The Los Angeles area, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known simply as L.A., is the second-largest city in the United States after New York City.
With an estimated population of nearly four million people, it is the most populous city in California and the Western United States.
Located on a broad basin in Southern California, Los Angeles is surrounded by vast mountain ranges, valleys, forests, the Pacific Ocean, and more than 100 smaller sub regions.
The central city area of Los Angeles is relatively flat, making navigation easy.
The city sprawls across 469 square miles but only about one-quarter of this is urbanized.
Named for its founders, the Spanish pueblo of Los Angeles was founded on September 4th, 1781, by a group of 44 settlers led by governor Felipe de Neve.
It has been ranked the third richest city and fifth most powerful and influential city in the world.
Things To Do In LA
1. The Getty Center
The Getty Center is one of the world’s largest cultural and philanthropic organizations.
Founded in 1954 by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty who donated his art collection to the center, it now houses more than 1.8 million works of art.
Located in Brentwood, approximately 25 minutes northwest of Downtown LA, the Getty Center is situated at the top of a hill and is renowned for its architecture and gardens.
One of the best Los Angeles museums, it is dedicated to advancing the understanding and appreciation of art through its collections, exhibitions, scholarship, and education programs.
Enjoy art from the 1400s to today in the Getty Center’s art galleries. With changing displays of iconic paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts.
Modern art and contemporary sculptures are located throughout the grounds, including at the tram departure and arrival plazas and next to the Central Garden.
Take a guided tour for in-depth information and behind-the-scenes details from a museum expert.
Admission is free, though temporarily requires timed tickets reservation.
The Getty Center is one of the most visited museums in the world, with more than two million visitors each year.
Address: Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
2. Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory is a facility in Los Angeles, California, sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.
It has impressive views of the Los Angeles area, including Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest.
These historic buildings are a popular tourist destination, giving visitors an excellent view of the iconic Hollywood Sign and an extensive array of space and science-related displays.
Visitors can look through telescopes, explore exhibits and see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.
You can also opt to take a guided tour and explore 67,000 square feet of science exhibits with an expert guide who will show you highlights you don’t want to miss.
The Griffith Observatory is open every day except for Christmas Day.
The Observatory’s grounds, exhibits, and telescopes are open and free to the public each day the building is open.
Despite being located in one of the world’s largest cities, Griffith Observatory often feels like a world unto itself.
Address: Griffith Observatory, 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States
3. Universal Studios Hollywood
One of the best things to do in LA for the whole family is a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood.
Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California.
The studio is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios still in operation.
It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles.
Universal Studios Hollywood includes a working movie studio that produces films and television shows, as well as a theme park with rides and attractions based on Universal’s movies and characters.
The studio tour is one of the most popular attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how movies are made.
Other popular attractions include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, The Simpsons Ride, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.
Address: Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
4. Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles.
More than 2,000 stars have been embedded in the sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street since the late 1950s.
Tourists from all over the world come to see the stars and take photos with their favourite celebrities.
Some of the most popular stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame include Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Humphrey Bogart.
Each star has a brass plaque with the name of the celebrity and their handprints or footprints. Many tourists enjoy taking rubbings of these famous stars’ plaques.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is constantly evolving as new stars are added each year.
In order to be eligible for a star, celebrities must have made significant contributions to the entertainment industry.
A committee of industry insiders select the nominees each year and the public is given the opportunity to vote on who they think should receive a star.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is more than just a tourist destination – it’s also a glimpse into the history of Hollywood and the celebrities who have made it what it is today.
The journey time between Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood Walk of Fame is around 20 min and covers a distance of around 9 miles.
Address: Hollywood Blvd & Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States
5. Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign is one of the most iconic symbols of Los Angeles.
The giant white letters are located on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills, overlooking the city.
The sign was originally built in 1923 as an advertisement for a housing development called Hollywoodland.
The sign was meant to be temporary, but it became so popular that it was left up and eventually became an official landmark in 1973.
The Hollywood Sign is perhaps most famous for its appearances in movies and TV shows, but it is also a popular tourist destination.
Visitors can hike to the top of Mount Lee for a close-up view of the sign or take a tour of the Hollywood Hills to get a bird’s eye view of Los Angeles neighborhood.
Address: Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, CA, United States
6. California Science Center
The California Science Center is a state agency and museum located in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, next to the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County.
The California Science Center is a world-class educational resource with hands-on, interactive exhibits.
The Ecosystem is a massive exhibit containing various natural environments, and Los Angeles nature complete with more than 400 species of plants and animals, and a large aquarium.
It also has a huge collection of aircrafts and space shuttles.
The California Science Center is open to the public 362 days a year and admission to permanent exhibit galleries is free but excludes IMAX and special paid exhibits.
The California Science Center is well worth visiting. Plan on spending 3-4 hours.
Advanced timed-entry museum tickets are required for all guests and can be booked online.
Address: California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037
7. Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is a historic pier located right on the Santa Monica Beach.
It is one of the few remaining piers from the early 20th century still standing in Southern California.
