best tourist attractions in Los Angeles

Boasting year-round sunshine, a booming entertainment industry and glamorous celebrity hangouts, Los Angeles is an exciting destination to explore at any time of year.

Home to Hollywood — the movie capital of the world, the city offers lots of ways to experience the celebrity thrills of the silver screen for yourself. Tour some of the famous movie studios, including Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros and Walt Disney, and see historic movie houses such as The TCL Chinese Theatre, El Capitan and the Egyptian Theatre.

Take a guided tour through the exclusive neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Malibu to spot celebrity homes, and visit the famous Hollywood Sign to snap a selfie! These are just a few of the popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

Tons of exciting family-friendly theme parks are waiting to be experienced, such as the ever-popular Disneyland Resort, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Explore the city’s natural treasures, including the Los Angeles Zoo, La Brea Tar Pits and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Cool off with a visit to the Raging Waters Water Park or check out LEGOLAND California for rides and attractions for younger children.

With so much to discover, here are some of the must-see tourist attractions in the City of Angels.

1 – Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles

By far one of the most popular tourist attractions in the City of Angels, Universal Studios Hollywood lets everyone experience the action and glamour of the movies.

For all of you aspiring magic-makers, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter offers tons of thrills and enchanting encounters.

Join Harry on The Forbidden Journey and ride through the dusty corridors of Hogwarts and beyond, or climb aboard the Hippogriff for a high-flying adventure like no other.

Check out some of the biggest rides and shows based on Universal Studios‘ top blockbuster movies. Experience the prehistoric exhilaration of Jurassic World – The Ride, and witness all the explosions and stunts of the park’s hit show, Waterworld.

Take the Studio Tour to travel inside scenes from some of your favorite movies and explore sights and locations from popular films and TV series.

Come face to face with the notorious shark, Jaws and visit Hitchcock’s infamous “Psycho” Bates Motel. Travel through the aftermath of the War of the Worlds and see the largest immersive ride on earth at the King Kong 360 3D.

Universal Studios is a must-visit on a trip to Los Angeles. This is a place where dreams are made, every day!

See also: Cheap Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets – How to Save up to 30%

2 – Los Angeles Zoo

Los Angeles Zoo

For a chance to glimpse a whole host of exotic and native animals and plants, Los Angeles Zoo is a great option while visiting the city.

It has a wide variety of creatures from all over the world including the tropics of Asia, the African Savannahs, Australia and the South American rainforests.

The zoo is home to over 2,000 creatures and 270 different species so there is a lot to see. Witness curious chimpanzees and elegant elephants, jaguars, ocelots and much more.

As well as mammals the park is also home to fascinating amphibians and reptiles, including a host of snakes, Komodo Dragons and ancient species like Indian Gharial crocodiles and Gila Monsters.

You can also see invertebrates such as Hissing Cockroaches and Desert Hairy Scorpions, colorful tropical fish and magnificent birds such as flamingos, kookaburra and toucans.

The zoo also includes some stunning botanical gardens with plants from all over the world — creating a wide range of environments. See the wild bird gardens, which attract native wildlife to the zoo as well as its Cycad, Gingko and Mexican Fan Palm collections.

3 – TCL Chinese Theatre

TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles

For nearly 100 years, TCL Chinese Theatre has been the go-to place in the city for glitzy movie premieres and events.

The theatre hosts around 50 movie premiere each year so is a great place to spot celebrities. It is one of a few remaining classic movie houses from the golden age of the silver screen — so a night out at the Chinese Theatre is bound to be memorable.

Outside of the theatre are the famous Hollywood handprints — featuring over 200 signatures and prints in the concrete. Here you’ll find prints from some of the world’s biggest stars, including Marilyn Monroe but also some of the more unusual stars of yesteryear, such as R2-D2 from Star Wars and Champion the Wonder Horse.

Take the opportunity to catch a movie here and experience this decadent “Old Hollywood” theatre. This is one of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for film fans and movie lovers should definitely check out this iconic piece of Hollywood History.

4 – NBA game

NBA game in Los Angeles, California

Formerly known as the Staples Center, Crypto.com Arena is the place to go in Los Angeles to see some of the best professional sports action.

The arena is home to the biggest names in Los Angeles basketball, including the LA Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers NBA teams and the Los Angeles Sparks women’s basketball team. Ice hockey fans can catch games by the LA Kings NHL hockey team at Crypto.com arena.

The venue has hosted diverse sports competitions, including U.S and World figure skating championships, the Summer X Games, as well as championship tennis, boxing and UFC matches.

It is also home to some of the city’s biggest concerts with artists such as Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen have performed there.

Check out the website to see what events are on during your time in the city.

5 – Hop on hop off bus tour

hop on hop off bus tour in Los Angeles

One of the best value and most thorough ways to tour the city is on a Hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

See all the must-see locations of Tinsel Town on these specially devised sightseeing bus rides. Climb on board the open-air double-decker buses and explore locations across the city, including Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Santa Monica Pier.

Start your journey at one of 45 different stops across Los Angeles and hop off wherever you like. Discover the glitz and glamor of the Hollywood Hills or take a stroll down the canals of Venice Beach.

These great value tours allow you to ride as many times as you like for the duration of the ticket so that you don’t need a car to explore LA. Just sit back and take in the sights and sounds of the City of Angels.

Enjoy the onboard commentary to hear a host of fun anecdotes, history and useful information about the sights you pass. Now that’s traveling!

