Welcome to Our round-up of the 11 Best Attractions in Los Angeles. Our list of LA’s must-do sights and attractions. No visit to LA is complete without ticking off at least a few of these sights and attractions. It’s quite refreshing that this list actually includes a large number of FREE attractions. Before we start the list we need to talk about a couple of noticeable Absentees.
While technically not in Los Angeles in our opinion it still counts as an LA attraction. Based on the fact if you want to visit Disneyland you would probably at least Fly into LA. However, it’s not getting a place on our list! Why? Because It’s possibly a bigger attraction on its own than even LA itself! We obviously couldn’t Fail to mention it, but we have allowed space on our Top 10 list for other attractions. We do have a full guide here to EVERYTHING Disneyland Related!
Universal Studios Hollywood
Same with Universal Studios, This Attraction Speaks for itself. So we are leaving off the list. This is not meant as a snub, quite the opposite. We just want to highlight more attractions than we would by including Universal and Disney.
With the Big Two out of the way, let’s get on with our list!
1 – Hollywood Walk Of Fame
With around 10 million visitors a year the Hollywood Walk of Fame is an incredibly popular attraction in Los Angeles. This permanent monument to the titans of the entertainment industry remains a huge draw, even though really it’s just a load (2600+ in fact)of named stars on the pavement. Its enduring appeal is partly because of what is built up around it. You are not really just visiting the walk of fame but the whole spectacle of Hollywood Boulevard. Shops, Restaurants, Bars, Characters, and Theatres. It’s a fabulous place to spend an afternoon or evening. Hunting for all your favorite stars is just an added bonus.
For those reasons we rate the Walk of Fame as the Number one attraction you MUST visit even if you are very stretched for time.
2- Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood sign is really the number one must-have memento photograph. People will scarcely believe you have been to LA unless you post a Hollywood sign selfie on social media! While the sign can be seen from many locations from the City, Most are relatively distant. No one wants a photo of the sign somewhere in the distant background.
Unfortunately, a lot of the roads that would lead to the best vantage points are residential and the residents don’t need thousands of cars a day clogging up their very tight and twisty roadways. So the authorities close a lot of those off to give the homeowners some rest bite. But you can still get quite close by car and get that all-important shot.
Our full guide to getting that perfect Hollywood Sign Selfie can be found here.
It is not advisable to hike up to the sign as it really loses a lot of its aesthetic appeal from up close, it’s much better viewed from a reasonable distance. It is possible to hike up to the sign but the main reason for this would be to enjoy the hike and appreciate the views of Los Angeles rather than actually to see the sign up close.
3 – Venice Beach
Venice Beach is an interesting locale. It’s certainly not for everyone. A promenade filled with curious low price shops selling all manner of things lines a beautiful stretch of Pacific coastline. Packed with tourists along with many interesting types of people make this a bustling seafront hangout that should be experienced by everyone.
In recent years the area has been cleaned up quite dramatically. A few years back this could have been considered a no-go area due to gang activity. Like a lot of areas in LA, it’s now far improved and you will have no issues during the day. At night sensible precautions should be observed not to fall victim to petty crime.
Top Tip – Perfect stop for 5-7 hour airport layover. Got a few hours to kill at LAX don’t mope around the airport lounges counting down the minutes. Jump in a taxi for a short ride to Venice beach and check out this top LA location. Plenty of much better food options than mundane overpriced airport food!
4 – Warner Bros Studio Tour
Can you really visit Hollywood and not take a look at a Genuine Movie Studio? The Universal tour is brilliant, but it is wrapped up in a glossy theme park wrapper that feels more “showy” than reality. If you really want to get out and see the Movies the Warner Bros tour is the perfect solution.
The tour of this Burbank Studio takes you to some seriously iconic movie sets and to the sound stages where some of the most popular Tv Shows have been made. You can actually sit on “the” couch from Central Perk, Take a walk on Ellens Stage, and visit Iconic sets from
We take an in-depth look at the Warner Bros. Studio Tours here.
