With sunny weather and attractive all year round, California is filled with amusing activities, either for the ones traveling with the whole family, such as the Disneyland Park, or those on a romantic getaway, with lovely gardens and a stunning coastline.
A dream destination for cinema enthusiasts, Los Angeles is the country’s film and television industry hub, with a worldwide reputation as America’s entertainment capital. From the glamorous Greystone Mansion to the Bradbury Building or the Angels Flight Railway, it’ll feel like every city corner was used as a filming location for an iconic production.
Attracting people from all around the globe to admire the extensive collections at The Broad and the Museum of Contemporary Art, or the architectural landmarks at Los Angeles City Hall and Heritage Square Museum, the Los Angeles art scene is outstanding and marvels those who witness it.
Los Angeles is filled with excellent outdoor activities, including great hikes to the Hollywood Sign and the trails at Topanga State Park, but also perfect for those wanting to embrace the big city fast-paced vibe, with plenty of attractions in Downtown LA or in the lively Hollywood Boulevard.
With a rich culture, top-rated museums, fantastic movie studios, thrilling theme parks, vibrant nightlife and incredible shopping streets (along with celebrity spotting opportunities), the diverse City of Angels has something for everyone.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the selection of the best places to visit in Los Angeles. Grab your notebook and start planning your next adventure!
1 – Disneyland Park
Let your inner child play at the happiest place on earth! From exploring a different planet at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to stepping into a fairy tale at Fantasyland, the Disneyland Park is one of the best family activities in Los Angeles, especially with young ones.
The fearless will love the spooky tour across the Haunted Mansion, where creepy ghosts and thrilling scares await; for a little competition, grab a laser and help Buzz Lightyear defeat Zurg at the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters;
For the adventurous, there’s nothing like exploring a cursed temple and feeling your heart racing on every loop at the fast-paced Indiana Jones Adventure ride; and if you need something relaxing in between rides, take the most lovely boat tour around the globe while you hum to “it’s a small world”.
2 – Griffith Park
Up to 1.625 feet above sea level, Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America and has one of the best views of Los Angeles. If you want to feel like you’re a character from La La Land, this is the place to be.
Inside the park can be found the Griffith Observatory, by the south slope of Mount Hollywood and facing downtown. Visitors are welcome to visit the Samuel Oschin Planetarium or to marvel at the sky through the free public telescopes available.
While in Mount Hollywood, one of the park’s highest peaks, take the time to soak in the best views of the city’s skyline and the surrounding mountains.
Hike across the park’s trails while admiring California native plants, and find the best viewpoints to snap the iconic photo of the Hollywood Sign, one of the most famous landmarks in the whole world.
Before leaving the park, consider stopping by the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens to meet the animals (we’ll talk more about it on number #13).
3 – Dodger Stadium
The massive 56.000-seat Dodger Stadium, a mandatory stop for baseball fans visiting Los Angeles, is among the biggest MLB stadiums (by capacity), only standing behind the RingCentral Coliseum.
Located in Elysian Park and opened in 1962, it is the third-oldest stadium in the US and the oldest one west of the Mississippi River.
Home to the Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, check their game schedules online before planning the trip to make sure you catch them at the stadium – which will grant you a memorable experience, cheering on the home team and experiencing the stadium’s vibrant atmosphere.
However, even if they’re not playing when you’re in town, guided stadium tours are also available.
4 – Ovation Hollywood
Formerly known as Hollywood & Highland, the prime shopping location in the heart of Hollywood is going through a makeover.
Now called Ovation Hollywood, and even though it keeps a notable reputation among the best shopping centers in LA, it is shifting away from retail and will be reborn as a lively town square.
Not the typical shopping mall anymore, offering plenty of dining options and a great place to socialize, this is a superb attraction for locals and tourists alike.
From the Dolby Theatre, hosting the Oscars and home of the Academy Awards; to the Hollywood Bowl, a premier live music spot in Southern California, and the unique virtual reality experience at ANVIO VR, there is entertainment for everyone.
5 – Grand Central Market
Located in downtown LA, with its doors opening in 1917, the Grand Central Market carries the legacy as the “largest and finest public market on the pacific coast”, as well as the oldest public market in Los Angeles.
Ever since, the market has kept showcasing the best that California has to offer, such as fresh ingredients, talented chefs and great entrepreneurs, making it one of the best tourist attractions for foodies.
Open from Monday through Sunday, hours vary from vendor to vendor, and it’s worth checking if you’re planning to try something in particular.
Besides the cuisine, the Grand Central Market is a lively and dynamic hub, providing a great gathering place for groups of friends and families by hosting plenty of events throughout the year.
6 – Universal Studios Hollywood
Located in Los Angeles, approximately a 10-minute drive away from the downtown, perfectly mixing a film studio with an amusing theme park, the Universal Studios Hollywood is by far one of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles and the best one among film lovers.
Expect a day full of action-packed fun, and thrilling entertainment; with all rides and shows, the Universal Studios Hollywood will transport you to a new universe.
On the world-famous studio tour, visitors are able to explore 13 city blocks across the impressive set. For an increase of adrenaline, another of the park’s highlights is the Jurassic World: The Ride, an immersive water ride with iconic dinosaur encounters, ending with a refreshing splash.
The Universal Studios have fun activities for the kids as well, with enjoyment granted at the Kung Fu Panda theatre or the play zone at Super Silly Fun Land.
7 – Crypto.com Arena
Formerly known as Staples Center, the Crypto.com Arena is a multi-purpose arena in the heart of Downtown LA, attracting visitors from all over the world, with a top-rated reputation when it comes to sports and entertainment.
With national and international distinction, the Crypto.com Arena is home to the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL); the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA); the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League (AFL).
Hosting over 250 events and welcoming 4 million guests per year, it has received some of the biggest names in the music industry, from Bruce Springsteen to Taylor Swift. Since 2000, it has also held the Grammy Awards Ceremony.
8 – Hollywood Walk of Fame
One can’t mention Los Angeles without the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame – a walk down Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street is one of the greatest things to do in Los Angeles.
