Jul 4, 2017
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Top things to do in Los Angeles, California

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Top things to do in Los Angeles

LA is one of our favorite places on earth. There really is something for everyone in Los Angeles and there’s always something yet to discover. We have spent so much time exploring SoCal’s capital city and we have managed to derive an extensive list of our favorite things to do in Los Angeles.

Venice/Santa Monica Beach

They say West is best and when it comes to beaches, we can’t say otherwise.
Santa Monica beach, things to do in los angeles




Two of the most popular beaches on the California Coast are Santa Monica and Venice. The neighboring beaches take up a 2 mile stretch of deep fluffy sand right by the Pacific Ocean.
Santa Monica beach is home to the famous Santa Monica Pier which is also the official end of Route 66.
End of Route 66, santa monica pier, things to do in los angeles
The Pier has many gift shops, street performers and a fairground known as Pacific Park which has the world’s only solar powered Ferris Wheel.
Santa Monica pier, things to do in Los Angeles
Santa Monica Pier has been used in many movies and TV shows such as Prison Break, Forrest Gump and 2012. Santa Monica beach was also the filming location for long running TV show, Baywatch. Lifeguards here wear the signature red attire complete with the red floats.
Santa Monice beach Baywatch, top things to do in los angeles, California




A grassed area right by the pier of Santa Monica is home to the birthplace of the fitness movement. There is a historical photograph of the gymnasts from the 1950s which is displayed at the pier. Gymnasts gathered in the area with hundreds of spectators and it is said that this inspirational display was the start of the global fitness movement. The area still attracts gymnasts and athletes who practice their skills in public for all to see.
Gymnasts at Santa Monica Beach on Sundays, things to do in Los angeles
Sundays are the best day to see the gathering athletes, be sure to try the equipment out for yourself if you get chance.
Ring gymnastics, santa monica beach, things to do in los angeles
Venice has often been referred to as Santa Monica’s quirky hipster cousin. If you’re looking for a good people watching spot, look no further than the Venice Boardwalk.
Venice beach, people, top things to do in los angeles, California
Venice Beach is the heart and home of creativity and expression. Locals and travelers alike congregate here to be whoever they want to be, dress how they want to dress and sell incredibly creative pieces of art and sound advice.
Venice beach, things to do in los angeles, california




There is also a free Public Art Gallery right on the beach and a world renowned Skate Park that was made famous by the Z-Boys.
Venice Skate Park, things to do in Los Angeles
The Venice area was created by tobacco pioneer Abbott Kinney who wanted to replicate Italy’s canal ridden city. He built an extensive canal system and imported authentic gondolas (one of which can be found in Danny’s Restaurant).
Venice sign, venice beach, top things to do in los angeles, california top things to do in los angeles
Buy skateboards, slogan-rich attire and artwork from one of the many vendors and write your name in the sand at one of the world’s most famous beaches.
Venice writing in the sand, top things to do in los angeles, California
Probably the most famous feature of Venice Beach is Muscle Beach.
Muscle Beach, Venice, Things to do in Los Angeles
Arnold Swartzenegger used to publicly train here alongside the world’s best bodybuilders who went on to win Olympia and Universe titles.
Arnold at Muscle Beach, Venice, Los angeles, california
One of the best spots in the world to watch the sun set is California.
Sunset Venice beach, top things to do in los angeles, California
Watch in awe as the sun disappears slowly to the west and admire the colours that are left behind.
Sunset behind santa monica mountains, top things to do in los angeles
Watch the sun slowly creep behind the silhouette of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Sunset Santa monica mountains, venice beach, top things to do in los angeles



Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard is a super long street with so many attractions, bars, restaurants and famous sites to see.
Hollywood Boulevard, Walk of Fame, daytime, things to do in los angeles
It is most famous for the stars on the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater which is home to the celebrity hand-prints. Hollywood Boulevard also has shopping malls, cinemas and some of Hollywood’s most famous night clubs.
Chinese Theater, Hollywood alk of Fame, top things to do in los angeles
Find your favorite star on the Walk of Fame. Not a lot of people know the Hollywood Walk of Fame is actually a pavement that everybody can walk on, we had always assumed it was a protected site.
Michael Jackson star, Hollywood walk of fame, top things to do in los angeles
If you want your very own star on the Walk of Fame, you can pay the city council a mere $20,000, just don’t expect the red carpet ceremony.
Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles where it all began
Try and time your stay with the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies that occur once a month.
You can also find the best view of the Hollywood sign at the Hollywood and Highland Center.
View of Hollywood sign from Hollywood Boulevard, thins to do in los angeles
Hollywood HIgh School can be found just off the Boulevard on Highland. Lots of stars went to school here including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and John Archer.
Hollywood High School, top things to do in los angeles



Hike the Hollywood Sign

This is probably the most exhilarating activity of our top things to do in Los Angeles. A moderate 2-3 hour walk up hill will give you one of the most spectacular views in Los Angeles, if not, the world.

A simple hop on a DASH bus to North Beachwood Canyon will get you to the start of the public hiking trail. Just watch out for those mountain lions and rattlesnakes.
Hollywood Sign hike, california
The hike can be done for a mere 0.50c, check out our in-depth Hike the Hollywood Sign blog here.
Hike the Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California



Warner Brothers Studio

Grab a coffee in Central Perk, appear in a scene of Friends or enjoy the 3D Harry Potter Broomstick experience. Warner Brothers Studios has is all.
Central Perk Friends film set, Warner Brothers Studios, Things to do in Los Angeles
Most people would agree that riding a real life Bat Mobile simulator on the grounds where the Batman franchise was filmed would be one of the top things to do in Los Angeles.
Warner brothers Studios batmobile simulator, things to do in los angeles
Or standing in front of an original space capsule from Sandra Bullock’s blockbuster, Gravity. Original Gravity Capsule, Warner Brothers Studios, Things to do in los angeles
Stand in front of actual costumes and props from the Harry Potter films.
Harry Potter costumes, Warner Brothers Studios, Things to do in Los Angeles
And Suicide Squad.
Suicide Squad costumes and props Warner Brothers Studios, Los Angeles
If you’re into screen writing or set design, learn how a production is made from start to finish in the Production exhibit.
Set Design, Warner brothers studio, things to do in los angeles



Universal Studios

Universal Studios is probably one of the most magical experiences you could have in Los Angeles.
From the famous Universal City walk, free to the public and l ines with quirky shops and restaurants.
Universal City Walk, universal studios, things to do in los angeles
To the Despicable Me themed Super Silly Fun Land water carnival, you won’t be short of entertainment.
Universal studios los angeles water ride
There is a life sized replica of Springfield as featured in the Simpsons where you can sit in the outdoor Duff Beer Garden or grab a non-alcoholic Flaming Moe at Moe’s Tavern.
Flaming Moe at Moe's Tavern, Universal Studios, things to do in Los Angeles
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter recently opened its doors to the public making the whole park comparable to Universal Orlando.
The park is small enough to be discovered over two days and deals for cheap Universal Tickets in Los Angeles can be found at Attraction Tickets.
See our Universal Studios Hollywood Attractions and Tips blog for a detailed review of the park.

Sunset Strip

The Sunset Strip is hang out for celebrities, music fans and LA’s finest musicians.
Sunset Strip, things to do in Los Angeles
Bars and clubs line the strip as well as famous hotels such as the Chateaux Marmot and The London.
Express Limited Train Diner Sunset Strip, Los Angeles
Nightclubs such as Whiskey-a-go-go and the Viper Rooms have been on the strip since the 1950s and have spawned the birth of musical legends such as Linkin’ Park, Guns N’ Roses and Buffalo Springfield.
Whisky a go go, sunset strip, things to do in los angeles
The Rainbow Bar and Grill is a hang out for rock-stars and their families.
Rainbow Bar and Grill sunset strip, los angeles

Beverly Hills

Of course the famous Beverly Hills is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles. Beverly Hills is it’s own city in California and it is located in the Los Angeles County. This is an area where you will see how the other half live. Beverly Hills is home to beautiful houses, many owned by Hollywood stars, and the upscale shopping area of Rodeo Drive.

