15 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Have you ever wondered what there is to Los Angeles than celebrity spotting? There is much more than just the stars and the sand. Here are 15 things you have to do (or will definitely do) in the city of angels.


#1 Get stuck in a traffic

This is not something you should do but it’s inevitable and it will most definitely happen to you. We will better get over it now 🙂 Los Angeles lacks good public transport network so everyone and their grandma’s grandma drives. In L.A. it always feels like a rush hour so get yourself a good amount of time to get from place A to B. It may look like a 20 minutes drive on Google Maps but it can take you an hour to get there. Always have that in mind, especially when having a plane to catch. Trust me, I have been there. Almost missed my flight that was ‘thankfully’ delayed.

#2 Visit the Walk of Fame

And take a picture with the star of the name of your favorite celebrity. There are more than 2600 stars over 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard. You can download the official iPhone app here with a full star guide and a map. Don’t forget to check out the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre that witnessed a lot of movie premiers and Oscar ceremonies.

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#3 Take a stroll around the Venice Beach

Venice Beach is probably my favorite place in L.A. Take a walk at its boardwalk where you can see a lot of eclectic characters, watch people skate at the skatepark, work out at the outdoor ‘Muscle Beach’ gym, witness live music performance or just meet interesting people.

#4 Take a picture with the lifeguard tower

I can hear the Baywatch theme song every time I look at these lifeguard towers. If you return from L.A. without a picture of the lifeguard tower, it’s like you haven’t even been there.

#5 Take a picture with the Hollywood sign

The Hollywood sign that is visible from almost the whole city is actually set behind restricted area. It is also very difficult to find a spot for well-angled shot. There is authorized hiking track going from Griffith Park every day that you can go on. If you just want to snap a picture of the sign as I did, you can. There are few spots on the Mulholland Highway with a great view of the sign.

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#6 Try to park your car

It is sometimes nearly impossible (see #1)

#7 Drive around Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive is a street and road that zigzags through eastern Santa Monica Mountains. The famous road is featured in a lot of movies, songs, and novels. David Lynch, whose film Mulholland Drive is suffused with the atmosphere of the road, once said that one can feel “the history of Hollywood” on it.

#8 Eat at Five Guys

Five Guys is fast casual restaurant chain focused on hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries. A lot of people in L.A. likes to eat at In-N-Out Burgers but for me, Five Guys is a great deal. You can ‘create’ your own burger from listed ingredients and their french fries taste great.

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#9 Drive to the Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory overlooks the Los Angeles basin. You can see all the way through the downtown to the Pacific Ocean so it is a perfect location for taking a picture (if it’s not a foggy day). From the right side of the observatory, you have a view of the Hollywood sign. The observatory hosts exhibitions and a planetarium, that you can also visit.

#10 Snap a picture of the lights at LACMA

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) offers a great variety of exhibitions. One of the art installations is the ‘Urban Lights’ located at the Wilshire Boulevard entrance of LACMA. The installations consist of 202 restored street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s. Most of them once lit the streets of Southern California.

#11 Visit one of Hollywood movie studios

Paramount, Universal, Sony, Warner Brothers. Each of the studio tours is a bit different but equally interesting. Universal Studio offers more of a theme park experience. Warner Bros. would be great for fans of TV shows such as Friends or Big Bang Theory.  Paramount and Sony have both great movie sets.

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#12 See the Walt Disney concert hall

The curvaceous concert hall with an exterior made of a stainless steel is definitely worth a visit. It was designed by Frank Gehry and was built in downtown Los Angeles.

#13 Go for a hike at Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon is a great rural area that offers about 2,5 miles (4 km) long hike and some beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and San Fernando Valley. Get out of the urban area and constant driving around and go for a hike. You might also meet some celebrities here 😉

#14 Drive around Sunset Boulevard

One of the most iconic palm-lined streets, Sunset Boulevard has its cinematic appeal that became the setting of several famous movies and music videos. The street connects downtown L.A. to Beverly Hills. Popular nightlife spot the ‘Sunset Stip’ is a part of the street with plenty of infamous nightclubs and bars.

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#15 Ride the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier

The iconic feature of the Santa Monica coastline, the Pacific Park amusement park is a must. Don’t miss a ride on the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel, with a great view of the coast and the ocean.

Los Angeles is not a city like any else and has a lot to offer. If you love beaches, mountains, and nice weather, and don’t mind driving a car, there is not much to go wrong with this city. Have you ever been to L.A. and how did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments.

Get the City Price Guide for Los Angeles to plan your budget here.

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Photos: my own, Unsplash

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I’ve only ever stayed in LA for 24 hours so didn’t have time for many of these. The Santa Monica Pier is on my bucket list for sure! A hike at Runyon Canyon sounds amazing too!

i went to LA many years ago. I definitely need to return esp. for Santa Monica pier. Wow. so nice 🙂

I haven’t been to LA in years and this is a good reminder to get back there. In fact I usually avoid any flight routings through LAX because it is so busy, but maybe a layover there for a few days would be a good idea. Had to laugh at the getting stuck in traffic highlight – every LA movie seems to incorporate this into a scene.

LAX is so busy so I totally understand why you are avoiding flight routes through there. But that would actually be a great idea to stay for a layover! Just be careful to not get stucked in the traffic for most of your visit 😀

Thanks for this great and useful post! I would definitely do #5, 11 and 13. Really happy I learned about #13; that’s the first time I ever heard of that! 😉

There is quite a lot hiking routes around L.A. so it is definitely something to try while staying there 🙂

Oh I love that getting stuck in traffic is a thing to do. Sounds more fun then celebrity spotting!

#1 Stuck in traffic 😀 I guess that would be an activity in many of the big cities around the world. I keep hearing that LA isn’t that great, I wonder what would I feel if I ever get there.

Yes L.A. is not all that glamorous that people would think it would be. It is dirty and smoggy just like any other big city. But if you like beaches, mountains and pretty chilled people, you might enjoy it 🙂

Your blog is set out beautifully. And thanks for sharing your tips on what to do in LA – although I’m not excited to get stuck in traffic.

Thank you so much! 🙂 Hope you will enjoy your LA stay!

I’m from this beautiful city and everything about this post made me miss it so much (especially that bit about getting stuck in traffic and not finding parking! Though I can’t say I miss it THAT bad) The whole city has such a special vibe to it that you can only find there, its what draws people in and makes us miss it when we leave.

I totally agree with you on the special vibe. I think there is no other city like LA 🙂

I’ve been to LA a few times and I love it! Venice Beach is one of my favourite things to do there. And walking around Hollywood Boulevard is fun too. But the Original Farmers market is my absolute favourite way to spend an afternoon!

What a fun article! I’ve been to LA a few times but on really short trips for work so I’m looking forward to having two weeks in the city next month with only 5 days of working time!! I pinned your recommendations for when I’m ready to start planning 🙂 although I hope I don’t get stuck in traffic LOL

Jackie, I hope you will have a great time in LA. Two weeks is enough to explore the city and have some fun on the side, rather than running around trying to see everything in just a few days 🙂

It is my big dream to go to LA. It’s planned for 2018. I just love the palm trees and the always-shining-sun. Thx for the tips x

I would love to take photos with the Hollywood sign! And I agree that being stucked in a traffic doesn’t sound good…Hope that I can visit LA one day.

I was surprised how nice LA down town is! I did not visit the place until my 3rd LA trip.
Good pics you have. I Love LA.

Thank you for the info! I will be sure to refer back to this list when I visit L.A.

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