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The Hottest Spots to Visit in Los Angeles (With 21 Top Things to Do!)

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 29, 2023

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There's no denying that Los Angeles is a hot destination for travelers. With its sunny weather, celebrity sightings, and endless activities, it's no wonder that LA is at the top of many people's vacation lists. But with so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. We've put together a list of the hottest spots to visit in Los Angeles, whether you're looking for nightlife, beaches, or just some good old-fashioned Hollywood fun.

Top 10 Attractions in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the most popular tourist destinations globally and for a good reason. There's something for everyone in LA with its sunny weather, endless activities, and celebrity sightings. But with so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. That's why we've put together a list of the top 10 attractions in Los Angeles so that you can make the most of your visit:

1. Hollywood

Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park, California, USA.

The Hollywood neighborhood in Los Angeles is a top destination in its own right, with plenty of famous and iconic sites to see. There's plenty to keep visitors busy and entertained, from the Hollywood sign on the hills to the star-lined Walk of Fame. You might even spot a celebrity out and about on Rodeo Drive if you're lucky. Hollywood is a must-visit for anyone interested in the film industry or the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown.

2. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios, Hollywood

Los Angeles is home to many world-famous destinations, but Universal Studios Theme Park may be the most thrilling. With rides based on your favorite blockbuster movies and simulated movie-making experiences, Universal Studios is a fun-filled day for the whole family. You'll never know what new adventure you'll encounter on any given day - from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to The Walking Dead; there's something for everyone. And don't forget the unforgettable roller-coasters!

Skip the Line: Front of Line Passes offer one-time fast entry to each park's rides, attractions, and shows. This ticket also provides behind-the-scenes access to select attractions, making your Universal Studios Hollywood experience more enjoyable.

When you're all done with the rides, take a stroll down CityWalk – it's a three-block entertainment area with shopping, dining, and theatres. If you're up for it, go on a guided tour of the studios and explore behind the scenes of some of Universal's most famous movie sets. The VIP Experience allows you unique opportunities to see locations and areas not open to the general public.


3. Griffith Park

Aerial view of the Griffith Observatory towards the Hollywood sign

Griffith Park is a wondrous place to explore, with plenty of activities to keep you busy. It's home to the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles Zoo, a planetarium, a Greek theatre, a riding center created for the 1984 Olympic Games, hiking trails, tennis courts, and other attractions. However, one of the best things to do in Griffith Park is simply taking a stroll or driving through the mountains and taking in the stunning views of Los Angeles and beyond.

Exhibits and telescopes on the grounds that allow you to explore the universe. Each evening the facility is open, you can use the telescopes free of charge. There are solar telescopes that are used for viewing the sun. With these tools, you can discover the mysteries of the cosmos and dream about what lies beyond our world.

Griffith J. Griffith's namesake park and observatory are a must-see for anyone looking to experience the city's natural beauty. Griffith was an avid outdoorsman and donated the land to Los Angeles in 1896 with the stipulation that an observatory should be built there. These days, visitors can explore the grounds and admire panoramic views of the cityscape. Make sure to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood Sign while you're there!

4. Santa Monica

Famous amusement park with ferris wheel in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California, USA.

The world-famous Santa Monica Pier is one of the most popular destinations in Los Angeles. It's home to an amusement park, an aquarium, a trapeze school, and plenty of shops and restaurants. Visitors can also take a walk down the pier to take in the stunning views or enjoy a ride on the Ferris wheel.

For those looking for a more low-key experience, Santa Monica State Beach is the perfect spot. With its gentle waves and vast expanse of sand, the beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and more. And don't forget to enjoy the famous Santa Monica Promenade - it's a pedestrian-only walkway lined with shops, restaurants, and street performers.

5. Venice Beach

Venice Beach in Los Angeles California USA.

Venice Beach is one of the unique places in Los Angeles. It's home to a boardwalk lined with Muscle Beach, an outdoor weightlifting area, street performers, and vendors selling everything from art to souvenirs. There's also a skate park, basketball courts, and a handball court.

Of course, the main attraction is the beach itself. With its vast expanse of sand and gentle waves, Venice Beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. And don't forget to enjoy the incredible views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

6. California Science Center

F/A-18 Fighter Jet at the California Science Center Los Angeles

The California Science Center is one of the most popular destinations in Los Angeles. It's home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour and other significant exhibits. Displayed in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, Mission 26: The Big Endeavour is a must-see for anyone interested in space exploration.

