The city of Los Angeles is one of the most populated cities in America. Otherwise known as the “city of angels,” its population is filled with cultural diversity, and its locals are known for being some of the friendliest people around. Los Angeles is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, full of creative art pieces, and has an abundance of great restaurants to ensure you’re always eating well. Although it has a vibrant city life, it is also in the perfect location to experience all things natural – valleys, forests, mountains, and beaches. This city truly has everything you need.
Los Angeles is the home to many up and coming artists in the art scene, the entertainment business, and the music world. There is a reason so many songs have been written about this city – it holds all of the beauty of old Hollywood and the modernity of the world of science. No matter what age you are, Los Angeles is sure to make you fall in love with all that it has to offer.
The abundance of things to do in LA proves why so many people choose to make it their home. So, whether you’re looking for a new city to move to, a place to party with your friends for the weekend, or a city to get your new music discovered – Los Angeles is where you want to be. You’re sure to be booking a trip after reading this list of 10 fun things to do while in Los Angeles.
10Explore the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles is an ideal destination for any art lover. Out of Los Angeles’ 841 museums and galleries, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art seems to be it’s most popular – and with good reason.
It is one of the most versatile art museums of our time, with an inventory ranging from Islamic art to Greek and Roman art to Latin American art, and everything else in between. It helps that it has the space to include all these different art forms, considering the entire museum is made up of seven different buildings, all with a myriad of unique pieces inside them. It covers nearly every art period right up to our modern-day, so it has something for everyone to enjoy. Make sure to leave yourself a lot of time to explore the Los Angeles County Museum of Art when you are planning your schedule for your time in LA.
This museum is particularly famous for its Urban Light assemblage sculpture made of 202 vintage streetlamps – it’s a must-see! If you go to the third floor of one of the museum’s main buildings, you get a fantastic view of the Hollywood sign and everything surrounding it. Getting to see all the different trees that make LA look green is a view of nature’s own art!
If you’re a big fan of museums, you should also visit the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Villa. Besides that, you also don’t have to go inside to find art, as Los Angeles is filled with wall art done by local artists and creative sculptures can be found all over the city.
9Visit the Venice Neighborhood
Los Angeles’ Venice is a commercial, residential, and recreational neighborhood that borders the beach. It was first founded in 1905 and turned into a seaside resort town. It was initially known as the “Venice of America.” The founder, Abbot Kinney, aimed to turn it into a cultural mecca, but it is now opened to the public.
Over the years, it transformed into a boardwalk where locals go about their business. It is full of unique stores, creative street performers, and public wall art. DiscoverLosAngeles.com writes, “Today, Venice is one of the most popular destinations in Los Angeles for visitors and locals alike. From its days as home to Beat Generation poets and artists, Venice continues to be an important Los Angeles cultural center.” If you’re looking to meet locals and discover a unique part of Los Angeles, the Venice neighborhood is your spot.
Venice Beach is known for having a free-spirited boardwalk. The best way to enjoy this boardwalk is by renting a bike or a scooter to ride along the beachfront. While at Venice Beach, you can also play some sports in one of the many public sports areas, or simply lay in the sand watching the waves come in. You can also take surfing lessons while here, which are offered every day of the week.
The Venice canals were created in the early 18th century to mimic the famous canals in Venice, Italy and are one of the main tourist attractions today. While on the canals, you’ll get to see a mixture of both historic and modern homes.
8Learn Something New at the California Science Center
The California Science Center is known in the West as one of the people’s favorite science museums. If you are traveling with children or are still a curious child at heart, then this center is a must. There are several “discovery rooms” made for the center’s younger audience, where they get to do science experiments, such as making slime.
This science center, as its name suggests, touches on all things scientific and leaves you with new insights on how the things around us work. The best part of this museum is probably the number of hands-on exhibits it holds. Even when the center is packed, it doesn’t take too long to get to try out one of these exhibits. By engaging yourself in all that this museum has to offer, you are sure to learn a new thing or two. There are always Science Spectacular Shows going on, so be sure to watch out for that schedule.
Another cool thing about the California Science Center is that it is home to NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour. After completing its final mission in 2011, it made its way to being put on display at this science center. You can find it in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion of the center. The California Science Center is also known for its fantastic book and gift shop, which every tourist is sure to enjoy. Here, you can find nerdy t-shirts, science-based souvenirs, and a vast collection of science books. After spending so much time at the center, you may want to stop and get some good eats at Trimana, the restaurant inside it.
7Act Like a Child at One of the Amusement Parks
Los Angeles is filled with exciting amusement parks, but the two you cannot miss are Universal Studios and California’s Disneyland. These parks are world-renowned, which means they can get swamped with people, so make sure to plan before arriving.
