Los Angeles   Travel Guide

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los angeles top tourist attractions

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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los angeles top tourist attractions

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 .

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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

(4508 reviews)

from $ 99.00

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

(4026 reviews)

from $ 73.00

Universal Studios Hollywood General Admission Ticket

Universal Studios Hollywood General Admission Ticket

(1229 reviews)

from $ 109.00

los angeles top tourist attractions

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."

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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 ).

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of the Best of Los Angeles

(713 reviews)

from $ 84.00

Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open Air Bus

Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open Air Bus

(1140 reviews)

from $ 44.00

Skip the Line: Express Ticket at Universal Studios Hollywood

Skip the Line: Express Ticket at Universal Studios Hollywood

(1072 reviews)

from $ 213.81

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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 .

los angeles top tourist attractions

Perfect 5 ½ Hour LA & Hollywood Tour from Santa Monica

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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

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Shared 3 Hour Los Angeles Tour

Shared 3 Hour Los Angeles Tour

(1389 reviews)

from $ 49.00

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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 .

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

7-Day Tour to San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and Zion from LA

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Authentic 3-Hour Hollywood to Beverly Hills Tour

Authentic 3-Hour Hollywood to Beverly Hills Tour

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The Official Hollywood Sign Walking Tour in Los Angeles

The Official Hollywood Sign Walking Tour in Los Angeles

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los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

The VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood

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Swan Boat Rental in Echo Park

Swan Boat Rental in Echo Park

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Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

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los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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).

los angeles top tourist attractions

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. 

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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

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from $ 620.00

Big Bus Los Angeles: Hop-on Hop-off Tour by Open-top Bus

Big Bus Los Angeles: Hop-on Hop-off Tour by Open-top Bus

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TCM Classic Films Tour

TCM Classic Films Tour

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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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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. 

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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.

los angeles top tourist attractions

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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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

37 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles in 2024 – By A Local

Written By: Jeremy Scott Foster

United States

Updated On: February 8, 2024

Planning a trip to Los Angeles but don’t know where to start? Discover LA’s best hotspots with this list of the best things to do in Los Angeles. Our friend Jeremy of Travel Freak lives in Los Angeles and has rounded up the best things to do in LA from a local’s point of view. We mixed in a few of the top attractions and tourist destinations and you have yourself a complete Los Angeles guide.

Table of Contents

Top Things to Do in Los Angeles

best things to do in los angeles

Like with other big cities in the US, planning a trip to Los Angeles is challenging precisely because there is just so much to see and experience. In this list, you’ll find a range of places to go and things to do in Los Angeles, from the usual tourist jaunts to some of LA’s best-kept secrets. Updated by The Planet D team.

Whatever you’re into, and no matter where you’re staying , at least one of these options should pique your interest.

best things to do in los angeles skyline

Brimming with culture, history, and creative energy, you can’t visit the West Coast of the United States without stopping in Los Angeles. And it’s not just for culture vultures—Los Angeles County’s sprawling 4,000 square miles is teeming with hikes, beaches, and all sorts of outdoor adventures!

Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard, and the sandy shores of Southern California – these are the spots every first-timer should see. Let’s start with the most iconic places in Los Angeles and continue to some lesser-known destinations. Are you ready?

1. Snap A Photo with The Famous Hollywood Sign

what to do in los angeles hollywood sign

No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a sighting of LA’s most iconic landmark: the Hollywood sign. Sitting atop Mount Lee in the Santa Monica mountains, this famous attraction has a ton of viewing options with varying levels of difficulty. 

If you don’t want to break a sweat, you can always just view it from afar driving down Beverly Drive. For a closer look, you can head up the Hollywood Hills to the family-friendly Lake Hollywood Park. And if you’re raring to do some hiking, you can take a ride-hailing service to the end of Deronda Drive. From the cul-de-sac, look for the white archway with the green gate and hike up the trail to the top of Mt. Lee. 

what to do in los angeles hollywood sign

Insider Tip: Consider hiking up to the Griffith Observatory for sunset instead. The Observatory boasts a number of fascinating artifacts and exhibits, from the 12-inch Zeiss telescope to the Rebel Without a Cause monument. However, its biggest draw is the astonishing view – here, you get a clear photo of the sign, as well as front-row seats to the city skyline. 

2. Go Window Shopping on Rodeo Drive

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Rodeo Drive

No Los Angeles trip would be complete without at least driving through Rodeo Drive. A two-mile stretch lined with high-end designer brands like Saint Laurent, Gucci, Prada, Versace, and Chanel, Rodeo Drive is the epitome of style and luxury.

While it’s no longer the celebrity hang-out spot it used to be, it will forever be etched into pop culture thanks to that infamous shopping scene in “Pretty Women”. And while you’re in Beverly Hills, don’t forget to check out other glitzy places like the Greystone Mansion Gardens and the Beverly Hills Hotel. 

If you want to spot celebrities, book a guided tour to see the Beverly Hills mansions where you’ll also hit Rodeo Drive and Hollywood film studios.

3. Drive Down Sunset Strip

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Sunset Strip

There is nothing more quintessentially LA than driving through Sunset Boulevard as the sun goes down. And when the day bleeds into night, Sunset Strip – or the 1.5-mile-long stretch in West Hollywood from Doheny to North Crescent Heights – becomes abuzz with music and nightlife. 

When the sun goes down, the city lights go up at The Roxy Theatre, Whisky A Go Go, and the Viper Room have housed some of the biggest names in music. Meanwhile, the Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory boast stand-up alumni like Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, and Chris Rock. 

Book this full-day tour that includes Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. You’ll see iconic destinations like the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Farmers Market, and the Griffith Observatory.

4. Hit the Beach

things to do in los angeles beaches

From Baywatch to The OC, the beaches of Southern California have served as a backdrop for countless famous movies and television shows. And if you’re a surfer, Los Angeles is paradise . From the city, you’ve got easy access to some of SoCal’s major surf spots like El Porto, Zuma, Topanga, and Huntington Beach – the world’s surfing capital ! 

5. Venice Beach Boardwalk

things to do in los angeles venice beach

Venice Beach is one of Los Angeles’ most iconic and lively destinations and for good reason. It’s a place where the city’s diverse culture, scenic beauty, and eccentricity converge, making it an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Venice Beach is known for its boardwalk that runs to Santa Monica Beach just as much as its sick waves. The Venice Boardwalk, or Ocean Front Walk is like a microcosm of all things LA, from surfers to street performers, vendors, buskers, skaters, and brawny dudes working out at Muscle Beach. 

For fitness enthusiasts or those who just want to witness the spectacle, Muscle Beach is a historic outdoor gym where bodybuilders showcase their talents. You’ll also find one of the most famous skateparks in the world, the Venice Skate Park.

Inspired by Venice, Italy, the Venice Canals offer a more tranquil experience. The picturesque walkways along the canals are perfect for a leisurely stroll amidst charming houses and arched bridges, transporting you to a European-esque setting.

From shopping and dining to the beach and surfing, there’s something for everyone. Venice Beach is not just a beach, but a destination with a soul, where every visit feels like a new adventure.

6. Santa Monica Pier

things to do in los angeles malibu

For family-friendly fun, Santa Monica Pier is the place to be. It’s got a seaside amusement park, live music, an arcade, and plenty of restaurants and shops for all ages.

Start your visit by exploring Pacific Park, the amusement park located on the pier. Ride the famous Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel, known as the Pacific Wheel, which offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline. Don’t miss other thrilling rides like the West Coaster roller coaster.

7. Other Los Angeles Beaches

Understandably, if you’re wary of crowds, you can head for Will Rogers State Beach instead. Situated between Topanga and Santa Monica in the Pacific Palisades, this three-mile stretch of beach doesn’t see as many visitors as the others on this list. 

things to do in los angeles beaches

And if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, there’s Point Dume State Beach, which sits at the end of Malibu on a bluff that juts out into the Pacific. Here, you can either take a dip in the clear blue waters, scuba dive next to sea lions, or even try your hand at rock climbing.

Insider Tip: Los Angeles’ Mediterranean climate doesn’t change very much, so any day is a beach day, really. But if you want to avoid summertime crowds, consider visiting from September to November. 

8. Stroll Down Hollywood Boulevard

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Blvd is somewhat Los Angeles’ equivalent to New York’s Times Square. Getting tens of thousands of visitors every day, it’s the ultimate tourist trap. But it’s iconic enough to merit a visit!

This is where you’ll find the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a 1.3-mile walkway bearing the names of hundreds of film and TV stars, directors, and producers. If you have kids in tow, make a game of who can spot their favorite celebrities first.

Apart from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Boulevard’s got other popular tourist attractions – from the TCL Chinese Theatre (originally Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) and the Dolby Theatre to historic movie theaters like the Vista Theatre and the American Cinematheque.

9. Grand Avenue

things to do in los angeles walt disney concert

Grand Avenue is often considered the city’s cultural heartbeat. With its amalgamation of arts, architecture, and entertainment, the avenue is an essential destination for anyone visiting Los Angeles. Don’t miss the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry where you can attend a concert performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The Broad Museum is a Contemporary Art Museum that houses one of the more popular exhibits in the city, the Infinity Mirror Rooms by Yayoi Kusama. Or you can go across the street to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) . Be sure to book reservations in advance.

And make sure to stop at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion which hosted many events including the Acadamy Awards and is now home to the LA Opera.

10. Go Celeb Spotting at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Less than 10 minutes away from Hollywood Boulevard is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the final resting place for some of the biggest names of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Think of it as a more peaceful – albeit macabre – alternative to the busy Walk of Fame. Here, you’ll find the graves of Mel Blanc, Jayne Mansfield, Cecille B. DeMille, Dee Dee, and Johnny Ramone. 

Planning Your Trip To Los Angeles Right Now?

Below are some of the top tours in Los Angeles. Don’t forget to plan ahead when  visiting LA!

Top Activities and Tours in Los Angeles:

  • Hollywood Sign Walking Tour (best outdoor activities)
  • Celebrity Homes Tour (Most Popular in Los Angeles
  • Full-Day Iconic LA Tou r – Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches, and More

11. Get Some Grub at The Original Farmers Market

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Original Farmers Market

Once you’re all tuckered out hunting for celebs, make your way to Fairfax and 3rd Street for the OG Los Angeles dining experience.

This historic marketplace has been around since 1934 and has developed into a multicultural hub for foodies. This spot is beloved by both travelers and locals alike and has been visited by countless celebrities, from The Beatles to James Dean. 

12. Visit the Sound Stages of Your Favorite Films and TV Shows

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Sound Stages of Favorite Films and TV Shows

Film and TV buffs will enjoy a tour of some of Hollywood’s biggest studios. At the Warner Bros studio, “Friends” fans can live out their ultimate fantasy with a visit to the Stage 48: Script to Screen soundstage, where a replica of the Central Perk Cafe permanently resides. 

Meanwhile, at Paramount Studios, you can learn about its legacy as the longest operating studio in Hollywood and marvel at its massive New York Street backlot. And for a real blast from the past, you can head to Sony Pictures, which still houses the old Art Deco buildings of the former MGM studio that once stood on the lot. 

If you are a film buff, you can also take a self-guided tour of your favorite filming locations around Los Angeles. Download this app for a GPS-guided app from Downtown LA to Griffith Park as you learn of Hollywood history and see famous shooting locations.

13. Visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles County Museum Of Art LACMA

LACMA is the largest art museum on the West Coast. Their art galleries include works by the likes of Henri Matisse, Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso, and Rene Magritte. 

Outside, you can snap a photo next to two epic installations: “Urban Light”, which consists of 202 restored streetlamps from the 1920s and 1930s; and “Levitated Mass” a 340-ton environmental sculpture. 

14. Take an Architectural Tour 

walt disney concert hall

Los Angeles has some of the most unique and acclaimed houses, buildings, and museums in the world. Book a tour and learn about the history behind some of the most celebrated architectural attractions in the city, like:

  • Richard Neutra’s Lovell Health House
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House
  • The Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • The Broad Museum
  • The Richard Meier-designed Getty Center (home of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Villa, and, the Getty Research Institute)

15. Visit the Getty Center

los angeles top tourist attractions

The Getty Center is one of Los Angeles’ most iconic cultural destinations, renowned for its extensive art collection, beautifully landscaped gardens, and breathtaking views of the city.

Located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Getty Center features the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

Admission to the Getty Center is free, but parking is $20 ($15 after 3 p.m.). It’s recommended to check the official website for the latest visiting hours and any special exhibitions or events that might be taking place. The Getty Center is well-regarded for being family-friendly and offering a variety of programming for all ages.

16. Explore LA’s Secret Stairs

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles LA Secret Stairs

During the mid-1900s, Los Angeles had a pretty extensive trolley system, covering over 1,100 miles of track. Though the trolleys are now long gone, you’ll find remnants of them in the network of steep stairs that run through places like Silver Lake, Echo Park Lake, Pacific Palisades, and Beachwood Canyon. 

The latter is a quaint residential community that a range of A-listers and former stars call home. So if you’re one of those travelers who likes hunting for gorgeous houses, this one’s for you. Plus, you get in a good cardio workout too!

17. Echo Park

things to do in los angeles echo park

While in the area, spend some time at Echo Park Lake, the neighborhood’s crown jewel. You can rent paddle boats or just take a leisurely walk around the lake. Rent a swan boat in advance to enjoy a quieter side of Los Angeles

This area is known for its vibrant street art and murals. Take a walk through the neighborhood and discover the colorful and often thought-provoking contemporary art adorning the walls and buildings.

18. Griffith Park

things to do in los angeles griffith park

Angelenos know the best part of LA is its abundance of hiking trails, parks, and a ton of other outdoor adventure options.

For a quick urban hike, there’s Griffith Park. Griffith Park is about six times the size of New York’s Central Park and is home to the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, the Bronson Canyon Caves, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Greek Theatre, and a 53-mile network of trails and paths.

Then there’s the Runyon Canyon hike, which is a 3.5-mile hiking trail up in the Santa Monica Mountains. Runyon Canyon is the only park that allows dogs to run off-leash, so if you’re traveling with your pup, don’t miss out on this trail. 

If you’re looking to plan out more intense day trips , there is no shortage of options either – California has 300 state parks! And while camping is still currently off the table, there are still plenty of fun things to do, like.

19. Dodgers Stadium

los angeles top tourist attractions

If you’re a sports fan, head to the nearby Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Try to catch a baseball game or take a tour of the stadium.

20. Silver Lake

Silver Lake is another vibrant neighborhood located in the central region of Los Angeles that is known for its eclectic atmosphere, trendy shops, restaurants, and artistic community.

The neighborhood is named after the Silver Lake Reservoir, a large body of water that serves as a picturesque centerpiece. The reservoir is surrounded by a walking path popular among residents for jogging, walking dogs, and enjoying scenic views.

21. Cycle the Strand

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Cycle The Strand

The Strand, also known as the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, is a 22-mile bike path that starts at Will Rogers State Beach and passes through the Pacific Palisades and down to Santa Monica, Redondo, Manhattan, Venice Beach, and Torrance County Beach. 

Take a bike ride along this beautiful path. Bear in mind that it’s a laid-back path that sees travelers of all ages and levels. So, if you’re looking to do some sprints, this may not be the trail for you. 

22. Immerse in Japanese Culture in Little Tokyo

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Little Tokyo

Home to the US entertainment industry, Los Angeles is a melting pot of art, talent, and culture.

Little Tokyo is a 135-year-old neighborhood located in Downtown Los Angeles. As the second oldest neighborhood in the city of LA and one of only three official Japantowns in the US, Little Tokyo is a historical, cultural landmark. 

You can learn about the experiences of Japanese Americans throughout history at the Japanese American National Museum, find unique gifts for friends at home at the Bunkado shop, or have homestyle Japanese food on 1st Street. Read more about Tokyo The Best Things to do in Tokyo, Japan

23. Feast at The Grand Central Market

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Grand Central Market

Another must-see in Downtown LA, Grand Central Market is a foodie’s heaven. Come on an empty stomach because Grand Central is brimming with good grub. 

Must-tries include Villa Moreliana’s tacos, Belcampo Meat Co.’s dry-aged beef burger, and Eggslut’s infamous egg sandwiches. For dessert, McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream is the way to go. 

To check out more of the Los Angeles food scene, book this downtown food tour that starts at Pershing Square. Sample foods from the emerging LA food scene as you hear about Hollywood history.

24. Catch A Concert at The Hollywood Bowl

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is the premier venue for live music in Los Angeles. The massive amphitheater has hosted all kinds of musicians – from Hall and Oates to Lady Gaga – but it’s the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra that gets to call it home. 

The park area used to be open to the public during the day, and visitors could watch rehearsals for free.

25. Explore Exposition Park

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Exposition Park California Science Museum

When traveling with your kids, it’s important to find destinations that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Here are our top 5 family-friendly things to do in Los Angeles.

If you and your kids are up for a field trip, head over to Exposition Park. The sprawling urban park houses attractions like the Banc of California soccer stadium, the Rose Garden, the California African American Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the California Science Center. 

The Science Center is particularly interesting because it serves as the final resting place for the Space Shuttle Endeavour, the last operational shuttle built for NASA. 

26. Enjoy the Petersen Automotive Museum

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Peterson Automotive Museum

If you and your kids share a passion for cars, drive up Wilshire Boulevard and make a pit stop at Petersen Museum. As one of the largest automotive museums in the world, this museum showcases over a hundred vehicles in 25 galleries. 

If you’re a big gearhead, you can pay an extra $20 to get into “The Vault”, an underground parking space where the museum keeps vehicles that have been rotated out of the exhibitions, as well as cars that have never been displayed to the public yet.

Here, you’ll find gems like Steve McQueen’s 1957 Jaguar and a 1998 open-top Cadillac Popemobile. Kids under 10 are not allowed in this area. 

27. Learn About the Ice Age at The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

What makes pits of tar one of LA’s most popular attractions? The La Brea Tar Pits is the only active Ice Age fossil site that is located in an urban setting. Scientists have been digging up fossils from this area for over a hundred years, and all the artifacts from these excavations are displayed at the La Brea Museum. 

venice canals los angeles

Here, kids can learn about prehistory, archaeology, biology, and climate change. Overall, it’s a great place to engage your kids in a fun, interactive, and educational activity!

