50 best things to do in Los Angeles ( California )

Do you like the outdoors or do you prefer indoor activities? Los Angeles has tons of activities for you. Whether you are taking a walk on Sunset Boulevard, enjoying the Museums, or walking in the pleasant sceneries, there’s plenty to do. Make time to visit world-famous places like the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

When you get tired of exploring, enjoy the nightlife with dinner and cocktails. Our list of the 20 best things to do in Los Angeles, California will get you on the right track; whether you’re going alone or with family, you will never get bored.

Los Angeles is the site of so many attractions. It can get daunting to decide what to do if you are a visitor. Take a trip to Hollywood and see how celebrities live. Enjoy sunbathing and swimming at world-famous beaches like Santa Monica and Venice beach.

Take a walk in the art district and marvel at human creativity. Make sure you bring along your camera to capture some amazing times. In our article, we will share the 50 best things to do in Los Angeles, California.

1. Get Behind-The-Scenes Look at Universal Studios

Universal Studios is a must-visit location in Los Angeles. The film studio and theme park allow you to see how movies come to grace our screens. You get to visit real sets, and you never know how you may bump into a celebrity or two.  

The theme park attracts a lot of visitors with good reason. See the costumes and props from movies such as the sting, Jurassic Park and jaws.  The immersive 3D ride will make you feel like you are part of some of the popular movies. Also, make sure you visit the Water World for fun activities.

2. Learn the Film-Making Craft at Warner Bros

Warner Bros brings seriousness to the craft of film making. You do not get theme parks like you would at Universal Studios. You, however, have plenty to see and interact with during the guided tours. Ensure you allocate at least 3 hours for the tours. See where the filming of the Big Bang Theory happens.

The prop house has costumes from movies like Harry Potter, and if you are a car lover, the picture car vault will amaze you. Learn the craft of filmmaking with the Interactive Script to Screen. It teaches you everything from production right up to the very end.

3. Take a Golf Cart Tour of Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures has been open since 1912. They offer guided tours in golf carts, allowing you to see stages, warehouses and props. You can visit any day, but make sure you book in advance. It is not uncommon to bump into celebrities since shooting continues actively throughout the day. If you want a better experience, book the VIP tour.

4. Reconnect With Your Childhood at Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort is a must-visit for both adults and kids.  It has managed to transcend the age barriers with regards to fun activities. The resort has an adventure park, two theme parks, Disneyland Park, and downtown Disney for a bit of shopping.

Walt Disney built the park in 1955, and it has some of the best fun and play equipment you will ever find anywhere. Space Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad and Pirates of the Caribbean, are some of the popular rides, street parades. Star Wars Galaxy Edge further adds to the adventure.

5. Experience Restoration and Power of Youth at the Art District

The art District brings together youthful artists to display their talent and creativity. Wear comfortable shoes because the best way to take it in is by walking.  Initially, the Art District was home to warehouses, factories and railroad sheds. Many of the buildings were in a state of disrepair and decay.  

But now, you get to experience some of the best murals and graffiti.  Interestingly, it is the building owners who invite the youth to express their talents on the walls. Such youth find a way to express their art without breaking the anti-graffiti laws.

6. Marvel at the Wonders of the California Science Center

The California science center is a fantastic way to spend the day if you are traveling with kids. It will also fill your yearning to know more about science and what it can do. Visit the Exposition Park and see innovation at its best.  The exhibitions and interactive workshops also provide great entertainment.  Some of the things you will see include an IMAX theatre, sketch Foundation gallery, Frank Gery exhibits, and so much more.  

7. Catch a concert at the Bowl Museum

Catch amazing concerts and musical performances at the amphitheatre style Hollywood Bowl Museum. The distinctly shaped bowl museum has been in operation since 1920. It hosts different exhibitions and musical shows within the year.  It also has its hall of fame, which pays tribute to musical greats like Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Garth Brooks.

