What to do in Los Angeles

Many people dismiss LA for being dirty and full of tourists.. which it can be! but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time and enjoy some beautiful Californian sunshine. Whether Los Angeles is just a stop-over or your holiday destination there is plenty to see and do in this massive city.

Being such a big and sprawling city, LA is one of the places I highly recommend that you use a hop-on hop-off bus for. A large number of attractions are located on or nearby the bus route, which makes it an easy method of transport compared to trying to work out train timetables.

Alternatively you might want to take a taxi/Uber to one location and then walk to visit everything nearby. I have grouped these attractions by area to make this easier to plan.

La Brea

  • The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
  • Urban Light public art
  • Farmers Market – where you get get some tasty hotdogs and enjoy quirky stores including the sticker shop
  • The Grove – for some upmarket shopping or just to enjoy the park
  • Petersen Automotive Museum


  • Hollywood and Highland shopping complex – plenty of food options and you can see the Hollywood Sign in the distance
  • Amoeba Music
  • Stroll down the Walk of Fame
  • Visit the foot and hand prints at the Chinese Theatre
  • See a movie at the El Capitan
  • Buy all your souveniers at La La Land
  • Look at the list of Best Picture winners at the Dolby Theatre
  • Line up on the street to see the movies stars walk in for a movie premiere
  • The Museum of Death.. if that is your thing
  • Get tickets to be in the audience of a talk show
  • Museum of Selfies
  • Guinness World Records Museum
  • The Hollywood Museum
  • Madame Tussauds

Beverley Hills

  • Shopping on Rodeo Drive
  • Walking down Melrose Place
  • Beverley Hills Garden Park

Santa Monica

  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Pacific Park
  • Route 66 End of the Trail Sign
  • Tongva Park
  • Santa Monica Place and 3rd Street Promenade

Venice Beach

  • Venice Beach boardwalk
  • Search for Street Art
  • Venice Canals
  • Venice Pier

Downtown LA
To be honest I spent barely any time in Downtown LA, just one trip on the hop on hop off bus. I don’t think you are missing much if you skip this part of town but you might love it!

  • The Grammy Museum
  • Angel’s Flight Railway
  • Union Station
  • Grand Park
  • Bunker Hill Steps

Studio Tours

  • Universal Studio Tours
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
  • Walt Disney Studios

Griffith Observatory & Griffith Park
Located in the hillside just north of Hollywood you get to look out over the entire city. The Observatory itself is really cool with lots of rooms for you to explore in. There is also a cafe which does pretty tasty food if you wanted to stop by for lunch. We drove up here but the parking gets filled up very quickly, so we had to park down the side of the hill. It would be best to take a bus or even hike to get there.

Just a little further out..

If you have time to make a day trip or are looking for something outside of the main tourist areas these places may interest you

  • Disneyland – Located in Anaheim, many people stay at the park or nearby but you can get here in under an hour from Hollywood by car or around 2 hours on public transport.
  • Redondo Beach & Markets
  • Long Beach
  • Six Flags in Santa Clarita

What do you like to do when visiting LA?

Categories: California, Los Angeles, USA

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4 replies »

  1. Great post. Lots of information in a concise format. Brought back fond memories.

    When I visited I was disappointed at first because in my mind everything was supposed to be bigger and grander. However, after a while I started to love just that.

    It’s all so real and normal-size, with little faults but somehow it all works, especially Hollywood and the studios. Took notes on a few things you mention that I had not yet heard of, like Venice Canals and Tongva Park.

    Liked by 1 person

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