license requirements, and Papa’s Bait Shop around the corner anyone can become an expert.

For a great pit stop and the only beachfront restaurant in the Venice area, check out Sharky’s on the pier!

No rod and reel? No worries. You can rent them at $15 a day. It’s one of the best things to do when you want to have a laid-back wholesome night.

89 – Watch a live recording of a TV show… for free!

tv show live recording in Los Angeles

Complete your trip to LA with a taste of Hollywood showbiz! Watch a taping of your favorite TV shows and see your idol up close.

There are quite a few options for enjoying a live recording, particularly competitions or iconic talk shows. Join the audience on “The Late Late Show” or cheer the competitors in real time on “Dancing with the Stars” or “The Voice.”

Many television shows offer live recordings, so dress to the nines and take your pick! If you get into The Price Is Right , you could be randomly chosen to be a contestant.

If you want to laugh, find your way into the audience for Jimmy Kimmel Live or the Late Late Show with James Corden .

90 – Get the absolute goosies seeing your favorite artist rocking it out at the Hollywood Bowl

concert at the Hollywood Bowl

Walk in the same footsteps of some of Tinseltown’s most elite at this next national institute. The breathtakingly beautiful Hollywood Bowl , sitting in the foreground in front of the Hollywood Hills, is an iconic venue that has hosted artists from the Beatles to Yo-Yo Ma.

Anytime a singer, musician or band has had the privilege of playing here, they know they’ve made it big! Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett and The Carpenters are just some of the other Hall of Fame performers who have taken the stage.

This hillside amphitheater has hosted concerts of legendary performers and musicians since its opening in 1922. Learn more about the 100-year history of the Bowl and temporary exhibitions reflecting the eras of music and entertainment.

If you enjoy classical music, don’t miss the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Or, for a history lesson, head to the Hollywood Bowl Museum — admission is free.

  • Hollywood Bowl tickets

91 – Eat lunch at the Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

For over 100 years, the bustling Grand Central Market has been a meeting place for the locals. There are over 50 food stalls plus eateries and stands, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Originally called “Wonder Market” when it opened in 1917, this historic place has played a significant role in LA’s becoming a metropolis.

Discover vendors that have been there for over 50 years such as Roast To Go and China Cafe. They represent the vibrant immigrant communities that help the city’s growth.

The market has all your favorite Chinese-American cuisines, as well as Japanese, Mexican and European flavors. Sample craft beers at Golden Road, buy boutique jewelry at Grand Central Jewelry, and order eggs for any meal at the world-famous Eggslut.

92 – Watch a movie at a rooftop cinema

Rooftop Cinema Club, Los Angeles

Gourmet street food, cocktails, and lounging in comfy deck chairs with rooftop views of LA  — that sounds like a winning combination. Now add a movie on a big screen that you listen to through your personal headphones.

That completely immersive experience is what awaits at rooftop cinema atop the Row, just one of many around the city. What better time to experience watching your favorite movie on a rooftop than when you’re in Los Angeles?

You have fantastic sights and weather, and the Rooftop Cinema Club has great selections of movies. It has something for everybody!

93 – Drink cocktails from some of the coolest spots in the USA or join fun pub crawls

pub crawls in Los Angeles

In busy and busting LA, it can become daunting sometimes to mingle with the locals, or meet like-minded travel crowds. One sure way to have a fantastically fun night with new friends is with any of these epic LA-based pub crawls.

Embark on a two-hour ‘Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl’; enjoy a ‘Speakeasy Bar Hopping Tour’; explore the pub scene around Santa Monica; or join a ‘Hollywood Magician Bar Crawl.’

If you don’t fancy joining a crawl, get your social on at some of the best bars around town – and because when in Los Angeles, the options are plentiful.

Your top classic cocktail bars include Bar Next Door , Capri Club , Thunderbolt and The Roger Room ; vibey Apothéke always ends up in a boogie, and Bar Flores is an IG moment around every turn.

  • pub crawls in Los Angeles

94 – Party at Los Angeles’ best nightclubs

LA Epic Pub Crawls, Los Angeles

Since 2013, LA Epic Los Angeles Club Crawl has provided guided tours of the best bars, lounges, and nightclubs in Hollywood and Downtown LA.

The Hollywood Club Crawl takes you to the best venues on Hollywood Blvd, while Downtown LA Club Crawl takes you to the hottest parties in DTLA. Both crawls will visit multiple venues in one night.

Receive express, complimentary entry to all venues on the lineup, drink specials at many of the stops, and amazing party hosts!

No matter your preference, the clubbing scene in LA has something for everyone! From electric EDM mixes at The Shrine to upbeat Hip Hop beats at Avalon Hollywood , there’s no shortage of diversity.

95 – Watch the Los Angeles Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Los Angeles Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Sit back and let the cast of the LA Opera take you through a journey. Established in 1986, the LA Opera theatre is known for two things: as being a leader in artistic innovation, and for its pavilion.

Extraordinary 61 musicians formed the LA Opera Orchestra which has been the resident group since 1996. They also fill up primary roles in symphony orchestras and record in Hollywood movies and TV shows.

A sight to behold on its own right, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion has five elegant stories and 78 crystal light fixtures and chandeliers.

For years, the pavilion was the home of the LA Philharmonic and venue of many Oscars ceremonies. This historic setting was first built in 1964, and in the next few years, more buildings were added around the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, officially forming The Music Center.

The other concert venues to find here are the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum stage — both constructed in 1967 — as well as the Walt Disney Concert Hall which opened later in 2003.

Not only limited to concert and show venues inside, the Jerry Moss Plaza is located outside and hosts free art and cultural events, as well as concerts.

Also within the campus’ outdoor complex is the Grand Park where you can catch a quick chill under the trees, and community events are often held at the park.

  • Dorothy Chandler Pavilion tickets

96 – Be dazzled by Insomniac’s Electric Mile

Electric Mile, Los Angeles

Get comfy in your car as you drive-thru a truly unique, immersive, and illuminating audiovisual experience.

Cruise through the Insomniac’s Electric Mile “Seven worlds of light, sound and imagination” with over 5 million lights synchronized to music — with lasers, disco balls, light-up mushrooms and even a warehouse rave.

Revel all night with over 500 art installations and take home some cool stuff. This family-friendly activity is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles, hands-down.

97 – See the Space Shuttle Endeavour at California Science Center

California Science Center, Los Angeles

Over 100 interactive scientific exhibits inhabit the California Science Center with the indisputable masterpiece, the Space Shuttle Endeavour. It went on 25 missions and spent almost 300 days in space.

Take the kids to the Air & Space section where they can explore an intriguing collection of artifacts and enjoy hands-on activities. Learn about the principles of air, space and flight that led us to create aircraft and spaceships.

If you’re after something a little different, the Science Center currently has an Art of the Brick exhibition with the world’s largest display of LEGO art to captivate visitors of all ages.

98 – Watch a show at the Orpheum Theatre

Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles

Step inside the lobby of the Orpheum on Broadway and you’ll quickly realize why this is one of the most famous things to do in Los Angeles.

Spot the old, quaint ticket booth before entering the theatre, and take note of the marble walls and dazzling chandeliers on the way in.

For decades, the theater had hosted concerts of some of the most reputable performers such as Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and Little Stevie Wonder.

Music videos, movies and tv shows also used Orpheum as their filming locations in the most recent years.

All sorts of shows play at the Orpheum, so there’s no excuse to miss out!

  • Orpheum Theatre tickets

99 – Travel through time at the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, Los Angeles

Hear ye, hear ye, you are invited to join the Queen’s Royal Court for a four-course meal set in a castle!

For your entertainment, six competing knights riding their noble steeds will joust and duel. Stick around for the live flight of the royal falcon and order libations to your heart’s content.

Pack some energy to cheer for your knights. It’s a dramatization of how it was during the Medieval Period so that history won’t repeat itself.

Enjoy the show as you indulge in finger foods and cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic drinks for the kids. The jousting Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament show lasts two hours but the experience will last a lifetime.

100 – Wine and dine on an LA rooftop

Perch rooftop restaurant, Los Angeles

With some of the best rooftop restaurants and bars, Los Angeles is heaven on Earth for sunset drinks.

If you’re looking for a bustling scene, make sure to stop off at Perch where its menu and views of the heart of Pershing Square and Downtown are the talks of the town.

Don’t forget to swing by the bar on your way in! When you’re near Venice Beach, head to High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin to have a spectacular sunset and view of the Pacific Ocean.

For more breathtaking sights over LA, drop by at The Roof at Edition or LP Rooftop Bar in West Hollywood. Open until 2 AM (most nights), Broken Shaker is a super funky spot, with its rooftop pool deck and creative cocktail concoctions.

Introducing the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere, head up to the 73rd floor for insane city views from Spire 73 — fire pits for cooler evenings included.

Trendy as ever, The Highlight Room brings the heat, from the food to the drinks to the rooftop pool to the nightly vibes.

How to get to Los Angeles?

Touching down in LA, you’ll arrive at Los Angeles Airport (LAX), which is located on the outskirts of the central city.

Before your vacation begins, pre-organize an airport transfer in Los Angeles for the moment you land. After you’ve disembarked, collected your luggage and are ready to head to your accommodation, look out for your private driver waiting for you — sign in hand so you feel like a real celebrity.

Hopping into an air-conditioned vehicle, be transported to your chosen LA destination, whether you’re staying in Hollywood or Downtown Los Angeles.

Where to stay in Los Angeles?

Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles

The state of Los Angeles is home to neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Venice and Downtown LA. If you’re wondering where to stay, here are some of the best (and most famous) hotels to take your pick for the celebrity treatment.

Starting off with a bang — and an iconic one at that — check into the super luxe, five-star The Beverly Hills Hotel , and take endless pictures throughout its famous pastel pink halls. Taking design inspiration from some of the most beautiful holiday destinations around the world, the Santa Monica Proper Hotel is stunning, with its conceptual thought and design.

Classic and the epitome of luxury, the five-star Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills has been pleasing its guests since 1955. With its incredible location, super stylish interiors and with views of Hollywood in the heart of it all on Sunset Boulevard, the 1 Hotel West Hollywood has it all.

For travelers who prefer a beachfront location, head out of the hustle a book a night at the elegant Shutters On The Beach in Santa Monica. Step back in time to old Hollywood at the Chateau Marmont , offering opulent rooms, suites and bungalows, and the hotel first opened its doors in 1927.

Smack back on the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Roosevelt has hosted some of the biggest stars of the centuries from Marilyn Monroe to Charlie Chaplin. Sophisticated and with impeccable design and fancy finishes, The Ritz-Carlton delivers everything you expect from the world-famous hotel name. Boasting loads of natural light, Casa Del Mar is a gorgeous oceanfront stay.

  • best hotels in Los Angeles

Visiting Los Angeles on a budget?

Next to cities like NYC and San Fran, Los Angeles is also considered one of the pricier destinations for nightlife and eating out, for example. But blessed with both the ocean and mountains, there is loads to do outdoors, and for free!

However, if you’ve arrived to revel in a pukka sightseeing adventure of Hollywood and the people of Tinseltown, with all of its remarkable landmarks and attractions, consider Los Angeles Passes .

Itineraries include a Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, Aquarium of the Pacific, the Big Bus Celebrity Homes & Lifestyle Tour and more.

Where to go next?

While there is an abundance to explore in Los Angeles, there are many things to do in California and other epic areas to travel to within the country’s third-largest State.

If you’ve satisfied your Hollywood cravings, move on to more laid-back areas like Long Beach or discover the things to do in Santa Barbara (a 1.5-hour drive from Downtown LA).

Also traveling the same distance, travel from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, where the sun never stops shining. With many fabulous things to do in Palm Springs , like exploring the Joshua Tree National Park, it’s a perfect weekend escape.

If the O.C. stole your heart in the early 2000s, or you’re just chasing the good vibes, head on over to Orange County, a 30-minute drive from LA, passing by Long Beach on the way. Endless beach days, boat tours or learning how to surf are some fun things to do in Orange County .

If you are looking for a unique activity, travel to the southwest of California. Uncover the magical things to do in Temecula and experience a hot air balloon ride over fantastic vineyards.

Heading down south from Los Angeles, for a completely different Californian feel visit San Diego. It’s under two hours drive from LA, and Joshua Tree National Park is in between the two, further inland. Exciting things to do in San Diego include indoor skydiving, plenty of museum visits, boat rides on the bay and cycle bar parties.

If your time in the city is limited, but you would like to see the other areas outside, multi-day trips from Los Angeles are great options. Take three days to explore the Cali coastline, for example, or choose an extended five-day tour instead.

Just four hours away from LA is Las Vegas , and with so many fun things to do in Las Vegas, there are Las Vegas tours from Los Angeles from two to seven days.

Final thoughts

Experience the celebrity treatment in Los Angeles, or if you’d prefer a vacation to the sunny city that focuses on adventure, there are plenty of things to do in Los Angeles to satisfy all types of travelers.

What’s your favorite thing about the City of Angels, and are there any must-visit attractions or monuments at the top of your bucket list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Happy and safe travels.

72 Best & Fun Things To Do In Los Angeles (California)

By: Author Jerric Chong

Posted on Published: August 11, 2020  - Last updated: October 16, 2023

Things To Do In Los Angeles

Los Angeles often called the City of Angels, is a hub for excitement, fame, and fortune.

With famous places like Hollywood to its name and many other similarly enticing tourist attractions and sites, it can be somewhat difficult to figure out where to visit as a tourist here.

That’s why we’ve put together an LA travel guide that is sure to give you some insight into the most intriguing and delightful places the city has to offer.

Here are our picks for the 72 best and fun things to do in Los Angeles, California.

Table of Contents

1. The Getty Center

The Getty Center

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

The Getty Center is one of the top Los Angeles attractions in California.

This institution is known across LA and the country for its prestige in the world and industry of art.

Exhibits and showcases vary across the multitude of buildings that make up the Getty Center and free tours allow you to learn about different aspects of the Center in engaging and informational ways.

The permanent collection at the Getty Center had its biggest headstart from J. Paul Getty’s $1.2 billion gift when he passed away.

The collection consists of Western art dating back to the Middle Ages until now, with an additional collection on the Pacific Coast Highway at the Getty Villa with a focus on European art.

Some iconic original pieces are displayed at these permanent collections.

Other exhibits here include a garden spanning 134,000 square feet, designed by Robert Irwin, often called a living sculpture with a floating labyrinth that houses over 500 species of flora.

There are also lots of temporary exhibits that focus on all sorts of different perfectly curated works.

Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop for art reproductions and souvenirs; it’s a must-do for collectors!

Address:  1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049, United States

2. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Michael Gordon / Shutterstock

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art , also known as LACMA, is a museum that can be defined as encyclopedic.

It consists of a huge 20-acre campus with buildings designed by Peter Zumthor.

As a museum, LACMA is extremely comprehensive in its collection of beautiful and stunning works, and the vastness of its grounds means that guests have lots of options for activities.

LACMA’s permanent collection showcases art from all eras, all the way back to antiques to new, modern works.

All sorts of works from different cultures live on here, including some iconic pieces from old masters and respected artists.

Temporary exhibits also showcase all sorts of collections from different and diverse artists.

LACMA also boasts the Bing theater, which has daily programming, and it hosts classes, incubators, and performance spaces.

You’ll spend a long time walking through LACMA, and even with a whole dedicated day, it’s hard to run out of exciting things to do on museum grounds.

Fun tours, though somewhat high in price, can provide additional information to visitors.

Address:  5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States

3. Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

In the summer, the Hollywood Bowl is a Los Angeles treasure.

The outdoor amphitheater is a staple of California tourist places.

It first opened its doors in 1922 and boasts a famous shell shape that makes for great acoustics – which is likely one of the many reasons it grew so popular in the first place.

For the most part, the Hollywood Bowl is one of the best music performance spots in LA, primarily focusing on classical music, though a few modern artists have graced the stage here too.

Film screenings, musicals, and orchestras also play here sometimes.

Seating can be a little difficult and can get expensive, but most consider it well worth the expense!

Address:  2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States

4. Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

shuttersv / Shutterstock

There are few better places to seek entertainment in LA than the Walt Disney Concert Hall , built by Frank Gehry to a sometimes controversial design choice.

The concert hall houses the Los Angeles Philharmonic and provides incredible classical music performances that are fun for the family.

Do note, though, that kids under the age of 6 are not permitted!

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a must-visit for the Philharmonic alone, though most musical performances here make for great perusal.

The concert hall actually shares its space with the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater, which provides more edgy and experimental shows that are still pretty good viewing, as well as a gallery that has some interesting showcases.

There’s one more thing to note; there’s actually a garden on the roof of the Walt Disney Concert Hall that is known as the Blue Ribbon Garden.

Not many visitors know about it and it’s a beautiful place to go to just to relax.

Address:  111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

5. The Broad

The Broad

Kapi Ng / Shutterstock

Almost all of the very best things to do in LA, California are, surprisingly, museums – and The Broad is just one of them!

Despite only opening in the latter part of 2015, the Broad has quite a reputation.

It hosts all sorts of fancy and fun exhibits that lead to extremely long lines and sold-out tickets in minutes to their showcases.

The permanent collection at the Broad consists of 2,000 pieces that are part of Eli and Edythe Broad’s personal collection.

With both parties finding riches in their careers, they purchase early works from up-and-coming artists as well as show off extremely famous works by modern icons of the art world.

As a more modern museum, the Broad isn’t the kind of place you’d go to as an art intellectual, but it’s a great place to take photos – including selfies – and general admission is free, while you need to purchase tickets for certain temporary exhibits.

Address:  221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

Traveling to other parts of California? Why not check out some of the things to do in Berkeley ?

6. TCL Chinese Theatre

TCL Chinese Theatre

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

The TCL Chinese Theatre is one of LA’s most popular and iconic places of interest.

It was originally known as the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre when it first opened in 1927 and is a fantastic representation of the Golden Age of Hollywood and its opulence.

Now, the TCL Chinese Theatre is a memorable part of Los Angeles.

Tours of the theater are offered every day and are very popular, so it’s a good idea to reserve a tour time in advance.

The theater also works as an ordinary one, so new films are played in it year-round.

While you’re here, you should also walk through the Walk of Fame right outside!

Address:  6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028, United States

7. Angeles National Forest

Angeles National Forest

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

The Angeles National Forest is known as one of the essential places to go for LA, California visitors seeking an active, exploration-filled day trip.

More than a thousand square miles of lush greenery spread across 53 different trailheads make for plenty of fun treks and a lot of ground to cover.

All manner of sports can be participated in at this national forest of Los Angeles.

Running, hiking, boating, biking, and skiing are all possible, and no matter what kind of nature you enjoy, there’s sure to be something for you.

Mt. Baldy provides a stunning panoramic view, the Bridge to Nowhere is an eerie and melancholic stop, the Devil’s Punchbowl offers a unique phenomenon of geography, and Pyramid Lake is nothing short of gorgeous with its unique man-made formation of rocks.

Address:  12371 N, Little Tujunga Canyon Rd, San Fernando, CA 91342, United States

8. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

The World in HDR / Shutterstock

No trip to LA is complete without visiting one of its best spots – Universal Studios Hollywood , one of the top 10 attractions you can find in Los Angeles!

It is packed with amusement rides, scenes and places from popular movies and shows, and character actors that give the whole place a more realistic feel.

Some of the things you can enjoy here are rides and events related to popular culture produced by Universal.

This includes franchises such as Transformers, Despicable Me, Scooby-Doo, Fast and Furious, and Jurassic World.

Expect to see a ton of tourists at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Lines for rides and amusement showcases will be pretty long, so if you’re not willing to wait, you can buy Express passes in advance.

A visit here is far from inexpensive, so be sure you’re ready to front the cost!

Address:  100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, United States

9. Echo Park Lake

Echo Park Lake

Gabriele Maltinti / Shutterstock

Echo Park Lake is one of the many LA, California sights you may naturally recognize.

That’s because the location has been used in tons of different movies, shows, and similar productions.

The good news is that despite its fame, it remains a very relaxing, down-to-earth location.

Echo Park Lake was renovated in 2014, giving it a new look and a shiny new purpose.

It has now become a bit of a point for meeting, exercising, or having picnics.

The lake offers one of the best opportunities for boating in Los Angeles, and you can rent pedal boats and head through a lake of ducks and lotuses.

The park is truly beautiful, garnering its fame not just for families but for romantic rendezvous.

A fountain helps further set the scene and mood with jets of water that rise an impressive 200 feet upwards and a good number of street food stalls sell delicious snacks in case you need a bite to eat.

Address: 751 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026, United States

10. Venice Canals

Venice Canals

FiledIMAGE / Shutterstock

No trip to Los Angeles, California is complete without a visit to the Venice Canals .

Among cute bungalows of quintessential Venetian style, the canals flow through them all, offering a romantic and whimsical view of the beautiful streets.

We have Abbot Kinney, a developer, to thank for the creation of the Venice Canals; in 1905, he built them, and the bridges across them have been standards for fun and romance since then.

Taking a stroll through the Venice Canals is breathtaking, relaxing, and somehow still one of the most fun things to do in LA.

If you’re lucky, you’ll see birds like egrets, parrots, herons, and pelicans flying by.

One of the corners of the canals boasts a children’s park complete with ducks and, potentially, ducklings, so if you’re here with kids, that’s a great spot to head to!

Address: Washigton Blvd. & Dell Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90292, United States

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11. Warner Brothers Studio

Warner Brothers Studio

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Just like Universal Studios Hollywood, the Warner Brothers Studio is one of those fun Los Angeles attractions that is considered standard fare for any visitors to California.

The studio provides in-depth looks into all sorts of iconic stars of the entertainment world, from TV props to movie sets, including items from Harry Potter, Batman, and Friends.

Visitors can also view an interesting backlot of the studio that spans 110 acres.

30 different soundstages exist here, each one used for producing shows including the Ellen Degeneres Show, Young Sheldon, and more.

Tour guides are all very knowledgeable and have lots of information to share with charismatic and excitable dispositions.

Tours of the Warner Brothers Studio last about three hours and aren’t open to children below the age of 7.

Expect to pay between $59 and $295 per ticket, depending on the age of the person the ticket is for and what kind of access you’re opting for.

Address: 3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505, United States

12. The La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

The La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

Looking for touristy things to do that you’d be hard-pressed to find outside of LA?

The La Brea Tar Pits & Museum make a pretty good spot to top that list.

The pits themselves are the result of tens of thousands of years’ worth of tar that has bubbled for all that time, and they’re free to feast your eyes on.

Meanwhile, the museum consists of the bones and fossils of animals that were trapped in the pits – which, while morbid, certainly makes for fascinating viewing that explains why this Los Angeles location is so popular.

The bones collection within the museum is a real treat for history nerds.

Composite skeletons exist of species that are extinct now, such as dire wolves, Columbian mammoths, saber-toothed cats, North American camels, and ground sloths.

Fossils, on the other hand, date back to the Ice Age!

A Fossil Lab lets you see how scientists and experts clean and sort out these fossils.

Address:  5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States

13. Korean Bell of Friendship

Korean Bell of Friendship

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The Korean Bell of Friendship is one of the most idyllic tourist spots in Los Angeles, California.

The bell is impressive in appearance, with a green finish – rusted over time – covered along the top by a hipped roof in ornate detail.

Though the paint is fading, there is no denying the beauty of the gift, given by South Korea in 1976, alongside the grassy pavilion it lounges upon.

This LA location is very beautiful, with an exposed bluff that looks out over the ocean along the coast of San Pedro.

It’s a great place to fly kits, relax, and enjoy the view.

Today, the bell is rarely rung, only being set off four times annually: New Year’s Eve, National Liberation Day of Korea, Fourth of July, and Constitution Week.

Address:  3601 S Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731, United States

14. Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

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If you’re a bit of an intellectual, the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens are easy to consider a must-do among LA activities.

It was once the private estate of Henry and Arabella Huntington before they converted it into its humble institutional beginnings in 1919.

The institution, as its lengthy name suggests, houses three different types of attraction.

The first is the Huntington Library, which houses over 430,000 books of impressive rarity.

It is a premier research facility not just for Los Angeles, but for the whole country, with British and American works from the 11th century onwards.

The second is the Huntington Art Museum, which are home to a mix of permanent and rotating exhibits.

The art dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries and has quite a few famous masterpieces.

Temporary exhibits are curated flawlessly, only showcasing high-quality works from great artists of all fields.

The final is the 120-acre Huntington Botanical Gardens, which has more than 150,000 flora types.

Succulent plants, roses, bonsai trees, Corpse flowers, orchids, Sumatran flowers, and more are showcased here, though some only arrive with rotating or seasonal exhibits.

Address:  1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108, United States

15. Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

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The Griffith Observatory is widely considered one of the top things to do in LA, California.

Designed for sightseeing and stargazing, it sits in Griffith Park on Mouth Hollywood.

It took its name from Los Angeles philanthropist Griffith J. Griffith, a fairly controversial figure with a good interest in astronomy that led to his large donations that helped build the observatory.

The observatory was completed in 1935 and, since then, has gone on to become one of the world’s most visited observatories.

It offers exhibition halls with glorious attractions like the extremely unique and rare Tesla coil, and its planetarium often hosts exciting and fun shows.

Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention its powerful Zeiss telescope that is prized in the astronomy world.

That same telescope sees about 600 visitors per night!

Address:  2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

16. Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park

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Runyon Canyon Park is one of LA’s best points of interest, which is why it’s such a pity that this urban park is not known as widely throughout the city.

The park is often used by celebrities for their exercise regimens thanks to the many hiking trails flanked by lovely palm trees.

Trails often wind through old estates and mansions that keep an air of Old Hollywood to them, and the hot climate can tire even experienced hikers.

As such, you should make sure that you’re prepared for the hike before you attempt it.

If you walk up to the very top of the canyon, you’ll be treated to a nice view of San Fernando Valley.

Address:  2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, United States

17. California Science Center

California Science Center

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The California Science Center is the perfect space for excitement, exploration, and education, making it one of the best among the things to see for children and adults!

The center offers free admission, with certain exhibits or shows requiring a fee, and with timed tickets needed for certain peak seasons.

The most popular exhibit of this science center in LA is the Ecosystems showcase.

This showcase is a permanent exhibition that shows off a wide range of different ecosystems across eight zones of habitat types.

Another great exhibit is Creative World, which encourages guests to learn about architecture and transportation as well as the technologies and innovation involved in it.

For space-lovers, the Air and Space showcase is an interesting one.

On display, it exhibits Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon’s Gemini 11 capsule and teaches visitors about the Endeavor space shuttle.

If you’d rather watch a movie screening, there is, of course, an IMAX theater in the science center that plays a mix of informational and interesting films.

Address:  700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037, United States

18. Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach

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Los Angeles has its fair share of beaches, but if you’re willing to travel from it to get, Zuma Beach is among the best.

It’s clean, less crowded, and widely considered the finest location of its kind in the city’s general vicinity.

A mix of tourists and locals enjoy the beach for its great sea and surf opportunities, and it’s also a good spot for sunbathing.

Zuma Beach is about 36 miles from the downtown portion of LA.

Driving through the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll see some interesting buildings, like the Adamson House, Getty Villa, and Trancas Country Market along the way.

The beach itself offers free visits all day long.

Address: 30000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States

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19. Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

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There’s no way that seeing the Hollywood Sign up close and personal shouldn’t be on your bucket list.

It’s the best iconic tourist draw in all of Los Angeles.

It’s the kind of thing that’s cool to see in person no matter what, simply because of how often you’ve probably seen the sign in media and as a standard, staple symbol of the world of fame and fortune.

Originally, the sign read “Hollywoodland” when it was put up in 1923 as a simple advertisement for a new and developing housing project.

It was only really meant to last 18 months, but it stood until the 1970s, getting progressively more damaged in the process.

When one of the letter Os fell, the sign was completely refurbished into how it stands as we know it now.

To get close to the sign, you’d hike for about 45 minutes and get to see a rare rear view of the iconic symbol of celebrity and pop culture.

However, you can’t touch the fence without security carting you off, so focus on the beautiful view from up here of the landscape of the state, the Santa Ana Mountains, the city beneath, and, of course, the ocean.

Address:  Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States

20. Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

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If you love a little spookiness, then one of the fun things to do in Los Angeles, California is to visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

The cemetery was originally opened as Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery in 1899 by Isaac Van Nuys, a businessman, and farmer.

The cemetery is beautifully cared for as a park-type final resting place, packed with greenery and delightful architecture.

After all, there’s a reason that the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is on America’s National Register of Historic Sites – one of few similar LA locations to earn this honor!

The cemetery is the last home to many big names in Hollywood, like Estelle Getty, Cecil B. DeMille, and Johnny Ramone.

Some interesting and well-designed tombs that are fun to respectfully gawk at include the Greek Revival designed catacomb of William A. Clark Jr., the granite monument of Oscar-winning actress Hattie McDaniel, mausoleums of stained glass, and more.

Address:  6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038, United States

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21. Paramount Pictures Studios

Paramount Pictures Studios

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You’ve probably already noticed, but a lot of the best and most loved Los Angeles attractions are related to the big and small screen.

Paramount Pictures Studios is yet another one of these LA, California treasures.

It’s also the only film studio that still lives on in Hollywood.

As a company, Paramount has been around since the 1910s and has worked with some of the film world’s greatest stars, including Morgan Freeman and Meryl Streep.

They are behind some pretty famous shows and movies, including Mission: Impossible, I Love Lucy and Titanic.

A two-hour tour (open to those aged 10 and older only) brings visitors through the studios on a golf cart, taking you across 65 acres of land.

You’ll get to see some sound stages and famous sets.

Just make sure you reserve a tour spot in advance.

Address:  5515 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, United States

22. The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore

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The Last Bookstore is one of the top spots in Los Angeles for bibliophiles, and even if you’re not much of a reader, it’s hard to deny that visiting here is one of the more cool things to do while you’re in LA.

The bookshop is housed in a large building that was once a bank and you can see remnants of the atrium in high ceilings and pillars of marble.

Books in the Last Bookstore are mostly used or vintage, all well-kept, and relatively reasonably priced.

Bookshelves are intentionally disheveled in appearance, placed haphazardly throughout the store, while sculptures made from damaged books add decorative charm.

None of the books are clearly organized, inspiring visitors to go deep-diving for treasure.

If you explore enough, you’ll have fun discovering all the hidden spots in the shop that host even more books.