Awarding individuals in various fields, such as film, TV, radio, live performance and music, spanning from more than 1 mile, use the “search for the star“ feature to quickly locate the stars you want to visit. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is worth stopping by, even if it’s just for a photo-op.
Attracting about 10 million visitors per year, with over 2.700 stars, the Hollywood Walk of Fame played an essential role in developing LA’s tourism and became one of the most famous sites in the area.
And even though it may sound cliché, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to pose right next to the star of your biggest idol – in the very same place where they once posed!
If you’re looking for a hotel in the area, consider the Kimpton Everly Hotel, located just a 5-minute walk from the Walk of Fame, with iconic views of the Hollywood Hills neighborhood.
9 – Petersen Automotive Museum
With an impressive area of 150,000 square feet and displaying a collection of over 400 vehicles, the Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the largest automotive museums in the world and one of the best museums in Los Angeles for motor enthusiasts!
Hosting an array of exciting themed exhibitions, from the luxurious hypercars to the 90’s aesthetic by vintage cars at Pininfarina, not to mention the incredible Vault, featuring over 250 of the most iconic and rare vehicles from all around the world.
After wandering through its walls, sit back at Forza Motorsport and get a taste of what it would feel like to be driving a racing car. Tell your friends to join you on the other simulators and put your skills to the test – who’s the fastest driver?
10 – J. Paul Getty Museum
With free admission, the J. Paul Getty Museum is one of the best places in Los Angeles for art and architecture enthusiasts – no wonder why its two campuses attract over 2 million visitors each year.
Divided between the Getty Center and the Getty Villa, the J. Paul Getty Museum comprises a rich collection of art, ranging from the Neolithic and Middle Ages to the present day.
From manuscripts, paintings and sculptures, as well as photographs, drawings and decorative arts, one can spend hours wandering through the Getty Museum walls and falling in love with its beautiful gardens and the architecture masterpiece projected by the Pritzker Architecture Prize awarded Richard Meier.
11 – The Grove
Visiting a shopping mall is probably not at the top of the list for most travelers. However, The Grove is much more than that.
Open seven days a week throughout the entire year and holding the reputation among the best shopping in Los Angeles, The Grove is also one of the best places for foodies to visit, welcoming visitors with fresh ingredients, carefully confectioned in order to provide the most delicious dining experience – with a lot of potential for Instagram-worthy pictures.
With plenty of attractions for the whole family, from the water spectacle happening every hour at the iconic dancing fountain located in the heart of the Grove – built by the same company as the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas – to the trolley ride between The Grove and The Original Farmers Market, aboard a historic 1950 streetcar. Don’t forget to bring the camera during your visit!
12 – The Queen Mary
With a fascinating history since the very beginning, the glamorous Queen Mary’s construction started in 1930, overcame the Great Depression challenges – which stalled the project – and still turned out to be a groundbreaking technological achievement, forever transforming transatlantic travels.
Queen Mary’s magnitude made Titanic look like a kid’s toy. Boasting five dining areas, lounges, cocktail bars, swimming pools, a ballroom, and even a squash court, along with a small hospital, its reputation quickly grew on both sides of the Atlantic.
After its last sail to Long Beach, in 1967, the legendary vessel was retired and had been calling Southern California home ever since, but it wasn’t the end of its story.
Nowadays is a popular attraction, turned into a floating hotel and hosting plenty of events – including as a wedding venue – as well as housing top-rated restaurants.
This Art Deco style masterpiece can also be visited on a guided or self-guided tour!
13 – Los Angeles Zoo
Located in Griffith Park lies one of the best things to do in Los Angeles with family. From admiring tigers, koalas and bears to tortoises, snakes and eagles, a visit to the zoo will delight visitors of all ages.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closing only on Thanksgiving Day and December 25), with the mission of connecting people and animals, the Los Angeles Zoo is home to more than 270 species, 60 of which are currently endangered.
The Zoo is focused on inspiring wildlife appreciation and educating its guests, and hosts several interesting exhibits such as The LAIR (“Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles”), showcasing 60 of the rarest reptiles and amphibians from all over the world that cannot be seen at another zoo; or the Rainforest of the Americas, showcasing an outstanding array of neotropical plants and animals.
Equally important as the wildlife, standing as the foundation of every habitat and playing a fundamental part in its conservation, the impressive collection of plants from all around the world comprises an attraction on its own.
14 – Hollywood Bowl
Since its opening, the vibrant and dynamic Hollywood Bowl has been a prime live music destination in Southern California, welcoming the most iconic artists, from the Beatles to Yo-Yo Ma.
Located in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, it also houses a museum focused on celebrating this major landmark with over 100 years of history and educating its guests on its significant role in the music and entertainment industry.
Those visiting on days when the museum is closed can opt for a self-guided tour across the Hollywood Bowl, suitable for all ages. As you stroll through the building, you’ll find photographic displays and information about its history and architecture.
And, of course, the cherry on top of the visit would be attending a show on the remarkable amphitheater. Don’t forget to check the calendar in advance!
15 – California Science Center
For those that think that science and learning can’t be fun, California Science Center is here to prove them wrong. By stimulating and inspiring curiosity, they’re focused on creating a memorable experience for everyone.
With free admission to the permanent exhibition galleries, this is a great attraction for both kids and adults, with plenty of fun activities, from being a fire danger detective for a day to discovering how all living creatures reproduce and exploring Southern California’s diverse ecosystems.
But one of the highlights is arguably the Discovery Rooms, designed for children up to 7 years old, providing a learning environment and inspiring kids to be creative, explore the world around them, as well as ask questions and find answers for themselves.
16 – The Original Farmers Market
A prime destination among locals and tourists alike, The Original Farmers Market has been a foodie’s paradise in Los Angeles since 1934.
Located next to The Grove, this historical market became a city landmark and popular tourist attraction.
Featuring more than 100 local vendors, it’s the perfect place to grab something ready-to-eat, go grocery shopping, explore trendy shops or delve into Los Angeles’s best cuisine – ranging from traditional American food, to the many immigrant communities’ local dishes, combining plenty of cultures and traditions.