6 – Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles

One of the best cultural destinations to explore in the city, Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens has a lot to discover.

Founded in 1919, the library is one of the world’s greatest research institutions and holds over 11 million volumes in its expansive collection, dating from the 11th-Century to the present day.

It contains diverse materials such as medieval manuscripts, American, British and Hispanic history, English literature and a collection of maps and atlases to name but a few.

Its art collection is also notable and houses around 42,000 works focusing mainly on European Art between the years 1600-1900 and American Art from the Colonial era to the present day.

It has a thorough selection of British artworks, including decorative arts from the likes of William Morris & Co as well as paintings by Constable and Turner.

Nature lovers will really enjoy exploring the Botanical Gardens which house unique collections of Bonsai, cycads, camellia and orchids. The full gardens cover 120 acres and include 16 themed gardens to discover.

This place is fun for the whole family and is one of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for those seeking a little culture.

7 – Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

Without a doubt, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles is a celebrity homes tour of Beverly Hills.

These popular bus tours give visitors the chance to see the glamorous abodes of Hollywood’s super-rich and famous. Nestled in among some of the most expensive houses on Earth you can see the homes of major celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise.

If you’re traveling on a budget why not explore the twists and turns of Mulholland Drive to grab amazing views of Beverly Hills from above. Alternatively, check out Greystone Mansion and Park or hire a bike and cycle around.

If you’re feeling particularly decadent why not try out one of the city’s fantastic restaurants or do some shopping at the upmarket stores and boutiques of Rodeo Drive.

You can have a lot of fun here just strolling the palm-lined streets and taking in the utter luxury that most of us can only dream of. It’s the one-and-only Beverly Hills!

See also: Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Tours- All you Need to Know

8 – Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain near Los Angeles

With over 100 rides and attractions — including 19 fast and furious roller coasters to choose from, Six Flags Magic Mountain is a thrill-seekers paradise.

Adventure junkies will love the X2 which takes roller coasters to a whole new level with a combination of music, sound effects and fireballs.

Coaster-connoisseurs will enjoy taking on the Goliath, which has one of the longest and fastest drops in the world reaching speeds of up to 85mph on a 281 ft descent.

Only just getting warmed up? You can Hop onboard Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom to experience the tallest and fastest drop tower ride on Earth, or hit up the Twisted Colossus to try out the world’s longest hybrid roller coaster.

There are also plenty of great family-friendly rides that are sure to put a smile on the face of everyone and little ones can grab a photo with their favorite Looney Tunes and Justice League characters.

With a host of great shows on offer and dozens of restaurants and snack bars to choose from, a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain is a day to remember forever.

9 – Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific, Los Angeles

One of the most popular aquariums in the United States, the Aquarium of the Pacific is home to over 12,000 creatures, all of which are native to the Pacific Ocean regions.

With more than 100 exhibits to check out, there’s plenty to see here. As well as the magnificent creatures from the deep you can also see adorable penguins, otters, seals,  frogs and colorful lorikeets.

Explore the Coral Lagoon to see tropical flashlight fish and clownfish as well as green sea turtles and many more. See colorful living coral that glow-in-the-dark and discover more about this fascinating underwater creature.

Explore the murky depths of the Shark Lagoon and come face-to-face with these magnificent hunters. See ferocious-looking sand tiger sharks, and elegant leopard sharks and get the chance to feed and stroke a ray.

This is a great place for kids and adults alike to discover the natural wonders of the Pacific, the world’s most diverse ocean.

10 – California Science Center

California Science Center, Los Angeles

One of the best free tourist attractions in Los Angeles, California Science Center makes learning super fun.

See one of only three surviving Endeavour Space shuttles — and the only one on the West Coast.

Glimpse amazing fighter jets and spy planes such as the A-12 Blackbird and F-20 Tigershark as well as early aircraft, including a Velie Monocoupe and a replica of the famous Wright Glider from 1902.

Catch a movie in the IMAX theatre or discover underwater worlds and Earth’s most hostile environments in the Ecosystems exhibit. There are lots to see and do at the California Science Center and many opportunities to learn and explore more about the world around us.

General admission to the permanent exhibits is without charge but does not include the temporary exhibits and IMAX theater.

11 – Whale Watching in Long Beach

Whale Watching in Long Beach, Los Angeles

People have been enjoying whale watching tours off the Los Angeles coast for nearly seventy years.

Some of the most common species spotted include grey Pacific whales and blue whales, the largest creature on Earth. You can also spot a number of other beautiful marine mammals including dolphins, humpback whales and occasionally killer whales.

Because whales are migratory the likelihood of spotting certain species increases at different times of the year. The winter months are better for spotting grey Pacific whales and in summer, visitors are more likely to see blue whales as they pass through the warm Pacific waters.

Any chance to see whales and dolphins in their natural environment is sure to be an unforgettable experience for all involved. Try one of these Long Beach boat trips while you’re in the city for the voyage of a lifetime.

12 – Raging Waters Water Park

Raging Waters Water Park, Los Angeles
credit to Raging Waters

The largest waterpark in California, Raging Waters is the perfect place to cool off on those hot Southern California days.

With over 50 acres of slides, pools and rides there’s something for everyone here. Face your fears on the vertical drop slides or take it easy in the Little Dipper Lagoon — this is fun for the whole family.

Bombs Away is the park’s newest water slide and it combines huge drops at speeds of 28 feet per second, this one is not for the faint of heart.