Address:  453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, United States

23. Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market

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The Grand Central Market of Los Angeles, California is known as one of the best local tourist spots for foodies.

Located in downtown LA, it’s visited by a mix of guests and locals who browse through stalls offering delicious foods from all sorts of cuisines in an open layout with high ceilings that provide a spacious atmosphere.

Grand Central Market opened its doors more than a century ago in 1917, offering a wide range of food from snacks to meals, with selections from different cultures to tantalize the tastebuds.

The liveliness makes for an exciting experience, even if you’re just there to sample a few quick goodies.

Address:  317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, United States

24. Los Angeles City Hall

Los Angeles City Hall

The Los Angeles City Hall has been a strong symbol of downtown LA since the year 1928.

As an icon of the city, it’s a must-see for anyone seeking activities within the city.

The City Hall rests in a tall tower of white concrete that offers impressive views of the city from its observation deck on the 27th floor.

There is also an Olympic torch from 1984 near one of the exits.

The Civic Center is only open during public hours, so if you aim to catch a bird’s eye view of the city through the observation deck, make sure you’re going at the right time.

Even if it takes a bit of scheduling, it’s well worth it for the free panorama!

Address:  200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

25. The Ennis House

The Ennis House

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A gem of design and architecture, the Ennis House has been a staple for small and big screen productions for years.

You may have seen it in the House on Haunted Hell, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Day of the Locust, and it served additionally as inspiration for the apartment used by the main character Rick Deckard in Blade Runner.

The Ennis House, which has been a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument since 1976, suffered quite a bit from bad weather and natural disasters, but renovations have made it stable and popular again.

It was designed by the one and only Frank Lloyd Wright for Charles and Mable Ennis, with construction completed in 1924.

The house is one of a series known to California as the textile block designs, with a Mayan Revival style that grabs the eye quickly from the best spot in the Los Feliz Hills.

The home is technically a private residence and it isn’t open to the public often, but if you’re lucky, you’ll get there at a time when its current owners allow tourists to take a spin through the inside.

Address:  2607 Glendower Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

26. Watts Towers

Watts Towers

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The Watts Towers consist of 17 structures, all interconnected, with the main places of interest among the collection being two that are taller than 99 feet in height.

The structures were put together by a construction worker and Italian Immigrant named Sabato Rodia, who used his free time to slowly build the Watts Towers over 33 years.

Part of the reason that the Watts Towers are popular locations for what to do in Los Angeles is because of their display of non-traditional vernacular architecture, with armatures made from steel rods and pipes, wire mesh, and a mortar coating.

Each tower is supported by frames dotted with tile, glass, and porcelain pieces, and the rest of the towers are littered with decorations of scrap metal, seashells, bed frames, bottles, and ceramic tiles.

Most interestingly, the towers were referred to as Nuestro Pueblo “our town” by Rodia, and he made them without any pre-planned design pattern or special equipment.

He used only tools used by window washers as well as hand equipment, and he used scrap material from his workplace, Malibu Pottery, to decorate it.

Since February 2018, the Watts Towers have been undergoing conservation and restoration efforts, meaning they are closed most of the time.

However, there are guided tours of the perimeter surrounding it, so check out the available times to book a spot.

Address:  1727 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002, United States

27. OUE Skyspace LA Skyslide

OUE Skyspace LA Skyslide

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There are fewer ways more fun and exhilarating to get a good view of this city of California than the OUE Skyspace LA Skyslide .

Located on the US Bank Tower, the Skyslide sits on the 70th floor, a thousand or so feet above the solid ground of the city below.

The slide, accessible via a ticket, joins an observation deck and a restaurant called 71Above in drawing visitors that seek the entertainment of an adrenaline rush.

The Skyslide only lasts about 5 seconds, bringing you down from the 70th to the 69th floor, and though it sounds extremely frightening, it can actually feel much more exciting than that.

It’s one of those places to visit to reserve for evenings or sunsets since the fog of the morning can somewhat obscure the wonderful view.

Address:  633 W 5th St #840, Los Angeles, CA 90071, United States

28. Underground Tunnels

Underground Tunnels

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The Underground Tunnels were once the coolest part of LA during the years of the prohibition laws.

Spanning 11 miles, these service tunnels led into the basements of fun places like bars, speakeasies, and clubs, which all had unassuming fronts to prevent the suspicion of law enforcement.

Now, though much less traveled, traipsing through the Underground Tunnels is still an exciting experience and one to add to your list of activities.

To get to the tunnels, head behind Temple Streets’ Hall of Records and search for an elevator.

The lift will bring you underground to a world filled with rusty machines, street art, and graffiti, iron gates that keep you away from unsafe spots, and of course, a way into the basement of the extremely famous 1900s King Eddy Saloon that still runs till this day.

Technically speaking, the Underground Tunnels aren’t officially open to the public.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not used for film shoots, as shortcuts by locals, or even as a place to exercise.

Address: 320 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

29. Temescal Gateway Park

Temescal Gateway Park

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The Temescal Gateway Park is a Santa Monica Mountains park not far from Los Angeles, California.

It’s a popular place to take in some relaxing and invigorating sights, and the fact that it doesn’t draw a huge number of guests means it’s the right amount of populated and quiet for those seeking a little reverie from the hustle and bustle of LA.

The park provides multiple oceanside views, multiple terrain types, and a good variety of flora.

It’s a great place to bring a dog for a walk, too.

The views don’t stop at all, even all the way towards the Valley, though most wouldn’t recommend traveling that far in!

Address:  15601 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, United States

30. Bronson Cave

Bronson Cave

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Looking for another one of the fun things to do in LA related to Hollywood and the big screen? Bronson Cave is where it’s at – one of the best places to head to in Los Angeles, California for a taste of the mysterious, yet most-talked about places in the US.

Bronson Cave sits in the large wilderness of Griffith Park and, like the rest of the park, it has been used as a movie set many, many times.

Just visit it once and you’ll easily be able to identify it in many a show or movie, including the Batman series of the 1960s, where it served as the Bat Cave.

Interestingly, Bronson Cave is not a cave at all.

It’s a small tunnel into a hill that is filmed at an angle to provide the illusion of a hidden cavern with a dark interior.

Despite the fact that it’s no longer used for bigger budget movies, it’s still a popular filming location.

Address:  3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States

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31. Lake Hollywood Park

Lake Hollywood Park

Lake Hollywood Park is known for being the best of the Los Angeles attractions to get a picture of the iconic Hollywood sign at an up-close angle.

As a fun, dog-friendly spot, as many pets as people can often be found here.

There are two hiking paths that are most commonly trekked at this LA, California park.

One brings you to explore the park’s reservoir while the other leads up to the back of the Hollywood Sign, which we talked about earlier.

It’s open all the time, so whether you plan to go now, tomorrow, or far in the future, you’ll have no trouble getting in!

Address:  3160 Canyon Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States

32. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

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Spanning 58,000 square feet, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is a marvel of beautiful design courtesy of Rafael Moneo, a Spanish architect.

The complex is often referred to simply as the Los Angeles Cathedral and originally started in 2002, when it replaced the earthquake-damaged Cathedral of Saint Vibiana.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is a monument to LA’s patron saint and a Roman martyr from the third century, Saint Vibiana.

The style of the cathedral is rather unorthodox, with a mix of right angles creating a fortress-like appearance and a postmodern style that seems contrary to its religious roots.

In fact, at first, it was widely criticized for being created in such a style.

Still, through the controversy over design choice and cost, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was built as planned.

Centered on the themes of “journey” and “light”, the aesthetic of the structure is certainly one to behold, so if you’re a design geek looking for what to do in the city, definitely take a trip here.

The wooden ambo, the Spanish alabaster windows, the Rosso Laguna marble table, and the exact 333-foot length make for interesting aspects of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Address:  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

33. Venice Beach

Venice Beach

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There is no way you can go to Los Angeles, California without going to one of its very best tourist attractions: Venice Beach .

The beach is modeled after the real Venice in Italy and was completed in the early years of the 20th century.

Sure, it doesn’t really feel like you’re being whisked away from LA to Italy, but the spirit and aesthetic of the beach is not one to miss.

Mansions, trendy shops, and fine eateries line Venice Beach, providing a touch of the opulent to what was meant to be whimsical.

The boardwalk is arguably its most popular feature, and plenty of eccentric visitors and beach guests make for great people watching.

Though not exactly perfect for swimming, Venice Beach is great for sunbathing, and as it’s open 24 hours a day, it’s always waiting for you.

Address: Los Angeles, CA 90291, United States

34. Echo Park Time Travel Mart

Echo Park Time Travel Mart

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The Echo Park Time Travel Mart is a very fun and unique store in LA.

Made by the same company that brought Brooklyn its Superhero Supply shop and San Francisco its Pirate Supply store, the Echo Park Time Travel Mart is one of the best eccentric locations in Los Angeles, especially for families.

The mart sells all sorts of wacky and fake relics from the past and future, ranging from Michael Jordan pogs to Barbarian Repellent, and from Robot Emotions to dinosaur eggs, visiting and exploring is a must-do if you’re into the strange and silly.

Aside from being a funky store, the Echo Park Time Travel Mart is also a literary tutoring center.

Approximately twenty to thirty students arrive every day to receive lessons on expository and creative writing – and that tutoring is a non-profit venture, too!

The shop’s proceeds also all go to that non-profit group’s tutoring and its other ventures.

Address:  1714 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, United States

35. Barnsdall Art Park

Barnsdall Art Park

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If you love art, a trip to the Barnsdall Art Park is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles, California.

The park is located on East Hollywood and is usually quiet, making it a fun hidden gem to unearth while you’re in LA.

The secluded park is well-maintained and modern, housing a theater, art galleries, and even historic buildings for you to peruse.

One of the most loved houses on display here is Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles project, the Hollyhock House, which was built for Aline Barnsdall, an oil heiress who donated the home to the city when she wound up never using it.

At the Barnsdall Art Park, you can also find the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

Both house contemporary art in all its forms.

If you’re not seeking that sort of activity, you can simply walk around the park or have a picnic there.

Address:  4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

36. California Institute of AbnormalArts

California Institute of Abnormal Arts

Skibz777 / CC BY-SA

The California Institute of AbnormalArts is one of the more unusual points of interest in LA, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t top your list.

The events held here are ones commonly referred to as freakshows, consisting of odd musical performances, indescribable live events, and bizarre sideshows.

One of the more interesting draws at the Institute of AbnormalArts is Achile Chatouilleu, a mummified clown still wearing his makeup and costume, lying in a sealed glass coffin.

Other fascinating but morbid exhibits involve bones, body parts (some petrified), man-eating monsters, signs from circuses, and horror movie clips.

That’s why this is one of the unusual places to visit in LA for anyone who likes a little oddity in their life.

Address:  11334 Burbank Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91601, United States

37. Phantasma Gloria

Phantasma Gloria

Randyland is a home located in Echo Park, and in front of that home sits the Phantasma Gloria.

The Phantasma Gloria is a piece of modern sculpture art that casts a beautiful spectrum of colors in a fun kaleidoscope of vibrancy and wonder.

The sculpture was made by Randlett Lawrence, simply called Randy, and it’s a bit of a hidden gem as far as places to go in the city of Los Angeles, California are considered.

Using a litany of glass bottles, colored water, and wire, Randy set to work putting together this rainbow.

In the mornings, the refraction of the sunlight from the bottles causes glowing brilliant pinwheels of color, and inside each bottle, you’ll see patterns that appear as dolphins.

Randy is still working on the Phantasma Gloria to this day, always adding in new parts and making changes as he sees fit.

If you’re lucky, you might get to meet the man himself – who is very passionate and excitable about his work – this weekend during your visit.

Do note that he only holds tours on said weekends at certain times.

Address:  1646 Lemoyne St, Los Angeles, CA 90026, United States

38. Silver Lake Staircases

Silver Lake Staircases

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Silver Lake is full of public stairways across its hillsides, and believe it or not, they make for some pretty fun activities for sightseeing in the LA area.

The stairway network spans 2.5 miles and is legally open to the public, though some homeowners try to block some of them off.

These outdoor stairways are great workouts for the fitness-minded, but they’re also beautiful and worth viewing for their aesthetics, too.

The Music Box Steps, made famous by Laurel and Hardy, and the Micheltorena Stairs are some of the more popular, picture-friendly ones you’ll find in your explorations.

39. The Sunken City

Sunken City

carlfbagge / flickr

If you’re in the Los Angeles area and willing to head over to San Pedro for some site seeing, check out the Sunken City .

A landslide that took place here, not far from LA, in 1929 led to a whole neighborhood falling into the ocean, with breakneck speeds of 11 inches per day of land movement measured at its worst.

This led to some of Point Fermin Park succumbing to the waves, too.

Locals now call this place the Sunken City.

Foundations of houses, splintered and broken, litter the vicinity, alongside streetcar tracks long since left abandoned, sidewalks twisted and buckled, and streets that see no traffic.

The roads surrounding it are popular for hiking and it has been used in movies and shows.

However, do note that you should not enter the Sunken City itself.

The ruins are extremely dangerous and trespassing is forbidden.

Address: Paseo Del Mar, Los Angeles, CA 90731, United States

40. Petersen Automotive Museum and Vault

Petersen Automotive Museum

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Taking a trip to the Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles for car enthusiasts.

The fun museum was founded by Robert E. Peterson, a publisher, and opened in 1994 on Museum Row in LA.

A recent makeover has created a rather impressive transformation in the museum.

Its building is now decorated with a ribbon formation created by a stainless steel shell weighing 100 tons.

Within that building are 25 galleries of automobiles, carefully arranged against backdrops of vivid color and scenery.

Some of the most famous cars here are the 1958 Plymouth Fury “Christine”, the 1915 Detroit Electric Model 61 Brougham, and the 1987 Mana La, which is solar-powered.

But there’s something a little more special at the Petersen Automotive Museum: The Vault.

It costs extra to enter but is a real treat, having only opened to the public in 2012.

It contains more than 250 different vehicles, including many owned by celebrities, from across the globe over 120 years.

The collection includes Steve McQueen’s 1957 Jaguar, Saddam Hussein’s Mercedes-Benz, and even the golf cart of President Clinton.

Address:  6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States

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41. Autry Museum of the American West

Autry Museum of the American West

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If the name of the Autry Museum of the American West rings a bell, it’s because its founder is Gene Autry, better known as the famous Singing Cowboy.

The museum was opened in 1988 as a dedication to Western America’s history and culture, meaning it speaks not just of LA or California, but all of the west.

The museum is located in Griffith Park, carefully held in a mission-type building.

Seven galleries span throughout the ground floor and lower floor that make up the permanent exhibit.

This exhibit essentially lays out a timeline of the West’s history, from its prehistoric ages, to the times of French missionaries and Spanish conquistadors, and even up to the 20th century.

A more fun exhibit lies in the Autry Museum of the American West’s firearm collection, which is already quite large but is still growing.

It holds the personal items and the weapons of people like Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, and Belle Starr.

There is also the Colt Gallery, focused on Samuel Colt and his revolvers, and the Journeys Gallery, which discusses advancements in Western transportation.

Whether you’re interested in history or not, the Autry Museum of the American West is one of the Los Angeles attractions well worth a trip.

Address:  Griffith Park, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

42. Two Bit Circus Micro-Amusement Park

Two Bit Circus

David Tonelson / Shutterstock

The Two Bit Circus Micro-Amusement Park is a great way to get some entertainment in downtown LA without the need for exotic animals, pitching large striped tents, or watching trapeze artists perform daring and dangerous acts.

Rather, it is a unique park that is designed to provide unique experiences to its visitors through the use of immersive technology.

Lounges, games, escape rooms, interactive performances, food, and more lie in wait for you here, whisking you away from the world of Los Angeles and placing you in realms of fantasy and excitement.

You’re spoiled for choice in terms of what to see.

For example, at the Midway, you can play carnival games that have been modernized through the wonders of virtual reality.

Despite its advancements and modernity, there’s a sense of nostalgia about the Two Bit Circus Micro-Amusement Park.

It’s a good throwback to the games of the 80s and a good balance between the world of the old and the new.

While it may not be the most suitable attraction for very young children, it can be a good deal of excitement for the whole family.

Address:  634 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021, United States

43. Garden of Oz

Garden of Oz

Garden of Oz

The Garden of Oz was never intended to blossom as it is now.

When Gail Cottman, a Los Angeles, California resident, purchased the plot of land that would go on to become one of the city’s top hidden gems, she originally planned only to grow some roses in it.

But her 1991 plan grew into something far beyond a simple patch of flowers!

Cottman hired a man named Manuel Rodriguez as her contractor to build her rose garden.

When the roses were placed among cement, Rodriguez thought the dullness needed some brightening, so he decorated it with beads and tiles.

Cottman, upon seeing his creativity, was reminded of the Wizard of Oz, which was one of her personal favorite films.

This is where she got the inspiration to transform the garden from just roses to a fun and enchanting Land of Oz.

If you are to visit the Garden of Oz, you’ll find a path of yellow tiles (the Yellow Brick Road, of course) winding through flora of all kinds.

A mailbox allows you to send letters to Oz, a Wall of Toys provides a touch of the fun and childlike, and a crystal ball adds more whimsy and mysticism to this already magical place.

Thrones are also scattered throughout the garden, and each one is dedicated to certain famous real and fictional figures, such as Elvis Presley, Rosa Parks, and Dorothy herself.

When we say the Garden of Oz is a hidden gem, we mean it isn’t really one of the city’s tourist attractions.

It is usually not open to the public – though local kids of the neighborhood have the keys! – so you’d have to visit it from the outside.

Even viewing it from the street, though, is quite a treat already.

Address:  3040 Ledgewood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States

44. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Danita Delmont / Shutterstock

Deemed as one of the most beautiful places to visit in the US , the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is located on the Westside of Los Angeles.

It is perhaps most known among more energetic activities, as there are 282 steps of stairs in a steep configuration.

To get to the overlook, you have to climb them.

Though it is a tiring endeavor, getting to the overlook after all those steps rewards you with must-see views of downtown LA’s skyline and the ocean, one on each side respectively.

The view stretches all around and a long bench allows you to sit and relax as you take in the beauty of it all.

Address:  6050 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, United States

45. Bradbury Building

Bradbury Building

Barbara Barbour / Shutterstock

The Bradbury Building has a rather unusual backstory: it may never have come to be if not for the use of an Ouija board.

Lewis L. Bradbury, a man who had found success and riches in mining in California, only wanted the very best man to bring to life his dreams of an indulgent building of five stories.

That man, he decided, was George Wyman, who absolutely refused to take the project on.

He only agreed after using a planchette board to speak to his brother, who assured him through the board that this project would be extremely successful.

The impressive and rather regal structure is inspired in large part by a sci-fi novel by Edward Bellamy called Looking Backward, which pictures a utopian society.

Interestingly, the building is not particularly memorable from the outside, but as soon as you enter, you’ll see why it’s among the surefire places to visit in Los Angeles.

The interior of the Bradbury Building features a large courtyard that is breathtaking to behold, making use of natural light and multiple intricate details to relay a vision of magnificence.

It has been used in popular culture and films, including in Blade Runner; there’s something about it that works well with the realm of science fiction.

You’ll have to see it for yourself to understand!

Address:  304 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, United States

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46. Valley Relics Museum

Valley Relics Museum

Thomas Hawk / flickr

The Valley Relics Museum was founded by one person alone: native Los Angeles resident Tommy Gelinas.

He curates the items found within this treasure of a location and has turned it into one of the best non-profit places of interest in LA.

The place is completely packed with exhibits and showcases, even hanging from the ceiling.

The mission of the Valley Relics Museum is fairly simple: to tell the stories of those who helped build this city and its state into what it is today, as well as how this region helped with the overall development of the country.

Pop ephemera of all kinds, including signages, vintage bikes, restaurant menus, yearbooks, and more, preserve the tales of those who came before.

Address:  7900 Balboa Blvd. C3 & C4 Entrance on, Stagg St, Van Nuys, CA 91406, United States

47. Santa Monica Farmers Market

Santa Monica Farmers Market

Gran Turismo / Shutterstock

The Santa Monica Farmers Market near LA, California is one of the most reputable shopping locations in the general vicinity.

Open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the farmers market covers multiple blocks and is completely packed with all sorts of fun goodies and fresh produce.

Each booth is run by a local farm that specializes in something different.

With so many parts of the market and places to see, you’re sure to find something that entices you to purchase it.

Emu eggs, black truffles, sea urchin, and bergamot are among the more exotic offerings up for grabs.

Address:  2640 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90404, United States

48. Philosophical Research Society

Philosophical Research Society

Philosophical Research Society

Los Angeles has always been a center for the spiritual, the occult, and the mystic.

That might be why the Philosophical Research Society was formed in 1934.

As far as research facilities go, it’s undoubtedly one of the coolest you’ll find, and it’s the best way to get a glimpse into LA’s paranormal roots.

The Philosophical Research Society’s library contains a ton of information regarding rare and unusual philosophies, spiritualities, and religions.

Events and classes give guests a chance to find out more about the esoteric arts, too, so though it is a non-circulating library, you’ll never leave without some food for thought.

Address:  3910 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

49. Greystone Mansion

Greystone Mansion

Yuriy Chertok / Shutterstock

Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills is one of many famous LA, California estates, and it’s one to add to your bucket list of activities if you’re into a mix of history and architecture.

Designed by Hoover Dam architect Gordon Kaufmann, the mansion is rich and luxurious and, at the time it was finished, was the most expensive house to ever be built in Los Angeles and the surrounding state.

The home was purchased by Edward Doheny, the controversial oil tycoon, for his son and his family as a gift in 1928.

Just four months after they moved in, tragedy struck and that same son and his secretary were both found dead from gunshots, supposedly having shot each other for reasons that remain a mystery to this day.

The mansion was then donated by Edward Doheny to the city.

Greystone Mansion then became a National Register of Historic Places entry.

It’s been used in multiple different shows and movies, including MacGuyver, The Big Lebowski, and Gilmore Girls.

Unfortunately, visitors can’t go into the home, but they can freely tour its surroundings.

Address:  905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, United States

50. The Old, Abandoned Zoo of Griffith Park

The Old, Abandoned Zoo of Griffith Park

Petrinad / Shutterstock

If you’re seeking fun things to do in LA that don’t fall within the realm of traditional sightseeing, you’d be surprised to know that one such spot can be found right in Los Angeles’ famous Griffith Park.

Little remains of 1912’s first Los Angeles Zoo.

It opened with only 15 animals, with more enclosures built a couple of decades later.

The zoo wound up closing in 1966 with the opening of the new city zoo, and all of its remnants still live on in a silent part of Griffith Park.

The former enclosures are now fitted with facilities like grills and benches.

You can sit here for a picnic or walk up the trail to see where the lions’ den once was.

It’s hard to find this place with how large Griffith Park is, but if you stumble upon it, you’ll be glad that you did.

Address:  4801 Griffith Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

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51. Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum

The Japanese American National Museum isn’t just the largest museum of its kind in California but in all of America.

It showcases the history of Japanese-American life and culture, with textiles, artifacts, photos, art, and even footage that retain the wealth of the past.

The museum’s permanent exhibition proves why it’s one of many fantastic LA attractions.

Common Ground: The Heart of Community discusses the experience of Japanese-Americans, dating back to the very first Japanese immigrants in the 1800s.

Documents, oral history, and objects help preserve the life behind these stories.

Meanwhile, temporary exhibits are often fun and exciting, and if you’re lucky enough to catch one this weekend, you may be treated to toy showcases or similar exhibitions.

Address:  100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

52. Galco’s Soda Pop Stop

Galco's Soda Pop Stop

A trip to Galco’s Soda Pop Stop can easily be considered one of the most unique things to do in LA.

With big soda brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Fanta taking control of most of the industry, it’s hard to find anything without their names.

Back in the old days, small independent soda makers were commonplace, and that’s a past that Galco’s Soda Pop Stop very much preserves within its walls.

The store is chock full of soda brands from all across the country and even from other countries.

Much of its stock is obscure, with forgotten brands and rare imported products with little-known flavors.

If you won’t be in Los Angeles, you can still sample some goodies from the store thanks to an online shop!

Address:  5702 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042, United States

53. Necromance


Necromance is one of LA’s most unorthodox points of interest for those with a fascination with the morbid and odd.

The oddities in here are mostly one-of-a-kind, and many times, the items you see there will be gone the next time you return.

At its core, Necromance is a shop that sells oddities of zoological, medical, and even creepy varieties.

Bone saws, stuffed animals, preserved skeletons or insects, glass eyes, and more are among the unique antiques you can see here.

There are also strange postcards you can’t find anywhere else in Los Angeles which make for great gifts.

Address:  7220 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, United States

54. Holyland Exhibition

Holyland Exhibition

Holyland Exhibition

The Holyland Exhibition is one of the best smaller things to see in Los Angeles, California – and it truly is small!

The man behind this fun little museum’s creation is Antonia F. Futterer, who is widely regarded as the inspiration for Indiana Jones.

Futterer became ill in the 1900s and had prayers for recovery answered, which led to his strong belief in Christianity.

In 1926, Futterer’s faith led him to make multiple trips to the Holy Land, and this eventually evolved into his goal of finding the Ark of the Covenant.

While he never succeeded in that venture, he did wind up accumulating a rather impressive collection of Christian artifacts from across the world.

Lack of storage led to Futterer’s decision to found the small museum.

Though the Holyland Exhibition has only five rooms, each room is worth it.

You’ll be able to see artifacts dating back as far as 5,000 years, ranging from jewelry to tapestries and from a sarcophagus to mundane oil lamps and bottles.

If you visit the museum, you’ll be treated to complementary Mandel bread, a grape drink, and Damascan apricot fruit leather.

You might even feel like you’re no longer in Los Angeles at all!

Address:  2213 Lake View Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039, United States

55. Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

Roka / Shutterstock

With the rich neighborhood of the Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, the ten-acre Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine hosts its campus.

The shrine is designated as a natural destination for spiritual enlightenment.

Many celebrities have come here, too, to seek their own break from LA and the world around it.

Paramahansa Yogananda, a famous yogi, founded the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in 1950.

A mix of green gardens and a serene lake give people a chance to take a break from the sometimes-fun, sometimes-stressful bustle of the city right outside.

Some structures also live on shrine grounds, including an inclusive monument of multiple religions, a tomb of Mahatma Gandhi that is home to some of his ashes, and a windmill that has been turned into a chapel.

Address:  17190 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, United States

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56. Rosenheim Mansion

Rosenheim Mansion

Rosenheim Mansion

The Rosenheim Mansion was built by Alfred Rosenheim shortly after his move from St. Louis to LA, California.

It sits atop a hill in Los Angeles’ Country Club Park on a street most refer to as Billionaire Row.

The mansion is one of many places used abundantly in Hollywood productions.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Law & Order: SVU, American Horror Story, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Bones have all shot here.

If you tour the building, you’ll get the fun experience of recognizing its key features from the shows you’ve watched: Italian brickwork, exotic wood, a gold-leaf ceiling, Tiffany stained glass, a solarium, and a semi-circular library, among others.

Address: 1120 Westchester Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90019, United States

57. Battleship Iowa Museum

Battleship Iowa Museum

Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock

The Battleship Iowa Museum is located close to LA’s port and is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles, California for families.

As its name suggests, it is a huge battleship that gives you a glimpse into what life is like at sea.

Each admission ticket comes with a self-guided tour and a free, fun scavenger hunt for kids.

An additional fee lets you in on a guided tour that showcases the ship’s engine room, Combat Engagement Center, and boiler room.

Don’t forget to check out the 16-inch guns on the ship; they’re quite impressive and will remind you of the perils that Los Angeles was once prepared to face.

Address:  250 S Harbor Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90731, United States

58. The Magic Castle

The Magic Castle

Ryan J. Thompson / Shutterstock

The Magic Castle is one of the more interesting and surreal of LA attractions, an intersection between magic as an artform of sleight of hand and magic as a paranormal source of supernatural ability.

The combination and middle ground of these two activities make the Magic Castle what it is.

It’s worth noting that The Magic Castle is exclusively open only to magician members and associate members of the Academy of Magical Arts, and their guests, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing, even if just from the outside.

The huge castle is impossible to miss when you drive by, even among all the other great Los Angeles, California structures.

If you do get to enter as a visitor, you’ll be able to enjoy good meals and drinks – that is, if you can get past the foyer and through the hidden entry!

If you do make it inside, there are plenty of performances with high production value and impressive magician talent that are a real treat to be an audience to.

Address: 7001 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States

59. The Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art , or MOCA for short, is a museum featuring the most impressive collection of art of its kind in Los Angeles, California.

Its permanent collection houses 6,000 pieces and its temporary, rotating exhibits are packed with fun and exciting works from all sorts of artists of varying levels of experience and renown.

MOCA has a bit of an intellectual air to it but still provides accessible entertainment to many.

It technically consists of three separate buildings stretched across the city of LA, which gives you plenty to do in terms of where to go.

The guided tours are great for some extra knowledge, the gift shop provides awesome souvenirs and presents, and even the café can be worth stopping by if you like lemonade.

Address: 250 South Grand Avenue; Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

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60. The Museum of Jurassic Technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

Sascha Pohflepp / flickr

The Museum of Jurassic Technology is one of those tourist attractions that you can’t even get near to explaining well until you actually see it for yourself.

The museum doesn’t consider itself so much as an educational resource as a “spot dedicated to the muses”, according to its brochure.

Essentially, The Museum of Jurassic Technology prides itself on sticking to the original meaning of the word “museum” – a place that lets the mind wander and ponder as it muses.

Its collection of exhibits is the most eclectic you’ll find in Los Angeles, California.

Some of the most interesting showcases in the museum are the Garden of Eden on Wheels, which is a micro-sculpture diorama exhibiting trailer park culture that is viewed through the eye of a needle, and the works of Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher.

Don’t expect to get much sense out of this LA museum – it’s all confusing, and that’s what makes it so good!

Address:  9341 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, United States

61. Mosaic Tile House

Mosaic Tile House

Mosaic Tile House

We all know how loved Venice Beach is in LA, California, but in that very spot is a rather interesting home known as the Mosaic Tile House .

It’s a must-see for anyone who wants to get a true taste of Venice and be transported away from the city, just for a little while.

The building is a hidden gem and is technically still in progress.

Throughout the house, mosaic tiles in vivid colors provide a kaleidoscope of stunning colors that are a real treat to see.