28. Experience the Thrills of Movie Magic at Universal Studios Hollywood

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Universal Studios Hollywood

There is definitely no shortage of theme parks in California. You’ve got Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags, and Legoland, just to name a few. 

But if you and your kids are pop culture nerds, Universal Studios Hollywood might be one of the only theme parks that really brings the magic of movies to life. Some of the park’s main attractions include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Jurassic World ride, and the World-Famous Studio tour. Book your Skip the line Tickets f or Universal Studios in advance to maximize your enjoyment.

29. Mulholland Drive

best things to do in los angeles Mulholland Drive

Another epic drive would be Mulholland Drive , which Jay Leno once described as the “spine of Los Angeles”. With the San Fernando Valley on one side and Beverly Hills on the other, the drive offers spectacular views of the Los Angeles Basin.

“The Snake”, a twisty segment filled with sharp turns, is also a favorite among bikers and car enthusiasts. Unfortunately, much of Mulholland Drive has been closed since the Woolsey fire ravaged the area. 

Best Day Trips from Los Angeles

The greater Los Angeles area is huge and if you have a car and a few extra days, you should make your way to a few of these locations that are within driving distance from downtown. Some require a few days, and others can be done in an easy day trip.

30. Historic Battleship USS Iowa Museum

los angeles top tourist attractions

One of the most notable attractions is the historic Battleship USS Iowa Museum. Moored at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro, this iconic World War II battleship invites visitors to immerse themselves in American naval history through its intricate exhibits and guided tours.

A stone’s throw away is the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, which further chronicles the rich maritime heritage of the region.

31. Long Beach

Long Beach is another Southern California, coastal city located within the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. One of Long Beach’s most famous attractions is the Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner that has been permanently docked in the harbor since 1967. It now serves as a hotel, museum, and events venue. The ship is also known for its alleged hauntings and offers ghost tours.

The waterfront area of Long Beach is a bustling spot with a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions. The Rainbow Harbor and Shoreline Village are particularly popular areas to walk around, dine, and enjoy views of the water.

It also naturally has several miles of beaches, which are great for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Belmont Shore is a popular beach neighborhood known for its laid-back vibe, and Alamitos Beach is known for being LGBTQ2s+ friendly

32. Summit Mt. Baldy

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Summit Mt Baldy

Standing at 10,066 feet or 3,068 meters above sea level, Mount Baldy (also known as Mt. San Antonio) is considered the highest peak in Los Angeles County.

There are numerous trails all over the mountain, from the short and sweet Mt. Baldy Notch trail, which is about 3.5 miles one way, to the Mt. Baldy trail, the longest (6.5 miles one way) and the oldest trail that takes you all the way to the summit. From the top, you get gorgeous views of LA. On a good day, you can even see Catalina Island.

In the winter, Mt. Baldy becomes a popular skiing destination as well.

33. Bungee Jump Off the Bridge to Nowhere

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Bungee Jump off The Bridge to Nowhere

The Angeles National Forest covers over 700,000 acres of land, including the San Gabriel and Sierra Pelona Mountains. One of the most exciting things to do here is the Bridge to Nowhere hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. It’s a 10-mile hike featuring river crossings, tunnels, and an awe-inspiring 120-foot-high concrete bridge that leads, well, nowhere, as it’s wedged into the canyon. 

If the hike isn’t exciting enough, you can also bungee jump off the bridge. And if you’re really craving for some adrenaline, you can even arrange for a night jump, where you fall into a pitch-black abyss and look up to a starry night. 

A word of caution, however: always check the weather before embarking on this hike. In the wet season, the area is prone to flash floods. In the summer months, it can be an exhausting trip, as there is virtually no shade out there. 

34. Go Bouldering in Joshua Tree National Park

bouldering joshua tree national park

If you only have time for one or two day trips, make sure one of them is a visit to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s about a 2-hour-and-45-minute drive from Los Angeles, but it’s well worth the visit.

Known as the place where two deserts meet – the Colorado and the Mojave deserts – the park is home to some of the most interesting landscapes this side of the US. Some famous sights include the eerie Skull Rock formation and the 30-foot arch of Arch Rock.

Joshua Tree’s massive rock formations make it a great site for bouldering and rock climbing too. Trashcan Rock, Lizard’s Hangout, and the Blob are some of the best spots for beginners. Read More: 11 Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

35. Go Off-Roading in The Mojave Desert

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Off Roading in The Mojave Desert

Mojave Road is a 150-mile historic dirt road that starts at Beale’s Crossing by the Colorado River and ends at Drum Barracks in Wilmington, LA.

You can traverse the entire trail in three days, but make sure you have plenty of food, water, and gasoline with you, as there are virtually no establishments out in the desert. Be sure to bring tools, a spare tire, and emergency supplies as well.

As it is a rough and unmaintained desert road, you will need to bring a 4×4 vehicle with you. 

36. Sail Off to Catalina Island

catalina island

If you’re up for something a little more laid back, you can book a private charter to Catalina Island . On the trip, you can expect to sail next to dolphins, go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, and snorkeling in Catalina’s coral reefs. 

Catalina Island is an hour-long boat ride from Newport Beach, Long Beach, or San Pedro Beach.

37. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway

bridge over water

The city of LA is as much the city of cars as it is the city of stars, with a car culture so enduring that it has shaped the way the city – and its surrounding area – has been designed. As such, LA is one of the best places for travelers to embark on a road trip.

One of the best routes you can take is the drive from Santa Monica to Zuma Beach in Malibu via the Pacific Coast Highway. The highway runs along the Pacific coastline of California , offering one of the most breathtaking views in the world. And while you’re in Malibu, make sure to check out biker’s hangout Neptune’s Net, a world-famous seafood and beer restaurant that sits right by the highway. Read more: The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Itinerary and The Best Viewpoints

About Los Angeles

Best Places to Stay in Los Angeles Long Beach

Los Angeles is actually part of Los Angeles County, made up of 88 incorporated cities all in all. LA—also known as the City of Angels—is California’s most populous city, comprising some 80+ neighborhoods. The delineation of these neighborhoods can get pretty contentious, so don’t worry if you can’t find what you’re looking for on a typical map. If you’re lost, it’s best to ask a local!

Your main gateway into Los Angeles is through the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is situated in the beachside neighborhood of Westchester. Head up northwest, and you’ll hit other famed beach towns like Venice, Santa Monica, the Pacific Palisades, and Malibu. 

best things to do in los angeles map

While LA has adequate public transportation, the best way to get around is by car. There’s a saying that “nobody walks in LA”—with the sheer size of the county and Los Angeles’ thriving car culture, it is pretty much true. No, I take it back—it’s 100% true. Compare car rental prices here.

Where to stay in Los Angeles Beverly Hills

Whether you’re looking for quick urban hikes, lazy beach days, sick surf sessions, or epic day trips out in the desert, Los Angeles is a dream for most adventure travelers. You’ll never run out of things to do in LA!

  • W here to Stay in Los Angeles
  • The Best Things to Do in San Diego – A Local’s Guide to the City
  • Where To Stay In San Diego – The Best Neighborhoods & Areas
  • 28 Things to Do in Sacramento
  • 20 Great Things to Do in Monterey, California
  • Things to do in Carmel by the Sea, California
  • 15 Best Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outdoors
  • 7 Epic Places to Visit in Northern California
  • Top 10 Best Places to Camp in California
  • 24 Of The Best Beaches in California

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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About Jeremy Scott Foster

Jeremy has been traveling the world for 10 years. Recognizing that travel is a powerful platform for personal growth, he made it his personal mission to help others recognize just how accessible travel really is. That’s why I started this adventure travel blog. Follow Jeremy on his website TravelFreak / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

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This so awesome one I like it so much

That was a really great. Helpful and insightful, as always! Thanks for the data and the supporting information.

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24 Top Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

By Fiona Fiorentino · Last updated on May 4, 2024

Los Angeles is known as the entertainment capital of the world, and for good reason. The movies, television shows and music produced in the City of Angels are enjoyed all over the globe. While the city’s show-business history and the chance to rub elbows with a celebrity draws many visitors to L.A., the area’s beaches, theme parks and year-round sunny weather are also big attractions.

A world-class collection of museums, arenas and theaters means that art lovers, history buffs and sports fans will find plenty to love about the tourist attractions in Los Angeles as well.

Map of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Map

Outdoor enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either. This something-for-everyone destination boasts a wealth of natural attractions and outdoor activities. From impromptu volleyball games on the beach and camping getaways in the nearby mountains to whale watching and sailing on the blue Pacific, there’s always something fun and exciting to do in sunny Southern California.

24. California Science Center

California Science Center

Located in Exposition Park, the state-of-the-art California Science Center is packed with interesting and educational exhibits. While some sections focus on animals from various ecosystems, others instead look at energy, transportation and even outer space.

Since being founded in 1951, the massive museum has expanded enormously and now contains amazing aircraft and space shuttles. While the Endeavour is undoubtedly the standout sight, its World of Life and Creative World galleries are equally impressive to peruse. It also regularly hosts temporary exhibits and has an IMAX theater where you can watch educational films.

23. Paramount Pictures Studio Tour

Paramount Pictures Studio Tour

The last remaining film studio of the ‘Big Five’ still left in Hollywood, Paramount Pictures is a treat to tour around with its recognizable stages, costumes and memorabilia. After having entered through its famous double-arched gate, you’ll get to visit and explore iconic sets from TV shows and blockbuster movies.

Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you’ll whizz around the sprawling studio on golf carts, stopping off here and there to see sets from Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s or even watch a shot being filmed. Offering a fascinating look into the world of Hollywood and how TV shows and movies are made, the Paramount Pictures Studio Tour is definitely well worth going on when in town.

22. Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl

One of the most renowned and revered live music venues in the States, the Hollywood Bowl is nestled amidst the rolling Hollywood Hills. Carved into the hillside with the world-famous Hollywood Sign appearing far off in the distance, it hosts countless concerts each year with operas, orchestras and musicals also taking place on its hallowed stage.

Built in 1922, the huge outdoor amphitheater is certainly a special place to enjoy a show with big names like Cher, Queen and The Beatles all having played beneath its distinctive set of concentric arches. Thanks to its superb sound quality, sight lines and spellbinding setting, the Hollywood Bowl is one of the most memorable places you could ever catch a performance.

21. Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach

If it’s sun, sea and sand you’re after then you’ll definitely want to head to picture-perfect Zuma Beach. Located in Malibu about an hour’s drive west of L.A., its sun-kissed sands curve gently along the ocean, overlooked by the majestic Santa Monica Mountains.

Very popular with locals and tourists alike, it offers all kinds of fun outdoor activities with excellent fishing and beach volleyball, as well as sunbathing, swimming and surfing. Aside from enjoying its clean waters, visitors can stroll peacefully along its broad sands with the beautiful beach having appeared in numerous films, TV shows and adverts over the years.

20. Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Madame Tussauds Hollywood is home to a huge collection of wax figures of famous celebrities from all different eras. One of the city’s top tourist attractions, it lies along Hollywood Boulevard and has rooms full of movie stars and pop icons, plus exciting VR experiences.

Only opened in 2009, it now contains over a hundred remarkably life-like wax models with replicas of Barack Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio appearing next to Taylor Swift, Snoop Dogg and Spider-Man, among others. After having snapped photos with all of your favorite celebs, you can head to its theater and watch a thrilling 4D Marvel Universe film.

19. Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park

While its stunning scenery offers a welcome respite from the hum of downtown, Runyon Canyon Park actually lies just a couple of blocks off bustling Hollywood Boulevard. Due to its setting amidst the Hollywood Hills, celebrity sightings are common with epic old mansions and estates also dotted about its scenic confines.

Besides hiking about its hills, visitors can stop by Rock Mandala – an arresting public art piece – or head to Inspiration Point or Clouds Rest for phenomenal panoramas over Los Angeles. Although its hot, dry climate can make hiking tough, the park is well worth visiting for its wild look and feel. Snakes, lizards, deer and coyotes can sometimes be spotted, too.

18. Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Another of the city’s unique and impressive music venues is the striking Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale. Due to its incredible architecture, acoustics and acts, do check out its packed schedule of events when in town.

Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, its shiny stainless steel structure and flowing facade stand out delightfully against the drab buildings of downtown. Just as appealing is the concert hall’s elegant auditorium that features a lovely layout with its ‘vineyard-style’ seating guaranteeing guests great views of the stage and even better acoustics.

17. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

As it boasts an astonishing collection of artworks, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art really is a must-visit for art aficionados. The largest museum in the western United States, its sprawling site covers a huge part of LA’s Miracle Mile neighborhood, with photos and paintings, carvings, ceramics and sculptures on show.

Since being founded in 1961, its captivating collection has swelled to over 150,000 items with some sections focusing on ancient Greek and Egyptian artifacts, and others on Islamic art, Renaissance paintings and contemporary Latin American pieces. While perusing its endless galleries, visitors can expect to see masterpieces by Degas, Magritte and Rembrandt, among countless others.

16. The Broad

The Broad

While the Los Angeles County Museum of Art covers millennia of art history, The Broad instead focuses on contemporary and postwar artworks. Another recent addition to Downtown Los Angeles, it opened in 2015 with its eye-catching ‘honeycomb-like’ exterior making for a striking sight.

Aside from taking in its attractive architecture, there are thousands of interesting artworks and installations to enjoy. Amongst its fabulous photos, paintings and sculptures, you’ll spy brilliant works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons and others. Temporary exhibits showcasing new and upcoming artists are regularly displayed on its lobby floor.

15. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Offering a close-up look at the glitzy world of Hollywood, the renowned Warner Bros. Studio can be found just to the north of LA in neighboring Burbank. On tours around the humongous site, you can see iconic sets from TV shows and films with incredible props, costumes and memorabilia also on show.

One of the oldest film studios in the world, it contains enormous outdoor sets that depict locations, like New York and a mid-western town, with soundstages for The Big Bang Theory and Pretty Little Liars too. Besides stopping off at recognizable places, such as the ‘Central Perk’ from Friends, guests can see Batmobiles, ride broomsticks from Harry Potter and tour interactive exhibits on the DC Universe.

14. Battleship USS Iowa Museum

Battleship USS Iowa Museum

Now protected as part of a museum, the hulking great Battleship USS Iowa Museum is permanently moored in San Pedro Bay. While wandering about its decks, bridges and cabins, visitors can learn all there is to know about life at sea and also delve into the massive ship’s fascinating past.

Built in 1943, the Iowa served during the Second World War, Korean War and Cold War and was impressively awarded eleven battle stars over the course of her career. Finally decommissioned in 1990, it has an interesting Combat Engagement Center to explore, as well as engine rooms, boiler rooms and officers’ wards.

Besides being known as the ‘Mighty I’ and ‘Big Stick’, it also earned the nickname the ‘Battleship of Presidents’ as over the course of the decades it not only hosted Roosevelt and Reagan but George H.W. Bush, too.

13. Petersen Automotive Museum

Petersen Automotive Museum

Also located in LA’s Miracle Mile neighborhood you can find the fantastic Petersen Automotive Museum which contains an amazing and extensive collection of cars and motorcycles. Its sparkling showrooms and countless classic cars take you on a whirlwind journey through the history and evolution of the automobile industry.

One of the largest museums of its kind in the world, it now occupies a magnificent modern building that sports a stainless steel exterior that glints in the sun. In total, the museum now has over 300 cars and motorcycles in its collection. Lavish limos and Rolls-Royces appear alongside fast Porsches, Ferraris and sleek, shiny cars that appeared in famous films or were owned by well-known celebrities.

12. The Grove & Original Farmers Market

The Grove & Original Farmers Market

The Grove & Original Farmers Market is one of LA’s most loved landmarks. It lies in West Hollywood and has hundreds of superb shops, stands and stalls to peruse that sell everything under the sun.

Since 1934, the Original Farmers Market has been very popular with locals and tourists alike due to its endless array of coffee stands, ethnic eateries and stalls selling fresh food, artisanal products and souvenirs. Right next to it is The Grove; a huge retail and entertainment complex that has chain stores, restaurants and a massive movie theatre for guests to enjoy.

With so many eateries and establishments to stop by, it really is one of the best places to shop, dine and go out in the city.

11. Sunset Strip

Sunset Strip

The undoubted star of LA’s nightlife scene, however, is the Sunset Strip renowned for its restaurants, music venues and nightclubs. The most famous stretch of Sunset Boulevard – one of the city’s main thoroughfares – is bordered by boutiques and blingy billboards with pretty palm trees towering overhead.

Over the decades, the happening area has been the favorite hangout of mob bosses and Marilyn Monroe to massive rock stars and glam metal bands. Due to its iconic look and fabled venues, Sunset Strip has also featured in numerous films, TV shows and even video games over the years.

In addition to simply taking in its lively yet laid back ambience and seeing all the sights, you can also check out famous venues, such as the Comedy Store and Whisky a Go Go.

10. Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Originally erected to advertise real estate in the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood sign has come to represent the glamour and excitement of the movie industry. Virtually every visitor to Los Angeles wants to snap a picture of the iconic Hollywood sign, but getting a close-up shot isn’t easy.

Nowadays, the 45-foot (14-meter) high letters perched on Mount Lee are blocked off by barriers and protected by a security system. While the sign is visible from all over Tinseltown, the best places to park and take pictures are at the Griffith Observatory, Lake Hollywood Park and the Hollywood and Highland Center shopping mall.

9. La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

La Brea Tar Pits

A pool of black tar in the middle of a green city park is an unexpected sight in Los Angeles, but the famous La Brea Tar Pits have provided a treasure trove of archeological finds for the nearby George C. Page Museum. Excavations of the prehistoric site have resulted in one of the largest collections of Ice Age fossils in the world.

The oldest of the approximately 100 tons of bones hauled out of the pits date back 38,000 years. Complete skeletons of animals like saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and mastodons are on display in the museum. In the Paleontology Laboratory, visitors can watch scientists working on the latest finds.

8. Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Tucked away in a 16-square-bloock area known as the Golden Triangle in the exclusive neighborhood of Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive is L.A.’s most famous shopping street. While few come to buy the high-priced designer clothing and accessories sold in the luxury shops, Rodeo Drive is nevertheless a tourist hot spot.

