Top 23 Things To Do in Los Angeles

From star-studded Hollywood glamour to laid-back beach vibes, LA offers a dazzling array of experiences that capture the essence of Southern California living.

West Parker
West Parker
July 18, 2024

You're cruising down Sunset Boulevard in a convertible, palm trees swaying in the breeze, when you spot a group of tourists excitedly snapping photos of a street sign. Welcome to Los Angeles, where even the mundane becomes magical. This iconic scene encapsulates the allure of LA - a city where dreams and reality blur, creating a unique mix of experiences for visitors and locals alike.

From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the bohemian spirit of Venice Beach, LA is a city of contrasts. It's a place where you can hike through rugged canyons in the morning, lounge on sun-kissed beaches in the afternoon, and dine at world-class restaurants by night. Whether you're a film buff, art enthusiast, foodie, or simply seeking that laid-back California lifestyle, LA has something for everyone. So buckle up, grab your shades, and let's dive into the 23 best things to do in the City of Angels.

Stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Tourists taking selfies with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, capturing the excitement of this iconic attraction
Spotted some excited tourists on the Walk of Fame today. Did you know there are over 2,700 stars here? It's like a who's who of entertainment history!

Kicking off our LA adventure is the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame. This star-studded sidewalk stretches for 15 blocks along Hollywood Boulevard, featuring over 2,700 brass stars embedded in the pavement. As you stroll along, you'll spot names from every corner of the entertainment world - from classic film stars to modern-day pop icons. Keep your eyes peeled for impromptu street performances and quirky costumed characters posing for photos. Who knows? You might even stumble upon a star's unveiling ceremony if you're lucky!

  • Location: Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • Hours: Always open
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It's a quintessential LA experience that puts you right in the heart of Hollywood history.

Insider Tip: Visit early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the crowds and snag those perfect photo ops.

Gaze at the stars from Griffith Observatory

Visitors using telescopes at Griffith Observatory at night, with city lights visible in the background
Stargazing at Griffith Observatory is out of this world! Pro tip: come on a clear night for the best views of both the stars and the city.

Perched atop the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, Griffith Observatory offers more than just stellar views of the cosmos. This Art Deco landmark boasts panoramic vistas of the LA basin, including that world-famous Hollywood Sign. Step inside to explore fascinating exhibits on space and science, or catch a show in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. As the sun sets, join the crowd on the lawn to watch the city lights flicker to life below - it's a magical moment that captures the essence of LA's allure.

  • Location: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
  • Hours: Tue-Fri 12pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm, Closed Mondays
  • Admission: Free (planetarium shows $7)

Why Visit: It's the perfect blend of science, scenery, and star-studded city views.

Insider Tip: Hike up from Fern Dell for a scenic approach, but bring a flashlight for the trek back down after dark.

Explore world-class art at the Getty Center

Visitors enjoying the Getty Center gardens with panoramic views of Los Angeles skyline, showcasing art and nature
The Getty isn't just about art inside - these gardens are a masterpiece too! And that view of LA? Absolutely stunning.

The Getty Center is more than just a museum; it's an experience. Perched high in the Santa Monica Mountains, this architectural marvel houses an impressive collection of European paintings, decorative arts, and photography. But the real showstopper? The stunning gardens and breathtaking city views. Hop on the tram for a scenic ride up the hill, then lose yourself in the art-filled galleries. Don't miss the Central Garden, a living work of art that changes with the seasons.

  • Location: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
  • Hours: Tue-Fri & Sun 10am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Closed Mondays
  • Admission: Free (parking $20)

Why Visit: It's a cultural oasis that combines world-class art with stunning architecture and panoramic views.

Insider Tip: Pack a picnic and enjoy it in the gardens - it's allowed and encouraged!

Ride the Ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier

Illuminated Ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier at night, capturing the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic landmark
Night ride on the Ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier - a must-do! The views of the beach and the city lights are incredible.

