20+ BEST things to do in Los Angeles
Get the scoop on LA's best beaches, museums, attractions, neighborhoods and more!
Los Angeles is in sunny Southern California, with an incredible diversity of attractions.
There are trendy shopping areas, beautiful beaches, lush gardens and world-class cultural attractions like museums and art galleries that rival anything in Europe. This is also the epicenter for the world's entertainment industry in Hollywood.
LA's warm climate is perfect for sight-seeing and alfresco dining. Find a dazzling array of things to do in LA, one of the world's most exciting cities.
Stunning Malibu is home to the Malibu Pier with the Malibu Farm Cafe, and adjacent Surfrider Beach.
Just south of the pier is the historic Adamson House, and breathtaking views from the Malibu Bluffs Park .
Experience some great shopping and restaurants at the trendy open-air mall known as Malibu Country Mart, a popular hang-out for celebrities. It also has a playground for kids.
South of Malibu is the upscale beach neighborhood of Pacific Palisades. It's two main attractions are the Getty Villa mansion with priceless artworks, and beautiful gardens on a peaceful lake at the Self Realization Fellowship.
Santa Monica is a hot-spot for shopping and restaurants. Check out the Third Street Promenade or Santa Monica Place for some of the best brand names.
The Santa Monica Pier is home to an amusement park with roller-coasters and fun rides.
Santa Monica can get crowded, but has a glorious expanse of golden sand.
The Annenberg Community Beach House is a gem with a swimming pool and beachside cafe. There's also a free splash-pad and playground right on the sand.
If you want to get away from the crowds, take a leisurely 2-mile walk along the bluff-top path at Santa Monica's Palisades Park. One block back from the beach, Tongva Park is also a lovely place for a stroll, and has a splash-pad and playground for kids.
Venice Beach has views all the way to the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Skatepark is a popular attraction at Venice Beach, where crowds gather to watch talented skateboarders perform tricks. Skateboarding was invented here in the 1970s by local teens and surf shops owners, who began riding skateboards in empty swimming pools during a drought.
Take the bike trail that runs 22-miles along the L.A. waterfront, past Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and Pacific Palisades.
The Venice Beach Boardwalk is completely different, with a carnival-like atmosphere that attracts street performers and free spirits. Expect to see anything and everything!
Venice Beach is a trendy, hipster community with one of the best shopping and restaurant streets in LA along trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard. This street is so influential that it's where LA fashion and foodie trends start.
If you'd prefer something quieter, stroll out along the undeveloped Venice Beach Pier, or explore the Venice Beach Canals. Venice has the most fascinating history of all the beach neighborhoods, modeled after Venice Italy. The gorgeous beach here is quieter than in Santa Monica.
West LA is home to prestigious attractions in upscale neighborhoods like Brentwood and Beverly Hills. The Getty Museum has a spectacular location on a Brentwood hilltop, and houses the world's richest art museum. It's also FREE! This architecturally stunning museum is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens.
Nearby Beverly Hills is resplendent with huge mansions and private estates, like the historic Greystone Mansion.
Shop at Rodeo Drive to see then world's most exclusive stores, then take a photo at the iconic Beverly Hills Sign.
Downtown LA has undergone a renaissance in recent years, with rapid gentrification resulting in a building boom of residential towers. Check out all the buzz around the fabulous and free The Broad contemporary art museum. Just across the road is the The Museum of Contemporary Art, and world-famous Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Walk one block from here to Grand Park to see a refreshing fountain with splash-pad for kids, and an awesome vantage point of the art deco Los Angeles City Hall.
The historic Angels Flight Railway takes you 300-feet up Bunker Hill. Try to imagine the Victorian homes that once lined this hilltop. Just south of Bunker Hill is the historic core of downtown LA with ornate 19th century buildings. Don't miss The Last Bookstore where the books are artfully displayed in an old bank building. There are so many things to do in LA in downtown!
Echo Park is north of downtown LA. Enjoy a meal at the cafe at the historic Echo Park boathouse, have a picnic on the grassy shores of its lake, or rent a paddle-boat.
Griffith Park is in the Los Feliz neighborhood, and is one of the most popular things to do in LA. Enjoy the astronomy exhibits at the Griffith Observatory and views of the Hollywood Sign or spend an afternoon at the garden-like setting of the LA Zoo. Just across from the Zoo is the Autry Museum with fascinating exhibits on North American history.
Hollywood is in the middle of Central LA, anchored by the Hollywood Highland Center where the Oscars are held at the Dolby Theater. Other attractions along Hollywood Boulevard include the Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theater. Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum, The Hollywood Museum, Ripley's Believe it or Not, and Museum of Illusions.
The Fairfax District is west of downtown. It has one of LA's most popular open-air malls at The Grove, adjacent to the LA Farmers Market. Prepare to be moved by the poignant exhibits at the nearby LA Museum of the Holocaust.
Directly south of the Fairfax District is the Miracle Mile, aptly named because of its many museums. These include the LACMA, Petersen Automotive Museum, Marciano Art Foundation, and La Brea Tar Pits.
South LA has a range of wonderful attractions at Exposition Park. It's best known as the location of the LA Memorial Coliseum that hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics (and will host the 2024 Olympics). This huge park also includes the Natural History Museum, the California African American Museum, and FREE California Science Center.
The California Science Center has the Endeavour Shuttle on display, and two floors of engaging play areas for kids. This is one of the best things to do in LA.
North LA is a broad geographic area that encompasses the San Fernando Valley to the northwest, and Pasadena to the northeast. Visit the exquisite Huntington Library (art gallery and gardens) in Pasadena.
The relaxed Descanso Gardens is also in Pasadena, with an enchanting stream and peaceful setting.
Drive to the San Fernando Valley to see the dramatic Japanese Garden, or the world famous Universal Studios.
The Harbor and South Bay Regions
The Harbor and South Bay regions are along LA's southern coastline, with attractions like The Point Fermin Lighthouse at San Pedro, the Wayfarer's Chapel with magnificent coastal views at South Bay, and the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at Long Beach.