There is no doubt that Los Angeles California is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. With its sunny weather, diverse landscape, and world-famous attractions, it's easy to see why. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, there are always new places to see in LA. Here are just a few of my favorites.
1. Griffith Park
Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America, measuring 4,210 acres, full of hiking trails and beautiful views across LA. Even if you're not into outdoor activities, it makes for an excellent day trip with plenty to see along the way. The park is home to two golf courses, museums, a zoo featuring mostly rescued animals, and the famous "Hollywood" sign which you can hike right up to! If there's the time at the end of your visit, head over to Travel Town Museum where kids can play on historic locomotives.
2. Santa Monica Pier & Beach
This beachfront boardwalk offers more than just the typical beach scene. Santa Monica Pier is one of California's oldest piers dating back to 1909, with the original structure still intact and open for visitors to explore. Visitors can book a stay at one of their many hotels or simply take in an evening show at Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, boasting over 70 marine species. The pier also features an arcade, old-fashioned carousel, carnival games, plenty of shopping & dining options, access to historical ships that are open for tours, not to mention great views of the Pacific Ocean!
3. Rodeo Drive
Everyone who comes to Los Angeles wants to shop on Rodeo Drive, even if they don't buy anything! It's one of the most famous shopping streets in the world-home to some of the world's top designer labels including Gucci, Burberry, Prada & Chanel. Along with high-end luxury shops lining both sides of what is basically a small street, there are plenty of eclectic boutiques and cafes for visitors to enjoy along the way. if you're into celebrities don't forget your camera!
4. Venice Beach Boardwalk
Even if you're not into street performers or hippies selling souvenirs, Venice Beach Boardwalk, makes for an interesting walk with lots to see and do along the way. Venice Beach Boardwalk is open to pedestrians and has plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. There are street performers & living sculptures amongst unique shops and kiosks at every turn, not to mention the famous Muscle Beach where visitors can watch fitness lessons, aerial arts classes, and personal training among others.
5. Universal Studios Hollywood
I'm pretty sure that most people who visit Los Angeles want to go to Universal Studios Hollywood at least once, Located on the famed studio grounds, that first opened its doors in 1964, and features attractions inspired by popular movies like Jurassic World, Minions Mayhem, Transformers: The Ride 3D, and much more. You can watch live shows such as Water World and Animal Actors on Location, and experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! There's also a studio backlot tram tour, and many other attractions to enjoy all at a discounted rate when you purchase a multi-attraction pass!
6. The Getty Villa
Love art & history? Then you'll love the J. Paul Getty Museum! Located on a hill in the Pacific Palisades, this gorgeous structure is an entire museum dedicated to ancient Greek and Roman, culture with over 44,000 pieces of artwork, spanning from 7,000 B.C. until 400 A.D. Spread across two main buildings, where visitors can tour each gallery or take a special guided tour, for a more in-depth look at all that they have to offer! You can also visit their Outdoor Classical Theater, garden & dining areas too!
7. Santa Barbara
Although not technically located in Los Angeles, it's still worth the day trip if you have time! Santa Barbara is a beautiful city with lots of fun activities to enjoy along the way including wine tours, snorkeling & scuba di, you can enjoy a hot air balloon ride, museum hopping and so much more. The Drive also takes visitors through Malibu where they can stop at one of many beaches or head up to the famous Zuma Beach for some surfing!
8. Hollywood Strip / Sunset Strip
Two of the most famous streets in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, public monuments of achievement in the entertainment industry, this Famous sidewalk has all types of entertaining fun for the whole family. The Sunset Strip has hundreds of bars, restaurants, and shops to explore. It's home to some of LA's top landmarks including The Viper Room and Chateau Marmont Hotel, this famous Strip is where Hollywood celebrities and Rock Stars spend their nights.
9. Venice Canals
I bet you didn't know that Los Angeles has canals too, did ya? Venice Canals are located in the Venice area of LA and date back to 1905, when they were created as a way for residents to have access to a canal system. But don't worry, there's nothing fishy going on here! There's also a ton of art to enjoy including murals along the canal walls, from local artists all around town. A great place to visit if you're in the area!
10. Cinespia Screenings
Need a fun and unique date idea? Well, how about a night at a cemetery, Cinespia is a free outdoor movie screening series, located at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, that's been going on since 2002! visitors can bring anything in, so they can enjoy drinks during the movie, along with popcorn, snacks, and more. Afterward, visitors can explore other parts of the cemetery and even walk off some of that popcorn with a stroll through the grounds.
The Los Angeles area is full of great attractions! I hope this inspires you to visit the best Los Angeles has to offer for yourself someday soon.