Los Angeles, also known as the City of Angels, is a sprawling metropolis that offers a wide range of attractions for visitors and locals alike. From iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Sign to world-class museums like the Getty Center, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant city. Whether you’re interested in art, history, entertainment, or outdoor adventure, Los Angeles has something to offer everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the nearby attractions in Los Angeles that are well worth a visit.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is an amazing theme park that offers a variety of fun and exciting attractions for visitors of all ages. The Transformer, mummy ride, and Harry Potter inside the castle are some of the absolute best rides to try. To avoid long wait times, upgrading to the express unlimited tickets is highly recommended. Although it may be costly, it’s worth it as you can ride back to back and skip the long lines. The staff are helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly, making the park easy to navigate.
The park offers a significant variety of food options, but it’s important to note that meals and souvenirs can be expensive. Unlike other Universal Studios parks, this one offers a huge lot tour where visitors can see different sound stages and behind-the-scenes sets. Although this park has fewer thrilling rides, it’s still a great place to visit and feel the Hollywood experience. The customer service is outstanding, and getting an express pass is highly recommended, especially on the weekends, to save time and avoid misery.
The park gets super busy during spring break, so it’s best to avoid going on weekends. Super Nintendo World is a must-see section of the park entirely themed off of Super Mario Bros, with one ride and several interactive experiences. Other themed parts of the park, such as Simpsons, Illumination Studios, Harry Potter, and the studio tour, are also wonderful attractions to see. Overall, Universal Studios Hollywood is an amazing place to visit and experience Hollywood’s magic.
Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, United States
Phone: +1 800-864-8377
Opened: July 15, 1964
Area: 172 ha
Roller coasters: 2
Founded: April 15, 2002
Theme: Show business and Universal entertainment
Motto: The Entertainment Capital of LA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art was a fantastic cultural experience. The museum consists of 3 floors in one building and 1 floor in another building. The Alexander McQueen exhibit was particularly stunning. We also enjoyed a delicious panini and sangria at the great cafe outside.
During our recent visit to Los Angeles, we were pleasantly surprised by the fabulous “Black Impact on Hollywood” exhibition at the museum. Despite being busy, it never felt congested, and there were plenty of interactive exhibits that all ages could enjoy. The high-tech movie theater and observation deck offered great views of the city and made for some wonderful photo opportunities.
The museum is smaller than expected, but the building designed by Piano is impressive as always, with its natural flow between the interior and exterior spaces. The current exhibition on Scandinavian architecture and art is truly impressive and highly recommended for those interested.As an adult, I have a greater appreciation for all of the exhibits, especially the film exhibits, having visited LACMA in high school. There is so much to see and do here! I loved seeing actual props from Star Wars, Academy Awards, handwritten scripts, and much more. Plan to spend a few hours at least.
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States
Hours: Opens 11 AM
Phone: +1 323-857-6000
Director: Michael Govan
Architect: Renzo Piano
The Getty Museum Los Angeles
The Getty is an impressive museum showcasing amazing paintings from renowned international artists. It’s located atop a hill, and the fun drive up via a small “train” is a great experience, although getting there without a car can be challenging. The entry is free, but parking is available for a fee, with narrow underground spaces.
The museum offers a great cultural experience with four pavilions spread over two floors, including paths leading to breathtaking outdoor views of Los Angeles County and the Pacific Ocean. The outdoor gardens are also a must-see with a variety of fauna.
The architecture of The Getty is breathtaking, with an expansive feel that blends seamlessly with the art. It has a definite west coast vibe, and the spaces are vast, artfully revealed slowly, as there is only one entry route. The garden is a living work of art that will fill you with wonder.
If you’re deeply into art, plan for at least a two-day visit, as the collection is huge, with four large exhibition buildings.
To get free tickets, follow the guidelines, and make a reservation for parking since space is limited. The parking area is in a garage, and visitors ride a train to the top of the hill to enter the facility, which is handicap friendly everywhere. Despite being quite busy, the spaces are all very roomy and open, and I never felt crowded.
Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049, United States
Phone: +1 310-440-7300
Architect: Richard Meier
The Griffith Observatory is a lovely park situated on top of Mount Hollywood with convenient parking. Entry to the observatory is free if one arrives early on a weekday before 12pm. Visitors can even catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign from the observatory. While hiking down the mountain is easy, going up can be a challenge, so it’s best to wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water.
In terms of accessibility, there are some disabled parking spots close to the observatory, but the distance is still quite far. Visitors with difficulty walking are recommended to bring their own wheelchair. The observatory has ramps on both sides to enter the building and avoid stairs. Elevators are available to get to the top and down to the gift shop and exhibits. It’s worth noting that the observatory is very busy on weekends, so it’s best to go during weekday work hours to avoid crowds.
The observatory itself is amazing and educational, with incredible views from every angle. Even kids will enjoy the experience. Note that the inside of the observatory, including the food and gift shops, is only open Friday-Sunday. There are various trails around the park that are worth exploring, as well as a large-scale solar system depiction on the ground.
Parking at the top costs $10 per hour, and finding a spot can be challenging. However, the views of LA and the Hollywood sign are definitely worth it. The architecture of the observatory is also beautiful, and there is a statue of James Dean outside.
Overall, the Griffith Observatory is a must-see attraction in Los Angeles, with 5 out of 5 stars. Pets are not allowed inside the observatory, but they can be on a leash outside. Visitors may want to return for some of their viewing events.
Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States
Hours: Open 10 PM
Phone: +1 213-473-0800
Construction started: June 20, 1933
Founded: May 14, 1935, Los Angeles, California, United States
Elevation: 1,135 ft (346 m)
Architects: John C. Austin, Frederick M. Ashley
Architectural style: Art Deco
Griffith Park is a breathtaking destination that offers stunning views of Los Angeles. We parked at the old zoo exhibit and enjoyed a picnic under a tree before exploring the upper terrain and venturing off the beaten path to find even more scenic overlooks. The photos we took from the east side of the park, looking eastward towards Glendale and Eagle Rock, were amazing. This is definitely a fun and quick nature getaway in the urban area of LA, thanks to parks and recreation!
The view from Griffith Park is fantastic and we visited during sunrise, day, sunset, and night. Each time was unique and beautiful, with the most unique being night-sunrise. Parking costs $10 per hour, which is quite expensive, but it is definitely worth visiting this beautiful spot. Visiting the inside of the park is also worth doing at least once. Taking pictures with the bronze wings is a must-have for a trip to the City of Angels. It’s a nice touch!
We are excited that Griffith Park is back open to the public for all the inside activities and shows. It’s free, fun, educational, and beautiful on the inside. The architecture and interior alone are works of art that continue to carve their pathway in the importance of history. Be sure to catch the demonstration of the Tesla Coil, and the Planetarium show is a must-see. The sunsets on the top of the West terrace and moon rises via the Zeiss telescope on the East deck are unforgettable!
The observatory inside Griffith Park offers many educational resources. The telescope is open from 7 pm to 10 pm (if we remember correctly). We went during the day, but the view is better at night with the city lights. Parking was very hard, and the hike adds up the farther you park away. The street without street parking (the one that goes through the tunnel to reach the observatory) has parking lots at the bottom, relatively closer to the observatory.
It’s always an awesome experience to visit Griffith Park. Parking at the top is very limited and costs $10 per hour. If you can’t find a spot at the top, just make a loop and park on the way up. There are lots of trails nearby. The observatory is full of astronomical information and equipment. Access to the observatory is free, but you need tickets for the planetarium show, which is very good, so we highly recommend it. Typically, we spend 2-3 hours here.
