Los Angeles downtown skyline from Griffith Park, USA

Things to do in  Los Angeles

More than a pretty face

California dreaming from swaying palms to theme park thrills, Los Angeles is one of America’s most dynamic cities. Visitors flock here for laid-back surf beaches, Hollywood glitter, and world-class museums, but things to do in Los Angeles go well beyond those classic draws. After strolling the Hollywood Walk of Fame, taste local life by eating through Koreatown and Little Tehran, finding accessible nature at Griffith Park, and hopping between hipster bars in Silver Lake.

Top 15 attractions in Los Angeles

Hollywood Sign

One of LA's most distinguishing icons, the famous Hollywood Sign proudly stands on Mt. Lee (Mount Lee) in the Hollywood Hills, overlooking Los Angeles and the California movie industry it has come to symbolize. This LA landmark first appeared on its hillside perch in 1923 as an advertising gimmick for a real-estate development called Hollywoodland. Each letter stands 50 feet (15 meters) tall and is made of sheet metal painted white.More

Universal Studios Hollywood

One of the world's oldest continuously operating movie studios, Universal® Studios Hollywood presents an entertaining mix of thrill rides and live action shows, plus a tram ride. The large California theme park cleverly integrates the shows and rides with behind-the-scenes presentations on movie-making.More

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Only in Los Angeles are stars so common that they can even be found on the sidewalk. Studded with more than 2,600 brass stars across 18 city blocks, the Hollywood Walk of Fame features names of celebrities in mini monuments. See if you can spot the stars of your favorite motion pictures, TV shows, live theater, and more.More

Griffith Park

Griffith Park is one of the largest city parks in North America, covering a vast 4,310 acres (1,744 hectares). An oasis in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, this green space caters to visitors of all ages and interests with attractions such as the Los Angeles City Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, and the iconic Hollywood sign.More

Sunset Strip

The legendary 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood known as the Sunset Strip extends east–west from Beverly Hills to Hollywood, laid end to end with celebrity-studded music venues dating back to the heyday of rock and roll, comedy clubs, boutiques, restaurants, hotels, and cocktail bars with stellar views of the surrounding city.More


From the Hills to the Sign, the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood has become synonymous with the entertainment industry—and, often, its glamorous appeal. Match your handprints and footprints to those of Hollywood stars on the Walk of Fame; look out for celebs in Tinseltown; and visit famed theaters, such as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre—now the TCL Chinese Theatre—and the Egyptian.More

Venice Beach

Known for its free-spirited vibe, Venice Beach is a happening, upscale outlier of Los Angeles, fronted by the iconic Venice Boardwalk, officially known as the Ocean Front Walk. Encounters with pickup basketball teams, fortune tellers, and roller skating sunseekers are pretty much guaranteed—especially on hot Southern California summer days. Beyond the sand, visit the skate park, the famous Muscle Beach outdoor gym, and Abbot Kinney Boulevard, featuring trendy restaurants, stylish boutiques, galleries, and cafés.More

Santa Monica Beach and Pier

Set along California’s Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica has two claims to fame: the Santa Monica Beach and pier. At Santa Monica Beach, miles of sand host playgrounds, parks, picnic areas, staffed lifeguard stations, and the original Muscle Beach. Nearly 8 million visitors frequent the area each year, most of whom follow the boardwalk to the Santa Monica Pier, whose neon-lit arch and ferris wheel are instantly recognizable from film and TV.More

Rodeo Drive

One of the most famous shopping districts in the world, Rodeo Drive attracts a well-heeled crowd of label lovers who exercise their credit cards at designer shops like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany, and Gucci. Between the elegant storefronts, luxury cars, and swaying palm trees, it’s a Hollywood movie scene come to life.More

TCL Chinese Theatre

Peek into old Hollywood on a visit to the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. This quintessential California landmark, featured in movies since 1927, is still a favorite location for star-studded red-carpet premieres. A recent upgrade to the theater’s seats and IMAX 3D equipment enhances the experience while keeping the theater’s original charm.More

Los Angeles Original Farmers Market

Open since 1934, the Los Angeles Farmers Market, aka the Original Farmers Market, draws both locals and visitors to its 100-plus food stalls, grocers, eateries, and other vendors that sell everything from fruit, meat, and baked goods to skincare, candles, flowers, and housewares. You can easily spend a couple of hours here eating, browsing, and people-watching.More


Just over the hill from sunny Santa Barbara lie the Santa Ynez Valley and the small, Danish-style town of Solvang. Founded in 1911 by a group of Danish teachers, Solvang (Danish for “sunny field”) is now a bustling hub of activity, ripe with wine-tasting rooms, a fairy-tale-esque downtown, and all sorts of quirky shops.More

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

If you’ve ever dreamed of stepping into a Harry Potter book, look no further than the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Explore Hogwarts Castle, stroll around Hogsmeade, and even cast your own spells with a magic wand at this family-friendly attraction perfect for fans of the series.More

Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk is the 3-block entertainment epicenter of Universal Studios Hollywood—the place to be after a day at the theme park for dining, shopping, and live shows (including Howl and the Moon). Visitors here will find 30 restaurants, a multiscreen movie theater, 30 shops, indoor skydiving, and a live concert venue.More

Dolby Theatre

Since it opened in 2001, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood has become best known as the annual home of the Academy Awards, but the 3,400-seat theater—where the grandeur of an old European opera house meets the high-tech capabilities of the Dolby company—also hosts concerts, TV specials, comedy shows, movie premieres, and many other events.More

Trip ideas

10 of the Top Beaches in Los Angeles

10 of the Top Beaches in Los Angeles

Top activities in Los Angeles

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Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

The Official Hollywood Sign Walking Tour in Los Angeles
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7-Day Tour to San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and Zion from LA
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Private Luxurious Tour of Los Angeles
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Swan Boat Rental in Echo Park

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Classic Convertible Car Tour of Los Angeles

Classic Convertible Car Tour of Los Angeles

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Grand City Tour of Los Angeles
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Grand City Tour of Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour

Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour

LA Venice Beach Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours
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All about Los Angeles

When to visit

There's not a bad time of year to visit Los Angeles, but it draws the biggest crowds in summer and over school holidays. Summer sees the tourists flood the beaches and theme parks, so be prepared for crowds. Visit LA in the spring and fall, you won't have to share the beaches and attractions with as many other visitors and the weather is still sunny and warm.