Unlike the other farmer’s markets, this one is open seven days a week, from 10 am to 8/9 pm, on a permanent installation. There’s no excuse not to include it in your Los Angeles itinerary!
17 – Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Holding the most extensive natural collection in the western US and one of LA’s oldest cultural institutions, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County deserves a place on everyone’s bucket list.
Home to more than 35 million specimens and artifacts, save up to 3 hours to wander through the museum – even though one can easily spend the whole day here.
From a time travel at the Dinosaur Hall, that takes visitors on a journey through 300 fossils and 20 mounted skeletons (including an impressive Triceratops fossil with over 65 million years), to one of the world’s most valuable collections of rocks, meteorites, minerals and gems displayed at the Gem and Mineral Hall, showcasing over 2,000 samples from across the globe.
The museum also offers a diverse range of programs for adults, kids or the whole family to keep everyone entertained. Make sure to check their calendar in advance!
18 – The Broad
Founded by Eli and Edythe Broad, who have built one of the world’s most extensive collections of postwar and contemporary art over the past 50 years, The Broad is one of the most iconic museums in Los Angeles.
Located in Downtown LA, this contemporary art museum is home to 2,000 works by more than 200 artists. From Jean-Michel Basquiat to Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and Alexander Calder, one can easily spend more than 2 hours admiring all exhibitions.
To make the most of your visit, consider joining a guided tour, and get your camera ready for an Instagram-worthy selfie at the magical Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room!
Open from Wednesday to Sunday, The Broad is a must for all art lovers. General admission tickets are free, but booking them in advance is recommended due to its high demand.
19 – Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
The only amusement park on the West Coast located on a pier, more precisely on the worldwide famous Santa Monica Pier, the Pacific Park is one of the best places to visit in Los Angeles for a fun day with family or with friends.
With 12 thrilling rides, the Pacific Park has something for everyone. Looking for adrenaline? The West Coaster starts with a 50ft climb, offering astonishing views of the Los Angeles Bay, before taking you from one end of the park to another at 35 mph;
Traveling with young ones? They’ll love the feeling of the Frog Hopper’s 15 ft drop; For an all-family attraction, ride the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, the iconic Pacific Wheel, for a breathtaking panoramic view 130 ft above the Pier.
And if you need to restore your energy after trying all of the attractions, stop by the many great restaurants at Santa Monica Pier (or grab a quick snack in between rides).
To take your experience to the next level and add extra luxury to it, consider saying at the five stars Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Nothing compares to relaxing by the sun, at the 4th-floor pool, with a drink in your hand and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Pacific Park.
20 – La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
With only a few inches deep, who would’ve imagined remains of plants and animals from the past 50,000 years lay on the La Brea Tar Pits’ asphalt?
Considered one of the most famous fossil sites in the whole world, the excavations carried out in the area provide powerful insights on how wildlife and climate change, as well as our climate’s future.
This is one of the most remarkable attractions in Los Angeles for paleontology buffs. After taking a guided tour through the pits, stop by the museum and admire the impressive fossil collection found in La Brea.
With an active laboratory inside the museum, visitors can have a firsthand insight into a groundbreaking research on the Ice Age and how scientists clean and preserve the fossils discovered in the Tar Pits.
21 – Walt Disney Concert Hall
Designed by Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a top-rated architectural landmark famous globally for its sophisticated concert halls.
Once you step inside the building, you’ll be marveled by the outstanding acoustics. The Walt Disney Concert Hall was carefully projected to connect the musicians with the audience, and their mission was without a doubt a huge success.
From classical music to jazz, feel enchanted with the dynamic and vibrant performance by the incredible Los Angeles Philharmonic, one of the most illustrious orchestras in the world, and marvel at their unique sound.
22 – Griffith Observatory
A symbol of innovation and inspiration, perfectly matching with the city of Los Angeles, open since 1935, the Griffith Observatory located in Griffith Park has become the most visited public observatory in the world.
Welcoming visitors from all around the globe, the Griffith Observatory has something from everyone: from public telescopes to a calendar full of exciting events; besides having the best view of the Hollywood Sign and plenty of astronomy exhibits, this is the place for the curious minds.
Plus, can you find a more unique and memorable experience than exploring the universe, for free, in the heart of Los Angeles?
23 – Six Flags Magic Mountain
Even though this attraction is not for the faint-hearted, Six Flags Magic Mountain promises to be one of the best places to visit in Los Angles for the adrenaline junkies.
Valencia’s incredible 260-acre park features over 100 rides and 19 roller-coasters, holding the world record for most roller-coasters in an amusement park – no wonder they call it the “Thrill Capital of the World”!
From Apocalypse, the 2,850 feet long wooden roller coaster, to Viper, one of the fastest looping roller coasters in the world, reaching a speed of 70 mph, there’s no lack of excitement here!
24 – Hollywood Pantages Theatre
Located in the heart of the Hollywood Boulevard, just a 1-minute walk from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, lies one of the most popular venues in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
Founded by Edwin Lester in 1938, the Pantages Theatre is famous for its outstanding quality hosting stage musicals and operas.
Broadway fans can catch shows all year round, and once you step foot into the building and start admiring its architecture and stunning Art Deco from the 1930s, it’ll feel like you have just been transported to the very first moment when Broadway was kicking off in Los Angeles.
From Hamilton to Wicked, all of the classics passed through Hollywood Pantages Theatre and there’s no shortage of entertainment.
25 – Hollywood Wax Museum®
You’re in Hollywood, standing in the very same place your favorite stars and pop culture icons once stood. What else do you need? A selfie with them, and the Hollywood Wax Museum can make that way easier than you think.
From Marilyn Monroe to Taylor Swift, this is the opportunity to meet all of your favorite celebrities, or at least the full-size wax figure version of them.
Get creative with the props and costumes available and take your photos to a whole new level. This is for sure one of the most fun activities in Los Angeles!
26 – Dolby Theatre
Located in the Hollywood & Highland shopping mall (also known as Ovation Hollywood) on the lively Hollywood Boulevard, the Dolby Theatre is one of the most famous Los Angeles landmarks.