The view from Griffith Park is absolutely incredible, and the observatory is very nice. We were delighted that they keep the entrance fee free and only charge for the planetarium shows, which are absolutely fantastic, by the way! The live commentary was very enthusiastic and infectious! We actually ended up going twice because we forgot our COVID vaccine the first time. So we keep telling people, Griffith Park is so good you have to see it twice haha! Jokes aside, it’s a great thing to see in LA and quite different than everything else. Highly recommended! The staff are also very kind and helpful, and are very knowledgeable about their expertise.
Griffith Park is another place where you can see a wide view of the Hollywood Hills sign and also Los Angeles from a distance from the hilltop. It’s an amazing place, and there are plenty of parking arrangements available. The roads are very nice and clean, with zigzag beauty, and you can see hills on one side and the low Angeles locality on the other. All the rich people are here with million-dollar houses and cars everywhere, and you can feel that the rich people are still living in Los Angeles.
Address: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States
Open 24 hours
Phone: +1 323-913-4688
Area: 4,310 acres (1,740 ha)
Status: Open all year
After having a delicious lunch at the Beachwood Cafe (which I highly recommend!), we took a great walk up to the iconic Hollywood Sign.
Despite the warm weather, the trek was well worth it. While you can’t get up in front of the sign, you can get up right behind it. There are plenty of opportunities to take photos on the way up where the sign is clearly visible. If you have the chance, I would definitely recommend going all the way to the top, as the view is absolutely breathtaking and offers a 360° panoramic view of the surroundings.
We passed several people on the hike, but it wasn’t too crowded. Just make sure to bring plenty of water on a hot day!
The Hollywood Sign is a famous landmark situated on the southern slope of Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Low Mountains of Los Angeles, California. The letters are white, 14 meters high, and 110 meters long.
For many people, the Hollywood Sign is more than just nine white letters that spell out the name of the Los Angeles district. It’s one of the most recognizable symbols in the world and represents success, fame, money, and a dazzling career that anyone who enters the dream factory desires.
What’s incredible about the Hollywood Sign is that it’s right in people’s backyard. You drive through neighborhoods to get there and wonder what it would be like to have so many tourists driving through your neighborhood. But being there is just plain old fun.
The hike is a beautiful scenic 3-4 mile round trip to reach the top of the sign. There are plenty of places beforehand to see the sign up close. The hike is not too steep, but parking can be tricky. My recommendation is to park near Hollywood Lake Park and walk up, adding about 20-30 minutes to your total time, but it’s well worth saving yourself a ticket. The earlier you go, the better.
Overall, the Hollywood Sign hike is a relatively easy hike with great views of LA, and it’s one of the few free things you can do in the city. There’s a spot on the road where you can see the letters of the sign jumbled up, which is pretty amazing! I don’t think the letters were intentionally placed like that, but it’ll definitely make you doubt your eyes for a moment. Check out the picture I posted, and if you’re skeptical, take the hike again to confirm. 🙂
Address: Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States
Phone: +1 323-258-4338
Size: 45 ft (13.7 m) tall, 450 ft (137.2 m) long
Construction started: 1978
Opened: November 11, 1978
Architect(s): Thomas Fisk Goff
Universal CityWalk Hollywood
Universal CityWalk Hollywood is a vibrant entertainment complex located in Los Angeles, California, adjacent to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. It offers a plethora of shops, restaurants, and attractions that cater to visitors of all ages.
At night, the CityWalk comes to life with its bright lights and festive atmosphere. Guests can catch glimpses of fireworks from the nearby theme park and take in the various decorations, including the iconic King Kong statue. The atmosphere is family-friendly and lively, with children enjoying the splash pad area and visitors strolling through the various shops and restaurants.
CityWalk boasts an array of dining options, from fast food to sit-down restaurants. While prices can be steep, the quality of the food is generally high, making it a worthwhile experience for those who can afford it. Additionally, the complex is home to numerous shops selling a range of merchandise, including clothing, souvenirs, and movie memorabilia.