No trip to LA is complete without a visit to the iconic Santa Monica Pier. This historic landmark juts out into the Pacific, offering a perfect blend of nostalgia and modern fun. Take a spin on the solar-powered Ferris wheel for panoramic ocean views, try your luck at the arcade games, or simply stroll along the boardwalk with an ice cream cone in hand. As the sun sets, the pier comes alive with twinkling lights and street performers, creating a magical atmosphere that's pure California dreamin'.

  • Location: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • Hours: Open daily, 6am-10pm
  • Admission: Free (rides and attractions have separate fees)

Why Visit: It's a slice of classic Americana with a side of beachside fun and stunning ocean views.

Insider Tip: Visit on Thursday evenings for free concerts on the pier during summer months.

People-watch on Venice Beach Boardwalk

Lively scene on Venice Beach Boardwalk with street performers and diverse crowd, showcasing the area's unique atmosphere
Never a dull moment on Venice Beach Boardwalk! From fire-eaters to fortune tellers, you'll see it all here.

Welcome to Venice Beach, where the weird and wonderful collide in a kaleidoscope of LA culture. The famous Ocean Front Walk is a non-stop parade of street performers, bodybuilders, artists, and eclectic locals. Watch in awe as skateboarders perform tricks at the beachside skate park, or flex your muscles at the iconic Muscle Beach outdoor gym. Grab a smoothie from one of the many juice bars and soak in the bohemian atmosphere that's quintessentially Venice.

  • Location: Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
  • Hours: Always open
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It's the ultimate people-watching spot and a microcosm of LA's diverse, creative spirit.

Insider Tip: Rent a bike to explore the boardwalk and nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard, known for its hip boutiques and eateries.

Go behind the scenes at Universal Studios Hollywood

Visitors enjoying the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, capturing the excitement of the theme park
Hogwarts comes to life at Universal Studios! The attention to detail is magical - felt like I was really flying through the castle.

Lights, camera, action! At Universal Studios Hollywood, you're not just watching the movies - you're in them. This theme park and working studio offers a thrilling blend of behind-the-scenes glimpses and heart-pounding rides. Take the world-famous Studio Tour to see real movie sets and special effects demonstrations, then hold on tight as you enter the immersive worlds of Harry Potter, Jurassic World, and The Simpsons. With live shows and seasonal events, there's always something new to experience.

  • Location: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
  • Hours: Vary by season, generally 9am-10pm
  • Admission: From $109 (prices vary by date)

Why Visit: It's the ultimate movie lover's playground, offering a unique blend of entertainment and film history.

Insider Tip: Buy tickets online in advance for better rates and to skip the lines.

Hike through Griffith Park

Hikers on a trail in Griffith Park with the Hollywood Sign visible in the distance, showcasing LA's natural beauty
Hiking in Griffith Park is the perfect escape from the city hustle. And that Hollywood Sign view? Totally worth the climb!

Escape the urban jungle and discover LA's wild side in Griffith Park. This sprawling oasis is one of the largest urban parks in North America, offering over 50 miles of hiking trails, hidden caves, and stunning city views. Whether you're looking for a challenging trek or a leisurely nature walk, there's a trail for every level. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and a variety of bird species. And if you're feeling adventurous, hike up to the Hollywood Sign for that quintessential LA photo op.

  • Location: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
  • Hours: Open daily, 5am-10:30pm
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It's a slice of wilderness in the heart of the city, offering outdoor adventures and iconic LA views.

Insider Tip: Try the Brush Canyon Trail for a moderate hike with great views of the Hollywood Sign.

Admire contemporary art at LACMA

Visitors posing at the Urban Light installation outside LACMA at dusk, highlighting this popular photo spot
LACMA's Urban Light installation is even more magical at dusk. Did you know it's made up of 202 restored street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s?