Check out the Aqua Rocket and Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror for further thrills or take a lazy ride on the Amazon Adventure. Increase the action on the Thunder Rapids raft ride or head into the twists and turns of the triple-flume Bermuda Triangle.

There’s plenty for smaller children too such as the Kids Cove, Splash Island Adventure park and Volcano Fantasea which will keep them amused for hours. Don’t miss a trip to Raging Waters Water Park during your time in Los Angeles.

13 – Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign from Griffith Park

If this is your first trip to Los Angeles you have to grab a picture in front of the famous Hollywood Sign.

Though you can see it from almost anywhere in Beverly Hills, there are a number of ways you can get closer to snap that perfect shot.

One of the most dramatic has to be on a helicopter tour and flyby of the sign. See the magnificent views of the Hollywood Hills and the gleaming white letters high up on Mount Lee.

A great low-budget way to see the sign is on a hike up to Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park. You can hike the 3 miles to the sign from here or just enjoy the views.

Of course, there are many other ways to see what is probably the world’s most iconic sign. You can join one of many tours and jump aboard a tour bus, take a guided hike or even a private tour in a Ferrari!

See also: Helicopter Tours in Los Angeles – Which One Is the Best?

14 – Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

Internationally renowned as one of the world’s most acoustically advanced music venues, The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a must-visit for classical music lovers.

Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, this Frank Gehry-designed building is an architectural highlight of the city. Its vibrant exterior is a complex mixture of stainless steel waves and curves.

The inside is as striking as the outside and the hall’s auditorium is clad almost entirely in hardwoods — creating a warm and resonant space with fantastic acoustics. The sound inside the hall is so excellent, it is sometimes considered an instrument in itself.

It also has an innovative design that puts the orchestra in the center of the seating area rather than being detached from it, creating a more intimate experience for the performers and audience.

Sitting in the center of all this is the bespoke 6,134 pipe organ with its dramatic square pipes, often referred to as “French fries”.

Visitors with an interest in classical music shouldn’t miss a trip to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. There probably isn’t a better venue in the whole world to hear your favorite music in.

15 – Petersen Automotive Museum

Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles

With one of the largest private car collections in the world, Petersen Automotive Museum houses some of the finest and rarest cars in history.

Join a guided tour of The Vault which houses over 250 iconic vehicles such as a Round Door Rolls Royce, the first V12 Ferrari ever — a Ferrari 125 S, and famous movie cars, including the original Back to the Future DeLorean and Michael Keaton’s 1989 Batmobile.

The museum also hosts some of the best temporary automotive exhibits around such as “Bond in Motion” — a selection of iconic vehicles from the James Bond movies, as well as Hypercars and Formula One vehicles all under one roof.

You can also catch awesome exhibits exploring the history and future of electric vehicles from major manufacturers such as Volkswagen.

This is one of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for car and movie buffs but also makes a fun day for the whole family. Check it out while you’re in the city.

16 – LEGOLAND® California

LEGOLAND California, Los Angeles

A seriously fun place to visit with kids, LEGOLAND Resort California has lots to see and experience, including the LEGOLAND park itself, SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Water Park.

With over 60 rides and attractions to experience, LEGOLAND California is sure to be a big hit with younger children. There’s a host of kid-friendly roller coasters, adventure playgrounds and activities that will kindle their imagination and curiosity.

SEA LIFE Aquarium is home to more than 6,000 creatures and over 250 species. Grab the chance to see some of the most incredible creatures of the deep, including species of sharks, rays, starfish and seahorses or explore the Touch Pools and stroke a spiny sea urchin.

If you can’t stand the heat any longer, take a refreshing dip at LEGOLAND Water Park. With seven slides as well as wave pools, beaches and a build-your-own raft river, there’s enough to keep everyone entertained.

For the ultimate experience, why not stay at one of the LEGOLAND Hotels and sleep in style in one of the pirate, Ninjago and adventure-themed rooms.

17 – MLB game

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

The Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium has been home to the Major League Baseball team since it moved to the city from New York in 1958.

The famous Dodger Stadium in its hilltop setting surrounded by towering palm trees is one of the fan favorites among all the MLB venues in the country.

It can seat 56,000 fans and has been the setting for some record-breaking sporting moments, including one of the longest home winning streaks in modern baseball.

Why not catch a game at Dodger Stadium or take a tour of the grounds? Step onto the field and see the team’s 2020 World Series trophy. Visit the Bullpen and take a look inside the team’s weight room and batting cages.

Sports fans will have a blast visiting this iconic Major League Baseball stadium — right in the heart of the city.

18 – Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm, Orange County

One of the most popular theme parks and tourist attractions in Los Angeles, Knotts Berry Farm has been the go-to place for fun-seekers for nearly a century.

What started as a small berry farm and restaurant — renowned for its chicken dinners, has grown to be one of the largest and oldest theme parks in California, covering up to 160 acres with rides, shows and attractions.

Take a trip back in time to the Old West Ghost Town and experience the thrills of cowboy country. Ride the exhilarating Calico Mine Train in the pitch black or discover one of the world’s longest and tallest wooden rollercoasters — GhostRider.

If roller coasters aren’t your thing why not take a trip on the Grand Sierra Railroad or visit the blacksmith’s shop for a unique demonstration.

As well as hair-raising white-knuckle rides, there’s plenty for younger kids too. Check out Camp Snoopy and explore the Peanuts-themed rides and attractions or visit the splash-tastic waterparks to cool off from the Southern California sun.