Window-shopping is irresistible on this avenue of haute couture, and there’s always the chance of spotting a celebrity shopping for the latest styles. The mini-mall at Two Rodeo Drive always attracts attention. With its “faux-European” architecture and cobblestone street, it looks more like a theme park than a mall.

7. Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

The world-famous Santa Monica Pier is actually two piers in one. With its bait shop and pier-end restaurant, the longer section built in 1909 is characteristic of most Southern California piers. It’s the shorter adjacent pier constructed in 1916 that most attracts visitors.

The elevated plaza linking the two piers is home to an old-fashioned amusement park with a vintage roller coaster, a wooden carousel and one of L.A.’s most recognizable landmarks, a solar-powered Ferris Wheel that sparkles with an ever-changing LED light show every night. There’s a small aquarium, a trapeze school and an array of tasty eateries at the pier too.

6. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The idea of memorializing celebrities with stars embedded into sidewalks was conceived in the 1950s as a way to keep the glamour of Hollywood alive. More than 2,500 stars have been added since the first permanent installation at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Gower Street in 1960. Operated by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the program has been a huge success.

Each year, around ten million visitors stroll along the mile-long stretch of sidewalk in search of their favorite actor, singer, musician, director or television personality. Closely associated and right in front of part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is the famous Chinese Theatre, which has seen some of Hollywood’s most glamorous movies stars and premieres.

5. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

Home to one of the oldest still-operating film studios, Universal Studios Hollywood is a sprawling complex in the San Fernando Valley best known for its family-friendly theme park. Many of the park’s rides and attractions are centered on blockbuster movies, offering an immersive experience for fans of films ranging from “King Kong” to “Waterworld.”

Behind-the-scenes studio tours are available as well. The complex also includes Universal CityWalk, an outdoor shopping center where visitors can catch live performances, see a movie or watch celebrities.

4. Disneyland


Located around an hour’s drive from Downtown Los Angeles in Orange County, Disneyland was the first of Walt Disney’s chain of theme parks. It’s been the star tourist attraction in the city of Anaheim since 1955. Adjacent to the original park is the relatively new California Adventure, which features rides and attractions inspired by the Golden State.

“Park hopper” tickets give visitors access to both parks. The meticulously maintained amusement parks are laid out in themed areas ranging from Tomorrowland and Fantasyland to Hollywood Land and Cars Land. Costumed performers wander the parks, offering children once-in-a-lifetime encounters with their favorite Disney characters.

3. Getty Center

Getty Center

The oil magnate Jean Paul Getty was considered one of the richest men in the world when he established the J. Paul Getty Trust in 1953. Today, the world’s wealthiest art institution funds several institutions, including the stunning billion-dollar Getty Center perched high atop L.A.’s Brentwood Hills.

A sleek hover-train funicular whisks visitors up to the museum where an extraordinary collection of artwork from the Middle Ages to the present awaits, including masterpieces like van Gogh’s “Irises,” Monet’s “Wheatstack” and “The Abduction of Europa” by Rembrandt. Outside, sculpture-ornamented gardens offer panoramic views of the Los Angeles Basin.

2. Griffith Park & Observatory

Griffith Park & Observatory

One of the largest municipal parks in the United States, Griffith Park offers a welcome escape from L.A. traffic. In addition to acres of hilly trails and green spaces, the park is home to a broad array of fun-filled attractions, from the Los Angeles Zoo to the outdoor Greek Theatre.

It’s also the location of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks: the Griffith Observatory. Built in 1935, the beautiful Art Deco complex boasts dozens of engaging exhibits, an out-of-this-world planetarium and multiple telescopes available for public use. A visit to the observatory at dusk offers views of stars emerging in the sky above and the twinkling lights of the city below.

1. Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Tobacco magnate Abbot Kinney gets the credit for transforming a marshy stretch of shoreline south of Santa Monica into the “Venice of America.” In 1904, Kinney turned a series of drainage channels into scenic canals and constructed a Venetian-inspired arcade on the beach.

While the canals remain one of the community’s top tourist attractions in Los Angeles, most visitors head for the beach’s world-famous boardwalk where eccentric street performers compete with shops, stalls and food stands for attention. The beach’s volleyball courts, skating plaza and body-building Muscle Beach area are crowd-pleasers as well.

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Travel Lingual

19 Best Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles | 2024 (with Photos)

Katarina P.

Katarina P. - Travel Writer

Last Updated: March 26, 2024

Hey there! I'm Katarina, a travel enthusiast with a passion for exploring the best attractions in Los Angeles. Join me as I share my top recommendations for an unforgettable trip to the City of Angels. Let's make the most of your adventure by planning ahead and having an amazing time!

Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city that truly has something for everyone.

From the bustling streets of Downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles Zoo, and Walt Disney Concert Hall to the peaceful trails of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Natural History Museum, and the famous Hollywood sign, visitors can experience it all in one of America's most iconic cities.

With its diverse cultural offerings, breathtaking natural beauty, and endless entertainment options, Los Angeles is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

So, let's get started with another Travel-Lingual guide and discover the 19 best Los Angeles attractions together!

Most Recommended Thing to Do

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame

Top Choice Hotel


Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

The Varnish

Best Time to Visit

Mild climate, visit year-round, avoid tourist crowds.

Average Temperature

Mild, moderate climate in Los Angeles, United States.

Transportation Options

Buses, subway, taxis, rideshare, bikes, walking, scooters, car rentals

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)

My Top Recommendation

Start your day by strolling along the picturesque Venice Beach Boardwalk, feeling the warm sand beneath your toes and immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of street performers, artists, and skateboarders whizzing by - a true California dream.

As the sun sets, head to the iconic Griffith Observatory, nestled in the scenic hills, for breathtaking views of the sprawling cityscape and a chance to observe the night sky like never before - a magical and personal moment you'll remember forever.

What You'll Need to Bring

  • Passport or identification documents
  • Travel itinerary and accommodation details
  • Suitable clothing for the weather

What Not to Miss

  • Griffith Observatory
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • The Getty Center

Universal Studios Hollywood

What to avoid.

  • Crowded tourist hotspots
  • Rush hour traffic
  • Overpriced tourist traps

Table of Contents

Warner Bros Studio

1. Warner Bros Studio

Warner Bros Studio

Warner Bros Studio in Burbank, California, is a must-visit destination for movie buffs and fans of blockbuster movies.

This iconic Warner Bros Studio has been at the forefront of the entertainment industry for over a century, producing some of the biggest blockbusters in movie history.

The studio's Harry Potter exhibit is a major draw for fans of the beloved book and movie franchise.

Blockbuster movies are just one aspect of what Warner Bros Studio has to offer.

The studio tour also includes a behind-the-scenes look at how movies and TV shows are made, with stops at soundstages, prop rooms, and the iconic backlot.

You'll get to see famous sets from TV shows like " Friends " and " The Big Bang Theory ", as well as movie classics like " Casablanca " and " Batman ".

2. The Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is a world-renowned institution dedicated to the history and culture of the automobile.

With over 100 years of automotive history on display, the extensive collection this museum has to offer is a must-see for car enthusiasts and anyone interested in the evolution of transportation.

The Petersen Automotive Museum has a vast collection of cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles from different eras and countries.

The exhibits are organized in themes and chronologically, so visitors can take a journey through the history of the automobile from its early days to modern times.

One of the most impressive exhibits at the Petersen Automotive Museum is the Vault, a basement-level display featuring rare and iconic cars not usually seen in public.

Visitors can see everything from classic muscle cars to one-of-a-kind prototypes and race cars.

3. IMAX, California Science Center

IMAX, California Science Center

The California Science Center in Los Angeles is an exceptional destination for science enthusiasts of all ages.

The museum's exhibits and interactive displays highlight a wide range of scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biology, and space science.

The IMAX Theater at the California Science Center is one of the center's most popular attractions.

Visitors to the California Science Center can catch a variety of educational and entertaining films in the IMAX theater.

The California Science Center features a variety of films that cover different scientific topics, from deep space exploration to the world's oceans and everything in between.

Some of the most popular films currently playing at the IMAX theater include " Hubble 3D ," " Great White Shark 3D ," and " Journey to Space 3D ."

4. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios is a renowned destination in Los Angeles, attracting visitors from all over the world.

This movie studio and theme park is one of the most popular attractions in Southern California, offering a unique and immersive experience.

At Universal Studios Hollywood, visitors can enjoy an array of experiences, including thrilling rides, live shows, and behind-the-scenes tours of movie sets and soundstages.

Universal Studios Hollywood has something for everyone, with family-friendly attractions like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and The Simpsons Ride, as well as high-speed coasters like The Revenge of the Mummy and Jurassic World: The Ride.

One of the highlights of Universal Studios Hollywood is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and its magical roller coasters.

Universal Studios allows visitors to explore the magical world and experience attractions like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff.

Visitors can also shop for wizarding wares and enjoy a glass of Butterbeer.

5. Zuma Beach & Venice Beach

Zuma Beach California

Zuma Beach and Venice Beach are two of the most popular beaches in Southern California.

Both beaches offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, a variety of activities, and a vibrant atmosphere that attracts locals and tourists alike.

Zuma Beach is located in Malibu and is known for its long, wide shoreline and excellent surf.

The beach is a favorite among surfers and offers some of the best waves in the area. But it's not just surfers who love Zuma Beach.

Venice Beach, on the other hand, is famous for its quirky, bohemian vibe.

Located in the heart of Venice , the beach is a hub of activity and entertainment. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, watch street performers, or rent a bike and explore the area.

Venice Beach is also home to Muscle Beach, where bodybuilders show off their impressive physiques.

With its lively atmosphere and eclectic mix of people, Venice Beach is a must-visit destination.

Also Read : Fun Things to Do in Malibu at Night

6. Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park

Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park

Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park are two of the most iconic Los Angeles attractions.

Located in the Hollywood Hills, Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory offer visitors stunning views and a range of activities to enjoy.

Griffith Observatory, built in the 1930s, is a beautiful Art Deco-style building that houses a range of exhibits and telescopes.

The observatory is free to visit and offers visitors a chance to explore the universe and learn about astronomy.

From the top of the observatory, visitors can take in panoramic views of the city and even see the famous Hollywood sign.

Griffith Park, which encompasses over 4,000 acres, is one of the largest urban parks in the country. Moreover, Griffith Park is home to hiking trails, picnic areas, and a range of attractions, including the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Visitors can also enjoy a ride on the Griffith Park & Southern Railroad or take a horseback ride through the park's scenic trails.

Take a guided tour of the Griffith Observatory, view exhibits on space and astronomy, and even look through telescopes to observe the stars.

On clear nights, the observatory also hosts public stargazing events, allowing you to see planets, constellations, and other celestial bodies up close.

7. Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Monica is a coastal city in Southern California that offers visitors a range of attractions, including the famous Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Monica Mountains, and a vibrant downtown area.

The Santa Monica Pier, located at the end of Colorado Avenue, is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the city.

The Santa Monica pier features an amusement park with rides and games, as well as a range of restaurants and souvenir shops.

Visitors can also take a stroll along the pier, enjoy the ocean views, and watch street performers and musicians.

In addition to the beach, Santa Monica is home to the Santa Monica Mountains, a range of hills and mountains that offer hiking trails and scenic views of the city and the ocean.

Here, you can hike through the mountains, explore the local flora and fauna, and take in the stunning natural beauty of the area.

Back in town, the downtown area of Santa Monica offers visitors a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Be ready for the best Solar Powered Ferris Wheel that you see just in movies.

8. Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Boulevard & Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Boulevard is one of the most iconic streets in Los Angeles, known for its history, glamor, and entertainment.

From the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the Hollywood Hills, this area of the city offers visitors a range of attractions to explore.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on Hollywood Boulevard, is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the city.

The Walk of Fame features over 2,600 stars embedded in the sidewalk, honoring some of the biggest names like movie stars in entertainment.

Visitors can take a stroll along the boulevard and see stars dedicated to the biggest celebrities of the past decades.

The area is home to the iconic TCL Chinese Theater, a historic theater that has hosted countless movie premieres over the years.

Visitors can take a tour of the theater, learn about its history, and even see the handprints and footprints of some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Just north of Hollywood Boulevard is the Hollywood Hills, a range of hills and mountains that offer stunning views of the city and the ocean.

Visitors can hike through the hills and take in the stunning natural beauty of the area.

Back on Hollywood Boulevard, visitors should also check out the Hollywood Museum, which features exhibits on the history of Hollywood and its famous residents.

The museum is located in the historic Max Factor Building, which was once home to the famous makeup artist's studio.

Related Article : 25 Fun Things to Do in Hollywood

9. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art ( LACMA ) is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art, culture, and history. It is the largest art museum in the Western United States.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles County, the museum is home to an extensive collection of artwork from around the world.

The museum's permanent collection includes over 150,000 works of art, spanning a wide range of styles and periods.

You can explore art from ancient times to the present day, with collections featuring everything from European art to African masks, from American modernist sculpture to contemporary photography.

One of the highlights of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is its permanent collection of modern and contemporary art.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art includes works by some of the biggest names in the art world, including Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, and Barbara Kruger.

10. Walt Disney Concert Hall and Downtown Los Angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the most iconic landmarks of Downtown Los Angeles.

Designed by architect Frank Gehry, it is a marvel of contemporary architecture and a shining example of the city's cultural richness.

Located in the heart of Downtown LA , the concert hall's gleaming steel curves and undulating forms stand out in contrast to the surrounding skyscrapers.

The building's exterior is as impressive as its interior, with its polished steel surfaces reflecting the bright Southern California sun.

The concert hall is the crown jewel of the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County and is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

This jewel of Downtown Los Angeles hosts a wide range of events, including classical music concerts, jazz performances, and contemporary music shows.

11. La Brea Tar Pits and Los Angeles Area

La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits are a unique geological formation located in the heart of Los Angeles.

This area has been one of the major tourist attractions in the Los Angeles area for over a century, drawing visitors from all over the world to witness the fascinating prehistoric discoveries.

The La Brea Tar Pits are a collection of tar pits that have trapped and preserved the remains of millions of prehistoric creatures for thousands of years.

This includes mammoths, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and many other species that once roamed the area.

Today, the La Brea Tar Pits are a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world to see the prehistoric fossils and learn about the region's natural history.

The site includes a museum, where visitors can view the fossils and learn about the geological processes that created the La Brea Tar Pits.

This attraction offers a fascinating glimpse into the region's prehistoric past and a reminder of the diversity of life that once flourished in this region.

The La Brea Tar Pits are not just a unique attraction but also a testament to the rich natural history of the Los Angeles area.

12. Disneyland Resort - The Magical Adventure

Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Park is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

Located in Anaheim , just a short drive from Hollywood Bowl, Paramount Pictures , and the San Fernando Valley, Disneyland is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the Los Angeles area.

The Disneyland Resort is a massive complex that includes theme parks, Disney California Adventure Park, Hollywood Land, and Downtown Disney.

It's a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the magic of Disney and create unforgettable memories with their loved ones.

Disney California Adventure Park is a newer addition to the Disneyland Resort opened in 2001.

It's a celebration of the California spirit, with attractions, roller coasters, and shows inspired by the Golden State's history, culture, and natural beauty.

13. Iconic Hollywood Sign

 Iconic Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign is one of the most iconic symbols of Los Angeles and a must-visit tourist attraction for anyone visiting the city.

Located in the Hollywood Hills, the sign is visible from many parts of the city, including West Hollywood and Runyon Canyon.

Originally erected in 1923 to promote real estate development, the Hollywood Sign has become a cultural icon and a symbol of the entertainment industry.

Visitors can hike to the sign via the Runyon Canyon trail, which offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding hills.

In addition to the Hollywood Sign, West Hollywood is another popular tourist destination in Los Angeles. Known for its vibrant nightlife, shopping, and dining, West Hollywood is a hub of entertainment and culture.

Also Read : Fun Things to Do in Hollywood at Night

14. Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is a glamorous neighborhood in Los Angeles that is known for its luxurious lifestyle, high-end shopping, and exquisite dining options.

It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles, with visitors from all over the world coming to experience the rich culture and sophistication of Beverly Hills.

One of the must-visit destinations in Beverly Hills is Rodeo Drive, a high-end shopping district. Rodeo Drive is home to some of the world's most exclusive designer boutiques and luxury brands.

Visitors can stroll down the Rodeo Drive palm-tree-lined streets and admire the beautifully decorated storefronts or indulge in some luxury shopping.

Another popular attraction in Beverly Hills is the Getty Center , a world-renowned art museum that features an impressive art collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

The Getty Center, the museum's stunning architecture, and breathtaking views of the Los Angeles Basin make it a must-visit destination for art lovers and tourists alike.

Tour Beverly Hills to get an insight into how your favorite actors and musicians live.

Related Article : Best Things to Do in Beverly Hills at Night

15. Original Farmers Market

Original Farmers Market

The Original Farmers Market is a historic landmark and culinary destination in Los Angeles, offering a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, and international cuisine.

It has been serving the city for over 80 years, making it one of the oldest and most beloved farmer's markets in the country.

Visitors can browse the stalls of over 100 vendors , who offer everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses and handmade crafts.

The Original Farmers Market is a perfect destination for foodies and anyone looking for unique, high-quality products.

The market is located just a short drive from Six Flags Magic Mountain, a popular theme park and attraction in Los Angeles.

After a day of thrilling rides and excitement, the Original Farmers Market is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some fresh flavors.

The Original Farmers Market is a must-visit tourist attraction in Los Angeles for anyone looking to experience unique, high-quality products.

With its variety of vendors, restaurants, and cafes, there is something for everyone at this historic landmark. And, located just a short drive from Six Flags Magic Mountain , it is the perfect place to relax and refuel after a day of adventure.

16. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is one of the most extensive natural history museums in the United States.

The museum was established in 1913 and is located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California and it is a gem of the West Coast.

The museum's collection includes over 35 million specimens and artifacts covering a diverse range of topics, including dinosaurs, mammals, birds, insects, marine life, and minerals.

One of the most popular exhibits at the museum is the Dinosaur Hall, which features one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world, including three complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimens.

Just ten minutes from this insightful landmark is the Japanese American National Museum. If you are a culture buff, you should check out these museums in Los Angeles .

