20 Things to Do in Los Angeles (Video)
Los Angeles. The entertainment capital of the world. Ready for it?
People have asked me for advice on things to do, but the bucketlist of things to do in Los Angeles can feel endless. What to do? Well, it all depends what your fix is and how much time you’ve got- Hollywood stars, museums, L.A. hip dining and nightlife, outdoor activities, beaches…
I’m sharing my recommended things to do in Los Angeles if you’re a first time tourist. It’s doable within 36 hours and I’ve categorized them by neighborhood to help you do so.
20 Things to Do in Los Angeles
Rather than get too deep into it when I have a video accompanying it, I’ll be brief and share a rundown of the areas these things are in, so you find the best strategy to tackle it. I’ll be posting a followup post on Things to do for Free or cheap in L.A., which will delve into these venues a little deeper.
Los Feliz is quiet and semi-upscale residential artsy area with a few cafes, bars and boutique stores. While it had its heyday in earlier years, now it seems to be a place where you pass through in order to get to the hip and artsy cove of Silverlake.
View of the city at night & hiking hotspot
1. Griffith Observatory Park
Hiking Hotspot, Film Location & Observatory
2. Griffith Observatory Park
Hollywood Boulevard is tourist central, full of souvenir shops, celebrity look-alike performers, fast food joints and tours to see star homes. It’s the home of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a handful of historical landmarks. Off-shoot side streets house bars and performance venues. Parking isn’t cheap but finding street parking in the residential areas isn’t always easy. For a list of parking garages and prices, check Parkopedia. Base rate starts at $5.
Best View of the Hollywood Sign:
How can you miss it? The moment you fly into Los Angeles, look out your window and bam, there it is. But where’s the best place to take a photo of it?
3. Kodak Building- 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA , (323) 308-6300
The top bucketlist thing to do in L.A. is to see a star. Why stop at one?
4. Hollywood Blvd
5. El Capitan- 6838 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, (818) 845-3110
6. Walk of Fame/ Star Walk – Hollywood Blvd | Vine to La Brea
7. Mann’s Chinese Theater- 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA, (323) 461-3331
I can’t think of a more interesting haunting ground for stars than a cemetery.
8. Hollywood Forever Cemetery – 6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood
Sunset Boulevard/ Sunset Strip
Going west past La Brea, Hollywood Boulevard turns into residential and you best jump onto Sunset Boulevard for sightseeing. From Havenhurst Ave in West Hollywood to Sierra Drive in Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard turns into what’s known to many as Sunset Strip, a mile and a half stretch of splashy Hollywood billboards plastered along buildings, rock clubs, nightclubs, hotels and boutiques.
Hiking Hotspot and Best City View
9. Hollywood Sign
10. Runyon Canyon – 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Watch Hiking Tips for Runyon Canyon: LA’s hottest hipster hike
Star Walk for Rock-n-Rollers
Interested in a musician’s Hollywood Hall of Fame? If not, then how about a guitar?
11. Rock of Fame- Guitar Center, 7425 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA
Chic Hotel Lounge Bar
You can’t be in Los Angeles and not find a hip bar to hang out in. Whether a dive, lounge or hotel bar, rock-n-roll venue or nightclub.
12. Nightlife L.A. : Riviera 31, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 8555 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA (Watch my video)
Landmark Comedy Venue
13. The Comedy Store – 8433 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA , $$
Fairfax Avenue/ Wilshire Boulevard
Fairfax area is lightly known as the Jewish district, but you’ll find the Grove Mall and Farmer’s Market along the way. Where it intersects with Wilshire Boulevard, you’ll find Miracle Mile and some of the listed museums.
24 hour Late night hot spot/Restaurant
14. Canter’s Deli – 419 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA, (323) 651-2030
15. La Brea Tarpits- 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA , (323) 857-6300
16. Los Angeles County Museum of Art – 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, (323) 857-6000, $10 Admission
Venice Beach/Santa Monica/ PCH
I won’t get into where the PCH highway can get you, but it’s a great scenic drive full of beaches from Santa Monica to Malibu. Santa Monica is a straight-laced district, a little on the yuppy side and it’s got shopping, a pier and some happening nightspots, restaurants and bars. Venice is its wilder, but mellower and more artsy sister, with cafes, hip boutiques and restaurants. If Hollywood had a beach community, Venice would be it. Book a hotel stay in Venice Beach.
Favorite People-Watching Beach
17. Venice Beach (watch the video guide | “Best Boardwalks in the U.S.”)
Other Things Around Town
18. Free Museum Days- http://freemuseumday.org/la.html
19. Free Live Tapings- Check out Audiencesunlimited.com & On Camera Audiences
20. Eating in L.A.
I realize I’ve focused mostly on the Hollywood district . Personally, I like hanging out in Hollywood a lot and it’s where I stayed. I also recommend it to tourists just to get out the main sightseeing.
Where I stayed in Los Angeles
Sofitel Beverly Hills in Los Angeles (read review here)