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The 35 Best Places to See in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is one of the most visited cities in California. And it is an essential stop if you are thinking of taking a tour of the West Coast of the country. You won't be short of things to see and do in Los Angeles! And although I have often heard negative comments about the city and it tends to disappoint many, it really has so many things to do and places to visit that if you plan it well, you will surely find options to your liking.

In this post I tell you about the 35 best things to see and do in Los Angeles. Let us begin!



THE 35 BEST PLACES TO SEE IN LOS ANGELES


1. First contact with the city, take a complete tour of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a huge city and if it is your first trip to the city it is recommended that you have a first contact with some kind of tour. Also, if you are not going to rent a car with the tour, you have transportation and a guide.


2. Stroll down Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is one of the main commercial arteries in the city and also the most expensive. It is undoubtedly a paradise for lovers of fashion and haute couture. Whoever can afford to go shopping here is undoubtedly an essential stop in the city.

For those of us who don't have the option of buying in this fashion paradise, we can settle for enjoying the atmosphere and dreaming, looking at the shop windows.

This famous avenue has appeared in several movies, one of them was Pretty Woman, do you remember?




3. Chinese Theater

The Chinese Theater in Hollywood has been the most famous movie theater in the world since it opened in 1927.

The Chinese Theater was the magnum opus of Sir Grauman, a dreamy businessman who after a trip to China fell in love with its culture. Grauman already had experience in the sector, since in 1922 he had built the Egyptian Theater, located a few meters away on the same street.

Outside the Chinese Theater you can find the hand and foot prints of more than 200 celebrities.

You can make a visit inside the theater, they last about 30 minutes and tickets are bought in the theater itself. You can also buy a ticket to see a movie.


4. Griffith Observatory


Griffith Observatory is not only one of the most famous astronomical observatories in the world and one of the best viewpoints in Los Angeles. I have already told you about it in the post The best viewpoints in Los Angeles.

The observatory was opened in 1935 and during World War II it was used as a place to train pilots in astronomical navigation. And during the 1960s, it was the chosen place to train the astronauts of the Apollo program.

At the Griffith Observatory you will find a gigantic telescope from which it is possible to see the stars and planets up close. And in the afternoon sessions, once it gets dark they place some smaller telescopes on the terraces.

It is one of the best viewpoints to enjoy spectacular views of the city of Los Angeles. And although dusk is the most beautiful time, it is also the time when there are more people.


Admission is free! They close on Monday. From Tuesday to Friday you can visit it from 12:00 to 22:00. And on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.



5. Walk of Fame

Possibly the most popular place in town. The Los Angeles Walk of Fame was created in 1958 to represent the glamor and fame of Hollywood, becoming one of the most representative places in the city.

The first star went to actress Joanne Woodward, in 1960.

Here you will find several types of stars;


Camera: Contribution to the film industry.

Gramophone: Contribution to the world of music.

Television: Contribution to the television industry.

Microphone: Contribution to the radio industry.

Mask: Contribution to the theater industry.


It is without a doubt one of the essential places to visit in Los Angeles.


6. Have fun on the Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is one of the essential places to visit in the city. It is located on the beach in Santa Monica and is the end point of the famous Route 66.

In addition, it is the ideal place to have fun an afternoon between attractions, food stalls, and ice creams.

One of the most emblematic places in the park is the wooden merry-go-round built in 1922 that continues to function perfectly

From here the sunsets are beautiful. Do not miss it!




7. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood combines tours of the film sets, attractions and themed restaurants with encounters with well-known characters such as The Simpsons, SpongeBob SquarePants, Shrek or the Minions.

Universal Studios is a very complete park, ideal if you are traveling with children or if you are a movie lover.

Admission is not cheap, it costs between 109 and 129 dollars. Nevertheless, it is an interesting visit.



8. Photograph the Hollywood Sign


It is probably the photograph that is repeated several times throughout the days in Los Angeles of any traveler. You can see the sign practically from anywhere in the city. Although there are viewpoints and strategic places from where you can see better. Stop by The best viewpoints of Los Angeles where I tell you several places. Some great places are; Mulholland Overlook, Lake Hollywood Park and Griffith Observatory.