17. Sunset Strip in LA

Sunset Strip in LA

The Sunset Strip is a famous mile-and-a-half-long stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California.

It has been a popular destination for tourists and locals alike since the 1920s and is known for its vibrant nightlife, live music venues, and celebrity hotspots .

Throughout the years, the Sunset Strip has been home to several iconic music clubs, including the Whisky a Go Go, the Roxy Theatre, and the Troubadour, which have hosted performances by legendary musicians such as The Doors , Led Zeppelin , and Guns N' Roses .

The area has also been the backdrop for several movies and TV shows, including "La La Land", "Entourage", and "Almost Famous".

18. Getty Center

Getty Center

The Getty Center is a world-renowned art museum located in Los Angeles, California. It was opened in 1997 and is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the other being the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

The Getty Center is located on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains and offers stunning views of Los Angeles and the surrounding area.

The Getty Center Museum's collection includes over 130,000 cultural artifacts from prehistoric times to the present day .

19. Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park is a popular hiking and recreation area located in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, California.

It covers 160 acres and offers stunning views of the city, as well as a variety of hiking trails for visitors of all skill levels.

The park is named after a wealthy landowner and developer, Rudolph C. Runyon, who owned the land in the early 20th century.

Today, the park is a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike, who come to hike, jog, and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery .

Runyon Canyon Park features several hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, that wind through the hills and canyons of the park.

The most popular trail is the Runyon Canyon Loop, which is a 3-mile hike that takes visitors up to the highest point in the park, providing panoramic views of the city below.

FAQs Regarding Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

Let's look at the most frequently asked questions relating to tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

What is the number 1 tourist attraction in LA?

For most travelers, the number one tourist attraction in LA is Beverly Hills and the celebrity houses that reside there. You can tour the streets of Beverly Hills to glimpse the lavish lifestyles of A-listers. Downtown LA is also a major tourist hotspot.

What are the best theme parks in LA?

When you visit Los Angeles, you will want to see the best theme parks in the area. Check out Universal Studios, Disneyland Park, and for the little ones, Pacific Park at Santa Monica.

What is the coolest place in LA?

There are many cool tourist attractions in Los Angeles, such as the Arts District, Hollywood Bowl, Paramount Pictures Studio, and Venice Beach. And if you think nature and science are cool, you'll love the Natural History Museum.

Is there anything worth seeing in Los Angeles?

Yes, there are many things worth seeing in Los Angeles. Here are some popular attractions and destinations that visitors often enjoy: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios Hollywood, the Getty Center, Santa Monica Pier, and the Griffith Observatory.

Summing Up: 19 Best Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is rich with fantastic tourist attractions for the whole family to enjoy.

From contemporary art and the Hollywood Bowl to theme parks and Paramount Pictures Studio, this city has it all.

Downtown LA is where dreams come true, so pack your bags and head out to the City of Lights today. Remember your walking shoes so you can make the most of the Sunset Strip on Sunset Boulevard and all of the other major attractions. And if this is still not enough for you, check out the list of 35 best places to visit in LA .

And remember to book your accommodation, transport, and tickets before you go so you don't miss a thing. Have a great time in Los Angeles.

Warner Bros Studio

Griffith observatory and griffith park.

Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Mountains

Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Getty center, related articles, featured in.

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15 top attractions in los angeles.

Los Angeles is a city full of things to do, from museums , to shopping, to hikes. There’s never a dull moment, if you just know what you’re looking for. A day out is super easy to plan with these top rated tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

If you have just a couple of days to spend or you’re in town for a week or more, you can sink right into these activities, with very little effort. The only issue you’ll face, if any, is getting around, as the traffic can be a bit of a nightmare.

A view of Los Angeles and palm trees, top attractions in Los Angeles

» You might be interested in these 7 National Parks Near Los Angeles and 30 Fun Things To Do In Los Angeles.

» Looking for more help with your Los Angeles trip planning? Check out our full Los Angeles travel guide as well as this useful 2-day LA itinerary . Here’s where to find the best views !

Table of Contents

Must-See Attractions in LA

1. hollywood sign.

The Hollywood Sign

The most iconic Los Angeles landmark, the Hollywood Sign is a must-see for any visitor to the city. It sits atop Mount Lee as a representation of the California film industry and it beckons visitors with multiple hiking trails leading up to it, ranging from 3 to 8 miles round trip, leaving from Griffith Park.

The monument was built in 1923 as an advertising gimmick for a housing complex called Hollywoodland. Each letter is made of white-painted sheet metal and stands 50 feet tall. Over the years, it’s been near destruction, but the city just keeps on finding a way to preserve it.

While you’re trekking around the area looking for views of the sign to take a good photo, you can also drive up into the Hollywood hills to see all the luxury houses.

» Try this tour: The Official Hollywood Sign Walking Tour in Los Angeles

2. Hollywood Walk of Fame

walk of fame

Immortalizing the biggest names in entertainment, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. Walk the same streets as your favorite movie stars at this historic Los Angeles thoroughfare and get a picture of their star on the sidewalk.

If there’s one thing I can say about this attraction it’s that you should set your expectation properly. The old part of Hollywood isn’t what it once was and can be a bit disappointing on first sight.

Near the Walk of Fame, this area is frequented by street performers dressed as various movie characters, musicians, and other entertainers. It’s a unique experience that adds to the Hollywood atmosphere.

3. Griffith Park

A view of Griffith Park

Griffith Park is one of Los Angeles’ most popular outdoor destinations, with dozens of things to do. Visitors can enjoy a hike in the hills (this is where the hike to the Hollywood sign begins), a spin on the merry-go-round, a game of golf, and much more.

The park is also home to the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry Museum of the American West, and Griffith Observatory, which offers stunning views of Los Angeles and its surrounding mountains.

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

4. Griffith Observatory

griffith observatory

This L.A. institution offers stunning views of the city, as well as a variety of educational exhibits on astronomy and science, and a planetarium. The Griffith Observatory is a great place to visit to learn more about the universe. It’s a unique and magical place that you shouldn’t miss. From the observatory, you can get a great view of the Hollywood Sign and the Los Angeles skyline.

The observatory is open to the public every day of the week, and offers free admission. Plan to spend around 2-3 hours looking around.

5. Walt Disney Concert Hall

walt disney concert hall

Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, this Frank Gehry-designed building is a work of art in itself. It’s considered to be one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world.

If you can get a ticket to a show, definitely make this your evening plan. You can also just visit the building, which is architecturally stunning. It’s located at 111 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles and occupies an entire city block. The building took 15 years to build.

» See  upcoming events and get tickets  here.

6. Santa Monica Pier & Beach

Santa Monica Pier and surrounding beach

A classic California beachfront destination, the Santa Monica Pier is a fun place to spend some time. Constructed in 1909, the historic Santa Monica Pier was the first concrete pier on the West Coast and it’s been a focal point of the area ever since. There are tons of things to do in Santa Monica along with some great hiking that will keep you busy for a long weekend for starters.

On the pier, there are rides and games to shops and restaurants. The beach surrounding the pier is lively, with playgrounds, parks, and picnic areas. This is also where you’ll find the original Muscle Beach .

Although Santa Monica Pier and the beach can be quite busy in high season, it’s still worth a visit to see the flashing neon lights on the boardwalk, and to walk along the waterfront. It’s just one of those iconic activities you must do in Los Angeles.

» Try this tour: Private Electric Bike Tour of Santa Monica and Venice Beaches

7. Venice Beach Boardwalk

Venice Beach boardwalk

Another classic Los Angeles beach experience, Venice Beach is known for its unique character and eclectic atmosphere. The Venice Beach boardwalk stretches over two miles, along which you’ll find dozens of street vendors and performers, restaurants and bars.

While Venice Beach doesn’t have the same glitzy appeal as Santa Monica, it’s none the less a great place to hangout. If you’re looking for beach activities, swimming, beach volleyball, fishing, and surfing are popular here. The Venice Breakwater is actually an acclaimed local surf spot .

8. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

One of the largest art museums in the country, LACMA houses a diverse collection spanning centuries and cultures.

The museum is housed in a large, modern building, and its galleries are arranged into chronological order to give visitors a sense of the history of art. LACMA’s collection includes works by Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, and many other famous artists.

9. Rodeo Drive

Rodeo drive street sign

Rodeo Drive is one of Los Angeles’ most famous shopping destinations. This luxury shopping street is home to designer stores, high-end boutiques, and exclusive retailers, like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany, and Gucci.

Rodeo Drive is also a popular tourist destination, and visitors can often see celebrities shopping or dining in the area. The name generally refers to a three-block long stretch of boutiques and shops but the street stretches further north and south.

10. Crypto.com Arena (Formerly Staples Center)

Crypto Arena

The former Staples Center, now called Crypto.com Arena , is a Los Angeles landmark and the home of four professional sports teams: the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), the Los Angeles Clippers (NBA), the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), and the Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA). The arena also hosts concerts and other special events.

With so many events going on at the arena, you’ll likely find something to grab tickets to while you’re in town. The arena is located amongst many of Los Angeles’ best restaurants, so you can make a night of it by going out for dinner before your game or concert.

11. Chinatown

China town Los Angeles

A vibrant and historic Los Angeles neighborhood, Chinatown offers a wealth of shops, restaurants, and cultural experiences. It’s one of my favorite places to visit in Los Angeles because it feels like you’ve found something unique.

Traditional Chinese restaurants, dim sum restaurants, bakeries, specialty grocery stores, and gift shops are all housed in pagoda-style buildings with red lanterns out front, making it feel like a little slice of China in the midst of the concrete jungle. Additionally, there are dimly lit bars, little art galleries, and the Taoist Thien Hau Temple.

If you’re looking for great food beyond the Chinese offerings, check out the iconic Philippe the Original , known for its French dip sandwich.

12. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal studios globe

One of the world’s oldest continuously operating movie studios, Universal® Studios Hollywood presents an entertaining mix of thrill rides and live action shows, plus a tram ride. The large California theme park cleverly integrates the shows and rides with behind-the-scenes presentations on movie-making.

A must-do for movie and TV fans, Universal Studios Hollywood is both a working studio and a theme park with rides based on popular films and TV shows. Enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Super Nintendo World, along with The Simpsons, Jurassic Park, and The Secret Life of Pets.

13. The Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is one of the world’s most famous concert venues. The bowl is an amphitheater that seats over 18,000 people, and it has been host to some of the biggest names in music, including the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, and Bruno Mars. The Hollywood Bowl is also a popular Los Angeles landmark, and its iconic design is recognized around the world.

» See  upcoming events and get tickets  here.

14. The Getty Center

The Getty Center

The Getty Center is a Los Angeles landmark that is home to the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute. This world-renowned art museum features two decorated courtyards and expansive gardens.

The museum is one of the world’s largest art museums, with a collection that spans centuries and cultures, from the Middle Ages to today. The Getty Center is also home to a large garden and an observation deck that offers stunning views of Los Angeles and its surrounding mountains.

Admission to The Getty Center and the Getty Villa Museum are free, but you do need a timed entry ticket, which you can get on their homepage .

15. The Grove

los angeles top tourist attractions

The Grove is a Los Angeles landmark that is home to some of the city’s best shopping and dining. The Grove is a popular destination for Los Angeles residents and tourists alike, and visitors can find stores like Apple, Tiffany & Co., and Burberry here.

The Grove also has a large movie theater, as well as plenty of restaurants to choose from. Grab a quick Umami Burger or sit down for a more sophisticated Italian meal at La Piazza . It’s just shopping, but elevated, and it’s a chill activity for a day out in Los Angeles.

16. Peterson Automotive Museum

Peterson Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum stands as a mecca for car enthusiasts, showcasing an extensive collection of automobiles that chronicle the evolution of automotive influence over the years.

Located on Wilshire Boulevard, this museum is not just about cars; it’s about the stories behind them, the people who built them, and the culture they’ve created.

The striking exterior, with its unique stainless-steel ribbon design, is a work of art in itself. Inside, visitors can explore multiple floors of exhibits featuring more than 100 vehicles – from classic models to futuristic concept cars.

The museum also offers interactive exhibits, making it a dynamic destination for families and car aficionados alike. Whether you’re a motorhead or just curious about the impact of cars on society and popular culture, the Petersen Automotive Museum is a must-visit destination in LA.

More Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

If this list wasn’t enough for you, don’t worry there’s more! I mean, there are literally dozens of things to do in Los Angeles, but we’re trying to give you only the very best so you don’t have to make decisions. Just go and have fun.

  • Universal Studios Hollywood : A film studio and theme park with attractions and rides based on famous movies, offering a behind-the-scenes look at movie-making.
  • Disneyland Resort : Located in nearby Anaheim, this iconic theme park is a world of its own, with rides, attractions, and entertainment based on Disney characters and stories.
  • The Getty Center : Home to a vast collection of artworks, sculptures, and decorative arts from various periods, set within a modern architectural masterpiece with stunning gardens.
  • The Broad : A contemporary art museum in downtown LA, housing a significant collection of post-war and modern art.
  • TCL Chinese Theatre : An iconic Hollywood movie palace known for its celebrity handprints and footprints in the forecourt.
  • Dodger Stadium : A must-visit for baseball fans, offering games in a classic setting with views of the San Gabriel Mountains.
  • LA Live : An entertainment complex in downtown LA, featuring music venues, nightclubs, restaurants, a bowling alley, and a movie theater.

Best Hotels for Tourists in Los Angeles

When visiting Los Angeles, choosing the right hotel can enhance your experience in this dynamic city. Here are two of the best Los Angeles hotels that I recommend for tourists. They’re in the best places near top sights.

  • A member of Design Hotels is in the city center.
  • On the Travel + Leisure best new hotels list.
  • Walk to a number of the top attractions downtown.
  • Luxury spa hotel, walk to The Broad and Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • The hotel has a stylish design, a terrace, and several dining options.
  • The hotel has great reviews.

Los Angeles is a city with plenty to offer visitors. From world-famous tourist destinations like Hollywood and Rodeo Drive, to lesser known but equally fascinating attractions like The Grove, there is something for everyone in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for a fun and interesting vacation destination, Los Angeles should be at the top of your list.

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Laura in California

Laura is a travel fanatic who loves seeing and doing new things. She lives in Ventura, CA, and spends a lot of time exploring California’s cities, beaches, and national parks.

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The 18 Best Things to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

los angeles top tourist attractions

TripSavvy / Amanda Blackard

Unlike other large cities, many people visit Los Angeles without ever setting foot downtown, preferring to spend their time at the beach near Santa Monica or strolling around Hollywood . And while the downtown area may lack the most iconic attractions that people come to see in Los Angeles, those who venture into this underrated neighborhood know that it's rich with historic  architecture , cultural attractions, and some of the best foodie hotspots in the city.

Here are the 18 best things to do downtown, from visiting historic sites, museums, and watching live theater performances, to strolling around the many iconic districts that help shape downtown into what it is.

Eat Sushi in Little Tokyo

There are only three official Japantowns in the United States, and all three of them are in California. The one in Los Angeles, known as Little Tokyo, is the largest of the three and also a National Historic Landmark. Apart from actually going to Japan, it's one of the most authentic Japanese experiences you can have and the perfect place to pick up some typical snacks, flip through some manga comics, or enjoy a cup of matcha tea.

Perhaps the best time of the day to explore Little Tokyo is around lunch, dinner, or anytime you're hungry. Several local eateries offer traditional Japanese and Japanese-American cuisine, from hot bowls of ramen to the fun-to-eat (and say) shabu-shabu . Also, don't miss out on trying a California roll from any one of the sushi restaurants in the area ⎯ it was invented right in the neighborhood.

Take a Ride on the Tram

It may not have the same global recognition as the San Francisco cable car or the Lisbon tram , but the Angels Flight Railway is still one of the most iconic landmarks in downtown L.A. (and even more so since it appeared in the Oscar-winning Best Picture, "La La Land"). The funicular train has been shuttling passengers one block—albeit one very steep block—since 1901, from Hill Street to Olive Street.

The cost is $1 to ride it one-way, or 50 cents if you have an L.A. Metro pass. You can ride the tram in either direction but enter at Hill Street to ride it uphill and avoid making the steep climb on foot.

Check Out Contemporary Art for Free

If you're into contemporary art, two of Southern California's preeminent museums are not just in downtown Los Angeles, but they're across the street from each other and both are free to enter.

The Broad —pronounced like "brode"—is the newer contemporary art museum that opened in 2015 on Grand Avenue, next to the Walt Disney Disney Concert Hall . Built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the 120,000-square-foot museum houses their personal and their foundation's art collection of more than 2,000 works by over 200 different artists, including the museum's most Instagrammable exhibit, the Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama.

Walk out of the Broad and cross the street to enter the Museum of Contemporary Art , which locals just call the "MOCA." The MOCA doesn't have any permanent exhibits, so check ahead to see what's on display at the time of your trip.

Visit El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument at Olvera Street

TripSavvy / Christian Hundley 

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, more commonly known simply as Olvera Street, is the location of the oldest remaining structure in Los Angeles, the Avila Adobe. However, it's the Mexican Marketplace running up and down the pedestrian street that primarily draws visitors. The Marketplace started in 1930 and was originally conceived as a way to rejuvenate the dilapidated neighborhood by bringing in the charm of old-world Mexico with locals selling their crafts and hosting vivacious fiestas. Nearly a century later, Olvera Street is still one of the most popular attractions in downtown Los Angeles.

It is also the home of the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes , a museum that charts Latino history from the arrival of the first 11 Mexican families who were among the earliest settlers in Los Angeles.

Olvera Street is a one-block pedestrian zone across from Union Station, which is served by the red and gold lines of the  Metro .

See a Show at the Disney Concert Hall

TripSavvy / Christian Hundley

The Los Angeles Music Center consists of a group of original theaters that are home to the city's drama, dance, and opera companies, the most famous of which is the architecturally stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. It's home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, one of the most celebrated orchestras in the country. The "winter season" of the LA Phil at the Disney Concert Hall typically runs from October to June (in the summer, they play at the Hollywood Bowl ).

Even if you can't make it to a concert or tickets are outside of your budget, it's worth visiting the Disney Concert Hall just to appreciate the building itself. Guided tours of the inside are available for free (or you can choose to wander around yourself) but don't forget about the outside of the building. Gehry designed the hall to be explored from all sides and angles, including the exterior staircases that take visitors right up to the roof.