Visitors should be prepared for a fair amount of walking and standing in line, but the experience is generally worth it. The CityWalk is a great place to spend the day or evening, and there’s always something new to discover. Those who cannot afford tickets to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park can still enjoy the CityWalk, which provides a glimpse into the world of entertainment without requiring a ticket.
Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, United States
Hours: Open 8PM
Phone: +1 818-622-9841
Architect: Jon Jerde
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall is an architectural masterpiece located in Los Angeles, California. The building’s design is simply breathtaking, with every corner offering a new surprise. The acoustics of the concert hall are world-class, making it one of the best in the world. The hall is laid out in such a way that the sound quality is simply amazing.
Visitors to the Walt Disney Concert Hall are sure to be impressed by its stunning architecture both inside and out. From the beautiful hardwood surfaces to the aesthetically pleasing design features, there is something visually interesting to see at every turn. The staff are friendly and helpful, ensuring that visitors have a 10/10 experience.
Concert-goers can enjoy a variety of performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, including new works programs, classical orchestras, and solo artists. The venue also offers underground parking, which is both convenient and affordable. There is a bar and snacks available on the first and third floors, making it easy for visitors to enjoy a drink or a snack before or after the performance.
For those who are interested in learning more about the Walt Disney Concert Hall, audio-guided tours are available. These tours are led by knowledgeable and articulate guides who can explain the history and significance of this iconic building.
Overall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves architecture or music. Its stunning design and world-class acoustics make it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Address: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Phone: +1 323-850-2000
Architect: Frank Gehry
Architecture firm: Gehry Partners, LLP
Opened: October 24, 2003
The Broad is an art museum that showcases the Broad family collection. To avoid missing out on the popular infinity room tickets, visitors need to make their ticket reservations online in advance. General admission tickets are separate from infinity room tickets, and visitors must make sure they select both when reserving tickets. Tickets are free, but special exhibitions require paid admission.
Food and beverages are not allowed inside the museum, and backpacks must be worn in front of the body. Some of the art may not be kid-friendly, and warning signs indicate as much. Restrooms are located on the second level, and visitors take the escalator up to the third floor and work their way around. Stairs provide a peek at storage while going down to the second/first level. Overall, visitors can spend a couple of hours to a full day enjoying an eclectic mix of art.
Parking is available, but it is $17 for three hours in the museum lot. Visitors can try their luck with city lots for $9/$10 instead. The museum’s architecture is cool, and the outside has a textured veil, while the inside has rounded edges that look organic. The staff was friendly and efficient, and the restrooms are nice and clean.
The museum has some beautiful art, and visitors can receive a little gift if they find all the items on the app.
This fantastic art museum features an intriguing infinity room, a room made of mirrors with colored LED lights hanging from the ceiling at various heights. Visitors feel like they are floating in space with ghost images of themselves floating around in all directions. However, time in the room is limited to only one minute per group, which is far from enough time to fully absorb the wonder of it all. The third floor gallery is home to great artists like Liechtenstein and Warhol. As with most art, some pieces are very appealing, some are appalling, and some are awesome. One room was adults only due to the graphic nature of the art, mostly depicting people of color.
Most of the exhibitions are on the second floor, and there is a gallery on the main floor that requires an extra fee of something just under $20.
Address: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United Stated
Confirmed by phone call 6 days ago
Phone: +1 213-232-6200
Founders: Eli Broad, Edythe Broad
Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is a great place to visit and have a good time. However, it can get quite crowded, so it’s advisable to bring a jacket to keep warm. The pier offers many great spots for taking pictures and a variety of food options, with custom gifts available to buy. Don’t miss the amazing funnel cakes and souvenir pictures.
The pier is lively and always full of fun activities, especially at night. Pacific Park in the pier is a super cool place with tons of rides and games to enjoy. It’s highly recommended to visit while in LA, and it’s a fantastic place for both tourists and locals.
The pier is fun and historic with street food and street performers. There’s tons of life and activities happening here, and you can easily spend four hours exploring. The parking can be tricky, so it’s advisable to arrive early or park in one of the many underground parking lots nearby.