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is a cultural powerhouse, boasting a collection that spans thousands of years and countless cultures. From ancient artifacts to cutting-edge contemporary works, LACMA offers a global perspective on art history. Don't miss the iconic "Urban Light" installation outside - it's become a symbol of the city and a popular spot for selfies. Inside, you'll find works by masters like Picasso, Magritte, and Hockney, alongside thought-provoking contemporary pieces.

  • Location: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
  • Hours: Mon, Tue, Thu 11am–5pm, Fri 11am–8pm, Sat-Sun 10am–7pm, Closed Wednesdays
  • Admission: $25 for adults, free for LA County residents after 3pm on weekdays

Why Visit: It's the largest art museum in the western United States, offering a diverse and impressive collection.

Insider Tip: Visit on the second Tuesday of the month for free general admission.

Experience contemporary art at The Broad

Visitor in Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room at The Broad, showcasing the immersive art experience
Stepping into Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room at The Broad is like entering another dimension. Pro tip: book your tickets way in advance!

Step into the world of contemporary art at The Broad, a striking architectural marvel in downtown LA. This museum houses the impressive collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, featuring works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jeff Koons, among others. The building itself is a work of art, with its distinctive "veil-and-vault" design. Don't miss Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Rooms - these immersive installations are Instagram gold and offer a truly unique experience.

  • Location: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Hours: Tue-Wed 11am-5pm, Thu-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm, Closed Mondays
  • Admission: Free (advance reservations recommended)

Why Visit: It's a cutting-edge museum that showcases some of the most significant contemporary art of our time.

Insider Tip: Reserve tickets online in advance, especially for the Infinity Mirror Rooms, which often book up weeks ahead.

Rock out at the Grammy Museum

Visitor interacting with a music exhibit at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, highlighting the museum's hands-on experiences
Got to play producer at the Grammy Museum today! It's amazing how much work goes into making a hit song.

Music lovers, this one's for you. The Grammy Museum offers a deep dive into the history of American music, with a particular focus on Grammy Award winners and nominees. Interactive exhibits let you try your hand at various instruments, learn about the recording process, and even step into a sound booth. From Michael Jackson's iconic glittery glove to handwritten lyrics by Taylor Swift, the museum's collection spans decades of musical history. Don't miss the chance to check out special exhibitions that rotate regularly, featuring in-depth looks at specific artists or genres.

  • Location: 800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
  • Admission: $18 for adults

Why Visit: It's a harmonious blend of music history, interactive exhibits, and behind-the-scenes insights into the recording industry.

Insider Tip: Check their website for upcoming events - the museum often hosts intimate performances and Q&A sessions with musicians.

Rev your engines at the Petersen Automotive Museum

Classic cars on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, showcasing automotive history and design
Car heaven at the Petersen Automotive Museum! From vintage classics to futuristic concepts, this place is a must-visit for any car enthusiast.

Car enthusiasts, prepare to have your minds blown. The Petersen Automotive Museum is a gearhead's paradise, showcasing everything from classic cars to futuristic concept vehicles. The building itself is a showstopper, with its striking red exterior and stainless steel ribbons. Inside, you'll find over 300 vehicles spread across three floors, including famous movie cars, rare prototypes, and even a few motorcycles. The museum's "Vault" tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the rarest and most valuable cars in the collection.

  • Location: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
  • Hours: Wed-Mon 10am-5pm, Closed Tuesdays
  • Admission: $17 for adults, additional fee for Vault tours

Why Visit: It's a world-class automotive museum that appeals to car lovers and design enthusiasts alike.

Insider Tip: Book a Vault tour in advance for an up-close look at some truly incredible vehicles.

Catch a concert at the Hollywood Bowl

Concert crowd at the Hollywood Bowl outdoor amphitheater at night, capturing the unique atmosphere of this iconic venue
There's nothing like a summer night concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Picnic under the stars while listening to world-class music - pure LA magic!