Feast at the Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market is an indoor public market on Broadway between Third and Fourth streets in downtown. The market has been open continuously since 1917 and has always housed a mix of greengrocers, butchers, delis, bakers, and prepared food vendors. The culinary offerings in the market have always been fresh and local, although they have become more "artisanal and gourmet" compared to its early days. The options today also represent the diversity of the local area, including Thai street food, Salvadoran pupusas, and several flavors from Mexico.

The market is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., but individual vendors may set their own hours. If you're arriving by public transportation, take the red or purple line of the metro to Pershing Square.

Explore the Fashion District in Los Angeles

The Fashion District is a great place to shop for bargain clothes, textiles, and accessories. Previously known as the Garment District, this expansive neighborhood sits in the southern part of downtown L.A. and specializes in retail and wholesale for all types of clothing. One of the most popular areas is a street of outdoor shopping called Santee Alley, where you can find great deals and cheap knock-off brands.

Many businesses are closed on Sundays, so it's not as busy if you want to roam but there's not nearly as much selection. Aspiring designers will also love  The Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising  (FIDM) at Ninth Street and Grand, just outside the Fashion District, which has a gallery that features costume exhibits from movies and television.

Get Lost in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District

Even though there's an endless option of art museums and galleries to visit around Los Angeles, none of them offer what you can find in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District . It's nestled between Alameda Street and the L.A. River on the east side of downtown, and this industrial area has been a flourishing artist community since the 1970s. Most notable are the larger-than-life murals that dominate the walls and are constantly changing. In fact, it's one of the best places to see street art in all of California.

Apart from the murals, the neighborhood also has a high density of studios and galleries that are free to enter. For an immersive experience and a comprehensive history of the Arts District, several companies offer guided tours of the area, such as L.A. Art Tours .

Take a Tour of Los Angeles City Hall

Completed in 1928, the 32-story Los Angeles City Hall was the tallest building in the city until modern building methods allowed taller, high-rise buildings to appear in the 1960s. The building is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and is still home to the mayor and city council office chambers. It is part of the Civic Center district, which also includes county, state, and federal buildings, and has appeared in dozens of TV shows, movies, and video games. You can walk in and explore on your own with the self-guided tour materials available at the information desk on the third floor, but whatever you do, be sure to take the elevator up to the free observation deck on the 27th floor.

Enjoy the Sun at Grand Park

It isn't easy finding refuge in all of the commotion of downtown L.A., but Grand Park is a 12-acre oasis nuzzled in between the skyscrapers. It stretches for over three blocks of tranquil green space, making it the perfect location to escape from a day of trekking around the concrete jungle. At the west end of the park, the restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain includes a spouted wading area that is a favorite place to cool off on hot summer days. At night, a light show draws romantic strolling couples and photo enthusiasts. The park also includes 24 botanic gardens inspired by the six floristic kingdoms of the world and plenty of green lawn for playing and relaxing.

Browse Around at The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore, at the corner of Fifth and Spring streets in Downtown Los Angeles, has become an international tourist draw. They don't just sell, buy, and trade second-hand books and records at The Last Bookstore. They've created an intriguing combination of quirky art and wide-ranging literature in a really unique space. The bones of the original architecture are allowed to shine through with a painted beamed ceiling supported by classic columns. The second floor wraps around the open first floor with a balcony walkway, keeping your eyes busy with everything going on above and below. Upstairs houses unique art studios and galleries, a knitting shop, and a labyrinth of more books, including the dollar room with over 100,000 books for $1.

There are some overstuffed sofas and chairs around for reading, but you're just as likely to see people pull up a spot on the floor wherever they've discovered treasure among the stacks. The Last Bookstore hosts a variety of events from book signings, author talks, and art openings to comedy shows, music performances, and open mic nights.

Visit Union Station Los Angeles

Museimage / Getty Images

Union Station is still the hub of long-distance and commuter rail transportation in Los Angeles, serving Amtrak, MetroLink, and MTA Metro trains. It's also worth visiting as an architectural landmark, with a gorgeous waiting hall and public areas. The historic station was built in 1939 and is a mix of Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival, Art Deco, and modern architectural styles.

Enjoy a Meal at Engine Co. No. 28

Courtesy of Engine Co. No. 28

Housed in an old fire station, Engine Co. No. 28 serves delicious American-styled dishes inspired by old recipes from firehouses throughout the nation. The building was originally built in 1912 and operated as a full-fledged fire station until its closure in 1967. A little more than 20 years later, the station was renovated and opened as a restaurant.

Their specialties include New York steak, meatloaf, a firehouse chili, and a few other American and Southern staples. You can make reservations for indoor or heated outdoor seating through their website, where they guarantee they can put out your "appetite fire."

Catch a Fly Ball at Dodger Stadium

John Liu / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

If you're itching to catch a baseball game while you're visiting L.A., why not stop in at Dodger Stadium? The stadium itself is iconic, it's the third-oldest continually used stadium in the MLB, and even if you aren't a baseball fan, you've probably caught a glimpse of it in one of its many movie appearances. ("Benny The Jet" Rodriguez became a Dodger and played here at the end of "The Sandlot.")

If you're interested in seeing more of the iconic stadium itself, they offer 90-minute tours that cost just $25 for adults.

Pick Up a Book at the Los Angeles Central Library

Jim Winstead / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Considered an architectural landmark, the Los Angeles Central Library (also known as the Richard J. Riordan Central Library) is one of the leading public research libraries located in downtown L.A. Not only is it listed as a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument, but it's also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The main building was built during the mid-1920s and is a beautiful example of the art deco architecture of that period.

Besides the stunning architecture and the flood of knowledge in the building, visitors can also explore the Maguire Gardens on the library's west side.

Visit the California Science Center

ray_explores / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

If you're looking for hands-on fun for the entire family, what better place to visit than the California Science Center? Open seven days a week with free general admission to four of its main exhibit areas, this is an easy stop on any itinerary.

Become fire safety experts at the "Fire! Science & Safety" exhibit, study where life began and how it changes in the "Life! Beginnings"  exhibit, and live out your astronaut dreams in the "Humans in Space" exhibit.

Their mission is to promote learning and wonder through fun and entertaining experiences, as they believe science is the future.

Explore Music History at the GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live

Mario RM / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

The GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live is dedicated to its mission—cultivating interest and appreciation for music history. Their exhibits range from appreciating what artists wear on the red carpet with their "On the Red Carpet" exhibit to an immersive experience of their "Mono to Immersive" exhibition, where visitors can experience their favorite artists' sound on the classic gramophone.

Adult tickets are $18, and the museum is open every day except Tuesday.

Admire the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Clinton Steeds / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Some of the most impressive pieces of architecture are buildings of worship, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels is no exception. The building was finished in the spring of 2002 and is said to feature virtually no right angles, as the "geometry contributes to the Cathedral's feeling of mystery and its aura of majesty," they state on their website .

Inside, visitors will find stunning stained glass windows in the mausoleum, tall bronze doors, and beautifully done hanging tapestry, the largest amount in a Catholic church in the United States.

National Park Service. "Little Tokyo Historic District." Retrieved April 2, 2021

Britannica. "California Roll." Retrieved April 2, 2021

County of LA. "History." Retrieved April 2, 2021

Arts District LA. "Arts District History." Retrieved April 2, 2021

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  • Los Angeles

55 Best Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

best tourist attractions in Los Angeles

  • 6 Pinterest

Boasting year-round sunshine, a booming entertainment industry and glamorous celebrity hangouts , Los Angeles is an exciting destination to explore at any time of year.

Home to Hollywood — the movie capital of the world , the city offers lots of ways to experience the celebrity thrills of the silver screen for yourself. Tour some of the famous movie studios , including Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros and Walt Disney, and see historic movie houses such as The TCL Chinese Theatre, El Capitan and the Egyptian Theatre.

Take a guided tour through the exclusive neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Malibu to spot celebrity homes , and visit the famous Hollywood Sign to snap a selfie! These are just a few of the popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles .

Tons of exciting family-friendly theme parks are waiting to be experienced, such as the ever-popular Disneyland Resort, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Explore the city’s natural treasures, including the Los Angeles Zoo, La Brea Tar Pits and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Cool off with a visit to the Raging Waters Water Park or check out LEGOLAND California for rides and attractions for younger children .

With so much to discover, here are some of the must-see tourist attractions in the City of Angels .

1 – Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles

By far one of the most popular tourist attractions in the City of Angels, Universal Studios Hollywood lets everyone experience the action and glamour of the movies .

For all of you aspiring magic-makers, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter offers tons of thrills and enchanting encounters .

Join Harry on The Forbidden Journey and ride through the dusty corridors of Hogwarts and beyond, or climb aboard the Hippogriff for a high-flying adventure like no other.

Check out some of the biggest rides and shows based on Universal Studios ‘ top blockbuster movies. Experience the prehistoric exhilaration of Jurassic World – The Ride, and witness all the explosions and stunts of the park’s hit show, Waterworld.

Take the Studio Tour to travel inside scenes from some of your favorite movies and explore sights and locations from popular films and TV series .

Come face to face with the notorious shark, Jaws and visit Hitchcock’s infamous “Psycho” Bates Motel. Travel through the aftermath of the War of the Worlds and see the largest immersive ride on earth at the King Kong 360 3D.

Universal Studios is a must-visit on a trip to Los Angeles . This is a place where dreams are made, every day!

  • Universal Studios Hollywood tickets

See also: Cheap Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets – How to Save up to 30%

2 – Los Angeles Zoo

Los Angeles Zoo

For a chance to glimpse a whole host of exotic and native animals and plants , Los Angeles Zoo is a great option while visiting the city.

It has a wide variety of creatures from all over the world including the tropics of Asia , the African Savannahs , Australia and the South American rainforests .

The zoo is home to over 2,000 creatures and 270 different species so there is a lot to see. Witness curious chimpanzees and elegant elephants, jaguars, ocelots and much more.

As well as mammals the park is also home to fascinating amphibians and reptiles , including a host of snakes, Komodo Dragons and ancient species like Indian Gharial crocodiles and Gila Monsters.

You can also see invertebrates such as Hissing Cockroaches and Desert Hairy Scorpions, colorful tropical fish and magnificent birds such as flamingos, kookaburra and toucans.

The zoo also includes some stunning botanical gardens with plants from all over the world — creating a wide range of environments. See the wild bird gardens, which attract native wildlife to the zoo as well as its Cycad, Gingko and Mexican Fan Palm collections.

3 – TCL Chinese Theatre

TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles

For nearly 100 years , TCL Chinese Theatre has been the go-to place in the city for glitzy movie premieres and events .

The theatre hosts around 50 movie premiere each year so is a great place to spot celebrities. It is one of a few remaining classic movie houses from the golden age of the silver screen — so a night out at the Chinese Theatre is bound to be memorable.

Outside of the theatre are the famous Hollywood handprints — featuring over 200 signatures and prints in the concrete. Here you’ll find prints from some of the world’s biggest stars , including Marilyn Monroe but also some of the more unusual stars of yesteryear, such as R2-D2 from Star Wars and Champion the Wonder Horse.

Take the opportunity to catch a movie here and experience this decadent “Old Hollywood” theatre. This is one of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for film fans and movie lovers should definitely check out this iconic piece of Hollywood History.

Hot tip: The best Hollywood tours provide an insider’s view of the movie industry, from historic theaters to the latest filming locations.

4 – NBA game

NBA game in Los Angeles, California

Formerly known as the Staples Center , Crypto.com Arena is the place to go in Los Angeles to see some of the best professional sports action.

The arena is home to the biggest names in Los Angeles basketball , including the LA Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers NBA teams and the Los Angeles Sparks women’s basketball team. Ice hockey fans can catch games by the LA Kings NHL hockey team at Crypto.com arena.

The venue has hosted diverse sports competitions , including U.S and World figure skating championships, the Summer X Games, as well as championship tennis, boxing and UFC matches.

It is also home to some of the city’s biggest concerts with artists such as Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen have performed there.

Check out the website to see what events are on during your time in the city.

5 – Hop on hop off bus tour

hop on hop off bus tour in Los Angeles

One of the best value and most thorough ways to tour the city is on a Hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

See all the must-see locations of Tinsel Town on these specially devised sightseeing bus rides . Climb on board the open-air double-decker buses and explore locations across the city, including Hollywood , Beverly Hills and the Santa Monica Pier .

Start your journey at one of 45 different stops across Los Angeles and hop off wherever you like. Discover the glitz and glamor of the Hollywood Hills or take a stroll down the canals of Venice Beach.

These great value tours allow you to ride as many times as you like for the duration of the ticket so that you don’t need a car to explore LA . Just sit back and take in the sights and sounds of the City of Angels.

Enjoy the onboard commentary to hear a host of fun anecdotes, history and useful information about the sights you pass. Now that’s traveling!

  • bus tours in Los Angeles

Hot tip: The best bus tours in Los Angeles offer an insider’s perspective on the city’s rich history, culture, and entertainment industry.

6 – Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden

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

One of the best cultural destinations to explore in the city, Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens has a lot to discover.

Founded in 1919, the library is one of the world’s greatest research institution s and holds over 11 million volumes in its expansive collection, dating from the 11th-Century to the present day.

It contains diverse materials such as medieval manuscripts , American , British and Hispanic history , English literature and a collection of maps and atlases to name but a few.

Its art collection is also notable and houses around 42,000 works focusing mainly on European Art between the years 1600-1900 and American Art from the Colonial era to the present day.

It has a thorough selection of British artworks , including decorative arts from the likes of William Morris & Co as well as paintings by Constable and Turner.

Nature lovers will really enjoy exploring the Botanical Gardens which house unique collections of Bonsai, cycads, camellia and orchid s. The full gardens cover 120 acres and include 16 themed gardens to discover .

This place is fun for the whole family and is one of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for those seeking a little culture.

7 – Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

Without a doubt, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles is a celebrity homes tour of Beverly Hills .

These popular bus tours give visitors the chance to see the glamorous abodes of Hollywood’s super-rich and famous . Nestled in among some of the most expensive houses on Earth you can see the homes of major celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise .

If you’re traveling on a budget why not explore the twists and turns of Mulholland Drive to grab amazing views of Beverly Hills from above . Alternatively, check out Greystone Mansion and Park or hire a bike and cycle around.

If you’re feeling particularly decadent why not try out one of the city’s fantastic restaurants or do some shopping at the upmarket stores and boutiques of Rodeo Drive .

You can have a lot of fun here just strolling the palm-lined streets and taking in the utter luxury that most of us can only dream of. It’s the one-and-only Beverly Hills!

  • Beverly Hills tours

See also: Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Tours- All you Need to Know

8 – Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain near Los Angeles

With over 100 rides and attractions — including 19 fast and furious roller coasters to choose from, Six Flags Magic Mountain is a thrill-seekers paradise .

Adventure junkies will love the X2 which takes roller coasters to a whole new level with a combination of music, sound effects and fireballs.

Coaster-connoisseurs will enjoy taking on the Goliath, which has one of the longest and fastest drops in the world reaching speeds of up to 85mph on a 281 ft descent.

Only just getting warmed up? You can Hop onboard Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom to experience the tallest and fastest drop tower ride on Eart h, or hit up the Twisted Colossus to try out the world’s longest hybrid roller coaster.

There are also plenty of great family-friendly rides that are sure to put a smile on the face of everyone and little ones can grab a photo with their favorite Looney Tunes and Justice League characters .

With a host of great shows on offer and dozens of restaurants and snack bars to choose from, a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain is a day to remember forever.

9 – Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific, Los Angeles

One of the most popular aquariums in the United States , the Aquarium of the Pacific is home to over 12,000 creatures , all of which are native to the Pacific Ocean regions.

With more than 100 exhibits to check out , there’s plenty to see here. As well as the magnificent creatures from the deep you can also see adorable penguins, otters, seals,  frogs and colorful lorikeets .

Explore the Coral Lagoon to see tropical flashlight fish and clownfish as well as green sea turtles and many more. See colorful living coral that glow-in-the-dark and discover more about this fascinating underwater creature.

Explore the murky depths of the Shark Lagoon and come face-to-face with these magnificent hunters. See ferocious-looking sand tiger sharks , and elegant leopard sharks and get the chance to feed and stroke a ray .

This is a great place for kids and adults alike to discover the natural wonders of the Pacific , the world’s most diverse ocean.

  • Aquarium of the Pacific tickets

10 – California Science Center

California Science Center, Los Angeles

One of the best free tourist attractions in Los Angeles , California Science Center makes learning super fun.

See one of only three surviving Endeavour Space shuttles — and the only one on the West Coast.

Glimpse amazing fighter jets and spy planes such as the A-12 Blackbird and F-20 Tigershark as well as early aircraft, including a Velie Monocoupe and a replica of the famous Wright Glider from 1902 .

Catch a movie in the IMAX theatre or discover underwater worlds and Earth’s most hostile environments in the Ecosystems exhibit. There are lots to see and do at the California Science Center and many opportunities to learn and explore more about the world around us.

General admission to the permanent exhibits is without charge but does not include the temporary exhibits and IMAX theater.

11 – Whale Watching in Long Beach

Whale Watching in Long Beach, Los Angeles

People have been enjoying whale watching tours off the Los Angeles coast for nearly seventy years.

Some of the most common species spotted include grey Pacific whales and blue whales , the largest creature on Earth . You can also spot a number of other beautiful marine mammals including dolphins, humpback whales and occasionally killer whales .

Because whales are migratory the likelihood of spotting certain species increases at different times of the year. The winter months are better for spotting grey Pacific whales and in summer , visitors are more likely to see blue whales as they pass through the warm Pacific waters.

Any chance to see whales and dolphins in their natural environment is sure to be an unforgettable experience for all involved. Try one of these Long Beach boat trips while you’re in the city for the voyage of a lifetime.

  • whale watching in Los Angeles

Hot tip: Discover our list of fun things to do in Long Beach .

12 – Raging Waters Water Park

Raging Waters Water Park, Los Angeles

The largest waterpark in California , Raging Waters is the perfect place to cool off on those hot Southern California days.

