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LA Bucket List: 31 Best Things To Do In Los Angeles

Located on the west coast of Southern California, Los Angeles is the second largest city in the USA and probably one of the most well known across the world.

Sitting between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this sprawling city is famous for its beautiful beaches, TV, movie and music industries and some of the most iconic tourist attractions ever.

A truly cosmopolitan city, with over 200 languages spoken, it is also home to an abundance of culinary experiences, some high-end shopping, a vibrant nightlife and quite a few Hollywood stars!

So, if you’re looking for things to do in Los Angeles and want to visit all of the iconic spots, then here is an LA bucket list guide.

1. Hollywood Sign

The first thing on the LA bucket list, is to visit the famous Hollywood Sign.

This is not only one of the world’s most iconic landmarks, but one of the most popular filming locations for those mega movies that make it to the big screens around the world!

There are so many options when visiting the Hollywood Sign, such as the Hollywood Sign Hike which is easy enough to do on your own.

Otherwise you can opt for a tour such as the Hollywood Hills Hike, or a Beverly Hills and Hollywood Helicopter Tour!

With three different Hollywood Sign hiking trails to choose from, I chose probably the most popular one, the Brush Canyon Trail.

This is a moderate 1-2 hour hike on a well maintained route and brings you out BEHIND the Hollywood Sign.

If you want to see the sign from the front, you can also drive to Canyon Lake Drive yourself.

Here you can park and walk around/up the hill towards Mulholland Highway for a closer shot and probably the most popular of the Hollywood Sign Viewpoints.

With the Hollywood sign been based high up on a hill, the surrounding views are incredible and the houses are wild.

A big tick on your things to do in LA bucket list!

Hollywood Sign Hike Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Hollywood Sign from the top of the hike.
Hollywood Sign Los Angeles Bucket List Fun Things To Do In LA
The Hollywood Sign from Canyon Lake Drive.

2. Hollywood Walk Of Fame

The Walk Of Fame also certainly didn’t disappoint and is must for the LA bucket list.

With not knowing what to expect, we were over the moon to see the engraved stars of some of our favourites actors/actresses and singers etc.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises of more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks.

It takes up 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California.

If you take the Los Angeles Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus this will be one of your stops. The bus lets you explore Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica Pier and Beaches. With options of a 24, 48 or 72 hour pass.

One spot not to miss on your Los Angeles itinerary though, is the Chinese Theatre. Here nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs are in the concrete of the theatre’s forecourt.

If you’re looking to take a tour inside the Chinese Theatre, there’s a handy Chinese Theater VIP Tour + 24-hour Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus option available.

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Outside the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Avenue.

3. LACMA

LACMA stands for Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

It’s the largest art museum in the western United States, attracting nearly a million visitors annually.

It’s also where you’ll find the famous ‘Urban Light’ public art display. The Urban Light exhibit is located outside, open to the public and free to all visitors.

However, to visit the inside of the museum will cost around $20 for adults.

LACMA, inspiring all kinds of creativity, holds more than 150,000 works of art from ancient times to the present.

In addition to art exhibits, the museum features film and concert series, as well as many other events.

Check out my  for great guides on the best way to see the city.

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The stunning Urban Light oustide LACMA.

4. Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is a city in California’s Los Angeles County, home to many Hollywood stars.

Within the county, there is also Beverly Gardens Park which has beautiful fountains and rose gardens. Plus an illuminated Beverly Hills sign that you can get a postcard photo in front of as a token of your visit.

You can also visit The Beverly Hills Hotel, set amongst beautiful tropical gardens. Here you’ll find the famous ‘The Beverly Hills’ sign embedded across one of the walls.

If you take the Los Angeles Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus this will be one of your stops. The bus lets you explore Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica Pier and Beaches. With options of a 24, 48 or 72 hour pass.

Either way, Beverly Hills has to be on your things to do in LA bucket list.

Even if you choose to just take a drive through the district and gaze up at the famous palm trees!

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The famous Beverly Hills sign.
Beverly Hills Sign Things to do in Los Angeles
Quick selfie!
Beverley Hills Los Angeles Bucket List Fun Things To Do In LA
Beverley Hills is an obvious place on the things to do in Los Angeles bucket list.