Universal Studios is both a film studio and a theme park. It is famous for being one of the oldest Hollywood film studios still in use. It was initially created to offer tours of the original Universal Studio sets. Now, you can do even more than that. At Universal Studios, you can enjoy rides while visiting film sets from some of the world’s most famous films, such as “Back to the Future,” “Jurassic Park,” “Psycho,” and many more. Although being a huge tourist attraction, you can always find locals here on the weekend, which tells you a real part of Los Angeles culture. A great time to go is in October as Halloween approaches so that you can experience its spooky Halloween Horror Nights.
The other most acclaimed amusement park in the Los Angeles area is California’s Disneyland. Admit it, we all dreamed of going to Disneyland as a kid, and most of us still do. So, when you find yourself in California, it’s time to embrace your inner child! At this Disneyland, you can be brought into another universe at the “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” relieve your childhood by attending “Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Tea Party,” or have a modern experience at “Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT!” If ever you’re feeling just a bit too old to go to Disneyland, you could always make your way to the Walt Disney Concert Hall where spectacular shows are performed.
6See What is Left of Hollywood
Hollywood may not be what it was a few decades ago, but its memory lives on through the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
It’s likely that whenever someone mentions Los Angeles, the first thing that comes to mind is its Hollywood sign. This is because it is one of the world’s most famous landmarks, so millions of people know about it. It remains a cultural icon that overlooks all of Hollywood. Each letter spelling out “HOLLYWOOD” on the sign is in 45-foot-tall white capital letters, and the entire sign is 352 feet long. The sign was created in 1923 as an advertisement for a local real estate agency, which originally read “HOLLYWOODLAND.” Thanks to increasing recognition, the sign was left up in its current form instead of being taken down. It is possible to drive near the Hollywood sign in order to see it, but the best way is definitely to hike to this famous landmark.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a must-see during your trip to LA. The walk features over 2,600 stars carved into the sidewalks along Vine Street and Hollywood Boulevard. These stars hold the names of people in the entertainment industry, ranging anywhere directors, actors, producers, musicians, fictional characters, and others written inside them. These stars are given to them as a form of achievement.
Sunset Boulevard is, as its title suggests, a boulevard found in Downtown Los Angeles. It goes through the cities of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and specific LA neighborhoods. It is famous for its nightlife that has been active since the 1950s, where many celebrities have had some of their wildest parties.
5Spend a Day at One of the Many Beaches
If you have a deep love for the sound of the ocean, then visiting one of the beaches around Los Angeles is a great way to spend your time there. While there are many beaches around, some of the best include Zuma Beach, Paradise Cove Beach, and El Matador State Beach.
Los Angeles’ Zuma Beach goes on for 3 miles, making it the perfect place to go for a run in the morning. Many tourists enjoy going here because of how easy it is to get to since it is so close to the Pacific Coast Highway. There are always lifeguards on duty, so you can feel safe as you go into the water. Although it gets packed with people, this is all part of the experience. It is a great beach to meet new people if that’s what you’re looking to do.
Paradise Cove Beach is another gem found close to the city. It is the perfect spot for both individuals and groups. The beach became famous thanks to the beach café by the same name found on its sand. This café has been said to be one of the best places to go on a date, as it has the romantic views of the water and the good energy of a coffee house. If you arrive at Paradise Cove Beach and find it oddly familiar-looking, this is probably because it was the beach used in the “Charlie’s Angels” movie.
If you’re looking to have a photoshoot, El Matador State Beach is your place. El Matador is famous for being one of the most picturesque spots in all of Los Angeles. You get to stand right next to cliff tops while watching the tides roll in. There is also a chance, although a rare one, that you see migrating whales while there, so keep your eyes open!
4Walk Along the Santa Monica Pier
Another beach you may want to visit is the Santa Monica State Beach. If you get there and decide you’re no longer feeling the sand, you’re in luck, because you can walk a short distance over to the pier. The Santa Monica Pier is a large double-jointed and over 100 years old dock located at the foot of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. There is a sign on the pier that marks the end of the legendary American highway Route 66. The sign demonstrates that this road only ended when the sea stood in its way.
The Pier’s iconic entrance makes the dock popular with both locals and tourists. On the pier, you can find an amusement park named Pacific Park. This park has all kinds of games and food, and it even has a solar-paneled Ferris wheel! The most famous game at the Pier is the carousel that was built in 1939 and is one of the few pieces of the Santa Monica’s original pier that remains.
If you’re into fishing, this is a perfect spot to do so. Anyone is allowed to drop a line off the Pier, so you can spend your day there admiring the water and catch & releasing fish. If you’re into sea life, Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is a must-see. Thanks to all these great activities happening on it, the pier can get extremely crowded, so going early in the morning or later in the evening is your best bet.
