This is the only guide you will ever need to visit Los Angeles, it’s complete with addresses and websites so all the information is at your finger tips. We have compiled this list of awesome things to do and see while visiting this bustling city. Los Angeles County is geographically a huge place, it spans 34,135 miles and has a population of 10.1 million people. That means that Los Angeles is geographically larger than 11 of the United States and almost 6 times the size of Hawaii. So wear comfy shoes and get ready to run to see it all but also be prepared to sit back and relax to one of the many breath taking beach sunsets. Californians really know how to enjoy the best of both worlds!
LACMA also known as Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This is located on the fabulous Miracle Mile which is a stretch along on Wilshire Blvd. just south of Beverly Hills. LACMA as the locals call it has an array of ever changing exhibits and often free live musical performances. Check out their website to see what’s happening here when you visit Los Angeles. www.lacma.org Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Phone Number: +1 323-857-6000
Natural History Museum and Nature Garden. The Natural History Museum building itself is beautiful, this is another spot to check the website and see what additional exhibits you may want to see other than the basic museum entry. The garden outside of the museum is also incredibly beautiful to take an afternoon stroll through. I highly recommend setting some time aside for this museum. http://www.nhm.org/site Address: 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA 90007. Phone Number: +1 213-763-3466
Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. If you haven’t been to LA and done the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see all the celebrity names emblazoned onto concrete stars in the sidewalk then doing it once is a must. It’s a stretch of Hollywood Blvd. starting at Vine St. and ending at La Brea Ave. Look down at the stars as you walk but keep an eye out for the many souvenir shops, the mall at Hollywood and Highland, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and all the handsy super hero characters hoping to pay their rents in tips. Information on events, changes and additions to the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as some of the museums in the area can be found at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce website. http://www.hollywoodchamber.net
Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica Pier is awesome for so many reasons. It’s on a beautiful stretch of beach where you can actually hang out at the beach or you can walk, run or bike on Ocean Ave. right above the beach with amazing views! The pier and surrounding Ocean Ave. offer many different great restaurants and shops. The pier also has rides for the kiddies or the kid inside you. A lot of different events are held at the pier on a regular basis, like yoga and twilight concerts. The twilight concerts if you happen to be lucky enough to be in LA during the summer, are really something to see, droves of people come out to enjoy the free music lined up on towels and blankets that extend far out from each side of the pier. You can also pay to access a closer look at the band, access food vendors or be in the designated alcohol area. But if you want to enjoy the concert like a local, leave your dressy clothes at home, pack a blanket, a bottle of wine and two non-descript cups and maybe your joint if you’re into that sort of thing and roll up under the stars. Just don’t let the officers on horseback see what’s in the bag. http://santamonicapier.org/ Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Suite A, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Phone Number: +1 310-458-8901
La Brea Tar Pits. The Tar Pits are an interesting stop in LA. The museum is small and definitely does not take a full day but is none-the-less interesting. They have fossils from Los Angeles that are 11,000 years old. If that’s not cool, then we don’t know cool. You can see many of the current excavations they are working on and make sure to hop on the free excavator tour that is included with your entry so you can see the observation pit, it was built in 1952 and contains mostly real bones! http://www.tarpits.org Address: 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Phone Number: +1 213-763-3499
Manhattan Beach. Of all the beaches in Los Angeles, I find that Manhattan Beach is the most beautiful, it’s one of the cleaner beaches and has lots of things to do around it. Also, there is nothing like a Manhattan Beach sunset! You can walk out and check out the view on the pier, bike, rollerblade, walk or run on miles of beach side pavement or enjoy the ocean view from one of the many restaurants. There are also many boutique shops and a weekly Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays. Check out the website for other events and festivals on and around the Manhattan Beach Pier. http://downtownmanhattanbeach.com/ Pier Address: Cross section of Manhattan Beach Blvd. and Highland Ave.
Venice Boardwalk and Canals. Venice, where the arts meet, well…the weird. From street performers to body piercing and tattoo shops to beautiful canals reminiscent of Italy. This city is sure to charm the pants right off of you, but we hope you have your bathing suit on underneath because the beach is pretty gosh darn nice too. Spend your time shopping on the boardwalk along Pacific Ave. or find you way over to the beautiful canals tucked between multi-million dollar mansions. The city also has many great restaurants and always has events from street fairs to canal parades. http://venicechamber.net/ Boardwalk Address: Pacific Ave. and Venice Blvd. Canal Address: Dell Ave. and Court A.