5. Venice Beach

Venice is a buzzing beach town known for its bohemian vibe and definitely a favourite for the LA bucket list.

The free-spirited Venice Boardwalk has numerous funky shops, street performers and colorful murals. As well as the colourful, ‘Venice’ city sign that stretches across the road and is a celebrated, local landmark.

With so many things to do in Venice Beach, as you from the boardwalk the famous ocean front skate park will greet you.

Featuring a sunken pool and an area with stairs, ledges and rails it’s a great spot to spend time watching some super talented skateboarders practising their tricks.

Not forgetting, in the centre of Venice Beach, the world famous Muscle Beach outdoor workout area. Some of the biggest names in bodybuilding and film, including Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, have worked out here.

Venice Beach is one of the most popular places in LA for sunset and it’s clear why!

Once dark, we enjoyed a 40 minute walk along the boardwalk from Venice Beach to Santa Monica to see all the bright lights of the Santa Monica Pier.

Venice Beach is an ultimate Los Angeles bucket list tick because of the diversity you will see.

All cultures, genders and backgrounds are welcome, with no judgement whatsoever. You can be who you want to be in the artsy, funky district of Venice.

Food At Venice Beach

If you’re looking for a good brunch spot at Venice Beach, I recommend a visit to Great White.

Here you’ll find an extensive breakfast menu with a choice of delicious ingredients. Their breakfast burrito is to die for!

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Sunset at Venice Beach.
Venice Beach Boardwalk Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Living my best LA life.
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Walking the Venice Promenade after dark.

6. Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica is a coastal city west of downtown Los Angeles and is obviously the home of the famous Santa Monica Pier.

Whatever the event – a special date or a fun time with friends, the Santa Monica Pier is a great place to visit, especially at night.

With endless games and attractions, a selection of street food carts and of course the opportunity to take a relaxing stroll, it has lots to offer.

Also, not only was it the ending point for the old famous Route 66, it’s home to the Pacific Park amusement park and has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.

Don’t forget if you take the Los Angeles Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus this will be one of your stops.

Visiting Santa Monica is a great thing to add to your LA bucket list if you’re a beach lover. It’s a perfect break away from the city and with still so much to do.

If you have time you could even jump on the Santa Monica and Venice 3-Hour Electric Bike Tour which could be pretty fun!

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Santa Monica Pier at sunset.
Santa Monica Sunset Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Strolling amongst the palms at Santa Monica.
Santa Monica Sunset Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
An epic orange glow over Santa Monica.

7. Disneyland

Disneyland Park, originally Disneyland, is the first of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, opened on July 17, 1955.

It is the only theme park designed and built to completion under the direct supervision of Walt Disney.

As you can imagine, this was the most magical experience we had in the USA and it will always be a day to remember.

Disney is by far the one of the best things to do in LA and has to be on the bucket list. Additionally, with it being the first park, it makes it all the more special.

If you’re in need of transportation to Disneyland, there’s a Round-Trip Daily Transportation to Disneyland California available to book in advance.

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Pixar Pier at Disneyland California Adventure.
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A quick photo op with Tigger at Plaza Inn.

8. Explore The Street Art

Los Angeles is the most vibrant, artistic community we’ve visited, so it’s easy to find incredible pieces of art work when exploring the city.

You don’t have to search far to find the stunning Instagrammable places in LA.

Locals and tourists alike, stop and admire all the artwork scattered around the city. The dynamic colours along with the talent behind the art, gives the city a real happy and motivational vibe.

A lot of the popular wall murals can be found on Melrose Avenue and there’s even a Melrose Instagram Tour!

Here you can pull shapes at one of the world’s most famous mural locations and discover the (in)famous artists that brought them to life.

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California Dreaming.
Downtown LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Some more epic art work in Downtown LA.
Downtown LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Worthy of a quick pic.
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One of many Kobe Bryant murals around the city.

9. Drive-In Movie Theatre

The ultimate experience of America had to be a drive-in movie theatre. From growing up in a small town, watching a movie outside in a car was something we’d never had the opportunity to experience.