Tourists flock to the Beverly Gardens Park which has fountains, rose gardens and a large Beverly Hills sign.
Flash car, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, things to see in los angeles
Be sure to look out for the five Beverly Hills shields. They are exclusive to the Beverly Hills council and can not be used for commercial purposes unless a permit is obtained.
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, things to do in los angeles
A notable site within Beverly Hills is the Beverly Wilshire Hotel which was the filming location of Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. It was also the hotel that hosted a Japanese emperor who demanded all of his grapes were peeled.
Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, Wilshire Hotel pretty woman, los angeles
Enjoy the people watching, the expensive shops, the cosmetic surgeries and the flash cars that park anywhere and everywhere in the area.



Venice Drum Circle

Every Sunday at dusk, hundreds of people gather on Venice beach by Brooke’s Avenue to form what is locally known as the ‘Drum Circle’.
Drum circle, venice beach, things to see in los angeles
The tradition takes place every Sunday and people from all corners of the world bring their drums, percussion, shakers, and anything else that makes noise. They gather in a spot close to the sea and everybody dances, sings and expresses themselves however they wish.
Reveler at the Venice Drum Circle, top things to do in los angeles, Sundays
The Venice Drum Circle is an incredibly overwhelming experience to be a part of. The positive energy is incredible and it’s hard not to smile and join in as you spectate.
Police at the Venice Drum Circle, top things to do in los angeles
Everyone and anyone is welcome to join in the Drum Circle completely free and after around 30 minutes, the LAPD calmly encourage people back onto the boardwalk.
Venice drum gathering, drum circle, top things to do in los angeles
Don’t miss the Venice Drum Circle, it’s one of our top things to do in Los Angeles.
Venice drum circle, on sundays, top things to do in los angeles



Farmer’s Market and The Grove

The Farmers Market has been a significant landmark in Los Angeles since 1934. The market is home to many food stalls, sit-down eateries and organic produce.
Dining tables at Farmer's Market, Los Angeles
There are over a hundred vendors at the Farmer’s Market, which is a permanent installation and is open 7 days a week. All corners of the world are represented in the Farmer’s Market and many vegan eateries can be found inside.
Gimore garage, Farmer's Market, things to do in los angeles
The Grove is a fairly modern installation and is located at the back of the Farmer’s Market.
The Grove water fountains, things to do in los angeles
The Grove is a retail and entertainment complex that even has it’s own train running through.
Free train at the Grove farmer's market, things to do in los angeles
There are dancing fountains and a small park area that offer free picnic blankets should you wish to rest your feet after a long day of shopping.
Free blankets at the grove los angeles

Hop on Hop Off Bus

If you are short on time and wish to see the city over the course of 3 or 4 days, the Hop on Hop off bus is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles.
Hop on Hop off Bus los angeles, things to do in la
The Los Angeles Hop On Hop Off Bus has 5 significant loops covering the following areas:
Downtown LA
Santa Monica/Venice
Beverly Hills and Burbank
Universal/Warner Brothers Studios
Hollywood

Walt Disney concert hall, hop on hop off bus stop, things to do in los angeles
You will see the highlights of Los Angeles from the comfort of your seat.
Hop on hop off bus los angeles, things to do in los angeles, hollywood
A pre recorded audio guide will take you through the sites of every area.
Chinatown, hop on hop off bus los angeles, things to do in la




Check out our Hop On Hop Off Bus Los Angeles blog for a detailed review.

Marina Del Rey

Marina Del Ray is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles for fans of water sports. The Marina has its own beach where excursions are offered at very reasonable rates for paddle boarding, parasailing and water yoga.
Marina Del Rey Beach, things to do in los angeles
The beach area is very peaceful and numerous restaurants line the area as well as many expensive sail boats and yachts.

There is a BBQ area that can be used free of charge should visitors wish to throw a summer party.
Free BBQ area, Marina Del Rey, Things to do in los angeles



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Did we miss something in our list of the top things to do in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!

Article Categories:
California · Los Angeles · Los Angeles · North America · USA

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