With over 50 acres of slides, pools and rides there’s something for everyone here. Face your fears on the vertical drop slides or take it easy in the Little Dipper Lagoon — this is fun for the whole family .

Bombs Away is the park’s newest water slide and it combines huge drops at speeds of 28 feet per second , this one is not for the faint of heart.

Check out the Aqua Rocket and Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror for further thrills or take a lazy ride on the Amazon Adventure . Increase the action on the Thunder Rapids raft ride or head into the twists and turns of the triple-flume Bermuda Triangle .

There’s plenty for smaller children too such as the Kids Cove, Splash Island Adventure park and Volcano Fantasea which will keep them amused for hours. Don’t miss a trip to Raging Waters Water Park during your time in Los Angeles.

13 – Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign from Griffith Park

If this is your first trip to Los Angeles you have to grab a picture in front of the famous Hollywood Sign .

Though you can see it from almost anywhere in Beverly Hills , there are a number of ways you can get closer to snap that perfect shot.

One of the most dramatic has to be on a helicopter tour and flyby of the sign . See the magnificent views of the Hollywood Hills and the gleaming white letters high up on Mount Lee.

A great low-budget way to see the sign is on a hike up to Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park . You can hike the 3 miles to the sign from here or just enjoy the views.

Of course, there are many other ways to see what is probably the world’s most iconic sign . You can join one of many tours and jump aboard a tour bus, take a guided hike or even a private tour in a Ferrari!

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See also: Helicopter Tours in Los Angeles – Which One Is the Best?

14 – Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

Internationally renowned as one of the world’s most acoustically advanced music venues , The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a must-visit for classical music lovers .

Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra , this Frank Gehry-designed building is an architectural highlight of the city . Its vibrant exterior is a complex mixture of stainless steel waves and curves.

The inside is as striking as the outside and the hall’s auditorium is clad almost entirely in hardwoods — creating a warm and resonant space with fantastic acoustics . The sound inside the hall is so excellent, it is sometimes considered an instrument in itself .

It also has an innovative design that puts the orchestra in the center of the seating area rather than being detached from it, creating a more intimate experience for the performers and audience .

Sitting in the center of all this is the bespoke 6,134 pipe organ with its dramatic square pipes, often referred to as “French fries”.

Visitors with an interest in classical music shouldn’t miss a trip to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. There probably isn’t a better venue in the whole world to hear your favorite music in.

15 – Petersen Automotive Museum

Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles

With one of the largest private car collections in the world , Petersen Automotive Museum houses some of the finest and rarest cars in history .

Join a guided tour of The Vault which houses over 250 iconic vehicles such as a Round Door Rolls Royce, the first V12 Ferrari ever — a Ferrari 125 S, and famous movie cars, including the original Back to the Future DeLorean and Michael Keaton’s 1989 Batmobile.

The museum also hosts some of the best temporary automotive exhibits around such as “Bond in Motion” — a selection of iconic vehicles from the James Bond movies , as well as Hypercars and Formula One vehicles all under one roof.

You can also catch awesome exhibits exploring the history and future of electric vehicles from major manufacturers such as Volkswagen.

This is one of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for car and movie buffs but also makes a fun day for the whole family . Check it out while you’re in the city.

  • Petersen Automotive Museum tickets

16 – LEGOLAND® California

LEGOLAND California, Los Angeles

A seriously fun place to visit with kids , LEGOLAND Resort California has lots to see and experience, including the LEGOLAND park itself, SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Water Park .

With over 60 rides and attractions to experience, LEGOLAND California is sure to be a big hit with younger children. There’s a host of kid-friendly roller coasters , adventure playgrounds and activities that will kindle their imagination and curiosity.

SEA LIFE Aquarium is home to more than 6,000 creatures and over 250 species . Grab the chance to see some of the most incredible creatures of the deep, including species of sharks, rays, starfish and seahorses or explore the Touch Pools and stroke a spiny sea urchin.

If you can’t stand the heat any longer, take a refreshing dip at LEGOLAND Water Park . With seven slides as well as wave pools , beaches and a build-your-own raft river , there’s enough to keep everyone entertained.

For the ultimate experience, why not stay at one of the LEGOLAND Hotels and sleep in style in one of the pirate, Ninjago and adventure-themed rooms.

17 – MLB game

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

The Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium has been home to the Major League Baseball team since it moved to the city from New York in 1958.

The famous Dodger Stadium in its hilltop setting surrounded by towering palm trees is one of the fan favorites among all the MLB venues in the country.

It can seat 56,000 fans and has been the setting for some record-breaking sporting moments , including one of the longest home winning streaks in modern baseball.

Why not catch a game at Dodger Stadium or take a tour of the grounds? Step onto the field and see the team’s 2020 World Series trophy . Visit the Bullpen and take a look inside the team’s weight room and batting cages .

Sports fans will have a blast visiting this iconic Major League Baseball stadium — right in the heart of the city.

18 – Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm, Orange County

One of the most popular theme parks and tourist attractions in Los Angeles , Knotts Berry Farm has been the go-to place for fun-seekers for nearly a century.

What started as a small berry farm and restaurant — renowned for its chicken dinners, has grown to be one of the largest and oldest theme parks in California , covering up to 160 acres with rides , shows and attractions .

Take a trip back in time to the Old West Ghost Town and experience the thrills of cowboy country. Ride the exhilarating Calico Mine Train in the pitch black or discover one of the world’s longest and tallest wooden rollercoasters — GhostRider.

If roller coasters aren’t your thing why not take a trip on the Grand Sierra Railroad or visit the blacksmith’s shop for a unique demonstration.

As well as hair-raising white-knuckle rides, there’s plenty for younger kids too. Check out Camp Snoopy and explore the Peanuts-themed rides and attractions or visit the splash-tastic waterparks to cool off from the Southern California sun.

Round off the day with dinner and one of the famous boysenberry cream sodas at the old west-style Calico Saloon. A trip to Knotts Berry Farm is fun for the whole family .

  • Knott’s Berry Farm tours

19 – Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Hollywood Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles

One of the best, and most beautiful, places to see a theatrical production in the city has to be the Pantages Theatre .

Located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine , Pantages Theatre has been a center of entertainment in the city since it first opened in 1930. Its grand opening was a major red carpet event in the city that attracted all the biggest stars of the era.

The stunning architecture and interior decoration were restored to its 1930s art deco splendor in the year 2000.

In its near 100 year history, it has hosted movie premieres, including the 1963 premiere of Cleopatra, The Academy Awards from 1950-59 and many of Hollywood’s biggest live shows .

It now mainly hosts major Broadway plays and musicals , including The Lion King, Hamilton and Moulin Rouge.

20 – Hollywood Wax Museum®

Hollywood Wax Museum, Los Angeles

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Wax Museum .

Since it first opened in 1965 it has been thrilling visitors with face-to-face encounters with the silver screen’s most recognizable characters. Visitors are invited to join in too!

There are tons of fun props and scenarios to enjoy here. Why not hit up an A-list party, sing along with your favorite pop star or get hitched to a Hollywood icon.

Though there are many waxworks of Hollywood’s most beautiful faces , there are also plenty of frightful creatures from the big screen in the museum’s Chamber of Horrors.

This classic wax museum is one of the most visited attractions on Hollywood Boulevard and has become an iconic landmark in its own right. Check it out for thrills and frights galore!

21 – Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Known as a popular hiking destination and a place to see the famous Hollywood sign , there’s a lot more to Griffith Observatory than just that.

The observatory is home to one of the only live narrated planetarium shows on Earth . It houses a number of high-quality telescopes that are free for the public to use.

Its historic Zeiss telescope has allowed more than seven million people to gaze up into the night sky since it was opened in 1935. This is more than any other public telescope in the world.

The Griffith Observatory also houses three solar telescopes that give visitors a chance to observe the surface of the sun at any given moment.

Looking for a one-of-a-kind show? Try the Samuel Oschin Planetarium to catch a live narrated show that really brings the stars to life.

There are also a host of other engaging exhibits to explore which allows us to discover more about the universe around us. The Griffith Observatory is a great free attraction that is fun for the whole family .

  • Griffith Park tours

22 – Skirball Cultural Center

Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles

There’s always lots to see and do for the whole family at the Skirball Cultural Center .

The organization hosts a wide range of fun exhibits covering everything from art, photography, television and movies and much more.

Some of its recent exhibitions have focused on the work of the legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, the cultural significance of Star Trek and the photographs of Stanley Kubrick.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring the Discovery Center which allows them to experiment with archeology and learn about the similarities we share with our distant ancestors.

One of the center’s most-popular exhibits is Noah’s Ark , a wooden recreation of the biblical ship that has many fun things to see, play with and experience. This is great for parents with younger kids who can build and experiment to their heart’s content while making friends and having fun.

You can also take a variety of classes at the Skirball Center or join in art and music events, discussion groups and much more.

23 – Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

With  over 2,700 stars represented  there, your trip to Los Angeles is not completed without visiting the  world’s most famous sidewalk .

Yes, we are talking about the  Walk of Fame , right in the heart of Hollywood, spanning more than 1 mile  along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street .

Receiving around  10 million visitors per year , here you’ll find some of the  most prominent names in various fields , such as film, TV, radio, live performance and music – and if you can’t find your idol there, did you know you can submit a nomination? (Even though it has a $250 fee and requires an agreement letter from their manager.)

To make sure you don’t miss any of the stars you want to visit, use the “ search for the star ” feature and quickly locate them and take a lot of pictures !

24 – Dolby Theatre

Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles

One of the world’s most state-of-the-art entertainment venues , Dolby Theatre offers visitors the next generation of sound and vision .

This Holywood Boulevard landmark is one of the best places in the city to see television and movie stars in person .

It is the venue for the yearly Academy Awards Ceremony — or The Oscars as it is commonly known, as well as regular screenings of hit TV shows and Q&As with cast and crew members.

It also hosts huge performances including Broadway productions, shows from Cirque du Soleil and even America’s Got Talent .

Its world-leading sound system is probably the most sophisticated ever produced and artists including Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and The Dixie Chicks have all performed here.

For one of the best quality audio visual experiences you’ll ever get, Dolby Theatre is the place to be.

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25 – El Capitan Theatre

El Capitan Theatre, Los Angeles

El Capitan is one of three famous theatres built by Charles Toberman and Sid Grauman in the 1920s — the other two being the Egyptian Theatre and Chinese Theatre which are both major Hollywood landmarks .

It was originally designed as a playhouse but was converted into a movie theatre in the early 1940s. It features elaborate Indian-style decorations throughout its interior.

It has seen its fair share of Hollywood parties also. The premiere of Orson Well’s movie-masterpiece Citizen Kane was held at El Capitan on May 8, 1941.

It has been the location for a number of Walt Disney Movie premieres since the Rocketeer debuted there in 1991 and is one of the best theatres in the city to catch some of your Disney favorites .

Definitely check out the theatre’s original Wurlitzer organ from the 1920s which is one of only five ever built.

26 – Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Los Angeles

One of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for those traveling on a budget , Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is located in a beautiful spot on the San Pedro waterfront .

The aquarium has free admission every day — although a donation is kindly requested , and allows visitors to learn a lot about the city’s coastal habitats .

There are over 200 species of animals that call the center home and multiple exhibits to explore covering everything from the tidal shores and kelp forests to the open ocean.

Channel your inner scientist in the Exploration Center, where you’ll use your senses and scientific tools to analyze the coastal habitats . Immerse yourself in the Crawl In Aquarium, where you are surrounded by colorful fish and sea creatures.

Check out the Discovery Center for fun activities and Naturalist’s Corner where you can view minuscule creatures under a microscope .

There’s also an extensive museum and friendly staff on hand to guide your visit and offer information. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is a must-see for nature lovers in Los Angeles .

27 – Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles

In the mood for some more fascinating discoveries? The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has lots to see and uncover.

Take a trip back in time some 65 million years in the Museum’s Dinosaur Hall. See the bones of some of the most ferocious hunters that ever lived, including rare skeletons of baby and young Tyrannosaurus Rex .

See dozens of the largest skeletons in the museum’s collection and over 300 fossils , including the fossilized remains of a triceratops .

The museum itself is housed in a beautiful beaux-arts building that dates from 1913 and visitors shouldn’t miss the magnificent “Three Graces” statue that stands in its Eastern Entrance.

You can also glimpse the remains of extinct creatures such as the American Mastodon, watch scientists examine fossils in the Dino Lab and see a stunning collection of gems and stones , including the largest gold nugget in California.

Take time to stroll around the Nature Gardens too which are home to over 600 kinds of plants.

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28 – GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live

GRAMMY Museum, Los Angeles

Music fans will really enjoy a trip to the Grammy Museum , which features loads of fun exhibits about American music — from Blues and Jazz to Rock, Pop and Hip hop, this museum covers it all.

Take a trip to The Red Carpet to see some of the most iconic and outlandish outfits to grace the Grammy Awards Ceremonies. See a collection of Michael Jackson clothing and memorabilia from the King of Pop’s “Thriller” era.

Music and audio nerds will enjoy the Mono to Immersive Experience Room which follows the history of recorded sound from the early gramophones to digital surround sound systems of today.

Discover key performances in the history of the Grammy Awards and uncover the deep cultural significance of music in the Culture Shock exhibit. Learn about the roots of popular music and how it is sometimes influenced by the most unlikely sources.

The Grammy Museum is great fun for all ages and there are tons to see and do here.

29 – Autry Museum of the American West

Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles

Telling a thorough and inclusive history of the American West , The Autry Museum is packed with interesting artifacts and exhibits.

Founded by Gene Autry — the famous “Singing Cowboy” the museum tells the rich stories of the region via interesting exhibits and original artifacts .

See decorative handguns and Native American art alongside paintings and sculptures of the West and the original Imagination Gallery — featuring Gene Autry’s guitar , an Annie Oakley belt buckle from the TV series and an outfit from the movie The Three Amigos.

There are also many exhibits focusing on the stories of Native American tribes and their cultures and an Ethnobotanical Garden to explore.

30 – La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles

For over a century the La Brea Tar Pits has been one of the most fascinating paleontological sites in the world .

Located right in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles , the thick and gooey Tar Pits have preserved the fossilized remains of millions of different organisms, plants and animals.

Many have already been unearthed since excavations began in the early 1900s , including over 4,000 Ice Age Dire Wolves and 2,000 Saber-toothed cats . You can also see the remains of prehistoric pumas, mammoths and giant sloths in the Tar Pits Museum.

See teams of paleontologists working in the Fossil Lab to prepare and study the fossils and visit the active excavation sites where new finds are discovered regularly.

Explore the Pleistocene Garden to see how the Los Angeles Basin would have looked 40,000 years ago and discover the native plants that once thrived here .

  • La Brea Tar Pits tickets

31 – Paramount Studio Tour

Paramount Studio Tour, Los Angeles

Paramount Studios has been a top name in the movie business since the 1920s when one of its earliest movies — Wings, won the very first academy award.

Some of the most popular movies of all time have been produced by the studio, including The Godfather, Indiana Jones, Titanic, Forrest Gump and many more.

Why not tour the studios to see the place where these legendary movies were made?

Explore the backlots and soundstages with a knowledgeable guide. See the famous prop warehouse, New York and Bronson Gate sets and see the people that get to work in the movie business every day.

Learn a little about the work that goes into creating movies and see how the sets are assembled for shooting .

This is a fascinating tour to take and is sure to be a big hit with movie lovers of all ages .

32 – Catalina Island day trip

Catalina Island day trips from Los Angeles

Fancy an island escape just off the coast of Los Angeles? Catalina Island has been enchanting visitors for over 100 years .

The island was first developed in the 1920s by William Wrigley Jr. — of Wrigley’s chewing gum fame and became the place to visit for Angelenos trying to escape the city .

Check out Avalon , the island’s main town and the idyllic Two Harbors — a great place to hike and take a swim. Join one of many fun activities, such as a zip-line eco-tour , glass-bottom boat journey or a submarine voyage around the coastline.

Outdoors people will enjoy catching a glimpse of the island’s wild bison and traveling the outback on the ridges and valleys of the islands East Peak .

There are plenty of glamorous locations to visit too such as Catalina’s famous Casino and the beautiful art deco-style Avalon Theatre — one of the world’s first movie theatres designed for talking pictures in the late 1920s.

You’ll find plenty to discover on Catalina Island, just a stone’s throw from Los Angeles.

  • Catalina Island tours from Los Angeles

See also: Best Day Trips from Los Angeles

33 – Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles

The clientele of the Chateau Marmont includes many movie stars and executives and is often a home-from-home for East Coast stars staying in the city.

The hotel was built in the 1920s and the design is inspired by a famous French chateau in the Loire Valley . Originally designed as an exclusive apartment building it was remodeled in the 1930s for use as a hotel.

The now-iconic residence on Sunset Strip has inspired many songs, books and has been used as a filming location on a number of occasions.

If you can’t afford the hefty price tag to stay at Chateau Marmont you can always call in for a drink at Bar Marmont or grab dinner in one of its restaurants .

Who knows who you might see?

34 – Battleship USS Iowa Museum

USS Iowa Battleship Museum, Los Angeles

One of the best surviving examples of a World War II Battleship — and the only one on the West Coast, the USS Iowa is one of the most awe-inspiring museums in Los Angeles .

Constructed in New York in the 1940s, the ship is known as “the battleship of presidents” for its accommodation of three United States leaders , Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W Bush throughout its lifetime.

This huge battleship has lots to explore , including the crew’s quarters, weapons decks and torpedo levels and lots of exhibits related to the ship’s history and that of the U.S Navy.

Don’t forget to look for the scavenger trail of Vicky the Dog , the ship’s famous wartime mascot, as you explore the ship.

  • Battleship USS Iowa Museum tickets

35 – Medieval Torture Museum

Medieval Torture Museum in Los Angeles

Are you intrigued by the mysteries of the Middle Ages and its chilling practices of torture?

Los Angeles has just become home to the most extensive interactive exhibition dedicated to Medieval torture methods.

Situated close to the historic Chinese Theatre, the Medieval Torture Museum is a fascinating detour as you explore Hollywood Blvd’s iconic Walk of Fame.

Witness more than a hundred ghastly apparatus and implements hailing from humanity’s darkest epoch. Educate yourself about the horrifying methods used to inflict pain, elucidated through authentic torture mechanisms from history!