After watching many high school movies, this was a dream come true to go on a date to the drive-in and sit in the back of an American truck. To top it off, we watched the new Toy Story 4!

We highly recommend Paramount Drive-In Theatres, where you can literally pull-up in your vehicle, tune in the stereo and watch a movie on the big screen for only $10 per person.

Everyone should experience this moment at least once in their lives and was high on our LA bucket list.

If you don’t have a vehicle but still want to catch a movie, then the Melrose Rooftop Theatre, with its cute ambience, is a great outdoor spot!

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Catching a movie at Paramount Drive-In.

10. Catch A Gig At Hollywood Bowl

Located in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Bowl is known as THE live music destination in California.

Moreover, it was named as one of the best live music venues in America by Rolling Stone magazine in 2018.

With a seating of 17500, this amazing amphitheatre gives a unique and atmospheric experience. Perfect for when you go to see your favourite band, ballet or whatever you are in to.

I was lucky enough to get to see one of my favourite musicians ‘Jack Johnson’ at the Hollywood Bowl. He didn’t disappoint and I definitely took away an experience that will stay with me forever.

So, if there is something you fancy seeing, I would recommend a gig at Hollywood Bowl as one of the best things for your LA bucket list.

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All smiles at Hollywood Bowl.
Hollywood Bowl Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Watching Jack Johnson from the outdoor venue.

11. Griffith Observatory

Located on the south slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory is literally in the centre of the city of Los Angeles.

The crown jewel of Griffith Park, this 1930’s Art Deco structure is popular with tourists and locals alike. Housing an extensive array of space and science related displays this had to be on the LA bucket list.

In the observatory you can peer through telescopes, explore exhibits and see fascinating live shows in the Planetarium. As well as enjoy amazing views of the city of Los Angeles and everyones favourite – the Hollywood Sign!

Griffith Observatory is the perfect place for anyone who’s interested in science and the solar system. As well as anyone who loves Art Deco buildings or just wants spectacular views over Los Angeles.

I would recommend the popular Griffith Observatory Guided Tour for those of you that want to know more about this amazing building.

Griffith Observatory Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
The entrance to Griffith Observatory.
Griffith Observatory Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Inside one of the many rooms at Griffith Observatory.
Griffith Observatory Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
The views of Downtown LA from the top of Griffith Observatory.

12. Griffith Park Hikes

Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in all of North America. As well as the second largest city park in California.

You are therefore, definitely spoilt for choice, with lots of beautiful and different trails in this famous park. Including various Hollywood Sign hikes, the Mount Hollywood hike, Griffith Park Old Zoo Loop and many more.

One of the more popular ones is the Hollywood Sign Hiking Tour to Griffith Observatory. This is a steady hike with some steep inclines in places, but you get to visit the Observatory as well!

One of the best hikes that I did was the one up to the Tom LaBonge Panorama. (Formerly known as Mount Hollywood.)

As you climb, you get great views of Griffith Park and many famous points of interest such as the Griffith’s Observatory and the Hollywood Sign.

On arriving at the Tom LaBonge Panorama, along with the breathtaking 360 degree views, you will find plenty of picnic benches to sit and relax before the hike back down.

This moderately challenging hike is worth every single step for the most amazing, far reaching views. You can even see the ocean on a clear day and sunsets are incredible.

Tom LaBonge Panorama Griffith Park Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Sunset hike to Tom LaBonge Panorama.
Tom LaBonge Panorama Griffith Park Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Epic picnic at the top of Tom LaBonge Panorama.
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The view from Tom LaBonge Panorama after sunset.

13. Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Los Angeles and is frequently named on lists of best hikes in LA.

Covering 160 acres at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in LA, it gives hikers amazing views over Hollywood.

The highest point in the park, at an elevation of 1320 ft (402 m), is known as Indian Rock.

From here you get sweeping views from Catalina Island to the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as great views of the iconic Hollywood Sign.

With Runyon Canyon’s proximity to residential areas of Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills, celebrity sightings are quite common – if you like a bit of celebrity spotting!

