Los Angeles, in Southern California, has long been known internationally in the film and entertainment industries, particularly for Hollywood, a place that has drawn aspiring actors and actresses from across the country for over a century.
Today, Los Angeles is a culturally diverse city known as America’s creative capital. There is a thriving culinary scene, incredible shopping, outstanding museums, and fun family attractions for visitors.
Sunseekers visiting for the warm weather and beaches will find plenty to do and interesting neighbourhoods to explore. Recent improvements to the public transportation network, as well as the addition of a Metro Bike Share station in downtown Los Angeles, have made getting around and sightseeing easier than ever.
For families, nearby Disneyland and Universal Studios are must-see attractions that are frequently visited again and again.
See our list of the top tourist attractions in Los Angeles to help you plan your sightseeing itinerary.
Universal Studios Theme Park is well-known for its mind-blowing rides based on blockbuster movies, but it is also a working movie studio and a family-friendly attraction. The ever-changing selection of rides, which range from simulators to roller coasters, is the highlight for most people.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, The Simpsons, Transformers, Jurassic World – The Ride, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem are among the most popular movie and television-themed rides and sets.
Consider purchasing a Skip the Line: Front of Line Pass at Universal Studios Hollywood to save time standing in long lines. This convenient ticket grants you one-time fast entry to all rides, attractions, and shows at the park, as well as behind-the-scenes access to select attractions.
When you’re done with the rides, head to CityWalk, a three-block entertainment complex with shopping, dining, and theatres. A guided tour of the studios is another option for going behind the scenes of some of Universal’s most popular movie sets. The VIP Experience gives you access to sets and areas that are not open to the general public.
2th .Griffith Park and the Griffith Observatory are two of the most well-known attractions in Los Angeles.
Griffith Park, located in the eastern part of the Santa Monica Mountains and covering an area of 4,210 acres, is California’s largest state park. The Los Angeles Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, a planetarium, a Greek theatre, a riding centre built for the 1984 Olympic Games, golf courses, tennis courts, hiking trails, and other attractions are all located here. Walking trails and scenic drives through the mountains provide views of the city and further afield.
The Griffith Observatory is one of the city’s most intriguing experience-based attractions, and it’s all free. Exhibits and telescopes are available on the grounds. The main attraction is a look through the Zeiss telescope, which is used to view the moon and planets. Every evening that the facility is open, you can use the telescopes for free. Solar telescopes for viewing the sun are also available on-site.
The park and observatory are named after Griffith J. Griffith, who donated the majority of the parkland to the city in 1896 and left funds to the city to build the observatory.
Disneyland, located just outside of Los Angeles, has been a popular family vacation destination in California since the 1950s.
Disneyland Park, which features rides and experiences in elaborately designed theme sets, is what most people envision when they think of Disneyland. With seven lands based on movie themes, the Disneyland California Adventure Park, created during one of the expansions, offers even more action and adventure.
Several Star Wars-themed rides are relatively new to the scene. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run are among them. The rides are in the new Star Wars Galaxy Edge area, which is full of shops and restaurants modelled after the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu.
Aside from the rides and Disney characters roaming the streets, the resort provides a full range of amenities and services for a complete vacation. Disneyland Resort offers hotels, restaurants, shopping, and a variety of entertainment options.
Hollywood, a Los Angeles suburb, is a destination in and of itself, with its own distinct history and iconic landmarks. Hollywood’s attractions are closely associated with the film industry and the glamour of the silver screen.
The hillside Hollywood sign, Hollywood Boulevard, and the Chinese Theatre are just a few of the must-see attractions. You might even spot a celebrity or two out shopping on Rodeo Drive if you’re lucky. Finding all of your favourite actors’ stars among the 2,500 or so on the Walk of Fame is a fun family activity in Hollywood.
5th. Getty Center
The Getty Center, designed by Richard Meier and located on 110 acres on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains, is a massive complex measuring 0.75 square miles. The stunning grounds and the one-of-a-kind building provide the ideal setting for this impressive museum. European paintings, drawings, sculpture, and decorative arts, as well as 19th and 20th-century photography, are among the works on display.
The views of Los Angeles from the museum grounds are breathtaking. Book a table at The Restaurant for a relaxed lunch while admiring the scenery.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, founded by the late oil magnate J. Paul Getty, has two locations: the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. The Getty Villa, housed in a reconstructed Roman country house, exhibits art ranging from the Stone Age to the end of the Roman Empire.
1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Petersen Automotive Museum has an incredible collection of vehicles that car enthusiasts will not want to miss. A mix of permanent and temporary exhibits on four floors feature over 300 cars and motorcycles ranging from perfectly preserved items from 1886 to concepts for the twenty-first century.
The museum has undergone extensive renovations and is now one of the most modern institutions of its kind. The exterior façade is a work of art in architecture. You can sign up for a 90- or 120-minute guided Vault tour for an additional fee, which provides more information on rare and unusual cars.
The museum also hosts a regular series of special exhibits that feature new, old, and unusual cars from the past, as well as ones that may appear in the future. For the most up-to-date information, visit their website.
6060 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California
Santa Monica is a one-of-a-kind destination that is both chic and laid-back, with a diverse population that includes surfers, skateboarders, and yoga devotees, as well as techies and business people.
The beautiful stretch of golden sand along the coast and the famous Santa Monica Pier, with its iconic Ferris wheel, are what most tourists come to enjoy, but this beachfront city next to LA has a variety of experiences to offer.