8. Cleanse at the Beverly Hot springs

If you enjoy natural wellness treatments, the Beverly hot springs is an ideal location. The spas offer Balneotherapy treatments using mineral-rich 100% natural hot spring water. You can also opt for herbal sauna, cold pools, body massages and steam baths. What you get is the ultimate relaxation, all within a fantastic ambience.

9. Take Pictures at Griffith Park

Griffith Park is home to Mount Lee, which has the Iconic Hollywood sign. Here’s what you may not know.  The sign initially belonged to a real estate company. It read Hollywoodland when it went up in 1923.  In 1946, they dropped the Land and just left it as Hollywood.

Since then, it has undergone some renovations, including making it all steel in 1978. It has also had several paint jobs, with the last being in 2005.  

If you want to get real close to it, bring a good pair of hiking boots; the other option is to view it from across the canyon at Lake Hollywood Park.

10. Sunbathe at Venice Beach

Let out your spirit run free at the bohemian, eccentric Venice Beach. It is a popular tourist spot with tons of activities. Whether you are into skateboarding, water activities or just sunbathing, you can do it all here.

11. Idle the Time Away at Santa Monica Beach

Another must-visit relaxation spot is the Santa Monica State beach. You get over 3.5 miles of beach, making it ideal for an idle day when all you want to do is sunbathe and relax.

You can also explore one of the eight neighborhoods. You get your fill of entertainment, shopping, dining and many other types of recreation.  

12. Explore the Iconic Sunset Boulevard Thoroughfare

Sunset Boulevard makes it to our list of 25 best places to visit in Los Angeles. It is a popular tourist destination due to its vibrant day and nightlife. The 22 mile-long road has been the location of some very famous movies.

Sunset Boulevard runs from Hollywood to Malibu through Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood and UCLA. If you want to understand South California fully, make sure you tour Sunset Boulevard.

13. Say Your Final Goodbyes to Hollywood Stars at the Forever Cemetery

Say your final goodbyes to Hollywood stars at the Hollywood cemetery. It is the final resting grounds for some movie greats like Jayne Mansfield, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney and Rudolph Valentino, to name a few.  

The friendly and very helpful groundskeepers can give you interesting facts and stories. If you are really lucky, you can come across one of the peacocks that roam the grounds.  

The Cemetery also has a very active events calendar.  Concerts, movie screenings, literature events and life podcasts are just some of the activities you can participate in.

14. Buy and Eat Organic Produce at the Farmers Market

The Farmers Market gives you access to some of the best locally-produced organic foods. It has been in existence for over 80 years, and is a historic landmark. Food lovers congregate at the market and interact with over 100 vendors. Eat fantastic meals at the restaurants and food stalls.

You get your fill of international and local foods. Plan your visit for the days when they host special events.  Friday evenings, for example, is popular for live music. Trivia night is on Tuesday, amongst many other activities that occur every day of the week.

15. Enjoy Architecture at the Getty Center

The Getty Center is a showcase of great architectural talent. The central garden, outdoor sculpture, and the cactus garden are a sight to behold. You get to interact with art from as early as the 17th century.  Whether you like medieval, Flemish, Italian or Dutch paintings, you will find them all here.  Some of the works you’ll see are by Rembrandt, Rubens, Renoir, Cezanne, Monet and Van Gough.

16. Feel Like a Star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame

You may not get to meet the celebrities in real life, but you can get to see their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  

The Walk of Fame pays tribute to some of the best entertainers. Such include actors, musicians, and fictional characters, theatrical and musical groups.  As of 2019, the Terrazzo and brass stars were 2600.

Nominating or sponsoring a celebrity does not come cheap.  It costs up to $40000 to get a coveted spot on one of the 18 blocks where the stars are, taking up Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

17. Shop Away At Rodeo Drive

Our list of 25 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles, California, would not be complete without telling you where to spend some of your money. Rodeo Drive is a shopper’s paradise, whether you are looking for a designer or a flagship store. Even if you cannot afford some of the pricier items, it doesn’t hurt to look.