The Hollywood sign has been presiding over the city since 1923 and was created as part of an advertising campaign. In theory, it was only going to be high for a year and a half, however, during the golden age of Hollywood it became an important icon and became part of a symbol of the city.



9. Enjoy the atmosphere on Olvera Street

Olvera Street is known as the birthplace of the city of Los Angeles. This beautiful street was renovated to remember the city's Mexican heritage. Here you will find 19th century buildings, art shops and traditional restaurants.

Here you will find several interesting places to visit: The Avila Adobe House, the Church of Our Lady Queen of the Angels, Sepulveda House, Zanja Madre and Pelanconi House.


10. Take a leisurely drive down Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive is a winding road that has appeared in countless movies and novels, most notably the David Lynch film Mulholland Drive.

It is 34 km long and at the intersection with Encino Hills Drive the road becomes an unpaved road, known as "Dirt Mulholland", on which motor vehicles cannot circulate.

Today Mulholland Drive is home to large and exclusive mansions, many of them owned by celebrities.

If you are not going to rent a car, one option to get to know this road and the houses of celebrities is to take a tour. You can see more information and book the tour of Hollywood and Mulholland from this link.


11. Visit the Getty Center

The Getty center is an impressive museum that was opened in 1997 and you will find it at the top of the Santa Monica mountains.

It is a modernist Travertine marble complex created from the private art collection and large donations of funds from businessman and philanthropist J. Paul Getty.

In the different rooms of the museum you will find various collections of Italian, Dutch, French, Spanish and British painting and sculpture, among which you can see some masterpieces by great artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Goya, Klimt, Rodin, Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Munch, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Van Dyck, Gauguin, El Greco or Edvard Munch.


Admission is free, although you will have to pay about 20 dollars to park your car in the parking lot. It's worth it!


The building itself is already amazing. It has nothing more, nothing less, 16,000 tons of beige marble.



12. OUE Skyspace

This impressive 310-meter-high skyscraper is one of the best viewpoints in Los Angeles.

The tower has a glass crown and at night it lights up in different colors. You will also find a glass slide that goes around the outside of the building from the 70th to the 69th floor.



13. Disneyland Park

For all those who love amusement parks, reserving a day to enjoy Disenyland is a must. It is an ideal place full of magic for all ages.

Although to visit the entire park and see several of its shows it is advisable to spend 2 or 3 days (or even more) in the park, sometimes it is difficult to incorporate so many days into the travel route, at least visit it for one day.


14. Union Station

Union Station is the largest railroad station in the western United States. It was built in 1939 and is an authentic architectural jewel of the city.

Its architectural style is a mix between Spanish Colonial Renaissance and Art Deco. In the waiting rooms you will find travertine marble walls, with interior patios and beautiful gardens.


15. Dolby Theater

This Theater is known worldwide as the place where the Oscar Awards are held since 2002.

You'll find it on Hollywood Boulevard, next to the Chinese Theater. Although at first glance it may seem that it is not very interesting or impressive, you cannot miss it.


16. Disney Adventure Park

Although it is one of the smaller parks of the California Disney Parks, it is the best option if you are looking for exciting attractions. Here you will find roller coasters, cart circuits, simulators, rapids... It is my favorite of the parks in California.


17. California Science Center

The California Science Center is a dynamic and entertaining museum where you can learn about and enjoy the wonders of science through interactive exhibits.

The museum has numerous permanent exhibitions on a variety of themes and one of the most visited places in the museum is the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Admission is free.


18. Los Angeles Beaches + Surfing at the Matador

It is inevitable (at least for me) to visit a coastal place and not go near any of its beaches. Even if it is to take a walk, have an ice cream or watch the sunset. I am a total sea lover!

Some of the most popular beaches are; Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Zuma Beach, Hermosa Beach, Venice Beach… For me the most beautiful is the Matador.


El Matador is one of the most beautiful beaches in California. It has huge rock formations that stand out against the golden color of the sand and the ideal waves for surfing. I, who love surfing, lacked time to continue enjoying this place. Spectacular!