The home is designed by locals Gonzalo Duran and Cheri Pann, who originally just began their design efforts with the goal of installing unique bathroom tiles over a weekend.

That soon grew into a twenty-year continual effort to add more tiles and beautiful paintings to the home.

Pann, an oil painter, is responsible for creating the original art for the tiles, while Duran breaks them and fixes them across the home.

They’re still working on filling the whole house.

It’s only open to the public for 3 hours on Saturdays, and reservations are typically recommended.

Address:  1116 Palms Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, United States

62. Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn

Walt Disney's Carolwood Barn

Logan Bush / Shutterstock

Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn was built behind the great man’s home in 1950 to be a place for Disney to simply relax and think creative thoughts.

It was a station house at first, designed to hold a mini railroad despite looking just like a barn from outside.

Disney spent hours in here with his fellow creatives, dreaming up all sorts of ideas.

Eventually, Disney left the LA home and moved on.

His daughter eventually saved the barn and had it and the miniature railroad within given to the Los Angeles Live Streamers, who have a Griffith Park rail museum and set up the track and rail there.

Meanwhile, Carolwood Barn remains in this corner of California and is one of the most fun and almost whimsical places to visit in Los Angeles.

It is a small museum now and guests can see it just as Disney left it!

Address:  5202 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

63. Chicken Boy

Chicken Boy

Joe / flickr

It’s hard to believe that such an oddball statue is considered the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles, but Chicken Boy has become one of the best draws for tourists who like a little strangeness in their adventures.

Chicken Boy is a figure made of fiberglass that stands 22 feet tall in a location along Route 66 – also one of the city’s famous places – on the Future Studio Gallery.

Chicken Boy was originally designed as a part of the Muffler Men lineup of mascots but then became a fried chicken restaurant mascot.

If you don’t know, the Muffler Men were customized statues that once filled Mother Road.

After the Chicken Boy restaurant shut its doors in 1984, Amy Inouye, a local artist, saved the statue from being tossed out and fought to gain custody of it.

She tried to find it a new home, but the task proved difficult, and Chicken Boy stayed in storage for a whopping twenty years or so.

Finally, in 2007, it was finally set up on Future Studio Gallery’s rooftop, and Chicken Boy has become so popular that he even has a birthday (September 1) and is considered an essential part of the city.

Address:  5558 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042, United States

64. Museum of Tolerance

Museum of Tolerance

Smart Destinations / flickr

The Museum of Tolerance isn’t exactly a fun place, but for those seeking to educate themselves on prejudice and injustice – especially surrounding the Holocaust – this is one of the places to see in the city of Los Angeles, California that shouldn’t be missed.

The museum first opened in 1993 through the efforts of human rights group Simon Wiesenthal Center.

It not only seeks to provide awareness regarding the Holocaust but also human rights concerns in Cambodia and Latin America.

If you’re not in or even near LA, though, it has an associated museum all the way in New York , too.

Address:  9786 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035, United States

65. Box Canyon

Box Canyon

janiegreen23 / Pixabay

Box Canyon is very narrow and very small, with only two ways in.

On its own, it’s never been more than a fun little Los Angeles getaway for a tiny and still relaxing adventure.

But with a little historical context, it becomes one of the best and most fascinating sites to visit in the city.

Why? Well, it is here that a doomsday cult was formed.

The Fountain of the World was a cult set up in 1948 by Francis Pencovic.

The man believed he was from an alien planet called Neophrates and claimed to be Christ’s second coming.

He purchased land in Box Canyon to build a monastery across 25 acres of land, with multiple dorms for approximately one hundred followers.

The cult started to gain positive fame when they fought wildfires in the place, though the internal preachings were anything but of peace.

Pencovic was killed in 1958 when two men, seeking revenge on him after their wives joined him, blew up the monastery with 20 dynamite sticks.

The cult attempted to carry on without its leader but eventually, it died away in the 1980s, leaving a strange legacy that draws visitors to Box Canyon, Los Angeles year after year.

Address: Los Angeles, CA 91311, United States

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66. Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is one of California’s longest-running theaters for puppetry.

The theater is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural landmark that makes for a fantastic visit to check off your bucket list.

The theater is named after one of its founders and an iconic part of puppeteer history: Bob Baker, who performed and helped other puppet performers for more than seven decades.

He was a key figurehead in the push for unions for puppet performers and the marionette theater was used for training for up-and-coming performers.

Baker had quite a prolific list of credits, as well, with his work being featured in Star Trek, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Bewitched, and even A Star Is Born.

If you plan to catch a show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater this weekend, you’ll be able to sit in a shoebox theater that seats 200 people and spend slightly over an hour watching performances from puppeteer students.

After each show, kids are given free vanilla ice cream!

Address:  4949 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042, United States

67. Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to do in Los Angeles, look no further than the odd and extremely biased Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum .

The museum is run by the Church of Scientology-funded Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which is the reason behind the museum’s absolutely dismal perspective of the field of psychiatry.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the Church of Scientology’s view on psychiatry, they essentially believe that psychiatry is a form of abuse to human beings.

In fact, members of the church are often forced to sign contracts that they will deny all psychiatric care no matter what.

So, if Scientology is so opposed to psychiatry, why did they make a museum on the subject?

Well, they did so to expose the “evils” of psychiatry and the more questionable portions of its history.

The museum gives visitors vivid tours of the worst that the mental health world ever had to offer, such as insane asylums, lobotomies, excessive drug usage, straight jackets, and shock therapy.

As long as you’re willing to take what you see here with a grain of salt and remember the bias of the curators, it can be pretty fun to view the museum, especially for those with a love of the morbid.

It’s one of the best things to do in LA if you love the strange and eerie!

Address:  6616 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States

68. Pacific Park

Pacific Park

littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock

Pacific Park is a pier amusement park, making it the only one of its kind not just in Los Angeles, California, but throughout all of America.

Completely free to the public, it’s a great, low-cost way to have fun among exciting LA attractions.

The theme park first opened in the 1910s and, after closing a few times, was fully brought to glory in the 1990s.

It is relatively small, boasting only 12 rides, but that doesn’t stop its fame due to its free entry and the fact that it has appeared in TV shows, movies, and even video games.

To ride the rides at Pacific Park, you pay to enter individual attractions.

Don’t miss out on the Pacific Wheel, which is the only Ferris wheel on the planet to be powered by solar energy.

Address:  380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

69. Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth

Lee A Wong / Shutterstock

In a building that was once an industrial mill for flour, Hauser & Wirth now lives in the Arts District of LA as an oasis of modern art, books, and gardens.

A great restaurant onsite, a gallery, and a bookstore all make up the best of the stuff to do at this location.

Hauser & Wirth first opened its doors in 1992 and has grown in popularity throughout Los Angeles ever since, allowing it to host workshops, performances, discussions and lectures, and screenings.

All sorts of exhibitions showcase famous works by interesting modern artists.

This is not Hauser & Wirth’s only location, either, as over 75 different estates across the globe share its name and its mission.

Address:  901-909 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, United States

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70. Heritage Square Museum

Heritage Square Museum

Ron Reiring / flickr

Heritage Square Museum is an open-air museum situated among multiple Victorian-style structures that are some of LA’s hidden gems of tourist attractions.

Long before it was the bustling city it is known as now, Los Angeles had a much more elegant history.

The buildings of the museum consist of ones built between the 1850s and 1950s, showcasing a classy and sophisticated sense of style and architecture.

In the 1960s, the population boom of the city resulted in most historical buildings being demolished to make way for rapid urbanization.

Some still survive, mostly thanks to a nonprofit organization called the Cultural Heritage Foundation of Southern California.

They created the Heritage Square Museum to house the many architectural and historical parts of the city that would have otherwise been destroyed.

In terms of activities, one building you must check out in the museum is called the Hale House.

Its colors are shocking and almost an eyesore with orange and green paint, but that’s what makes it a great sight.

You can also check out a train depot, a house shaped like an octagon, and a carriage house.

In addition, you can opt to go on a tour, following guides dressed in period-appropriate clothing.

Address:  3800 Homer St, Los Angeles, CA 90031, United States

71. Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens

If you’re a nature-lover looking for what to visit in Los Angeles, Descanso Gardens might be one of your best bets for something both laid back and interesting.

Once upon a time, Descanso Gardens was the estate of LA Daily News publisher E. Manchester Boddy – a man with a classic rags-to-riches story.

In his older years, he focused more on his horticultural passions, leading to the careful tending of the 150-acre gardens.

When he became too old to manage the gardens, he sold it as a botanical teaching garden.

Now, the Descanso Gardens is simply teeming with glorious flora.

Bucolic sculptures, designed to look like all manner of woodland creatures, dot the space across beautiful and lush greenery.

A small maze, only three feet high in its hedges, makes for a lot of fun for young kids while allowing adults to easily navigate their way through it.

The maze leads to lots of little surprises and the final reward in the middle of a seating location perfect for relaxing.

Address:  1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011, United States

72. Angels Flight

Angels Flight

The Angels Flight railway began operations in 1901 to bring travelers to their destination down or up Bunker Hill.

The distance only spanned 315 feet, but the incline was very steep, resulting in millions of people making use of its services and riding the 30-second ride up and down the hill.

It is widely considered the world’s shortest railway as well as, ironically, it’s most traveled.

In 1969, heavy commercialization in Los Angeles, California resulted in the railway being closed down and the trolley carts kept away.

Then, nearly three decades later in 1996, it was finally reopened at a different location, just south by half a block.

Things went well until 2001 when the train experienced a sudden malfunction that resulted in an accident that seriously injured passengers and was fatal to one.

This caused the railway to be closed by the National Transportation Safety Board, citing a design failure.

Eventually, Angels Flight reopened again in 2010, but not before derailment caused it to close in 2013 once more.

Vandals decorated it as time went on before the rail cars were finally restored one last time, opening in 2017.

If you’re looking for what to do in LA that’s fun and full of intriguing history, take a ride on Angels Flight!

Address:  350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071, United States

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Start Planning Your Trip To Los Angeles

Los Angeles is packed with popular places, and there’s always going to be a lot to do and many fun activities to try out.

Whether you’re heading to the city today, tomorrow, this weekend, this week, or somewhere farther into the future, you can be sure that LA is full of surprises.

Hopefully, this travel guide has shown you all the best spots for sightseeing and beyond that the City of Angels has to offer so you won’t miss out on the best things to do in LA, California.

The Atlas Heart

85+ Best & Fun Things to Do in LA (Los Angeles) in 2024

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85+ Best & Fun Things to Do in LA (Los Angeles) in 2024

Last updated: May 13th, 2023

The best and most fun things to do in LA! From the top attractions to favorite local experiences, written by someone who’s a regular visitor.

As a Californian who visits the LA area at least once per year, what I love most about the city is that there’s always something new to do each time I visit.

It’s a destination that has endless spots to explore–whether it’s famous sights or those quirky and unique places all over the city.

I may not like the gridlock traffic (or drivers) sometimes, but it would be wrong to say that Los Angeles is overrated.

The city is a sprawling metropolis that has a little something for everyone, you just have to know where to look.

To get you brainstorming and excited for your next trip to Los Angeles, I put together a detailed Los Angeles guide full of first-hand knowledge and personal recommendations.

This Los Angeles bucket list draws on my numerous visits to the city over the past 20+ years. I lived in San Diego for five years, and my sister lived in Los Angeles at the same time, so I would visit her a lot. 

And, as I mentioned above, we still visit at least once per year to see family and check out more things to do around the city since there are always new attractions popping up.

All this is to say that this is probably the most comprehensive guide you’ll find to the best things to do in Los Angeles, California on the internet.

And it’s actually written by someone who has a ton of first-hand experience with exploring the city, not AI or someone who has never visited themselves. A somewhat rare occurrence in this day and age. 🙂

Let’s dive in so you can enjoy your time in the City of Stars to the fullest!

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

There are many things to do in LA, shown here on a sunny day with palm trees in the foreground.

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Table of Contents

Universal Studios Hollywood

Crowds gathered around the globe at Universal Studios.

One of the top things to experience in LA is Universal Studios Hollywood .

Universal Studios Hollywood not only offers up plenty of thrills for a fun family, solo, or couple’s day out, but it’s also very quintessential Los Angeles.

You can see Hogwarts from Harry Potter come to life here (and sip on butterbeer in Hogsmeade), take a tour of famous movie sets, and witness live-action over-the-top performances that will blow your mind.

A few of my favorite experiences at the park include WaterWorld, Hogsmeade at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the Revenge of the Mummy Ride. 

Although it’s another touristy spot in Los Angeles, I personally love visiting Universal Studios Hollywood at any time of year.

My most recent visit was during the holidays last year, and I was able to experience the popular Grinchmas show, complete with fake snow at the end.

Not to mention, sipping on a butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter feels even more magical during the holidays.

That said, I’ve also visited during other seasons, and it has been just as fun.

You can grab your admission ticket ahead of time here so you can bypass the line.

Local tip: Download the Universal Studios App ahead of time for a full list of maps, wait times, and showtimes on your phone.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

A young woman with short hair and sunglasses crouches, smiling, next to the Ingrid Bergman star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Walk of Fame is one of the top things to do in California and a must-see place in Los Angeles–you really can’t get more LA than Hollywood! 

It’s boisterous and bustling and not for everyone, but it’s something you should experience at least once, even just for the photo ops.

I’ve been to the Hollywood Walk of Fame a few times now, and I always love the people watching while trying to find my favorite stars.

It might be touristy, but it’s one of the more fun (and free) things to do in Hollywood.

And it’s surprisingly fun to pose in the place where one of your favorite stars stood and was honored with a star ceremony. I posed with the stars of Tom Hanks and Ingrid Bergman the last time I was there.

There are now more than 2,700 terrazzo and brass stars that line the famous Hollywood Boulevard, taking up 15 blocks. That’s a whole lot of famous people.

Local tip: if you’re looking for a specific person’s star, you can use the Star Search on the official website for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also, try to avoid the people dressed up in costumes that are always walking along this area of Hollywood. They will take a photo with you and then demand quite a bit of money for it.

TCL Chinese Theatre

Cars and crowds gathered in front of the ornate entrance of the TCL Chinese Theatre.

While hanging around the famous stars on Hollywood Boulevard, don’t forget to check out another popular sight on Hollywood Boulevard–the TCL Chinese Theatre (originally Grauman’s Chinese Theatre).

When the TCL Chinese Theatre opened in 1927, it was the most ornate and impressive theater in the world. 

You can still watch movies at the theater today, and the interior is historic and looks beautiful. I’ve still only seen the theater from the outside, but it’s on my to-do list to one day watch a movie inside of it.

Even if you don’t have time to go inside, taking a photo outside this well-known sight is still worthwhile.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

The busy front entrance and red sign of Madame Tussaud's Hollywood, with a Starbucks visible next door.

Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is one of the most popular Hollywood tourist attractions to experience.

The one in LA is the only Madame Tussauds I’ve been to, and I’d say it’s worth a visit at least once if you haven’t been to a wax museum before. 

Although to be honest, if you’ve been to other Madame Tussauds locations, it might not be as novel. 

Madame Tussaud’s is one of those places to visit in Hollywood if you have a couple of hours to spare and want to pose with wax replicas of your favorite stars.

You may as well get up close and personal with famous people if you’re in Hollywood, right?! When I visited, my favorite experience was posing on top of the T-Birds’ card from Grease while singing Grease Lightning.

You can grab your admission ticket ahead of time here to avoid having to wait in line.

Feeling hungry after your time sightseeing in Hollywood? Read our guide to the best restaurants in Hollywood .

Griffith Observatory

The view of Los Angeles lit up at night from Griffith Observatory.

Among the best free things to do in the Los Angeles area is the Griffith Observatory –one of the most visited public observatories in the world!

The Griffith Observatory is also a great place to start a hike to the iconic Hollywood Sign. 

Even if you’re not interested in the hike, it’s worthwhile to visit the Griffith Observatory for the views and the observatory itself.

It’s one of my favorite spots in LA and provides one of the best viewpoints looking out over the sprawling city from the south side of Mount Hollywood.

The first time I visited was the first time I realized just how beautiful of a city Los Angeles can be.

If you’ve ever seen James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause or La La Land , you’ll know that Griffith Observatory has featured in many Hollywood movies over the years.

And it’s easy to see why once you get up there: it’s naturally stunning and cinematic. 

Honestly, it’s worth it to go up to Griffith Observatory just for the view, but if you’re interested in astronomy, you should visit the inside of the observatory too (especially since it’s free). It’s open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

Inside, you can view exhibits, look through telescopes, and watch live shows at the planetarium. The only thing that costs money is parking and the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. 

You can also see the Hollywood Sign from the Griffith Observatory, although it’s pretty small and far away. 

Local tip: I highly recommend taking public transit or using a ride-share app to get to the observatory, especially if you’re visiting on the weekend. 

Public transit up to the park and observatory couldn’t be easier. Just hop on LADOT’s Dash Observatory/Los Feliz bus for 50 cents. The bus runs every 20-25 minutes and conveniently picks up near Hollywood Boulevard. 

If you want to drive, get there early because parking fills up fast!

Griffith Park

A sweeping view of a California canyon filled with oaks and bushes in Griffith Park.

For many who visit LA, Griffith Park is where you can see what’s beyond the Earth’s atmosphere at the famed Griffith Observatory. For others, it’s where you can hike to the top of the Hollywood Sign.

But there are so many other activities to do inside Griffith Park besides these two main attractions. 

At more than 4,300 acres and five times the size of New York’s Central Park, Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States today. 

It’s not uncommon to see several different events simultaneously while strolling through it on a given day. 

One of the most popular things to do at the park is simply enjoying an early morning stroll on the many different trails. 

First-time visitors can get directions to the starting points of different hiking trails at the Griffith Park Ranger Station near the main gate. 

If you’re looking for a unique sight, head west off the main trail before ending your adventure near the Bronson Cave. The Bronson Cave was the famed “Bat Cave” in the 60s Batman television series. 

Another unique Los Angeles attraction at Griffith Park is the Old LA Zoo. The Los Angeles Zoo was here before it was abandoned and changed locations to a different area of the park. 

At the Old LA Zoo, you can walk through abandoned animal enclosures (where picnic benches have now been added) and reminisce on what used to be. It’s also a popular place for budding photographers.  

Other popular things to do in Griffith Park include: 

  • LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens–the LA Zoo Lights are also definitely worth a visit in December. I went last year, and it was one of the coolest light installations I’ve seen in the city (and I’ve been to a lot).
  • The Autry Museum of the American West 
  • Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum & Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn
  • Bette Davis Picnic Area
  • Wisdom Tree on the Cahuenga Peak Trail
  • Amir’s Garden
  • Griffith Park Train Rides–especially their Holiday Light Festival Train Ride. I went on this last year, and it was so much fun!

Hollywood Sign

A view of the California hillside with the famous Hollywood sign.

Have you even been to Los Angeles if you haven’t seen the Hollywood Sign ?

The Hollywood Sign is one of the most famous Los Angeles landmarks and an attraction most people want to see up close when they visit LA.

A common misconception–that I also had before I visited for the first time–is that you can easily drive up to the sign and snap a few quick pictures and peace out. WRONG.

Let me be the one to tell you that seeing the Hollywood Sign up close is an ordeal and will probably involve a sweaty workout. 

This is because the best way to get up close is to hike to the Hollywood Sign. 

You can tackle a few different trails to get to the sign, or a handful of viewpoints offer unobstructed views if you’re not big on hiking.

For more in-depth info on the Hollywood Sign, you can read our article on the easiest and best ways to get to the Hollywood Sign for more details.

Sunset Strip

A close-up of the street sign for Sunset Blvd with a blue sky and out-of-focus palm trees in the background.

Cruising the iconic 1.6-mile Sunset Strip is one of the best things to do in West Hollywood and a Los Angeles hot spot you shouldn’t miss out on. 

The Strip is part of the much larger Sunset Boulevard that stretches for 22 miles, all the way from Hollywood through Beverly Hills and some of the best Malibu attractions. It’s one of the most famous streets in LA.

The Sunset Strip is fun to explore at any time of day, but it’s primarily known as one of the best places to go out at night in LA.

This is where you can check out trendy rooftop bars like SkyBar and Tower Bar or go to a live show at the iconic Viper Room or Whisky a Go Go.

This is also where popular comedy clubs like The Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store are.

Besides the LA nightlife scene, the Sunset Strip features the largest independent book store in LA called Book Soup and Sunset Plaza, a shopping center with over 20 stores.

Tour Famous Movie Locations

A view of the TCL Chinese Theater surrounded by glowing lights with some Hollywood stars in the foreground.

Being the home of the film industry, many of LA’s famed landmarks have been the backgrounds in key movie and TV scenes over the years. 

You may be surprised by the number of buildings, restaurants, and street corners that somehow feel familiar on your visit to LA. 

Although there are plenty of tours you can hop on that will take you to some famous spots, it can be fun to do a self-guided tour without the crowds. 

Plan your self-guided tour by researching all the LA movie locations that appeal to your cinematic experience, and go early! 

You only need a car or a TAP card and a smartphone with Google Maps to get around on public transit.

Here are a few top movie locations in the city to get you started. For more, you can check out this article with a list of movie locations by decade. 

Union Station

The beautiful, art-deco style lobby of Union Station with tiled floors and leather seats.

Union Station is an iconic building in Los Angeles. It has been a set location in many movies, including the sci-fi thriller Blade Runner and The Dark Knight Rises . 

As you walk inside Union Station, you’ll notice the building has an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve stepped onto a movie set. The furniture is seemingly from a different era. 

Let’s not forget that Union Station is also LA’s main railway station, so you may end up here anyway if you plan to make a day trip. 

Vacationers can ride on a southbound Amtrak train to experience the Orange County beach scene or go further south to visit San Diego .

Although I’ve mostly been to Union Station when I was getting off a train from San Diego, the last time I was in LA, I visited just to walk around and take in the architecture.

So, even if you don’t have a day trip planned, it can be a fun place to visit.

And it’s also very conveniently located to check out the nearby sights of downtown LA, such as Chinatown, El Pueblo, Little Tokyo, and Grand Park.

Randy’s Donuts

Cars and people waiting outside Randy's Donuts, a small stand with a giant model donut on the roof.

Many movies filmed in Los Angeles have this local food staple in at least one scene. It makes sense; a large donut on top of a small food stand is pretty memorable. 

Randy’s Donuts is especially famous for its appearance in Mars Attack and the Iron Man series. 

Movie watchers love the building’s unique look. Employees are used to the attention as visitors come daily to take photos in front of the business.

Venice Beach Boardwalk & Venice Beach

A red, white, and black checkered food stand called American Burger on a beachy street corner in Venice, CA, with palm trees in the background.

Walking the Venice Beach Boardwalk is one of the best activities in LA, especially if it’s your first time in the city.

I love Venice Beach because it’s an entirely different side to LA from what you might find in pretty much any other neighborhood.

There are also many fun, free things to do in Venice and tons of delicious healthy eateries.

The Venice Beach neighborhood is a mix of skateboarders, hippies, drum circles, local arts and crafts, hipster cafes, and a lot of people smoking weed. It’s the perfect place to take it all in and people-watch.

The first time I visited Venice, I was a freshman in college, and I just remember the many places offering easy access to medical marijuana cards. This was before weed was legalized in California.

It was a good introduction to the hippie vibes of the neighborhood.

I’ve been back to visit Venice Beach numerous times since and some of my favorite things to do include the following:

  • Watching the impressive skateboarders do their thing at the skatepark
  • Enjoying an impromptu dance performance
  • Eating a healthy vegan lunch
  • Buying local handicrafts at the pop-up outdoor markets
  • Relaxing on Venice Beach

There are also beach volleyball courts along the three-mile stretch of sand and spots where you can rent surfboards, bodyboards, and skimboards on the beach.

Venice Canals

A couple of young people paddling a blue boat down a garden-lined canal in Venice, California.

One of those not-so-secret LA attractions anymore with its popularity on Instagram, the Venice Canals Historic District is still a fun spot to explore just a few minutes from Venice Beach.

The man-made canals were built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney and still attract many Los Angeles locals and visitors daily.

On a nice day, rent bikes and ride along the beautiful canals before heading to The Strand bike path for the best Los Angeles vibes.

Beverly Hills & Rodeo Drive

The green street sign of Rodeo Drive against a pink and blue sky at sunset with two palm trees in the background.

Head to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive for the polar opposite of Venice.

As you might already know, Beverly Hills (aka 90210) has been a historically upper-class city in Los Angeles for years.

That’s right, this area is actually its own incorporated city.

Rodeo Drive is where you’ll find expensive designer shops, such as Armani, Tiffany & Co, Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi.

In other words, it’s a great place to window shop. 

Even though the stores are a little out of my price range, I always have more fun than I think I will simply walking along the two-mile Rodeo Drive.

Besides the luxury shops, you’ll find palm tree-lined streets, impeccably dressed locals, and tons of souped-up sports cars along Rodeo Drive. 

My favorite place in Beverly Hills that meets my budget? Sprinkles Cupcakes! This is where you can try the best cupcakes of your life. I’m not even joking–they’re SO good.

If you’re wondering what else to see in Beverly Hills besides Rodeo Drive, other places to visit include Beverly Gardens Park, Greystone Mansion, and the Beverly Hills Sign.

Alternatively, one of the best things to do in Beverly Hills to get a good overview of the city is to hop on a tour. This segway tour is an excellent option to start with.

Santa Monica Pier & Santa Monica Beach

The silhouette of a young girl and amusement park rides at Santa Monica pier against a beautiful sunset.

There are a lot of fun things to do in Santa Monica. But if you’re wondering what the #1 thing to do is, the Santa Monica Pier is by far this LA city’s most famous attraction.

The pier is over 100 years old and is the official endpoint of the famous and historic Route 66.

More than that, there are tons of things to do in things to do at the Santa Monica Pier.

Two of my favorites are taking in the stunning ocean views and riding the classic amusement park rides at Pacific Park.

At Pacific Park, you can choose from fast food eateries, fresh popcorn, an arcade, a rickety roller coaster, a giant Ferris wheel, and a merry-go-round that has been operating since 1922.

It’s a fun place to go for the whole family. It’s also a fun date night idea in Los Angeles.

Another one of my favorite experiences is enjoying the beauty and energy of the Santa Monica Pier at night.

However, before the sun goes down, take some time to also enjoy Santa Monica Beach, one of the most popular attractions near Los Angeles.  

As the most famous beach in Los Angeles County, Santa Monica Beach has been bringing visitors to its beautiful shores for years. 

Besides laying in the sand, I love hopping on the massive swings near the pier.

Santa Monica Farmers Market

Crowds of people shopping at farm stands lining an urban street at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market.

Another one of the most popular Los Angeles attractions is the Santa Monica Farmers Market . 

Unlike the more touristy Original Farmers Market, the Santa Monica Farmers Market is where you can enjoy the local community’s charm.

Locals spend hours purchasing homegrown fresh fruits and vegetables from this market. Many of those items will be the highlighted ingredients at top LA restaurants later in the day. 

You can start your day with a tub of fresh fruit from one of the local farms or a sizzling breakfast burrito filled with chorizo, egg, and black truffles. 

Also, the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market offers its fair share of celebrity sightings. You can spot many of your favorite TV or movie stars shopping at their favorite market stands. 

The market’s configuration is a series of large walkways between each stall. You can stroll and shop without feeling other shoppers on top of you during the market’s hectic rush hours. 

An elderly man sits on a bench and looks out at a pond in Echo Park.

Although Silver Lake tends to get more attention these days, nearby Echo Park has become a trendy neighborhood in recent years. 

The neighborhood overflows with colorful street murals, fun bars, vegan eateries, indie live music venues, and a bustling nightlife scene. 

This is a great place to start if you’re looking for a more local perspective of Los Angeles. 

There are many things to do in Echo Park, so you should give yourself at least an afternoon to explore the neighborhood. 

One of the best family activities in Los Angeles (or a fun date) is to rent a paddleboat at Echo Park Lake. 

Paddling around Echo Park Lake is one of the best things to do in the Los Angeles area on a nice day.

Or, if you don’t want to get on the water, there’s also a nice path that goes around Echo Park Lake so you can still soak up the beautiful lakeside setting. 

Once you’re done with the lake, you can choose one of the following activities to explore more of Echo Park:

  • Discover the colorful murals around the neighborhood
  • Visit the Echo Park Time Travel Mart
  • Grab a coffee from Woodcat Coffee Bar
  • Peruse the books at Stories Books & Cafe​​
  • Explore Elysian Park
  • See the Victorian homes in Angelino Heights
  • Enjoy a live show at the Echo & Echoplex
  • Catch a baseball game at Dodger Stadium ​​

Little Tokyo

A white bike parked in Little Tokyo, with paper lanterns visible amongst the trees behind.

I love how LA is so multicultural, and this neighborhood is the perfect example of LA’s melting pot of cultures coming together in one city.

Little Tokyo is a historical neighborhood in Los Angeles and where the largest Japanese-American population in North America Lives.

There are plenty of things to do in Little Tokyo, and spending an afternoon here will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Japan.

There’s a lot to love about this cultural neighborhood.

You can visit the Japanese American National Museum, try some delicious Japanese hotpot or ramen, and shop in the Japanese-owned shops that line the streets. 

It’s also a great place to try something new. The last time I was there, I went to Chinchikurin and tried Japanese okonomiyaki (a savory pancake)–it was delicious!

Lastly, you won’t want to miss singing your heart out at MAX Karaoke Studio in the evening.

Japanese American National Museum

Dedicated to sharing Japanese American history and culture, the Japanese American National Museum goes through over 130 years of Japanese American history.

From home movies made from the 1920s to the 1950s to historic photographs, artifacts, art, and oral histories, this is a thorough museum to visit to learn more about Japanese culture in the US.

Live Theater

The lit-up marquee of the Pantages Theatre advertising 'Hamilton.'

You can count on a city like Los Angeles for quality live theater. There are many theaters and performing arts centers to watch a play or musical. 

Some top LA locations include the Geffen Playhouse and the Los Angeles Theatre Center , which produce challenging new plays.

If you’re looking for the classics, head to the Pantages Theater for Broadway shows.

Tickets sell out fast, so be sure to purchase them in advance!

Exposition Park

A manicured rose garden with a domed building in the background at Exposition Park.

Exposition Park is a vast 160-acre urban park in the city where you’ll find some of the best museums in Los Angeles, sports facilities, and entertainment venues.