Round off the day with dinner and one of the famous boysenberry cream sodas at the old west-style Calico Saloon. A trip to Knotts Berry Farm is fun for the whole family.

19 – Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Hollywood Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles

One of the best, and most beautiful, places to see a theatrical production in the city has to be the Pantages Theatre.

Located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, Pantages Theatre has been a center of entertainment in the city since it first opened in 1930. Its grand opening was a major red carpet event in the city that attracted all the biggest stars of the era.

The stunning architecture and interior decoration were restored to its 1930s art deco splendor in the year 2000.

In its near 100 year history, it has hosted movie premieres, including the 1963 premiere of Cleopatra, The Academy Awards from 1950-59 and many of Hollywood’s biggest live shows.

It now mainly hosts major Broadway plays and musicals, including The Lion King, Hamilton and Moulin Rouge.

20 – Hollywood Wax Museum®

Hollywood Wax Museum, Los Angeles

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Since it first opened in 1965 it has been thrilling visitors with face-to-face encounters with the silver screen’s most recognizable characters. Visitors are invited to join in too!

There are tons of fun props and scenarios to enjoy here. Why not hit up an A-list party, sing along with your favorite pop star or get hitched to a Hollywood icon.

Though there are many waxworks of Hollywood’s most beautiful faces, there are also plenty of frightful creatures from the big screen in the museum’s Chamber of Horrors.

This classic wax museum is one of the most visited attractions on Hollywood Boulevard and has become an iconic landmark in its own right. Check it out for thrills and frights galore!

21 – Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Known as a popular hiking destination and a place to see the famous Hollywood sign, there’s a lot more to Griffith Observatory than just that.

The observatory is home to one of the only live narrated planetarium shows on Earth. It houses a number of high-quality telescopes that are free for the public to use.

Its historic Zeiss telescope has allowed more than seven million people to gaze up into the night sky since it was opened in 1935. This is more than any other public telescope in the world.

The Griffith Observatory also houses three solar telescopes that give visitors a chance to observe the surface of the sun at any given moment.

Looking for a one-of-a-kind show? Try the Samuel Oschin Planetarium to catch a live narrated show that really brings the stars to life.

There are also a host of other engaging exhibits to explore which allows us to discover more about the universe around us. The Griffith Observatory is a great free attraction that is fun for the whole family.

22 – Skirball Cultural Center

Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles
Credit to Pete Turman / Skirball Cultural Center

There’s always lots to see and do for the whole family at the Skirball Cultural Center.

The organization hosts a wide range of fun exhibits covering everything from art, photography, television and movies and much more.

Some of its recent exhibitions have focused on the work of the legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, the cultural significance of Star Trek and the photographs of Stanley Kubrick.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring the Discovery Center which allows them to experiment with archeology and learn about the similarities we share with our distant ancestors.

One of the center’s most-popular exhibits is Noah’s Ark, a wooden recreation of the biblical ship that has many fun things to see, play with and experience. This is great for parents with younger kids who can build and experiment to their heart’s content while making friends and having fun.

You can also take a variety of classes at the Skirball Center or join in art and music events, discussion groups and much more.

23 – Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

With over 2,700 stars represented there, your trip to Los Angeles is not completed without visiting the world’s most famous sidewalk.

Yes, we are talking about the Walk of Fame, right in the heart of Hollywood, spanning more than 1 mile along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

Receiving around 10 million visitors per year, here you’ll find some of the most prominent names in various fields, such as film, TV, radio, live performance and music – and if you can’t find your idol there, did you know you can submit a nomination? (Even though it has a $250 fee and requires an agreement letter from their manager.)

To make sure you don’t miss any of the stars you want to visit, use the “search for the star” feature and quickly locate them and take a lot of pictures!

24 – Dolby Theatre

Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles

One of the world’s most state-of-the-art entertainment venues, Dolby Theatre offers visitors the next generation of sound and vision.

This Holywood Boulevard landmark is one of the best places in the city to see television and movie stars in person.

It is the venue for the yearly Academy Awards Ceremony— or The Oscars as it is commonly known, as well as regular screenings of hit TV shows and Q&As with cast and crew members.

It also hosts huge performances including Broadway productions, shows from Cirque du Soleil and even America’s Got Talent.

Its world-leading sound system is probably the most sophisticated ever produced and artists including Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and The Dixie Chicks have all performed here.

For one of the best quality audio visual experiences you’ll ever get, Dolby Theatre is the place to be.

25 – El Capitan Theatre

El Capitan Theatre, Los Angeles

El Capitan is one of three famous theatres built by Charles Toberman and Sid Grauman in the 1920s — the other two being the Egyptian Theatre and Chinese Theatre which are both major Hollywood landmarks.

It was originally designed as a playhouse but was converted into a movie theatre in the early 1940s. It features elaborate Indian-style decorations throughout its interior.

It has seen its fair share of Hollywood parties also. The premiere of Orson Well’s movie-masterpiece Citizen Kane was held at El Capitan on May 8, 1941.

It has been the location for a number of Walt Disney Movie premieres since the Rocketeer debuted there in 1991 and is one of the best theatres in the city to catch some of your Disney favorites.

Definitely check out the theatre’s original Wurlitzer organ from the 1920s which is one of only five ever built.

26 – Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Los Angeles

One of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for those traveling on a budget, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is located in a beautiful spot on the San Pedro waterfront.

The aquarium has free admission every day — although a donation is kindly requested, and allows visitors to learn a lot about the city’s coastal habitats.