Griffith Observatory and Park. The Observatory has one of the best views of Los Angeles and you can also see the Hollywood sign from the Observatory deck. The Planetarium is really cool and includes telescopes for public use. Although the museum and it’s grounds are always free, make sure to check out the website for upcoming events and hours. http://www.griffithobservatory.org/ Address: 2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90027. Phone Number: 213-473-0800 Check out this site for Griffith Park attractions, hours and addresses http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/griffithpk/attractions.htm
Hollywood Sign. If you are one of those people who would really like to get as close to the Hollywood sign as possible, kind of like we did for the picture above then visit this website for an insiders guide on hiking to the Hollywood Sign. http://www.hollywoodsign.com/
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. The famed Rodeo Drive Baby! The City of Beverly Hills and the notorious Rodeo Drive has been in mountains of movies and has many landmarks you can see just by walking on the famous street and around town. Everywhere from the Pretty Woman Hotel A.K.A. The Region Beverly Wilshire to the Troop Beverly Hills Hotel A.K.A. the Beverly Hills Hotel and everything in between. Stop into the visitors bureau on the corner of little Santa Monica Blvd. and Canon Blvd. to get information and Maps of all the most filmed and famed places in Beverly Hills. Some of the worlds best restaurants and fashion labels hold their flagship locations on the streets of Beverly Hills. http://www.rodeodrive-bh.com/ or http://lovebeverlyhills.com/plan-your-visit Address: 9400 S. Santa Monica Blvd,#102, Beverly Hills CA 90210. Phone Number: +1 310-248-1015
Annenberg Community Beach House. This is a great place to have lunch, hang out on the beach in actual beach chairs or hangout by the clubhouse pool. The clubhouse itself has a beautiful view of the pool, beach and ocean and this is open to the public and a small admission fee is charged. http://beachhouse.smgov.net/ Address: 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA, 90402 Phone Number: +1 310-458-4904
Getty Museum and Villa. There is so much wonderment to be seen at both of these locations from the modernly designed Getty Museum, with its raving city views and impressionistic art to the Getty with its charming and mighty historical presence over looking the Pacific Ocean, filled with gardens and eclectic art from around the world. Neither of these venues will disappoint. http://www.getty.edu/ Museum Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049 Phone Number for Museum and Villa: + 1 310-440-7300 http://www.getty.edu/visit/villa/ Villa Address: 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Melrose Ave. Lined with impressive celebrity driven hot spots to shop and trendy restaurants. Melrose Avenue in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles will certainly give you a different perspective of Los Angeles. It encompasses 22 blocks from Fairfax Avenue to Highland Avenue and trust me when I say, here, you will see it all. http://www.melroseavela.com/ Address: Melrose Ave. Between Fairfax and Highland.
The Sunset Strip. Once home to the famous Tower Records but still home to the infamous nightclub where River Phoenix died,The Viper Room. Sunset Blvd., with its aluminous billboards and infinite rocker bars makes a drive down Sunset Blvd an iconic stop not to be missed. http://www.visitwesthollywood.com/special-interest/sunset-strip Address: From Doheny Dr. to Crescent Heights.
The Grove and soon to be Century City Mall. Los Angeles because of the amazing weather has a lot of outdoor mall space and some of the malls are really something to see. The Grove in the Fairfax District has awesome aesthetics, with cobble stone roads, a trolley and a big beautiful dancing waterfall. The Century City Mall is also an outdoor mall but currently is under an $800 Million renovation until 2017 to be a top destination mall inclusive with the very first West Coast Eataly like its sister locations in Chicago and NYC. http://www.thegrovela.com/ The Grove Address: 189 The Grove Drive Los Angeles, CA 90036. Phone Number: +1 323-900-8080 https://www.westfield.com/centurycity The Westfield Century City Address: 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90067 Phone Number: +1 310-277-3898
Peterson Automobile Museum. This museum has one of the most unusual exteriors as it was just recently completely renovated. A treasure trove of cars old and new to be seen shining inside the walls of this impressive multi-level museum. http://petersen.org/visit/ Address: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036 Phone Number: +1 323-930-2277
Angelino Heights Historic District. Is a district of Victorian gems developed in the mid 1880’s! You can take walking tours with the LA Conservancy. https://www.laconservancy.org/events/angelino-heights-walking-tour Address: Carroll Ave. Conservancy Phone Number: +1 213-623-2489
3rd Street Promenade. Was a street you could drive on until the late 1960’s when the street was shut down to cars and became a pedestrian only area spreading 3 blocks and packed with retail shopping and trendy restaurants. http://3rdstreetpromenade.com/ Address: Santa Monica between Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway.