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Heading up Runyon Canyon.
Runyon Canyon Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Half way up Runyon Canyon.
Runyon Canyon Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Big shakas from the top.

14. Visit Malibu

Malibu is a beach city in the Santa Monica Mountains region of California, just 30 miles (48 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles. Famous for its beautiful beaches and celebrity homes.

With its Mediterranean climate and 21 miles (34km) of coast, it’s easy to see why many celebrities have chosen to have a home here.

The city has a relaxed vibe with lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks to enjoy as well as the beaches. Another of my favourites for the LA bucket list.

For something a little different Malibu: Vintage VW Sightseeing Tour and Wine Tasting is a great way to see Malibu and enjoy a glass or two of wine along the way!

I visited Point Dume Beach in Malibu and was not disappointed. With its clear blue water and soft golden sand, this beach has a lot to offer and is a perfect spot to bring a picnic and have a relaxing beach day.

Point Dume Beach Malibu Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
The beautiful blues at Point Dume Beach.
Point Dume Beach Malibu Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Scrambling over the rocks towards to ocean.

15. Catalina Island

Catalina Island (also known as Santa Catalina Island) is one of California’s Channel Islands and lies south west of Los Angeles. About an hour by ferry.

This beautiful island is best known for its wildlife, dive sites, pretty coastal towns and its highest peak- Mount Orizaba.

The two main towns on the island are the small, rustic Two Harbors to the west of the island and the larger, historic town of Avalon to the east. Offering shops, restaurants and various forms of accommodation.

With lots of activities on the island to choose from, we decided to hike the 2 mile Cat Harbor Overlook Trail for sunset. Followed by an overnight camp in one of the designated camp sites close to Two Harbours.

Once we reached the top of the trail, we had stunning views stretching out over much of Catalina Island. As well as down to Cat Harbor, with all the small white yachts bobbing in the shimmering blue Pacific Ocean.

We visited on a beautiful sunny day and waited for sunset which was absolutely stunning and well worth the climb and the wait!

Catalina Island LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Arriving with camping gear on Catalina Island.
Catalina Island LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Half way through a sunset hike.
Catalina Island LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
All smiles from the mountains.
Catalina Island LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Taking in the views at Cat Harbor Overlook Trail.

16. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is a famous film studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

This has to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles, with rides and attractions, shopping, dining and entertainment.

In addition, there is an amazing Studio Tour, which offers a real, behind-the-scenes look at movie making secrets!

Before you visit, booking your ticket in advance with Universal Studios Hollywood: Ticket with Easy Cancellation is probably your best bet.

With various themed rides including Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Fast and Furious and The Simpsons, this is great day out for all ages.

This was one of the best things on the LA bucket list for me, especially as I got to meet some my favourite childhood characters!

Universal Studios Hollywood Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Entering Universal Studios Hollywood.
Universal Studios Hollywood Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Big shaka’s from The Simpsons area.

17. Hit A Rooftop Bar

Los Angeles has some beautiful rooftop bars with amazing views. Here are a 3 of my favourites:

Highlight Room

A hidden gem in the midst of Hollywood. This spacious, rooftop bar occupies the entire tenth floor of Dream Hollywood Hotel.

This very chic outdoor lounge, pool and grill sits high above Hollywood, giving spectacular 360-degree views of Los Angeles.

Serving fresh, California-inspired cuisine from The Grill restaurant, this is a great place for a relaxed meal or drink, in beautiful surroundings with amazing views.

Grandmaster Recorders Rooftop Bar

Located above the former Grandmaster Recording Studio in Hollywood. This was converted in 2021 into a restaurant, lounge and rooftop bar.

Steeped in musical history, you will find fascinating memorabilia of artists who recorded at these former studios, placed around the venue.

For a unique experience with a very trendy vibe, this stunning bar with great vistas over Hollywood is a must.

Cara Cara Restaurant

Found in Downtown LA, Cara Cara features a rooftop bar area with endless skyline views, a fire pit and some cozy seating areas.

Serving tasty seasonal Californian produce, this is another great place to eat or just grab a cocktail by the fire pit, whilst enjoying the stunning views.