There are over 200 species of animals that call the center home and multiple exhibits to explore covering everything from the tidal shores and kelp forests to the open ocean.

Channel your inner scientist in the Exploration Center, where you’ll use your senses and scientific tools to analyze the coastal habitats. Immerse yourself in the Crawl In Aquarium, where you are surrounded by colorful fish and sea creatures.

Check out the Discovery Center for fun activities and Naturalist’s Corner where you can view minuscule creatures under a microscope.

There’s also an extensive museum and friendly staff on hand to guide your visit and offer information. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is a must-see for nature lovers in Los Angeles.

27 – Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles

In the mood for some more fascinating discoveries? The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has lots to see and uncover.

Take a trip back in time some 65 million years in the Museum’s Dinosaur Hall. See the bones of some of the most ferocious hunters that ever lived, including rare skeletons of baby and young Tyrannosaurus Rex.

See dozens of the largest skeletons in the museum’s collection and over 300 fossils, including the fossilized remains of a triceratops.

The museum itself is housed in a beautiful beaux-arts building that dates from 1913 and visitors shouldn’t miss the magnificent “Three Graces” statue that stands in its Eastern Entrance.

You can also glimpse the remains of extinct creatures such as the American Mastodon, watch scientists examine fossils in the Dino Lab and see a stunning collection of gems and stones, including the largest gold nugget in California.

Take time to stroll around the Nature Gardens too which are home to over 600 kinds of plants.

28 – GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live

GRAMMY Museum, Los Angeles

Music fans will really enjoy a trip to the Grammy Museum, which features loads of fun exhibits about American music — from Blues and Jazz to Rock, Pop and Hip hop, this museum covers it all.

Take a trip to The Red Carpet to see some of the most iconic and outlandish outfits to grace the Grammy Awards Ceremonies. See a collection of Michael Jackson clothing and memorabilia from the King of Pop’s “Thriller” era.

Music and audio nerds will enjoy the Mono to Immersive Experience Room which follows the history of recorded sound from the early gramophones to digital surround sound systems of today.

Discover key performances in the history of the Grammy Awards and uncover the deep cultural significance of music in the Culture Shock exhibit. Learn about the roots of popular music and how it is sometimes influenced by the most unlikely sources.

The Grammy Museum is great fun for all ages and there are tons to see and do here.

29 – Autry Museum of the American West

Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles
credit to Autry Museum of the American West

Telling a thorough and inclusive history of the American West, The Autry Museum is packed with interesting artifacts and exhibits.

Founded by Gene Autry — the famous “Singing Cowboy” the museum tells the rich stories of the region via interesting exhibits and original artifacts.

See decorative handguns and Native American art alongside paintings and sculptures of the West and the original Imagination Gallery — featuring Gene Autry’s guitar, an Annie Oakley belt buckle from the TV series and an outfit from the movie The Three Amigos.

There are also many exhibits focusing on the stories of Native American tribes and their cultures and an Ethnobotanical Garden to explore.

30 – La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles

For over a century the La Brea Tar Pits has been one of the most fascinating paleontological sites in the world.

Located right in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, the thick and gooey Tar Pits have preserved the fossilized remains of millions of different organisms, plants and animals.

Many have already been unearthed since excavations began in the early 1900s, including over 4,000 Ice Age Dire Wolves and 2,000 Saber-toothed cats. You can also see the remains of prehistoric pumas, mammoths and giant sloths in the Tar Pits Museum.

See teams of paleontologists working in the Fossil Lab to prepare and study the fossils and visit the active excavation sites where new finds are discovered regularly.

Explore the Pleistocene Garden to see how the Los Angeles Basin would have looked 40,000 years ago and discover the native plants that once thrived here.

31 – Paramount Studio Tour

Paramount Studio Tour, Los Angeles

Paramount Studios has been a top name in the movie business since the 1920s when one of its earliest movies — Wings, won the very first academy award.

Some of the most popular movies of all time have been produced by the studio, including The Godfather, Indiana Jones, Titanic, Forrest Gump and many more.

Why not tour the studios to see the place where these legendary movies were made?

Explore the backlots and soundstages with a knowledgeable guide. See the famous prop warehouse, New York and Bronson Gate sets and see the people that get to work in the movie business every day.

Learn a little about the work that goes into creating movies and see how the sets are assembled for shooting.

This is a fascinating tour to take and is sure to be a big hit with movie lovers of all ages.

32 – Catalina Island day trip

Catalina Island day trips from Los Angeles

Fancy an island escape just off the coast of Los Angeles? Catalina Island has been enchanting visitors for over 100 years.

The island was first developed in the 1920s by William Wrigley Jr. — of Wrigley’s chewing gum fame and became the place to visit for Angelenos trying to escape the city.

Check out Avalon, the island’s main town and the idyllic Two Harbors — a great place to hike and take a swim. Join one of many fun activities, such as a zip-line eco-tour, glass-bottom boat journey or a submarine voyage around the coastline.

Outdoors people will enjoy catching a glimpse of the island’s wild bison and traveling the outback on the ridges and valleys of the islands East Peak.

There are plenty of glamorous locations to visit too such as Catalina’s famous Casino and the beautiful art deco-style Avalon Theatre — one of the world’s first movie theatres designed for talking pictures in the late 1920s.

You’ll find plenty to discover on Catalina Island, just a stone’s throw from Los Angeles.

