Los Angeles Things to Do

5 Most Popular Los Angeles Attractions

You can call it the City of Angels, Southland and even lala-land. But no matter what you nickname Los Angeles, it really is one of the biggest and most fascinating cities in the United States, and one that is worth visiting. With year-round sunshine and sandy beaches, Los Angeles holidays provide many tourist attractions that can keep anyone entertained for days.

Universal Studios

Not only does Universal Studios make movies, it also has guided tours where visitors take a look at how movies are created, and entertaining rides with movie themes.

During the guided tours, you will learn the ins and outs of special effects, be a part of the movie-making experience, and perhaps even meet a few stars. Afterwards, enjoy many of the studio’s eateries and gift shops and hop onto a few rides for an adventurous time.


Whether you go by foot or take a narrated tour bus, Hollywood is one of Los Angeles’s most famous attractions. After all, people from all over the world go there to become stars.

In Hollywood, you will find many famous landmarks such as the notable Hollywood sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood & Highland Center, The Hollywood History Museum, The Kodak Theatre, the Madame Tussaud’s and the star-studded Walk of Fame.

Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive

As one of the most affluent areas in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills is certainly worth a visit. If you take a drive around the neighborhood, you can get a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous by peeking at their mansions and beautifully groomed yards.

Beverly Hills also has Rodeo Drive, which is a world-renowned shopping street known for its high-end designer shops such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. For anyone who loves high fashion and luxury goods, Rodeo Drive is the perfect place to browse around.

Santa Monica

If you want to spend a day on the beach, do some shopping, and then enjoy the nightlife, then head to Santa Monica. This area has a beach you can surf, run and tan at, a pier that offers a ferries wheel, fishing and classic arcade games, and a shopping street that turns into lively nightlife when it gets dark. You will find many people cruising on third street promenade at night, hanging out or enjoying street entertainment.

Venice Beach

Want to visit a quirky, beach-y place that represents L.A’s relaxed and artsy lifestyle? You should spend a day on Venice Beach. This vibrant place has a stretch of sand perfect for sunbathing, surfing, rollerblading and strolling, and is a great place to spend a lazy, relaxing day at. It is also home to many of Hollywood’s favorite stars like Julia Roberts, Kate Beckinsale and Nicolas Cage.

What’s your favorite thing to do in LA?

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Pink’s Hot Dogs

pinks.jpgHot dog stands rarely share clientele with the most exclusive restaurants in Los Angeles, but Pink’s Hot Dogs earn the business of even the most discerning patrons. Owned and operated by the Pink family since 1939, Pink’s Hot Dogs is considered a “locals” place that the whole city can claim.

What makes their hot dogs so special? It could be the special “family secret” chili-dog recipe, or inventive hot dog concoctions named after the celebrities that frequent their establishment, or the long line that gives you time to work your craving into a lather of lust for these one of a kind frankfurters.

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art

painting_paint_closeup_277362_m.jpgThe Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) features a little bit of everything in displaying more than 100,000 pieces of art from around the world and across many different disciplines and time periods.

From Africa to Europe to Japan and China and America, the only unrepresented region seems to be Antarctica, which has never had a very prolific output anyway.

The LACMA opened in 1910 as part of the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. The museum did not have an art collection at the time, nor did it have the ability to acquire one, so artists loaned their work to the museum on a temporary basis so that they could be displayed.

Since then, its mission has evolved to include the display of a wide selection of art from around the world and, more specifically, to display that art and make it interesting and relevant for as wide an audience as possible.


Visiting the LACMA costs $9 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and children 17 and younger get in free. The museum is also free to visit after 5 p.m. every day until it closes at 8 p.m.

Special exhibitions require tickets for admission that are roughly double the regular ticket prices, but children are still free and ticket prices are reduced on weekdays.

The biggest trick to visiting the LACMA is figuring out parking. There are three paid parking lots around the museum campus charging varying rates from $5 to $8. There is also metered parking on 6th Street, Wilshire Boulevard and adjacent neighboring streets. Parking is limited during certain hours.


The LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd, adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits. It closes on Wednesdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but is otherwise open throughout the year noon to 8 p.m. on weekdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

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Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Hollywood I Love You

Hollywood Forever MainSqueezed against the back lot of Paramount Studios, with a full view of the Hollywood sign, is the home of many Hollywood greats, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It is a quiet place to contemplate the allure of Hollywood and the ephemeral nature of celebrity.

Cecil B. De Mille and his wife lie within sight of the Paramount water tower. Tyrone Power, Benny Goodman, Marion Davis and Valentino are all present. Mel Blanc rests right near the cemetery entrance. His stone is covered with small rocks (each signifying a visit to the grave) and two tiny pictures of Bugs Bunny. Further in, an obelisk marks the grave of Griffith J. Griffith, donor of Griffith Park. He is equally well known for shooting his wife while in an alcoholic rage. An early movie director, William Tanner, is also here. He was murdered. On discovering the body, his butler called the movie studio before dialing the police. Tanner’s murder is still unsolved.

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The Laugh Factory

microphone_phone_music_264750_l.jpgIt’s no accident that the Laugh Factory is one of the only places that you can find household name comedians performing short 15 minute sets in between concert appearances or TV specials.