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Views over Downtown LA from Cara Cara.
Cara Cara Rooftop LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Cara Cara is the perfect place for a date.
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Views from Grandmaster Recorders Rooftop Bar.
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Sunset over LA from The Highlight Room.

18. Ride The Pedalos At Echo Park

If you are looking for a great, fun-filled activity, I recommend hiring a Swan Pedalo on Echo Park Lake in the centre of the hip and trendy Echo Park neighbourhood.

This beautiful Park has recently been renovated in this increasingly popular artistic area and the Swan Pedalos are proving to be a very popular attraction.

To book your swan pedalo visit Echo Park Lake: Swan Pedal Boat Rental.

Fitted with lifejackets, you set off on the water and can enjoy the scenery and skyline views as you pedal around this peaceful lake.

Rated one of the best activities in Los Angeles, Echo Park Lake’s swan shaped, pedalos are a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors!

When you’ve finished at the lake I would recommend a visit to the nearby Bar Flores.

Situated on an upper floor, with wonderful views of Sunset Boulevard, this recently opened bar is a perfect follow up to the Echo Park Swan Pedalos!

Swan Pedalos At Echo Park Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
A romantic experience on the Swan Pedalos.
Swan Pedalos At Echo Park Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
The fountain in the middle of Echo Park Lake.

19. Walk Melrose Avenue

If you fancy some shopping, or even just window shopping, Melrose Avenue has to be on the LA bucket list. This is one of LA’s most famous shopping, dining and entertainment destinations.

Starting at Santa Monica Boulevard, at the border between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, it ends at Lucile Avenue in Silver Lake.

Full of a variety of shops, restaurants, tattoo studios and lots of cool vintage shops, this is an exciting and very ‘hipster’ place to walk, shop and dine.

There’s also a definite artistic vibe with lots of awesome backgrounds and graffiti for some great photos. Including the famous angel wings and the pink wall.

Don’t forget the Los Angeles: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour is a great way to get around these sights.

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Nipsey Hussle & Kobe Bryant artwork in Melrose.
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Some of the typical thrift stores on Melrose Ave.
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The type of retro clothing you’ll find on display.
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One of many Kobe Bryant murals around the city.

20. Shop At The Grove

For another impressive shopping experience, a visit to The Grove shopping mall is recommended.

This high-end, stylish shopping mall is located in the Melrose neighbourhood. It features upmarket retailers, trendy restaurants and a theatre, all in a bustling promenade.

Famous brands you’ll find here include Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Lululemon, Madewell and many more.

More affordable options include GAP, Sandro and J. Crew, as well as non-fashion shops such as the Apple store and American Girl Place for the kids are available.

In addition, with its plush surroundings and great eateries you will often glimpse a celebrity or two at The Grove. Therefore, if shopping is not your thing, this is also a good place to sit, relax and people watch.

The Grove LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
A bagel and a moment of peace at The Grove.

21. Visit An Art Gallery

There are nearly 100 private galleries in the Los Angeles area, displaying drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures and more. So you are sure to find something that excites your artistic taste.

With this amount of galleries available, there is always an opening or new exhibition happening somewhere. So keep an eye out for all the latest events.

I visited Praz Delavallade on the opening night of a Multi Media Group Exhibition ‘Storm Before The Calm’. There were lots of interesting and quirky pieces, including paintings and models.

Los Angeles is actually known as the ‘creative capital of the world’, with the highest percentage of creative workers in the Country. Including artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers and musicians all living in LA.

So, be prepared to be amazed at the amount and diversity of artwork available to view, very often free of charge!

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Artwork and friends at Praz Delavallade.

22. Downtown LA

Downtown LA is the city centre of Los Angeles, covering nearly 6 square miles, it includes areas such as Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Arts District, the Jewellery District, Fashion etc.

It also has many well known art museums, theatres, trendy restaurants and hip bars. Most areas are named for the activities that take place there now, or historically.

New definitely meets old here, with modern high rise buildings alongside historical landmarks such as the El Pueblo de Los Angeles monument – the city’s 1781 birthplace.