See also: Best Day Trips from Los Angeles

33 – Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles

The clientele of the Chateau Marmont includes many movie stars and executives and is often a home-from-home for East Coast stars staying in the city.

The hotel was built in the 1920s and the design is inspired by a famous French chateau in the Loire Valley. Originally designed as an exclusive apartment building it was remodeled in the 1930s for use as a hotel.

The now-iconic residence on Sunset Strip has inspired many songs, books and has been used as a filming location on a number of occasions.

If you can’t afford the hefty price tag to stay at Chateau Marmont you can always call in for a drink at Bar Marmont or grab dinner in one of its restaurants.

Who knows who you might see?

34 – Battleship USS Iowa Museum

USS Iowa Battleship Museum, Los Angeles

One of the best surviving examples of a World War II Battleship — and the only one on the West Coast, the USS Iowa is one of the most awe-inspiring museums in Los Angeles.

Constructed in New York in the 1940s, the ship is known as “the battleship of presidents” for its accommodation of three United States leaders, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W Bush throughout its lifetime.

This huge battleship has lots to explore, including the crew’s quarters, weapons decks and torpedo levels and lots of exhibits related to the ship’s history and that of the U.S Navy.

Don’t forget to look for the scavenger trail of Vicky the Dog, the ship’s famous wartime mascot, as you explore the ship.

35 – Museum of Death

Hollywood Museum of Death

Searching for spooky attractions in the City of Angels? Look no further than the Museum of Death!

The unique collection is not for the faint of heart and includes all manner of gruesome and macabre artifacts. The museum has two locations, one in Hollywood and one in New Orleans.

Here you can find a host of weird and even weirder objects including pet taxidermy, crime scene photos, antique funeral objects and morticians tools. It also has the world’s largest collection of artworks by serial killers as well as memorabilia related to the Manson Family.

This is definitely not a place to take children but is sure to be an enlightening experience for adults with a strong stomach and an interest in the morbid.

36 – Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios, Los Angeles

Although Walt Disney Studios doesn’t offer public tours like some of the other major studios there are still ways you can visit this legendary movie producer.

Adventures by Disney holiday packages include a six-night stay at Disneyland Park which also includes private behind-the-scenes trips to Walt Disney Studio and the Jim Henson Company Lot.

Learn the history of the studios and visit the Walt Disney Archives — a treasure trove of Disney memorabilia, photographs, props and artwork.

Take the Walt Disney Imagineering Tour which explains how the magic of the Disney parks and resorts is brought to life by a dedicated team of architects, engineers and technicians.

These tours are a dream come true for Disney fans young and old. Get a first-hand look at the method behind the magic!

37 – Warner Bros Studio Hollywood

Warner Bros Studio Hollywood

One of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles for film fansWarner Bros Studio is where the magic happens.

Visitors can take a guided tour to discover what a working studio looks like. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities as you tour one of the most famous working studios in the world.

The studio backlots cover up to 110 acres and visitors get the chance to see some of the most famous and popular sets. Visit streets that have appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows such as Blade Runner, Pretty Little Liars and The Gilmore Girls.

Discover what happens behind the scenes on a Hollywood shoot and get the chance to visit the famous Central Perk Café from the hit series Friends.

There’s all this and more to witness on a tour of Warner Bros Studios Hollywood. This is a great chance to walk in the steps of some of the screen’s biggest stars.

38 – Hollyhock House

Hollyhock House, Los Angeles

The first modern American building to make it onto UNESCO’s World Heritage list, Hollyhock House is a must-visit for lovers of great architecture.

Designed by the highly-influential architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, the construction of the house was completed in 1921 — so it just celebrated its 100th birthday!

It features a central courtyard and the brickwork and design are reminiscent of a Mayan temple. It has a bunch of beautiful bas reliefs including a large decorative fireplace that acts as a centerpiece for the building.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the house to see the features in detail and also check out the archive of plans and drawings created by Frank Lloyd Wright.

39 – Santa Monica Pier

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

The first Santa Monica Pier was built in 1909 and the iconic landmark is still welcoming guests to this day.

For family entertainment, you can’t beat Pacific Park — the pier’s up-to-date amusement park is brimming with old-fashioned charm!

Ride roller coasters with amazing views, check out the historic carousel constructed in 1939 or hop on board the region’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel.

There is also an arcade, souvenir shops and a bunch of great restaurants to sample right there on the pier. Why not hang around to catch the sunset and maybe some live music during the Twilight on the Pier Festival.

Since it first opened way back in the early 1900s, Santa Monica Pier has been a favorite local spot for fishing. Fishing here is open to everyone, it’s absolutely free and you can hire gear from the nearby bait shops.

You have to visit the Santa Monica Pier on a trip to Los Angeles. Take a stroll and breathe in the sea air at this much-loved beachside attraction.

40 – The Museum of Jurassic Technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles

It is quite possible that you will never have seen anything like The Museum of Jurassic Technology before.

The museum has a fascinating collection of novelties and artifacts of questionable authenticity — in the best possible way.

Akin to the sideshows and curiosity exhibitions of yesteryear you will be amazed and astounded or at least intrigued by the many fascinating exhibitions — which may raise as many questions as they answer.

Read letters to the Mount Wilson Observatory and see decaying dice that may combust at any moment. See pre-scientific medicines, horns grown from human heads, dogs who went to space and much more at this fun and bewildering museum.

