Congratulations to you for having a trip to the largest city in California! You must be very excited to visit the West’s iconic city where the Santa Monica Mountains, Pacific surf, and a whole lot more are waiting to say you ‘Hi!’.
But being the largest city, you may get confused about which places are the must-go options for you.
Well, that’s not a problem at all. In this article, we will tell you about the top 30 places to visit in Los Angeles which will hopefully help you a lot with the trip.
So, without any more chitchats, let’s just dive into the relevant point.
What’s to See in LA- 30 Best Places to Visit in Los Angeles in 2021
1. Pacific Park
We are starting with a can’t miss place in Los Angeles. So, what will you get from Pacific Park? You will need to pay $0 to enter the Pacific park. It has 12 rides in total including the world’s only and first solar-powered ride called Ferris Wheel. You will get to see the mind-blowing view of the Pacific Ocean riding the Ferris Wheel. And, we recommend you to get this ride at sunset.
Moreover, you will get a lot of thrill rides. And, the rides are divided for individuals- children’s rides, family rides, roller coasters, and so many attractions. Pacific Park has appeared in hundreds of movies as well as TV shows (e.g. Hannah Montana, Fat Albert, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno).
- Do you want to know about the best places in California? Read : 44 best places to visit in California
2. Disneyland Resort
If you leave LA without visiting Disneyland, well, that will not be fair. This is a mandatory day trip no matter what your age is.
This is a two-theme park (Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park) and both are linked by Downtown Disney, the outdoor shopping area. Besides, there are three luxurious hotels you will fall in love with. However, Disneyland Park is the original theme park and Disney California Adventure is based on the culture and history of the culture and history of California.
Disneyland resort is steeped in Hollywood’s glamour and the excitements of Disney’s Pixar and Marvel movies.
3. Venice Canals
It is something like ‘to kill two birds with one stone’. The creator of Venice canals in LA recreated a feel and appearance of Venice, Italy. Although the beautiful waterways were built in 1905, somehow, it had become outmoded in 1920. Over the next few years, the waterways were allowed to fall into disrepair.
However, in the 1990s, the canals were renewed as well as formed an amazing, desirable residential neighborhood. You will find it very near to Venice beach, so, try to go for the beautiful waterside strolls, spot ducklings in the water (in the summer), and cross charming little footbridges.
4. Universal Studios Hollywood
Do you know what is the world’s one of the most famous and oldest Hollywood film studios? Yes, it is nothing but Universal Studios Hollywood. Basically, it is both a film studio and a theme park.
This studio gets updated each year to stay in its current version. There are numerous attractions you will fall in love with. Such as-
- Studio tour- Tram ride
- The Simpsons ride- Motion simulator
- Dreamworks Theater- Film
- Special effects stage- Live show
- Super silly fun land- Play are
So, how enchanting are the attractions? Incredible, right? Wait, it’s not the end!
There is something special called ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ which includes a motion simulator and a friendly roller coaster ride. A tip for you is, try to come on school holidays or weekends if you do not like crowds.
5. Hollywood Sign
The ‘Hollywood’ was created in 1923 and spelled out in 45 feet-tall, white, capital letters. And, the interesting part is, it was created for an advertisement for a real estate development and planned to last for 18 months.
Because of the increasing recognition, that sign was left up. A non-profit organization named ‘The Hollywood Sign Trust’ keeps protecting and promoting the sign.
It will be fun if you hike at Griffith Park or stop up at ‘Lake Hollywood Park’ to have an up-close look at the sign.
6. The Getty Center
The Getty Center is famous for its views overlooking Los Angeles, architecture, and gardens. The main branch of Getty Center is located in Brentwood, the neighborhood of LA. The main branch of this museum features mind-blowing things you will never want to miss. It features European paintings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and drawings of the pre-20th century. A multidimensional attraction of the Getty Center is the link of its owner car park by a hover train.