Good museums to visit at Exposition Park include the California Science Center, California African American Museum, and the Natural History Museum.

You can also relax in the Los Angeles Rose Garden or catch a Los Angeles FC soccer game at the Banc of California Stadium.

California Science Center

The rocket ship 'Endeavour' in a hanger at the California Science Center.

Located in Exposition Park, the California Science Center is an interactive museum and a great option if you’re looking for free things to do in Los Angeles.

The fun exhibits teach you about human inventions, innovations, and the life sciences. You can also learn all bout the US space shuttle program here, including the retired space shuttle, The Endeavor.

If you’re looking for educational kids’ activities in LA, and you don’t want to spend the ticket price at the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center is a popular museum with the young ones.

Local tip : If you’re looking for more free museums in LA, check when the free museum days are in the city. You can find the complete list here .

Walt Disney Concert Hall

A close-up of the sleek, curved, modern architecture of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

On the list of popular things to do in DTLA, the Walt Disney Concert Hall has been hosting live performances since 2003 when it first opened.

The concert hall is most famous for its modern and unique architecture designed by Frank Gehry, which has made it a great place for photography in LA.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located in downtown LA and is part of the Los Angeles Music Center Complex.

At the concert hall, you can see a performance by the talented Los Angeles Philharmonic in the winter or simply take a ton of photos from the outside.

One feature that I love about the Walt Disney Concert Hall is the free self-guided tours they offer every day.

I did this last year while I was staying in downtown LA and it was such a cool way to learn more about the history of the building.

It also allowed me to take my time walking through one of the most impressive architectural landmarks in Los Angeles.

All you need is a phone and headphones to do the tour, and then just make sure to check in for the tour in the lobby.

Local tip: Even if you take a tour of the building, you won’t be able to see the auditorium where live shows happen unless you buy a ticket to one of them because of rehearsal schedules.

Warner Bros Studio Tour

A realistic set of a New York City street at Warner Bros Studios.

See where all the movie magic happens at Warner Bros. Studio . A studio tour is one of the best things to do in Burbank in the San Fernando Valley.

Unlike Universal Studios, which is part amusement park and part movie studio, Warner Bros. solely houses movie studios.

At Warner Bros. Studio, you can tour some of the most popular and oldest movie studios in Los Angeles.

Tours last anywhere from two to six hours and give you a good glimpse of the movie business, TV and movie sets, backlots and sound stages, and memorabilia.

Grab your tickets ahead of time for the original studio tour here .

And Warner Bros. isn’t the only place where you can take a studio tour. There’s also a Paramount Pictures Studio Tour, a Universal Studios tour, and more!

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl, a large outdoor amphitheater with California hills in the background, and the Hollywood Sign visible in the distance.

A fun thing to do in LA at night is to see a show at the Hollywood Bowl .

Located in the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood Bowl has been a performance venue since 1922 and is one of the top 10 live music venues in the US.

The Hollywood Bowl is where you’ll see LA entertainment at its finest, and seeing a show here is a fun Los Angeles experience.

There’s every kind of music genre that performs on the stage at the Hollywood Bowl. So, whatever your music preference, you’ll probably find a show at the Hollywood Bowl that interests you.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) & Urban Light

An light installation seen at night at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Considered to be one of the best museums in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the Western US and attracts around a million visitors annually.

Located on Museum Row, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was designed by Peter Zumthor and houses over 150,000 pieces of art ranging from ancient times to the present day. The museum also regularly hosts a film and concert series.

Local tip : Don’t miss Chris Burden’s Urban Light, LACMA’s most Instagram famous art installation with 202 vintage street lights.

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

A statue of a prehistoric elephant at the La Brea Tar Pits Museum.

A visit to the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

The La Brea Tar Pits is a paleontological site where you can see the remains of saber-toothed tigers, dire wolves, and more. 

Fifty thousand years ago, animals roaming the LA area became trapped in bubbling tar. The adjoining museum exhibits Ice Age artifacts recovered from the pits. 

You can view the La Brea Tar Pits from the outside for free. Admission to the La Brea Tar Pits museum is approximately $15 for adults, with discount rates for children, college students, and seniors (the price depends on the time of the season). 

You can also schedule personal tours of the facility that grants access to the fossil lab, lake pit, and observational pits.

The Getty Center

A hedge labyrinth in a pond in front of the Getty Center with a sunny, partly cloudy sky beyond.

The Getty Center is a good thing to do in LA for anyone interested in art and architecture, and it’s also one of the more interesting things to do near UCLA.

Take some time while there to enjoy European and American art from Medieval times to the present.

You can stroll through the elaborate gardens, including a cactus garden and a sculpture garden.

And make sure to admire the famous architecture of the Getty Center with a free 45-minute architecture tour .

The Getty Center also provides some of the best views in Los Angeles from the perch of the Santa Monica Mountains, and there are a few restaurants on the property if you get hungry.

These include two cafes, a couple of coffee carts, and one sit-down restaurant (reservations recommended).

If you’re looking for free stuff to do in LA, the Getty Center is an excellent place to start.

The Getty Villa

A bronze sculpture of a figure pointing upwards while lounging on a rock with palm trees and blue skies in the background at the Getty Villa.

The Getty Villa is part of the same museum as the Getty Center but a completely different experience and location.

The Getty Villa is situated on the eastern side of the Malibu Coast and is a massive and ornate sight to behold.

At the Villa, the scenery will transport you from Southern California to the ancient world of Greece and Rome while you walk through an elaborate and well-manicured property.

44,000 Etruscan, Greek, and Roman antiquities are in the collection here, dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD.

Admission is free to The Getty Villa, making it one of the more popular free things to do in Los Angeles, but note that you have to reserve timed tickets ahead of time by phone or the museum’s website.

Also, note that even though it’s free to enter the museum, parking costs $20.

Melrose Avenue

A young man with long hair smokes a cigarette outside of tattoo shop on Melrose Avenue.

Nestled between lavish Beverly Hills and trendy West Hollywood, the famous Melrose Avenue offers a classic LA experience. 

From Beverly Blvd to Santa Monica Blvd, Melrose is a treasure trove of vintage shops. 

There’s also a plethora of dining options on Melrose. From vegan breakfasts to patio lunches and nice dinners, you can taste a good mix of the Los Angeles food scene here.

And, if you’re looking for something to do in Los Angeles at night, head to the Melrose Rooftop Theater in the summer to catch a movie.

This rooftop bar offers happy hour drink specials before showing a classic film on the big screen. 

Bradbury Building

People admiring the ornate architecture in the lobby atrium of a building.

The Bradbury Building is one of the most beautifully designed buildings in LA, and that’s saying something with the city’s fondness for unique architecture.

If you’re wondering what to do in downtown LA and are into design, photography, or simply cool historic buildings, don’t miss this building.

Like the Walt Disney Concert Hall, it’s one of the best places to take pictures in Los Angeles.

Built in 1893, this five-story office building is most famously known for its unique ironwork and naturally lit atrium of walkways and stairs.

The Bradbury Building is also the oldest commercial building still standing in central LA.

I visited the Bradbury Building the last time I was in LA. It’s a beautiful spot to take a break from the sometimes chaotic nature of downtown LA. Just note that guests are only able to access the ground level.

Local tip: Hop on one of the inexpensive Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tours to learn more about the history of the Bradbury Building and other famous downtown Los Angeles landmarks. Although I loved walking around the ground floor on my own, I wish I’d done this while visiting to learn more about the history of the building.

The Grammy Museum

A close-up of the front sign for the Grammy Museum, seen from below.

If you’re a music-lover looking for fun museums in LA, don’t miss out on the Grammy Museum near the Staples Center.

The museum features exhibits about the award show’s long history and past winners.

I’d recommend giving yourself at least two to three hours to walk through the museum.

Also, note that it’s closed on Tuesdays (something I didn’t realize the last time I tried to visit).

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

A grand grave marker with a a long reflection pool in front of it at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

It might sound creepy to visit a cemetery during a trip to LA, but the Hollywood Forever Cemetery isn’t just any old cemetery.

This is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and one of the best free things to do in Hollywood.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery was founded in 1899 and is the final resting place for many famous stars, including Johnny Ramone, whose statue plays guitar for eternity over his gravestone.

The cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places and offers 50 acres of peaceful greenery to walk around and pay your respects to those who have passed.

Maybe this is a weird thing to admit, but I actually enjoy walking through cemeteries. I find them peaceful and meditative places.

One unique aspect of the cemetery is that they host regular events and movie nights. Check out their events calendar for a full list of upcoming events.

The movie nights aren’t free, but they’re one of the best non-touristy things to do in the city and a fun thing to do in Hollywood at night.

The Last Bookstore

The impressive stone facade of a building with, "The Last Bookstore," painted on the front window.

I LOVE bookstores! The more unique, the better.

And Los Angeles does not disappoint with The Last Bookstore , known as one of the coolest bookstores in the world and one of the more quirky things to do in downtown Los Angeles.

This bookstore sells new and used books and records and showcases local art in a multilevel space that used to be a bank.

The Last Bookstore has become especially popular on Instagram in recent years, but more than just going there for the ‘gram, it’s the perfect place to visit if you love all things books.

On my last visit to LA, I was staying around the corner from it, so, of course, I had to visit.

It was the perfect cozy escape from the unusually cold winter weather.

And honestly, The Last Bookstore was even cooler than I thought it would be with its wide selection of books, numerous book-themed art installations, and maze-like interior.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

A view from the outside of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures building, with a blue sky in the background.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is an excellent place in Los Angeles to spend a day.

This impressively-designed building is also home to the Geffen Theatre, and you can catch a picturesque view of the LA skyline from the building’s terrace level.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures houses over 13 million movie artifacts, including costumes, movie posters, props, screenplays, and pre-production set design drawings from the Golden Age of Hollywood. 

Highlights in the permanent collection include the robe from The Big Lebowski and Dorothy’s ruby slippers.

You can also find several temporary exhibits that focus on celebrating the movie business and two state-of-the-art theaters that showcase film classics to all paid guests. 

Music Box Steps

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If you’re looking for a unique and weird thing to do in the Los Angeles area, take a nostalgic walk up the “Music Box” steps from the classic Laurel and Hardy movie.

Located in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood, this staircase connects Vendrome Street (at the base of the hill) to Descanso Drive (at the top). 

The 133 steps became famous in the comedy duo’s movie, The Music Box , where Laurel and Hardy attempt to deliver a piano to a home at the top of this long flight of stairs. 

The movie went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 1932. A commemorative plaque sits at the staircase’s lower steps. 

Don’t be surprised if you meet other Laurel and Hardy fans preparing to take that epic uphill climb while you’re there!

Runyon Canyon Park

A woman sits on a bench at sunset and enjoys the view of the city at Runyon Canyon Park.

For such an urban area, there’s a surprising amount of Los Angeles nature to explore.

Take Runyon Canyon Park , for example. This 160-acre park in the Hollywood Hills is a popular hiking and running spot for locals.

One of the hikes to the Hollywood Sign starts from here, but more than that, the hikes at this park provide stunning views over Hollywood and Los Angeles as a whole.

As mentioned above, this is a popular spot for hiking in Los Angeles, so don’t expect to have the trails to yourself.

It’s also a dog-friendly park, so you’ll see quite a few happy dogs off-leash and running around.

There are a few hikes to tackle at this Hollywood Hills park; most are a few miles roundtrip with various elevations–perfect for an outdoorsy start to your day.

Local tip: There isn’t much shade at Runyon Canyon, so bring a hat , sunscreen , and plenty of water on your hike.

Descanso Gardens

Leafy trees surrounding a duck pond at Descanso gardens.

If you’re fond of botanical gardens, you don’t want to miss out on the 150-acre Descanso Gardens when you visit Los Angeles.

Visit for a relaxing stroll around the world-renowned horticultural displays or come to enjoy one of the many concerts, events, or classes they offer at the gardens.

Traveling with young ones? Check out their events calendar because they also offer unique things for kids.

One unique event at Descanso that I’d highly recommend during the holidays and one that I went to last year is the Enchanted Forest of Light.

It’s full of colorful and interactive light installations that are perfect for a date night or family outing.

Note: Admission to the Descanso Gardens is $9 (or $6 for students or seniors, $4 for children 5-12).

The Japanese Garden

A traditional Japanese building seen on a sunny day from across a pond at the Japanese Garden.

If you’re looking for a peaceful moment in usually-busy LA, head to The Japanese Garden next to Woodley Park.

This 6.5-acre garden is ranked #10 out of 300 public Japanese Gardens in North America, which probably gives you an idea of how impressive it is.

The garden features a Zen meditation garden, a wet-strolling garden, and a tea garden.

It’s the ideal place to take a break from the city and maybe bring a good book to read on a nice day.

Los Angeles Bike Tour

A row of brightly colored bikes parked in a row next to the beach on a sunny day.

I love a good bike tour to get my bearings in a new city.

There’s something about riding a bike around a city that allows you to get a feel for the local culture (and some exercise while you’re at it).

And, The Ultimate Los Angeles Bike Tour is no different.

It’s one of the best tours in Los Angeles (rated the #1 bike tour in LA!).

It covers 32 miles of Los Angeles adventures and history, from West Hollywood to Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina Del Rey.

Begin your day hob-knobbing with celebrities in Beverly Hills and end up relaxing on Venice Beach or seeing the boats at Marina Del Rey.  

Electric bikes are also available if you don’t want to work up too much of a sweat.

Pacific Coast Highway

A view from above showing the Pacific Coast Highway running alongside the beach at sunset.

One of the top adventures to do in LA is road-tripping on the Pacific Coast Highway. Who doesn’t love driving the coastline on a sunny SoCal day? 

The PCH runs through some of Southern California’s most iconic beach cities.

Your first stop should be the Santa Monica Pier (mentioned above), which opened in 1909.

Santa Monica is a popular beach destination for LA residents, and where you can find the final landmark on Route 66. The benches along the boardwalk are perfect for people-watching on a lazy afternoon.

The next stop I’d recommend on a PCH road trip is Venice Beach (also mentioned above), which some describe as Santa Monica’s older punk rock brother. 

Park your car and rent a bike for the day. Ride on the boardwalk and periodically stop to watch some great street performers.

In addition to the traditional street performers, Muscle Beach’s outdoor workout area is crawling with world-class weightlifters. You might also spot surfers trying to catch waves on the mellow beach. 

Don’t forget to enjoy oysters and other seafood delicacies at small cafes found along the Venice Beach boardwalk.

There are numerous stops you could make along the southern portion of the PCH. If you’re looking for a complete list, read my guide to doing a Pacific Coast Highway road trip .

I’ve also written about the best places to stay and eat along the Pacific Coast Highway because it’s a road trip I’ve taken many times in my 28+ years of living in California.

Malibu Beaches

A bird's eye view of people enjoying a beautiful Malibu beach.

Zuma Beach is a popular beach in Malibu and slightly less touristy than Santa Monica Beach.

This beach is mainly known for its great surfing and long pristine stretches of sand, perfect for sunbathing and chilling out for an afternoon.

If you go in the winter, you might even spot a grey whale making its annual migration from the beach (so it’s good to bring binoculars ).

Another good aspect of Zuma Beach is the amount of parking. There are eight parking lots with around 2,000 parking spaces.

Aside from Zuma, there are lots of Malibu beaches worth checking out. Point Dume State Beach, which sits on the Northern side of Malibu Bay, is another fantastic spot to whale watch.

And El Matador, along the Pacific Coast Highway, offers stunning cliffside views and pristine waters.

Local tip: the water at Zuma Beach is colder than other beaches around Los Angeles, and it’s known for rough tides and riptides, so be mindful if you go swimming.

Looking to make a day of it in Malibu? Read our guide to the best things to do in Malibu .

Watts Towers Arts Center

The unique sculptures at Watts Towers Arts Center.

The Watts Towers Arts Center is the masterpiece of Sabato Rodia, who spent 33 years creating the 17 interconnected sculptural towers still at the center today.

This monumental work of Outsider Art is the world’s largest single construction created by one individual.

Sabato Rodia was an Italian immigrant and a construction worker.

He built the towers using steel rebar, glass, tile, and porcelain, adorning the outside with found objects like scrap metal and glass bottles.

Public guided tours of the towers happen on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:30 am to 3 pm and Sunday from 12:30 pm to 3 pm.

There are no tours on rainy days but don’t worry; rainy days are pretty unusual in Los Angeles.

Barnsdall Art Park & Barnsdall Gallery Theatre

A bright lawn and manicured gardens at Barnsdall art park, with a blue sky beyond.

A great date night idea in Los Angeles is an evening at the Barnsdall Art Park & Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. 

Off the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard in East Hollywood, Barnsdall Art Park is the community’s lone outdoor venue.

The park is home to several small museums and the famous Hollyhock House. The Hollyhock House is LA’s first commission work by the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Wright’s futuristic design incorporates the hollyhock flower, hence that house’s name.

The Barnsdall family donated the home and surrounding property to the city of Los Angeles in 1927.

The back lawn offers the perfect panoramic view of the LA skyline at night.

During the summer, exhibitions at the parks galleries and plays at the theater give local artists a platform to promote their work.

Grand Central Market

People shopping the produce section at Grand Central Market.

Grand Central Market is a food emporium that brings different cultures and cuisines together in one location. 

The 300,000-square-foot retail marketplace houses forty different stalls. Plus, Grand Central Market hosts a weekly bazaar and other cultural events each month. 

This staple of the Los Angeles food scene has been on the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building for over a hundred years.

Stop by Grand Central Market to grab lunch or shop for premium grocery items like fine cheeses or specialized spices.

This is another sight that I went to a lot last time I was in LA since I was staying just a couple of blocks away.

The food can definitely be on the pricier side for the portions, depending on where you go, but everything I had was delicious.

I also love how quiet it is in the mornings and how the buzzing atmosphere ramps up during the lunch rush. There’s also a cool Kobe mural in the market that’s worth checking out.

Los Angeles Food Tour

A close-up of a restaurant table laden  with burgers and pints of draft beer.

There are many famous places to eat in LA, so taking a Los Angeles food tour to get a “taste” of a few of them is a great introduction.

One tour I recommend is the Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour , an intimate tour of local cuisine in Downtown LA that takes you through some of the top emerging restaurants and bakeries.

Another option is the West Hollywood Food Tour , which visits the five most popular West Hollywood eateries. Plus, you’ll get tips to avoid local tourist traps. 

Or, check out the Little Tokyo and LA Arts District Food Tour to visit one of the booming food locations in Los Angeles and sample food from markets, shops, and food stands. 

Food tours are great because you can really immerse yourself in the neighborhood they’re in.

Not to mention, get a first-hand look at the local food cuisine, and take the guesswork away from new visitors to LA.

It’s also a great thing to do alone in LA because it comes with built-in dining companions!

Angeles National Forest

A lake surrounded by hills in the Angeles National Forest.

Only 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles (without too much traffic), Angeles National Forest is seen as the ‘backyard of Los Angeles’ and a popular outdoorsy weekend getaway from the city.

The Angeles National Forest is one of the best places to immerse yourself in nature without driving too far outside LA.

There are 650,000 acres to explore in the forest, so you can bet there are plenty of hiking opportunities–from easy hikes to more challenging all-day adventures.

Catalina Island

Many colorful boats in the harbor at Catalina Island, with houses, hills, and an overcast sky beyond.

If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Los Angeles, spend a couple of days on Catalina Island southwest of LA. 

Begin your adventure with a short 45-minute boat ride from the Long Beach pier. The water is so blue that you’ll feel like you’re heading to the Greek Isles.  

Once you arrive, there’s so much to see on Catalina Island.

You could rent a golf cart and travel to the island’s famed Botanical Gardens. 

Or at Descanso Beach Club, you can rent a cabana near the shoreline for the day, take one of their aerial zipline courses, or go snorkeling near the marina.

And a Catalina Island evening wouldn’t be complete without dining at a beachfront restaurant. Avalon Grill is a good option that offers an upscale menu.

I’ve been to Catalina Island twice so far–once for a solo day trip to explore Avalon and once to backpack the Trans-Catalina Trail over five days.

As you can probably imagine, the two trips were very different from each other, but it gives you a good idea of the wide variety of activities you can do on the island.

If you’re looking for more recommendations, check out my guides to Catalina Island hiking , the best beaches on Catalina Island , and camping at Parsons Landing .

Ready for more island adventures in California? Read our guide to the best California islands to visit.

Rose Bowl Flea Market

A close-up of a pile of vintage patches.

If you’re in the city on the second Sunday of the month, shop for unique treasures at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Located in the historic Rose Bowl Stadium, the Rose Bowl Flea Market is one of the best places to shop in Los Angeles for an eclectic mix of antiques, apparel, crafts, and other random items.

This is one of those fun things to do in Pasadena, and, as the saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Just note that there’s an admission price to get into the flea market, starting at $12 per person.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Aerial view of roller coasters rising out of trees at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is a highly-popular amusement park in the LA suburb of Valencia, featuring 19 world-class roller coasters and over 100 different rides.

Most notably, the popular Kingda Ka is one of the world’s tallest roller coasters.

The best day to visit the theme park is a weekday to avoid crowds.

It’s also best to work your way from the back to the front of Six Flags for shorter lines since most people choose rides closer to the front entrance when they enter.

Six Flags is a great summer attraction for the entire family. Admission to this amusement park starts at $64.99 if you buy online.

A woman walking past a textured white wall at The Broad Museum.

If you’re looking for an alternative art museum to LACMA that isn’t quite as crowded, check out The Broad .

Founded by philanthropist Eli Broad, this is another popular free museum in Los Angeles.

The museum showcases contemporary art from the 1950s to up-and-coming artists of today and regularly hosts family art workshops on the weekends.

The Broad is home to over 2,000 works of contemporary art, making it one of the world’s largest postwar and contemporary art collections.

Local tip: Even though it’s a free museum, you still need to book a reservation ahead of time online. And any additional exhibits usually cost money and need a separate reservation. This is something I didn’t realize last time I visited, so although I got to see the impressive free galleries, I missed out on Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms.

LA Arts District

An old car parked in a lot in front of a heavily graffitied wall in the LA Arts District.

The LA Arts District is a great spot to spend a day or evening. 

West of Little Tokyo and east of the Los Angeles River, numerous former industrial warehouses have been transformed into art studios and covered with street art and graffiti. 

The neighborhood is full of art galleries and museums showing fun exhibits and cutting-edge contemporary art. 

You can find influential institutions like Hauser & Worth and The Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles alongside smaller, artist-run spaces.

Head to the Arts District Co-op to take home some handmade pieces from local, independent vendors.

Alongside the street art, micro-breweries, trendy eateries, and gastro-pubs have popped up all over the neighborhood. 

Grab a drink or a bite after an afternoon of browsing contemporary and modern art and street art.

Korean Bell of Friendship

The top of an ornate pagoda against a bright blue sky.

Gifted to LA in 1976 by the Republic of Korea, the Korean Bell of Friendship is a beautiful structure and bronze bell at Angel’s Gate Park.

This spot also provides sweeping views of the Los Angeles Harbor and the Catalina Channel.

If you want to be there for the bell ringing, visit on July 4th, August 15th (for the National Liberation Day of South Korea), September 17th (commemorating Korean Constitution Week), New Year’s Eve, January 13th, or the 1st Saturday of every month at 11:30 am.

Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

A path lined by lush succulents and cacti at the Huntington Library Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Garden is a rich historical resource still owned by the Huntington family. 

Make sure to bring your walking shoes for your day at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Garden.

It’s a two-mile trail around the 96,000-square-foot San Marino property.

The Huntington Library is home to the world’s largest collection of British medieval manuscripts, unpublished poetry, rare photographs, and copies of classic books. 

The Huntington Family art collection includes European art from the 15th-early 20th Century and American artwork from colonial times to the present day.

And the perfectly manicured garden features 27,000 living plants!

Admission to The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Garden is $25-$29, depending on if you’re visiting during the week or weekend, but parking is at least free.

Local tip : Weekend and Monday holiday visits require an online reservation ahead of time. Regular weekday reservations aren’t required but are still recommended.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

View of the city from the top of a hill at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook.

If you want to enjoy the outdoors and go somewhere known for its breathtaking views, head to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook .

This urban park is a beautiful place in Los Angeles and offers free exhibits about local conservation and restoration efforts in the area, hiking trails, and great views of downtown LA.

Note: Parking is $2 at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook.

Taco Trucks

Looking for fun places to eat in Los Angeles? LA’s taco truck scene began as a local phenomenon and has since become a staple dining option.  

Although San Diego also has some great options for Mexican food, LA’s taco trucks are right up there as the best places to try authentic Mexican food in California.

These are some of the best taco trucks in Los Angeles to get you started:

  • Leo’s Taco Truck (1515 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019, 5525 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028, 2400 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006, and 415 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026)
  • Tacos Los Carnalillos Taco Truck (467 W Vernon Ave #451, Los Angeles, CA 90037)
  • Birrieria Los Gonzalez (2524 Maple Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011)
  • El Chato Taco Truck (5300 W Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036)
  • Tacos Tamix Taco Truck (1998-1982 S Hoover St, Los Angeles, CA 90007)
  • Taco Zone Truck (2064 Montana St, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Angel’s Flight Railway

Angels Flight Railway

Right in the heart of Downtown L.A., you’ll find the ornate, bright orange archway marking the entrance to the Angel’s Flight Railway, a historic funicular railway.

A funicular is essentially a cable car that runs up and down a steep slope.

This particular funicular opened in 1901 and ran between Hill Street and Olive Street until 1969. It’s operated in its current Bunker Hill location since 1996, using the original, bright orange 1901 cars.

This historic landmark has made numerous film and television appearances, from the original Perry Mason to La La Land , to The Muppets .

You can take a ride on this little piece of history for just $1 every day between 6:45 am and 10 pm.

Universal CityWalk

People taking the in the bright lights of the Universal Citywalk at night.

One of the best things to do near Universal Studios Hollywood is exploring Universal CityWalk .

Universal CityWalk is an outdoor playground for those interested in shopping and various dining options.

There’s also an 18-screen movie theater, including IMAX dual 4K laser projection and an indoor skydiving spot.

It’s one of my favorite places to hang out and grab food and drinks before or after a visit to Universal Studios.

There’s always fun energy at Universal CityWalk. It’s a great spot to find a happy hour, people watch, or simply walk around and enjoy the atmosphere.

Los Angeles Zoo

An elephant spraying itself with water at the LA Zoo.

Founded in 1966, the Los Angeles Zoo is a 133-acre complex that features 270 different animal species and over 800 different plant species in the gardens.

One of the top exhibits at the zoo is the California Condors, a species that almost became extinct in California.

Since 1982, the LA Zoo has worked to bring the California Condor population up and out of near extinction (although they’re still considered an endangered species).

Besides the usual zoo attractions and exhibits, you can experience behind-the-scenes tours with animals at the LA Zoo, and the young ones can attend zoo camp.

This is one of the best things to do in the Los Angeles area with kids because the zoo offers so many interactive experiences for children.

For adults, check out Roaring Nights in the summer to party and dance the night away at the zoo.

During the holidays, don’t miss the LA Zoo Lights. I went to it last year and it’s hands-down the best light installation event you’ll find in LA in the winter.

Overhead view of the high-end shopping center, The Grove, showing outdoor restaurants and a square with a fountain.

Whether you’re looking for a good place for a shopping spree or you just want to window shop, look no further than The Grove .

The Grove is a one-stop shop where you’ll find some of the best shopping in Los Angeles (and every type of store imaginable).

There are also a variety of upscale eateries, a 14-screen art deco-themed movie theater, annual fashion shows, and a summer concert series every year.

Los Angeles City Hall & LA Observation Deck

View looking up at an impressive stone building with a tall tower, against an overcast sky.

At the top of LA City Hall, the LA Observation Deck is one of the best things to do in the Los Angeles area for free and provides some of the city’s best views.

There’s no need to pay for one of those expensive sky decks in LA; the free LA Observation Deck provides 360-degree views from the heart of the city.

Plus, it’s an excellent excuse to walk through the historic Los Angeles City Hall.

I visited the Observation Deck last time I was in LA, and it ended up being one of my favorite experiences from that trip.

You just have to go through a metal detector and check in at the front desk. They’ll then give you directions on how to take the two elevators up to the top.

I went on a weekday by myself, and I was one of the only people there with some of the best views of downtwon LA and beyond.

If you’re looking for a night of creepy ghost stories, go on a ghost tour in Los Angeles.

The Haunted Hollywood Tour visits glamorous haunted Hollywood locations. During it, you’ll see local crime, accident, and trauma sites that garnered nationwide headlines. 

Another option in Hollywood is the Haunted Hollywood Walking Tour , which visits hotels, theaters, and other haunted landmarks along the boulevard.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk

People enjoying a nighttime stroll through the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk.

The Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk used to happen every second Thursday of each month and was one of the best free events in Los Angeles, but it has changed since 2020. 

These days, the downloadable guide is available at all times and allows you to explore the art scene in DTLA on your own schedule every day of the week, as long as it’s during business hours.  

It’s a great free way to check out the local art scene and some of the top galleries in the area.

El Pueblo de Los Angeles

El Pueblo de Los Angeles is a historical monument built in 1781, marking where the city of Los Angeles was first founded.

If you’re into history, this is one of the best things to see in Downtown LA.

El Pueblo is on the National Register of Historic Places and takes up 9.5 acres in downtown Los Angeles, showcasing the founding and growth of the city through various historical buildings.

I’d recommend watching the short documentary above for more information on the history of El Pueblo de Los Angeles and its importance to LA as a city.

I visited El Pueblo last year and spent an afternoon taking in the history of the area–there was a lot to see!

Here are a few of my favorite things that I did in the neighborhood (all of which were free):

  • Avila Adobe
  • Olvera Street shopping
  • Plaza Firehouse
  • Italian American Museum of Los Angeles–I especially loved their exhibit on the history of Pinocchio
  • Sepulveda House
  • Our Lady Queen of Angels Church
  • La Plaza de Cultura y Artes–this is probably the most informative museum in the area, and I like that it includes art and history in one museum.
  • America Tropical Interpretive Center
  • Chinese American Museum Los Angeles–I didn’t get to visit this museum since it was closed the day I went, but it’s on my list for next time.

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

A performance at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is a fun activity in LA for families.

The longest-running live puppet show in the United States, Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s mission is to educate and celebrate life’s little things. 

In “Hooray LA!”, the legendary puppeteer performers bring the city’s famous people and places to life.