If looking for somewhere to eat, I can recommend a stop-off at Grand Central Market. This fantastic emporium has an incredible choice of dishes from all over the world and a really cool vibe.

A Downtown landmark since 1917, it’s an amazing reflection of all the different immigrant communities that call Los Angeles home and not to be missed if visiting Downtown LA.

The Downtown Food Tour visits Grand Central Market, along with some other great eating spots.

So, with plenty to see and do and some great places to eat, a visit to Downtown LA has to make the bucket list of best things to do in Los Angeles.

Downtown LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Downtown LA murals.
Downtown LA Best Things To Do In Los Angeles
Downtown LA skyline at golden hour.
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The entrance to Grand Central Market.

23. Eat, Eat, Eat

the beaches, the hills, the valleys, the wide boulevards and not forgetting – THE FOOD!

Los Angeles is the place you can find anything and everything as a first time visitor. After all it’s the centre of celebrity culture.

However, it’s also one of the greatest places to eat in America, not only for its endless varieties of cuisines, but also for its incredible produce and talented chefs and restaurateurs. It’s the land of endless culinary possibility.

For the true foodies visiting Los Angeles there are tours such as the Old Pasadena Food Tasting Tour, or the Downtown Food Tour, which are sure to get your taste buds moving!

American Fast Food

Denny’s Diner – Everything American. You have to visit Denny’s for the real American Diner experience. It’s fun, affordable and has the funkiest menu to appeal to any foreigner. Plus you get free pancakes on your birthday!

Monty’s Burger – A whole lot of plant based goodness. With their signature burger available in a single or double patty, your side of fries or tater tots are bound to go down a treat.

Daughter’s Deli – for the most amazing Jewish Deli classics, this is THE spot on Sunset Boulevard. Serving breakfast and lunch sandwiches, there is a small eating area or you can take away. Portions are large and delicious!

Fine Dining

Gracias Madre – For delicious, plant-based traditional Mexican cuisine this popular restaurant is a must.

Highlight Room – located on the 10th and top floor of Dream Hollywood, this restaurant offers tasty, fresh, California inspired cuisine. Along with the most amazing 360-degree views over Los Angeles.

Cara Cara – another eatery with amazing views, this roof top dining area boasts a seasonal menu that says it showcases California’s best produce and it certainly does that. There’s also a cosy fire pit and some great cocktails for a relaxed evening vibe.

Jones – a trendy restaurant with friendly staff and a nice ambience. Positioned on the iconic Santa Monica Boulevard, they serve delicious Italian and American cuisine, plus great house cocktails. Popular with the ‘cool’ crowd, you may even spot a celebrity at this eatery.

Toca Madera – this highly acclaimed Mexican steakhouse in west Hollywood is famous for serving high quality, organic ingredients with bold flavours. All in the most beautiful and intimate surroundings.

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The most delicious burgers!
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Gracias Madre Taco spread.
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Unreal veggie food at Toca Madera.

24. Venice Canals

The Venice Canal Historic District in the suburb of Venice, Los Angeles is a beautiful area to stroll through.

Built in 1905, developer Abbot Kinney wanted to bring the appearance and feel of Venice, Italy to the coastal area of Los Angeles.

Initially, the unusual canals drew lots of people to the area. However, once the motor car gained popularity the canals fell into disrepair.

The canals were eventually renovated in 1992, reopening in 1993, and this residential area has now become a desirable and expensive part of the city.

You will see an amazing variety of stunning architecture in the houses situated alongside the canals.

I would recommend a relaxing wander through this pretty neighbourhood of small bridges, clean canals and stunning houses.

Alternatively, if you prefer everything arranged for you, you could book a Santa Monica and Venice Electric Bike Tour which visits the Venice canals as well as other main attractions.

Venice Canals LA Things to do in Los Angeles
Venice Canals are great to stroll around.
Venice Canals LA Things to do in Los Angeles
An easy thing to do on a Sunday.

25. Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Located on Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles.

With many Hollywood legends buried here, people travel from all over the world to pay respects to their favourite stars.

These include Judy Garland, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Cecil B DeMille, Mel Blanc, Jayne Mansfield, Johnny Ramone and many more.

