15 Iconic Things to Do in Los Angeles
Did you just arrive to Los Angeles? Or maybe you've been an "Angeleno" for your entire life? Whether you are a first-time LA tourist or a California native, there are some must-visit locations for you to see. Here is our list of 15 iconic things to do in Los Angeles today that will truly help you get the most out of your trip to this enthralling city. 🌴
Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles CA
LA has a rich history in film and entertainment, and this is one of its more notable features to locals and non-localsalike. If you are looking to absorb this history during your time here, you should prioritize a trip to one of the city’s most iconic streets. Stretching nearly 5 miles long, Hollywood Boulevard is a culturally defining spot of Los Angeles, serving as a home to various landmarks, attractions, shops, and most famously, the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This street provides numerous activities to keep you occupied, whether you intend to spend a full day there, or just a couple of hours.
TCL Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
Speaking of LA’s rich film and entertainment history, the TCL Chinese Theatre is a staple of the city’s cinematic culture and is a must-see landmark that provides a number of things to do. Conveniently located right in the heart of Hollywood Boulevard (ahem), this movie palace houses the world’s largest IMAX auditorium and creates lifelike visuals that are sourced by the only laser light projector used in a California theater; it's no wonder they’ve become a regular hot spot for film premieres over the years. Aside from a memorable movie-going experience, there are also opportunities to encounter the theater’s history by taking a tour and discovering where marks were, quite literally, left by the stars it has hosted. Place your hand on Michael Jackson’s hand print, take a tour of Marilyn Monroe’s dressing room, see the famous dress that Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz, and so much more.
4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Cue “A Lovely Night” from the La La Land soundtrack. Located in the middle of the neighborhood of Los Angeles, Griffith Park holds many of the city’s most well-known attractions. From the scenic hiking trail leading to the Hollywood sign to the famous Griffith Observatory that provides a view of the entire Los Angeles Basin, this park is full of many adventurous activities that will make your time in LA unforgettable. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens while you’re at it and experience the geographical world up close and personal.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Up next, is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA since LA loves to abbreviate. For all of the art lovers out there, you can’t take a trip to this city without visiting the largest art museum in the western United States. With nearly 140,000 pieces in their collection, LACMA tracks 6,000 years of worldwide art, providing a pretty culturally stimulating visit for their guests. Their outdoor pieces are something to be greatly enjoyed as well, such as Chris Burden’s Urban Light, which serves as the building’s grand entrance, and formerly Soto’s Penetrable, (soon to be replaced by his Penetrable BBL Bleu), a proven kid-pleaser, which allows guests to stroll through a wondrous array of dangling nylon tubes! If you are looking to insert some art education into your trip, and have a great time doing it, be sure to check out this beloved staple of LA culture.
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Do you think you have what it takes to come face-to-face with the monsters of Jurassic Park? Are you ready to try the life-changing Butterbeer served only in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Would you like to tour the sets of some of Hollywood’s most famous films? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a day at Universal Studios Hollywood should be added to your trip plans. This park not only offers the chance to immerse into the culture of the studio, but provides many exciting rides, performances, 4D animation shorts, and the addition of the highly anticipated Super Nintendo World.
Santa Monica Pier and Beach
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
If you are in search of the most exciting beach day of your life, then look no further than the Santa Monica Pier, one of the most fun spots that LA has to offer. Whether you’re looking to spend a calm day at the beach, an exciting day carnival rides, or both, this world-famous LA spot has plenty of opportunities to suit your day the way you envision it. With its year-round consistent surf and nearby board rental shops, this beach also serves as a great place to hang ten and shred some killer waves. The beach path offers a chance at a variety of activities too, from biking to rollerblading to walking your puppy. There are, of course, plenty of places to eat and shop when you finally get tired from all that sun tanning, roller-coaster riding, and wave shredding.
2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
If you are looking to check out what’s alive and kicking in the world of entertainment, you’ll want to turn your attention to the Hollywood Bowl. With events occurring almost every night, their outdoor venue hosts a great variety of entertainment options such as movie nights, music concerts, and much more. Their food services are also on point with a variety of vendors to choose from, as well as pre-concert dinners served comfortably to you in your box seats. Be sure to check the Hollywood Bowl schedule for upcoming events and shows.
Rodeo Dr, Los Angeles CA
Would you like to stroll through the same shops as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? With its high-quality dining, shopping, and hotel experiences, Rodeo Drive offers plenty of ways to keep your day as chill as possible while still basking in the exciting energy of LA. Home to many of the world’s most successful international brands, their stores display some of the hottest styles of the season, allowing for some excellent window shopping opportunities. Its scenery is not something to be missed either, being stunningly representative of Beverly Hills’ beauty and architecture. So whether you’re looking to shop (window or otherwise), or just enjoy the atmosphere, Rodeo Drive is a must-see spot in LA.