The Science Center also has exhibits on the living world, technology, and ecosystems. The Ecosystems exhibit features an impressive 188,000-gallon kelp forest Tank, where you can see sea turtles, sharks, and other marine life. And the Living World exhibit features a variety of animals, including snakes, spiders, and lizards.

7. Getty Center

Getty Center - Los Angeles

The Getty Center, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, is one of the most popular destinations in Los Angeles. It's home to a museum, a research center, and various gardens.

The museum features European paintings, drawings, sculptures, decorative arts, and 19th- and 20th-century photography. The grounds also offer stunning views of Los Angeles. And don't forget to enjoy a meal at The Restaurant, where you can enjoy a casual lunch while soaking up the scenery.

8. Disneyland

Disneyland castle during the 60th anniversary celebration, Anaheim, California, USA.

Disneyland, located in Anaheim, is California's premier family vacation destination. It features two theme parks - Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park - and a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Disneyland Park is home to classic rides like It's a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean and newer attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run. And don't forget to explore the different lands, including Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Critter Country, New Orleans Square, Mickey's Toontown, and Tomorrowland.

9. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Los Angeles, California, USA.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is one of the largest natural history museums in the western United States. The museum deals with the natural history of California and areas throughout the world. Becoming Los Angeles, which explores the past 500 years of human habitation in the region, is a permanent exhibit. The museum also has a Dinosaur Hall, which is best known for its collection of dinosaurs.

However, the museum's collection also includes a variety of other topics. For example, the museum has an extensive permanent collection that covers various topics, such as plants and animals, geology, and anthropology. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located in Exposition Park.

10. Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, California, USA.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA, is a contemporary art museum with two locations in Los Angeles, California. MOCA's collection includes works from the 1940s onwards by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko. The museum also has a regularly changing schedule of exhibitions featuring new works and emerging media.

MOCA's primary facility is the MOCA Grand, located on Grand Avenue. The MOCA Grand houses the main galleries and the largest museum store. In addition to the two central locations, MOCA is also associated with Double Negative, an art location in the desert in Moapa Valley on Mormon Mesa near Overton, Nevada.

11. Hollywood Bowl

Panoramic view of Los Angeles with the Hollywood Bowl in view, California, USA

The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles is the premier destination for live music in Southern California. Since its opening in 1922, the iconic arena has hosted some of the world's most famous musicians, from Billie Holiday to modern-day stars. The Hollywood Bowl offers an unforgettable experience for music lovers, with its stunning views of the Hollywood Hills and various seating options.

Whether you're looking for a romantic evening or a fun night out with friends, the Hollywood Bowl will surely provide an unforgettable experience. With its unique atmosphere and an unbeatable lineup of performances, it's no wonder why the Hollywood Bowl is one of the top destinations for live music in Los Angeles.

12. Rodeo Drive

Family Shopping on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles is a dream come true for any luxury shopper. Located in Beverly Hills, this two-mile-long street is lined with iconic storefronts and high-end boutiques. From designer apparel to fine jewelry, Rodeo Drive has something for everyone.

Even if you don't plan on shopping, it's worth taking a stroll down the street to admire the beauty of it all. The atmosphere is vibrant and electric, and the views are breathtaking. With its unique blend of luxury, fashion, and entertainment, Rodeo Drive is an experience like no other. It's truly a place where dreams come alive!

13. Chinese Theater

TCL Chinese Theater

The TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles is a must-see destination for any movie buff or traveler looking to experience the glamour of Hollywood. The theatre, originally known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre, opened in 1927 and has since been host to some of the most iconic premieres in cinematic history.

From its grand entrance with its signature red carpet and handprints of Hollywood stars to its state-of-the-art IMAX theatre, the TCL Chinese Theatre is an experience like no other. Step inside and be transported back to a place where dreams come true. The theatre offers a unique opportunity to explore the glitz and glamour of Hollywood while also enjoying the latest films on the big screen.

14. Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Hollywood Hills Los Angeles Hiking Trail

Runyon Canyon Park in Los Angeles is a dream destination for nature lovers. Located at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, this 160-acre park offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding hills. It's an excellent spot for a hike, with trails ranging from easy to moderately challenging.

For those who prefer to take it slow, there are plenty of places to relax and soak up the scenery. The park is especially popular with dog owners, who can hike with their furry friends without worrying about leashes.

15. LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

Urban Light by Chris Burden at LACMA

Los Angeles is home to the world-renowned Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This expansive art museum covers a wide range of art history from ancient times to the present. It features artwork from around the globe and provides an inspiring environment for creativity and dialogue.

Located between the beach and downtown Los Angeles, LACMA is a must-visit destination for any art enthusiast. Its vast collection of pieces makes it easy to spend hours exploring this incredible museum. From its galleries featuring assemblage artists from the Black Arts Movement to its store offering great art products, books, and exhibition catalogs, LACMA is sure to provide a memorable experience for all visitors.

16. The Broad

The Broad, Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

The Broad in Los Angeles is an incredible contemporary art museum that offers free general admission and a wide variety of rotating exhibitions. Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad founded the museum on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. The building is designed by world-renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, making it a sight to behold.

Visitors can explore the vast collection of modern art from around the world. From interactive installations to thought-provoking works, there's something for everyone at The Broad. It's the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring the wonders of contemporary art in one of LA's most iconic locations.

17. Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is a place of dreams. Its grand architecture and acoustically sophisticated design make it one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world. This hall has something for everyone, from classical to contemporary music, from world music to jazz.

The moment you step inside, you can feel the energy and passion that radiates from the walls. You can almost hear the music playing in your head as you take in the sights and sounds of this magical venue. It's an experience that will stay with you forever, a memory that will linger long after you've left its doors.

18. Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles

Located in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, the Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the world's largest automotive museums. It houses an incredible collection of over 400 vehicles, ranging from classic cars to modern supercars. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits, including the Vault, a behind-the-scenes look at some of the rarest and most valuable cars in the world.

The museum also features interactive displays and educational programs for visitors of all ages. Whether you're a car enthusiast or just looking for something fun to do in Los Angeles, the Petersen Automotive Museum is sure to provide an enjoyable experience. It's a fantastic place to learn about automotive history and culture while admiring some genuinely remarkable vehicles.

19. Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk Hollywood

Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles is the perfect destination for a day of fun. Located in the heart of Hollywood, this shopping, dining, and entertainment complex has something for everyone. From restaurants showcasing cuisines from around the world to quiet cafes and bars, there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy a meal with friends or family. There's no shortage of activities, either. Catch a movie at one of the theaters or participate in interactive games like laser tag, karaoke, or bowling.

Universal CityWalk also features live music performances on its outdoor stage throughout the year, so you can sit back and listen to your favorite tunes. Shopping opportunities abound, too; you'll find everything from jewelry stores to apparel shops with unique items that will make your visit to this Southern California landmark truly special.

20. Dodger Stadium

Los Angeles City Skyline with Dodger Stadium

Dodger Stadium is an iconic landmark in the heart of Los Angeles. Home to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team for over 50 years, this venue has hosted some of the most thrilling sporting events in history. Take a step back in time as you explore the stadium and its many amenities, from concessions stands to souvenir shops.

On game days, the atmosphere is electric as fans cheer on their beloved team. There's nothing like it in all sports. Whether you're a die-hard Dodger fan or just looking for something to do in Los Angeles, the experience and excitement of Dodger Stadium are second to none. It's the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening soaking up the atmosphere and watching some of the best baseball action.

21. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Spanning 15 blocks along Hollywood Boulevard, the path is lined with more than 2,500 stars bearing the names of some of the most renowned celebrities in entertainment history. Take a stroll down the boulevard and soak up the sights, admiring the handprints and signatures of actors, musicians, directors, and other famous figures. Enjoy the atmosphere, take pictures with some of the stars on display, and get a firsthand look at one of Los Angeles's most famous attractions.

Top 10 Day Trips from Los Angeles

The City of Angels is a popular tourist destination year-round. From Hollywood to the Santa Monica Pier, you can find plenty of attractions in LA. But what are some day trips that you can take within a few hours' drive?

1. Catalina Island

Avalon Harbor, Santa Catalina Island, California, USA.

Take a day trip to Catalina Island from Los Angeles and experience the beauty of this stunning destination! From swaying palms and white-sand beaches to melt-your-heart sunsets, there's something for everyone. Enjoy activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking, or relax on the beach. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose from and vacation packages that make it easy to plan your perfect getaway.

2. Santa Barbara Wine Tasting

Grape Vines Santa Barbara wine country.

