Good ole Los Angeles is a city to remember with plenty of things to do, see, and taste. The sunny city is known as the hub for entertainment from film to hospitality to creativity. A trip to the city of Angels isn’t complete without a stroll down the hall of fame, a visit to the Getty Museum, or hiking up to the Observatory.
Los Angeles is also home to the infamous 2020 World Series Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Lakers. With hundreds of things to do in Los Angeles, there is no shortage of fun. This list is jam-packed with a glimpse of the best of the best that the city has to offer.
Local Things To Do In LA
There are many exciting things to do in LA that can be overwhelming at first. A great starting point for the local adventure is to check out some local favorites. Here are some popular spots locals recommend exploring whether you’re new to Los Angeles or not.
Shopping Trip To Grand Central Market
Los Angeles’ famous Grand Central Market has served locals a variety of foods, beer, and more since 1917. The landmark sits in the heart of downtown Los Angeles and brings together the city’s culture and cuisines.
It is no surprise that this place makes it to the top of the list as one of the locals’ favorite destinations to mix and mingle. If you’re looking to get a real vibe of Los Angeles, check out the Grand Central Market.
Catch Some Sun Rays At Venice Beach
Venice Beach is a prime spot that showcases the vibrant and quirky hipster vibe Los Angeles has to offer. It features a bustling boardwalk with beach shops, smoke shops, snacks, and street performers. When in Venice, there’s no such thing as a dull moment.
Explore Culver City
Culver City is one of the most convenient places to stay in Los Angeles. Since it’s close to LAX and the ocean, it is a popular destination that has it all. Not to mention, it features thriving art galleries, colorful night scenes as well as a few hikes of its own. Culver City is home to renowned Sony Pictures Studio, which provides an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour to movie magic.
Have A Laugh At A Comedy Show
Unlike the noble big apple, Los Angeles has a few comedic tricks up its sleeve. You’ll find numerous venues around the city that feature recurring comedy shows on the daily.
A few popular spots include The Laugh Factory, Upright Citizens Brigade, and The Comedy Store, to name a few. There are also hundreds of smaller venues that enrich the comedy scene with a few hidden gems.
Fresh Finds At The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
The city of Santa Monica hosts a series of Farmers’ Markets on a year-round basis. The markets are open every Wednesday and Sunday morning from 8 am to 2 pm. You can find them off 3rd street promenade and Arizona avenue, as well as other parts of Santa Monica.
Local vendors get together and offer some of the freshest produce, meats, sweets, and homemade delectables. Some markets are pet-friendly, so don’t be surprised if you spot a few four-legged friends.
Free Things To Do In LA
While the sunny city provides an overwhelming amount of things to do, nothing beats free. There is a reason why this is one of the cities that California is known for. Keep reading for some fun, free things to do in Los Angeles.
Explore The Hollywood Scene
Famous for celebrity sight-seeing and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood is a prime attraction that is completely free. Along the Hollywood Walk of Fame sits the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, where visitors can catch a show or movie at the IMAX.
Around Hollywood, you can find some of the most popular attractions and landmarks in California.
Stellar Views At Griffith Observatory And Griffith Park
A trip up to Griffith Observatory is one of the adventurous things to do in LA with picturesque views. But this attraction is more than just scenic views for a good selfie. The Observatory features thrilling exhibitions that give insight into the world around us, including a cutting-edge planetarium.
While the Observatory sits at the top of the mountain, down below, you’ll find Griffith Park. The park has a few trails that take you to and from the Observatory. Although some trails are more strenuous than others, the scenery is captivating. I suggest coming prepared with water and proper attire.
The Getty Centre
The Getty Centre is one of Los Angeles’ museums featuring some of the most incredible pieces of art from around the world. Not to mention, it has become one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture in the United States.
The museum has everything from Renaissance paintings, Baroque sculptures, historical manuscripts, and much more. This attraction is worth nearly $1.3 billion and has stunning views overlooking Los Angeles.
Get Crafty In The Arts District
The Arts District is an edgy neighborhood that sits on the easter side of Downtown Los Angeles. The district continues to blossom into a trendy spot that blends with Little Tokyo and the Fashion District.
Custom murals and art installations can be found throughout the district, representing cultural symbols. The area once was primarily industrial but has since become home to many creatives in technology, architecture, and entertainment. When exploring downtown LA at night, the Arts District adds a colorful flair to the city skyline.
Shop ‘til You Drop At The Grove
The Grove is an outdoor mall that is located south of West Hollywood. The Grove is one of Los Angeles’ most famous landmarks. It is home to The Original Farmers Market, where locals and tourists can enjoy fresh snacks and produce.