The production features over a dozen hand-crafted marionettes that take you from the 1933 Earthquake to today’s headlines. 

Malibu Creek State Park

An old fashioned, abandoned truck next to a signpost at Malibu Creek State Park.

Malibu Creek State Park is a sprawling 8,215-acre green space that’s the perfect spot to get away from the city, just 25 miles away from downtown Los Angeles.

Malibu Creek State Park is a prime hiking destination with multiple trails through the Santa Monica Mountains. 

One of the most popular hikes at the park is the Rock Pool and Century Lake Trail, which takes you past the old M*A*S*H TV site and the Planet of the Apes wall.

For a complete list of our favorite hikes at this park and Malibu as a whole, read our guide to the best Malibu hikes .

The Strand Bike Path

The Strand bike path, which runs alongside the beach, and is lined with ice plants and  beachside houses.

If you’re looking for outdoorsy and cheap things to do in the Los Angeles area, consider a bike ride on the Strand Bike Path. 

The 40-mile Strand Bike Path travels through Kings Harbor in Redondo Beach and begins at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades. 

You can stop at the Santa Monica Pier to have lunch before heading south to Manhattan Beach. Afterward, ride to Redondo Beach for dinner near King Harbor. 

Local tip : The Strand Bike Path is especially busy during summer weekends, so it’s better to plan for a weekday ride whenever possible.

Museum of Tolerance

Another essential museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Tolerance tackles the heavy topics of racism and prejudice worldwide.

There’s a strong focus on the Holocaust at this museum as well, including the life of Anne Frank.

Additionally, the museum talks about the struggles of Latino families in California and general issues of intolerance.

Battleship Iowa Museum

Overhead view of the Battleship Iowa Museum, housed in a decommissioned battleship docked at the harbor.

Visiting LA’s iconic landmark, the Battleship Iowa Museum at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, is a fun day out for history buffs.  

The USS Iowa participated in World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War.

It’s best known as the “Battleship of President” as it was the main transportation for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s trip across the Atlantic during WWII. 

The battleship served the United States for 50 years before decommissioning in 1990. 

Guests can track the same footsteps as the sailors who served on the USS Iowa in guided behind-the-scenes tours. 

Each tour guide is well-versed in the battleship’s rich history and will show several off-limit locations on the boat. 

Ticket prices range from about $25.95 for adults to $17.95 for kids, with discounts for seniors and military members.

The proceeds help support local education, veterans, and community programs associated with the Battleship Iowa Museum. 

If you’re already making the trek to San Pedro, make a day of it with our guide to the best things to do in Long Beach , which is right next door.

Pink’s Hot Dogs

The pink, retro building that houses Pink's Hot Dogs, alongside a wide boulevard.

The iconic Pink’s Hot Dogs has been serving up delicious dogs in Hollywood since 1939.

Stop by any time of the day or night (it’s open until 2 am on weekends for the late-night crowd) and sample one of their creatively-topped menu items.

Chomp into a Martha Stewart Dog topped with bacon, sauteed onions, mushrooms, and nacho cheese, or a Lord of the Rings Dog–aptly named for its onion rings and BBQ sauce embellishments. 

Pink’s Hot Dogs appears in numerous movies, TV shows, and travel books and has a long list of celebrity patrons.

Holyland Exhibition

Note: As of May 2023, the Holyland Exhibition is closed for restorations until further notice. It will reopen in time for the museum’s 100th anniversary in 2024. Check the website for updates.

Any Indiana Jones fans here?

The Holyland Exhibition is a small museum filled with artifacts discovered by the man rumored to be the real-life inspiration behind Indiana Jones: Antonia F. Futterer.

If you love archeology, old artifacts, or Indiana Jones, this museum should be on your list of interesting things to do in LA.

Will Rogers State Historic Park

Overhead view of fog and auburn leaves at Will Rogers State Historic Park.

This park isn’t just named after famous actor Will Rogers; it was also his former estate until his sudden death.

Located just outside the city, Will Rogers State Historic Park offers various activities to enjoy.

Take a tour of the original ranch from Thursday-Sunday or tackle one of the moderate two-mile hikes on the property.

Other options for things to do include horseback riding lessons and tours every day except Monday with Westside Riding School, plenty of picnicking opportunities, polo games, and even movies in the park .

This is one of the best parks in Los Angeles for its sheer variety of things to do.

Note: Parking is $12 at Will Rogers State Historic Park.

Looking for more state parks to visit? Find our complete list of California State Parks here .

Live Taping of a TV Show

Blurry view of people working on a lit soundstage during a live taping of a tv show.

Going to a live TV show taping is one of those quintessential rites of passage to have as a tourist in Los Angeles. 

The good news is that most of them are free and relatively easy to score tickets to (assuming you book well in advance). You can check out this site for upcoming show options.

The Original Farmers Market

A close-up view of a pile of apples at a produce stall.

Foodies unite! The Original Farmers Market is THE place for all your Los Angeles foodie dreams to come true.

This historic Los Angeles landmark has been around since 1934 and offers everything food-related–from food stalls to delicious sit-down eateries and local produce.

There are over 100 gourmet grocers and restaurants to choose from at The Original Farmers Market, so you should definitely come hungry.

The Nethercutt Collection

If you’re a fan of old cars, you can’t miss out on The Nethercutt Collection .

This multi-level antique museum’s main draw is its automobile collection, one of the US’s top five automobile museums.

The museum showcases over 250 American and European cars from 1898 to 1997.

Other museum features include collections of mechanical musical instruments and antique furniture.

Dolby Theatre

The concerete archway above the Dolby Theatre against a deeply saturated blue sky, seen from below.

Another popular attraction in Hollywood is the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as Kodak Theatre), where the Academy Awards take place each year.

Besides the Academy Awards, other events happen at the Dolby Theatre year-round, from music award shows to concerts and even the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

If you want to dive into the history of this iconic Los Angeles events venue, I’d recommend going on a Dolby Theatre behind-the-scenes tour .

Museum of Jurassic Technology

If you’re looking for cool museums in LA that are all about an eclectic experience, look no further than the Museum of Jurassic Technology .

It’s hard to describe the museum without experiencing it yourself, but let’s just say it’s a love letter to the act of storytelling.

Visit the museum for an overall unique experience and to learn a plethora of random facts.

This is admittedly one of those more hipster things to do in the city, but still worth a visit.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

A pack of ghostly-white jellyfish in a   tank at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

One of the best parts about this aquarium is that admission is free (just note that there’s a recommended donation of $5 for adults and $1 for children).

Although not as well known and popular as the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey , the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is one of the most popular things to do with kids in LA, or for any marine life enthusiast.

At the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, you’ll find the world’s largest concentration of Southern California marine life.

The aquarium is another Frank Gehry-designed building located in a stunning part of LA, next to Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park.

It’s easily one of the best free things to do in Southern California for the whole family.

The Hollywood Museum

The art deco facade of the Hollywood Museum building, with cars stuck in traffic on the street out front.

One of those very Hollywood things to do is to head to The Hollywood Museum for a vast collection of all things Hollywood.

Appropriately housed in a historic art deco building, at the museum, you can learn more about your favorite Hollywood legends, films, and TV shows through four floors of memorabilia.

From costumes to props, scripts, vintage collectibles, and photographs, 10,000 authentic Hollywood treasures call this museum home.

Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn

Walt Disney's carolwood barn, a small, red, A-frame barn surrounded by treees.

Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn is a model train museum in Griffith Park, just down the road from the zoo on Zoo Drive. 

From the outside, this little museum looks like a quaint, old-fashioned barn. The building is a replica of an identical one that stood in the backyard of Disney’s childhood home. 

Inside, you can view the famed animator’s collection of train memorabilia.

Smorgasburg LA

People milling around a sandwich board sign advertising Smorgasburg LA, with tented stands in the background.

One of the best things to do on a Sunday in Los Angeles is Smorgasburg LA , which offers an array of delicious foods at its location at the edge of the Arts District.

This sprawling, open-air food market is the largest in the country and operates year-round.

There’s no admission fee, so you can wander around, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. 

Find every type of cuisine you can dream of in a fun, carnival-like atmosphere. 

Mosaic Tile House

One of those more unique things to do in Los Angeles, the Mosaic Tile House is probably unlike any house you’ve seen.

Over two decades, it transformed from a traditional 1940s house with a white picket fence to a piece of modern art by Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran.

The house is now completely covered in colorful mosaic tiles.

It costs $20 to tour, but if you’re looking for a unique experience in LA and want to support local artists, this is an excellent way to spend an hour in the city.

Note: It’s only open on Saturdays from 1 – 3 pm, and reservations are recommended.

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop

One of those secret places in Los Angeles that’s a favorite with locals, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop is where you’ll find every flavor of soda imaginable.

And when I say every flavor imaginable, I’m not exaggerating–there are 600 flavors to choose from!

The store has been family-owned and operated for over 100 years. It’s the perfect spot to stop for a refreshing soda pop on a hot day.

Drive the Angeles Crest Highway

The Angeles crest highway, a winding road through mountains and valleys.

Seen as one of the most scenic drives in California (and also one of the most treacherous), the Angeles Crest Highway goes through the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County.

The highway is a two-lane road that goes for 66 miles and curves around the San Gabriel Mountains’ rocky landscapes, reaching 7,000 feet in elevation at its highest point.

Because of the high altitude, it’s not unusual for the weather to change dramatically when you start climbing up the mountain.

The road is usually closed in winter due to snowfall and avalanche hazards.

However, it’s stunning to drive during the Los Angeles summer and a great road trip option from Los Angeles if you’re looking for a beautiful drive near the city.

The Original In-N-Out

The big red and yellow sign and the white building of the Original In-N-Out restaurant.

If you’ve been in California for a hot minute, you probably know that In-N-Out is a big deal here.

The best way to offend a Californian is to claim you like Shake Shack more than In-N-Out. 

Please, just don’t. We take our beloved In-N-Out seriously here.

It’s an essential stop on any California road trip, so it’s no surprise that The Original In-N-Out is a LA attraction in its own right.

It has been serving burgers since 1948 and is still a working restaurant in Baldwin Park.

Eaton Canyon Falls

Eaton Canyon Falls, a small waterfall pouring through rocks into a shallow lagoon.

If you’re craving some outdoor time during your Los Angeles vacation, the Eaton Canyon Falls Trail is an easy, four-mile hike just outside of Pasadena.

The trail takes you to Eaton Canyon Falls, a gorgeous, 40-foot waterfall that empties into a small pool. On warm days, you can even wade in the refreshing waters. 

This hike is a popular local experience in LA, so expect to run into other hikers if you’re there on the weekend.

Topanga State Park

A view looking out at craggy hills leading down towards the ocean at Topanga State Park.

Another park located in the Santa Monica Mountains, Topanga State Park is one of the best parks on this list for hiking.

The park offers 36 miles of hiking trails through various terrain and good views.

Most hikes start from Trippet Ranch, and I recommend giving yourself at least a couple of hours, even for the shorter hikes in the park.

A good hike to start with is the Musch Trail to Eagle Rock, which takes around two hours and provides stunning views at the top.

Note: Dogs aren’t allowed on any trails at Topanga State Park, and parking is $10.

All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ

A hand holding chopsticks, poised to pluck a piece of meat from a hibachi grill at a Korean BBQ restaurant.

With a decent-sized Korean population in LA, sampling Korean cuisine is an excellent thing to do when you visit Los Angeles.

There are tons of delicious all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ spots around Koreatown and other parts of LA.

Grab lunch or dinner from Hae Jang Chon in Koreatown for the city’s most popular Korean BBQ experience.

Other Things to Do in LA (Honorable Mentions)

A group of four women in exercise clothes stand on the top of a hill looking out over the city.

  • Admire the mid-20th-century architecture at the Eames House.
  • Catch a flick at the Electric Dusk Drive-In.
  • Go to a midnight showing of The Room –a local and fun thing to do in LA at night.
  • Enjoy a First Friday on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
  • Bar hop in Highland Park.
  • Go to a baseball game at Dodger Stadium.
  • Standup paddleboard in Marina del Rey.
  • Shop for vinyl records at Freakbeat Records or Amoeba Music.
  • Laugh out loud at a comedy show at The Hollywood Improv, The Comedy Store, or Laugh Factory.
  • Rollerskate at Moonlight Rolleryway.
  • Watch the sunset at Hermosa Beach.
  • Explore Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Ascot Hills Park, or Franklin Canyon Park.
  • Have a picnic with a view at Hermosa Natural Park.
  • Wander the 127 acres of flora at the LA Arboretum .
  • Marvel at the Natural History Museum, larger than all the other Natural History museums in the Western US. 
  • Visit the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.
  • Take the kids to Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.
  • Make a day trip to Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. 
  • Hike at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park.
  • See the California poppies in bloom at Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. 
  • Visit Hsi Lai Temple, one of the West’s largest Buddhist temples.
  • See how the stars live on a Celebrity Homes Tour. 
  • Take a mini-meditation retreat for an afternoon at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine .
  • Do as the locals do, and get a taste of the weekend brunch scene in LA.
  • Go for a hike in sprawling Temescal Gateway Park.
  • Dine at a celebrity-owned restaurant, like Ryan Gosling’s Tagine or Robert DeNiro’s famed Nobu .
  • Dabble in the magical arts at the Magic Castle , a private magician’s club offering classes to the public. 
  • Investigate LA’s Underground Tunnels — but beware! They technically aren’t open to the public.
  • Check out the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection .
  • Spend a day lounging in the sun at Manhattan Beach.
  • Walk around LA’s Chinatown neighborhood.
  • Admire the facade of the Ennis House , designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art–another free museum for which you should make reservations ahead of time.
  • Ride the Angel’s Flight Railway–one of those quirky things to do in the city that I actually loved experiencing (plus, it saves you from having to walk up a steep hill).
  • Explore the sprawling Grand Park.
  • Watch a performance at the Music Center.
  • Appreciate the architecture inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on W Temple St.

Looking for more things to do in Southern California travel tips and bucket list guides? Check out or related articles below!

Where to Stay in Los Angeles (By Neighborhood)

Best Things to Do in Orange County

Best Hikes in Orange County

Best Hikes in Laguna Beach

Best Beaches in Laguna Beach

Best Restaurants in Newport Beach

Best Things to Do in Big Bear

Best Things to Do in Joshua Tree

Best Things to Do in Palm Springs

Best Things to Do in San Francisco

Best Things to Do in Sacramento

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fun places to visit los angeles

Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.

9 thoughts on “85+ Best & Fun Things to Do in LA (Los Angeles) in 2024”

Love it! thank you for taking your time to share your experience with us,

Very inspiring list. This makes me want to get my super high heels on, fake *brand name* bag and start being all “LAish”

Thanks, Rebecca! Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I remembered it to be with the shallow mentality last time I was there. Perhaps I just hung out in the right places though!

This is such a great guide! Going back to LA in January so definitely taking this list along with me. Already planning on Hollywood Forever and the Getty Villa.

Thanks Chelsea! Yay, hopefully you’ll be able to get some unique ideas on what to do with your time in the city. Hollywood Forever & Getty Villa are great places to start with!

Great list! I lived in LA and hated living there, but it is a fun place to visit since you don’t have to deal with the traffic every single day 🙂 Lots of great food & wine to be enjoyed, and Griffith Park is awesome. I’ll have to check out some of the breweries you’ve listed here the next time I visit. And you’re right: there is always something new & exciting in LA!

Thanks Marlynn! I would have to agree with you, I love visiting L.A. but I’m not sure if I would live there myself. The foodie & wine scene is something I haven’t checked out so much in the city yet, I’ll have to make that a priority next time I’m in town.

I’ve lived here my whole life and have never done many of these things…that’s a shame! I need to get on that for 2016!

I think that’s the great thing about L.A. though, there’s always something to do! Even if you’ve liver there for ages. This is as much a list for myself too when I come back to visit, goals for 2016 to be sure.

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fun places to visit los angeles

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California Through My Lens

24 Things to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

In this post, we are heading the Los Angeles, and I’m going to show you 24 of my favorite spots to explore in Downtown LA. Check it out and let me know what I left off in the comments. Click on the images to read more about the recommendation.

1. Broad Museum

fun places to visit los angeles

Stop number one, takes us to The Broad Museum, which is one of the most popular new museums in Los Angeles. This gallery became popular because of its “Instagram-able” attractions like the mirror rooms, the big tulips, the America sign. It even has a larger than life size table you can walk right underneath. It’s a free museum, but you do need tickets in advance, and be prepared to wait for about an hour if you don’t get a ticket in advance to get in.

  • Read more about the Broad .

2. Walt Disney Concert Hall

fun places to visit los angeles

Across the street from The Broad, we have the Walt Disney Concert Hall. You’ve probably seen this awesome architectural feat right in the heart of downtown Los Angeles multiple times while driving by. Still, I would recommend getting out of the car, walking around, taking a tour of the concert hall, and walking through the gardens. It’s a beautiful area and every time you go, you see something new. Of course, if you get a chance, see a show there as well. It’s supposed to have the best acoustics in all of Los Angeles.

3. OUE SkySpace LA (This location has been closed)

fun places to visit los angeles

Recommendation number three is OUE SkySpace, which is in the US Bank Tower. This unique Los Angeles attraction has a glass slide, where you slide from the 70th floor to the 69th floor, all completely in glass. The slide goes fast, so you don’t have a ton of time to look around, but it’s a fun experience that gets the adrenaline going. Also, they have two open-air observation decks that are amazing spots for sunset.

  • Read more about OUE Skyspace .

4. Union Station

fun places to visit los angeles

Union Station is the Los Angeles train station, and it’s been featured in movies like Blade Runner. It’s many decades old and is an excellent place to walk around and explore the unique architecture or take the train somewhere outside of Los Angeles.

  • Read more about Union Station .

5. Olvera St

fun places to visit los angeles

From Union Station, head over to Olvera Street, which is right across the street from the train station and is a fun cultural heritage site in the middle of Los Angeles. Here, you can visit the center pavilion, go to some of the museums, see one of the oldest houses in Los Angeles and have taquitos at Cielito Lindo. Olvera Street is also impressive during the Day of the Dead Festival, which happens right around Halloween every single year.

  • Read more about Olvera Street .

6. Chinatown

fun places to visit los angeles

For a different cultural experience, head over to Chinatown, which is a few blocks up from Olvera Street. This small area has food, shopping, and lots of unique architecture. It also has the traditional Chinese lanterns that go across many of the streets, and it has a wishing fountain that you can throw coins into.

fun places to visit los angeles

My next recommendation is MOCA, which is a contemporary art museum in the heart of downtown LA. While this doesn’t have as many of the crazy exhibits like The Broad does, it’s still a great place to see some unique art and walk around the two to three floors they have. The giant metal piece in the outdoor lobby is worth visiting just to see that.

8. Grand Central Market

fun places to visit los angeles

Next stop, we have Grand Central Market, which is Downtown LA’s food court. It’s been there for decades, with lots of unique restaurants coming in and out over the years. Now, it’s part of the foodie revival in LA with places like Eggslut, PBJ.LA, Wexler’s Deli, and many others bringing people from all over Southern California to try a unique dish.

9. Bradbury Building

fun places to visit los angeles

From there, head across the street to the Bradbury Building, which was also featured in Blade Runner, and is a super cool piece of architecture that you can explore during business hours. You can’t ride the old elevators, but you can walk up some of the staircases and see the building from many different angles.

10. Angels Flight

fun places to visit los angeles

After that, head over to Angels Flight, a fun little train that you can ride. It takes you about a block up, and it only costs 50 cents to a dollar, depending on whether you have a metro pass or not. No doubt you’ve seen this fun attraction in some recent movies like La La Land. It was actually closed for about five years, so it’s great to have it back open again.

  • Read more about Angels Flight .

11. The Last Bookstore

fun places to visit los angeles

My next recommendation is The Last Bookstore. This old bank building was turned into a two-story bookstore that has an insane amount of books but has a lot of other cool things to see as well. Some of those are the book tunnel that you can walk through and the old bank vault, which houses crime novels. It’s a good place just to walk around and take it all in.

  • Read more about The Last Bookstore .

12. Clifton’s Cafeteria

fun places to visit los angeles

Close by The Last Bookstore is Clifton’s Cafeteria, which is a famous Los Angeles spot that has been around for over 50 years. This unique cafeteria has all sorts of absurd things for you to see, such as tigers that you can sit next to, a giant three-story tree, and all kinds of weird oddities around the restaurant. It just reopened a year or two ago, and it’s a great place to go with your family.  This location is not always open, check the website before you go. 

13. Art’s District

fun places to visit los angeles

Next, I recommend heading over to the Art District. The Art’s District is the up and coming downtown neighborhood that everybody wants to live at, and everyone else comes to eat at. The Art’s District has lots of artistic murals on all of the buildings, a bunch of crazy places to eat like Wurstkuche, which has rattlesnake and rabbit sausages, breweries, ice cream, you name it they have it in the Art’s District. It’s an excellent place to just park, walk around and explore. Naturally, bring your appetite because there are lots you’re going to want to eat.

14. Spire 73 Bar at the InterContinental Hotel

fun places to visit los angeles

If you are in LA at night, head over to the InterContinental hotel, the tallest building on the West Coast. From there, you can take the elevator to the 70th floor and then another elevator to the 73rd floor to go to the tallest open-air bar in the entire country. This is a great place to grab a drink or snack and look out over the city lights.

15. LA Live and the Grammy Museum

fun places to visit los angeles

My next recommendation is to head down to LA Live, which is right across from the Staple Center and has lots of restaurants as well as the Grammy Museum. If you’re a fan of music, then the Grammy Museum is a great place to explore. It talks about past winners, has instruments that you can play, microphones you can sing into, and revolving exhibits on things like punk rock and famous guitars. Also, along the sidewalk, outside of the museum, there are big records in the ground, much like the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, that talk about the different artists that won categories during each year of the Grammy’s.

  • Read more about The Grammy Museum .

16. Smorgasborg LA

fun places to visit los angeles

If you’re in Los Angeles on a Sunday, the only day of the week that this happens, head over to Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is much like a food truck event where 30 or so restaurants all have little pop-up shops in this one big industrial area. You can walk all around and try things ranging from fried chicken in a waffle cone, shrimp in a pineapple boat, acai bowls, tea, all sorts of crazy stuff. I recommend bringing your appetite and some money so that you can try a few different things. There’s also a shopping area down the middle that you can check out in between eating.

  • Read more about Smorgasborg

17. Little Tokyo

fun places to visit los angeles

Little Tokyo is in the heart of downtown LA where Chinatown is a little bit north of the city center. This area has a unique mall full of all sorts of Japanese-related items, has different restaurants that you can try, and it has one of my favorite places in all of downtown Los Angeles which is Daikokuya, a ramen restaurant. Be sure to get there really early, though, as Diakokuya is always busy, super small, and you normally have to wait at least an hour.

18. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

fun places to visit los angeles

Next stop, we have a Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a beautiful church that you can check out while you are in the city. This church is stunning with a contemporary design and a large open floor plan. You can walk through the entire area or go down to the mausoleum below the church. Obviously, be respectful if you visit here.

19. LA City Hall

fun places to visit los angeles

If you’re in Los Angeles during a weekday, from 9 AM to 5 PM, go to LA City Hall. You can get a visitor’s pass and take the elevator to the top of the city hall. From there, you can walk around in an open-air observation deck completely free. This is a great place to explore as it gives you impressive views of downtown LA and all the surrounding areas. You can even see the Hollywood Sign if there’s not any smog.

  • Read more about LA City Hall .

20. Grand Park

fun places to visit los angeles

From City Hall, you can head up to Grand Park, another fun place to relax in downtown. This long narrow park goes up about three city blocks, and it gains elevation as you’re walking up to the top. Each area has grass with tables and chairs that you can relax at and look out over City Hall. Also, at the top, there is a fountain that kids often play in.

21. Pershing Square

fun places to visit los angeles

From here, you can head to Pershing Square, which is one of the other popular city parks in Los Angeles. There’s not a lot to do in Pershing Square daily, but there is a park for kids to play at, and during Christmas, they have an ice rink here so you can ice skate in the heart of Downtown LA.

22. LA Library

fun places to visit los angeles

Pershing Square is about a block from the LA Library, another excellent place to explore for a few hours during the day. They have a cool atrium with lots of unique art, and, on the second floor, they have rotunda that you have to see to believe.

23. Bob Baker Marionette Theater (the theater has moved to a new location)

fun places to visit los angeles

My last two recommendations are a little bit outside the downtown area, but they’re both fun to visit. First, head over to Bob Baker Marionette Theater. This theater on the west side of downtown has been running for over 50 years, and it has an impressive marionette puppet show the whole family will enjoy. It’s a lot of fun during the holidays as well as they often have holiday-themed shows with their different puppets.

  • Read more about Bob Baker Theater .

24. Dodger’s Stadium

fun places to visit los angeles

My last recommendation is a visit to Dodger’s Stadium. You may have been to Dodger’s Stadium during a game day, but I recommend you visit it when there’s no game in town. During normal business hours, most days of the week, you can drive into Dodger’s Stadium, and you can visit the company store. From there, you can actually walk out into the upper deck, eat lunch, and look out over the beautiful stadium. I’m not a huge baseball fan myself, but there’s just something cool about being in Dodger’s Stadium with no one else around.

  • Read more about Dodger’s Stadium .

If you want to see clips of all these spots, check out this video I made talking through them.

So, that’s it, 24 spots in downtown Los Angeles for you to check out. Hopefully, there are some new ones on there that you hadn’t heard of before and be sure to let me know where I left off that you love in the comments. Also, if you want to visit Hollywood, check out this guide .

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fun places to visit los angeles

7 Insanely Cool Experiences in Los Angeles Worth Adding to Your Bucket List

  • August 22, 2023
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From Sunset Flights to Virtual Reality Adventures, Here Are 7 Must-Do’s in LA

Experiences > everything. We love agreeing to an adventure that’ll unlock a new core memory, and Los Angeles is one of those cities that has something to offer for anyone. Theater geek? Check out The Pantages. Card trick connoisseur? Get your mind blown at the Magic Castle. Dink disciple? Play some sky-high pickleball at the Kimpton La Peer Hotel . Movie buff? Rooftop Cinema will give you the ultimate alfresco experience. We could go on and on but the bottom line is that there are infinite ways to enjoy this multifaceted metropolis. This city is truly a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. From adrenaline-pumping adventures to captivating art encounters, we’ve compiled a list of seven cool and unusual Los Angeles experiences that are an absolute must during your next trek around Tinseltown.

Bubble World

fun places to visit los angeles

This interactive museum is redefining the term “pop-up” with a bubble-filled immersive experience. Closed Tuesdays but open every other day of the week, Bubble World is fun for people of all ages — especially for those 4 years and below because it’s free! For everyone else, tickets can be purchased through their website and range from $20-$40, depending on the day.

It’s sensory overload in the best way with games, virtual reality, a giant ball pit and plenty of ‘Grammable opportunities. This family-friendly field trip can be made complete with a visit to the Montebello Barnyard Zoo located nearby. Or if this is an adult-only adventure, get your own version of bubbles before because there aren’t a ton of viable bar options in this part of town.

Location: Montebello

Horseback Riding to the Hollywood Sign

fun places to visit los angeles

Giddy up, guys! It’s time to saddle up and set out on a one-of-a-kind urban excursion. Sunset Ranch offers an above sea-level experience as guests hit the trails for a guided tour through scenic Griffith Park, culminating in an up close and personal encounter with the historic Hollywood Sign. Sunset Ranch offers 1- or 2-hour rides for $75 and $125, respectively, as well as a romantic evening ride for $175 per person. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a first-timer, this trail ride promises an unforgettable journey with some of the best views money can buy. Book now for 15% off your experience using code backtoschool23.

Location: Griffith Park

Sunset Flight Over DTLA

fun places to visit los angeles

Gennah Rodriguez

See the City of Angels from a whole new perspective with a sunset flight over downtown LA. Buckle up and soar across the urban skyline as the sun dips below the horizon, casting that unforgettable glow over the golden coast. This is your chance to say you’ve flown private. A dual prop Cessna plane offers panoramic views of iconic landmarks like Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center), Dodger Stadium and the Hollywood Sign. As the lights come alive below, you’ll be treated to a truly magical experience that showcases the city’s beauty from a bird’s eye view. This experience is an ideal date night guaranteed to make your significant other swoon.

Location: Downtown Los Angeles

Shot of Art

fun places to visit los angeles

Art lovers, rejoice! We’re going to take a shot in the dark and say Shot of Art might be your new favorite creative outlet. One of LA’s most unique experiences, this pop-up art gallery combines creativity and cocktails in the most delightful way. Located in LA’s trendy Arts District, this interactive gallery features innovative exhibits where you become a part of the artwork. Sip on creatively crafted cocktails while immersing yourself in mind-bending installations, surreal settings and captivating visual experiences. This fusion of art and mixology makes Shot of Art a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable evening that tantalizes all the senses. Painting packages range from $165 to $220, but the experience (and your art) is priceless!

Location: Arts District

fun places to visit los angeles

Step into the realm of Dreamscape, a cutting-edge virtual reality experience that blurs the lines between reality and imagination. Located in Westfield Century City, Dreamscape offers fully immersive VR adventures that transport you to fantastical worlds and thrilling adventures. Join forces with friends and family to embark on epic quests, explore mystical realms and solve mind-bending puzzles. This state-of-the-art attraction is a must-visit for tech enthusiasts, gamers and anyone seeking a taste of the future. Right now, they are offering six different adventures that range from alien exploration and deep-sea diving to dragon flights and everything in between. For $20, this is the cheapest thrill in town.

Location: Century City

fun places to visit los angeles

Porsche Experience Center

fun places to visit los angeles

Rev up your engines and unleash your inner speed demon at the Porsche Experience Center in LA. This adrenaline-fueled experience allows you to get behind the wheel of high-performance Porsches and take on thrilling driving challenges. Under the guidance of professional instructors, you’ll learn to master hairpin turns, sharp corners and even perform heart-pounding stunts. Whether you’re a seasoned gearhead or just looking for an exhilarating adventure, the Porsche Experience Center promises an unforgettable day of high-octane fun. And if you’d prefer to just be part of the pit crew, enjoy the views from Restaurant 917 and take home some swag from their on-site retail store.