41 – The Hollywood Museum

Hollywood Museum

With a claim to holding the largest collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world, The Hollywood Museum has to be worth a visit while you’re exploring Tinsel Town.

With more than 10,000 treasures spread over its four floors, this is one of the most fun tourist attractions in Los Angeles for movie lovers.

The museum is located in the historic building, where Max Factor — the Hollywood makeup artist, created iconic looks for the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.

See clothing worn by screen legends such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley and costumes from Superman, I Love Lucy, Harry Potter, Star Trek and many more. See movie posters and props and the fantastic cars of the stars.

Visit the famous jail cell from The Silence of the Lambs and see horror legends such as Boris Karloff’s The Mummy, Frankenstein and Elvira.

Hollywood history is at the very foundations of this fun and family-friendly museum.

42 – Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles

If you just can’t get enough Hollywood glitz and glamour, check out the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The Academy Awards — also known as The Oscars, is the movie business’ biggest yearly event. The Academy Museum lets visitors discover the history of the prestigious award ceremony from its inception in 1927 to the present day.

Discover the timeline of the awards and the major movies from each year and see exclusive items from the collection of movie-related objects and equipment.

See famous props, including Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, as well as props from Spartacus, Alien, Citizen Kane and the typewriter used to write Hitchcock’s groundbreaking movie, Psycho.

Feel the rush of an award winner in The Oscars Experience and discover the often overlooked artistry of movie backdrops.

This is the ultimate for movie lovers who dream of stepping onto the red carpet themselves.

43 – Travel Town Museum

Travel Town Museum in Los Angeles

Discover the history of the Los Angeles railroad at the historic Travel Town Museum, which has been enthralling visitors since 1952.

The museum has over 40 historic locomotives and cars that are waiting to be explored. Some of the trains date back to the late 1800s and represent some of the greatest locomotives from the height of the steam-powered era.

See some of the most luxurious carriages of the time such as the Pennsylvania Railroad Dining car and a Union Pacific dormitory car from the 1930s.

Discover the legacy of Fred Harvey who in the late 1800s created a network of restaurants, hotels and gift shops along the length of the Santa Fe Railway and is credited with bringing tourism to the area.

You can also take the opportunity to ride a miniature train around the Travel Town grounds. Check out these amazing machines which helped build the foundations of the city of Los Angeles.

44 – Disneyland Resort

Disney park in Los Angeles

On a trip to Los Angeles, you have to make time to visit the original and very first Disneyland in Anaheim.

The Disneyland Resort is home to two of the world-famous Disney theme parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

Disneyland Park first opened in 1955 and is the only Disney theme park that was constructed under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself.

Millions have since visited the park known as “the happiest place on Earth” and enjoyed now-famous rides such as The Pirates of the Caribbean — which spawned a movie franchise, Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise and The Haunted Mansion.

One of its most recent additions Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge includes a whole world built around the hit movie series. Ride the Millenium Falcon on the Smuggler’s Run ride or visit Oga’s Cantina for a snack and some live music.

If thrilling rides are your thing, you might want to check out Disney California Adventure. The eight themed areas represent California from different time periods and also include a healthy dose of everyone’s favorite Disney characters.

Check out Pixar Pier for a classic amusement experience or visit Hollywood Land to explore the golden era of movie-making.

Disneyland is still one of the best family-friendly tourist attractions in Los Angeles. There’s a little bit of magic here for everyone to find.

45 – Museum of Latin American Art

Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles
Chiachio & Giannone with Pride Flag at MOLAA / credit to Museum of Latin American Art

The only museum in the United States dedicated entirely to Latin American and Latino art, MOLAA offers a broad mix of engaging and relevant exhibitions.

The museum’s permanent collection was started in 2014 and already includes over 1,300 works of art.

It features exhibitions by artists such as Judy Baca, Crack Rodriguez and many more. Visit on a weekend to join a guided tour of the galleries and check out some of the museum’s regular workshops and events.

Don’t forget to explore MOLAA’s 15,000 square foot sculpture garden or visit one of its educational art classes and festivals throughout the year.

46 – Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Los Angeles

With 15 galleries and over 300 weird and wonderful exhibits to explore, Ripley’s Believe It or Not is sure to be a highlight of your trip to LA.

If you’re interested in the bizarre and unusual — and who isn’t? This place will really blow your mind!

See original artifacts and curiosities collected by Robert Ripley, the museum’s founder spread over two floors of this self-proclaimed “odditorium”.

Come face-to-face with a genuine shrunken head or peek inside an actual vampire hunting kit from the 1800s. Measure yourself against the world’s tallest man or grab a selfie with a prehistoric cave bear.

All this and more in Hollywood’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

47 – Guinness World Records Museum

Guinness World Records Museum, Los Angeles
Statue of the tallest men in the world

Discover a fascinating world of near-superhuman feats at the Guinness World Records Museum.

Discover crazy record-breaking attempts and some of the weirdest things people have tried in order to get into the famous Guinness Book of World Records.

The museum’s interactive and fun exhibits provide plenty of entertainment for the whole family. There are challenges for children and adults so you can try to score a world record of your own.

Can you rise to the occasion and beat the Pac-Man high-score or shoot a record-breaking number of baskets in a row? Can you beat a bongo faster than everyone else or assemble a word puzzle in record time?

Try your luck and who knows, you may just make it into the Guinness Book of Records yourself!

48 – Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Founded in 1979, the Museum of Contemporary Art is the only museum in the city created by artists.