There's something magical about listening to music under the stars, and nowhere does it better than the Hollywood Bowl. This iconic amphitheater has been hosting performances for nearly a century, welcoming everyone from the Beatles to Ella Fitzgerald. Whether you're into classical, jazz, or pop, there's likely a show that'll catch your ear. Pack a picnic (yes, it's allowed!), grab a bottle of wine, and settle in for an unforgettable evening of music in one of LA's most beloved venues. The Bowl's summer season is particularly special, with the LA Philharmonic often taking center stage.

  • Location: 2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
  • Hours: Vary by performance
  • Admission: Varies by performance

Why Visit: It's an unparalleled outdoor concert experience in a historic venue with fantastic acoustics.

Insider Tip: Bring your own food and drinks to save money, but leave the glass bottles at home.

Hike Solstice Canyon for ocean views

Waterfall on the Solstice Canyon trail in Malibu, showcasing the natural beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains
Found this hidden gem in Solstice Canyon! The hike to the waterfall is easy and the views are totally worth it. Perfect escape from the city.

Want to experience LA's natural beauty without venturing too far from the city? Solstice Canyon is your answer. This scenic hike in the Santa Monica Mountains offers a perfect blend of nature and history. The trail leads you past the ruins of a once-grand mansion, waterfalls (a rarity in often-dry Southern California), and ends with sweeping ocean views. It's an easy to moderate hike, making it accessible for most fitness levels. Keep an eye out for native wildlife and the vibrant wildflowers that bloom in spring.

  • Location: Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It offers a perfect mix of LA history, natural beauty, and ocean vistas, all in one hike.

Insider Tip: Go early in the morning to beat the crowds and the heat, especially during summer months.

Work out at Muscle Beach Venice

Bodybuilders exercising at the outdoor gym at Muscle Beach Venice, capturing this iconic fitness spot
Muscle Beach Venice is like a live action movie set! These guys make it look easy, but trust me, those weights are no joke.

Flex those muscles at the original Muscle Beach in Venice, a landmark that's as much a part of LA culture as palm trees and traffic. This outdoor gym has been a magnet for fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders since the 1930s. Watch as hardcore lifters pump iron in the California sun, or try your hand at the gymnastic equipment. Even if you're not working out, the people-watching here is world-class. Who knows? You might spot a future action movie star in the making!

  • Location: 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 6am-9pm
  • Admission: Free to watch, small fee to use equipment

Why Visit: It's a unique slice of LA fitness culture and a great spot for people-watching.

Insider Tip: Visit during the annual Mr. and Mrs. Muscle Beach competition for an extra dose of excitement.

Ride miniature trains at Travel Town

Children riding a miniature train at Travel Town Museum in Griffith Park, highlighting this family-friendly attraction
All aboard at Travel Town Museum! The kids loved the miniature train ride. It's a great way to learn about railroad history while having fun.

All aboard for a trip back in time at Travel Town Museum! Tucked away in Griffith Park, this charming attraction is a must-visit for train enthusiasts of all ages. Explore a collection of vintage locomotives and passenger cars, climb aboard retired train cars, and learn about the history of railroad transportation in the Western United States. The highlight for kids (and kids at heart) is the miniature train ride that circles the museum grounds. It's a delightful blend of education and old-fashioned fun.

  • Location: 5200 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm
  • Admission: Free (small fee for train rides)

Why Visit: It's a fun, family-friendly attraction that offers a unique glimpse into railroad history.

Insider Tip: Visit on a weekday to avoid crowds and have more space to explore the train cars.

Explore historic theaters on Broadway

Illuminated neon signs of historic theaters on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles at night, showcasing architectural heritage
Broadway in downtown LA is like stepping back in time! These historic theaters are architectural gems. Fun fact: this area once had the highest concentration of movie theaters in the world.

Step back in time as you stroll down Broadway in Downtown LA. This stretch was once home to the largest concentration of movie palaces in the world, and many of these architectural gems still stand today. From the ornate Los Angeles Theatre to the art deco marvel of the Orpheum, each building tells a story of Hollywood's golden age. While not all theaters are open to the public daily, you can often peek into lobbies or join a guided tour. Keep an eye out for special screenings or performances that let you experience these grand spaces as they were intended.

