Perhaps everyone has heard and read about Los Angeles, a county in southern California and its most famous city of the same name. But not everyone has had the chance to visit L.A. So if you have that rare opportunity to visit Los Angeles, then you should have listed down the “must-do” things while staying there. But if you haven’t, you may consider the following suggestions below:
Especially for a first-timer, any wide-eyed tourist won’t pass up the chance to visit Disneyland. Creator Walt Disney’s original vision of the “Happiest Place on Earth” has continued to enchant and delight kids and kids-at-heart. Being in Disneyland evokes feelings of excitement, romance or nostalgia, depending on how old you are or how you view Disneyland.
The newest addition to Disneyland, the sprawling Disney’s California Adventure (formerly Disney’s California Adventure Park), pays tribute to California and features more recent Disney characters and other attractions such as art deco-style Buena Vista Street. Unlike at Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure serves alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine and cocktails throughout its restaurants, stands and food stalls. There’s also live nighttime entertainment, as well.
2) The Hollywood Walk of Fame
Well, of course, Hollywood is a destination in itself. But you cannot afford to pass up the chance to take a literally star-studded tour to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are about 1,600 stars that run the trail of Hollywood Boulevard (and a part of Vine Street). These five-pointed terazzo-and-brass stars bear the names of the actors, actresses, directors, producers, musical and theatrical figures, and even fictional characters that made a significant mark on the (mostly) American entertainment scene.
3) Universal Studios Hollywood
Aside from being an actual working movie studio (in fact, it’s one of the oldest studios in Hollywood), Universal Studios Hollywood is also a theme park. It offers movie-and-TV-themed rides and attractions including the Waterworld ride, DreamWorks Theater and The Simpson’s Ride. For die-hard Harry Potter fans, you’ll surely have to time of your life living out your fantasies at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which is highlighted by the towering Hogwarts Castle.
4) Venice Beach
Venice Beach may not be the typical family-style beach; it’s California’s bohemian hub. The stretch of golden sand and its iconic beachfront boardwalk are always filled with tourists who take leisure walks, sunbathe, cycling, jogging, rollerblading and skateboarding. While it has turned somewhat high-end and mainstream – particularly on Abbot Kinney Boulevard which is considered one of L.A.’s best places to shop – Venice Beach still proudly embraces its eccentric and quirky spirit. There are vendors and street entertainers that amuse tourists; there are also food trucks, live music and creative art installations.
5) Rodeo Drive
If you are ready to whip up your American Express platinum card, there is no better place in Los Angeles to shop in style than Rodeo Drive. Otherwise, window shopping and sight-seeing may be your order of the day. That’s because this two-mile-long street in the affluent Beverly Hills is filled with luxury and designer stores. Unless you have the budget, all you can do there is to browse luxury goods and maybe do some celebrity star-gazing.
6) Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art still holds its position as being the largest museum in the western United States. It attracts almost a million visitors every year, so it’s really worth checking it out. There are about 130,000 pieces in the museum, which consist of a diverse range of Western and Eastern artworks and artifacts coming from different eras. Among the must-see artworks there include Katshusika Hokusai’s woodblock print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” Picasso’s oil painting “Woman with a Book,” and Rodin’s iconic “The Thinker” sculpture.
You won’t leave the museum without taking some pictures and posing for selfies at the famous “Urban Light” sculpture (pictured).
6) Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory
After mingling with Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland or immersing yourself with art and culture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, it’s time to cater to your passion surveying and exploring. Don’t forget to check out Griffith Park, which is located at the eastern end of Santa Monica mountains. The park covers 4,310 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. Griffith Park is home to a number of attractions including the Los Angeles Zoo, the Greek Theater, the merry-go-round and the Griffith Observatory.
At the Griffith Observatory, you can enjoy stunning views of downtown L.A., the iconic “Hollywood” sign, and the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, you can also spend hours browsing its space and science-related displays. The popular Ahmanson Hall of the Sky and Hall of the Eye let you examine the interaction between people and space.
7) Farmers Market
When Farmers Market began in 1934, it was originally a fruit-and-vegetables market. But nowadays, Farmers Market has become the place where you can find different kinds of produce, as well as meats, poultry, fish and seafood, gourmet foodstuff as well as specialty goods. Over the decades, it has expanded to accommodate more merchants. As you might have guessed it, Farmers Market has become a destination of foodies in search of the local cuisine. It boasts several food stalls that offer a mix of specialty, ethnic and gourmet cuisine.
8) The Broad
The Broad is one of Los Angeles’ most recent cultural attractions. When it first opened to the public in 2015, it enjoyed overwhelming success. Up to now, it still continues to attract tourists. Part of the reason of its popularity is the free admission, but you must reserve slots a month in advance.
Another reason of The Broad’s popularity is its unique architecture. The building’s design is based on the “veil-and-vault” concept, wherein the “veil” is a porous envelope that covers the entire building, filtering daytime light and transmitting it into the museum’s interiors. The museum features about 2,000 pieces of post-war and contemporary art. The “Infinity Mirror” rooms by Yayoi Kusama are perhaps the most sought-after, as they let visitors to experience the illusion of endlessness.
9) The “Hollywood” sign
The iconic “Hollywood” sign is situated on Mount Lee, in the Hollywood Hills area of Santa Monica Mountains. It was first unveiled in 1923, originally as an advertisement sign. Over the decades it has endured lots of damages brought about by natural causes as well as vandalism. And now, Los Angeles makes sure that its old glory shall be maintained. The area is one of the most popular hiking sites in Los Angeles. Plus, stunning panoramic views of Hollywood unfold before your eyes as you hike on the Hollywood trail towards the iconic signage, and knowing all about its history (check out the article The History of the Hollywood Sign) will make you appreciate it even more.