Entry to The Grove is free, with free parking for up to 90 minutes. Inside, guests will find popular brands such as Barnes and Noble, clothing stores, and boutiques. It can get crowded, and seating is limited for outdoor eating, so I recommend arriving early in the day.
Popular Things To Do In LA
Keep reading for some of the most popular things to do in Los Angeles, from beaches to theme parks, to shopping sprees.
Santa Monica Pier And Beach
Located west of downtown Los Angeles is the legendary Santa Monica Pier and Beach. The Santa Monica Pier is in several films, TV shows, and video games.
The pier has many popular restaurants and an arcade area featuring a roller coaster and Ferris wheel. Below the pier is a sandy beach with beautiful coastal views and unique beach houses lining the shores.
Santa Monica is hands down one of the best things to do in LA at night. The city lights up brightly with a colorful ambiance and a flourishing atmosphere as the sun goes down. It’s hard not to swoon over the contagious enjoyment that sparks life into the pier both day and night.
For a magical experience in LA at night or day, check out Disneyland, which includes two theme parks; Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Both parks present endless fun that can span days. The resort offers spacious accommodations to make travel to and from the parks convenient and swift.
It’s best to plan a trip to Disneyland ahead of time as tickets tend to sell out quickly and quite often. It can be challenging and more costly to purchase tickets the same day, but still just as magical.
Unlike Disneyland, Universal Studios is less expensive and tends to have much more availability more often. Instead of focusing on Disney movies and characters, Universal Studios provides entertainment for various movie icons. Some popular attractions include The Walking Dead, Jurassic World, Transformers, and The Mummy.
Universal Studios provides the ultimate Hollywood experience. The park’s most famous attraction is the Tram ride which takes guests through the backlots of real-life movie sets. For extra fun, consider purchasing an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour you can’t get anywhere else.
Sunset Boulevard is an iconic piece to the LA scene and represents classic and luxury Hollywood lifestyles. It is also a popular location for famous films and spews a cinematic appeal with an unrivaled nightlife.
Known as “the strip,” it is home to several music venues, including The Roxy Theatre. Locals and tourists consider Sunset Boulevard to be a must-see for LA at night.
Shop Until You Drop At Rodeo Drive
While one of the most popular things to do in Los Angeles, Rodeo Drive is also costly and exclusive. Despite the upscale shopping venues that line the street, it doesn’t get more Beverly Hills than this.
It’s essential to remember that some stores require appointments for entry and are off-limits for tourists. But the area is still fun to window-shop and potentially spot a few fashion icons and celebrities.
Outdoor Things To Do In LA
Los Angeles is probably one of the most popular places for hikes, if not the most popular on its own. Not only are there dozens of trails, but plenty of beaches and other outdoor activities that inspire and energize. Keep reading for some of the best outdoor things to do in LA.
Hike Up To The Hollywood Sign
Guests can hike up to the Hollywood sign a couple of ways, with Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park being the most popular. Runyon Canyon is a celebrity-friendly hike that leads up to the famous Hollywood sign and is open all year round.
Runyon Canyon is the hike where people go to see and be seen. Along the way, guests can stop to visit the famous Bat Cave by taking the shorter route of Runyon. The hike features some of the city’s best panoramic views.
Join The Feast At Smorgasburg LA
Every Sunday, local food vendors get together in the Arts District to celebrate the Los Angeles cuisines. It has become the city’s most prominent food spot with more than 80 food and retail vendors. Some famous finds include lobster rolls, dumplings, creative drinks, and hand-crafted treasures.
Catch A Movie Outdoors
Several pop-up outdoor movie screenings happen all over the city and feature popular films from decades-old to the new age. Los Angeles’ raving outdoor movie scene includes Melrose Rooftop Theatre, Street Food Cinema, and Rooftop Cinema Club. Outdoor drive-ins and rooftop screenings are some of the most fun things to do in downtown LA at night.
Visit The Venice Canals
The Venice canals are a series of small canals that flow through one of Venice’s beachfront neighborhoods. A stroll through the canals is both scenic and peaceful. It’s become a local favorite for things to do in Los Angeles.
A visit to the Venice Canals is a relaxing way to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. On either side of the canals are multi-million dollar beach houses, each with its own unique architectural flair.
Relax At Echo Park Lake
Los Angeles is home to dozens of lush green parks with towering palm trees. However, only a few have a massive lake in the center. Echo Park is one of LA’s most popular parks and is featured in a few movies.
Whether you’re an art lover or looking for a pleasant stroll through the park, Echo Park checks all the boxes and more. Guests can rent out paddle-boats around the lake as a fun activity. Echo Park has many treasured gems, and this is one of them.