189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036
If you’d like to shop on a smaller budget and still bask in LA’s exciting energy, The Grove, one of the city’s most well-known shopping centers, is your best bet for a good time. Aside from the small-town vintage scenery (bring your cameras), this magical plaza offers a diverse array of dining options, personal styling opportunities, and cool events such as parades, live performances, etc. You can also treat yourself further by catching a movie at the center’s very own AMC Theater. As a favorite hangout spot for many locals, you definitely won’t want to miss checking out The Grove's Farmer's Market.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
If you happen to find your way into LA’s downtown scene, you’ll definitely want to make time for a tour of the world-famous Disney Hall. Aside from its stunning architecture, this venue is reputed as one of the most sophisticated concert halls in the world and is home to such respectable music groups as the LA Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. In addition to its many other features, the building also houses the Library of Congress / Ira Gershwin Gallery, which updates its collection biannually. Even if you do not have time to catch a performance or book a tour, you are still highly encouraged to drive by and catch a glimpse of the world-famous concert hall architecture; we guarantee you will not be disappointed.
The Sunset Strip
Sunset Strip, West Hollywood, CA
If you’re inclined to run into a celebrity, catch a view of the Hollywood sign, or experience LA nightlife, then the Sunset Strip is the place to be. Named appropriately for its iconic stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, this spot has never lost its relevance to the city's culture and retains much of the energy seen in its early days. Its live music venues, which are almost always active, have hosted such legendary performers as Led Zeppelin, and its nightlife has attracted the most famous of celebrities; their restaurants, bars, and clubs have particularly been a magnet to this group. If the nightlife of LA is not your scene, fret not, the experience of driving through this stretch of the city will expose you to a lovely view of the Hollywood sign and billboard advertisements of the entertainment industry’s many upcoming projects.
The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
As further contribution to the architectural beauty overload you’ll experience while visiting LA, we present to you: The Getty Center. Settled in the Santa Monica Mountains, this center’s design showcases all that is superb and lovely about LA’s contemporary architecture. While having been inspired by ancient Greek and Roman structures, the white travertine marble buildings contain modernist and minimalist elements that are so widespread throughout the city. As if its visuals weren’t enough, the center also houses an art collection lauded worldwide, displaying works by Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas. So if LACMA doesn’t make it on your list of things to do, be sure not to miss out on this iconic Los Angeles site. Be sure to reserve your Getty Center Tickets first - admission is free.
1000 Vin Scully Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Take yourself out to the ball game. This is another one of LA’s more beloved spots - especially for its baseball fans. Whether you want to catch a game or attend a concert, dodger stadium hosts many events that make for a fun day or night out. Aside from the weekly ball games, past events have included the Guinness International Champions Cup, a stadium-led mass by Pope John Paul II, and several concerts performed by some of the greatest entertainers of all time (Michael Jackson, Elton John, and the Beatles included). But don’t wait, tickets to Dodgers games sell quickly, so be sure to snag yours before your trip starts.
Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Downtown Los Angeles, or DTLA, is a hub of the city frequented by both locals and tourists. Besides the numerous shops, museums, and dining options, this space houses several LA perks such as Grand Park, Olvera Street, Chinatown, and Disney Hall (ahem). These spaces not only host the ethnic and cultural diversity of the city but provide tourists the opportunity to immerse themselves in its rich culture. DTLA also happens to be skyscraper heaven, with some of the tallest buildings Los Angeles has to offer, especially Wilshire Grand Center. So be sure not to skip a visit to this beautiful space.
Warner Bros. Studio
3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
One of the well-known perks of LA is that many of the nation’s best television and film productions take place right in its very own Burbank. Most people think the movie studios are in "Hollywood" but the locals know that most of the production happens in The San Fernando Valley. Warner Bros is one particular movie studio that has housed many television show productions in the past such as Friends, Pretty Little Liars, Fuller House, Mom, and currently, the Ellen DeGenerous Show. With opportunities to tour the studio (who doesn’t want to visit the Central Perk set) or even join a live studio audience, this experience is one you will never forge
Have you checked off all these iconic locations from your LA bucketlist? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know what you think. And, if you want to stay up-to-date in Los Angeles with exclusive events in LA and the coolest things to do in LA, then you'll need to make sure to subscribe to the LA Today Newsletter. 🌴