Dolby Theatre became one of the world’s greatest entertainment venues, welcoming many prestigious artists and hosting the most extraordinary events ever since. From hosting the annual Academy Awards ceremony since 2001, Cirque du Soleil and multiple Broadway productions, to Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and Prince.
While planning a trip to Los Angeles, it’s worth checking their event calendar and grabbing some tickets in advance; it’ll surely be an unforgettable night!
And the best pair for an unforgettable night out in the city, a stay at the historic and luxurious The Hollywood Roosevelt. Dating back to the Golden Era, the hotel is located right in the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, less than 2 minutes from the Dolby Theatre.
27 – The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
One of the most extraordinary independent research libraries in the world, with an estimated 11 million items from the 11th to the 21st centuries – only displaying a small part of the collection at one time;
An outstanding museum, home to 42,000 objects and covering 500 years of art, divided between European art from the 15th to 20th centuries and American art from the colonial era until today;
A 120-acres botanical garden with 15,000 plant varieties and featuring 16 enchanting themed gardens, from the cactus at the Desert Garden to the beautiful forest at the Jungle Garden;
Not to mention the exceptional selection of rotating exhibits as well. That’s just a short version of how impressive and diverse The Huntington is and how much it has to offer. A place where definitely is something for everyone!
28 – Descanso Gardens
Just a short 20-minute drive from downtown LA, located in La Cañada Flintridge, the Descanso Gardens are a green oasis perfect for relaxing from the fast-paced city center.
This 150-acre botanical garden is full of wonders: a charming Japanese garden, an impressive rose garden (with 1,600 roses!), a unique camellia collection, just to name a few of its highlights. With something blooming every season, it’s an excellent place for a romantic date in Los Angeles.
And if you think it can’t get better, stop by The Kitchen at Descanso and enjoy a delicious meal made from fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, accompanied by a refreshing drink.
29 – Hollywood Sign
Perched atop Mount Lee lies one of California’s most famous landmarks and a world-class symbol of the entertainment industry, the impressive Hollywood Sign.
There are official viewpoints from where you can get outstanding photos, such as the Griffith Observatory, which not only provides one of the best views but also has free parking.
Even though you can’t climb to the Hollywood Sign itself, you can get a unique view from a helicopter tour – as well as the most memorable experience of flying over Los Angeles.
Another option, especially for outdoor lovers, is to take one of the hiking trails available: the easiest one, the Mt. Hollywood Trail; the moderate Brush Canyon Trail; or the hardest one, the Cahuenga Peak Hike.
Explore at your own pace and take your time to admire the Hollywood Sign and the skyline views unfold as you go. Don’t forget to carry water with you and have fun exploring!
30 – El Capitan Theatre
Having started as a playhouse, conquering its place among the leading dramatic stages in Los Angeles, hosting over 120 plays.
It was only in 1941 that the El Capitan Theatre hosted its first movie, with the iconic world premiere of Citizen Kane, leading to its renovation and transformation into a movie theatre.
Amidst renovations and remodeling, it opened in 1991 under new ownership, from Walt Disney Studios, and the 998 seat theatre has been showcasing Disney motion pictures ever since. Can your trip to LA get more magical than watching Mulan at El Capitan Theatre?
31 – Greystone Mansion and Park
Tucked in the glamorous and charming Beverly Hills lies the Tudor Revival Greystone Mansion. Even if this name doesn’t sound familiar, you have seen this mansion at least once.
The extensive land belonged originally to the oil tycoon Edward Laurence Doheny and was given to his son Ned as a wedding gift.
Not only it is one of the largest mansions in Beverly Hills, but it also represents an influential landmark for the American cinema. From the prestigious Chilton Academy in Gilmore Girls to the luxurious interior of Norman Osborn’s mansion in Spider-Man.
The Greystone Mansion has been a filming location for many productions, resulting in its featuring in numerous movie scenes. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to feel like you’re inside your favorite movie (or tv show)!
32 – Musso & Frank Grill
Proudly passing their legacy through generations, Musso & Frank Grill have been delighting Hollywood with the finest American cuisine since 1919.
Carrying the title of Hollywood’s oldest eatery, usually referred to as “the genesis of Hollywood”, this is one of the best places to try in the area!
Committed to preserving tradition, once you walk through their doors, it’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another decade. The classic ambiance and decor make the experience much more immersive and unique.
In fact, the space itself is so iconic it got featured in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (besides many other movies that used this restaurant as a filming location). Grab a martini and enjoy!
33 – Angels Flight Railway
Open daily from 6:45 am to 10 pm, the small funicular in Bunker Hill has been amusing its visitors with a ride through the world’s shortest railway.
Over the past 118 years, the Angels Flight Railway has given more than 100 million rides between Hill Street and Grand Avenue, and for just 1$ you can enjoy one too!
Similar to most of the attractions and landmarks in Los Angeles, there’s no shortage of productions that have made this place its filming location. From its debut in 1918 with Good Night, Nurse!, to 2016 with Ryan Gosling’s and Emma Stone’s ride on La La Land, this is the greatest attraction for your inner cinema enthusiast!
34 – Skirball Cultural Center
Dedicated to the Jewish heritage, along with solid values of freedom and equality, everyone is welcome to join Skirball Cultural Center and participate in their enriching cultural experiences.
Considered one of the most vigorous Jewish cultural institutions in the world, the Skirball Cultural Center has also established its place among Los Angeles’s leading cultural venues.
Explore the Jewish history across many lands and civilizations and how it contributed to shaping their values on the Visions and Values exhibition, admire archaeological artifacts at the Discovery Center, and for those with kids, let the young ones explore and interact at the Noah’s Ark.
35 – Hammer Museum
The Hammer Museum at UCLA explores the power of art and creates something much more complex than just an aesthetically pleasing experience.
With a diverse array of public events, from screenings to talks and performances, besides the many exhibitions, there are plenty of ways to experience art in all kinds of forms.
Delve into the museum great exhibits, from the Armand Hammer Collection, displaying 16th century European and American paintings, sculptures and drawings, reflecting the interests of the museum’s founder, Armand Hammer; to the Grunwald Center Collection, one of the finest exhibitions of drawings, photographs and books in America, dating back to the Renaissance era, containing over 45,000 prints.