Hollywood Forest Cemetery
Another exciting sightseeing spot is the infamous Hollywood Forever Cemetery. As morbid as it might seem, this location is a prime spot to spot a celebrity in the star-studded city. It makes for one of the spookiest things to do in Los Angeles year-round.
The cemetery is the final resting place for famous stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Judy Garland, and Rudolph Valentino. The cemetery grounds are well taken care of and exude a peaceful and serene atmosphere. At the local cemetery flower shop, you’ll find maps highlighting the celebrity’s gravesites.
Indoor things To Do In LA
With the sun shining over the city of Angels, many prefer to spend their time outdoors. However, there are just as many fun things to do indoors as there are to do outdoors. Here are some of the best indoor things to do in Los Angeles.
Explore The California Science Center
For a fulfilling experience of fun and deep exploration, the California Science Center has it all. This museum has just about everything a curious mind could ask for, from ecosystems to interactive space displays.
The museum features several sections, including Air & Space, Creative World, Ecosystems, and more. Each section displays exhibits that help answer questions you didn’t know you had. As a bonus, the museum also has an IMAX theatre for immersive screenings that transport you to another world.
Tour The Warner Bros. Studio
Get a close-up look at the famous movie and TV sets at the Warner Bros. Studio. Located in Burbank, the studio features iconic props such as Batmobiles, Harry Potter costumes, and nostalgic replicas from shows such as “Friends.”
A tour of the studio takes guests through the 110-acre backlot, where dozens of soundstages sit. Don’t be surprised if you come across a celebrity in action. Warner Bros. Studio is one of the best starstruck things to do in Los Angeles.
Tour The Paramount Pictures Studios
Paramount Pictures is the only film studio left in the Hollywood area. Its popularity stems from classics such as “I Love Lucy,” “Titanic,” and the “Mission Impossible” series, to name just a few.
A tour of Paramount Pictures is one of the most authentic things to do in LA for the whole Hollywood experience. A tour runs for about two hours, takes guests across the 65-acre lot, and includes pit stops at studio sets.
The Last Bookstore
A trip to The Last Bookstore is a must-see for book lovers. While it’s not actually the last bookstore to exist, it’s pretty close. Every year, bookstores are dwindling, and The Last Bookstore continues to flourish.
The aisles are lined with hundreds of books from different genres and generations. Not to mention, it features a massive vinyl collection for music lovers. The two-story bookstore showcases installations, small boutiques, and hidden treasures on the second level.
Los Angeles County Museum Of Art (LACMA)
LACMA is Los Angeles’ most renowned museum, offering free admission to anyone who desires to learn. LACMA is known for its spontaneous installations and historical flair of artifacts, modern art, photography, and more. The museum hosts educational programs for all ages in topics ranging from film, music, and art.
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Santa Monica hosts a plethora of things to do in Los Angeles with its very own center of aquatic life. Guests can find a hidden aquarium underneath the famous Ferris wheel that sits on the pier.
The touch tanks feature sharks, octopuses, and more inquisitive aquatic creatures. There is a small donation fee of $5 for adults, but children up to 18 get free admission. For amusing things to do in LA on a warm day, check out the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
Cultural Things To Do In LA
Los Angeles is a cultural center filled with stunning architecture, historical installations, and experiences that bring elegance and excitement. A visit to one of these cultural activities is a must when exploring LA.
Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre
Located in Montclair is the culturally famous Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre. The stunning interior design of the architecture makes for a unique movie-watching experience. Concessions feature authentic Mexican cuisine paired with popular movie snacks such as buttery popcorn and sweets. For just $9, guests can enjoy a double feature.
Old Town Music Hall
The Old Town Music Hall sits in El Segundo and hosts various films, including silent movies. At the forefront sits a breathtaking 2,600 pipe organ. Admission starts at $10 and includes live piano performances or a full-length feature film.
Brand Library is a beautiful Spanish castle-themed building nestled in Glendale, California. Not to mention, it’s more than just a library, featuring performances such as concerts and dance troupes. The best part is the experiences are all free and one of the best cultural things to do in Los Angeles.
Get Spooked At The Queen Mary
Known as the Queen Mary, this 1930s cruise ship turned hotel sits in Long Beach, California. It has become one of the highly sought-after things to do in LA at night. Its popularity stems from its rich history and intricate art-deco architecture. A spooky fact of Los Angeles is that Queen Mary made the list of Top 10 Most Haunted Places on Earth.
Discovering The Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the biggest city in California. It is no surprise that this is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty to offer. From the stunning beaches of Malibu to the bustling nightlife in Hollywood, there are endless opportunities to explore and experience.
With its wealth of culture, entertainment and attractions, you can bet a trip to Los Angeles promises some fun and unforgettable memories.