18. Mingle At the Venice Beach Boardwalk

The Venice Beach Boardwalk is a colorful place that has an interesting mix of people. Get a tattoo, experience fine dining with international cuisine or stop by the cannabis shops, if that is your thing. In case you want to rest, the street performers will keep you entertained. If you want to shop a little, the street vendors have tons of interesting stuff for you.

The boardwalk has some interesting historic buildings. You get to explore the history behind Abbot Kinney’s vision of Italy’s Venice, right in America. The palms and sandy beaches create the perfect ambience for a day out, exploring the best that Los Angeles has to offer.

19. Take in the Outdoors at Runyon Canyon Park

Make sure you pack a sturdy pair of hiking boots and comfortable clothing. You will be doing quite a bit of hiking if you really want to experience Los Angeles. Runyon Canyon Park covers 160 acres and is a popular hiking area.

It is not uncommon to spot a celebrity or two at the park.  Choose the hiking level that is suitable for you. The most difficult is the Hero Trail, while the star Trail is ideal for intermediates. Catch your breath at Clouds Rest, which offers panoramic views that are picture-worthy.  

20. Cars, Cars and More Cars at Petersen Automotive Museum

Car enthusiasts flocked to the Petersen Automotive Museum with good reason. The first spectacular thing is the architecture of the building. Comprising of over 100 tons of stainless steel, it looks a lot like swirling ribbons.  

Plan to spend hours at the 25 galleries full of some of the most outstanding cars. You will see vehicles from as early as 1915, and you may have seen some in movies. The Vault contains vehicles previously owned by Elvis Presley and Steve McQueen.

21. Enjoy Everything Baseball at the Dodger Museum

If you’re a baseball fan, you should not leave Los Angeles without visiting Dodger Stadium.  It has been open since 1962 and can comfortably carry up to 56,000 people. There is no other Stadium that has the same capacity in the world. You can visit during baseball season so that you can truly experience the ambiance and excitement during a typical game. Come hungry so that you can eat fan favorites like the hot dogs, tacos and esquites.

22. Experience the Oriental at Grauman’s Chinese Theater

The Grauman’s Chinese Theatre sits on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has been the site of many premieres since its opening. The theatre resembles a Chinese pagoda complete with Ming Dynasty Lions as the door guards.

The name changed to TLC Chinese Theater after the TLC Corporation bought it from Warner Bros. Some of the biggest stars in Hollywood have left their footprints, handprints or signatures at the forecourt.

Charge your camera for some interesting photos with fictional characters like SpongeBob and Spider-Man.

23. Take A Road Trip around Palos Verdes Peninsula

A road trip is a fantastic way to take in the scenery in Los Angeles. Make sure you plan to drive along Palos Verdes Peninsula; you get miles of open oceanfront hillsides. Get your fill of winding roads and bluffs. One must-visit place is the Point Vincent Interpretive Center. This is where you get to see uninterrupted views of the lighthouse.

24. Test Your Driving Skills at Mulholland Drive

Locals say that if you want to truly experience the spirit of Hollywood, you will find it at Mulholland Drive.  It is a Winding two-lane Road on the Eastern Santa Monica Mountains, right on the ridgeline. See how the wealthy live because it bypasses some of the most expensive houses you will find anywhere in the world.

Get attentive when driving because the road has many blind turns and hairpin bends. The drive will, however, allow you to take some of the best pictures. You can capture places such as Universal City, the Hollywood sign, Santa Susanna Mountains and the San Fernando Valley.  

25. Discover the Universe at the Iconic Griffith Observatory Landmark

Astronomy lovers flock to the Griffith Observatory. Get your fill of everything to do with the solar system, moon and skies. The Landmark building is iconic and gives you uninterrupted views of the city.  Make time to visit the Planetarium, Observatory and exhibition space.

It is a fantastic location to visit with the kids due to its educational facilities. You get interactive presentations at the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. The museums, workshops and exhibitions also make the trip to the observatory worthwhile.