Shoppers will find a variety of options, ranging from quirky and vintage shops to high-end boutiques. Check out the 26-mile bike path along the waterfront for some fun, or stroll along the Third Street Promenade to see street performers, shop, and people watch.
The new Expo Metro line, which connects downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, has made it much easier to get to Santa Monica.
While the Natural History Museum has many galleries and an extensive permanent collection covering a wide range of topics, it is best known for its dinosaur collection.
The 14,000-square-foot Dinosaur Hall features an amazing display of dinosaur skeletons, including the growth series of Tyrannosaurus rex fossils, which includes three full skeletons ranging from baby to adult. A Triceratops and a Stegosaurus are also on display.
The museum is dedicated to the natural history of California and other parts of the world. Another must-see exhibit is Becoming Los Angeles, which explores Southern California’s history over the last 500 years. The Discovery Center and Insect Zoo provides hands-on experiences that are especially appealing to younger visitors.
Los Angeles, 900 Exposition Boulevard
The California Science Center, which is free to the public, houses the Space Shuttle Endeavour as well as other major exhibits. While the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is being built, Mission 26:
The Big Endeavour is on display at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion. You can see the space shuttle as well as artefacts from the mission and learn everything there is to know about it and the people involved in the programme.
The Science Center also has exhibits on the living world, technology, and ecosystems. The Ecosystems exhibit includes an 188,000-gallon kelp tank as well as live plants, animals, and fish. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the California Science Center has special exhibits that change on a regular basis, so there is always something new to see.
700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Broad, which opened in late 2015, was an immediate and resounding success, and it has remained so to this day. The museum specialises in contemporary and postwar art, with some large, dramatic installations. This one-of-a-kind structure with a “veil-and-vault” concept houses over 2,000 works of art.
General admission tickets are free, but they are frequently sold out in advance. On the day of admission, standby tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but expect to wait in line, especially on weekends. Some special exhibitions do charge admission.
Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime collectors of postwar and contemporary art, founded the museum.
221 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Farmers Market began in 1934 as a small-scale endeavour inspired by the hardships of the Great Depression. During the height of the Great Depression, eighteen farmers banded together and set up stalls on a piece of open land near Wilshire Boulevard to sell their produce directly to the consumer.
This experiment was so successful that the market expanded further. It was a fruit and vegetable market at the time, but the market has grown over time to accommodate more and more vendors.
The market now includes vegetable and other food stands, as well as restaurants and specialty shops. Everything from jewellery and candles to kitchenware and toys is available.
If you’re looking for things to do in Los Angeles at night, the market offers a variety of entertainment, including free evening concerts on Friday nights during the summer.
With nearly 130,000 pieces ranging from antiquity to modern times, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art claims to be the largest art museum in the western United States. The outstanding collections of Asian, Latin American, and Islamic art are particularly noteworthy.
The massive complex is made up of a number of separate buildings that have been acquired and renovated over time.
The most recent expansion, known as the Transformation, saw the opening of several new buildings designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop on the campus’s western half. On museum row, the LACMA is located next to the La Brea Tar Pits.
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Venice Beach deserves its reputation as a place to see and be seen, making it ideal for people watching, despite the fact that the area has its own distinct vibe. The Venice Beach Boardwalk and this stretch of golden sand are always crowded with people walking, cycling, rollerblading, and jogging.
The walkway is lined with eclectic shops and street performers of all kinds. The Skatepark, which is also just off the beach, is frequented by some of the best skateboarders in the area, and there are a number of creative art installations nearby. People work out in the hot California sun at the aptly named Muscle Beach.
Food stalls selling everything from shaved ice to kettle corn and funnel cakes give the impression that you’re walking through a fairground. There are also some good restaurants in this area. This isn’t your typical family beach, but it’s well worth a look.
La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park provide a unique opportunity to see live fossil excavations and learn about the process. The Tar Pits formed 40,000 years ago when oil seeped through the rock, trapping passing animals that became entangled in the substance. The tar then preserved the fossils over time, providing an incredible glimpse into another era.
The La Brea Tar Pits Museum (formerly the George C. Page Museum) displays reconstructed fossils of prehistoric animals discovered at the site, as well as the process of fossil recovery. You can see bones being worked on and learn about what happens behind the scenes before skeletons can be displayed.
The museum houses fully reconstructed fossils of mammoths, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and other mammals that lived between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago. Extinct animal replicas can be found in an outdoor area.
A renovation and new design are in the works. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is reviewing architectural proposals in the hopes of reinventing this one-of-a-kind attraction.
5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
The Battleship Iowa Museum, located on the waterfront near the Port of Los Angeles, is a great family activity. You can tour this massive battleship and imagine what life would have been like for the sailors on board.
A self-guided tour of the ship’s history is included with your admission. A look at the massive 16-inch guns is one of the highlights. Kids can participate in a free scavenger hunt throughout the ship to discover Vicky, the ship’s dogten ,’s hidden locations (displayed on posters or in augmented reality).
For an additional fee, you can take the Full Steam Ahead Guided Tour, which gives you access to the ship’s inner workings, including the engine room, boiler room, and the Combat Engagement Center, among other restricted areas. It should be noted that dates and numbers for this tour are limited, and reservations should be made well in advance.
Address: 250 S Harbor Blvd, Los Angeles, CA