Getting around

Is it a true LA visit if you don't get stuck in traffic on the 405? Californians love their cars, and the residents of densely packed Los Angeles are no different. The city has seven rail lines, but you'll likely need to supplement with buses, rideshares, or taxis to see more of the spread-out metropolis. Renting a car is often the most convenient choice, just try to avoid rush hour traffic.

Traveler tips

The Los Angeles metro area is massive, and many of its popular attractions are outside the city center. It can help to pinpoint where you want to focus your time—sunning at the beach, shopping on Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive, hitting the downtown museums, exploring old Hollywood—and base yourself there. To see it all, plan carefully and avoid rush hour driving. Soon, like a true Californian, you'll be comparing routes and driving times like a pro.

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A local’s pocket guide to Los Angeles

Andrea Manokian

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Andrea has been a local of this eclectic city for decades and can navigate her way around LA County without GPS. She knows the perfect spot for a bagel and happy hour drinks.

The first thing you should do in Los Angeles is...

expand your culinary palette. Los Angeles is full of diverse cuisine—Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Armenian, Persian, Mexican, Italian, and the list goes on—so narrow down your cravings and reward your taste buds. Bonus: Many restaurants are open late.

A perfect Saturday in Los Angeles...

starts with brunch and boba tea at Urth Caffé, and includes thrifting at the Saturday Los Feliz Flea Market, lunch with pastries at downtown's Bottega Louie, a stroll through The Broad contemporary art museum. End things with drinks at Clifton’s.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

going to Universal Studios Hollywood especially for its Halloween Horror Nights extravaganza. Or, you can explore the nearby Universal CityWalk shopping center, which doesn’t require a theme park ticket but promises a night of fun with music and food.

To discover the "real" Los Angeles...

plan a night out. Los Angeles is known for its nightlife and fashion-forward atmosphere. So dress up and hit the town—whether for clubbing in West Hollywood, drinks in Downtown LA, or dinner in Santa Monica.

For the best view of the city...

dine at Spire 73—the tallest open-air bar and restaurant in the Western Hemisphere, located on the 73rd floor of the InterContinental in Downtown Los Angeles. Make an evening reservation to watch the city lights illuminate the sky.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that they’ve seen LA after exploring Downtown and popular tourist stops like Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Don't miss smaller neighborhoods—like Silver Lake, Highland Park, Echo Park, Westwood, and Los Feliz—that many consider the heart and soul of LA.


People Also Ask

How can I spend 3 days in LA?

A 3-day stay in Los Angeles allows visitors to explore many of the city’s top attractions—from theme parks to beaches. First, tour some of LA’s iconic sites such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, and Griffith Park. Then, head to Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland®. On the final day, travel west to the water and soak up the sun in Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

How can I spend 2 days in LA?

Start a 2-day stay in Los Angeles with some stargazing at the TCL Chinese Theatre (originally Grauman's Chinese Theatre) and a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Located just off Hollywood Boulevard, Runyon Canyon Park offers some impressive views of the city as well as a chance to enjoy the California weather. Lastly, head to Venice Beach or Santa Monica to take in the waves.

What should I do on my first trip to Los Angeles?

Get acquainted with Los Angeles and its famous sites by stopping at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre (originally Grauman's Chinese Theatre), and the Sunset Strip. Visit the sets of well-known TV shows at Warner Bros. Studio, or hop on the tram for the popular tour at Universal Studios. Be sure to stop at the historic Santa Monica Pier, too.

What should you not miss in LA?

A visit to Los Angeles isn’t complete without a peek at the famous Hollywood sign. The landmark is located on Mount Lee in the Beachwood Canyon area of the Santa Monica Mountains. To get the best view (and photo op), head to Griffith Park, which offers multiple hiking trails that lead to a prime viewing spot. Guided hikes are also available.

What is Los Angeles most known for?

Los Angeles is best known as being the epicenter of the film industry and celebrity culture. Visitors can hop aboard a guided tour of celeb homes, cruising past Beverly Hills mansions and hot spots such as Rodeo Drive. Film and TV studio tours, including ones at Universal Studios and Warner Bros., are also popular tourist attractions.

What is there to do in Los Angeles for a day?

Visit some of Los Angeles’ most iconic attractions, such as the Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive, the Sunset Strip, and Beverly Hills. Then, head to the Santa Monica Pier to get a corn dog and ride the carousel, or swing by the Venice Beach promenade for a bike ride. At night, stop at the Griffith Park Observatory to see a different kind of star.

What is the most visited place in LA?

Disneyland®—although it’s technically located in Anaheim, California, about 30 minutes from LA. Both visitors and locals alike are drawn to “The Happiest Place On Earth.” Beloved characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy roam Southern California's most popular amusement park, which features classic rides and attractions like Space Mountain® and Pirates of the Caribbean®.

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