We have gone through our list of some of the 50 best things to do in Los Angeles, California.  Our list is by no means exhaustive because there is so much to do. A walk through downtown Los Angeles for example will expose you to some amazing architecture. Some of the buildings you will see have no comparison anywhere else in the world.

If you’re thinking of exploring any of these places, do a little research beforehand concerning these places to get more information. Take advantage of guided tours to really experience LA. However, you can easily discover some of the places, so you are well covered either way.

26. Excavate For Fossils At La Brea Tar Pits

Playing in the dirt can be fun if you visit La Brea Tar Pits. Discover everything to do with archaeology while soaking up the best of nature. You’ll find excavators hard at work looking for fossils. Your visit there could be the lucky charm they have been waiting for to dig up the best fossils. Enjoy quesadillas, tacos and burritos along the way.

27. Get Closer to the Sky at OUE Skyspace

If heights scare you, you may want to pass up on the OUE Skyspace. If not, take a ride to the 69th floor and relax in the open space. Must-try activities include the glass slide and interactive displays.

If you want some quiet time, you can sit and sip wine and beer at the bar.  Enjoy the sunrise and sunsets and catch up with yoga at the Skyspace. Ensure you bring a date along for the movies or fun parties.

28. Stare Down Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum

Forget about watching dinosaurs only in the movies. At the Natural History Museum, you get a chance to get up close to them. Open since 1913, you will see and interact with millions of artifacts. Such include fossils of Triceratops and T-Rex. If you love plants, get ready to explore more than 600 species at the nature garden.

29. Get Romantic at the Venice Canals

Abbot Kinney decided to bring some of Italy into America. The canal is the brainchild behind the Venice boardwalk. You can also thank him for their romantic Venice canals. Take a boat ride or pose for some romantic photos at the bridges.

Alternatively, take a stroll with a loved one and just get away from the noises of the city. If you are a bird watcher, you will love the selection you will see. You may spot pelicans, parrots, egrets and herons.

30. Take surfing lessons at Kapouwui

You no longer need to sit at the beach admiring surfers; Kapowui is the place to learn how to catch those waves. Ok, wait, let’s not get carried away; you must first learn how to use the board and stay on it.

The instructors are very friendly and, most importantly, very patient. Don’t buy any gear because they will give you everything. The best part is that they also teach the little ones.  So go ahead; this is a fun activity to engage in, whether alone or with family.

31. Picnic at Echo Park Lake

Echo Park Lake is another fantastic location when traveling with family or friends. You may have spotted it in one or two movies. It is also very popular with people who want to relax without the noise of the city. Take a pedal boat for a trip down the lake or jog on the shores if you like.  Whatever you decide to do, the peace and calmness provide a fantastic way to relax.  

32. See the Power of Recycling at Watts Towers

Can you believe that glass bottles, concrete and scrap metal can give rise to a tower? If you ever need a reason to recycle, visit the Watts tower. Construction of the building started in 1920 and went on for the next 30 years.

A construction worker who was an Italian immigrant, Sabato Rodia, is the one to thank for this marvel. The tower consists of 17 sculptural pillars carefully and lovingly interwoven. You will find it at the Simon Rodia Historic state park.

33. Experience Classical LA in Grand Central Market

When you step into Grand Central Market, you feel like you are back in 1917 at its opening.  Nothing much has changed about the place. It is still one of the best places to eat. Some establishments such as Roast to Go have been open since 1952.

The food court has so many varieties that it can get confusing. You get your fill of cuisines from all over the world. The food quality is top-notch, without the accompanying price tag. Come with family and friends and enjoy the lively experience at the Grand Central Market.

34. Hike or Bike at the Angeles National Forest

If you are up to some physical outdoor activities, the Angeles National Forest will give you plenty to do. 53 trailheads and 1000 square miles of wilderness are what you get. The venue is popular with those who like to run, hike, ski, bike or boat.  

If you don’t feel like breaking too much of a sweat, carry a picnic and a good book.  The views are spectacular, especially from Bridge to Nowhere and the Devils Punchbowl.