The Laugh Factory books the best talent and sells out almost every weekend night show. For travelers, the Laugh Factory is recommended because during any of the All-Star Comedy shows, you are almost sure to see someone you recognize or have heard before. If you only have one night to invest in seeing stand-up, the Laugh Factory is your best bet. It’s a bit more expensive than the other venues in town, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for (and then you have to buy two drinks).

Jamie Masada owns the Laugh Factory and runs the nightly shows on the Sunset Strip. The Laugh Factory opened in West Hollywood in 1979 and rumor has it that Richard Pryor was the first to perform on the stage. Rumor also has it that when Masada tried to pay Pryor for the performance, Pryor instead gave Masada a hundred dollar bill and said, “You’re going to need it.”

Now, the Laugh Factory runs shows every night of the week and two or three on the weekends. They also do a comic camp in the summer for kids and every Tuesday there is an open mic night and comedy showcase for new talent trying to earn a spot in the regular rotation.

Sign ups for the open mics start at 5:00 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30. Comedy for the open mics is limited to clean, “TV friendly” material and is regulated by a host.

The Laugh Factory is located at 8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90046. Parking is extremely tight around the Laugh Factory and the best option is to carpool and split the cost of the valet. Parking can be found in the neighborhood to the east, but the parking laws are extremely strict and cars do get towed. If you do park among the houses read the parking signs carefully.

Shows are 18 and over and the cover charge is generally $20. There is also a two drink minimum for every show. Drinks run between $6.50 and $8.

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Griffith Observatory

losangeles_333572_l.jpgOverlooking the city from the hills of Los Angeles, the recently restored and renovated Griffith Observatory is now a museum sparking curiosity in kids and adults. Built in 1935 as part of the bequest of landowner Griffith J. Griffith, the Observatory is no longer on the cutting edge of research, nor do scientists spend much time peering through the telescopes at distant planets or stars. Now that Los Angeles’ lights have dimmed the stars brightness and commuter smog has made it more difficult to see out of the atmosphere, the best thing to observe from Griffith Observatory, is the city.

Griffith Observatory, on the south side of Griffith Park, overlooks Hollywood and downtown and on a clear day the view extends all the way to Santa Monica and the ocean. To the north, the Hollywood sign stands prominently in view. Griffith Observatory is about as close as you’ll get without driving to the base of the sign.

In 2002 the Observatory closed and underwent a $93 million dollar renovation. Exhibits now provide a look at broad aspects of space science on a universal as well as local level. The “Big Picture,” the largest image of space ever displayed, takes up one entire wall, while each planet in the galaxy has its own booth with facts on that planet and a scale displaying what you would weigh under that planet’s gravity.

There is also a collection of meteorites found in California on display as well as a three-dimensional, detailed, rotating model of the moon.

More than a museum, Griffith Observatory has become a landmark and symbol of the past for Los Angeles. James Dean appears in front of the Observatory in several scenes of “Rebel Without a Cause,” and a bust of the actor was placed outside of the museum. The museum is still a popular filming location.

Since the reopening of the Observatory, visitors have had to make reservations for a shuttle to take them up to the main area. That requirement ended November 2, and you can now drive up to the main parking lot and tour the building for free. Enter on Vermont Avenue and follow the signs after passing the Greek Theater. Tours of the exhibits take about two hours, more if you want to see shows in the Planetarium or Event Horizon Theater. Tickets to both of those theaters are an extra charge.

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Walk of Fame

donald_duck_donald_233468_l.jpgThe Hollywood Walk of Fame stretches 3.5 miles around Hollywood Boulevard and Vine streets in downtown Hollywood and presents more than 2,000 names who have achieved fame and prominence in one of the five entertainment categories.

Created as part of a Hollywood “Face Lift” in 1958, the Hollywood Walk of fame is another way to walk the streets “seeing stars” in Hollywood. The Walk also connects the community with the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. People tromp up and down the street, literally staring at the ground and reading names as they go.

Nominations are due every May and the committee then meets to award stars to chosen every year in June in five categories. The categories are: film, television, the recording industry, broadcasting, and live theater. Recently, the selection committee has been accepting nominations for corporations and businesses on the Walk of Fame, so long as the company is active in Hollywood and at least 50 years old. Disneyland was the first recipient and now The Los Angeles Times and the KTLA TV station each has their own star.

Walk of Fame Trivia

The Walk of fame ends with stars for The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

There are two stars for Harrison Ford, for two different actors of the same name.

Gene Autry is the only person to have a star awarded to him in each of the five categories.

The Walk of Fame became a cultural landmark in Hollywood in 1978.

The first star on the walk was awarded on February 9, 1960, to Joanne Woodward

The best way to see the Walk of Fame is to drive in to Hollywood, park and walk. The best parking is available at Hollywood and Highland, in the giant underground parking structure. From there, the walk of fame is on Hollywood Blvd and extends east toward Vine St. The Walk of Fame is even more accessible by public transportation. The Red Line, which runs between North Hollywood and Downtown, stops at Hollywood and Vine, the heart of the Walk of Fame.

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