This very large cemetery has well kept lawns and gardens and many elaborate headstones and memorials. Along with a variety of wildlife including some beautiful peacocks.

It’s free to visit the cemetery and you can purchase a map at the gift shop for roughly $5, if wanting to locate specific graves. Or, you can just wander through these peaceful grounds soaking up the amazing history.

This is a really memorable Hollywood experience and the perfect way to spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle. So it definitely needs to be on the LA bucket list.

If you like everything arranged for you, the Hollywood Tour by Electric Bike takes in the Forever Cemetery along with other Hollywood places of interest.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Things to do in Los Angeles
The entrance to Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Things to do in Los Angeles
Some of the tombstones and peacocks on display.

26. Paramount Pictures Studio

Started over 100 years ago, Paramount Pictures is one of the oldest film studios in the world. Located on Melrose Avenue, it’s the only major studio remaining in Hollywood.

Stretching out over 65 acres with 30 stages and lots of impressive backdrops, these studios have been home to thousands of movies and TV shows.

In fact, this studio has produced some of the most popular and highest-grossing films of all time. Including Titanic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Forrest Gump, as well as film series such as The Godfather, Transformers and Indiana Jones to name just a few!

For keen film buffs, it’s possible to book a 2 hour tour of the studios. Photography is allowed and you might even see some actors and crew working on a current production.

A tour of Paramount Pictures Studios is definitely one of the best things to do for your LA bucket list. However, it’s a very popular attraction, so make sure you book in advance.

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One of the main entrances to Paramount Pictures on Melrose.
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Paramount side entrance on Gower.

27. Watch A Basketball Game

Basketball is a classic American sport and you can’t beat the amazing atmosphere at a live game. So watching a basketball game was definitely high on my bucket list of things to do in LA.

I got to see the exciting LA Lakers play the Philadelphia 76ers at the Crypto.com Arena. Formerly known as the Staples Center until December 2021, this has been the home of the Lakers since it opened in 1999.

The actual Crypto.com Arena is a really state-of-the-art venue, with over 840 flat panel television and 675 separate speakers, as well as a centre-hung video LIVE 4HD Scoreboard.

With 23 food stands around the arena, offering a variety of dining choices, (not the cheapest) you can settle yourself down with refreshments and enjoy a great night out.

I had an awesome time watching some great basketball and some amazing players, including the very entertaining Lebron James. Although the Lakers didn’t win, it was a close and really exciting game.

The basketball season runs between October and April each year, so if you’re in LA during this time I recommend this as an experience not to be missed.

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Watching the LA Lakers from the stands.
Pretzel LA Lakers Basketball Game Things to do in Los Angeles
My snacks at the game.
LA Lakers Stadium Things to do in Los Angeles
Quick post game selfie.
Magic Johnson Statue LA Lakers Things to do in Los Angeles
The Magic Johnson statue outside the Crypto Arena.

28. Comedy Store

If you are looking for fun evening out involving lots of laughter, a visit to the iconic Comedy Store is the perfect choice.

Located on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, this American Comedy Club opened in April 1972 and was the first, all stand-up comedy nightclub in the world.

Comedians who perform at the Comedy Store are known to be chosen for being honest about who they are as individuals.

There is a very long list of well known stars that have performed here over the years including Richard Pryor, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Michael Keaton, Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, Kevin Hart, and Chris Rock, to just a few!

With three rooms hosting different shows, you are guaranteed to see a great show and have a thoroughly entertaining evening full of laughter.

The Comedy Store LA Things to do in Los Angeles
The famous Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard.
The Comedy Store LA Things to do in Los Angeles
So happy to be there.

29. Rodeo Drive

One of the most famous streets in LA, Rodeo Drive covers a two mile area in Beverly Hills and is packed full of luxury stores.

It’s home to more than one hundred of the world’s leading international brands including Dior, Gucci, Tiffany & Co etc, all housed in the most ornate buildings.

With security guards on the doors of the bigger names, this is definitely shopping for people with serious money! You will also see lots of very flashy and expensive motor vehicles slowly cruising around this area.

