Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles
A visit to Los Angeles offers sand and sea, world-class museums, and spectacular city views. You can get close to movie stars in this entertainment capitol or at least book a studio tours and TV show tapings. If you are planning a trip to the city of angels, here are the top 10 things to do in Los Angeles that will appeal to every type of traveler.
When planning things to do in Los Angeles, Hollywood has to be at the top of your list. Walk along Hollywood Boulevard to hunt the star of your favorite Walk of Fame celebrity. Stop in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre to see the world famous handprints and footprints of the world's most glamorous stars to find out if their hands and feet were larger or smaller than yours. Walk into the Hollywood Highland complex to see the Kodak theater, home of the Oscars. Then walk east to Loteria Grill for an authentic Mexican meal. Don't miss the chicharron de queso, a delicious crispy cheese dish served with guacamole, salsa, and fresh tortillas.
A visit to Southern California often conjures up images of the happy Disney characters at the Disneyland Resort. Seasonal activities include Halloween trick or treats, Christmas holiday decorations, and special summer shows. Stay at the Craftsman style Grand California Hotel & Spa with a private entrance to Disney's California Adventure. Don't miss Soaring Over California, a ride that gives you a high flying 5 minute tour of the sites, sounds, and scents of the golden state. Disneyland is one of the top things to do in LA with or without kids!
With access to horseback riding, golf, a zoo, the Gene Autry Museum, Griffith Observatory, Travel Town train museum, and extensive hiking trails, an entire Los Angeles vacation could be filled up by activities in Griffith Park. The more than 4,210 acres in Griffith Park make it the largest municipal park in the United States. In the summer, the Greek Theatre is one of the best places in LA to see live music. Don't miss the rustic Trails Cafe on Ferdell for homemade savory tarts and organic sweets.
One of the best things to see in Los Angeles is a TV or movie studio. There are several options to experience the entertainment industry up close and personal. Universal Studios Hollywood offers a studio tour and theme park rides. Book the VIP experience for some red carpet pampering. Head to Paramount, Warner Bros, and Sony for studio tours. Plan ahead to get seats at a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Price is Right, Deal or No Deal, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and more at TVTix. Tickets for Jimmy Kimmel are available through 1iota.
The Fairfax District
The diverse Fairfax neighborhood offers several things to do in LA: The Grove, a beautiful shopping mall complete with a dancing water fountain in the middle, the famous Farmers Market, filled with booths offering treats and food from around the world, and the chance to walk up Fairfax Avenue to see the new urban skateboard shops mixed in between the stores and bakeries in the historic Jewish neighborhood. Food on Fairfax is old and new too. Try a traditional corned beef sandwich at Canter's Deli or the best burger in LA across the street at The Golden State. Adventurous foodies should score a reservation at Animal to try Chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook's adventurous menu.
Los Angeles is home to many world-class museums. From Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown and several other impressive offerings around the county, Los Angeles is a fantastic destination for art lovers. With all of this creativity, The Getty Center Los Angeles and The Getty Villa Malibu stand out for their iconic architecture, majestic collections, and destination worthy gardens. The Getty Center offers breathtaking views and immense exhibitions halls and a spectacular garden. At the Getty Villa Malibu, visitors step back in time and explore the historic house and the surround flower and herb gardens. Don't miss having a Mediterranean lunch at the Cafe at the Getty Villa Cafe with comfortable indoor/outdoor seating and their unique gift shop.
In LA, the funny people are kings and the places to see them be funny are plentiful. Checking out a comedy club is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles. From stand-up at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory and The Improv to sketch comedy at The Groundlings, iO West Theater, and the Upright Citizens Brigade, on any given night Los Angeles comedians promise you an evening of hilarity. Maybe you will catch a movie star trying out some new material or catch a rising comic working their way to an SNL contract. Laughing until your sides hurt is a perfect way to spend a night in LA.
From the rock clubs on the Sunset Strip like the notorious Viper Room to the Roxy to the big venues like the Gibson at Universal and the Staples Center, every night in LA features some of the best bands rocking out, making the music scene one of the best things to do in Los Angeles. Head to Largo at the Coronet, McCabe's Guitar Shop, or The Hotel Cafe for singer songwriters jamming with friends and to Disney Hall or the Hollywood Bowl for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Los Angeles has a rich musical history and showcases to best of what is the newest of the new. Filled with interactive exhibits, The Grammy Museum is a haven for music lovers young and old. Check their schedule for upcoming shows in the 200 seat Clive Davis Theater.
Santa Monica and Venice
Head to the Westside for cooler weather and ocean breezes. Walk along the 3rd Street Promenade and check out the Santa Monica Pier, then head into the newly redesigned Santa Monica Place Mall for shopping and to eat at one of the six signature restaurants on the upper dining deck. Next, stop by Venice to explore the sights and sounds of the Venice Beach Boardwalk for booths selling beachwear, inexpensive sunglasses, and henna tattoos. Gawk at the buffed out men at Muscle Beach and gaze out at the ocean. Then head to Abbot Kinney to explore the galleries, cafes, and shops.
Every trip to Los Angeles should include a dip in the Pacific Ocean. Head up to Malibu for some of the bluest water and most breathtaking views. From Point Dume to Zuma Malibu is full of places to enjoy the sun, sand, and water sports. While visiting Malibu check out the Malibu Country Mart for shopping and cafes. Kids will love the playground in the middle of the shops. Recently the Malibu Lumber Yard opened offering high fashion, sweets, cafes, and salons flanked by contemporary wood decks. Spend some time in Malibu and you are bound to have at least one celeb sighting, or maybe ten.
From the arts and culture to shopping and dining, Los Angeles has so much to offer; many people who visit never want to leave. The Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles may inspire many more adventures in the city of angels.
Photo by Julie Wolfson