Universal Studios. A theme park with a back lot tour which is pretty neat to see with its crashed plane scene and water green screen. You know what to expect from a theme park right? High priced foods, rides and attractions etc. If you don’t feel like rides but want the cool free experience that is Universal Studios then just go to City Walk located at the entrance of the theme park. It has shops and restaurants and the iconic King Kong hanging from the side of the building. http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/ Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608 Phone Number: +1 800-Universal
Hollywood Bowl. LA’s awesome outdoor music venue. Hosting many concerts of all different genres, at one point or another it hosts something for everyone. Highly recommended on warm summer nights. http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/visit Address: 2301 N. Highland Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90068 Phone Number: +1 323-850-2000
Annenberg Space for Photography. Is a cultural destination, that has both digital and print photography on display. This is a breathtaking stop as each photo leaves you in wonderment of the circumstances that unfolded just before or after the photo was taken. Museum is free but check the website for hours and special exhibits. http://annenbergphotospace.org/ Address: 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067 Phone Number +1 213-403-3000
Hollywood Museum. This is an interesting stop at the original Max Factor building, it has the bright sunny makeup rooms of the stars and a Marilyn Monroe exhibit. However, it also has the dungeon of doom! Hannibal Lecter’s jail cell from Silence of the Lambs. It’s a little creepy in there, not gonna lie. http://www.thehollywoodmuseum.com/ Address: 1660 N. Highland Ave (at Hollywood Blvd),Hollywood, California 90028 Phone Number: +1 323-464-7776
Mulholland Drive. There is no website for this. If you look on a map you can see it’s a stretch of mountainous road that borders the tops of the eastern Santa Monica Mountains. Legend has it, you can feel the history of Hollywood on this road high above all. With it’s scenic views and twists and turns it’s a beautiful drive. More information on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulholland_Drive
Abbot Kinney. A charming street in Venice that not only boasts some great restaurants and shopping along its one mile length but also hosts an event called First Friday’s, every food truck in town comes to Abbot Kinney Blvd. and drove’s of people fill the bars and restaurants. It’s a fun experience. More information on the time of year the event happens and other things going on at Abbot Kinney click on the following link. http://abbotkinneyblvd.com/ Address: Abbott Kinney Blvd. from Venice Blvd. to Main St.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Is a 133 acre zoo! It has 25 different species of animals and 800 different species of plants. This zoo can really take a day or more of time to go through all of the exhibits. http://www.lazoo.org/visit/ Address: 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027 Phone Number +1 323-644-4200
LA Live & Staples Center. From ice skating rinks in the winter to all of the various concerts and sporting events held at the staple center, this is a busy little area in downtown LA. It’s complete with a few hotels, many restaurants and a movie theater. Be sure to check the website for tips special offers, parking and events. http://www.lalive.com/ Address: 800 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015 Phone Number +1 866-548-3452 http://www.staplescenter.com/
Fashion & Jewelry Districts. Visiting the Jewelry and Fashion districts in Los Angeles can yield some pretty amazing deals if you are willing and able to negotiate. This is a neighborhood to make sure you really understand where you are on the map. One turn in the wrong the direction can put you in some questionable areas. Santee Alley is a great little walk and don’t be afraid of the fruit vendors, they put some amazing spices on those mango slices. http://fashiondistrict.org/ http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/activities/la-jewelry-district Jewelry District Address: 7th Street and Broadway. Fashion District Address: Olympic Blvd to Pico Blvd.
Hiking. Temescal Gateway Park, Solstice Canyon Trail , Self Realization Fellowship Lake and the Bronson Caves. One beautiful thing about Southern California aside from the weather is the natural beauty running through our major metropolitan areas. LA has hiking trails, lakes and even caves! Check out the links to see the location and get information on each of these local hotspots. Temescal Gateway http://lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=58, Solstice Canyon http://alltrails.com/trail/us/california/solstice-canyon-loop-trail, Self Realization Fellowship Lake (and no you don’t have to visit the temple to enjoy the grounds.) http://www.lakeshrine.org/, Bronson Caves http://www.seeing-stars.com/locations/BronsonCaves.shtml
TV Tapings. What would a trip to LA be without catching Jimmy Kimmel or Dancing with Stars being taped live? http://www.tvtix.com/ usually filmed at one of the 6 major studios or their TV branches such as CBS and ABC.
Silver Lake. Is the artsy hipster district of LA, if you have been to New York you can easily compare this area to the Williamsburg of Brooklyn. With its pop up cafes, Whole Foods markets, flea markets and vegan restaurants, you won’t be bored. http://www.silverlakechamber.com/ Address: Sunset Blvd through Silver Lake.