  • Location: Broadway between 3rd Street and Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90013
  • Hours: Exteriors always visible, interiors vary
  • Admission: Free to view exteriors, tour prices vary

Why Visit: It's a journey through LA's architectural and cinematic history in one street.

Insider Tip: Check out the Last Remaining Seats program for a chance to see classic films in these historic venues.

Step into infinity at Kusama's Infinity Rooms

Visitor experiencing Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room at The Broad, highlighting this popular immersive art installation
Lost in infinity at Kusama's Mirror Room in The Broad. It's mind-bending! The 45 seconds inside feel both endless and too short.

Prepare for a mind-bending experience at Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Rooms at The Broad. These immersive installations use mirrors, lights, and sometimes water to create the illusion of infinite space. Step inside, and you'll find yourself in a galaxy of twinkling lights or a sea of polka dots that seems to stretch on forever. It's a unique, Instagram-worthy experience that blurs the lines between art, science, and pure magic. The rooms are small and time inside is limited, but the impact is lasting.

  • Location: The Broad, 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Hours: Tue-Wed 11am-5pm, Thu-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm, Closed Mondays
  • Admission: Free with museum admission, but requires separate timed tickets

Why Visit: It's a one-of-a-kind, immersive art experience that will leave you in awe.

Insider Tip: Book your Infinity Room tickets well in advance - they often sell out weeks ahead.

Sample local flavors at Grand Central Market

Bustling scene at Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles, showcasing diverse food stalls and diners
Foodie paradise at Grand Central Market! From tacos to oysters, you can taste LA's diverse culinary scene all under one roof.

Foodies, rejoice! Grand Central Market is a feast for the senses, offering a smorgasbord of LA's diverse culinary scene under one historic roof. This bustling food hall has been feeding Angelenos since 1917, and today it houses over 40 vendors selling everything from artisanal cheese to hand-made pupusas. Grab a classic pastrami sandwich at Wexler's Deli, slurp down some oysters at The Oyster Gourmet, or start your day with the famous egg sandwiches at Eggslut. With communal seating areas throughout, it's a great place to sample a bit of everything.

  • Location: 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
  • Hours: Daily 8am-9pm
  • Admission: Free (food prices vary)

Why Visit: It's a one-stop shop for experiencing LA's diverse food scene and a slice of local history.

Insider Tip: Visit during off-peak hours (like mid-afternoon) to avoid the crowds and snag a seat more easily.

Step back in time at the Getty Villa

Ancient statues in the garden at Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, capturing the museum's Mediterranean atmosphere
Felt like I time-traveled to ancient Rome at the Getty Villa! The architecture and gardens are as impressive as the art collection.

Transport yourself to ancient Greece and Rome without leaving Southern California at the Getty Villa. This museum, modeled after a first-century Roman country house, houses J. Paul Getty's collection of classical art and artifacts. Wander through galleries filled with ancient statues, jewelry, and frescoes, then step outside to explore the meticulously manicured gardens. The outdoor theater and herb garden add to the sense that you've traveled back in time. With its hillside location in Pacific Palisades, you'll also be treated to stunning ocean views.

  • Location: 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
  • Hours: Wed-Mon 10am-5pm, Closed Tuesdays
  • Admission: Free (parking $20)

Why Visit: It offers a unique blend of art, architecture, and ancient history with a side of ocean views.

Insider Tip: Don't miss the daily architecture and garden tours, which are included with admission.

Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Hikers near the Hollywood Sign on Mount Lee, with panoramic views of Los Angeles in the background
Finally made it to the Hollywood Sign! The hike was tough but the views are unbeatable. You can see all of LA from up here!