So, if you don’t want to miss the ever-changing beauty of Central Garden, the knockout views and the outdoor sculptures, the Cactus Garden, and many more attractions, then spend some time visiting the Getty Center.
7. LACMA- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
If you did not know what the largest art museum in the Western United States is, then LACMA is! You will find awesome, mind-bending, vast collections in this museum.
The huge collections in a nutshell- Modern art & contemporary art, American & Latin American art, Asian art, Roman & Greek art, Islamic art, Decorative arts & design, and many more. See? What else do you expect from a museum?
Moreover, there was a branch of plans to make the campus more uniformed with a giant building design as of 2019. The approximate opening date was set for 2024.
8. California Science Center
Meet the largest hands-on science center on the West Coast.
You may have heard about the Space Shuttle Endeavour that participated in 25 NASA missions from 1992-2011. So, why is it mentioned here? Well, In 2012, it rolled through the LA streets from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center.
You will meet at the IMAX theater at the left of the entrance to the California Science Center. Once you enter the science center, there are a lot of amazing exhibitions that you will surely love. Current exhibits are ecosystems, the creative world, the world of life, robotic spacecraft, and so on.
9. Rodeo Drive
Although all of the major western cities have a street that is developed with flagship luxury emporia by brands like Cartier, Gucci, and Luis Vuitton, Yet Rodeo Drive is something special.
This is a palm-lined street of 3.2km in length. You will find more than 100 hotels and stores comprising its 3 spectacular blocks within the Golden Triangle. Caution! You may become lost in the charm and splendor of the street!
Beverly Wilshire (a four-seasons hotel), Two Rodeo Drive (European-style shopping center), Rodeo Drive Walk of Style (you can walk among your favorite fashion icons), Anderton court (Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural project) are some of the can’t-miss options if you visit Rodeo Drive.
10. Zuma Beach
Zuma beach is one of the most popular and largest beaches in Los Angeles County, California. Beach lovers are a big fan of Zuma Beach because of its excellent surf and wide sands. It is 1.8 miles in length.
Some of the facilities you will get from this beach are- Beach Volleyball Courts, bodysurfing, fishing, kiteboarding, surfing, walkway, windsurfing, etc. Another attraction is if you visit Zuma Beach anytime between January to April, you can watch the gray whales make the long migration using their calves.
11. Walt Disney Concert Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall is the base of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It is funded by the Disney family as a contribution to Los Angeles’s culture.
The twisted structure of the Walt Disney Concert Hall has a covering of Douglas fir and Oak. Worth mentioning, you will find a giant concert organ that you have never seen before. The period from October to June is the main season for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After that, they are used to moving to the Hollywood Bowl for the summer.
Moreover, you can spend Monday-Saturday for an audio-guided tour (may take an hour) that is narrated by John Lithgow.
12. Dodger Stadium
What is the largest stadium by seating capacity? What is the oldest stadium in the west of the Mississippi?
The answer to both of the questions is Dodger Stadium. Moreover, it is the third-oldest baseball stadium in MLB. You will get to see the views of the city to the south, the San Gabriel Mountain afar the outfield pavilions, the Elysian Park’s ever-green tree-lined hills. This means the stadium offers you to enjoy the 360-degree view. Also, it overlooks Downtown LA.
Besides, if you go for one of the 90-minute tours at 10:00. 11:00, or 13.00, you can have an amazing journey to the inside looks of the stadium.
13. Pacific Coast Highway
Try not to leave LA without having a drive on the Pacific Coast Highway. It is one of the most scenic driveways in the world. It starts from California’s northern border to San Diego.
Guess how many hours the route takes to complete at a relaxed pace without stopping by anywhere? It’s for around 10 hours. Yes, during a long journey over 1000km, you can see seaside villages, stunning coastal views, untouched forest, and many more eye-soothing views.
And, what if you feel hungry? Well, you will get an endless option of seafood-oriented places where you can stop for a meal enjoying the amazing views.