3See the City’s Skyline from OUE Skyspace LA
The OUE Skyspace LA is California’s tallest open-air observation deck of the iconic US Bank Tower. Its location is perfect for getting breathtaking views of Los Angeles. You can do all kinds of things there: engage with their interactive technology, taste one of their signature cocktails, or, if you’re brave, experience the 45-foot Skyslide. This famous Skyslide is a fully enclosed, all-glass, first of its kind slide that is almost 1,000 feet above Downtown LA. Making your way from the 70th floor to the 69th down this slide is said to give you an entirely new perspective of the city. It cost the city a total of $31 million to make, so the $25 ticket to ride it seems altogether worth your while. Anyone who has ridden this slide admits that you can see an unparalleled view of Los Angeles, so it’s something to consider doing while there.
Besides the slide, The OUE Skyspace also holds many events that attract people from around the world. Its Pablo Suñé Jazz Quartet has an incredible jazz bar where you can hear local acts for free. You can do yoga on top of Los Angeles by taking one of the classes offered every day, starting at 6:30 pm. If you Skyspace so much that you decide you want to ring in 2020 there, you can! There is a New Year’s Eve party that takes place here every year. On any other day of the year, you can go to the Skyspace Bar to enjoy fun cocktails with your friends while seeing all of the city right in front of you.
2Stargaze at the Griffith Observatory
There’s a high possibility that whenever you see a panoramic shot of Los Angeles in a film, your eyes focused on the beautiful building that is the Griffith Observatory. This observatory overlooks all of Los Angeles. It features an extensive array of space and science-related displays. The best part? Admission is free! The observatory has been letting people in its doors free of charge since it opened in 1935, so it’s the perfect thing to do if you’re traveling on a budget.
Once a month, the Griffith Observatory hosts a “star party” where telescopes are allowed to be used for free, so people of all ages get together on the rooftop to stargaze. Invited to this party are several astronomers, who are there to answer any question you’ve ever had about the stars.
Inside the Observatory, you can find many exhibits that explain things like telescopes and the solar system. One of the fascinating exhibits is the Tesla Coil. There is also a planetarium where shows often go on, which is always a great time.
The view of the city from this observatory can be especially exciting at night, so try and plan your day around ending your night at the Griffith Observatory. Since many people arrive by car and parking space is quite limited, expect to spend some time parking nearby – or take the bus there and be worry-free. It closes at 9 pm, but that leaves tons of time to get to see the city light up.
1Have a Feast at Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market is a massive arcade with tons of different food stores and retail boutiques, taking up a total of 30,000 square feet. It’s located in downtown LA and has been one of the city’s most prominent hot spots for decades.
On its website, it is written “Grand Central Market’s mission is to celebrate the cuisines and cultures of Los Angeles. Our commitment is to preserve the legacy of a historic downtown landmark, to gather the city’s many communities around a shared table, and to nurture the next generation of local businesses.” This mission has been the same since it opened in 1917.
The food vendors in the market are also known for having some of California’s best chefs in their kitchen while being run by some of the most up and coming entrepreneurs in the game. It is open every day of the week, so you can fit a visit or two into your schedule when planning your Los Angeles trip.
Also, don’t forget to look for the Angels Flight just as you walk out of the market. It is a bright orange railway that is known for being the shortest one in the world. You can’t miss it. Grand Central Market is the perfect place to experience authentic Los Angeles culture in the heart of the city. Whether you decide to walk through or have some good eats simply is all up to you!
There is no doubt that Los Angeles is truly the “city of angels.” Its population is beautifully diverse, which has led the city to be made up of different restaurants, artworks, and architecture with influence from all around the world. It’s the perfect place to go if you love celebrity spotting, considering there are always new movies being filmed at Universal Studios with some of your favorite stars in them. Not to mention, it’s hot all year round thanks to its Mediterranean climate.
This city makes a fitting spot for any kind of trip you are planning. If you’re going on a family vacation, your children are sure to love Los Angeles. Between its sandy beaches, amusement parks, science centers, and the Skyslide, no child would be unhappy spending time in this city. If you’re going out for a romantic weekend, it’s also an ideal place. You can have dinners by the water, walk along the pier, and go biking on the city’s many bike paths. If it’s a wild week with your friends you’re looking for, this is also the place. Los Angeles’ rooftop bars, active nightlife, and beach celebrations are there to ensure you have a great time when visiting the city. It’s also a great place to meet new people in you decide to travel alone.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to book a trip and explore Los Angeles. The city would love to have you there.