Get up close and personal with one of LA's most iconic landmarks by hiking to the Hollywood Sign. While you can't actually touch the sign (it's fenced off), several trails in Griffith Park offer spectacular views. The most popular route is the 6.5-mile round trip from the Wisdom Tree to the Hollywood Sign, which offers panoramic views of the LA basin along the way. As you ascend, you'll feel the hustle and bustle of the city fade away, replaced by the serenity of the chaparral-covered hills. Just remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen - this is a challenging hike with little shade.

  • Location: 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (popular trailhead)
  • Hours: Trails open daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It offers unparalleled views of the Hollywood Sign and the LA basin, plus a great workout.

Insider Tip: Start early in the morning to beat the heat and the crowds, and to catch the golden morning light on the city.

Rollerblade along Venice Beach Boardwalk

Channel your inner Californian and glide down the Venice Beach Boardwalk on rollerblades. This 2.5-mile stretch of pavement is perfect for people-watching, soaking up the sun, and feeling the ocean breeze in your hair. You'll pass by street performers, local artisans, and an eclectic mix of shops and eateries. Don't worry if you're not a pro - the wide, flat path is suitable for all skill levels. And if rollerblading isn't your thing, you can always rent a bike or simply stroll along on foot.

  • Location: Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
  • Hours: Always open
  • Admission: Free (rental fees for equipment)

Why Visit: It's a quintessential LA beach experience that combines exercise, entertainment, and people-watching.

Insider Tip: Several shops along the boardwalk offer rollerblade rentals if you don't have your own.

Discover prehistoric LA at the La Brea Tar Pits

Life-size mammoth statues at La Brea Tar Pits, showcasing the prehistoric exhibits at this unique Los Angeles attraction
Mammoths in the middle of LA! The La Brea Tar Pits are like Jurassic Park come to life. It's amazing to think these animals once roamed here.

Journey back to the Ice Age at the La Brea Tar Pits, where natural asphalt has been seeping from the ground for tens of thousands of years, trapping and preserving countless prehistoric creatures. Watch as paleontologists work on active excavation sites, then head into the museum to see the impressive array of fossils they've uncovered, including mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and dire wolves. The life-sized recreations of extinct animals are particularly impressive. It's a unique glimpse into LA's distant past, right in the heart of the city.

  • Location: 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
  • Hours: Wed-Mon 9:30am-5pm, Closed Tuesdays
  • Admission: $15 for adults

Why Visit: It offers a fascinating look at prehistoric Los Angeles and ongoing paleontological research.

Insider Tip: Don't miss the Fossil Lab, where you can watch scientists preparing recently excavated fossils.

Window shop on Rodeo Drive

Luxury car parked outside high-end boutiques on Rodeo Drive, capturing the essence of Beverly Hills glamour
Window shopping on Rodeo Drive is an experience in itself! Spotted this beauty outside Gucci. LA luxury at its finest!

Even if your budget doesn't stretch to Gucci or Prada, a stroll down Rodeo Drive is a must for any LA visitor. This famous three-block stretch in Beverly Hills is the epitome of luxury and glamour. Gawk at the latest fashion displayed in meticulously arranged window displays, watch for celebrities doing some shopping of their own, or simply soak in the atmosphere of unapologetic opulence. Don't miss the cobblestoned Via Rodeo at the north end of the street, designed to resemble a quaint European shopping district.

  • Location: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
  • Hours: Most shops open 10am-6pm daily
  • Admission: Free to browse

Why Visit: It's the ultimate luxury window-shopping experience and a glimpse into the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Insider Tip: For a taste of luxury without the hefty price tag, stop by the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM for a sweet treat.

Structuring Your Los Angeles Adventure: A 7-Day Itinerary

Ready to dive into the City of Angels? Here's a week-long itinerary to help you make the most of your LA adventure. Remember, this is just a suggestion - feel free to mix and match based on your interests and energy levels. Los Angeles is a sprawling city, so we've grouped activities by area to minimize travel time.