Location: Carson

Mr. Brainwash Art Museum

fun places to visit los angeles

Venture into the wild and wonderful world of Mr. Brainwash, an eccentric street artist and filmmaker, at his namesake art museum in Los Angeles. This vibrant space showcases his unique and thought-provoking works, featuring a fusion of pop culture icons, social commentary and mixed media masterpieces. Mr. Brainwash’s art is famous for its larger-than-life murals and installations, which blur the lines between street art and fine art. Prepare to have your perceptions challenged and your imagination ignited as you explore this captivating and colorful museum. Open on weekends and Wednesdays — and at only $20 — this is the best bang for your Andrew Jackson. Spring for a coffee from cult favorite Alfred beforehand or walk around the corner to Wally’s for a post-brainwash wine.

Location: Beverly Hills

fun places to visit los angeles

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  • Last Updated On
  • October 17, 2023

40 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Los Angeles: The Best Family-Friendly Attractions!

Lyam Lavigne

As the world’s most renowned creative center, there is no place like Los Angeles.

With a land area of about 460 square miles, the City of Angels is home to endless attractions and recreational activities.

But with so many places to go to, planning an LA trip with young ones can be daunting for parents.

As a fellow parent, I understand this feeling all too well.

But don’t worry.

My experience as a seasoned family travel writer has brought me to explore countless family-friendly locations in LA with my kids.

And I’m excited to share what I’ve gathered from our experience to help you plan a memorable LA trip for your kids.

To make it easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of what I found to be the fun things to do with kids in Los Angeles.

I’ve rated each attraction based on a few criteria: age compatibility, educational value, fun factor, accessibility, and affordability.

For smooth planning of your LA trip, check out my reviews and tips below.

Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids Compared 

From world-class theme parks to quirky museums, you won’t run out of fun places to explore in Los Angeles. Below is a guide to my top picks of family-friendly attractions in LA.

Editor’s Choice

universal studios hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is the icon of all theme parks worldwide, with its movie-inspired rides and attractions.

  • Age Compatibility: Tweens (10-12 years old)
  • Educational Value: 3/5
  • Fun Factor: 5/5
  • Accessibility: 4.5/5
  • Affordability: 4/5

#2nd Best Choice

wb studios tour

WB Studios Tour

From the 2019 smash hit Joker to the Harry Potter franchise, this studio has a lot of phenomenal cinema to its credit.

  • Age Compatibility: Young Children (6-9 years old)
  • Educational Value: 3.5/5
  • Accessibility: 4/5

#3rd Best Choice

aquarium of the pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific

Simply because you don’t want to miss the experience of watching over 11,000 animals and more than 50 exhibits.

  • Educational Value: 5/5
  • Fun Factor: 4/5

Here are fun activities in Los Angeles with kids.

1. Universal Studios Hollywood (Editor’s Choice)

Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal City Plaza Universal City, CA 91608 (800) 864-8377 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Ratings Criteria

  • Variety of rides
  • Themed lands and attractions

Why You’ve Got To Go

We all know how iconic Universal Studios Hollywood is.

Everyone has to visit it at least once in their life.

It’s the icon of all theme parks worldwide, with its movie-inspired rides and attractions.

Experience Hollywood at its very core with access to everything it offers.

Access the behind-the-scenes of your favorite movies in the world-famous Studio Tour.

Of course, you can’t leave without experiencing the thrill of the park’s iconic movie-themed rides.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel Ziggy

Related: Best Hotels in Los Angeles for Families

2. WB Studios Tour

WB Studios Tour

3400 Warner Blvd Burbank, CA 91522 (818) 977-8687 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Access to TV and movie studio sets
  • Interactive experience

It’s one of the busiest studios in all of Hollywood.

You don’t need a reason to go here. You just must.

The specialty of this place, of course, is in the tours.

You could get a studio tour, classics tour or a deluxe tour.

Whether you want to see Central Perk from Friends or backlots and soundstages, this is where it’s all at.

This is where the magic of movies takes place.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Garland

Related: Best Restaurants in Los Angeles

Related: Top Los Angeles Attractions

3. Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 590-3100 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Up-close water animal encounters
  • Educational exhibits

This is no ordinary aquarium, dear friends.

The Shark Lagoon has over 150 sharks and a few penguins that you can get close to and even touch.

The Lorikeet forest has beautiful birds and you can feed them.

If you want to feed the likes of a sea lion, you might want to make some bookings in advance with the Animal Encounters.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel Maya – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

Related: Best Things to Do in Los Angeles

4. Battleship USS Iowa Museum

Battleship Uss Iowa Museum

250 S Harbor Blvd San Pedro, CA 90731 (877) 446-9261 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

If you want something more educational, Griffith Park is an excellent alternative to Universal Studios Hollywood and Aquarium of the Pacific.

This is the only battleship on the West Coast that is open to the public.

So that’s a rare opportunity on its own.

Now, the USS Iowa Museum is also a great place to catch a glimpse of US maritime history through interactive exhibits.

There are kid-friendly tours, replete with informative exhibits on board.

Some of them are guided in case you want to make the most of your time here.

You can also opt for a group tour.

And there’s a scavenger hunt that you must absolutely take part in.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Terranea – L.A.’s Oceanfront Resort

5. TreePeople


12601 Mulholland Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (818) 753-4600 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

TreePeople is unique in the sense that it is full of nature trails and promotes the idea of experiential learning like no other place.

If you are wondering where to take kids to educate them about the environment while keeping it entertaining, you cannot skip this.

Check their calendar for events like moonlight hikes.

TreePeople is not just dog friendly but it also organizes group dog walks.

So you might want to check that out.

There are also classes in identifying and understanding native plants.

Don’t miss it.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Sunset Tower Hotel

Related: Free Things to Do in Los Angeles, CA

6. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Rd San Marino, CA 91108 (626) 405-2100 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This is a great big library with some of the rarest collections you’ll encounter.

Spread over 120 acres, there are a few gardens to its credit.

You won’t be spoiled for choice here but there’s more than enough to keep everyone busy.

There are three art galleries and a huge botanical garden.

The little ones will love walking around in the desert, Japanese, Chinese and rose gardens.

Kids from the ages two to seven will love the Helen and Peter Bing Children’s garden.

Middle schoolers can check out the exhibits on botany.

There’s also a fog grotto and a prism tunnel to climb through.

And don’t miss the rainbow room. It’s circular.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Westin Pasadena

Related: Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles at Night

7. El Capitan Theater

El Capitan Theater

6838 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood, CA 90028 (800) 347-6393 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This is a theater operated by Disney and is designed purely for family fun.

This place on Hollywood Boulevard gives you a peek into cinema from the 1920s.

There’s Tiny Tot Tuesdays which adds a little zing to the experience.

You will see popular Disney characters in all their glory.

There’s live singing too.

What’s more?

If you’re in the right spot, it will be raining confetti.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Le Parc at Melrose

8. Time Travel Mart

Time Travel Mart

1714 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026 (213) 556-4861 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Children of all ages will be thoroughly entertained here.

If you’ve been a fan of the Hot Tub Time Machine from Back To the Future , this is one of those fun places to go which will not disappoint you.

The Echo Park Time Travel Mart is a retail store that lives to provide souvenirs to keep those memories alive for a long time to come.

There is a great variety of items here that will mark any time period of your choice.

There’s also a non-profit tutoring center that will warm your heart.

Ages 2 and above.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE

9. Echo Park Lake

Echo Park Lake

751 Echo Park Ave Los Angeles, CA 90026 (213) 250-3578 Visit Website Open in Google Maps

If you like to go around a water body in a boat, this is the place to be in LA.

Whether it is strolling or fishing, you will find a space that works out a setup of your choice.

You can rent pedal boats or stay on the shore and organize a picnic for the family.

Paddle around the lake for an hour at a time while enjoying the view of downtown Los Angeles.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: InterContinental – Los Angeles Downtown, an IHG Hotel

10. Los Angeles State Historic Park

Los Angeles State Historic Park

1245 N Spring St Los Angeles, CA 90012 (323) 441-8819 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Los Angeles State Historic Park is back in business after being closed for three years.

It’s a Chinatown park that went through an impressive $20 million remodeling that you must check out.

There are pedestrian walkways for a stroll and there are picnic areas for when you want to rest for a bit.

There’s also a fruit orchard the children will enjoy and a lookout point for a gorgeous view.

It’s the complete package.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel Per La

11. La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

5801 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036 (213) 763-3499 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Located on Wilshire Boulevard, the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum is famous for its ice-age fossil site.

That’s just one of the things that attracts locals and tourists to this place.

There’s an excavator tour where kids can check out what the scientists of the day are digging out of tar pits.

Next is a museum on the Ice Age and a 3D movie that shows how animals were trapped in tar.

There’s also a fossil lab to see what came out of the fossils dug out from the tar.

You can choose to have a picnic in the park or near the tar pits.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Related: Things to Do Near Los Angeles

12. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum Of Art

5905 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 857-6000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This LA museum has a ton of children’s activities that will undoubtedly keep them engaged for hours.

There are huge modern art galleries in the Ahmanson building.

Next, you can check out the sculpture garden and of course, the Boone Children’s Gallery for painting and storytime.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Peninsula Beverly Hills

13. Grand Park

Grand Park

200 N Grand Ave Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 972-8080 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

It is located between the Music Center and City Hall.

It is on 12 acres of land and has fountains and green space that promises a pleasant evening.

There are bright pink benches that will lift your spirits and there’s drought-tolerant landscaping that will grab your attention.

The little ones can also check out the splash pad in the summers and a playground that will remind you of Dr. Seuss books.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Los Angeles Athletic Club

Also See: Things to Do in Morro Bay, CA with Kids Ventura Attractions for Kids

14. El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument

El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historical Monument

125 Paseo De La Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 485-6855 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This one is for the whole family and if you plan it well, it will take a whole day for you to really enjoy it.

There’s plenty of activities that make it quite happening.

Pick up some churros at Olvera Street and head towards Avila Adobe, the oldest home in LA.

From there get a glimpse of the Plaza Firehouse. Right across the street is Union Station with a ton of kid-friendly stuff.

It’s a bright mix of history and entertainment for them.

From there plan for a live music or dance event if you happen to be around during the annual Las Posadas festival.

15. Angels Flight Railway

Angels Flight Railway

351 So. Hill St. Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 626-1901 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

It’s the world’s shortest railway but gives a peek into the rich history.

Angels Flight Railway goes from Hill Street and Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill.

Luckily for us, it runs every day from 6:45 am to 10 pm on weekends and holidays too.

There are two train cars that are over 100 years old.

You get to check them out through a short train ride and enjoy the glory of Grand Central Market.

It’s called the Blue Angels 4D Experience and it’s been a landmark since 1901.

Ages 5 and above.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The LINE Hotel

16. The Los Angeles Public Library

The Los Angeles Public Library

630 W 5th St Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213) 228-7000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

If your little girl (or boy) is like Detective Amy Santiago (from the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine ) then you’re headed for a treat.

Rich wooden shelves, historic murals and storytimes, this place has it all.

First of all, it’s not just for bookworms.

There’s a computer zone for kids who aren’t old school.

But if you have children you love burying their nose the old fashioned way, there’s a children’s section that will enthrall them and a young adult section like no other library you’ve entered.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Casa Del Mar

17. The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles

404 S Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90071 (800) 937-8461 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Hello Serendipity fans.

Remember the elevator scene?

If you ever end up in a situation like that, there’s no place better than The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles.

Plus, these elevators have glass walls and come with a stunning view.

The interiors of this hotel give you the look and feel of a space station.

If you get lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a celebrity.

This is a hotspot for dignitaries, former Presidents and television and movie stars too.

If I were you, I’d camp out in the lobby all afternoon.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles

18. The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore

453 S Spring St Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 488-0599 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This is the largest used (and new) books and records store in all of California.

And by the way, if you’re a Potterhead, this place is a must visit.

But in all seriousness, it is a work of art, this book store.

The kids’ section is on the first floor.

The second floor is called the “Labyrinth”.

It’s a quirky space where used books are arranged according to color.

If you’re a shutterbug, now is the time to unleash your camera.

The tunnel is made for photographs.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: 1 Hotel West Hollywood

Also See: Kid Friendly Things to Do in Ojai Things for Kids to Do in Malibu Kids Activities: Pasadena

19. Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth

901 E 3rd St Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 943-1620 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This is a complex over 116,000 square feet in the Arts District and is one of the few around the world that is exclusively about contemporary art.

There are indoor and outdoor spaces to entertain people of all ages.

There are 12 rare-breed chickens which will amuse the little ones to no end.

There is an on-site restaurant that is totally kid friendly.

There is also a garden where you can eat the lunch you brought or organize a picnic for the family.

20. CicLAvia


525 S Hewitt St Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 355-8500 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This is an awesome car-free street festival.

It is not only full of fun activities but also teaches kids a thing or two about saving the planet we love and live on.

If you’re in town at the time, do not miss it.

This is an event where the streets are temporarily open for everyone to bike or walk or skate or dance.

It is extremely family friendly, it is free and a great place to chill for people of all ages.

21. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles County

900 Exposition Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90007 (213) 763-3466 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

With about 35 million objects in store, this is a stunning collection of exhibits.

From dinosaurs to a science lab, you will find almost everything you’ve ever been curious about under one roof.

Some of the objects here date as far back as 4.5 billion years.

If you’re a fan of Night in the Museum or Jurassic Park, this place will leave you spell bound.

You will also find a host of rotating exhibits and Nature Lab, a hand-on science lab that includes animals and other specimens.

22. California African American Museum

California African American Museum

600 State Dr Los Angeles, CA 90037 (213) 744-7432 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Every art form has a bunch of underrated artists whose work we do not recognize in our lifetime.

But that ends right here.

This one is for us to take a good, hard look at some of the under-represented artists of color.

The exhibits are never the same so you can actually visit any number of times.

This is also a great place to induct your kids into art.

There’s also a family program with workshops on mixed media for kids of all ages, if you pick the right weekend.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: E Central Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

23. California Science Center

California Science Center

700 Exposition Park Dr Los Angeles, CA 90037 (323) 724-3623 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Why You’ve Got to Go

If you love space and astronomy, this is a fantastic choice.

It is a dynamic place for families, students and teachers to inculcate a curiosity about space in the young ones.

There’s nothing like a weekend here exploring the wonders of science.

There are a few rotating exhibits that will keep you busy.

There’s also an IMAX theatre for all that you want to know about the science center.

But the best part is the space shuttle Endeavour in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion.

It’s the one that traveled to space 25 times from the 1990s to 2011.

Ages 4 and above.

Also See: Kids Activities: Santa Monica Things to Do in Long Beach with Kids Things to Do with Kids in Orange County

24. Tongva Park

Tongva Park

1615 Ocean Ave Santa Monica, CA 90401 (866) 311-7266 Visit Website Open in Google Maps

This 6.2-acre park opened in 2013 and is a favorite among locals and tourists.

From the parking lot to the outdoor space, it is a fantastic place for the family to have fun as a unit.

Here, there are activities for 2 year olds and 60 year olds with the same spirit of entertainment.

There are 18 observation decks here which give you a stunning view of the city.

There’s also winding walkways, huge lawns and rolling hills for you to plan your day.

In the summer, the kids can have fun at the splash pad and there’s a playground for those who want to stay dry.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Santa Monica Proper Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels

Related: Best Beaches in Los Angeles

25. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

1600 Ocean Front Walk Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 393-6149 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This aquarium on the Santa Monica pier is run by a non-profit called Heal The Bay.

They are committed to protecting the over 100 species of marine creatures that are placed here.

And it’s very popular among children.

There are interactive exhibits that everyone will quite enjoy.

Then, you can check out moon jellies.

You are also allowed to watch while the staff feed the sharks.

Entry is free for kids under 12 years.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

26. Discovery Cube Los Angeles

Discovery Cube Los Angeles

11800 Foothill Blvd Sylmar, CA 91342 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

If you’ve been to LA previously and loved the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles (which is now gone), this will do a little more than lift your spirits.

It opened in 2014 and has a ton of exhibits that will delight the little ones.

There are regular and temporary exhibitions here from time to time.

So it’s likely that it looks different every time you visit.

The kids are also allowed on a virtual helicopter tour on what’s called the Zamboni machine.

You can also plan a picnic in the Hansen Dam Recreation Area.

Free for kids under 3 years.

27. Kidspace Children’s Museum

Kidspace Children’s Museum

480 N Arroyo Blvd Pasadena, CA 91103 (626) 449-9144 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This is a 3.5-acre space filled with interactive exhibits.

There’s tons of room for your children to put their imagination to work.

It is one of the best kids’ activities in Los Angeles.

There’s an indoor area for them to lose themselves in activities and also an outdoor one where they can educate themselves about the environment.

To begin with, there’s an indoor imagination workshop.

There’s also a climbing structure like the ant colony and an interactive greenhouse.

Visit the Kidspace Children’s Museum which is a favorite among the young ones.

In the outdoor arena, there’s the Arroyo Adventure area to learn about various ecosystems and a hawk’s nest they can climb upon.

They can also build a dam or explore a mud kitchen.

Yes, you read that right.

So everyone, bring an extra set of clothes.

28. Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Los Angeles County Arboretum And Botanic Garden

301 N Baldwin Ave Arcadia, CA 91007 (626) 821-3222 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This place is pretty great for a family day out in Los Angeles.

Get a shuttle from the Gold Line to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

It’s a good place for the family to spend some quality time and bond with each other.

If you love short hikes, that’s a bonus.

To begin with, you will find peacocks walking around the space.

That’s not something you see every day.

There’s also storytime for children who dig that.

You can also go on Family Adventure Night Hikes or bird walks.

There’s also a camp just for kids.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hyland Inn near Pasadena Civic Center

29. Children’s Book World

Children’s Book World

10580 1/2 W. Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90064 (310) 559-2665 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This place has been around since the 1980s and has over 80,000 books for children, teachers and students.

Parents, there’s a little something for you too.

It also has music, audiobooks, DVDs and craft and science kits.

It’s the one-stop shop for all your needs.

The collection of books here is across cultures and has the best treasure trove of items you’ve seen in a while.

It’s for people of all ages and even the toys here are educational.

You could also go for storytime but be sure to check out the timings in advance.

Children above 2 years of age.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Beverly Hills Hotel – Dorchester Collection

30. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

3720 Stephen M White Dr San Pedro, CA 90731 (310) 548-7562 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This is for the whole family to have a chill day out in San Pedro.

It showcases rich marine life and has many exhibits to teach you a thing or two about underwater creatures on this coast.

The exhibits are in a building that is located on southern California’s oceans, so that’s already something to look forward to.

If you head to Cabrillo Beach on the weekends, you can enjoy their free guided tidepool walk.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hyatt Centric the Pike Long Beach

31. Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Mount Lee Dr Los Angeles, CA 90068 (323) 258-4338 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This is one of the most iconic sites in Hollywood.

It was never meant to be a permanent fixture but it’s funny how plans work out, isn’t it?

It’s a big part of the history around here and you must look up why it went from being “Hollywoodland” to the truncated version we see today.

It’s actually visible for many parts of the city when the sky is clear.

But that’s the catch.

You could hike up or get hitch a horseback ride through Hollywood Hills to get here.

It has some great trails and an amazing view waiting at the end of it.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Mama Shelter Los Angeles

Related: Things to Do in Hollywood with Kids

Related: California with Kids – Top Things to Do

32. Descanso Gardens

1418 Descanso Dr La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011 (818) 949-4200 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

If you’re looking for things to do in LA with kids, these botanical gardens are a pretty good bet.

You will see little ponds filled with roses, lilies and trees in every direction.

In the spring you will see blooms in every direction, in the winter there’s camellias and there’s majestic oaks all through the year.

The children will love walking around and exploring this natural beauty.

If that doesn’t sound too enticing, take them to the Enchanted Railroad or check out the daily storytimes and if you visit in the summer, be sure to check the concert calendar.

Related: Southern California with Kids – Fun Things to Do

33. Hollywood Walk of Fame

hollywood walk of fame

Hollywood Blvd., Vine St Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 469-8311 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a world-famous historic landmark and must-see attraction.

It features over 2,700 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in sidewalks along roughly fifteen blocks at Hollywood Boulevard.

It opened in 1960 and welcomes about 10 million tourists annually, making it one of the most popular attractions in LA.

Have a fun time with your family as you take plenty of pictures with the stars of your well-loved actors, directors, fictional characters, musicians, actors, and other famed celebrities.

View stars of famous icons, such as Walt Disney, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Jack Black, the Backstreet Boys, Orlando Bloom, Meryl Streep, Audrey Hepburn, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, and so much more.

Your kids will particularly like taking photos with the stars of animated characters Mickey Mouse, Godzilla, Big Bird, Donald Duck, Shrek, Tinkerbell, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, Bugs Bunny, Kermit the Frog, and countless others.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Dream Hollywood

34. Venice Beach

venice beach

1800 Ocean Front Walk Los Angeles, CA 90291 (310) 396-6794 Visit Website Open in Google Maps

Venice Beach is a sandy coastline featuring a bohemian vibe.

It is a family-friendly tourist hotspot featuring a nearby boardwalk, playground, skate park, sports courts, fishing pier, and outdoor stage.

Create long-lasting memories with your family by spending the day under the sun, on the soft sand, or in the cool water at Venice Beach.

Have a blast with your kids as you build towering sandcastles, play sandy volleyball, shoot hoops at a basketball court, teach your little ones how to fish, go for a leisurely swim, or enjoy a fun round of frisbee.

You can also rent a bike to pedal through its length and view occasional live entertainment from street performers, like musicians and jugglers.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Shutters On The Beach

35. Santa Monica Pier

santa monica pier

200 Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 458-8900 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Santa Monica Pier is a double-jointed pier nestled on the banks of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a historic landmark that opened in September 1909.

This spectacular attraction was featured in numerous movies and TV shows, like Grey’s Anatomy, Hannah Montana, Sharknado, 90210, Modern Family, New Girl, and many others.

It is also a highly acclaimed entertainment center featuring an aquarium, a small amusement park, several shops, a video arcade, a trapeze school, and concession stands.

Have a fun family outing as you enjoy a plethora of activities at the Santa Monica Pier.

Do things like going on a Ferris wheel, riding a rollercoaster, winning prizes while playing fun games, discovering the richness of marine life at an aquarium, and tons more.

You can also enjoy teaching your kids how to catch a fish at the pier, trying all sorts of tasty food sold by vendors, attending an outdoor concert, learning how to trapeze, watching live street performers, and so on.

36. Union Station

union station

800 N Alameda St Los Angeles, CA 90012 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Union Station, officially known as the Los Angeles Union Station, is the bustling main railway station in the city.

It first opened in May 1939 under the name of Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal and serves roughly 1.4 million passengers each year.

It is a historical landmark and features six island platforms, a stunning architectural design, onsite dining choices, and several public art murals.

Take your train-loving kids to Union Station and get the opportunity to watch several state-of-the-art passenger trains passing by.

Here, you can also enjoy activities like taking many pictures of its eye-catching art murals, biking on designated trails, dining at a fantastic restaurant, and snapping several photos together backed by jaw-dropping architecture.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel Figueroa, Unbound Collection by Hyatt

37. Wildlife Learning Center

wildlife learning center

16027 Yarnell St Sylmar, CA 91342 (818) 362-8711 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

This renowned attraction is a learning center and zoological park home to at least 100 exotic animals of more than fifty diverse species.

It offers several engaging events throughout the year, guided tours, a gift shop, and more.

This tourist hotspot is an animal lover’s dream.

Bond with your children while participating in educational tours, interacting with the wildlife, and shopping for souvenirs.

Get the chance to view animals like bald eagles, prairie dogs, ring-tailed lemurs, squirrel monkeys, boa constrictors, ravens, North American porcupines, bobcats, sugar gliders, pythons, and so much more.

Celebrate a special occasion with your loved ones and extended family by going on a Picnic Safari.

Dine at a reservable outdoor patio with exotic creatures, like macaws, owls, armadillos, and the like.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: La Quinta by Wyndham Santa Clarita – Valencia

38. Bob Baker Marionette Theater

bob baker marionette theater

4949 York Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90042 (213) 250-9995 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is a historical children’s theater company that debuted in 1963.

It is also a designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

It boasts hand-painted vignettes, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, and more.

Prepare to be amazed as you and your little ones watch puppet shows, musicals, plays, kid-friendly concerts, and other entertaining shows.

Depending on what they have planned, you can also get the chance to interact with puppets.

Open for all ages, but most enjoyable for kids aged two and up.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Glendale Hotel

39. Grand Central Market

grand central market

317 S Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 359-6007 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Grand Central Market is a magnificent 30,000-square-foot food court and downtown landmark that dates back to 1917.

It features food stalls selling local and foreign delicacies and various engaging events throughout the year.

Go on an unforgettable food trip with your children by enjoying the ultimate gastronomic experience by trying various delicious dishes at the Grand Central Market.

Try all sorts of mouth-watering dishes, like loaded tacos, Thai rice, decked sandwiches, Japanese bentos, freshly baked pastries, homemade pies, hand-made pastas, ramen, decadent donuts, and other yummy treats.

Depending on their schedule, you can get the chance to attend movie screenings, participate in game nights, and other events.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

40. Travel Town Museum

travel town museum

5200 Zoo Drive, Griffith Park Los Angeles, CA 90027 (323) 668-0104 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Travel Town Museum is a railway established in 1952 and owned by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks.

It houses more than 43 full-scale railroad cars and engines dating back to the early 1900s.

Do your children love all things train-related?

Then, one of the most fun things to do with kids in Los Angeles is taking them to this museum.

Here, you can go on guided educational tours, read books at a library, shop for toys for your youngsters, buy souvenirs at the museum store, go on train rides, and do other enjoyable activities.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel Amarano Burbank-Hollywood

Activity Guide 

Comparing activities: which one is right for you.

Some things to consider when comparing Los Angeles attractions are educational value, entertainment factor, and interactive experiences.

To compare, Universal Studios Hollywood offers movie-themed rides, attractions, and studio tours.

WB Studios Tour also takes you to the behind-the-scenes of beloved Hollywood TV shows and movies.

At Aquarium of the Pacific, you get up close and personal with stunning marine animals.

My kids and my whole family had a wonderful time in each location.

Universal Studios Hollywood and WB Studios Tour were both memorable Hollywood experiences.

Getting into fun rides and having an interactive movie set experience was thrilling on each of their own.

For a more casual nature adventure, Griffith Park is an excellent option for exploring the best of LA’s attractions.

The Aquarium of the Pacific was mesmerizing and educational throughout for both me and my kids.

How I Picked The Activities

As a seasoned writer who loves exploring different attractions, providing the most accurate information is a must.

Each activity on this list was handpicked based on my own experiences and those shared with me by locals and experts in the LA area. 

Plus, I pored over countless online reviews to ensure they resonate with family fun seekers.

Our Rating Method 

I rate these activities based on the following criteria: 

  • Age Compatibility: I use this criterion to assess the ideal age range for each attraction. Is this activity suitable for toddlers, preschoolers, or young children? Will teenagers and tweens enjoy this attraction? I ask myself these questions whenever I assess age compatibility. 
  • Educational Value: This is used to evaluate the educational benefits that the activity offers. Does the activity provide learning opportunities to children? Does it teach them lessons in science and history? I ask myself these important questions when rating the activity’s educational value. 
  • Fun Factor: This measures the level of excitement, engagement, and enjoyment that the activity offers. Is it engaging and enjoyable for kids? Will it create memorable and positive experiences for families? These questions are important whenever I rate the activity’s fun factor. 
  • Accessibility: This measures how accessible the activity is for families. Is it wheelchair accessible? Is it easily accessible by public transportation? Does it have ample parking space? I consider these factors when evaluating the accessibility of every activity. 
  • Affordability: This assesses the value of money provided by the activity. Are the admission fees reasonable? Does it offer deals or discounts for families? I use these questions to evaluate the affordability of every attraction. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best things to do in los angeles with toddlers.

The best things to do in Los Angeles with toddlers are exploring the Descanso Gardens, visiting the Kidspace Children’s Museum, and hiking at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. 

What Are The Best Free Things To Do With Kids In Los Angeles?

The best free things to do with kids in Los Angeles are taking pictures at the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, visiting the Santa Monica Pier, and viewing the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. 

fun things to do with kids in los angeles travel photo

Experience a ton of fun things to do with kids in Los Angeles by visiting these attractions.

My family had a blast with the WB Studios Tour intimate studio experience. 

We also had pleasant memories feeding sea lions at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

But as with all places, I have noted some limitations in these attractions.

For instance, rides at theme parks are almost always filled with long lines.

Similarly, navigating the Aquarium of the Pacific might come as a challenge for families with toddlers and young children.

On the other hand, WB Studios Tour may not be that appealing to young children and below.

That said, there are other exciting alternatives to these attractions, including Griffith Park.

While each attraction may have drawbacks, they are all still enjoyable and worth visiting.

If you’re looking for the ultimate experience in LA with kids, head to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Based on my experience, my kids lost half of their excitement halfway in the waiting line.

But no worries, because we know our kids.

Their excitement will skyrocket the moment they see the bustling environment and the performers with bright smiles.

They will also have the time of their lives with all the exhilarating rides and kid-friendly activities.

Los Angeles will create a special spot in their hearts for the fun times they spend with you.

40 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Los Angeles: The Best Family-Friendly Attractions!


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Parks & Trails

La Kretz Bridge.

9 lovely walks to explore L.A.’s most beautiful bridges

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Quick: Name a few famous bridges in L.A.

If the first ones that come to mind are Jeff or Beau, you’re probably not alone. Unlike, say, San Francisco, New York or London, our city doesn’t have water-spanning structures that represent us on the world stage.

But make no mistake about it, L.A. is absolutely a bridge destination. There are more than 450 of them in our county, ranging from humble overpasses to architectural masterworks that soar high over rivers and channels. Of the latter category, former Mayor Eric Garcetti went so far as to gush to documentarians that the L.A. River’s arch bridges are some “of the most stunning architectural assets in this country.”

They aren’t just good for looking at (or driving over), either. If you’re like me, always searching for new places to get outside for fresh air and exercise, then L.A.’s arches also happen to make perfect centerpieces for a walk. Some of the bridges on this list are sizable strolls unto themselves, while others are connected to trails or walkways that make for a nice loop. Either way, they can help you get the daily steps that research recommends to keep us healthy and happy.