There are plenty of nice eateries to stop at and enjoy some people watching, as well as some nice art work to be seen.

So, whether you want to window shop, people watch, or splurge on yourself, the famous Rodeo Drive is well worth checking out. Definitely a tick for my Los Angeles bucket list!

If you prefer everything arranged for you, the Best of LA Bus Tour takes in Rodeo Drive, as well as a host of top attractions in LA.

Alternatively, you could glide along Rodeo Drive on the popular Beverly Hills Segway Tour!

Rodeo Drive Things to do in Los Angeles
Iconic Rodeo Drive signs and palm trees.
Rodeo Drive Things to do in Los Angeles
The entrance to Rodeo Drive.
Rodeo Drive Things to do in Los Angeles
Fancy shops and fancier palm trees.

30. In-N-Out Burger

You are definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to Burger Restaurants in America. However, In-N-Out Burger takes some beating for THE tastiest fast food on offer.

The original restaurant, founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in 1948, was located in Baldwin Park, California. It was the first drive-thru burger stand in California, allowing drivers to place orders via a two-way speaker system.

The success of this family-run restaurant has lead to a chain of In-N-Out Burger restaurants now available, mainly across California and the south west of America. With five being in Los Angeles.

Famous for serving 100% beef burgers, made fresh to order, and hand cut fries, they are definitely doing something right.

They offer three burger varieties – hamburger, cheeseburger, and ‘Double-Double’. As well as veggie and vegan options and grilled cheese sandwiches. Not forgetting the delicious fries and milkshakes.

A well known secret (not officially on the menu) are their popular Animal Style Fries. A plate of fries loaded with cheese, extra spread, grilled onions and pickles!

For me, the Grilled Cheese Animal Style with the almighty fries hit the spot and has to be on the bucket list of best things to do in LA!

In N Out Burger California Things To Do In LA
In N Out Burger California Things To Do In LA

31. Salt & Straw

Talking of delicious food, if you love a good ice cream then artisanal ice cream maker Salt & Straw has to be on the bucket list of things to do in Los Angeles.

Founded in 2011 in Portland Oregon, Salt & Straw now have 27 shops, 3 of which are in Los Angeles, and are famous for being daringly successful with unusual ingredients. They also keep it exciting and fresh by rotating their menus monthly.

The unique range of quirky flavours include bone marrow with bourbon smoked cherries, pear and blue cheese, arbequina olive oil, honey lavender and many more.

My absolute favourite was the strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper!

Fun fact – The name Salt & Straw is a nod to the original method of making ice cream in America. Back then cream and cold salt water was hand churned in a bucket. Then, once the cream had frozen, it would be stored away in straw to harden completely.

Finally, another fun fact, Salt & Straw is partially owned by film star and wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson!

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Things To Do In LA
Salt & Straw Ice Cream Things To Do In LA
Salt & Straw Ice Cream Things To Do In LA

Where To Stay In Los Angeles

Luxury

The Beverly Hills Hotel – Dorchester Collection

Known as ‘The Pink Palace’, this luxury hotel on Sunset Boulevard features the full-service La Prairie Spa and a beautiful outdoor pool.

Downtown Beverly Hills is just 1 mile away.

The bright and elegant rooms of The Beverly Hills Hotel feature marble bathrooms and 2 TVs.

There is also a minibar, coffee maker and ironing facilities included.

The Polo Lounge at the hotel is a popular dining place for celebrities.

Mid-Budget

Clean Modern Room

Clean Modern Room features accommodation with a shared lounge, free WiFi and a shared kitchen.

The air-conditioned homestay also offers a flat-screen TV, a seating area, washing machine and a bathroom with a bath and a shower.

Beverly Hills is a great choice for travelers interested in food, shopping and restaurants.

Budget

Empire Inn

Empire Inn is located in Los Angeles, just 5 miles from the centre.

It provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and all rooms include a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV.

South Los Angeles is a great choice for travellers interested in tourist attractions, sunshineand beach walks.

For other places to stay in Los Angeles, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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Sunset Over LA Things to do in Los Angeles