The Best Things to Do in Los Angeles
Collected by Susan Mason, AFAR Local Expert
Los Angeles is a beacon for people from around the country who want to revel in its sunny weather, mountainous coastal landscape, and boundless creativity, and visitors will find themselves well entertained.
1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
Perched atop a stunning hill in the Santa Monica Mountains, this outpost of the J. Paul Getty Museum overlooks the vast cityscape of the greater Los Angeles area. Its exceptional contemporary architecture, wide array of pre-20th-century art,...
2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
Sitting near Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory has a vantage point that allows visitors great views of the HOLLYWOOD sign during the day, and even more fantastic views of the stars at night. The space has plenty...
221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
The Broad entered Los Angeles’s art scene and gave it a much-needed contemporary bang of curation, commentary, and color. The porous, white, coral-like exoskeleton appears malleable like a Tempur-Pedic mattress and contrasts with the smooth,...
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
The Santa Monica Pier embodies what Southern California is all about: fun in the sun. Popular with tourists and locals alike, this iconic boardwalk adjacent to the Pacific Ocean—filled with all the amusement rides, midway games, fried food, ice...
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
The largest art museum in the western United States, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) offers permanent and rotating collections that span from ancient Egyptian objects to modern art like Claes Oldenburg's giant pool balls. It's...
2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA
The practically endless summer weather of L.A. means you can catch shows at the outdoor amphitheater that is the Hollywood Bowl from April all the way to October, and the 17,500-seat venue takes full advantage. The Hollywood Bowl has summer...
5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
"La Brea" is Spanish for tar pits—but luckily the tar pits are fenced off and no longer pose a danger. The pits have served as a fantastic paleontological site, one of the biggest and ongoing excavation projects in history. The museum itself...
1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108, USA
The Huntington is a beautiful, cultural destination. The library exhibits are wonderful, and include famous titles like Audubon's Birds of America. The art collection features well-known paintings, architectural pieces, and a sculpture garden. The...
Venice Canals, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Before L.A. became a concrete network of high-speed freeways, gondoliers used to glide through a series of manmade canals that were built in 1905 to recreate Venice, Italy in Southern California. The remaining two miles of waterways are a peaceful...
Venice Fishing Pier, Venice, CA 90292, USA
The boardwalk and bike path from Will Rogers State Beach in the Pacific Palisades to Torrance County Beach in Torrance is a stretch of activity some 20 miles long. Rent a bike, roller or in-line skates, or a Segway and cruise as much of the...
5919 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre was the brainchild of Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, and others who starred in Comedy Central's sketch comedy Upright Citizens Brigade in the late '90s. The comedians expanded the idea into...
111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
This bowed silver building stands out among the skyscrapers of Downtown L.A. (though it now has an equally interesting-looking neighbor in the Broad). Those stainless-steel curves have a purpose, though. Architect Frank Gehry designed the...
6009 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, USA
Culver City’s industrial façade is a hard shell to a neighborhood that beats with a creative pulse. Over 35 galleries line the intersection of La Cienega and Washington Boulevards just under the 10 freeway. Unlikely neighbors of auto repair shops,...
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, USA
Universal Studios Hollywood is a premier tourist destination when visiting Los Angeles, and on the drive to or from it you can gawk at the elusive HOLLYWOOD sign in the hills. Unlike some of the other amusement parks, Universal Studios can...
6360 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
Hollywood is the center of entertainment in Los Angeles, and there’s no better way to experience the city’s underlying foundation of film than by going to the movies. ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood is the premiere theater experience...
Arts District, Los Angeles, CA, USA
If you head just a bit farther east out of downtown LA, you will stumble upon an outdoor street art museum all over walls, garage doors, light poles, and pretty much any surface that will hold paint. Old industrial warehouses near the LA River and...
900 W Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA
The Natural History Museum houses some 35 million specimens and artifacts spanning 4.5 billion years in history. But it isn't just what's inside this structure that's historic: The main building itself dates all the way back to 1913, when a Sunday...
E Pacific Coast Hwy, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The journey down Highway 1 is the iconic California road trip, and this coastal route is a great choice whether you're in Northern California, the central coast, or in SoCal. But there's something extra special about driving the Pacific Coast...
7776 Torreyson Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
You can find unique structures by famed architect John Lautner (an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright) all over Los Angeles, but none are as mind-boggling at his Chemosphere. Lautner was drafted to design the Hollywood Hills house for Leonard Malin,...
1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA
When you hear "the Happiest Place on Earth," chances are you think of only one spot. There's a reason Disneyland has been able to keep that slogan for over six decades: This resort and theme park in sunny Southern California is delightful for all...
800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
Union Station is as stunning as it is rich in history, and continues to be a vital hub for L.A. rail, metro, and bus transport. On the outside, the building resembles an art deco riff on the old California missions; inside, the inlaid travertine...
6215 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
Originally built in 1940, the art-deco-style Hollywood Palladium has been renovated several times but maintains its historical bones. In 2016, it was even added to the National Register of Historic Places. The concert venue boasts multiple levels...
1000 Vin Scully Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
Los Angeles isn't known for its sports pride, but if there's one team Angelenos will rep without question, it's the Dodgers. Just take a trip to Dodger Stadium and you'll feel the energy—then, you'll understand why it's an L.A. experience...
5110 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, CA 91204, USA
The building that houses Moonlight Rollerway dates back to the '40s, when it produced airplane parts for World War II. In 1956, it was repurposed as Harry's Roller Rink, and the current iteration maintains the original's 2¼-inch-thick maple...
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