As a bonus health benefit, these walks are engaging for your brain, no matter your interests. For fans of L.A. history, bridges offer a link back to some of the city’s earliest inhabitants. For art and architecture buffs, plenty of graceful railings to ogle. For engineers, gravity-defying design to inspect. For pop culture connoisseurs, a chance to follow in the footsteps of Ryan Gosling, Charlie Chaplin and other stars who’ve filmed iconic moments atop the city’s arches. And all of us can benefit from learning about how our communities have grown and adapted to their natural environments, from the banks of the Arroyo Seco to the beaches of Venice.

The nine walks on this list are each designed to give you a pleasant stroll — some slightly longer and more challenging than others, as noted. I’ve opted for loops that offer the best balance of easy parking, enjoyable walking and photo-worthy views of these architectural wonders. Since many of L.A.’s coolest (and most historic) bridges are concentrated around the L.A. River, there are even a few walks that combine views or crossings of multiple structures.

Not sure which one to go on first? Don’t worry. You can cross that bridge when you come to it. (Sorry, I had to.)

Adam Markovitz is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

The Colorado Street Bridge.

Colorado Street Bridge

La Loma Bridge.

La Loma Bridge

The bridges at the Venice Canals.

Venice Canals Bridges

The Sixth Street Viaduct, aka the Sixth Street Bridge.

6th Street Viaduct

Shakespeare Bridge.

Shakespeare Bridge

LaKretz Bridge.

La Kretz Bridge

Taylor Yard Bridge.

Taylor Yard Bridge

The Cesar Chavez Avenue Viaduct.

Cesar Chavez Avenue Viaduct

Locks on the Sunnynook Pedestrian Bridge.

Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, Red Car Bridge & Sunnynook Pedestrian Bridge

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19 Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles with Teenagers

fun places to visit los angeles

TripSavvy / Christian Hundley

Although Los Angeles is a popular destination for tourists of all ages, teenagers will especially find the City of Angels full of exciting activities, adventures, and events. Whether your teen is a bookworm, an outdoor adventurer, or a shopaholic, there's something for everyone in this southern California city.

From visiting one of the many theme and amusement parks in the Los Angeles area to going horseback riding in the mountains just outside the city, you're sure to find something to add to your itinerary.

Plus, even if you live in LA, you might find a few ideas you haven't yet done with your teenager, or if you are a teen, some things to add to your LA staycation list.

Visit a Theme Park

While Six Flags Magic Mountain is considered the "coming of age" theme park in Los Angeles for its more extreme coasters, it depends on your teen for whether or not you'll want to visit.

LA teens also like Knott's Berry Farm's more intimate footprint with a diversity of options for the more and less thrill-seeking types. It's a favorite way to celebrate high school graduation, so it's not just younger teens who appreciate the park's charms.

If your teen is still a Disney fan, Disneyland , especially Disney's California Adventure , are always fun for teens, but remember to plan in some time for the night-time dance parties.

However, if there's only time or money to visit one theme park while you're in LA, Universal Studios Hollywood  might be the top choice. The rides are more virtual than real, but you get the combination of rides associated with movies and TV shows they know, as well as the Tram Tour that takes you through the working back lot of the TV and movie studio.

Take Your Teen to the Beach

 TripSavvy / Christian Hundley 

Unless you live at the beach somewhere else in the country, most people make a beeline for the beach when visiting Los Angeles, and if you are traveling with teens, you can't beat Venice Beach.  While there are ocean and sand along all 75 miles of Los Angeles beaches , the Venice Beach Boardwalk has a scene you won't find anywhere else.

The boardwalk is active all year long, especially on weekends, but it's most crowded in summer. Permanent souvenir shops, head shops, and snack bars line the inland side of the boardwalk, while table vendors, artists, and street performers are set up along the sand.

Although the faces of the artists and performers vary, there is a good chance you'll see some of the exact performers you've seen in the background in popular movies and TV shows. At the south end of the strip are the famous Muscle Beach outdoor gym and the concrete skateboard park on the beach.

If that's not enough activity to keep your attention, the people-watching is highly entertaining, too, or you can  rent bikes  and take a tour of the entire stretch of coastline if you're so inclined.

Treat Your Teen to a Surf or SUP Lesson

TripSavvy / Christian Hundley

If your teen is the active, adventurous type, a surf lesson is a great way to immerse him or her (and you) in Southern California's beach culture. Knowing how to swim is a prerequisite, and strong legs and good balance help, but even if you never stand up, learning to surf is a lot of fun.

It's better to take a lesson rather than just rent a board and try to learn on your own, partially for the coaching, but also to make sure you don't run into territorial issues. The surf instructors in Santa Monica, for instance, know where to take you, so you're not tripping up the professionals.

Another popular water sport is stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP), which is done on calmer water, like the canals in Marina del Rey and Long Beach. It looks effortless when you see people doing it, but it takes every muscle in your body, including some you've probably never used before. Check out SUP with Wade or Pro SUP Shop in Marina del Rey for lessons.

Kayaking is another fun way to get out on the water. You can kayak the ocean waves, but for beginners, the inland canals offer a flat-water option. Popular places to rent kayaks include Marina del Rey, Long Beach, Huntington Harbor, and Newport Beach.

Attend a TV Show Taping With Teens 16 or Older

If your teen is 16 or older, attending a TV show taping can be a fun way to introduce him or her to the exciting world of showbiz that's made Hollywood famous. Be aware; it usually involves a lot of waiting around, so weigh how much time you have available to devote to this before you plan it.

If your teen has a favorite sitcom, it's worth seeing if it's taping, but even seeing the filming of an unknown pilot during the summer hiatus can be an enjoyable and educational experience for both of you.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live! show tapes right in Hollywood , so if you're visiting that area, it can be a good one to see, and it tapes more often than sitcoms since it's a daily show. There are usually actors and contemporary bands as guests, and there is a separate outdoor performance stage behind the studio where you can see the band perform a more extended set.

Take Your Teen on a Movie Studio Tour

If you don't have five or six hours to spend seeing a TV show being taped, a one or two-hour studio tour is another way to get a behind the scenes look at the TV and movie industry here—you might even catch a glimpse of a famous actor or two working on the lot!

If you go to Universal Studios , their tram tour of the back lot is included, or their VIP tour lets you walk around on set. Warner Bros , Paramount , and Sony also offer stand-alone tours.

Go Horseback Riding with Teens

If you come from a cattle ranch in Wyoming, horseback riding may not be high on your list of things to do in LA. But for beginner riders, and anyone who wants to see a different side of the city, a guided trail ride is a fun way to see the local mountains and the city from higher elevations.

Some trail rides start right in Hollywood and go up behind the Hollywood Sign  while others explore the mountains above Malibu, including the Paramount Ranch, or the Palos Verde Peninsula.

A walking trail ride can be a bit of a letdown for experienced riders, but some outfitters let you book a private ride where you can pick up the pace.

Take Your Teens Hiking

Another great way to see a different side of Los Angeles with your outdoors, enthusiast teenager is to take a hike through the local canyons and mountains.

With trails that start in Hollywood, like Runyon Canyon, or trails in Griffith Park to the Hollywood Sign or the Griffith Observatory , a day of hiking is a convenient and great way to get out of the city quickly. If you have a bit more time, though, you can drive a little farther into the mountains to find trails that are less crowded and offer even more stunning views of the Valley.

Be sure to take sunscreen, water, snacks and your cell phone with the GPS tracking enabled in case you get lost. You'll probably want to turn off your cell phone or set it to airplane mode until and unless you need it, since there is no signal in a lot of the canyon and mountain areas; searching for a signal will run down your battery. If you have allergies or asthma, pay attention to the respiratory and allergy air quality reports before heading out.

Explore Chinatown with Your Teen

Although less impressive than its San Francisco, New York, and Boston counterparts, Chinatown in Los Angeles is a great place to take your teenager, especially if they've never visited China but are interested in its culture and people.

One of the most important annual celebrations on the lunisolar Chinese calendar is Chinese New Year. Chinatown comes alive on this day with a parade and festival celebrating Chinese culture.

The center of Chinatown is located primarily along Broadway and Hill Street, north of Cesar Chavez Avenue in  Downtown Los Angeles . Other downtown Los Angeles attractions nearby include Union Station and El Pueblo de Los Angeles at Olvera Street , the Music Center, Grand Park and the LA Civic Center, and LA Live  Sports and Entertainment Complex.

Take Your Teens to a Skate Park

One of the most famous skateboard parks in LA is the one at Venice Beach, but there are many others. Skateboarding is even more native to many Southern Californians than surfing, with a much more accessible price point and opportunities to skate all over town.

If you didn't grow up on a skateboard, lessons are available, but it's also fun to hang out and watch the tricks. In addition to Venice Beach, other easily-accessible parks include the Cove Skatepark in Santa Monica and Stoner Skate Plaza just a bit further toward downtown as well as Hermosa Skate Beach in Redondo Park, William Nickerson Gardens Skate Park in Lynwood, and the Michael K. Green Skate Park in Long Beach.

Most of these facilities allow you to rent gear from them, but if you have your own roller skates or boards, feel free to bring those in and save some money.

Take Your Teens to a Concert

Most teens are into music to some extent, and LA has an abundance of opportunities to see bands and DJs perform live. The Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theatre in LA, as well as the Pacific Amphitheatre in Orange County are fun outdoor venues for big-name concerts.

For indoor shows in LA, you can take your teen to the Staples Center, the Microsoft Theatre, the Forum, the Honda Center and many smaller venues. To see what's coming up during your visit at any of those venues, check out Ticketmaster.

There are also many combination restaurants and bars like House of Blues in Anaheim that host local and touring bands and have many events that are not limited to 21 and over. Some clubs and concert venues like the Echoplex or Avalon also host events that are for 16 to 18-year-olds, but you should check the age limit on each performance before buying tickets.

Visiting One of L.A.'s 200+ Museums

Los Angeles is home to more than 250 museums , so even if your teen isn't remotely interested in most exhibits, you can probably find one to spark his or her interest, if you know where to look.

Many teen visitors and residents recommend going to the Griffith Observatory, a great place for seeing stars; the California Science Center, with lots of opportunities for hands-on experiments including riding a bike on a high wire; the Natural History Museum; and the LA County Museum of Art.

If those sound too academic for your teenager, you could go for the Hollywood Museum or Paley Center for TV costumes and props, Ripley's Believe it or Not, or the Guinness World Records Museum for trivia or take your Goth teen to the Museum of Death, one of LA's most unusual museums. There are also museums for fans of cars, planes, ships,​ and trains.

Go Shopping at the Grove

Regarding price, Los Angeles shopping isn't really any more expensive than shopping at home for most tourists, so don't let that misconception deter you from knocking out some school shopping with your teenager while spending the day enjoying each other's company.

One of the most popular shopping destinations for teenagers is The Grove , which offers a variety of shops ranging from accessible to exclusive, perfect for a day of shopping with your teenager (or a quick trip to grab something you didn't pack!). There's also a trolley car that runs along a track to the neighboring LA Farmer's Market, both of which are popular spots for celebrity sighting!

The Vacation Gals recommend the Beverly Center as a cool place to shop or just browse, and another teen-favored retail stretch with an entirely different vibe is Melrose Avenue through Hollywood.

If your teen is into a period look, there are cool vintage shops on Melrose and in other parts of LA. Racked LA published "A Guide to Vintage Shopping in LA," which includes some of the best thrift shops for finding throwback threads. You can also see a bunch of vintage clothes and furnishings in one spot on Retro Row on 4th Street in Long Beach, or at the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market on the 2nd Sunday of the month, or the Long Beach Antiques and Collectibles Market on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

For the true shopaholic, fashion-forward teen, the 100-block stretch of the Fashion District offer trend-leading looks for dudes and dudettes as well as hundreds of options for finding that perfect prom dress.

Take Your Teen to a Sporting Event

Los Angeles residents, for the most part, are quite proud of their professional sports teams and venues, and celebrities aren't the only ones who take their teens to LA sporting events.

You might not have such prime seats in your budget, but depending on where in the season Los Angeles teams are, you can usually find affordable seats to see the Dodgers or the Angels play baseball, the Lakers or the Clippers play basketball, the Kings play hockey, or the Galaxy team play soccer.

For something a little more out of the ordinary, you can take in a roller derby game with the LA Derby Dolls or other local leagues.

Experience a Special Thrill

Kayte Deioma

Although Los Angeles is packed full of amusement parks, there are many other thrills to experience in this massive city—from simulated sky-diving to standing above the city on a glass floor.

It's not an all-day activity, but if you're in the vicinity of Universal Studios, a stop at iFly Hollywood on Universal CityWalk could give you and your teen a thrill. It's a chance to float on air as if you're skydiving in a big Plexiglas tube, which is a real blast at any age.

OUE Skyspace LA is another great opportunity for some safe thrills for you and your teenager to enjoy. Located on the top floor of the US Bank Tower, this open-air observation deck features a glass "skyslide" and 360-degree views of Los Angeles.

Challenge Your Teen to Kart Racing in LA

Teens can have fun practicing their driving skills out of traffic at any of the many indoor and outdoor kart racing facilities in Los Angeles, and there are options available for drivers ranging in age from toddlers to adults (Go Kart World in Carson accepts as young as three years old).

Indoor kart racing uses electric vehicles with up to 10 karts per race and can be a great way to entertain teenagers, especially those who aren't yet able to drive legally.

Lil' Indy, K1 Speed, CalSpeed Karting Center, SpeedZone Los Angeles, and 2 Wild Karting are all great places to go if your teenager has the need for speed.

Visit Bottega Louie

Foodies and hungry teenagers, alike, will enjoy eating—or at least going for dessert—at Bottega Louie in Downtown Los Angeles.

This fancy-casual marble-floored Italian restaurant, Italian and French bakery and gourmet market has been on all kinds of lists for best restaurant, best pizza, best brunch, best atmosphere, and best restaurant with free Wi-Fi in local publications, so it's no wonder it's a popular spot for foodies of all ages.

The dessert displays and rainbow macarons are a work of art, and it's fun to sit where you can watch the staff at work in the open kitchen. You don't have to spend a fortune here, but you'll want to.

Take in the Local Scene at Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier, home of Pacific Park amusement park, is another popular destination for younger teens—but also offers the older crowd a few great options.

Take in a movie-scene-style view of the city from atop the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park or let your younger teenager ride one of the classic amusement park rides on the pier. The food's not that healthy and not that cheap, but if you and your teenagers are in the mood for some typical fair-style fast food, this is a great place to grab lunch.

If your teenager is a little older, you should also check out the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, because many musicians and celebrities just getting their start hang out in this hip neighborhood. There are also several interesting and unique locally-owned shops here, which is another great opportunity to shop for some one-of-a-kind (yet still affordable) clothes for school.

Go Star-Hunting in Hollywood

Los Angeles isn't just the City of Angeles; it's also a city of celebrities who work in Hollywood (and the surrounding California towns while on location) filming blockbuster movies year after year. If your teenagers are celebrity-obsessed, consider taking them on a quest for a celebrity sighting, but remember to be polite and respectful—celebrities are people, too.

One of the best ways to catch a glimpse of a celebrity—other than hitting up celebrity hotspots mentioned earlier in this list—is to buy a ticket on a tour bus of the celebrities' favorite Los Angeles neighborhoods. Take two hours (or half the day) and embark on a Hollywood celebrity homes tour (typically $42.50), which features a narrated 12-person bus ride through the celebrity mansions in the Hollywood Hills and a stop at the Hollywood Bowl, where you can take pictures of the Hollywood sign.

Alternatively, you could visit the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, where celebrities who have "made it" in Hollywood (and in general in pop culture) are awarded stars on the sidewalk to commemorate their success. Be sure to snap a few pictures of your teens standing on the Hollywood stars of their favorite celebrities!

Go See the Animals

For teenagers who love animals, especially exotic and aquatic ones, there are two all-star destinations you can go in Los Angeles: the Los Angeles Zoo and the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located near Griffith Park and its 133-acres house over 270 species ranging from giraffes to the rare mountain tapir. Founded in 1966, the Zoo has been a staple of Los Angeles for years and undergone many significant renovations due to a spat of animal escapes in the 1990s and 2000s.

Located in Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific features the famous "Blue Cavern" exhibit, a giant glass wall that's been the background of many romantic movie scenes throughout the years. If your teenage child is into marine biology and aquatic life, he or she might enjoy the optional "behind-the-scenes" tour, which guides visitors through what it takes to operate and conserve the marine life held in captivity.

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Los Angeles for Kids

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Best Things To Do This Weekend In Los Angeles and Southern California: Apr. 5 - 7

The image is outside with a woman wearing a pink jacket down on her hands and knees, on her yoga Matt with her head turnt away from the camera. A goat is standing on top of her back standing strong and looking ahead wearing a costume that features a rainbow and clouds on both sides of the goat.

Outdoor Pick

Viewing pick, dine & drink deals.

A s we all anxiously await the (partial) eclipse next week, clear your aura this weekend with cute animals – whether it’s hanging out with corgis on the beach in Huntington or doing yoga with goats in Santa Monica. There’s also the annual L.A. Beer Fest and a listening party in the Japanese Garden in Little Tokyo. And don’t let anyone rain on your parade – Funny Girl hits the stage at the Ahmanson.

Visit LAist.com for more things to explore, including the Sights & Sounds Punk Family Picnic event at The Broad Museum on Sunday and a remembrance of one of L.A.’s most recognizable small business owners – Samy Kamienowicz of Samy’s Camera.

Friday, April 5, 2024 at 7:00 PM

Japanese Film & Animation Soundtracks: A Listening Party

  • TWCCC & James Irvine Japanese Garden 244 San Pedro St, Little Tokyo

Promo image for The Japanese film & Animation Soundtracks listening party. The image features an animated example of a small part of the garden with four separate squares of different anime's to be featured on the right. The squares include Cowboy Bebop, Akira, Lupin the 3rd and My Neighbor Totoro.

Japanese whiskey? Check. A beautiful urban garden? Check. Sashimi and other fancy snacks? A super cool soundtrack and anime films? Check, check, check. Head to Little Tokyo for this fun collab under the stars between The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and vinyl proprietors In Sheep’s Clothing on the first Friday of the month.

April 4, 2024 through April 7, 2024

The Other Art Fair

  • The Barker Hangar 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica

A neon sign that reads, 'ART.'

See work from over 140 artists from L.A. and around the world, and maybe even buy a new piece for your home. The Other Art Fair focuses on work that’s more accessible to new art collectors, and with DJs and a full bar, it’s fun to walk around and explore the varied exhibitors.

Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 10:00 AM

SoCal Corgi Beach Day

  • Huntington Dog Beach 100 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach

An image of a Corgi dog outside on the beach. The corgi is hanging out the window of a cardboard cutout that looks like the back of an old surfer van, the corgi is happy with their tongue out. It's like seeing a dog hanging out of the window of someone's car while driving.

If there’s something cuter than a beach full of corgis, it can only be a beach full of corgis in costumes. SoCal Corgi Beach Day is exactly what it sounds like. There’s yoga with your dog, a cutest corgi butt competition, bacon-flavored bubbles, and a treat-eating contest. Somebody alert Buckingham Palace!

April 2, 2024 through April 28, 2024

'Funny Girl'

  • Ahmanson Theatre 135 N. Grand Ave., Downtown L.A.

The image features a group of people on stage and all have their focus on one person in the right-center of the image who is capture mid-air performing and dancing. The background for the set is in the middle of the street as this is a time piece set in the 1920's.

Don’t sit and putter, get down to the Ahmanson to see the Broadway touring company of Funny Girl. The musical follows Fanny Brice on her journey to stardom and earned rave reviews for Glee star Lea Michele on Broadway. Katerina McCrimmon takes the stage here as Fanny Brice; Grammy winner Melissa Manchester plays Mrs. Brice.

April 5, 2024 through April 6, 2024

L.A. Maker Faire

  • Los Angeles State Historic Park 1245 N. Spring St., Downtown L.A.

The image is five women dressed up in princess costumes but all holding electric drills, smiling in front of the camera. In front of them is an table with the projects they were working on. This taking place inside an office building.

Love to tinker? Have some STEM skills to share? Head down to the L.A. State Historic Park. On Friday, extra help is needed to set up, and on Saturday you can check out the exciting projects while lending a hand as well. Or grab a free ticket and walk through to meet the creators – like Katherine Connell who makes wearable light-up art – and maybe even be inspired to pick up a new hobby of your own.

Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 2:00 PM

Ruth Seymour Tribute (AT CAPACITY)

  • The Broad Stage 1310 11th St., Santa Monica

The image is KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour talks to guests before a live presentation of the political week-in-review show "Left, Right & Center". She is outside with a microphone in her again looking off before saying something. Behind her is two casing directing chairs to the right and bushes to the left.

UPDATE: RSVPs are closed, and KCRW asks that people NOT just show up on the day.

Longtime KCRW visionary station manager Ruth Seymour really defined a moment for public radio in L.A.

Seymour died late in 2023, and you can join KCRW at a public memorial celebrating her contributions this weekend.

Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 5:00 PM

Mujeres de Maíz: Book release and live art celebration

  • Floricanto Center for the Performing Arts 2900 Calle Pedro Infante, Los Angeles

The image is a promo for the Mujeres de Maíz: Book release and live art celebration. The promo orange but has a white stripe going arcs the middle of the image giving the details of the event. To the left side of the image is an drawing of an women looking straight forward holding  some sort of orb or symbol with the moon right above her head and a blue night time background.

Women’s advocacy organization Mujeres de Maiz celebrates its 27th year in East Los Angeles with a live art event and book release party. Featuring performances from Dr. Martha Gonzalez, Jessa Calderon, and emcee D’Lo as well as poetry and panel discussions, the event honors the new book Mujeres de Maíz en Movimiento: Spiritual Artivism, Healing Justice and Feminist Praxis.

Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 9:00 AM

  • Marine Park 1406 Marine St., Santa Monica

The image is outside with a woman wearing a pink jacket down on her hands and knees, on her yoga Matt with her head turnt away from the camera. A goat is standing on top of her back standing strong and looking ahead wearing a costume that features a rainbow and clouds on both sides of the goat.

Is goat yoga sooooo 2018? Who cares, it’s fun. Bring your mat and a sense of humor (and clothes you don’t mind getting a little, um, dirty) and let those baby goats roam the wilds of your back with Laughing Frog Yoga.

Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 7:30 PM


  • El Capitan Theatre 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

A vintage photograph of film reels, tap recorders, and a vinyl album.

Travel back to the days before all wine had to be natural and organic and all we had to worry about was the merits of merlot. Yes, the 2004 Alexander Payne Syrah-fueled cult hit Sideways is screening at the majestic El Capitan Theatre as part of their Searchlight Saturdays series, followed by a Q&A with producer Michael London, editor Kevin Tent, and actor Virginia Madsen.

Savor these delicious dining and drink opportunities this weekend.

April 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024

Maude's $10 Tasting Menu

  • Maude 212 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills

The image is the inside of the restaurant Maude. The restaurant is empty but features a light-warmed setting with blue comfortable chairs.

Hot deal alert! With a hat tip to Eater LA – in honor of their 10th anniversary, Curtis Stone’s Michelin-starred restaurant Maude announced the deal of the spring this week: 10 guests each week will get to experience their famed tasting menu for just $10 for the rest of the year. But you’ll need to be fast with your thumbs on OpenTable: At 10 a.m. on the first of each month, five tables for two will be bookable in the Experiences section for the special price (typically the tasting menu at Maude runs $215 per person). The wine pairing isn’t included in the deal; that will still set you back starting at $155 per person.

Cake Assembly Class at Milk Bar

  • Milk Bar LA 7150 Melrose Ave. , Los Angeles

The image is Chef Christina Tosi wearing a white shirt and overalls with a bandana tired around her head hold one of signature 3-layer cakes in her right hand. She is also behind a baby blue background.

Chef Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar birthday cake is nothing short of iconic; one look at the funfetti and you know you’re in for a tooth-aching treat. She’s made Milk Bar into an empire and ships these cakes all over the world now, but you can learn to assemble and decorate your own from the experts this week at their flagship bakery on Melrose. Go home with your own 6-inch cake and truffles, whether it’s your big day or just a Saturday.

Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 12:00 PM

L.A. Beer Festival

  • L.A. Center Studios 450 S Bixel St, Downtown L.A.

image of five different types of beers. Looking door at the beers sitting on top of a wooden table. The beers are also in a unique beer holding tray that's shape like a painting tray.

Sample beers from 80 breweries, plus enjoy tons of food trucks and live music, DJs from Power106, and more. Make sure you plan to get a ride home!

Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 3:00 PM

Panorama Mezcal Festival

  • Atla 1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice

Image of a glass of Tequila in the center of the image and only thing in focus. The drink is sitting on top of a wooden table with a man behind the drink, out of foucs.

The folks at Atla in Venice take mezcal seriously. This Sunday the relative newcomer to Abbot Kinney from Chef Enrique Olvera (of Mexico City’s Pujol fame) hosts a mezcal tasting that’s not just a tasting but a five-hour event with a series of seminars on the smoky liquor and a variety of bites. Hear from experts in the industry about the future of mezcal and sample over 50 agave spirits.

A home is decorated with white and red lights for the holidays. Two trees in front of the homes are also decorated with lights as are the bushes on the sidewalk.

fun places to visit los angeles

The 33 Most Epic Things To Do In Los Angeles With Kids

W hen you visit Los Angeles with kids you are going to want to check out the beaches, theme parks and museums. If you are like us and enjoy outdoor activities be sure to hike up behind the Hollywood sign too! Here are our top 33 things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

Best options for things to do in Los Angeles with younger kids:

  • Kidspace Museum – perfect for kids who love hands out activities!
  • Puppet Show – a fun show made especially for younger kids!
  • Splash Pads – perfect for your water loving kid!
  • Aquarium Of The Pacific – for any little or big kids that love fish!

Best options for things to do in Los Angeles with older kids:

  • Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles – perfect for your history loving teen!
  • California Science Center – perfect for your teen that loves everything science!
  • WB Studios Tour – if your kid is in to movies and TV you don’t want to miss this!
  • Malibu Surf Tour – perfect for your teen that loves surfing or has always wanted to learn!
  • Universal Studios Hollywood – if your kid likes amusement parks you can’t go wrong with Universal!
  • La Brea Tar Pits – great for the kid that wonders what life used to be like in LA!
  • LA Go City Explorer Pass . – great for parents that have kids that want to do all the things!

Now let’s get into the details!

Things To Do In LA With Kids

1 – hollywood sign.

You can’t get much more iconic then the Hollywood Sign! And hiking to the Hollywood sign is a great way to see it and to get a view of all of LA. You won’t be able to touch the sign but you can hike right up behind it.

Take note this is a long hike – probably about 3 mile – 4 mile round trip hike from the Lake Hollywood park (where there is free public parking) and a lot of it is uphill. It isn’t easy, but our 6 year old did it with just being carried on our back a couple of times.

It is also very confusing. Some people were telling us you can’t hike up there and then we would see others that said you could . . . we kind of just kept following the signs and the people and we ended up going the right way. And no, we did not go in any of the no trespassing areas!

If this sounds too confusing and stressful you can also check out this guided Hollywood Sign Hike. 

Once at the top you get an amazing view of LA with the Hollywood sign right below you. Also on the way up you get some pretty amazing views of the sign.

We talk with the kids about how when we see the sign in movies and TV shows now we can be like, “Hey, we have been there!”

Map to Hollywood Hills

We followed the map on this post . And parked at Lake Hollywood Park and then walked up the Mt. Lee route – you do end up walking on a road as you are going up – but that is the right way to go. It is a service road and we did see service vehicles so be aware of that. We also walked through a neighborhood to get to the road. It was an interesting trail but it was all good and we just kept asking people who were walking towards us if we were going the right way.

There is also an option to do a Horseback Ride on the Hollywood Trail where you can see the sign.

Check out: Tips On Hiking With Kids

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2 – Walk of Fame

Is a visit to LA complete without doing the Hollywood Walk of Fame and seeing the Chinese Theatre?! Probably not, but in my opinion it is a little disappointing. I mean sure you can see the stars and see some handprints at the Chinese Theatre but I don’t know, I think I expected more.

This is also located in a busy part of the city so you have people selling you things up and down the street and lots of activity going on. If you like that vibe, you may love it here!

3 – Venice Beach

If you are looking for a unique experience than Venice Beach is the place for you. There is a nice sized walkway that takes you from the Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach so we opted to park right in the middle in a large parking lot – you do have to pay for it.

Then we tried to get the kids skateboards out so that they could ride down the walkway, but it didn’t work out . . . they are still learning to skateboard and the walkway was super busy and lots of people had the motorized scooters so it didn’t feel very safe to have the kids on their boards.

We opted to put the boards back and instead choose to go on the walking path where we walked along the beach and into Venice beach. The Venice beach boardwalk is filled with shops and has a pretty constant smell of weed . . . it is legal in CA and is sold right on the boardwalk.

We then headed over to the skate park to check that out and we could have stayed for hours watching the skaters. Right behind us the roller bladders were working it with a group rollerblade dance session so that was interesting to watch too!

Next was Muscle Beach – it was much smaller than we anticipated but was still cool to see. There are also a ton of really cool contemporary art murals painted on the walls and people watching is top notch!

Want more? Check out this awesome 2 hour group surfing lesson at Venice Beach ! Must be 14 or older to participate.

4 – Santa Monica Pier

We have heard a lot of really good things about the Pier but have never made it there ourselves. It was super busy the day we were there – but it is definitely on our list of places to check out next time we are in the area. With the ferris wheel and ice cream options I know our kids would love it! You can read more about the Santa Monica Pier here .

After the craziness of Venice Beach we were looking for something a little quieter so we headed out to Malibu to see what that was all about and to find a beach to let the kids run on.

We ended up at El Pescador State Beach in Malibu which was a beautiful state park with a beach and was a really nice introduction into what the Pacific Ocean and California coast would look like as we made our way north.

Other fun activity to check out in Malibu:

  • Malibu Beach Surf Tour In A Vintage VW Van

6 – Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles

Carson (our oldest) is really into Dinosaurs so we made a stop at the Natural History Museum. With our reciprocal museum membership  we were able to get in for free. And we spent a couple hours exploring the dinosaur bones and a few others things at the museum.

It is a good size museum and well worth a stop if your crew is into natural history and/or Dinosaurs!

If you don’t have a reciprocal museum membership, you can get tickets to the Natural History Museum here!

7 – Kidspace Museum

This kid friendly museum is out in Pasadena so may be a bit of a drive but it was an awesome museum – we easily could have spent all day here. We again used our reciprocal museum membership and were able to get 4 tickets covered.