A day trip to Santa Barbara Wine Tasting from Los Angeles is a great way to explore the local vineyards and wineries. With over 200 wineries in the area, you can sample some of the best wines in California. From Alma Rosa and Babcock to Foley Estates and Lompoc Wine Ghetto, there are plenty of options for wine tasting. You can also take a guided tour with Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours or explore independently. Don't forget to visit Margerum Wine Company near Santa Barbara's waterfront at the Hotel Californian for tastings or wines by the glass.

3. San Diego Private Tour

Downtown San Diego Skyline Aerial

Take a San Diego Private Tour from Los Angeles and explore the city like never before! With private tour guides, you can customize your experience to fit your interests. Visit the best attractions and hidden gems that most tours overlook in San Diego. Enjoy a wine-tasting sidecar 3-hour private tour or take a classic yacht sailing experience. For an even more unique experience, book a private sun cruiser Duffy boat rental or an ultimate sightseeing tour.

4. South Coast Botanic Gardens

White Rose and Poppies at the South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes, California.

Spend a day in the beautiful South Coast Botanic Gardens in Palos Verdes, just outside Los Angeles. This 87-acre botanical garden is home to over 2500 species of plants, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers.

Take a stroll through the gardens and admire the vibrant colors of the flowers and lush greenery. Enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade of one of the many trees or explore the nearby trails for more adventurous sightseeing. Don't forget to take lots of pictures - you'll want to remember this special day!

5. Malibu Calabasas Wine & Food Tour

A hazy sunset over Southern California vineyards

Treat yourself to a luxury day on the Malibu Calabasas Wine and Food Tour from Los Angeles. On this full-day tour, you'll experience some of the best wineries, restaurants, and sights in the area. Visit popular spots like Malibu Wines and Rosenthal Estate Winery for wine tastings, and enjoy a delicious lunch at the Calabasas Country Club. A private guide will take you to all the best spots, so you don't have to worry about missing out on amazing views!

6. Venice Beach Bike Tour

Venice Beach boardwalk, Los Angeles, California

The Venice Beach Bike Tour from Los Angeles is an unforgettable experience. Cruise along the boardwalk and explore the vibrant streets of Venice Beach. Ride past iconic buildings and people-watch, or take a break to grab lunch at one of the many great restaurants around town. With your guide leading the way, you can go at your own pace and truly experience the city. At the end of the tour, you'll have an appreciation for Venice Beach and all it has to offer.

7. Grand City Tour

 Los Angeles during sunrise

The Grand City Tour from Los Angeles is a great way to see the city in one day. Start with a tour of Hollywood and see the iconic Walk of Fame, or visit Universal Studios. Next, explore downtown LA and take in the sights of an incredible skyline. Then head to Santa Monica pier for beach fun before ending your trip at Griffith Observatory for breathtaking city views. You'll have a whole day exploring, learning, and making memories on this tour.

8. Swan Boat Night Ride

Swan Pedal Boats in Echo Park, Los Angeles, California, USA.

If you're looking for a romantic night out, the Swan Boat Night Ride in Echo Park is the perfect option. Enjoy a guided lake tour and admire the twinkling lights from the shore. Afterward, take your time rowing around the lake on one of their swan boats as you sip champagne and enjoy quality time with your loved one. It's a magical experience that you'll never forget.

9. Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour

Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, California, USA.

The Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour is a great way to explore the city's vibrant food scene. You'll taste some of the city's best dishes with your guide as you learn about its diverse culture and history. Visit top attractions like Olvera Street and Union Station, then stop for delicious tacos and handmade tamales. You'll leave feeling full and with a greater appreciation for the city's culinary offerings.

10. Beverly Hills Segway Tour

Overhead Mansions in Beverly Hills Aerial View

Walking is so last season. Take the Beverly Hills Segway Tour and explore one of Los Angeles' most exclusive neighborhoods in style. You'll glide past iconic landmarks like Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel while learning about the area's history from your guide. It's a fun and unique way to experience one of the city's trendiest districts. You'll never look at Beverly Hills the same way again.

3 Excellent Hotels in Los Angeles

There is a multitude of hotels in Los Angeles to suit every taste and budget. Here are three of the best:

1. Hotel Bel-Air

Hotel Bel-Air is a 5-star luxury hotel located in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. This historic 1950s hotel is situated on 12 acres of lush greenery and features rooms with flat-screen TVs. Guests can take in the wonders of nature as they cross the iconic bridge and enter this spectacularly scenic world. Hotel Bel-Air is part of the Dorchester Collection and offers Pilates classes, shopping on-site, and a terrace. It's one of Los Angeles' poshest and most romantic getaways, making it perfect for a special occasion or escaping the clamor of life beyond its gates.

2. Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza

Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza is a mid-budget hotel located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Sitting atop Bunker Hill, this hotel offers luxurious accommodations and modern conveniences to meet the needs of today's travelers. Guests can enjoy 24-hour reception, concierge service, and room service for a more special stay. The hotel is within 15 minutes from Staples Center and the University of Southern California. With its convenient location and affordable rates, Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza is an ideal choice for those seeking a comfortable stay in Los Angeles.

3. The Royal Pagoda Motel

The Royal Pagoda Motel is the perfect budget hotel for travelers visiting Los Angeles. Located just five minutes from Dodger Stadium, the motel offers a variety of amenities and services at an affordable price. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a car park, storage for belongings, and a free car park throughout the property. The Asian-themed motel also features a DASH commuter stop in front of the property, making it easy to get around town. With 35 rooms available, the Royal Pagoda Motel will provide guests with comfortable accommodations and excellent service.

6 Highly-Rated Places to Eat in Los Angeles

Inside Grand Central Market Los Angeles California

Los Angeles is a city that is constantly buzzing with energy. There are always new places to eat, things to see and people to meet. If you're looking for the best of the best when it comes to food in Los Angeles, then look no further. Here are some of the hottest spots to visit when in LA.

1. République Restaurant

At République, every meal is treated with the same importance. You can expect only the best, whether you're coming in for a killer lunch, dinner, or indulgent brunch. It'll be hard to decide what to order with innovative and indulgent dishes on the menu. But rest assured, whatever you choose will be rich, bold, and satisfying. So come hungry and enjoy one of the best meals on the West Coast. Just be prepared for a post-meal hike or nap afterwards!

2. Rossoblu

Rossoblu is a beautiful place for Danish interiors, the smell of burning wood, and Italian food on a patio. The crowd here is in the know, looking for the latest Italian hotspot in DTLA. The handmade pasta is delicious, and you'll want to try the Valbruna's Eggplant, Tortellini en Brodo, and Nonna's Tagliatelle Bolognese. The brunch here on weekends is worth checking out, and you can also enjoy a game of bocce ball while you're here.

3. Bestia

Bestia is one of LA's most refined and multiregional Italian restaurants, always in style and full of stylish clientele. Even after opening almost a decade ago, reservations are still necessary. The food is stunning, and the atmosphere sleek - it's the perfect place to linger until the staff starts clearing plates. Order your dessert - you won't be disappointed. Pastry chef and co-owner Genevieve Gergis's sweets are memorable, even on repeat visits. Chocolate Budino tart is a must-try.

4. Bavel

Bavel is a restaurant in Los Angeles that serves food from the Middle East. The vibe is reminiscent of the grandeur of the spa at La Mamounia, the legendary hotel in Marrakech. The signature dish is the malawach; a Middle Eastern roti served with grated tomato, dill crème fraîche, soft-boiled egg, and an oh-so-Californian strawberry zhoug. The meaty dishes are also trendy, but the mushroom skewers are just as good. Other recommended dishes include the silken hummus with duck nduja, and don't forget to save room for dessert!

5. Majordomo

Majordōmo is a unique and playful restaurant that blends Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican flavors into one ever-changing menu. It's an ode to the vast cultural and culinary diversity of Los Angeles, and it only seems to get better with age. The patio, dining room, and chef's counter are all open, but you can also order takeout or delivery online. Either way, you're in for a treat.

6. Otium

Timothy Hollingsworth is a culinary genius with an impressive resume and many accolades from TV. His restaurant in Downtown LA is one of the best places to find a high-end meal in Los Angeles. The menu offers delicious options like truffle butter, chicken liver mousse, and caviar supplements. However, the winners often are the vegetables, like honey nut squash with ricotta, sweet potato agnolotti, and ash-baked beets. For those who prefer meat, there are also options like a fatty fish collar, braised lamb neck, and Snake River Farm's ribeyes. No matter what you're in the mood for, Timothy Hollingsworth's restaurant will have something that will tantalize your taste buds.

Final Thoughts

Los Angeles Airport LAX

LA is a thriving city with lots to offer people of all interests and budgets. We've just skimmed the surface of what Los Angeles offers in this article, but we hope it's given you a taste of all the fantastic things this city has in store. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to LA now!

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