Its collection includes around 7,000 objects from all over the world and covers the changing tastes in contemporary art.

The museum runs two venues in the cityMOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, the latter of which is housed in a Frank Gehry modeled building.

Here you can see installation art, photography, paintings, prints and sculptures dating from the 1940s to the present day.

As well as its permanent collection, MOCA also displays temporary exhibitions of work by some of the most exciting artists of our time and a program of exhibits of recent acquisitions.

Definitely check this out if you are on the hunt for some culture during your stay in Los Angeles.

49 – Angels Flight Railway

Angels Flight Railway, Los Angeles

One of the quintessential landmarks to visit in Los Angeles is the Angels Flight Railway.

This funicular, which still uses its two original cars named Olivet and Sinai, is one of the city’s recognized historic and cultural monuments.

It has been ferrying passengers up and down the Bunker Hill area since it first opened in 1901 — though the area has changed drastically since then and the neighborhoods it once served have long since been demolished.

It is still a popular tourist attraction and its vintage cars and stations are an attractive reminder of the turn of the century architecture that was once everywhere in the city.

This is one attraction that is great for those on a budget. A return fare costs just two dollars and you even get a souvenir ticket for your scrapbook!

50 – Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles

Opened in the early 1990s as a way to preserve the history of Japanese Americans and document their experiences, the Japanese American National Museum is a treasure trove of information.

Covering the history of Japanese immigrants to the United States which first began in the 1800s, there’s lots of history here to uncover.

Learn about the exile and deportation they faced in the US during World War II. Visit one of the actual barracks from the Heart Mountain Internment Camp where many Japanese American citizens were forced to live during the war.

There are also hundreds of hours of film as well as art, textiles, photographs and objects that tell the tale of the thousands of Japanese Americans that call the country home.

51 – Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Madame Tussauds Hollywood, Los Angeles

Still searching for more of your favorite stars and celebrities? Madame Tussauds Hollywood gives you the chance to come face to face with your big screen idols — in wax!

Snap some selfies with some of the most famous faces in the world. See lifelike waxworks of your favorite Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, Thor, The Hulk and Captain America.

Meet pop stars and music icons such as Arianna Grande, Tupac and Lady Gaga and veteran screen legends such as Angela Bassett and Danny Trejo at this seriously fun waxwork museum.

52 – Malibu

Malibu Beach, California

The beautiful oceanside homes of Malibu are some of Los Angeles’ most sought-after residences.

The exclusive beach city has been home to many celebrities throughout the decades including Brad Pitt, Ellen DeGeneres and Charlie Sheen.

A popular activity in Malibu for travelers is to take a celebrity home tour to glimpse the houses of the rich and famous. On the tours, you may see idyllic homes belonging to the likes of Lady Gaga, Will Smith, Julia Roberts and Steven Spielberg.

For those who prefer the great outdoors, why not take a surfing trip on the Malibu coast. With fantastic waves at Surfrider Beach — the world’s first protected “surfing reserve”, as well as Zuma Beach and Point Dume, this is a great alternative to sightseeing.

Visitors can also explore the nearby hills on foot or horseback and grab awesome views of the Santa Monica Mountains in the distance.

53 – LA Galaxy game

LA Galaxy in Los Angeles

Formed in 1994, LA Galaxy has gone on to be one of the most popular and successful soccer teams in the United States.

The team competes in the Major League Soccer Western Conference from its home grounds the Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly Home Depot Center.

The team has featured some of the brightest names in soccer among its ranks including David Beckham, who played for the team between 2007-2012.

Why not check out a game when you’re in Los Angeles and see why the team has become one of the country’s best-loved!

54 – Venice Beach

One of the most fun beach towns in all of LA, Venice Beach is a hotspot of independent bars, shops and cafes and a great low-key place to hang out.

There’s a lot to see and do here for travelers and taking time to explore the city is a must on a trip to Los Angeles.

In the 1970s, Venice Beach was the birthplace of skateboarding culture which has now spread all over the world. Its independent spirit and counterculture attitude still survives today and the city is a vibrant and creative place.

Start your day with a surf lesson at one of the world’s iconic surf beaches or hire a bike and cycle along the coast. Take a Segway tour or just explore the seafront stores at your own pace.

Don’t forget to pass by the famous Muscle Beach where bodybuilding legends, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno have trained.

Wander the routes of the old canals — which gained Venice Beach its name, or be entertained by the city’s fantastic street performers and musicians. Venice is still one of the most fun places in the city to laze away the day.

55 – Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Pirate's Dinner Adventure in Los Angeles
credit to Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Ahoy mateys! Try dinner and a show at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure in Orange County — near the Disneyland Resort and Knott’s Berry Farm.

This swashbuckling live show is a feast of acrobatics, theatre and inclusive fun. Join the crew aboard a Spanish Galleon for sword fights, high flying action and a riotous tale of good vs evil.

This is great for both children and adults and includes a fair amount of audience participation. Enjoy a feast fit for a pirate king and a host of aerial stunts in this fun and interactive dinner show.

If you’re in Los Angeles around Halloween or Christmas check out the Vampirates and Pirates Take Christmas shows for some holiday hijinks on the high seas.

Save money with city passes

For the best deals on tickets and fast access to attractions, it’s worth picking up one of the GO City passes.

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles to help you plan your next vacation. If you are looking for more fun ideas of activities, make sure to check our our selection of fun things to do in Los Angeles.

Let us know in the comments below which place is your favorite one.

As always, happy travels!