19. Visit La Brea Ranch

Rancho la Brea houses some of the most important prehistoric remains in Los Angeles.

The enclosure has numerous tar pits that have perfectly preserved countless relics, which expert scientists have carefully extracted such as; animal bones from different eras.


At first, drilling began to obtain oil and minerals, but fossils began to be found in perfect condition that are now extinct.

Built next to the Rancho La Brea tar pits as part of the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, the Page Museum houses more than a million specimens of 650 animal and plant species from the Ice Age.


In the museum you can see from the skeleton of the most minuscule of animals to that of the mammoth.

It is one of the most impressive museums in the city and is worth spending a few hours on.



20. Visit Downtown Los Angeles

It is essential to get to know the Downtown, it is even a good option to stay. Here you can walk among skyscrapers and visit some of the most emblematic buildings of the city such as; the city hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

21. And speaking of neighborhoods, you can't miss Beverly Hills

I have already mentioned some of the places in Beverly Hills, such as Rodeo Drive, but here you can also visit one of the most important film studios in the city; the Warner Brothers.

If you feel like it, you can take an American trolley (they are minibuses that look like trams) and they make the route of the famous mansions... Although the latter is not very interesting, it is a very popular activity.


22. After dark head to the Sunset Strip

Sunset Strip is a bohemian and charming neighborhood where there are several rock clubs and chip restaurants. It is one of the best areas to go to dinner and enjoy a night of music.

23. Venice Beach


Although Venice Beach does not have as much charm as El Matadero beach, it is a good option for a day walk with a very alternative and bohemian atmosphere. The seafront promenade (El Boardwalk) is a promenade full of skate parks, basketball courts, street music, shops and market stalls, ice cream stalls... It is an ideal area to stroll aimlessly, enjoy the atmosphere and disconnect a little from the downtown hustle and bustle.




24. Fall in love with Little Tokyo


Little Tokyo is the Japanese neighborhood of Los Angeles. You will find streets with a lot of charm that will take you to Japan, Japanese restaurants, details of traditional decoration... Although in the Japanese neighborhood there are many places to visit, if you do not have a day to dedicate to the neighborhood, it is a great option to come a little before nightfall when they light the paper lamps and the streets take on a warm and special color. Also, if you are a lover of Japanese food, here you will find traditional delicacies, sushi...

The neighborhood was created at the beginning of the 20th century with the arrival of the first Japanese. The Japanese culture established itself in this area of ​​the city, creating its own houses and shops. In a short time, Japanese immigration increased to such an extent that in 1924 a regulatory law was established that prohibited the entry of Orientals in Los Angeles.

During World War II, the United States was in conflict with Japan. For that reason they decided to move the inhabitants of Little Tokyo into recruitment zones. This caused the Little Tokyo neighborhood to be completely abandoned and as a consequence many African-Americans occupied the uninhabited area.

In the period occupied by African Americans, the neighborhood was renamed Bronzeville. Once the war was over, they freed the Japanese and let them reoccupy what was their home, this time leaving the African-American ethnic group.

During the 1970s the area was completely renovated.

In Japantown you cannot miss visiting the James Irvine Japanese Garden, the Koyasan Buddhist Temple, the Japanese American Museum and the Go For Broke monument.



25. Visit Chinatown

In this neighborhood you can enjoy an Asian atmosphere and move to China in a single walk.

Here you can visit the Chinese-American Museum, Chung King Street, Thien Hau Temple (dedicated to the sea goddess of Chinese mythology).


In Chinatown there is also Olvera Street, the first street built in Los Angeles, which I have already told you about before.


26. Marvel at The Huntington

The Huntington is a wonderful and beautiful park that has a library, an art museum and one of the most impressive botanical gardens in the world.

In the library you will find ancient manuscripts written by Shakespeare, and one of the 12 existing copies of the Gutenberg Bible.

Art galleries display priceless works that represent centuries of art.

Although the really impressive thing is to walk through the botanical garden. The park is divided into several zones; the Japanese garden, the Chinese garden, the Australian garden, desert landscapes and gardens of aromatic herbs, rose bushes... Beautiful!