Let art guide, inspire and answer all your social, political and cultural questions. This is one of the best places to visit in Los Angeles for the curious minds!
While in the area, consider spending some time exploring Westwood, and maybe establishing your base there, considering it’s one of the best neighborhoods in LA. Plaza la Reina is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a hotel, combining exceptional amenities and services, as well as a lovely private rooftop terrace, perfect for a cocktail with unique Westwood views.
36 – Bradbury Building
Built in 1893, considered the oldest commercial building in the city and operated as an office building for most of its history, this magnificent five-story architectural landmark deserves a place on everyone’s Los Angeles bucket list.
There’s no surprise the Bradbury Building, with its Victorian charm, has been featured in countless films. From Blade Runner to 500 Days of Summer, this popular filming location has probably been displayed in at least one of your favorite movies.
Open daily to the public, it’s worth checking the inside of the building during the daytime to appreciate its beauty with appropriate lighting.
37 – GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live
Enduring legacies and celebrating all forms of music, the GRAMMY Museum is a tribute to the extraordinary musical heritage.
With the mission to make music valued, their interactive and educational exhibits make up an excellent program for the whole family.
Experience walking On The Red Carpet, hear how your favorite artists would sound on a gramophone, admire artifacts from Jackson’s career (such as the iconic sequin gloves);
Use the Culture Shock multimedia exhibition’s screens to learn more about some of the most revolutionary figures in the industry and their stories, discover the history of over 160 music genres (and how they’re all connected) at the Crossroads table and much more!
39 – Autry Museum of the American West
Another great attraction in Griffith Park, the Autry Museum of the American West is entirely dedicated to exploring the history, art and culture of the American West.
With an impressive collection of 500,000 artifacts and artworks, plus the diverse range of public events hosted throughout the year, this is one of the best places to visit in Los Angeles!
There’s no shortage of exhibits to explore, from rare ceramics and the incredible Pueblo pottery to the evolution of clothing – or even the outdoor garden, with over 60 native California plants!
40 – Annenberg Community Beach House
Located on Santa Monica State Beach, where Marion Davies’ 100-room mansion once was, the Annenberg Community Beach House is one of the most unusual places to relax in Los Angeles.
The project has rehabilitated the Marion Davies Guest House and its historical pool, plus the public beach facility offers unique views, fun playgrounds and beach courts.
This 5-acre oceanfront area makes a perfect community destination! Open to anyone with activities to keep the entire family entertained, there’s no better place to refresh from California’s weather!
And for those looking for a venue for their special day, the fascinating beach house promises a memorable day, with a capacity of up to 130 people on wedding ceremonies and 150 on receptions; and offers a charming historical Hollywood style mixed with the coastal California vibes.
41 – Watts Towers Arts Center
Located in Simon Rodia State Historic Park, the iconic Watts Towers were designed and built by the Italian immigrant Sabato (“Simon”) Rodia.
With 17 main sculptures made from steel and wire and then covered with mortar and decorated with tile, glass along other materials, these unique creations were declared a historic monument in 1963.
The internationally renowned Watts Towers Arts Center is one of the best places for art lovers in Los Angeles, with continuous support to artists, their works and development, as well as a strong focus on providing arts education to the community.
The Watts Towers are open to the public, with guided tours available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
42 – California African American Museum
Entirely dedicated to researching and preserving African Americans’ cultural heritage and history, the California African American Museum is one of the best places in Los Angeles for history lovers.
Located in Exposition Park, thanks to its visionary founders and community members along with a strong activism campaign, this groundbreaking museum accomplished the status of the first African American museum to be fully supported by a state.
Located in Exposition Park, housing a permanent collection of over 5,000 artworks, historical documents and artifacts, along with a public library with more than 20,000 books and research materials, it’s hard to believe this outstanding museum has free entrance!
43 – Chateau Marmont
Famous for being either a short or long-term residence for several celebrities throughout the years, the astonishing Chateau Marmont is an excellent landmark in Los Angeles.
Built in 1929, inspired by the French Château d’Amboise in Loire Valley, initially conceived as an upscale apartment building, Chateau Marmont was later turned into a luxurious hotel.
Just like most of Los Angeles’ landmarks and points of interest, Chateau Marmont has made an appearance on multiple Academy Award-winning films, from A Star is Born to The Night Walker.
But if their rates are out of budget – ranging from $500 to $900 a night – you may want to consider stopping by the restaurant. With an intimate indoor dining area, a terrace and a delicious American meal carefully prepared by the chef, it’s still a unique and idyllic experience to have!
44 – TCL Chinese Theatre
Hosting around 50 events per year, from movie premieres to film festivals, the TCL Chinese Theatre has a top-rated reputation, and it’s the most iconic movie palace in the world.
In the heart of Hollywood, holding a notorious reputation for nearly 100 years, no wonder the TCL Chinese Theatre has been receiving the biggest celebrities and presenting the most renowned red carpet and special events since 1927.
While in the area, consider joining a VIP Tour about the theatre’s history for an in-depth learning experience – from interesting stories to fun facts, at the same time you’re standing in the very same place as your favorite celebrities did; it’ll surely be worth it!
45 – Walt Disney Studios
From epic storytelling to top-quality movies, the 95 years of history and the legacy they carry made the Walt Disney Studios a reference in the film industry worldwide.
Containing a collection of the most respected film studios, from Pixar Animation Studios to Marvel Studios, this is one of the most exciting places to visit in Los Angeles for cinema enthusiasts!
Nostalgic and magical. This is the place where all your childhood favorites came from! Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, just to name a few.
46 – Capitol Records Building
Even though the Capitol Records Building is not open for public visitors, it’s still worth stopping by admiring the stunning 13-story tower building from a distance.
Just a few steps away from Hollywood Boulevard and the walk of fame, designed by Louis Naidorf and built in 1956 in Vine Street, this commercial and entertainment building, famous for its recording studios, became an architectural icon of the city of Los Angeles.
