Fun Ideas In La – From stargazing on the silver screen to stargazing from the Griffith Observatory, this West Coast city has it all. You can relax on beautiful beaches, tour premier art galleries, and see shows headlined by celebrities all in the same day (if you time it in traffic, that is).
I’m an LA local and in this guide I’m going to cover 56 of the coolest places in LA – my beloved hometown. Everything from Hollywood glitz and Beverly Hills luxury to exciting theme parks and the beauty of Santa Monica Beach.
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And while you’re at it, check out my place in my Los Angeles guide for more tips on where to go and how to get around.
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👉 Go to: Best stuff | Beach | Museums & Culture | Adventures, Parks, & Scenic Views | Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes | Live Entertainment | Shopping & Dining
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📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 6 AM – 10 PM Daily | Admission: Free | 👉 Check out the Santa Monica Pier tour on Viator
Year-round visitors will be delighted by Santa Monica Pier’s many offerings. It is located near one of the best beaches in LA and has restaurants and shops. From sunrise to the end of sunset – mostly
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Adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier is Pacific Park – a fun amusement park with carnival rides and rides. The Ferris wheel is famous for pictures from below, but the view from this attraction is amazing.
If you are short on time, this and the Getty Museum can be done in the same day. That said, if you have free time, each one is worth visiting during the day.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? Some of the best hotels in Santa Monica are in this phase. The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel features an outdoor pool and an in-house coffee maker.
There are few places in Los Angeles that rival the iconic Hollywood sign. I’ve lived in Hollywood for about ten years and the most common question from travelers is “Where’s the sign?” Well, folks, I’m here to tell you, the Hollywood sign is… not in Hollywood.
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This was originally a billboard for a beautiful housing development, which led to it being surrounded by, you guessed it, lots of houses. It’s one of LA’s neighborhoods with narrow, winding streets that are easy to get lost in.
Although you can see the Hollywood sign all over the city, you need a good camera to get a decent shot from a distance. The best way to get a closer look is on a guided tour like this official Hollywood Sign tour.
The trail is rated as moderately easy but is about 4 miles round trip. If you don’t make it to this walk, there are good shots of this feature from Lake Hollywood and along N. Beachwood Drive, north of Franklin Ave, and south of Rosalia Drive. .
🛎️ Need a Hotel? The rooftop bar at Mama Shelter Los Angeles has a great view of the Hollywood Sign.
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📍 Google Maps | Website | Phone: (323) 461-3331 | Tickets: $23.75, adults, $21.75, children or military, $22.75, seniors or students
Originally Grauman’s Chinese Theater, TCL is more than just a movie house. This movie theater is one of the most interesting places in Hollywood.
The best thing to do here is to watch movies. The main project is shown on the Imax screen with the highest quality Dolby Atmos sound. Acting often appeared here for the first time, in one of the first popular and star-studded shows.
Here you will find the hands and footprints of celebrities immortalized in concrete in the Forecourt of the Stars. Although this area is currently closed to the public, those who love Hollywood architecture and history can get a closer look with a VIP tour.
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Next to the theater you will find Hollywood & Highland, the largest mall on Hollywood Boulevard. In the northeast corner is the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. You can see the Hollywood sign from the back patio near the Dolby.
🎥 Pro Tip: Try D-BOX! These ultra-comfortable bedroom chairs have adjustable motion that perfectly matches the action on the screen.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (800) 864-8377 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily | Admission: $109+, all admission
Although Anaheim is home to many theme parks in California, LA claims Universal Studios Hollywood. Even if travel isn’t your thing, there are scenes, characters and places to enjoy. In addition, CityWalk offers three blocks of great shopping and dining, no admission required.
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The main attraction here is the Backlot Tour, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a movie in one of the world’s most famous studios. If you watch any type of mainstream media, chances are you’ve seen something that was shot on the Universal backlot.
What is your Hogwarts house? Leave Muggle-dom behind and step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Somehow, the foam on top of the butterbeer tastes even better than the drink itself… magic!
Looking for a day trip from San Diego? Consider this private and small group Universal Studios LA Tour from San Diego.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? Having an intimate setting can be the perfect treat after a long day at the park. Sheraton Universal is a large hotel, across the street.
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📍 Google Maps | Website | Phone: (310) 440-7300 | Hours: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., closed Monday | Free admission
The Getty Center is my favorite place in all of LA, and one of the best things to do in California. In addition to world-class art and architecture, the Getty has a perfect view that you won’t find anywhere else. Featured as the Star-Fleet Academy in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, it’s always a fun place to visit.
Make sure you go to the park! This beautiful oasis features bright flowers and plants suited to the Southern California climate. It is one of the most peaceful and inspiring places I have seen in any city.
📸 Pro tip: The lights in the garden are really beautiful for about two hours before they close.
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📍 Google Maps | Website | Accessible 24 hours | 👉 Visit Los Angeles Beach Tours with Viator
Santa Monica Beach is beautiful. Soft sand, gentle waves, and lots of places for kids make it a great choice for a family beach trip. People of all ages raise umbrellas and play music, lending to a fun atmosphere.
There are plenty of beach volleyball courts for those who want to play a game, and the beach shop rents out bikes and water toys for a complete escape from the sun.
Santa Monica’s North Beach is perfect for a quiet, romantic sunset stroll, or watching seabirds skim the water’s edge. Check out our complete guide to things to do in Santa Monica.
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🛎️ Need a Hotel? Santa Monica is a great place for a vacation in Los Angeles. Guests at Casa del Mar can walk straight to the beach from the hotel’s oceanview pool.
Featured in LA movies since 1955, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of Los Angeles’ most famous landmarks. Travelers can dive right into the Hollywood vibe with a walk down the boulevard.
I love how faces of all ages light up when they see the stars they’ve been looking for. It’s a wonderful reminder of the fun people have around the world.
The most popular section of the popular walk is between Orange Drive and Highland Avenue. This area is fun for the whole family during the day.
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Hollywood lives up to its reputation for glitz, glamour, and a smidge of grime. As in any big city, keep your belongings safe and beware of pickpockets. You’ll find adult-oriented offerings as far east as Vine Street. After dark, Hollywood really focused on the over-21 crowd.
⭐ Pro Tip: Stars move around, which can make it difficult to find a celebrity. The easiest way is to search the Walk of Fame online directory.
We’ve solved The Heist! Three minutes left, lol. (I’m in the middle 😉)
📍 Google Maps | Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM | Admission: $42.99 per person | 👉 Check out the games available at Escape Game LA
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This one is so fun!! Escape Game LA has created fun and exciting escape challenges that will keep you engaged and entertained.
You can choose from four unique experiences: The Heist (my favorite), The Depths, Prison Break, and Special Ops: Mystery Market. There are options for all skill levels, and don’t worry about stumbling! The friendly staff is ready to offer suggestions if necessary, without making you look like a cheat.
It is worth facing these challenges with your family or a group of friends and make your date night unique. Located at Westfield Century City, there are great LA restaurants and shops to explore before or after your game.
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