14. Santa Monica State Beach
Santa Monica State Beach is located in Santa Monica, alongside the Pacific Coast Highway.
Very few beaches of LA will offer you both bike trails, huge expanses of beach, and activities like these.
Why you should not miss visiting this beach-
The 3.5 miles long beach is maintained and soft sandy, you will find it is within walking distance to famous restaurants, shops, and hotels, it also will offer you a branch of attractions and activities.
Moreover, Santa Monica Beach is divided into two sections. One is north of the pier, another is south of the pier. And, the middle of the beach is called Santa Monica Pier that has an aquarium, an amusement park, and restaurants.
So, show me one reason not to have a visit here!
15. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
The Huntington in San Marino, LA, is one of the great research libraries in the world. The most amazing thing is, this library holds more than 9 million items that are from the 1000s-21th century.
Visitors love the huge collections of the Huntington Library that include European art, American art, Acquisitions, and whatnot!
Moreover, you will find the 120 acres of the library is full of luxuriant botanical gardens that are rich in living collections of bonsai, orchids, camellias, and cycads. You also can wander through a desert garden, a subtropical garden, a Chinese garden, and a Japanese garden.
However, do not forget to check out the trove of sculptures, paintings, and the decorative arts at the art gallery of the Huntington.
16. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame, you may guess what it is about by hearing the name. Basically, you can see 16 fictional characters with stars on the pavement including directors, musicians, actors, theatrical and musical groups.
So, ultimately, the majority of the stars are dedicated to the people in the film industry. Worth mentioning, the stars are permanent public monuments and are made of terrazzo and brass.
Also, there are special category stars that recognize special honorees, service organizations, contributions by corporate entities. For the clearance, the star of Tom Bradley (former LA mayor) displays the seal of the city of LA.
So, try to visit this traditional place, you won’t regret it!
17. Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive is a winding road with two-lane and this is in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains. It was plotted in 1974 and named after the pioneering LA civil engineer who aided to build LA’s water infrastructure.
Mulholland Drive is featured in a lot of novels, songs, and movies. Even a film was directed that was named after Mulholland Drive. And, the director David Lynch said that anyone can feel the history of Hollywood on this drive.
So, start your day by having a long drive to Mulholland Drive. It will be so thrilling that you may not imagine. But remember to go slow because you’ll need to deal with several blind turns.
18. Live Comedy
When You have stepped into the city of the movies & television industries, why would you come back without enjoying live comedy?
LA has a giant comedy community that anyone from anyone will fall in love with. Think of a night when you are in one of the best comedy clubs in LA and your favorite someone is hosting the show. Sounds enticing? Then, don’t miss it!
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best comedy clubs in LA- Hollywood Improv, Laugh Factory, The Virgil, Comedy Store, etc.
19. The Broad
A contemporary art museum called The Broad houses around 2,000-piece collections. It was financed by philanthropist Eli and Edythe Broad and was opened next to the ‘Walt Disney Concert Hall’.
The unique, cube-shaped design of The Broad was designed by architecture firm Renfro and Diller Scofidio.
The broad is giant and has mind-blowing collections from the mid-20th century to the present (photography, contemporary painting, & photography).
20. Runyon Canyon Park
This 160-acre park is the place where Hollywood stars are used to taking their walks because the Hollywood Hills are perfect for hiking.
You will find five ways to enter into the Runyon Canyon Park and three routes to hike from the fuller gate. Also, there is a piece of public artwork called the Rock Mandala.
Try to visit this place when the sky is clear (in winter or spring).
21. OUE Sky space
Do you want to have thrilling and breathtaking 360-degree views of the Los Angeles skyline? If it is yes, then this 310-meters U.S bank tower is an option.
And, what more? This building is the 2nd tallest in LA and the 5th tallest in the U.S. No matter what your type of celebrations, it is a great choice to have a holiday party, corporate event, wedding ceremony, or just checking your fear of heights.