The pier was originally built in 1909 and served as a docking station for several different transportation types including streetcars, boats, and vehicles.
The pier first became a popular tourist destination in the 1920s when the city of Santa Monica built an adjacent boardwalk.
The boardwalk quickly became a hotspot for locals and tourists alike, and it wasn’t long before the pier followed suit.
By the 1960s, the pier along Santa Monica beach was one of the most popular destinations in Southern California.
The Santa Monica Pier is home to a number of different attractions, including the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, and Pacific Park.
The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome is a historic carousel that was built in 1916.
The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is a small aquarium that features a variety of sea life native to the California coast.
Pacific Park is the pier’s amusement park, and it features a ferris wheel, roller coaster, and other rides.
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States
8. Los Angeles Zoo
The L.A. Zoo is located at the northeast corner of Griffith Park and has been a family favourite for years.
With more than 1,400 mammals, birds, and reptiles representing more than 270 species, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens is one of the world’s best zoos.
The gardens boast an incredible array of plants, from Hong Kong orchid trees to Mexican fan palms and for many visitors the plant life is as much of an attraction as the animals.
Open daily from 10am to 5pm, the zoo is one of the best things to do in LA for the whole family.
Address: 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
9. Battleship USS Iowa Museum
The Battleship USS Iowa Museum is located at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, Los Angeles.
The USS Iowa was launched in 1943 and served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Gulf War. It was decommissioned in 1990 and became a museum ship in 2012.
The museum offers tours of the ship, exhibits on the history of the ship and its crew, and educational programs for school groups.
The museum is also home to the USS Iowa Radio room, which is open to the public.
The museum is open every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Address: 250 S Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, CA 90731, United States
10. The Broad
The Broad is a contemporary art museum located on Grand Avenue in Downtown LA.
The museum was founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad in 2015.
The museum houses the Broad’s collection of 2,000 pieces of contemporary art, which includes works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, and many other artists.
In addition to the permanent collection, the Broad also has a rotating exhibition schedule that features both temporary exhibitions, fun exhibits and installations from the collection.
The museum is free to the public, and it offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages.
Address: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
11. Staples Center
Staples Center is a multipurpose arena in downtown Los Angeles.
Home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, it is one of the most popular venues in Southern California.
Staples Center also hosts many other sporting events, concerts, and other events throughout the year.
If you’re visiting Los Angeles, chances are good that you’ll end up at Staples Center at some point.
Whether you’re catching a Lakers game or seeing your favorite band in concert, Staples Center is a great place to spend an evening.
Address: 1111 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015, United States
12. Griffith Park
Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
Located minutes from downtown Los Angeles, the park covers 4,310 acres of land and is the second-largest city park in California and the 11th largest municipally-owned park in the United States.
Griffith Park is notable for its attractions, which include the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, Greek Theatre, travelator, golf courses, tennis courts, hiking trails, and horseback riding trails.
It also contains several historical sites such as the site of John Marshall’s rancho Las Encinas and Babe Ruth’s house.
If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors then Griffith Park is the place to be.
Address: Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States
13. The Grove
The Grove is a retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles, located on parts of the historic Farmers Market.
The Original Farmers Market was founded in 1934, and is popular with both residents and tourists alike.
You can park for free for up to 90 minutes at the market’s parking lot provided that your ticket is validated at the market.
The Grove is anchored by Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Bullock’s department stores.
The mall also features a variety of high-end boutiques, restaurants, cafes, movie theater, and a trolley that runs through the property.
Well worth a visit for a great days shopping and entertainment.
Address: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States
14. La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Located in the heart of the metropolitan Los Angeles area, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is a world-famous tourist destination.
The tar pits are a collection of over 100 natural asphalt lakes that have been accumulating for tens of thousands of years.
The museum is built around the tar pits and features exhibits on the Ice Age, the fossils found in the tar pits, and the history of the tar pits themselves.
The tar pits were first discovered by Europeans in the late 18th century, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that they became a tourist destination.
The iconic Lake Pit is located in front of the museum and is actually a pit left over from asphalt mining operations in the late 1800s.
Over a million people visit the tar pits each year, making it one of the most visited museums in the USA.
If you’re planning a trip to Los Angeles, be sure to add the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum to your itinerary!
Address: La Brea Tar Pits, 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States
15. Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a world-renowned concert venue located in the downtown Los Angeles area.
The hall is the centerpiece of the LA Music Center, which also includes the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum.
The concert hall was designed by Frank Gehry and opened in 2003.
It is considered one of the most acoustically advanced concert halls in the world and has been praised for its unique architecture.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and hosts a variety of musical events throughout the year.
If you’re a music lover, be sure to add the Walt Disney Concert Hall to your list of must-see things to do in LA!
Address: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
16. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is one of the largest museums in the Western United States.
The museum is located in Exposition Park, near downtown Los Angeles.
The museum houses over 35 million specimens and objects, making it one of the largest natural history collections in the world.
