Top 15 things to do in Los Angeles

Last updated:
By David Em
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Los Angeles is located in Southern California and is one of the most famous cities in the world. Find out what the best things to do are.

1. Griffith Observatory

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

Griffith Observatory is an iconic place in Los Angeles. It opened in 1935 and has become the most-visited public observatory in the world. Go for the beautiful views of the sky, city, and the Hollywood sign.

Inside, you’ll find exhibits where you can learn about the history and use telescopes. Whether you visit during the day or night, you’ll have a great experience

2. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. There are more than 142,000 objects, and the global art collection spans over 6,000 years.

Urban Light is a collection of 202 antique street lamps at the main entrance of LACMA. It was created by Chris Burden and has become a sight to see in Los Angeles.

You can see Urban Light anytime without a ticket, as you don’t need to go inside. However, tickets are required to go inside LACMA. You can purchase tickets online or call the LACMA Ticket Office at 323-857-6010 between 10 AM and 5 PM.

3. Santa Monica Pier

Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

By car, Santa Monica Pier is about half an hour east of Los Angeles. Block out at least half of your day to spend there because it’s worth it.

During your visit, walk the pier, go to the amusement park, Pacific Place, hang out at the beach, dine at one of the restaurants or get a souvenir from the shops.

Whether you’re going solo, with your partner or family, going to the Santa Monica Pier is a great way to spend a portion of your Los Angeles trip.

4. The Getty Center

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

The Getty Center is known for its outstanding collection of European paintings, artwork, and illuminated manuscripts up to 1900. Admission to The Getty Center is free. It’s open from 10 AM to 5 PM and is closed on Mondays.

It’s also in an impressive location. The Getty Center sits atop a hill that gives you breathtaking views of Los Angeles. Plus, you can spend time in the peaceful gardens and admire the architecture.

5. Universal Studios Hollywood

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

Universal Studios is a popular film studio and theme park. The following are several of the most famous attractions at Universal Studios:

  • Studio Tour.
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged.
  • Jurassic World: The Ride.

You’ll need a full day to visit Universal Studios. Depending on when you leave Los Angeles, it’ll take between 15 to 30 minutes to get there.

When you visit, be aware that the lines are long. It’s best to get the Universal Express Pass, which gives you priority boarding.

6. Hollywood Sign

When you think of California, or more specifically, Los Angeles, the famous Hollywood Sign may come to mind. It’s an iconic landmark that has sat on Mount Lee since 1923.

At first, it read “Hollywoodland” and served as a way to promote housing. Now, it represents the entertainment industry.

The best views of the sign are from below, Griffith Observatory, or Mulholland Highway. There are also several trails that you can hike to get to the top. The hikes range from a few miles to over 10.

7. Hollywood Bowl

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

Hollywood Bowl is a beautiful and well-kept amphitheater in Hollywood Hills. It’s an amazing and popular outdoor venue to enjoy a concert or event.

Parking can be difficult because it’s so popular. Regardless, it’s worth the experience. Be sure to bring a second layer if you’re attending a night show because it can get chilly once the sun goes down.

8. Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is a two-mile-long street that’s known for being the destination for luxury shopping.

Between 200 and 500 North Rodeo Drive, you’ll find the majority of the most commonly known brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Fendi, Cartier, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, and Valentino.

Aside from luxury shopping, there are several restaurants and pristine hotels in the area. Expect to spend an hour or two exploring Rodeo Drive.

9. California Science Center

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

If you’re looking for a fun and educational experience, visit the California Science Center. It’s home to many great exhibits ranging from the world’s largest display of LEGO art to ecosystems.

There’s so much to see and do. Whether you’re visiting with your family or by yourself, the California Science Center is a place for people of all ages.

10. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Address: 3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is about 15 minutes northwest of Los Angeles. It’s one of the busiest working studios in LA and offers a guided tour to show you what it’s like behind the scenes.

Block out 3 hours because the guided portion of the tour is an hour, and you’ll get two hours to explore, shop, and dine. Tickets are $69 for people over 11 years old. For those between 5 and 10 years old, it’s $59.

11. Walt Disney Concert Hall

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

Walt Disney Concert Hall is an excellent place to enjoy live music and admire the building. It’s home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil), which is an amazing orchestra.

The 3.6-acre complex has a striking stainless steel exterior, and it was designed by Frank Gehry. During your visit, check out Blue Ribbon Garden. It’s a serene place to relax and enjoy the tranquil space.

12. Venice Beach

Venice Beach is south of Santa Monica and known for its bohemian culture. It has a fun oceanfront boardwalk, many shops, restaurants, and a long stretch of beach.

While you’re there, be sure to take a walk along the Venice Canals and check out Mosaic Tile House, which is a home that’s covered in tile and glass mosaics.

13. The Grove

Address: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Grove is a nice outdoor mall that perfect for walking around, shopping, and dining at a restaurant. There are also live events that you can attend. The open-air environment makes it a great and energy-filled atmosphere.

When visiting The Grove, walk over to The Original Farmers Market, as it’s only a few minutes away. You’ll find over 100 grocers and restaurants. Go with an empty stomach because there’s plenty of delicious food.

14. The Sunset Strip

The Sunset Strip is a world-famous 1.6 mile stretch of restaurants, hotels, music venues, nightclubs, and upscale shops. It’s a hip and energetic area of West Hollywood. Go there for a fun night out or a chill afternoon shopping.

While you’re at The Sunset Strip, find a hotel rooftop bar for the expansive views. The Sundeck at Andaz West Hollywood has the highest rooftop pool bar in Los Angeles. It also serves great drinks and appetizers.

15. Angeles National Forest

If you’re down for a hike and enjoying nature, go to Angeles National Forest. It’s a 20-minute drive north of downtown Los Angeles, and there are hundreds of trails to go on. Overall, the roads are well-paved, and you’ll have scenic views.


Los Angeles is an iconic city known for being the center of the entertainment industry in the United States. There’s a lot of things that you can do and plenty of restaurants to dine at. You can watch sports, learn at science centers, enjoy a concert, and shop. There’s something for everyone in LA.

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Featured image courtesy of Canva.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola & Luna Travel, the destination for travel advice and inspiration. He launched Nola & Luna Travel to share expert advice, useful tips, unbiased reviews, and inspiration about destinations across the globe.