The children’s museum is almost all outside with great hands on activities for the kids to do. It is a perfect fit for kids age 11/12 and under. Well worth a visit if the kids need a day to run around and play.

8 – California Science Center

We had also heard great things about the California Adventure Center and definitely would have gone but we ran out of time! Note that the museum usually closes at 5pm . . . At the museum you can check out the Space Shuttle Endeavor Exhibition which looks amazing.

We had asked our followers for recommendations on things to do in LA with kids but we ran out of time and couldn’t do all of them. But we wanted to share the list with you in case you have more time to explore the area:

9 – LA Train Station

Great for anyone that loves trains and when you are done you can walk across the street to grab lunch at Philippe the Original Beef Dips!

10 – The Farmers Market at the Grove

We heard this one over and over again from people and sounded like a really unique and fun place to visit.

11 – Griffith Observatory and Park

We could see the observatory when we did the Hollywood Sign hike and I was disappointed we didn’t make it there. Would have loved to go at night and to see the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.

There is also the beautiful Griffith Park that you can explore and you won’t want to miss Travel Town ! Griffith Park is a great place for kid activities, Los Angeles has a lot to offer on that front! You can visit the LA Zoo, take Pony Rides or Train Rides and so much more!

The building one of many Art Deco buildings found in LA .

Tour options for Griffith Observatory:

  • Get a private tour of Griffith Observatory
  • Griffith Park Experience and Hollywood Hills Hike

12 – El Capitan Theater

A great place to see a movie! Plus it is gorgeous inside.

13 – The Los Angeles Public Library

Beautiful inside and lots of great events and activities going on.

14 – La Brea Tar Pits

Which I was disappointed we didn’t do but the location didn’t really work with the other things we did.

Get tickets to the Tar Pits here!

15 – WB Studios Tour

I looked into this one and it was pricey and there was an age restriction – everyone is suppose to be 8 years old or older. If the shows would have been ones the kids watched we probably would have done it but they weren’t.

Click here to get tickets to a WB Studio tour!

16 – Getty Museum

An art museum along with gardens to walk through plus a beautiful building to admire.

Check out: Tips On Visiting An Art Museum With Kids

17 – Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is a perfect attraction to add to your list of things to do in Los Angeles. Especially if you are Harry Potter fans!

We had just done Universal in Orlando earlier in the year so we opted to skip Universal Studios Hollywood theme park this time around and did Walt Disneyland instead. My parents and sister’s family went to Universal and they enjoyed it. But we were surprised to hear it closed super early at 6pm . . . so be sure to check the times. If you go check out this great Universal Food Guide .

18 – Puppet Show

Looking for a unique experience? Check out a Puppet Show in downtown LA like the Bob Baker Marionette Theater.

19 – San Pedro

Check out this historic downtown waterfront where you can shop, dine, visit an art gallery or just walk around. You can also stop to see the USS Iowa in this area.

20 – Skirball Cultural Center

This Cultural Center has so much to offer! They offer events including weekly story times, guided tours, and a mini Noah’s Ark! Food, drinks and snacks are also available while you take in all the Center has to offer. This would be a great place for kids birthday parties! If you are interested in checking out museums, you may also want to go to the Autry Museum or the Getty Center !

21 – Grand Central Market

If you are a foodie, you must check out Grand Central Market! So many different food vendors and options to choose from.

22 – Take Flight

If you want to get a birds eye view of Hollywood, check out one of these options:

Beverly Hills and Hollywood Helicopter Tour

Los Angeles At Night Helicopter Tour

23 – Aquarium Of The Pacific

If your family likes visiting aquariums then be sure to check out the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. They have a lot of great outdoor exhibits along with indoor things to do.

Go City Explorer Pass Los Angeles

If you are loving this list of activities and are planning to do a few of them, the Go City Los Angeles card can save you a ton! It includes more than 30 activities to pick from and you can choose if you want to do the 2 – 7 of the activities based on the card you get. Take a look and use the Go Los Angeles Card to help you maximize your trip!

Check out the Go Los Angeles Card here!

24 – Long Beach

Plenty to do with the Aquarium, nature center, plus the harbor and marina. Learn more about Long Beach here: 14 Things To Do In Long Beach.

25 – Beverly Hills

Walk the streets and window shop, check out the farmers market, see what events are going on. If your kids or you are into it then sit and people walk looking for celebrities!

You could also check out this tour: Los Angeles, Beverly Hills & Hollywood Afternoon City Tour.

26 – Hollywood Forever Cemetery

A cemetery is a weird thing to have on the list. But it is a world famous landmark in Los Angeles and know for its events. Be sure to check out the open air events happening during your visit!

27 – Echo Park

Check out the mural, the time travel mart for interesting finds, shop at the cookbook or rent a pedal boat for the lake. Lots of fun things to do here!

28 – Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden.

Yes it is a library but it is beautiful! Plus they have a botanical garden.

You can also check out the downtown Los Angeles: Food, Arts and Culture Walking Tour.

29 – Splash Pads

There are quite a few in the Los Angeles county area! If your kids are into this it is worth finding one close by and making a stop.

30 – Exposition Park

There is a lot to do in this urban park. It is home to a variety of museums including the California Science Museum and Natural History Museum.

Check out our video of our visit to LA:

Follow us on YouTube!

Visiting LA with kids is a fun time and definitely something you want to do when visiting or exploring the United States!

If you are visiting in winter check out: The Closest Ski Resorts To Los Angeles.

31 – California African American Museum

Covering the cultural and heritage history of African Americans and the history of California and the western US.

32 – Drive Sunset Boulevard

If you are looking to take a drive check out Sunset Boulevard. This iconic drive takes you from the oldest part of LA down to the beautiful beaches. It passes by the mansions of Beverly Hills and Bel Air as well!

33 – Visit Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Visit the nations largest urban National Park – Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area . There are hiking trails, gorgeous viewpoints and a visitors center to check out!

Recommended Places to Eat

  • Pinks Hot Dogs
  • Philippe the Original Beef Dips
  • Randy’s Donuts

Where To Stay

There are, of course, plenty of Hotels to choose from in LA, but here are a couple excellent options with stellar reviews right next to LAX- both include shuttle services!

Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel

Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX – includes a full kitchen!

Stay on the beach at Dockweiler RV Park or check out Hollywood RV Park.

If you want to stay outside of Los Angeles, the Thousand Pines Christian Camp & Conference Center is right in the San Bernadino mountains about 75 minutes from LA. It’s an absolutely beautiful area to camp!

Or if you want a water view but not on the beach, check out Launch Pointe , about an hour from LA, in Lake Elsinore, CA. Here you can actually rent a vintage Airstream!

If you want to try out the RV life on your trip, you can rent an RV here! Plus we have posts to help you learn more about how to rent an RV and p lanning your RV trip .

Vacation Rental

There is always something for every taste with vacation rentals and Los Angeles is no exception. You can find a ton of gorgeous places for any need. Here are just a few:

Venice ‘On the Canals’ Contemporary

Hollywood Hills Spanish Contemporary

If you are looking to seriously ramp up your trip, consider staying in a Top Villa! Guaranteed to make you never want to leave your rental and they have family friendly options. Here are a few of Los Angeles’ Top Villas.

Travel Info

If you are looking to take a flight into LA we recommend checking out WayAway. They offer cash back options on flights! Click here to learn more about flights to Los Angeles. 

For the best prices on car rentals in LA check out Discover Cars. They check prices across all the major car rental companies to make sure you get the best price.

LA Go City Explorer Pass

If you are interested in doing a variety of activities be sure to check out the LA Go City Explorer Pass .

Check out these posts for even more things to do in California:

17 Unforgettable Things To Do In San Francisco With Kids

21 Epic Things To Do In Yosemite National Park With Kids

19+ Unforgettable Things To Do In Sequoia National Park

15 Fun and Exciting Things To Do In San Diego With Kids

15 Magnificent Things To Do In San Diego With Kids

The Ultimate Baja California Mexico Road Trip

14 Magnificent Things To Do In Big Sur California

14 Awesome Things To Do In Death Valley National Park

12 Epic Things To Do In Northern California [Map Included]

Route 66 LA – Grand Canyon

11 Awe Inspiring Things To Do In Southern California

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The post The 33 Most Epic Things To Do In Los Angeles With Kids appeared first on Crazy Family Adventure .

Not sure what things to do in Los Angeles With Kids? Never fear we have you covered! Come see our list of the most epic things to do in LA with Kids!

NBC Los Angeles

Here are the coolest things to do & places to be this weekend

California live’s jessica vilchis chats with mady maio, co-found of camber, to get the scoop on the coolest events happening across california this weekend (3/29-3/31). from craft-lovers to foodies and even special pop-ups celebrating incredible women, there is something for everyone to get excited about. check out camber’s full curated list below. , published march 29, 2024 • updated on march 29, 2024 at 1:25 pm.

Things to do in LOS ANGELES:

Beyonce ‘Cowboy Carter’ Listening Party  | Friday 3/29

  • Beyonce's new country album ‘Cowboy Carter’ releases on Friday and this is where you're going to listen to her album with other fans. It's at this country music bar in LA called Desert 5 Spot, and you'll listen to the album all the way through, and there's going to be line dancing! They’ll have two album playbacks, one at 6pm & another 9pm. 

Comedy Jamwich  | Friday 3/29

Get Southern California news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC LA newsletters.
  • If you're looking for a fun activity to do with friends, I would go to this comedy show called Comedy Jamwich on Friday. The vibes are casual and lowkey, and they're doing it in a new warehouse location.

FEMMEPOWERED  | Saturday 3/30

  • To close out Women's History Month, there will be an entire day-long event called FEMMEPOWERED on Saturday in DTLA. There will be a marketplace of 30+ women-owned businesses, workshops, live music, panel discussions. All celebrating female entrepreneurship! Tickets are $15.

Westside Craft Cult  | Saturday 3/30

  • People these days love crafts and getting creative. If you are looking for ways to get off their phones and just connect with one another, this event is for you! On Saturday, there's this Westside Craft Cult where you bring your own crochet or embroidery and meet other friends in Santa Monica.

Ceramics and Floral Arranging Workshop  | Sunday 3/31

  • Spring has sprung, and with it, a burst of new growth and possibilities. Embrace the spirit of renewal and creativity in an afternoon of hands-on artistry, exploring the tactile nature of hand-building ceramics and the art of arranging wildflowers in stunning vases. The workshop is being put on by Comfort Club in Silver Lake.

Things to do in SAN FRANCISCO:

Skin Contact  | Friday 3/29

  • There's this dance party called Skin Contact at Arcana, which is this lush hangout spot surrounded by plants!

Easter Bunny & Egg Hunt  | Saturday 3/31

  • Marin Country Mart is having an Easter Bunny & Egg Hunt on Saturday! Good for families, it'll feel like you're in a Nancy Meyers movie.

Nightcap at True Laurel  | Sunday 3/31

  • True Laurel is a bar in SF and this weekend they are hosting ‘Nightcap,’ an evening celebrating the invaluable contributions of women in the hospitality industry. They will have 3 local industry leaders make their very own drinks for one-night only.

Broad Street Oyster Company

  • Broad Street Oyster Company just opened in SF! I would treat yourself to a lobster roll this weekend.

Things to do in SAN DIEGO:

Pottery Wheel Throwing Date Night  | Pinch Pottery | Friday 3/29 

  • This is a great idea for date night: in San Diego, there's this chic pottery studio called Pinch Studios. On Friday, you can surprise your significant other with a little wheel throwing class. And all levels are welcome! 

DIY Custom Candle Pouring  | Paddywax Candle Bar | Friday 3/29, Saturday 3/30 & Sunday 3/31

  • Paddywax has a candle bar in Carlsbad, and they're offering custom candle pouring over the weekend. Great gift idea! The experience is $45.

High Fidelity Listening Club  | Longplay Studio

  • Camber’s Mady Maio is obsessed with this spot in San Diego. It's a high fidelity listening club called Longplay Studio. Basically, you sit and listen to music on vinyl that they play on their hifi sound system and drink natural wine and eat Mexican food that they prepare for you.

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The 15 best day trips from Los Angeles

Experience everything that SoCal has to offer with these day trip from Los Angeles to stunning nearby beaches, wineries and small towns

Michael Juliano

L.A. is great and all, but sometimes you need a change of scenery. If you only have one day to spare, consider one of these quick day trips from Los Angeles to some amazing nearby destinations. Luckily, living in L.A. means it’s an easy (well, depending on traffic) and often  scenic drive  to SoCal’s best beaches , small towns, wineries and gorgeous desert landscapes—all within three hours of the city. Oddly enough, taking advantage of the ease with which you can get  out of L.A. is easily one of the best things to do  in L.A.

From wine tasting in Santa Barbara and  vintage hunting in Palm Springs to  camping  in Joshua Tree or feeling the sand between your toes in San Diego, you’re sure to find a short trip (as opposed to a longer road trip ) worth taking on this list. 

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Top day trips from Los Angeles


1.  Coronado

2 hrs by car There’s a reason Coronado has topped lists of the country’s best beaches: Its wide shores never feel overcrowded, the soft, fine-grained sand is easily walkable and the weather is practically perfect. Just a quick ferry ride or bridge drive from San Diego, this wealthy peninsula has the feel of a resort town with the amenities that come from being near a major city.

The beachfront grounds of the regal, red-roofed Hotel del Coronado  are a must-visit, even if you can’t foot its pricey room reservations. Back in town, stop into hole-in-the-wall diner Clayton’s Coffee Shop for a quick meal or MooTime Creamery for frozen treats. Coronado is also home to a sizable naval base, and while you can’t exactly visit, you can spot fighter jets coming in for landings and submarines surfacing off the coast.  —Michael Juliano


2.  Ojai

1 hr 20 mins by car Ojai is a not-so-hidden gem close enough to L.A. for a day trip, but with a unique, relaxed feel that’s worlds away from busy city life. Start early with a decadent, hearty breakfast at Bonnie Lu’s , then stroll the town’s quaint main street; the antique shopping is great here, but relatively new school shops like Summer Camp are also worth a stop.

Tour an olive farm or a citrus grove, then grab an organic lunch at Farmer & the Cook . Alternatively, grab a a bite to go and explore the nearby trails in Los Padres National Forest , just north of town. If the weather is right, swimming holes abound along the Sespe Creek.

Back in civilization, check out Bart’s Books , an outdoor bookstore housed in an actual house (sans roof), or head up to Meditation Mount   (reservations required)  for incredible views, especially the famed “pink moment” at sunset.

Swing back to the center of town to explore its many wine tasting rooms, or grab a beer and a bite at Ojai Beverage Company . Chief’s Peak, the bar at Ojai Rancho Inn (where you should stay if your trip runs long), is a hip spot for an after-dinner drink; you’ll find more old-timers—and regular live music—at Deer Lodge down the road.  —Kate Wertheimer

Discover the best things to do in Ojai

Santa Barbara

3.  Santa Barbara

1 hr 50 mins by car Santa Barbara is a scenic and worthy vacation destination regardless of your starting point, but we’re fortunate enough to have relatively easy access (granted that the L.A. traffic gods are working in our favor).

Stearns Wharf is a go-to spot to see the Pacific, and nearby is State Street, filled with tons of shops and people-watching opportunities. And the Wharf isn’t the only place to see the water: Butterfly Beach, a relatively private spot, is situated next to the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel and faces west for ideal sunset-watching views.

Grab lunch at La Super-Rica Taqueria —famous for being one of Julia Child’s favorite eateries. The lines tend to be on the ridiculous side, but it’s worth the wait for novelty’s sake alone.

If you’re traveling with family, spend a few hours at the Santa Barbara Zoo   (reservations required) . Otherwise, grab a glass of Pinot Noir at one of the many tasting rooms along the Urban Wine Trail   (hours and status vary by winery) ; the spots are located in downtown Santa Barbara, steps from the Amtrak station, and source grapes from local vineyards.  —Seth Kelley

Discover the best things to do in Santa Barbara

Laguna Beach

4.  Laguna Beach

1 hr by car Forget what you know from a certain unfortunate MTV reality show: Laguna Beach is an easygoing oceanfront city graced with lush vegetation, tidepools and a picturesque rocky coastline.

Main Beach is the spot of choice for downtown sunbathing, but you’ll find pristine, less crowded beaches at tide pool-filled Treasure Island, camper-friendly Crystal Cove or hidden Victoria Beach with its weathered, castle-like turret.

Walk the city’s downtown area to find a mix of shops, galleries and restaurants; many eateries cater to the well heeled, so we suggest bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy on a bench at the hilltop Heisler Park. Do, however, follow the smell of fresh waffle cones onto the enchanting Peppertree Lane for a scoop from Gelato Paradiso .

It’s not just about the beach here; you can explore the reservation-only Hortense Miller Garden  or thousands of acres of hillsides and canyons to find hiking trails, nature centers and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center   (closed through fall 2024) , a sea lion rescue. Summertime typically sees the arrival of two festival favorites: Pageant of the Masters , a live stage interpretation of classical paintings, and Sawdust Art Festival , an open-air artisan market that transforms into a Christmas village in late fall. There’s only one road in and out from the 5, so bring some patience during rush hour—alternatively, take the scenic route and follow Coast Highway through Newport Beach.  —Michael Juliano


5.  Solvang

2 hrs by car After Danish immigrants grew tired of Midwestern winters, they began to make their way west and eventually settled in the pastoral Santa Ynez Valley. Though you won’t find many Danes in Solvang anymore, you will find wooden windmills, rural houses and a replica of Copenhagen’s Round Tower. The post-WWII structures are as touristy as they are charming; walk around town to find an assortment of Christmas shops, Hans Christian Andersen and Little Mermaid keepsakes, and sort-of-Danish bakeries.

Solvang’s downtown area is dotted with breweries and pancake cottages, including local standbys Solvang Brewing Company   and Paula’s Pancake House —and an increasingly impressive new culinary scene . For a bit of history on the area, make sure to stop by the humble Elverhøj Museum .

For a more offbeat adventure, head to the outskirts of town to  OstrichLand , which feels like the Jurassic Park of the ostrich and emu world. If you’re visiting in early January, make sure to schedule your trip around the annual Christmas tree bonfire . —Michael Juliano

Balboa Island

6.  Balboa Island

1 hr by car, 5 min ferry

Visitors to Balboa Island in Newport Beach can enter the man-made island by driving onto it via Marine Avenue, but it’s far easier—and more fun—to park your car on the Balboa Peninsula and take the Balboa Island Ferry for a quick and scenic five-minute trip across the water.

The first order of business: getting your hands on one of the island’s famed frozen bananas (make the Bluth family proud). Choose from rivals Sugar N Spice or Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop; both claim to be the originators of the chocolate-covered frozen treat.

Take a jaunt around the 1.6-mile boardwalk surrounding the island, passing by multi-million dollar homes and streets named after gems, before strolling down Marine Avenue, the island’s main artery. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants ( Wilma’s Patio is a staple), boutique shops, art galleries and the Balboa Island Museum and Historical Society .

Of course, there’s plenty to do out on the water, too: kayaking, parasailing, paddle boarding and the like. If you’ve got kiddos tagging along, the Balboa Fun Zone on the peninsula hosts a Ferris wheel and plenty of arcade games.  —Erin Kuschner

Discover the best things to do in Newport Beach

Los Alamos

7.  Los Alamos

2 hrs 20 mins by car Once a major stagecoach stop, this small, easy-to-miss town looks stuck in the past with its Old West style—but behind the facade are trendy treasures waiting to be discovered. Inside Bob’s Well Bread Bakery is a hip, stylish setup serving artisan breads—including gluten free options—croissants, sandwiches and more. Exploring antique shops and art galleries can easily fill a day here, just be sure to call ahead, as some places are only open on weekends.

A big draw of the Los Alamos area is its wine tasting—this is Santa Barbara County, after all—which can be done at Bedford Winery  and other local tasting rooms. Before you leave town, make a pit stop at  1880 Union , an event space with an authentic stagecoach saloon, or spend the night at the Victorian Mansion Bed and Breakfast . For being a single stoplight town (we haven’t actually counted, but you get it), there’s a bevy of delicious places to eat, such as  Full of Life Flatbread (known for its occasional A-list diners) and the destination-worthy Bell’s .  —Stephanie Morino

San Juan Capistrano

8.  San Juan Capistrano

1 hr 30 min by car, 1 hr 25 min by train A piece of California history and a quaint old town make San Juan Capistrano an off-the-beaten-path day trip with a lot of charm and a little learning. If you take Amtrak there, the train will drop you off right where you want to be—just a couple of blocks from a good cup of coffee at Hidden House Coffee .

From there, you can tour Mission San Juan Capistrano , founded in 1776 and arguably one of the mission chain’s prettiest links. The mission used to be known as a migratory destination for swallows in February, but the famous birds have been spotty in recent years. If you have your heart set on getting up close with some animals, check out Zoomars   (reservations recommended) , a petting zoo for kids of all ages (read: adults love it, too). It’s a historic ranch where you can also pan for gold like the California miners did. You’re also near Los Rios Historic District , which has some historic homes and museums that are perfect for a walking tour.

When you get hungry, you have several options: Heritage Barbecue serves remarkable Texas-style smoked meats,  Ramos House is a romantic spot known for great food and huge Bloody Marys on the weekends and  Five Vines is a nearby wine bar with snacks and sandwiches. If you want to catch a later train, head over to Swallow’s Inn , the local dive bar, where bras hang from the ceiling and bands play late into the night. You’re still within stumbling distance of the train station.  —Sara Fay

Oak Glen

9.  Oak Glen

1 hr 30 mins by car

Though you can visit Oak Glen year-round, the best time to head to this picturesque town to the east is September through November. The five-mile loop of orchards, ranches, shops and restaurants is a necessity for any New England transplant looking for fall foliage, and the town’s most popular activity— apple picking —is a nice alternative to canvassing L.A.’s farmers’ markets.

Many of the orchards, like Willowbrook Apple Farm  (opens Labor Day weekend), offer a cider press to make your own cider, which you can pair with a cinnamon roll or apple dumpling from Apple Annie’s Restaurant & Bakery . Stop by the Turquoise Pueblo  on your way back to L.A. for some beautiful handmade Native American jewelry.  —Erin Kuschner

Solana Beach

10.  Solana Beach

2 hrs by car, or 2 hrs by train

If you want to spend a day in San Diego, you can either try to go big (the San Diego Zoo! Balboa Park!  Padres game! All in one day!) or go small-town and spend a chill day in a cool oceanfront neighborhood. The beach towns north of San Diego—no, we’re not talking about Pacific Beach—are the stuff of the Beach Boys lyrics.

In Solana Beach, you’ll find laid-back vibes and beaches that aren’t completely overrun. It’s easy to get there from L.A. via Amtrak, and it’s a perfect way to day-trip because all the spots you’ll want to hit are within walking distance of the station.

Start at  the Naked Cafe for a beach-y brunch, then, either head down to the beach at Fletcher Cove or cruise along the Cedros Design District for window shopping, brewery hopping and people watching. There’s also a mix of cute boutiques, surf shops, restaurants, taco spots and bars along South Coast Highway. If it’s racing season, the Del Mar Racetrack  isn’t far—it would be either a long walk or a short car ride.

Before you catch the train back up to L.A., you have several good options for dinner near the tracks: Station Sushi is a solid locals’ spot for classic and creative rolls, Bangkok Bay  has some of the best Thai food we’ve ever eaten and Pizza Port is known for being a last-slice-and-beer-before-Amtrak place. It’s directly across a pedestrian crosswalk from the train station, and has been slinging pies and pouring pints for three decades.  —Sara Fay

If the San Diego Zoo caught your eye, book a ticket and spend a day with the animals.


11.  Temecula

When hoofing it to Napa and Sonoma isn’t an option, Temecula is your next best destination for a day of wine tasting. Before sampling the grapes, stop by quaint Old Town Temecula, where you can pay a visit to the Temecula Valley Museum  for a historical walking tour.

Then it’s down to business; the heart of Temecula’s Wine Country includes more than 30 wineries, which you can bounce between at your own leisure (don’t drink and drive, folks!) or take a guided tour from one of the many wine tour companies in the area. Taste your way through the 70-acre Wilson Creek Winery and the red-focused Monte De Oro Winery   before heading to Maurice Car’rie Vineyard  for an educated tasting and a loaf of the vineyard’s famous sourdough bread, oozing with brie.

Just down the road, Magical Adventure Balloon Rides encapsulates another popular Temecula activity: riding in a hot air balloon. We can’t think of a better way to end your day in Temecula than by sailing over the town’s vineyards at sunset with a glass of Champagne in hand. —Erin Kuschner

Palm Springs

12.  Palm Springs

2 hrs by car Known for its ultra-fancy resorts and legacy of celebrity residents, Palm Springs is worth at least a weekend, if you can afford the time. Still, if you’re limited to 24 hours, make the desert city a choose-your-own-adventure day trip.

Start with brunch at Cheeky’s , and trust us that it’s worth the wait. If you’re in the mood to exercise, check out Indian Canyons , made up of three separate canyons (Palm, Murray and Andreas) that each offer hiking trails and fantastic views of the diverse landscape. Another of the best ways to see Palm Springs is on the Aerial Tramway , which helps visitors escape the heat of the desert with a scenic ride to the top of the San Jacinto Mountains.

If relaxation is your goal, shop at the outlets in Cabazon, or just get a massage and sit by the pool. The Palm Springs Art Museum  is small but displays works from incredible artists including Picasso and Warhol. For dinner, try reservations at Sandfish  for superb sushi and Japanese whiskey.  —Seth Kelley

Discover the best  things to do in Palm Springs

Big Bear

13.  Big Bear

2 hrs by car; access may be limited during the winter This mountain town is home to some of L.A.’s closest ski slopes in winter, but don’t discount a summertime trip, when a dip in a mountain lake is the best way to keep cool. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to tour the water, and keep an eye out for the white-domed Big Bear Solar Observatory perched at the water’s edge on the north shore. The hiking here is also plentiful and offers some amazing views.

If you’re a bit more adventurous, stop by Bear Valley Bikes and rent a mountain bike; there are fire roads for beginners and lots of technical, downhill single track for more seasoned riders.

Back in town, check out the Bowling Barn  and the Alpine Slide , both of which are a blast with or without kids in tow. For a drink with the locals, head to karaoke night (which is pretty much every night) at Murray’s Saloon , the town’s self-proclaimed “five star hole in the wall.”  —Kate Wertheimer

Discover the best things to do in Big Bear

Joshua Tree

14.  Joshua Tree

2 hrs 15 mins by car You’ll find Joshua Tree National Park on our shortlist for perfect day trips, road trips and weekend getaways from L.A. That’s for good reason: the magical desert spot—with its gnarled, ancient namesake trees, picturesque cacti and giant boulders—should be on every traveler’s bucket list, no matter how much time they have to spare.

Watch rock climbers scale mini-mountains at  Hidden Valley campground (first-come, first-served) or try some scrambling yourself at Jumbo Rocks . If you visit in spring, head south to Pinto Basin for a chance to see colorful wildflowers in bloom.

On the drive out, plan for a pit stop at the Cabazon exit, where you can explore the famed dinosaur park from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (and even, for a fee, climb inside the three-story T. Rex for a photo op in his mouth). Shop for cacti at multiple roadside marts on Twentynine Palms Highway, or hang a left at Pioneertown Road for a stop at Pappy & Harriet’s , which boasts a ghost town, small inn and great live music.

Another worthwhile detour is Landers, home of countless alien sightings and new-age sound baths at the  Integratron   (reservations required) . In the town of Joshua Tree, take your pick from a few tasty restaurants, including Crossroads Cafe   to rub elbows with locals. There are some good thrift shops around here, as well as the kind of quirky public art; be sure to check out the World Famous Crochet Museum , as well as prolific artist Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West tour.  —Kate Wertheimer

Discover the best things to do in Joshua Tree .

Salton Sea and Slab City

15.  Salton Sea and Slab City

3 hrs by car This day trip isn’t for everyone; but if you’re a fan of things decrepit, forgotten and way off the beaten path, head south to Bombay Beach at the Salton Sea. A popular vacation spot in the ’50s and ’60s, these days all that’s left of the once-booming seaside town are photo-worthy ruins and a lot of dead fish.

The Ski Inn remains; stop by for a drink or a greasy bite and decorate a dollar bill to hang on the wall or ceiling. Continue on to Niland, made famous by artist Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain , a giant folk art monument made from adobe, straw and thousands of gallons of paint (you may remember it from Into the Wild ). Beyond is Slab City, a former marine training base that now exists as a squat for campers, transients and desert dwellers who’ve created a community complete with a library, skate park and live music stage, “the Range.” If you’re respectful and friendly, folks may share their hot spring and swimming hole secrets, so bring a bathing suit—or do as the locals do and go in your birthday suit.  —Kate Wertheimer

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In a heist of biblical proportions, thieves pilfered about $30 million in cash from a Los Angeles-area vault on Easter Sunday — and no one even noticed the empty vault until the next morning.

The burglary took place Sunday night at the GardaWorld facility in Sylmar, which handles cash for several businesses in the area, sources told Eyewitness News .

The thieves were so stealthy that the safe showed no signs of a break-in from the outside — and the operators of the business were none the wiser until they opened it on Monday, the Los Angeles Times said .

GardaWorld in Sylmar.

The thieves accessed the facility through the roof and managed to avoid setting off any alarms when they got into the money storage area, officials familiar with the investigation told Eyewitness News.

Footage of the facility on Wednesday showed what appeared to be a gaping hole in the side of the building with a pile of debris next to it — though it was unclear if that damage stemmed from the break-in, the outlet said.

Very few people would have known how much cash was stored at the nondescript facility, the LA Times noted.

The elaborate scheme was likely executed by a crew of seasoned burglars, sources told the paper.

Police vans at the scene.

The heist is one of the largest in Los Angeles history and also outpaced all of the region’s armored car thefts, Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Elaine Morales confirmed to the outlet.

As of Thursday, the incident is under investigation by both the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI.

The LAPD and the GardaWorld facility did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.

The Easter Sunday theft comes nearly two years after up to $100 million in jewels and other valuables were taken from an armored big rig at a Grapevine truck stop.

The thieves stuffed 20 large bags full of gems during the 27-minute robbery that took place during the driver’s nap and meal break.

That crime remains unsolved.

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GardaWorld in Sylmar.


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