27. Don't forget the Central Market

I'm a bit of a market freak, you know me. There is no city or destination that can resist me. In the central market of Los Angeles it is a perfect place to walk between aromas of fresh products.

The Los Angeles Market is located next to Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Broad.

The market is impressive, with very high ceilings, an open design, with various food stalls, fresh produce and places to have coffee, tea, fresh fruit juice... It's a great option for a quick and cheap meal. Also, the atmosphere is great.



28. Art District

To the east of Downtown you will find a district made up of old warehouses, factories from the early 20th century and railway sheds. In the 70's this place was a refuge for artists. Today, it is a youth creative center. There are more than 100 impressive graffiti murals, galleries, boutiques, breweries and bars… It is an impressive place where you can find art wherever you look.




29. Go shopping at The Grove

The Grove is a commercial district of the city. In the area you will find large avenues, small squares and shops that have been designed in a style that reminds you of old American houses. Apart from being able to go shopping, it is a nice place to walk around.


30. Malibu

If you can add a day to walk around Malibu to your days in Los Angeles, don't hesitate.

Malibu's beaches are a fantastic natural environment with beautiful landscapes, ideal for enjoying a day at the beach and surfing.

If you visit the city of Malibu, it is worth reaching it along the coastal highway that goes from Los Angeles to Malibu, since its landscape offers incredible views.

Don't just come to Malibu to enjoy the beaches, take the opportunity to continue coasting and enjoy the landscapes, they are beautiful.

Malibu is a very good option to stay, although you must bear in mind that it is almost an hour away by car.


Some of the great Malibu beaches are Zuma Beach, Piont Dume State Beach, the Matador Beach that I told you about before, Paradise Cove and Surfrider Beach.



31. Visit The Crystal Cathedral

One of the most curious architectural places to visit is the Crystal Cathedral. It is one of the most impressive and unique churches in the world.

It was built in the 1980s by Philip Johnson.

This impressive church with capacity for 2,800 congregants and 1,000 musicians is one of the most impressive places in Los Angeles. You can also see the widest organ in the world.

It is located on Champan AV, Garden Grove (Part of Orange County).


32. Get up close to the Bradbury Building


Los Angeles is a huge television set and many of the places to visit will be familiar to you, as they have appeared in several series, movies...

Even so, there is a building that caught my attention and I liked it very much.

The Bradbury Building is where Blade Runner was filmed. In the lobby of the building you can see photographs and posters of the film. Even if you don't know anything about this movie (I didn't know anything either), the building draws a lot of attention, it's beautiful and you can't forget to come here and photograph it.




33. The Last Bookstore

This huge bookstore is a paradise for book lovers, and yes, I felt like I was in paradise here.

This huge bookstore there are two huge rooms of two floors full of books. There are armchairs where you can browse the books while having a coffee and of course buy some of the copies. Is awesome!


34. Las Vegas

If you are going to visit Los Angeles you cannot miss visiting Las Vegas. You must include it in your itinerary!

The best option to enjoy the city of Las Vegas is to dedicate at least 2 or 3 days to it. You can get there by renting a car or by bus. Although there is also a two-day tour to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles, I leave you the links.

I tell you what to see in Las Vegas in this post: What to see in Las Vegas Essential!


There is also a 10pm excursion to Las Vegas from Los Angeles. Although I think it's better to spend a couple of days and spend the night in the city, if you don't have time in your itinerary, you can see what it's all about. You can see all the information about the excursion to Las Vegas and book from this link.




35. Visit San Diego

San Diego is possibly my favorite city in California. It has a special air and is more authentic than the Angels. In addition, despite being a big city, it is quieter and with many places to visit.

It is almost 2 hours by car from Los Angeles and although there are tours that offer day trips, or you can get there by rental car, I recommend that you dedicate at least two full days to the city.

I tell you everything about San Diego in: What to see in San Diego + Where to stay Complete guide!



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I hope you enjoy your trip to Los Angeles very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.


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A hug and see you soon!

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