Theaters. El Rey, Saban, Wiltern, Greek and Orpheum. LA has many beautiful theaters hidden amongst mini malls or by plain exterior walls but once you step inside you are morphed into another era. The El Rey Theater built in 1936 is an art deco masterpiece that was once the home of a single-screen movie theater, now-a-days it’s a live music venue. http://www.theelrey.com/. The Saban Theater is a historic theater in Beverly Hills and was originally designed to be a major film presentation house and included a stage for Vaudeville acts. It currently hosts film premier’s, live concerts, touring Broadway shows and exclusive first-run film engagements. http://www.sabantheatre.org/. The Wiltern, another art deco landmark originally built in 1931, was originally designed as a Vaudeville theater. It boasts one of LA’s largest pipe organs a 37 -rank Kimball that was restored in the late 1970’s. http://www.wiltern.com/. The Greek Theater an amazing massive outdoor venue built in 1929 hosting 5,870 seats and a line up of to die for live concerts of all genres. http://www.nederlanderconcerts.com/venues/detail/greek-theatre. The Orpheum Theater first opened in 1926 and was historically restored in 1989 and has a Mighty Wurlitzer organ installed. It was a popular venue for celebrities such as the Marx Brothers, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald. http://laorpheum.com/
Beach Yoga. I’m sure there are quite a few spots to do this along the coastline and you can even do your own practice routine but a steadfast locals tip is to get in on Beach Yoga by Brad. A donation only (of $15 or more) yoga class held by lifeguard station #29 in Santa Monica every Saturday and Sunday. It’s an incredible experience having the ocean just steps away and some poses in the ocean, well your feet anyway. http://www.bradkeimach.com/beach-yoga.html Address: Lifeguard Station # 29, a straight shot to the water from Marine Street. Brad Phone Number +1 310-826-6958
Studio Tours. There are 6 major film studios in Los Angeles and 4 of the 6 major studios have guided tours of the lot. Each studio can offer you an inside look at filming and the history of some of your favorite films and stars. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a celebrity in action. Click each website for tour hours and locations. http://www.paramountstudiotour.com/ https://www.wbstudiotour.com/ http://www.sonypicturesstudiostours.com/ http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/attractions/studio-tour/
Huntington Library. An art collection based educational establishment with 120 acres of stunning botanical landscaped garden grounds founded in 1919. It’s focused on 18th and 19th century European art and 17th to mis-20th century American art. http://www.huntington.org Address: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108 Phone Number: +1 626-405-2100
Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Oddly enough this is an actual cemetery that also happens to host some pretty neat events from concerts to movies under the stars. http://www.hollywoodforever.com/culture Address: 6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038 Phone Number: +1 323-469-1181
Star Homes Tours. There are a few ways you can go about this. You can drive down Sunset Blvd. into Beverly Hills and find “Star Homes” maps for sale on some of the street corners. You can also go on YouTube and search Celebrity Homes Tours or Beverly Hills Movie Star Homes Tour. Lastly, you can pay to be driven around in a tour bus that shows you the stars homes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu1G0pYw1_g http://www.accesshollywoodtours.com/#!celebrity-home-tour/cd0t
Pantages Theater. As one of LA’s few Broadway theaters, the Pantages in and of itself is a marvel and a masterpiece to look at. This 85 year old gem was once the home of the Detroit Opera House and then the home of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera which also hosted large Broadway tours, being the first of its kind West of the Rocky Mountains. Its palatial art deco 1930’s interior is absolutely breathtaking. http://hollywoodpantages.com/ Address: 6233 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 Phone Number: +1 323-468-1770
Haunted Hollywood Tours. See places like where the Black Dalia’s body was found and other haunted spots of infamous murders. Like the other tours, there are many routes to go from self-guided to tour bus. One of our favorites happens to be a tour in a an actual hearse from Dearly Departed: The Tragical History Tour. http://dearlydepartedtours.com/ Address: 6603 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 Phone Number: +1 855-600-DEAD
Disneyland. Is actually in Anaheim which is considered Orange County, however Orange County is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area so we are including it on this list. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “I’ve already done Disneyworld”. Well in our opinion, the two are very different and both parks have their perks. So we recommend checking out Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure while you are in town. https://disneyland.disney.go.com/ Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr. Anaheim, CA 92802 Phone Number: +1 714-781-4565
PCH. Any stretch of this fabulous highway will be a pleasure for your eyes. There are many great restaurants along the PCH where you can eat the freshest seafood with a stellar view! This highway travels along the coast through most of California but if you’re visiting Los Angeles, you may want to drop down from Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica, heading North on the PCH and make a big loop back up Kanan Rd. in Malibu to grab the 101 freeway to the 405 freeway back into town. Expect a two hour drive minimum on this route but it will definitely be scenic and worth your time. http://www.pacific-coast-highway-travel.com/
We hope you enjoy your stay in the fabulous City of Angels!
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