Consider stopping by at night for a better vision of the blinking light perched atop the tower, and admire it while it spells out the word “Hollywood” in Morse code!
47 – The Museum of Jurassic Technology
Founded by David Hildebrand Wilson and Diana Drake Wilson, the Museum of Jurassic Technology houses a fantastic collection of scientific, historical and ethnographic items.
Attracting over 25,000 visitors per year and housing about 30 permanent exhibitions that vary from a collection of pre-scientific cures and medications to a series of radiographic images of flowers.
Showcasing an intriguing diversity and mixture, this is one of the most unusual places to visit in Los Angeles. To fully understand this place, one has to experience it, it can hardly be described.
48 – Topanga State Park
Located in Santa Monica Mountains, the Topanga State Park is an excellent choice for outdoor’s lovers visiting Los Angeles. Once the fast-paced city starts to feel overwhelming, there’s nothing like a getaway to unwind in nature.
Amidst cliffs and canyons, Topanga State Park features about 36 miles of trails for you to explore and some of the best views of the Pacific Ocean. Its name’s origins go back to the Indian dialect of the tribes that once inhabited this rugged landscape for many years.
Considered the world’s largest wildland within the borders of a major city, expect wildlife encounters, such as deers, and plenty of hiking and mountain biking opportunities!
Walk across wildflowers and oaks, and soak in the views from Parker Mesa Overlook, one of the park’s most incredible viewpoints. Admire the canyons on one side and the shore on the other – and on a clear day, you can see all the way to Catalina Island.
49 – Museum of Tolerance
This groundbreaking museum, the first of its kind in the world, challenges its visitors to confront all forms of intolerance and discrimination presents in our world today.
From an immersive cinematic dramatization of Anne Frank’s room in the secret annex to speakings with holocaust survivors, the Museum of Tolerance has a big focus on the Holocaust’s history, but the exhibitions go way beyond that.
Showcasing California’s segregation history and how it targeted and affected all non-White citizens’ daily lives (from their jobs, housing opportunities and schools), and even a debate forum for visitors to explore actual topics, such as immigration and homelessness, the Museum of Tolerance can be an emotional ride but comprises a profound learning experience, appropriate for all ages.
50 – The Hollywood Museum
Housing the most extensive Hollywood collection in the world, with over 10,000 costumes, props, scripts and personal items – just to mention a few examples – the Hollywood Museum needs to be on every cinema enthusiast bucket list.
From Marilyn Monroe’s million-dollar dress to Elvis’ bathrobe, many props from Star Trek, Glee, Harry Potter and much more, this is the chance to get closer to your favorite movies and TV shows!
After admiring all the treasures, head to the lower level and see Hannibal Lecter’s jail cell from Silence of the Lambs.
50 – Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Focused on the film industry, exploring its history and cultural impact, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is one of the most fun places to visit in Los Angeles.
With a collection of over 13 million artifacts, from costumes to props and costumes, this is the first large-scale museum of its kind in the US.
Among the museum’s impressive exhibits, it’s possible to find Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Mia’s yellow dress from La La Land, and even Alfred Hitchcock’s typewriter used to write the screenplay for Psycho.
It’s also worth checking the exhibitions hosted by the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, from learning about the cinema evolution and stories of some of the best moviemakers at the three-floor Stories of Cinema exhibition; to the interactive Oscars® Experience, where visitors have the unique opportunity to simulate being called to the stage and receiving an award.
51 – Travel Town Museum
Tucked at the north of Griffith Park, the Travel Town Museum is a museum entirely dedicated to railroad transportation, especially in Southern California and the Los Angeles area.
Besides housing 40 full-scale locomotives, railroad engines and cars, since 1978, the museum has kept offering their visitors the possibility to take a ride around the Travel Town complex aboard a 16” miniature train.
Learn about America’s incredible railroading past and take a look at the cars and locomotives that are currently being restored at the museum facilities, such as the luxurious “The Little Nugget”, an all-time favorite among the Hollywood crowd or the historic “Southern Pacific Locomotive No. 219” built in 1880.
52 – Hollywood Forever Cemetery
A cemetery is a very unusual place to add to a list of attractions, and stranger it may be to say it’s one of the most visited landmarks in Los Angeles. But truth be told, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery became a top-rated tourist attraction.
The final resting place of hundreds of Hollywood founders and stars, the Hollywood Forever welcomes visitors from all corners of the world, looking to pay respects to many beloved celebrities.
With its 50-acres of peaceful gardens and green space, it’s hard to imagine this is also one of the most dynamic cultural centers in Los Angeles. There are activities for every taste, from plays to films and screenings happening every summer.
53 – Echo Park Lake
An oasis in the middle of the vibrant City of Angels, the Echo Park Lake is the perfect place to relax for a couple of hours.
Even though the lake is the star of the neighborhood, the Echo Park makes a great attraction itself, with colorful murals, a bunch of local businesses and hipster bars, great live music venues, high popularity among artists and a bustling nightlife scene, it’s one of the best neighborhoods to visit in Los Angeles and worth taking some time to explore it.
But regarding the lake, with picnic tables, walking paths and pedal boats, this natural haven could either make a great family attraction or the perfect spot in Los Angeles for a romantic date.
A lovely green space, a picturesque lake and the glorious skyline in the background, what else do you need?
54 – Los Angeles City Hall
One of the greatest architectural landmarks in the city, the Los Angeles City Hall construction was finished in 1928, and the project counted with the participation of three of the best architects in Los Angeles.
The project wasn’t intended to correspond to a specific style or era, but rather to create something unique and hybrid, combining different elements. The goal was clearly successful with a mix of classical designs, from the grand columns at the entrance to the monumental steps; and the Art Deco style top.
Inside, the design and decoration were carefully planned as well, contributing to the building’s eclectic style. Such versatility has caught the attention of many film and television productions, and the Los Angeles City Hall became a popular filming location.
55 – Bronson Canyon
Another great place to visit in Griffith Park, the Bronson Canyon, is an artificial tunnel and one of Hollywood’s most famous filming locations.