Please note, the exhibition advises attendance only for individuals aged 18 and above. Minors and adolescents may visit but only when accompanied by a responsible adult!

36 – Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios, Los Angeles

Although Walt Disney Studios doesn’t offer public tours like some of the other major studios there are still ways you can visit this legendary movie producer .

Adventures by Disney holiday packages include a six-night stay at Disneyland Park which also includes private behind-the-scenes trips to Walt Disney Studio and the Jim Henson Company Lot.

Learn the history of the studios and visit the Walt Disney Archives — a treasure trove of Disney memorabilia, photographs, props and artwork .

Take the Walt Disney Imagineering Tour which explains how the magic of the Disney parks and resorts is brought to life by a dedicated team of architects, engineers and technicians.

These tours are a dream come true for Disney fans young and old. Get a first-hand look at the method behind the magic!

37 – Warner Bros Studio Hollywood

Warner Bros Studio Hollywood

One of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for film fans — Warner Bros Studio is where the magic happens.

Visitors can take a guided tour to discover what a working studio looks like. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities as you tour one of the most famous working studios in the world.

The studio backlots cover up to 110 acres and visitors get the chance to see some of the most famous and popular sets . Visit streets that have appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows such as Blade Runner, Pretty Little Liars and The Gilmore Girls .

Discover what happens behind the scenes on a Hollywood shoot and get the chance to vi sit the famous Central Perk Café from the hit series Friends.

There’s all this and more to witness on a tour of Warner Bros Studios Hollywood . This is a great chance to walk in the steps of some of the screen’s biggest stars.

  • Warner Bros Studio Hollywood tickets

38 – Hollyhock House

Hollyhock House, Los Angeles

The first modern American building to make it onto UNESCO’s World Heritage list , Hollyhock House is a must-visit for lovers of great architecture.

Designed by the highly-influential architect, Frank Lloyd Wright , the construction of the house was completed in 1921 — so it just celebrated its 100th birthday!

It features a central courtyard and the brickwork and design are reminiscent of a Mayan temple. It has a bunch of beautiful bas reliefs including a large decorative fireplace that acts as a centerpiece for the building.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the house to see the features in detail and also check out the archive of plans and drawings created by Frank Lloyd Wright .

39 – Santa Monica Pier

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

The first Santa Monica Pier was built in 1909 and the iconic landmark is still welcoming guests to this day.

For family entertainment , you can’t beat Pacific Park — the pier’s up-to-date amusement park is brimming with old-fashioned charm!

Ride roller coasters with amazing views , check out the historic carousel constructed in 1939 or hop on board the region’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel .

There is also an arcade, souvenir shops and a bunch of great restaurants to sample right there on the pier. Why not hang around to catch the sunset and maybe some live music during the Twilight on the Pier Festival .

Since it first opened way back in the early 1900s, Santa Monica Pier has been a favorite local spot for fishing . Fishing here is open to everyone, it’s absolutely free and you can hire gear from the nearby bait shops.

You have to visit the Santa Monica Pier on a trip to Los Angeles. Take a stroll and breathe in the sea air at this much-loved beachside attraction.

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40 – The Museum of Jurassic Technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles

It is quite possible that you will never have seen anything like The Museum of Jurassic Technology before.

The museum has a fascinating collection of novelties and artifacts of questionable authenticity — in the best possible way.

Akin to the sideshows and curiosity exhibitions of yesteryear you will be amazed and astounded or at least intrigued by the many fascinating exhibitions — which may raise as many questions as they answer.

Read letters to the Mount Wilson Observatory and see decaying dice that may combust at any moment. See pre-scientific medicines , horns grown from human heads , dogs who went to space and much more at this fun and bewildering museum.

41 – The Hollywood Museum

Hollywood Museum

With a claim to holding the largest collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world , The Hollywood Museum has to be worth a visit while you’re exploring Tinsel Town.

With more than 10,000 treasures spread over its four floors , this is one of the most fun tourist attractions in Los Angeles for movie lovers .

The museum is located in the historic building, where Max Factor — the Hollywood makeup artist, created iconic looks for the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.

See clothing worn by screen legends such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley and costumes from Superman , I Love Lucy , Harry Potter , Star Trek and many more. See movie posters and props and the fantastic cars of the stars.

Visit the famous jail cell from The Silence of the Lambs and see horror legends such as Boris Karloff’s The Mummy, Frankenstein and Elvira.

Hollywood history is at the very foundations of this fun and family-friendly museum .

42 – Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles

If you just can’t get enough Hollywood glitz and glamour , check out the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures .

The Academy Awards — also known as The Oscars , is the movie business’ biggest yearly event . The Academy Museum lets visitors discover the history of the prestigious award ceremony from its inception in 1927 to the present day.

Discover the timeline of the awards a nd the major movies from each year and see exclusive items from the collection of movie-related objects and equipment.

See famous props , including Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz , as well as props from Spartacus , Alien , Citizen Kane and the typewriter used to write Hitchcock’s groundbreaking movie, Psycho .

Feel the rush of an award winner in The Oscars Experience and discover the often overlooked artistry of movie backdrops .

This is the ultimate for movie lovers who dream of stepping onto the red carpet themselves.

43 – Travel Town Museum

Travel Town Museum in Los Angeles

Discover the history of the Los Angeles railroad at the historic Travel Town Museum , which has been enthralling visitors since 1952 .

The museum has over 40 historic locomotives and cars that are waiting to be explored. Some of the trains date back to the late 1800s and represent some of the greatest locomotives from the height of the steam-powered era .

See some of the most luxurious carriages of the time such as the Pennsylvania Railroad Dining car and a Union Pacific dormitory car from the 1930s.

Discover the legacy of Fred Harvey who in the late 1800s created a network of restaurants, hotels and gift shops along the length of the Santa Fe Railway and is credited with bringing tourism to the area .

You can also take the opportunity to ride a miniature train around the Travel Town grounds. Check out these amazing machines which helped build the foundations of the city of Los Angeles.

44 – Disneyland Resort

Disney park in Los Angeles

On a trip to Los Angeles, you have to make time to visit the original and very first Disneyland in Anaheim .

The Disneyland Resort is home to two of the world-famous Disney theme parks , Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

Disneyland Park first opened in 1955 and is the only Disney theme park that was constructed under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself.

Millions have since visited the park known as “the happiest place on Earth” and enjoyed now-famous rides such as The Pirates of the Caribbean — which spawned a movie franchise, Space Mountain , Jungle Cruise and The Haunted Mansion .

One of its most recent additions Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge includes a whole world built around the hit movie series. Ride the Millenium Falcon on the Smuggler’s Run ride or visit Oga’s Cantina for a snack and some live music.

If thrilling rides are your thing, you might want to check out Disney California Adventure . The eight themed areas represent California from different time periods and also include a healthy dose of everyone’s favorite Disney characters .

Check out Pixar Pier for a classic amusement experience or visit Hollywood Land to explore the golden era of movie-making.

Disneyland is still one of the best family-friendly tourist attractions in Los Angeles . There’s a little bit of magic here for everyone to find.

  • Disneyland tickets

45 – Museum of Latin American Art

Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles

The only museum in the United States dedicated entirely to Latin American and Latino art , MOLAA offers a broad mix of engaging and relevant exhibitions.

The museum’s permanent collection was started in 2014 and already includes over 1,300 works of art .

It features exhibitions by artists such as Judy Baca, Crack Rodriguez and many more . Visit on a weekend to join a guided tour of the galleries and check out some of the museum’s regular workshops and events.

Don’t forget to explore MOLAA’s 15,000 square foot sculpture garden or visit one of its educational art classes and festivals throughout the year.

46 – Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Los Angeles

With 15 galleries and over 300 weird and wonderful exhibits to explore, Ripley’s Believe It or Not is sure to be a highlight of your trip to LA.

If you’re interested in the bizarre and unusual — and who isn’t? This place will really blow your mind!

See original artifacts and curiosities collected by Robert Ripley , the museum’s founder spread over two floors of this self-proclaimed “odditorium”.

Come face-to-face with a genuine shrunken head or peek inside an actual vampire hunting kit from the 1800s. Measure yourself against the world’s tallest man or grab a selfie with a prehistoric cave bear.

All this and more in Hollywood’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

47 – Guinness World Records Museum

Guinness World Records Museum, Los Angeles

Discover a fascinating world of near-superhuman feats at the Guinness World Records Museum .

Discover crazy record-breaking attempts and some of the weirdest things people have tried in order to get into the famous Guinness Book of World Records .

The museum’s interactive and fun exhibits provide plenty of entertainment for the whole family . There are challenges for children and adults so you can try to score a world record of your own.

Can you rise to the occasion and beat the Pac-Man high-score or shoot a record-breaking number of baskets in a row ? Can you beat a bongo faster than everyone else or assemble a word puzzle in record time?

Try your luck and who knows, you may just make it into the Guinness Book of Records yourself!

48 – Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Founded in 1979, the Museum of Contemporary Art is the only museum in the city created by artists .

Its collection includes around 7,000 objects from all over the world and covers the changing tastes in contemporary art.

The museum runs two venues in the city — MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA , the latter of which is housed in a Frank Gehry modeled building.

Here you can see installation art, photography, paintings, prints and sculptures dating from the 1940s to the present day.

As well as its permanent collection, MOCA also displays temporary exhibitions of work by some of the most exciting artists of our time and a program of exhibits of recent acquisitions.

Definitely check this out if you are on the hunt for some culture during your stay in Los Angeles.

49 – Angels Flight Railway

Angels Flight Railway, Los Angeles

One of the quintessential landmarks to visit in Los Angeles is the Angels Flight Railway.

This funicular, which still uses its two original cars named Olivet and Sinai , is one of the city’s recognized historic and cultural monuments .

It has been ferrying passengers up and down the Bunker Hill area since it first opened in 1901 — though the area has changed drastically since then and the neighborhoods it once served have long since been demolished.

It is still a popular tourist attraction and its vintage cars and stations are an attractive reminder of the turn of the century architecture that was once everywhere in the city.

This is one attraction that is great for those on a budget. A return fare costs just two dollars and you even get a souvenir ticket for your scrapbook!

  • Angels Flight Railway tickets

50 – Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles

Opened in the early 1990s as a way to preserve the history of Japanese Americans and document their experiences, the Japanese American National Museum is a treasure trove of information.

Covering the history of Japanese immigrants to the United States which first began in the 1800s , there’s lots of history here to uncover.

Learn about the exile and deportation they faced in the US during World War II. Visit one of the actual barracks from the Heart Mountain Internment Camp where many Japanese American citizens were forced to live during the war.

There are also hundreds of hours of film as well as art, textiles, photographs and objects that tell the tale of the thousands of Japanese Americans that call the country home.

51 – Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Madame Tussauds Hollywood, Los Angeles

Still searching for more of your favorite stars and celebrities ? Madame Tussauds Hollywood gives you the chance to come face to face with your big screen idols — in wax!

Snap some selfies with some of the most famous faces in the world . See lifelike waxworks of your favorite Marvel characters , including Spider-Man, Thor, The Hulk and Captain America.

Meet pop stars and music icons such as Arianna Grande, Tupac and Lady Gaga and veteran screen legends such as Angela Bassett and Danny Trejo at this seriously fun waxwork museum.

  • Madame Tussauds Hollywood tickets

52 – Malibu

Malibu Beach, California

The beautiful oceanside homes of Malibu are some of Los Angeles’ most sought-after residences .

The exclusive beach city has been home to many celebrities throughout the decades including Brad Pitt, Ellen DeGeneres and Charlie Sheen.

A popular activity in Malibu for travelers is to take a celebrity home tour to glimpse the houses of the rich and famous. On the tours, you may see idyllic homes belonging to the likes of Lady Gaga, Will Smith, Julia Roberts and Steven Spielberg .

For those who prefer the great outdoors, why not take a surfing trip on the Malibu coast . With fantastic waves at Surfrider Beach — the world’s first protected “surfing reserve” , as well as Zuma Beach and Point Dume, this is a great alternative to sightseeing.

Visitors can also explore the nearby hills on foot or horseback and grab awesome views of the Santa Monica Mountains in the distance.

53 – LA Galaxy game

LA Galaxy in Los Angeles

Formed in 1994, LA Galaxy has gone on to be one of the most popular and successful soccer teams in the United States .

The team competes in the Major League Soccer Western Conference from its home grounds the Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly Home Depot Center.

The team has featured some of the brightest names in soccer among its ranks including David Beckham , who played for the team between 2007-2012.

Why not check out a game when you’re in Los Angeles and see why the team has become one of the country’s best-loved !

54 – Venice Beach

los angeles top tourist attractions

One of the most fun beach towns in all of LA , Venice Beach is a hotspot of independent bars, shops and cafes and a great low-key place to hang out.

There’s a lot to see and do here for travelers and taking time to explore the city is a must on a trip to Los Angeles.

In the 1970s, Venice Beach was the birthplace of skateboarding culture which has now spread all over the world. Its independent spirit and counterculture attitude still survives today and the city is a vibrant and creative place .

Start your day with a surf lesson at one of the world’s iconic surf beaches or hire a bike and cycle along the coast . Take a Segway tour or just explore the seafront stores at your own pace.

Don’t forget to pass by the famous Muscle Beach where bodybuilding legends, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno have trained.

Wander the routes of the old canals — which gained Venice Beach its name, or be entertained by the city’s fantastic street performers and musicians . Venice is still one of the most fun places in the city to laze away the day.

  • Venice Beach tours

55 – Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Pirate's Dinner Adventure in Los Angeles

Ahoy mateys! Try dinner and a show at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure in Orange County — near the Disneyland Resort and Knott’s Berry Farm.

This swashbuckling live show is a feast of acrobatics, theatre and inclusive fun . Join the crew aboard a Spanish Galleon for sword fights, high flying action and a riotous tale of good vs evil.

This is great for both children and adults and includes a fair amount of audience participation . Enjoy a feast fit for a pirate king and a host of aerial stunts in this fun and interactive dinner show.

If you’re in Los Angeles around Halloween or Christmas check out the Vampirates and Pirates Take Christmas shows for some holiday hijinks on the high seas.

Save money with attractions passes

For the best deals on tickets and fast access to attractions, it’s worth picking up one of the GO City Los Angeles pass .

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles to help you plan your next vacation. If you are looking for more fun ideas of activities, make sure to check our our selection of fun things to do in Los Angeles .

Let us know in the comments below which place is your favorite one.

As always, happy travels!

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City Prepares for Olympics, Wants Visitors to Come Post-Games

City Prepares for Olympics, Wants Visitors to Come Post-Games

The Olympic and Paralympic Games will return to Los Angeles in the summer of 2028 for the first time in four decades. The Games are expected to drive tourism and make an indelible impact on L.A., as the events usually do for their host cities: the economic impact from the 1984 Games on Southern California totaled $3.3 billion and kicked off a slew of city projects.

The next four years will be a busy preparation period for city planners, the LA28 Olympics nonprofit organizing committee, real estate developers, public transportation projects, hotel owners and more.

To host the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee requires that a city has at least 40,000 hotel rooms for spectators and an Olympic Village that can house 15,000 athletes, referees and officials. Some of these assets are already built into L.A., and several boxes have been checked: the Athlete’s Village will be located at UCLA and the Media Village will be housed at USC . According to Janet Evans , an Olympic medalist in swimming and the chief athlete officer of LA28, the Villages will require no new construction.

Venues such as the Los Angeles Convention Center, SoFi Stadium, the Kia Forum, the Rose Bowl and the Long Beach Arena already host regular events. Evans said that those existing resources make the upcoming Games more “sustainable.”

“We’re fitting the Olympics and Paralympics into our city, we’re not reshaping our city for the Games,” Evans said. “I mean, the Coliseum was built in hopes of securing an Olympic Games, so the tradition is strong (and) rich for our venues, but it’s also very exciting to have these grand new, incredible stadiums being built … because we are such a sports town.”

Development has been slowed

los angeles top tourist attractions

While the city doesn’t plan to fully transform itself, some real estate developers and business owners are looking to build or upgrade properties. According to Sonnet Hui , general manager and vice president of downtown-based Project Management Advisors Inc. , the city is experiencing more upgrades of existing facilities than construction of fresh infrastructure. She said that hotels are looking to renovate guest rooms and public spaces to prepare for an “influx” of guests, and that her firm is seeing increased mixed-use development.

“We’re seeing things starting to stabilize, there’s more interest and projects are starting to restart, but in the last year a lot of projects went on hold because of interest rates,” Hui said.

She added that regulations such as the United to House Los Angeles ‘Mansion Tax’ measure have impacted real estate transactions, slowed down forward-thinking plans and led to more “opportunistic development.” She added that, while things will likely ramp up in the next year, timing may get tight to finish development in time for the Games.

“I think it’s going to be a mad rush,” Hui said. “All eyes are on Paris right now for the (2024) Olympics and how they roll out their services. Once that Game is over there’s going to be a lot more creative thinking as it relates to L.A. and how we prepare for the 2028 Olympics. We have so many commercial assets with high vacancy rates and I’m hoping there’s going to be renewed interest in repurposing a lot of the infrastructure and facilities that we have in L.A.”

Alan Reay , president of Newport Beach-based Atlas Hospitality Group , said he believes the city has enough hotel rooms to support the Olympics, but agreed that interest rates and market trends are “overpowering” anyone looking too far ahead in the future. Renovations completed now, he said, might require another renovation by 2028. He added that his firm is not seeing many hotels being planned solely for the Olympics, but that hotels that were already being planned may see the event as a benefit.

“On the development side, if you are already under construction those projects will helpfully get finished although there are a few projects in Los Angeles mid-construction that are in foreclosure,” Reay said. “But we’re seeing a lot of the hotels that are being planned be delayed or abandoned altogether.”

Reay said developers and business owners must look past the Olympics and evaluate the economy as a whole to see if renovations will be worthwhile in the long-term.

Doane Liu , executive director of the city’s tourism department, agreed with Reay’s sentiment that business owners need to ensure that building projects will be beneficial after the Olympics’ relatively brief run. He added that, as part of L.A.’s bid to host the Olympics, the city committed to deliver the Games “without building anything.”