In 2016, OUE skyspace opened on the 70th floor having a restaurant above the 71st floor.
22. Farmers Market
Farmers market is located in the Fairfax district, LA. If you are a foodie, you will find yourself here.
What you may get here are the most amazingly prepared food stalls, and huge shopping amenity. Groceries, fruits, and vegetables stalls, spicy food courts, and whatnot.
You will find yourself perplexed when it comes to choosing between pizza, gumbo, sushi, gyros, barbecue, and many more.
23. Grauman’s Chinese Theater
It is a movie palace on the Hollywood Walk of Frame and also known as TCL Chinese theater.
This was the very first commercial movie theater having air-conditioning. It started selling concessions in 1930.
You will get to see around 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, autographs, and footprints of the theater’s forecourt. Moreover, it is one of the largest theatres in North America that came with the IMAX screen.
24. Petersen Automotive Museum
This is one of the largest automotive museums in the world. It is a non-profit organization that specializes in automobile history and other linked educational programs.
You will get to see over 100 vehicles displaying in the museum’s 25 galleries. However, half of this huge collection is kept in a vault that is in the basement of the building.
Also, there are special displays (e.g motorcycles, racing, hot rods) on the industry floor.
25. Sunset Boulevard
This is a 35km long boulevard that extends from the pacific coast highway. And, it is in the central and western parts of LA.
Especially Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood is loved because of its active nightlife. This means it has a neon glare, bright billboards, also a place where you can stop for dining ( to drink and catch live music).
Another worth-mentioning part is ‘Guitar Row’. The name tells itself is about guitar stores and music-related businesses.
26. Third Street Promenade
Initially, Third Street Promenade was opened as the Santa Monica Mall in 1965. Now, it is a complete package of shopping, entertaining, and dining in the downtown area of Santa Monica.
If we start talking about the features of Third Street Promenade, the first name will come is ‘public art’. This is about topiary fountains and sculptures located near three blocks of Third Street Promenade.
Also, you will get a public space for shopping and entertainment. Another common sight is street performers or entertainers. So, if you do not want to miss enjoying music, classical guitar plays, hip-hop dances, and a whole lot more, visit this place!
27. Descanso Gardens
Here we are talking about a 150-acre botanical garden that was gifted by the Spanish governor California to Corporal Jose Maria Verdugo.
You can meet a huge collection here- Japanese garden, Oak woodland, Ancient Forest, Lilac garden, Center circle, and so on. Also, there is a 22-room Boddy House that was built by Manchester Boddy (American newspaper publisher and businessman) in 1937.
28. Watt Towers
Another go-to option for you when you are in LA is the Watt Towers. Can you guess what is it about? If you are a West Coast rap fan, then you may hear the term ‘watts’ in a lot of songs.
Basically, it is a collection of architectural sculptures, interconnected sculptural towers, and individual sculptural features. The Watt Towers was mentioned in literature, viewed in several films, highlighted in the TV series. Moreover, the Watt Towers is famous for its arts center.
29. Japanese American International Museum
The name itself is indicating that this museum is dedicated to preserving the culture and history of Japanese Americans. What it covers is more than 130 year periods of Japanese-American history.
The current long term exhibition of this museum is Common Ground: The Heart of community that can relate to the Japanese-American experiences. Also, another moving exhibition is Sadako’s Crane.
30. Hollywood Forever Cemetery
One of the oldest cemeteries in LA and Hollywood’s only cemetery is Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
For paying your respect to the legendary personalities of the Golden Age of Hollywood, this is highly recommended. John Huston, Rudolph Valentino, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney are some of the household names.
The entrance to this cemetery is free. You will find helpful tips and suggestions from the caretakers.
So, yes, these should be in your bucket list if you are going to visit LA. It’s quite challenging to make a shortlist to visit in LA because of its greatness. However, each of the places can’t miss options.
Hopefully, these 30 best places to visit in Los Angeles could help you to grow your idea about LA. Be prepared for the best tour then.