The museum’s collections include dinosaurs, mammals, birds, insects, plants, and minerals.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County also has a planetarium and a butterfly pavilion.
Museum tickets can be purchased online, with timed tickets for the butterfly pavilion.
If you’re interested in learning about the natural world and seeing some fun exhibits, be sure to add the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County to your list of must-see attractions!
Address: 900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007, United States
17. Runyon Canyon Park
Runyon Canyon Park is a 160-acre park located in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, California.
The park is popular with hikers, dog-walkers, and nature lovers.
There are several trails of varying difficulty levels, and the park offers stunning views of the Los Angeles area.
The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including rabbits, squirrels, and birds.
Runyon Canyon Park is open from sunrise to sunset and is free to enter.
If you’re looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, be sure to add Runyon Canyon Park to your list!
Address: 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, United States
18. Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is an art museum located between the ocean and downtown LA.
LACMA’s collections encompass the geographic world and virtually the entire history of art with more than 100000 objects dating from ancient times to the present day.
With constantly changing exhibitions and unique architecture across more than 20 acres of land, LACMA offers a rewarding experience for both serious art lovers and tourists alike.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the museum’s ticket office.
Address: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
19. Echo Park
Echo Park is a neighborhood in the east-central region of Los Angeles, California. Located to the northwest of Downtown LA.
It occupies 2.4 square miles of Los Angeles, with Echo Park Lake sitting in the middle.
Echo park is a beautiful park where we can enjoy nature and see some stunning views of downtown LA.
Echo Park is home to a lot of street art, from crazy clown faces to dreamy, colourful murals.
You can also rent a pedal boat on Echo Park Lake.
Address: Echo Park Recreation Center, 1632 Bellevue Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90026
What food is LA famous for?
Los Angeles food is one of the most exciting and influential dining scenes in the country.
There are many restaurants, food chains as well as food trucks in Los Angeles where a foodie can have amazing food experiences.
Some of the great Los Angeles food is: French Dip Sandwich, Ice Cream Sandwich, Green Tea Matcha Latte, Macaroon, Sweet Potato Tacos, Hollenbeck Burrito and Red Velvet Froyo.
How many days in LA is enough?
Los Angeles is a large city and the landmarks are spread apart from each other.
Ideally, you should try to spend 5-7 days here if you don’t want to be rushed and want to see everything.
Is Beverly Hills the same as Los Angeles?
Beverly Hills is a city in Los Angeles County, California.
Beverly Hills has a global reputation for its celebrity residents and guests, grand homes and flagship stores along Rodeo Drive.
Beverly Hills is located within 5.71 square miles and surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.
Is the Pacific Coast Highway worth it?
The Pacific Coast Highway traces the coast as closely as possible around the edge of Los Angeles area.
It offers scenic views of the California coast where people can view clifftop scenery, hidden coves, forests, and sandy beaches.
What side of Los Angeles is Venice Beach on?
Venice Beach is the main beach in the Venice District of Los Angeles. It stretches from the Venice Pier up to the north end of the Venice District at the city border with Santa Monica.
Venice Beach is famous the world over for being the playground by the sea for Southern Californians. It is especially well known for its eclectic oceanfront boardwalk.
Venice beach itself offers prime surfing and sunbathing opportunities as well as a plethora of recreational activities, and restaurants.
Where is the TCL Chinese Theatre Los Angeles?
The TCL Chinese Theatre is in the busy Hollywood Boulevard.
The TCL Chinese Theatre is a renowned icon of old Hollywood glamour and continues to be a popular tourist spot and film palace for visitors globally.
What is Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles?
The Hollywood Bowl is a famous amphitheatre in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The Hollywood Bowl is one of the top live music venues in Los Angeles.
The enormous natural amphitheatre is carved from the famous Hollywood Hills, and the acoustics are extraordinary.
The world-famous landmark opened in 1922 and has hosted some of the biggest entertainers in music.
Can you hike in Los Angeles National Forest?
The Angeles National Forest is located within one of the driest, most fire-prone areas in the United States.
The Angeles National Forest offers 557 miles of hiking and equestrian trails which include 73 miles of national recreation trails.
Where can I see celebrities in LA?
Los Angeles International Airport, better known as LAX, is the gateway to the city – so unless celebrities are opting for a private jet into Santa Monica Airport, this is where you can see them.
What is Los Angeles most popular for?
One of the things Los Angeles is most famous for is its TV, Movie and Music Industries.
Los Angeles is the ideal destination for movie fans, as there are so many movie studio tours to take.
Plus music lovers will love exploring the music-themed attractions located around the city.
What are the mountains you can see from LA?
The San Gabriel Mountains are a mountain range located in northern Los Angeles County.
The San Gabriel Mountains are home to 124 named peaks, the highest and most prominent of which is Mount San Antonio.
Why is Sunset Boulevard famous?
Sunset Boulevard is a boulevard in the central and western part of Los Angeles.
The Sunset Strip portion of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood has been famous for its active nightlife since at least the 1950s.