35. Binge Watch Movies  At Multiple Locations

The entertainment scene in Los Angeles is second-to-none. There are so many locations you can visit to watch your favorite movies. If you want to watch your movies in a dome, you can get it at ArcLight. Do you fancy 35mm double feature movies?  Head over to the new Beverly cinema. Want a bit of Egyptian history dating back to 1922?  You will find it over the Egyptian theatre. Want the latest Disney releases?  Head over to El Capitan.

Are you watching your budget but you want to experience matinees?  For $7, you can access all that and more at vintage Los Feliz 3. Los Angeles is the home of most movies. So, it only makes sense that you can binge-watch movies at the multiple locations available.

36. Get the African Experience in Little Ethiopia

Little Ethiopia allows you to understand and interact with the cultures of North Africa. You will find it on Fairfax Avenue and it has a lot of Ethiopian people and influences.  Eat some of the best Ethiopian cuisines, including the popular Injera. You will learn how to use it as a spoon for the spicy dishes you will get. Make sure you try the original Ethiopian coffee, and when your stomach is full and happy, take a stroll through the Vintage markets and thrift stores.

37. Forage for Designer Items At Fred Segal

Shopping does not need to be the standard boring brick and mortar, clothes on a rack experience. Fred Segal offers you the opportunity to forage for fashion items at the boutique. You never know what you will find. Best of all the prices are friendly; you get top brands and have so many varieties to go through. If celebrities can take advantage of the offers, why shouldn’t you?

38. Read Classical’s at the Huntington Library

If you are a book lover, make sure you visit the Huntington Library.  It has a vast collection of books, including some of the best classicals. The garden is inviting and gives the impression of having stepped out of one of those novels. Can you picture in your mind marble statues, roses, waterfalls, ponds and the unique Japanese bridge? Are you feeling a little fancy? Well, take a minute to sip some tea and bite into fresh pastries at the Rose Garden tea room.

39. Rediscover Drive-Ins at Vineland Drive-In

The younger generation may not understand the pleasure of watching a movie at a driving. Technology has made everything accessible from the comfort of your home. Vineland drive-in, refreshingly, continues to cling onto the days gone by. It is one of the few places where you can still watch movies from your car. Show how romantic you can be by bringing your partner along.

On the other hand, you may need to forget about being too romantic. Most of the movies are thrillers and horrors. But hey, you can always be the knight who will save your partner from the psychos and zombies wreaking havoc on the screens.  

40. Discover Best Kept secrets at Barnsdall Art Park

Not many people may know about Barnsdall Art Park.  Yet it is a treasure chest of historic buildings, art galleries and a theater. Get your fill of exhibitions, plays, contemporary art.  Exchange ideas and titillating conversations during panel discussions with like minds. Alternatively, bring some lunch, good wine, a good book and relax in the park.

41. Live Life To The Fullest At The Sunset Strip

The Sunset Strip has some of the best hotels, including Sunset Tower, Chateau Marmont and the standard.  It is also home to some of the best musical venues such as Roxy Theater, Whiskey a Go-Go and the Viper Room.

Come ready to have fun or enjoy fantastic comedy at the laugh factory and comedy store. Be on the lookout; the Sunset Strip is popular even with A-List celebrities. You never know who may agree to take a picture with you.  But don’t worry; you will also be taking plenty of pictures of your own.

42. Catch  Fantastic Bargains at the LA Flea Market

What is a trip to Los Angeles without getting some fantastic bargains at the flea market? Shopping is fun; you can haggle and enjoy good food and entertainment while at it.  

The Flea market is at the Melrose trading post and features some of the best furniture, jewelry, handcrafted goods and tons of entertainment. The food trucks will satisfy any hunger cravings inexpensively. What you will love is that you can get some very unique pieces from the artisans.