Days 1-2: Hollywood and Downtown

  • Start your trip with a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, then catch a movie at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.
  • Head to Griffith Observatory for panoramic views and a planetarium show.
  • Explore downtown LA, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Broad museum.
  • End your day with dinner at Grand Central Market.

Insider Tip: Use the Metro Red Line to easily travel between Hollywood and Downtown.

Days 3-4: Beach Cities

  • Start at Santa Monica Pier, then rent a bike and ride down to Venice Beach.
  • Spend time people-watching on the Venice Beach Boardwalk and check out Muscle Beach.
  • The next day, head to Malibu for a hike in Solstice Canyon, followed by beach time at Zuma Beach.
  • End with sunset drinks at a beachfront restaurant in Santa Monica.

Insider Tip: The Big Blue Bus is an affordable way to travel between Santa Monica and Venice.

Days 5-6: Museums and Culture

  • Dedicate a day to the Getty Center, exploring both the art collections and the beautiful gardens.
  • Visit LACMA and the adjacent La Brea Tar Pits.
  • Spend an evening at the Hollywood Bowl for a concert under the stars.
  • The next day, explore the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

Insider Tip: Many museums have free admission days - check their websites to plan your visits economically.

Day 7: Choose Your Own Adventure

For your final day, choose from these options based on your interests:

  • Theme Park Enthusiast: Spend the day at Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Nature Lover: Take a challenging hike to the Hollywood Sign, then relax in Griffith Park.
  • Shopaholic: Browse the boutiques on Rodeo Drive, then head to The Grove for more shopping and dining.
  • Film Buff: Take a studio tour at Warner Bros. Studios, then catch a classic film at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Insider Tip: Leave some flexibility in your schedule. LA traffic can be unpredictable, and you might discover new interests along the way!

Remember, this itinerary just scratches the surface of what LA has to offer. Don't be afraid to venture off the beaten path, chat with locals, and discover your own favorite spots in the City of Angels. There's always something new to explore in Los Angeles, so consider this itinerary a starting point for your adventures.

As you cruise down Sunset Boulevard one last time, the Hollywood Sign shrinking in your rearview mirror, you'll realize that Los Angeles is so much more than its stereotypes. Yes, it's a city of glamour and palm trees, of beaches and movie stars. But it's also a city of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique flavor. It's a city of world-class museums and hidden hiking trails, of food trucks and Michelin-starred restaurants.

In LA, you can watch the sunset from a mountaintop and be back in time for a late-night taco run. You can rub elbows with celebrities at a hot new restaurant or chat with local artists at a neighborhood farmers market. You can surf in the morning and ski in the afternoon (with a bit of driving, of course).

Los Angeles is a city that rewards the curious, the adventurous, and the open-minded. It's a place where dreams are born, where creativity thrives, and where the unexpected lurks around every corner. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, there's always something new to discover in the City of Angels.

So go ahead, let yourself get lost in a museum, strike up a conversation with a street performer, or take that scenic detour. After all, in a city built on storytelling, the best stories are often the ones you stumble upon yourself. Who knows? You might just find your own piece of LA magic along the way.

"Los Angeles is 72 suburbs in search of a city." - Dorothy Parker

Parker's quip might be tongue-in-cheek, but it captures the sprawling, diverse nature of LA. It's not just one city, but many cities within a city, each waiting to be explored. So what are you waiting for? Your Los Angeles adventure begins now!

West Parker
West Parker
Article updated:
July 18, 2024 8:19 AM

West Parker, a Cornell University School of Hotel Administration graduate, has spent two decades as the secret weapon of the jet-set elite, crafting bespoke adventures that redefine luxury travel. Now a resident writer for Town & Tourist, this 45-year-old "Architect of Extraordinary Journeys" combines razor-sharp insights with unparalleled industry connections to deliver experiences that even the most discerning globetrotters can't help but rave about. West's expertise spans from exclusive real estate to fine dining, making him the go-to strategist for those who demand nothing but the extraordinary in their travels.

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