Also known as Bronson Cave, it was featured in countless movies and TV shows ever since it was created in the 1920s, with the most famous appearance being arguably the entrance to the Batcave in Batman.
To visit the cave, you must take an easy 2.3-mile loop trail, on the southeast side of Griffith Park. With breathtaking panoramic views waiting for you at the top, don’t forget to pack some food and enjoy a picnic!
56 – Hollyhock House
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Hollyhock House is an architectural masterpiece built in the 1920s.
Located in East Hollywood, visitors can admire this UNESCO World Heritage site, which conquered the title of the first American architecture placed on the World Heritage List.
Named after Aline Barnsdale’s favorite flower, hollyhocks, the house is set around a central courtyard, with one side open to form some sort of theatrical stage.
Like many of Wright’s houses, it has proven to be more of an aesthetic project than an inhabitable residence.
57 – Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills holds an unbeatable reputation as the home of many Hollywood stars, as well as plenty of rich and famous people and an outrageously expensive lifestyle.
The iconic Rodeo Drive doesn’t fall far from the pattern. Eternalized by Julia Roberts’ iconic shopping spree on “Pretty Woman”, filled with expensive and unique boutiques across a two-mile street, this is one of the most exclusive and luxurious places to visit in Los Angeles – as well as one of the best places to spot celebrities.
Famous for the haute couture fashion and designer stores, with brands like Guess, Prada, Dior, Chanel, Burberry and Rolex, just to name a few, get ready to max out your credit card at this high-end shopping paradise!
After visiting the area where celebrities live, having a sneak peek of their lifestyle and, who knows, maybe spotting some of your idols, why not complete the bucket list by feeling like one of them? If you’re in the mood for some extra glamour, consider a stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.
58 – The Fowler Museum
Located on UCLA’s campus, the Fowler Museum is focused on exploring global art, from Africa to Asia, the Pacific, and the Indigenous Americas.
Usually hosting between 3 to 6 exhibitions at the same time, the fantastic array of rotating exhibits combined with lectures and cultural events makes this museum worth a visit – plus, its entrance is free!
There’s something for everyone at the museum, from paintings created by the acclaimed Ghanaian artist Kwame Akoto to a European silverware collection containing over 250 items from the 16th century.
And don’t forget to check the program in advance, from discovering the secrets of Peruvian cuisine to hearing from exhibition curators, surely something will spark your curiosity!
59 – Little Tokyo
A perfect example of the city’s multiculturalism, the lively Little Tokyo is one of the best neighborhoods to visit in Los Angeles.
Located in Downtown LA, just a couple of minutes walking from some of the main landmarks, such as The Museum of Contemporary Art and The Broad, Little Tokyo comprises the largest Japanese-American population in North America.
With a rich history dating back to the late 1800s, besides an excellent opportunity to learn about immigrants’ histories, unwind at James Irvine Japanese Garden or Kyoto Gardens;
Try some delicious mochi at Fugetsu-Do Mochi, have dinner at one of the oldest restaurants in the area, Shabu Shabu House or try the best ramen at Daikokuya. This neighborhood is a paradise for the foodies, with plenty of great options to choose from.
60 – Museum of Contemporary Art
Proudly standing as the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art marvels locals and tourists alike with an impressive collection of approximately 7,000 objects.
Committed to showcasing all forms of art created after 1940, the museum’s highlights include artworks created by Jackson Pollock, a leading artist in the abstract expressionist movement, and Roy Lichtenstein, standing next to Andy Warhol in the lead of the pop art movement.
The museum has free entrance and two locations worth checking: one in Downtown LA, MOCA Grand Avenue (in front of The Broad), and another in Little Tokyo, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
61 – Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
If you want a place to relax from the fast-paced city of Los Angeles and enjoy some outdoor fun with the whole family, the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area has precisely what you’re looking for.
Considered one of the largest urban parks in the region, with over 400-acres, this popular park is located in the Baldwin Hills Mountains, once inhabited by the Tongva people.
Nowadays, it offers plenty of fun activities. There are baseball and soccer fields or basketball and volleyball courts for those looking to practice some sports; there’s a playground area for the kids, picnic areas, fishing lakes, and many hiking trails.
62 – Japanese American National Museum
Dedicated to preserving and sharing the Japanese American culture, covering over 130 years of their history and being considered the first ethnic-based institution of its kind, the Japanese American National Museum is worth a place on everyone’s bucket list.
Located in the heart of Little Tokyo, the distinguished rotating exhibitions supported by historical artifacts, artworks and photographs will take you on a learning journey about the rich Japanese ancestry and culture in the US.
And while in the area, take the opportunity to explore the Little Tokyo neighborhood and get even more immersed in the culture.
63 – Rose Bowl Stadium
Located in Pasadena, right outside Los Angeles’ center (less than 20 minutes driving), the Rose Bowl Stadium is one of the most famous sports venues and great for a lively and exciting evening out.
Home to the UCLA Bruins, if you’re lucky to catch a football match during your stay, hearing the crowd cheering on the home team will grant you some chills.
If you’re not able to attend a match, check your calendar because every month, on the last Friday, the stadium holds public tours, which are a great way to take a sneak peek into this massive 90,000 seat stadium.
64 – Guinness World Records Museum
One of the most popular indoor attractions in Los Angeles, the Guinness World Records Museum is also one of the most fun places to visit.
Explore some of the most mind-blowing world records ever broken, from the man who made 747 balloon shapes in just one hour, to the guy who swallowed 22 swords simultaneously.
An interactive way to explore the records documented by the world’s best-selling copyrighted book, gather your friends and family to compare your height against the world’s tallest person, or compete on the largest Pac-Man game ever made – who knows if any of you ends up breaking a record!
Consider a combo pass and visit both the Guinness World Records Museum and the Hollywood Wax Museum for some extra fun.
65 – Santa Monica State Beach
Probably one of the most famous beaches in California, one cannot visit Los Angeles without soaking in the sun at Santa Monica State Beach and admiring California’s stunning coast.
Impressively extending for 3.5 miles, this soft sand beach attracts locals and tourists alike and keeps them entertained with a great variety of activities and attractions.