43. Ride Your Bike at the Strand

If you are a cycling enthusiast, you must definitely check out the Strand. It features 22 miles of cycling grounds at the Marvin Braude Bike Trail. It is an excellent way to tour the coastline whether you are cycling or walking. You will also get to see what it is like to own oceanfront property.  

44. Fun and More Fun at Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier marks the end of Route 66. Open since 1909; it attracts hordes of visitors due to the tons of fun activities you can engage in. The location is picturesque, so get ready to take many pictures.  

You can catch a musical concert, bring out the child in you at the amusement park, ride the Ferris wheel or even watch fireworks displays. The venue hosts many holiday parties, and the calendar of events is always full.  The Pacific Ocean point is another fantastic location for taking pictures.

45. Bring Out the Chic in You at Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Are you looking for a chic place to shop? The number one spot in the US is at Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Just a short distance away from Venice Beach, you will find some of the chicest household products. You may stumble upon brands like rag’n’bone, Aesop and James Persy. The food truck extravaganza happens every month on the first Friday. The range of foods includes Nashville hot chicken, Korean BBQ and all types of hot dogs.

46. Experience the Old West at the Autry Museum of the American West

If you have a fascination with the Old West, make time to visit the Autry Museum of the American West. Founded by gene Autry, a singer and actor, the whole place pays tribute to the American West. Located in Griffith Park, you have exhibitions ranging from prehistoric times to the present.  Expect to see items from icons like Belle Starr, Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp.

47. See the Extent Of a Father’s Love at the Greystone Mansion and Park

Parents have done some pretty amazing things for their kids. Greystone Mansion was a gift from Edward Donaghy, an oil Tycoon to his son Ned.  He spared no expense in building the 55-room home. Imagine spending $4 million in 1928 for a house.  

Some of the outstanding features include a bowling alley right within. Unfortunately, Ned did not get to enjoy the home for very long. Stories abound that he and his secretary may have killed themselves in the guest room. Unfortunately, no one has managed to clear up the mystery behind the deaths to date.

The city of Beverly Hills took up the imposing residence in 1965. They then transformed it into a park, and there have been a couple of movies shot at the mansion. You will not get a chance to explore the mansion because it is not open to the public. The park grounds are, however, fantastic for relaxation and picnics.

48.  Browse and Shop at the 3rd Street Promenade

The Third Street Promenade is an excellent shopping zone. Just a few blocks from Santa Monica Pier, you get both up and mid-market stores, bars, restaurants and movie theatres. You can find brands like the Banana Republic, Abercrombie and Fitch, LUSH, Apple Store and H&M.  

When you get tired, find a place to sit and watch the street performers.  The variety is plenty consisting of musicians, magicians, clowns and living statues. All in all, it is a fantastic place to spend the day if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere.

49. Interact With Different Cultures at the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art

Asian, Islamic, and Latin works of art are some of the different cultures you will interact with at the Los Angeles county museum of art. That is not all; within the impressive Museum are collections from across the globe.  

Bring your camera along for a picture at the Urban light installation.  Located at Wilshire Boulevard, the installation consists of 202 restored street lamps.

50. Take A Road Trip To Point Dume

Pack some lunch, get into the car and drive to Point Dume. Straddling the Pacific Coast Highway, you get mountains on one side and a deep blue ocean on the other. At the point, you will get views of beaches, cliffs and wildlife. When you have had your fill of the scenery, hop over to Zuma beach. The world-famous beach is right next door and is a sunbather’s paradise.

Final Thoughts

Are you planning to take a trip to Los Angeles anytime soon? If yes, use our list above as a guide for fun activities. Whether you want to spend time indoors or outdoors, there is so much to do and take pleasure in.

Zip code: 90007

Weather: 58°F (14°C), Wind N at 1 mph (2 km/h), 34% Humidity

Population: 3.99 million (2018)

Local time: Sunday 6:46 PM

Mayor: Eric Garcetti

Author: Locations Unknown

Locations Unknown is a travel resource that covers destinations all around the world. Content is written by several freelance writers/travelers based on their own experiences and/or researching the web.

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