The cost of trinkets and souvenirs is not high due to the competition among vendors, and people are generally friendly and patient. It’s a top destination when visiting Southern California, and you can watch the beautiful California sunset while on the pier.
The beach is awesome, but it can get crowded. However, lifeguards are always on watch, and they control the crowds well. It’s a great place for families and a must-go when in Southern California. The air and water are fresh and crisp, and the beaches are cleaner than many in Europe.
You’ll find plenty of people doing fun stuff, from music to performances. There are uncountable places to spend your money, whether you fancy eating, drinking, or buying souvenirs. The pier is easily reachable using public transport from Downtown LA, and it’s a great place to admire the sunset with the most incredible views of the sky as the sun sets. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially during crowded times.
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States
Phone: +1 310-458-8900
Opened: September 9, 1909
Total length: 1,651.5 feet (500 m)
The Hollywood Bowl is a historic and majestic concert venue that never fails to impress visitors. The parking is easy and accessible, particularly at Lot B, which has ample space. The box seats with tables are a new addition since before the pandemic. The flow past security is fast and organized, and the food and drink menu is quite good, though some items may sell out quickly. The natural acoustics are incredible, and the large screens provide excellent images. Visitors are allowed to bring their own food and drinks, and renting cushions to sit on is an option.
It’s recommended to arrive early and take advantage of the inviting atmosphere to enjoy a romantic evening with music. The Hollywood Bowl is also a great place to celebrate Independence Day with live music and fireworks. Visitors can get to the Bowl by driving and parking, taking a chartered bus, or parking at a designated lot and taking a shuttle. The Hollywood Bowl is a top destination for concerts, and a must-visit landmark in Southern California.
Address: 2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States
Phone: +1 323-850-2000
Architects: Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Myron Hunt
Opened: July 11, 1922
Owner: Los Angeles County
Architectural styles: Art Deco, Modern architecture
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is a fascinating place to visit, whether you have kids or just want some quiet time in the middle of a busy urban park. Visitors of all ages will find plenty to explore and learn about at this unique natural history museum.
For children, the museum offers an abundance of information and displays to engage their curiosity. The museum’s exhibits showcase the animals that lived in the Los Angeles area during the Ice Age, making it an excellent educational opportunity for kids to learn about natural history.
Visitors are also treated to the sight of the tar pits bubbling and the live sites where scientists are actively searching for fossils. It’s a rare chance to witness the scientific process in action.
The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is a great place to learn about California history, archeology, and Ice Age animals. Visitors will find it a different and exciting experience, and it’s located right in the heart of Los Angeles. Whether you’re interested in science or evolution, you’ll find something to enjoy at this cool and unique museum.
Many visitors have fond memories of visiting the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum as a child and are now bringing their own children to experience it. It’s one of those museums that has something for everyone, and it’s definitely worth a visit.
Address: 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States
Departments: La Brea Tar Pits Museum Parking
Closed ⋅ Opens 9:30 AM Thu
Phone: +1 213-763-3499
Petersen Automotive Museum
The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is a must-visit for car enthusiasts. With its well-known worldwide reputation, the museum boasts a collection of the most exclusive cars from around the world. From cars used in movie scenes to hypercars worth millions, classic cars that are restored to perfection, concept cars from car shows, and much more, this museum has it all.
The general admission ticket costs $19 for one adult and includes access to three floors of the main exhibit area. Each floor has a good number of cars, and each vehicle has a plaque describing something about it. Docents are available to answer questions and provide information about the vehicles.
One area of the museum that visitors should not miss is The Vault, which is located in the underground parking lot of the former department store that is now the main exhibit area. This area has another hundred or two hundred cars, parked parking lot style, with no plaques saying what they are, although an audio app provides information about some of them.
The Vault has a separate admission price, and visitors can choose to wander around it by themselves or take the guided tour, which is slightly more expensive but worth it. However, visitors who take the guided tour cannot wander around the Vault before or after their tour time.