Divided into two areas, north and south of the pier, you’ll find a great variety of things to do, from playing volleyball, surfing, biking and paddleboarding to playgrounds for the young ones and picnic areas.
Santa Monica is also famous for being the end of the famous Route 66 – even though it makes a great starting point as well. After recharging by the ocean, you’re all set to embark on this 2,500-mile adventure!
66 – The Music Center
Right in the beating heart of the City of Angels, created about 60 years ago, lies one of the world’s most renowned performing art centers and among the largest ones in the US, The Music Center.
With a massive 22-acre campus, the Music Center comprises 4 world-class theatres: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Walt Disney Concert Hall, all of them offering top-rated performances with a magnificent acoustic.
The campus also has lovely outdoor spaces for visitors to enjoy, such as the Blue Ribbon Garden, Jerry Moss Plaza, and Grand Park.
For those looking for in-depth learning about the space, the Music Center Symphonian Tours offers a 90-minute visit across the 4 theatres, led by voluntary docents ready to explain to you all about the center’s architecture and history.
67 – Heritage Square Museum
Exploring Southern’s California development and showcasing its history through architectural examples, the Heritage Square Museum focuses on interpreting the years between 1850 and 1950.
With Los Angeles’ quick urban expansion in the 1960s, the Heritage Square was founded to preserve architecturally and historically significant buildings from being demolished.
The Museum contains 8 historic Victorian Era structures to educate and illustrate to its visitors what life in Southern California looked like in the 19th century.
From the beautiful Victorian Italianate style of the 1876 Mount Pleasant House, to the unique Longfellow-Hastings Octagon House (with an estimate of only 500 of its kind remaining), or Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church mix between Carpenter Gothic and Queen Anne styles, the Heritage Square Museum is a paradise for architecture lovers visiting Los Angeles.
68 – The Gamble House
Located in Pasadena, just a short 20 minutes ride from Downtown LA, the construction of the iconic Gamble House marked a defining point in the American Arts and Crafts movement.
Considered nowadays as one of the best-preserved and most complete examples of American Craftsman architecture and an essential contribution to South California’s artistic heritage, along with the conservation of its original furnishings and collections, The Gamble House stands with the mission of inspiring and awakening the public’s interest in architecture.
Designed by the architects Greene & Greene, every detail was carefully projected – both on inside and outside. Visitors can better understand the house and its cultural and architectural context with the docent-led guided tours available.
To make the most out of your trip to Pasadena, why not spend the night there? It might not be the first city in California that comes to your mind, but it’s actually filled with history and culture, as well as great restaurants and bars. When it comes to accommodation, it can’t get better than the classic and glamorous Langham Huntington hotel.
See also: Best Day Trips from Los Angeles
69 – USC Pacific Asia Museum
Providing dynamic and innovative educational opportunities and connecting cultures, the USC Pacific Asia Museum, belonging to the University of Southern California, is the only museum in the US entirely focused on exploring Pacific Asia’s heritage.
Impressively displaying over 15,000 artifacts from Asia and the Pacific Islands, the Japanese collection deserves particular highlight: more than 200 rare works, along with paintings and drawings from the Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) eras, comprise one of the largest collections outside Japan.
Take some time to admire the ceramic collection, showcasing over 1,000 pieces from East Asia, 600 of which are from the Neolithic era; the outstanding Costumes and Textiles collection, exhibiting over 2,500 textiles from the Chinese Ming and Qing dynasties, Imperial Chinese silk robes and Japanese Edo and Meiji periods’ silk kimonos;
And one of the museum’s most unique exhibits, the Jade Collection, containing 150 Chinese artifacts, including a fabulous pair of jade earrings, believed to have belonged to Empress Dowager Cixi, from the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty in China’s imperial history.
70 – Will Rogers State Historic Park
Formerly a ranch belonging to Will Rogers, one of America’s most beloved citizens and one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, the Will Rogers State Historic Park is one of the best places to visit in Los Angeles for nature lovers.
Take the 2-mile Inspiration Point loop trail and soak in the views of Los Angele’s incredible skyline, or adventure through the Santa Monica Mountains along the Rivas Canyon trail.
For those into mountain biking (or the most adventurous hikers), the extensive Backbone Trail National Trail provides a great escape from the city, along with breathtaking ocean views and stunning rock formations.
Open to both children and adults, the Jigsaw Farms provide horse riding lessons, and with plenty of picnic tables and barbecue grills available at the park, this makes for a perfect day out with the whole family.
And of course, one cannot forget the cherry on top of any visit to the Will Rogers State Historic Park, the Ranch House, only accessible through guided tours but also worth checking out.
Looking for a hotel in Los Angeles?
With so many options available, choosing the best hotel for your stay in Los Angeles can feel overwhelming, but worry not; we are here to help.
Away from the city chaos, the Langham Huntington in Pasadena offers sophisticated rooms and a top-rated restaurant with stunning views of the garden and a world-class menu, serving Australian Wagyu and authentic Kobe Beef.
If you’re planning a getaway to the coast, in the area around Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Marina del Rey, the Loews Santa Monica Beach or The Ritz-Carlton definitely stand out and have everything it takes to provide you an unforgettable experience.
For a tighter budget without giving up on comfort and quality, the options range from the Freehand Los Angeles, with a “home away from home” feeling, to the Holiday Inn Los Angeles, next to the airport.
Save up to 45% with a City Pass
Whether you’re planning to tick off as many attractions as possible or just stopping by a few of the best places to visit in Los Angeles, an appropriate City Pass will be your best friend.
With plenty of popular attractions to choose from, such as the Aquarium of the Pacific, a guided tour to the Dolby Theatre, the LA Zoo, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, GRAMMY Museum… just to name a few, you’ll find a lot of use to the pass!
Choose between the Explorer Pass or the All-Inclusive Pass and start exploring! The first is perfect for those looking for a chill trip and only visit a couple of attractions, while the second is precisely what those who want to seize every second of their trip need.
That’s a wrap for the selection of the best places to visit in Los Angeles. We hope you’ve enjoyed the list, and let us know in the comments what you’re looking forward to visiting.
As always, happy travels!