“It’s not prudent to make huge investments for a 10-day event … you’ve got to be able to sustain that after the Olympics leave,” Liu said. “That’s kind of been the city’s philosophy, too. We’re not going to make huge infrastructure investment or venue investments. There’s obviously going to be a need for labor … and we’re going to do our best to make sure that visitors keep coming after the Olympics and keep all of those people employed.”

An influx of visitors

los angeles top tourist attractions

Liu added that the city’s geographic size is an asset to planning for the Olympics, by allowing the impact of the Games to be intentionally spread around the city to different “hubs.” One significant impact will be tourism. He said that the city is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, estimating just under 50 million visitors this year compared to 51 million in 2019.

“We’re hoping that the lead up to the Games, the new construction and all the new attractions that we have in the city will be able to sustain that, maybe not at the exact highest level, but will continue to grow,” Liu said. “There’s certainly going to be impacts on the city, but it’s only for 10 days, and the benefits that we are getting from hosting the Olympics could last a lifetime.”

Another notable impact may be on L.A.’s notorious level of traffic congestion. Evans and Liu noted that, back in 1984, then-Mayor Tom Bradley collaborated with ports and the trucking industry to shift shipping traffic patterns. Liu said that deliveries were re-scheduled to occur late at night and in the early-morning hours. He also noted a sense of “civic pride” as citizens worked to manage traffic by carpooling, and that many employers made accommodations for employees’ commutes.

“I think there was such a focus placed upon what traffic would look like during the Olympic Games in 1984 that a lot of people made alternative plans, a lot of people took public transport at the time,” Evans said. “The organizers did specific things to alleviate some of that (traffic), and I also think the public did utilize whatever … resources there were.”

Potential for profit

los angeles top tourist attractions

Renata Simril is president and chief executive of the nonprofit LA84 Foundation , which was created with Southern California’s endowment from the 1984 Games to promote and expand youth sports opportunities in the region. The Foundation said it has supported 4 million kids, funded 2,500 nonprofits and trained 200,000 coaches.

Simril said that the Olympics had been a series of “financial disasters” for hosting cities in the 1970s and 1980s. Factors for this include the Munich massacre, in which 11 Israeli team members were held hostage and killed by terrorists during the 1972 Games, and the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. The cost overrun for the 1976 Games in Montreal, Canada is still the highest on record for any Olympics at $6.1 billion, with an overrun of 740%. By comparison, the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics had a cost overrun of 51% and the London 2012 Summer Olympics had a cost overrun of 76%.

After L.A. won the bid to host the 1984 Games, there was a significant focus on how the city could avoid repeating the fiscal consequences of the Montreal Olympics. As a result of strict controls on cost expenditures, an emphasis on corporate sponsorships and low construction costs due to the utilization of existing arena structures, the 1984 Olympics generated a profit of about $223 million The estimated economic impact on Southern California from the 1984 Games totaled $3.3 billion, according to LA84.

“It became the sponsorship model and the television rights model, and a lot of innovations that were initiated during the 1984 Games made it a huge success,” Simril said. “I think our ability to host Games (with financial efficiency) is because of the abundance of riches that we have in athletic facilities, both professional and collegiate, that allows us to minimize what needs to be built.”

According to the LA28, the 2028 Summer Games’ forecasted budget is about $7 billion. Those costs are expected to be fully covered by revenue streams such as sponsorships, ticket sales and funding from the IOC. LA28 chair Casey Wasserman told The Ringer that there is “good and bad” to the Olympics being privately funded.

“The good is we get to do things in a rational, business-driven, economically-minded way,” Wasserman said. “The challenge is … that the Olympics in L.A. will be the largest peacetime gathering in the history of the world. It is a level of complexity and scale that is unimaginable.”

He noted that LA28 expects to spend 85% of the budget in the last 18 months before the Games.

“This means you better know what you’re about to spend, because you don’t have time to course correct if you go over budget,” Wasserman said. “Once you start you kind of have to finish because (in July 2028) that torch is showing up at SoFi, whether we like it or not.”

Wasserman also noted that the “scale of infrastructure” L.A. has developed in the last 40 years is “stunningly different.” New arenas since 1984 include SoFi Stadium, Crypto.com Arena, BMO Stadium and Intuit Dome, the latter of which is expected to open this fall.

Simril said the city’s extensive collection of sports arenas and campuses for housing means that the Games will be less expensive to put on than in other parts of the world. Still, the economic impacts of the upcoming Games are yet to be seen.

“It’s unfair to put a burden on 2028, to say that the Games will be profitable,” Simril said. “A lot can happen between now and 2028, geopolitically and economically. The team at LA28 is focused on putting on great Games, but we don’t know if there’ll be a surplus or profit … we just need to let the process run its course.”

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los angeles top tourist attractions

9 Trending Destinations For Memorial Day Weekend 2024

  • Get ready to join the crowds in popular US destinations this Memorial Day for sun, fun, and festivities galore.
  • Whether you're into pool parties in Vegas or family fun in Orlando, there's something for everyone this upcoming holiday weekend.
  • With airfare prices down, now is the time to plan your Memorial Day getaway to cities like Seattle, San Diego, and Miami.

With pent-up travel demand and the holiday weekend, top destinations across the United States are expected to see large influxes of tourists celebrating the unofficial start of summer. As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, travelers nationwide are eagerly making plans to explore some of the country's most popular locales, fueled by wanderlust and a desire to create lasting memories.

Americans are set to descend upon cities with world-famous theme parks , electrifying entertainment districts, sun-drenched beaches, renowned cultural institutions, places with idyllic weather, vibrant events, tropical island paradises, pulsating nightlife scenes, patriotic national ceremonies, and rich historical backdrops.

The destinations below include some of the top destinations booked for the upcoming long weekend, according to AAA's Memorial Day travel forecast . The automobile membership organization predicts the weekend to see the second-highest-ever recorded number of travelers in 24 years.

Follow The Celebs To California's Best Summer Beach Town

Las vegas, nevada, vibrant pool parties, exhilarating live shows, and fun feels to kick-start summer.

Las Vegas is a perennially popular destination for Memorial Day, offering an exciting kickoff to the summer season. The city's world-class hotels, casinos, celebrity-chef-led restaurants , and entertainment options attract a diverse crowd looking to indulge and celebrate the long weekend. Young adults and millennials tend to flock to Las Vegas, drawn by its lively pool parties, nightclubs, and endless opportunities for revelry.

Families are also lured by the city's family-friendly attractions, shows, and recreational activities. With its desert heat and nonstop energy, Sin City provides the perfect backdrop for those seeking an unforgettable start to summer's annual arrival.

Orlando, Florida

A perfect blend of family-friendly attractions, thrilling rides, and quintessential florida sunshine.

Orlando emerges as a top Memorial Day destination, catering to diverse interests with its magical theme parks, proximity to sun-drenched beaches , and array of multi-generational attractions. Families flock to the renowned Walt Disney World Resort, immersing themselves in the enchantment of fairytale lands and thrilling rides.

Meanwhile, nearby coastal havens like Cocoa Beach beckon sun-seekers and water enthusiasts. For those without children, Orlando offers a vibrant nightlife scene, world-class dining, and entertainment hubs like Universal CityWalk. As summer's unofficial kickoff, Memorial Day in Orlando promises something for everyone, whether seeking family fun, beach relaxation, or a lively start to the warmest season.

To steer clear of the heaviest traffic, travelers embarking on their Memorial Day weekend journey on Thursday, May 23rd, and Friday, May 24th, are advised to depart before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on Thursday, and after 8 p.m. on Friday, according to AAA.

Chicago, Illinois

Vibrant riverfront activities, fireworks, and rich cultural experiences to welcome summer.

Memorial Day weekend in the Windy City offers an idyllic urban escape to kick off the summer season. Navy Pier dazzles with carnival rides and shows, culminating in brilliant fireworks displays over Lake Michigan. Millennium Park provides a lively backdrop for outdoor festivals and picnics on the sprawling lawns.

The city's 26 miles of lakefront trail beckon cyclists, runners and sunbathers. After working up an appetite, visitors can indulge in legendary Chicago-style deep-dish pizza at renowned originals like Lou Malnati's or Pequod's.

Live music venues like the Chicago Theatre and Park West keep the party going with Memorial Day weekend concerts. From lakeshore fun to cultural delights, Chicago provides the perfect start to summer festivities.

Seattle, Washington

Vibrant culture, stunning scenery, and a plethora of outdoor activities make the emerald city a top destination.

Seattle shines as a coveted Memorial Day getaway in 2024, offering travelers a vibrant urban escape to commence the summer season. Seattle's appeal lies in its seamless blend of outdoor pursuits and metropolitan delights.

Visitors can soak up the emerging sunshine while exploring iconic Pike Place Market, kayak on Lake Union, or hike verdant trails. The city's flourishing food and craft beer scene provides ample fuel, while musical events and festivals awaken Seattle's streets. For those seeking an invigorating kickoff to summer, this evergreen city delivers a refreshing experience.

7 Best Caribbean Islands To Visit In Summer 2024

Los angeles and disneyland (anaheim), california, la's iconic culture meets anaheim's disneyland magic for memorial day weekend.

Anaheim and Los Angeles shine as quintessential Memorial Day getaways, embodying the best of the Golden State's sunny outdoor lifestyle. Families flock to Anaheim's world-famous Disneyland Resort, where magical lands and thrilling rides kick start summer in grand fashion. Just down the road, Los Angeles beckons with its iconic beaches, offering endless opportunities for sunbathing, volleyball, and ocean adventures.

The region's countless farmers markets, from Santa Monica to Hollywood, allow visitors to indulge in California's vibrant culinary scene. Beyond the urban delights, nearby mountains, deserts, and vineyards entice outdoor enthusiasts seeking nature's embrace. As Memorial Day ushers in summer's warmth, Anaheim and LA provide the ultimate SoCal experience.

According to Hopper , airfare for Memorial Day weekend is averaging $260 per ticket, down 9.5% from last year and 2019 levels.

San Diego, California

Diverse coastal allure, cultural richness, and outdoor adventures converge seamlessly in perfect weather.

San Diego claims its well-deserved spot atop domestic summer travel lists, offering an idyllic Memorial Day escape in its sun-drenched Southern California setting. This laidback seaside city entices visitors with its pristine beaches, allowing ample opportunities to soak up the early summer rays while swimming, surfing, or relaxing on the warm sand.

The historic Gaslamp Quarter and bustling Pacific Beach provide vibrant nightlife and dining scenes to complement the coastal vibe. Families delight in San Diego's world-renowned attractions like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the region's scenic hiking trails, bays, and desert landscapes. As Memorial Day kicks off the summer season, San Diego emerges as the perfect place to embrace California's quintessential endless summer.

Miami And Key West, Florida

Lively culture, electric nightlife, and stunning beaches make south florida a prime memorial day weekend destination.

Miami and Key West beckon travelers seeking to kick start summer with iconic Florida flair over Memorial Day weekend. In Miami, sun-worshippers flock to the white sand beaches of Miami Beach, while the art deco havens of South Beach offer trendy hotels, acclaimed dining, and a lively nightlife scene.

Just a few hours' drive south, the laid-back, tropical allure of the Florida Keys awaits in Key West. This quirky island escape captivates with its colorful Caribbean architecture, outdoor water adventures, and raucous Duval Street celebrations.

From deep-sea fishing excursions to beachfront bars serving frozen cocktails, Miami and the Keys provide a taste of summer's arrival like nowhere else. As Memorial Day hits, these vibrant destinations embody the sunshine state's irresistible appeal.

These 7 Florida Cities Are Perfect Dupes For Miami

Boston, massachusetts, enriching experiences beyond the ordinary makes boston a top memorial day destination.

Boston shines as a classic Memorial Day getaway, offering a quintessential New England experience to kick off the summer season. As temperatures warm, the city's charming neighborhoods come alive with patio dining at renowned local restaurants and beer gardens. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the Emerald Necklace park system or take to the waters of the Charles River.

A highlight is the 3-day Boston Calling Music Festival, bringing top acts to the city. But Memorial Day in Boston is also about honoring American heroes, with the powerful Garden of Flags display commemorating Massachusetts service members on the historic Boston Common. From lively urban adventures to somber remembrances, this walking city provides the perfect backdrop for Memorial Day revelry and reflection.

7 Boston Tourist Traps To Skip, Plus Local-Loved Alternatives

Washington, d.c., diverse festivities, honored tributes, and cultural events make dc a vibrant and meaningful start to summer.

Washington, D.C. emerges as a pivotal Memorial Day destination, honoring American heroes while offering unparalleled sights to commence summer. The National Memorial Day Parade along Constitution Avenue and ceremonies at the National World War II Memorial solemnly commemorate the fallen.

The city beckons with world-class museums like the Smithsonian and monuments under springtime's cherry blossom canopy. From the Lincoln Memorial to the newly reopened Washington Monument, these iconic landmarks provide the perfect backdrop for early summer exploration.

9 Trending Destinations For Memorial Day Weekend 2024

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Hollywood Bowl Overlook

24 Hollywood tourist attractions you shouldn’t miss

Hollywood attractions can be overwhelming (and often disappointing), so stick to these iconic L.A. movie theaters, hotels, restaurants and landmarks

Michael Juliano

Hollywood boasts an international reputation like no other neighborhood in Los Angeles. But ask your average Angeleno what they think of it and you’ll likely be met with groans. Yes, it’s busy, touristy and often in disrepair. But parts of Hollywood still sparkle with gems of old glamorous hotels and celebrity hangouts along with an emerging urban cityscape and working production scene. Follow our guide to what to see in Hollywood and tour the iconic movie town’s must-visit attractions along with a few stops away from the crowds on the Walk of Fame and Sunset Boulevard .

RECOMMENDED: Read more things to do in Hollywood  

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here .

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Top attractions in Hollywood

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl

  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • price 2 of 4

This gorgeous outdoor amphitheatre has been hosting concerts since the LA Philharmonic first played here in 1922. Nestled in an aesthetically blessed fold in the Hollywood Hills, the 18,000-seat venue can bring out the romantic in the terminally cynical. It’s the summer home of the LA Phil (and boozy picnics); as long as there’s no performance, it also doubles as a public park .

Fly high on a Hollywood helicopter tour.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

  • Arcades and amusements

There are easier ways to meet your favorite stars than stalking their homes, or trying to sneak your way into the VIP areas at expensive clubs. Simply head to Madame Tussauds Hollywood and hang out with the likes of Brad Pitt, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga and Marilyn Monroe. And the best bit? They’ll stay still for all your snaps. Nobody will ever know...

Chinese Theatre

Chinese Theatre

  • Movie theaters

The forecourt of this iconic movie theater, filled with foot and hand prints of Hollywood icons, is kind of a tourist-choked hot mess. Most people flock here to measure their own extremities against the likes of John Wayne and Judy Garland. But past that, it’s an entirely different story. You can avoid the crowds by catching a flick inside, where the auditorium is as stunning as the IMAX screen’s laser projection quality (perhaps the best in town ).

Take a Hollywood and Beverly Hills minibus tour.

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign

  • Sightseeing

Originally created in 1923, the then “Hollywoodland” sign was supposed to be up for only a year and a half, yet here it is a century later . Getting close to the Hollywood Sign, though, is an often contentious issue thanks to pressure from local homeowners. You can catch a dead-on glimpse of the sign on Beachwood Drive, or farther up the hill near Lake Hollywood Park . Looking to get even closer? Go horseback riding at Sunset Ranch or—of you’re alright with a view from behind—lace up for a trek along the otherwise off limits road on Mt. Lee Drive to where you will be standing directly above the Hollywood Sign and can experience a total 360-degree view of the cityscape.

Book a horseback ride tour near the Hollywood Sign.

Hollywood Roosevelt

Hollywood Roosevelt

  • Boutique hotels
  • price 3 of 4

This 1927 landmark, a beautiful example of Spanish colonial design, once welcomed the A-listers who frequented it during Hollywood’s heyday. It’s worth walking into the Hollywood Roosevelt just to explore its dramatic downstairs lobby—or to bowl a few frames inside swanky bar the Spare Room .

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

If you can stomach the suspect superheroes, claustrophobia-inducing crowds and never-ending line of gift shops, tattoo parlors and lingerie stores, there’s actually a fair amount of old Hollywood history and glamour to discover along the Walk of Fame. The immortalized names on those famous five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars run from the Walk’s western extreme at the Hollywood and La Brea Gateway to the W Hotel and Pantages Theater at Gower, and additionally on Vine from the Capitol Records Building down to Sunset, near where the original movie studios sprang up a century ago. For a Hollywood Boulevard Walking Tour, click here .   

Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon

  • Parks and gardens

This 160-acre park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains has one main loop, plus a bevy of dirt hiking trails. The sea of buff trainers and their sleek, sweaty clients can get to be too much during the busy morning and weekend workout traffic, but you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of the city (and, if you’re lucky, a chance to gawk at power-walking celebs). The southern entrance is at the end of Fuller Avenue in Hollywood; the northern entrance is off the 7300 block of Mulholland Drive.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Any cemetery that houses the remains of such celluloid luminaries as Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino and Mel Blanc was bound to become a tourist attraction. Aside from popular posthumous celebs, Hollywood Forever is also home to Cinespia’s summer outdoor movie screenings, an annual Day of the Dead festival and concerts, both outside on the lawn and inside the property’s Masonic lodge.

Visit famous Hollywood sites on a bike tour.

Ovation Hollywood

Ovation Hollywood

  • price 1 of 4

Known as Hollywood & Highland when it first opened, this shopping center helped usher in a commercial renaissance along Hollywood Boulevard—well, for a while, at least. Like many American shopping malls, it eventually became a shell of its former self, but a recent makeover  that’s renamed the complex Ovation seeks to add a bit of sparkle back to the block. The parking entrances are on Highland Avenue and Orange Drive.

Dolby Theatre

Dolby Theatre

First known as the Kodak until its sponsorship swapped to Dolby in 2012, this 3,400-seat theater routinely hosts Broadway plays, high-profile screenings and the occasional concert. But the main attraction here, of course, is the Academy Awards: The annual star-studded broadcast will continue to be hosted here for the forseeable future, and all of the past Best Picture winners line the columns near the entrance.

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