In addition to cars, the museum also displays watercraft and aircraft from the movies, with detailed stories of how they were used and what had to be done to make them work. There are also interactive exhibits for both adults and kids, including Forza racing simulators.
Plan to spend at least three hours to see the whole museum, and consider taking the guided tour of the Vault, which is a lot to take in on your own. The museum has a cafe with great food and drinks and a gift shop worth checking out for its good variety of curiosities and reasonable prices.
Overall, the Petersen Automotive Museum is a fantastic place to visit, even if you’re not a car enthusiast. The museum showcases innovation on how cars developed from the early days to present, and the displays are beautifully designed and informative. Don’t miss the new Tesla exhibit, which simplifies many complex concepts in an artistic display. Admission costs $17.
Address: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States
Hours: 10 AM
Phone: +1 323-930-2277
Founder: Robert E. Petersen
The Grove is a luxurious shopping destination in Los Angeles that offers a great selection of high-end stores and designer brands. The mall is well-maintained, clean, and has a beautiful atmosphere. The customer service is top-notch, and the staff is always ready to assist with any queries. The mall also has a variety of dining options that cater to all tastes, from fast food to fine dining, with delicious food at every restaurant.
The hotel at The Grove is stunning, with beautiful decor, spacious rooms, and top-notch amenities. The staff is incredibly friendly and attentive, making sure that all needs are met during the stay. The hotel’s restaurant serves delicious food and has a great selection of drinks. The location is also very convenient, with many attractions and points of interest nearby.
Apart from shopping and dining, The Grove also has a beautiful outdoor ambience with a water pond, tall spouts of water, and live music. The Farmer’s Market is also located adjacent to the mall, providing a unique and enjoyable experience. The parking structure at The Grove is also convenient, with ample parking available at affordable rates.
Overall, The Grove is an excellent place to shop, dine, and relax with family and friends. The mall’s beautiful aesthetics and top-notch facilities make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a luxurious and high-end experience.
Address: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States
Hours: Open 9PM
Phone: +1 323-900-8080
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is an amazing place to visit! Although it may be smaller than you expect, there are so many fascinating things to see. The prehistoric wing, which includes actual-size skeleton build ups of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals, is a must-see. The animal kingdom halls are also very detailed, and it feels like you’re looking through a window into a faraway habitat.
The museum is well-curated with beautiful and informative displays. The exhibits are thoughtfully put together, and the taxidermy animals are done so well that they feel life-like with amazing detail. The museum also offers lots of interactive activities for kids in the Lab area.
If you’re interested in butterflies, the butterfly exhibit is a must-see, but be aware that it costs $8 per person and is only open for a 30-minute window. The gift shop inside the exhibit is expensive, so it’s recommended to buy souvenirs inside the main museum instead.
The museum also has rotating exhibits, such as the annual Bug Exhibit, which is a great opportunity to learn about different types of bugs. There are also vendors selling bug-related merchandise, including silkworms for those interested in seeing them spin their silk.
Parking can be a bit pricey at $15, but it’s worth it for the experience. The museum is located on beautiful grounds and has an edible garden you can explore. However, be prepared to spend a few hours there as there is so much to see and do.
Overall, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is a wonderful place to visit for anyone interested in history, science, or just looking for a fun day out. Don’t forget to visit the Science Center next door, which is free, and take a stroll through the Rose Garden on your way back to the parking structure.
Address: 900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007, United States
Closed ⋅ Opens 9:30 AM Thu
Phone: +1 213-763-3466
Area: 2 ha
Added to NRHP: March 4, 1975
Los Angeles is a city that never fails to impress with its diverse range of attractions. From the glamour of Hollywood to the natural beauty of Griffith Park, there is no shortage of things to see and do here. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in Los Angeles. We hope this article has given you some inspiration for your next outing, and that you’ll take the time to explore some of the nearby attractions that this amazing city has to offer.