4 – Santa Monica Pier
A 100-year-old Icon of America. The Santa Monica Pier has been delighting visitors for an awfully long time. While the funfair is more nostalgic than thrilling nowadays it’s still an awful lot of fun. Nestled on the fantastic Santa Monica Beach it is the perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening or Both.
The pier itself is very popular with fishermen and there are a huge number of eateries there really is something for everyone. As a whole, Santa Monica is our favorite spot in all of L.A. and well worth a visit for more than just the Pier
Our Full Guide to Santa Monica can be found here.
5 – Griffiths Observatory
If the above photo isn’t enough for you to visit the Observatory then you probably shouldn’t bother. There is more to the observatory than just the staggering views, but possibly not enough to make the journey. But the Views Are DEFINITELY worth it. With staggering views over Downtown LA and the Hollywood sign along with the endless urban sprawl of L.A. You can even see the Pacific Coastline right in the distance on really clear days.
We don’t want to play down the FREE exhibits that are available at the observatory, but feel some may be disappointed. The main reason to make the trip is for the simply staggering views of the city. With that in mind, it’s important to consider the weather!
6 – Rodeo Drive / Shopping
I’m not a big shopping fan, It’s a case of finding what I need, buying it, and getting out as fast as possible. However, Even I am happy to spend a good chunk of time exploring this icon of shopping folklore. Admittedly not as long as Katie is happy to spend there though. Still, I can get my own back later.
Rodeo Drive really is the Mecca for shopping fanatics. Just about every high-end luxury brand is available for us to gawp at, and some lucky people even to buy (out of our price range though) But further up the drive and on surrounding streets there are plenty of more everyday type brands, just about anything you can imagine in fact. So, you can happily indulge without busting the bank. There are also a huge number of cafes and restaurants for all budgets so grabbing a drink and bite to eat on Rodeo Drive is a dream come true for many.
7 – Getty Center
It’s hard to really describe what the Getty Centre is? Or why you should take time out to go there. Of course, there is a museum with some exemplary works of art. But there is more to the center than just that. Although with 1.3 million visitors a year to just the museum It is a very popular museum.
Along with the Museum, the Center boasts impressive gardens and some fantastic architecture. It really is one of the best places in the world to really soak up some culture. It’s also very reasonably priced at FREE!
8 – Le Brea Tar Pits
This is where I get my own back for all the shopping. I find the whole place just oddly fascinating, the fact we are in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world checking out a very bizarre natural wonder. Katie finds it less fascinating and simply wants to head out shopping again! The display of fossilized creatures in the museum is incredible and it’s just a fascinating place in general. But as My wife is a testament to you have to be into that kind of thing to enjoy it!
The Park is free to all but there is a fee to enter the museum and visit the restored remains of the prehistoric beasts that fell victim to the pits.
9 – Grauman’s/TCL Chinese Theatre
While we love the Chinese Theatre it’s hard to make a case for it in itself. Luckily we don’t have to as it is nestled snuggly on Hollywood Boulevard right on the Hollywood walk of fame!
While you can go and watch a movie here we are not really sure that’s the main Draw! Checking out the Imprints of major Celebs is endlessly fun, seeing which foot and handprints you match. I am a dead ringer for Robert Downey Junior so it seems!
Really it’s a 15-20 minute stop while taking in the bustle of the boulevard but it’s a 15-20mins no self-respecting tourist would be without. You can also take tours of the iconic Theatre if you want to know a little more. Or stop by on a Premiere Night and get up close and personal to your favorite Celeb!
10 – Celebrity Homes Tour
Celeb Spotting is part and parcel of the L.A. Draw and one great way to see how the Celebrities live is to take a Celebrity home tour. Let’s be clear this is a cringingly touristy thing to do! But hell you are in L.A. and these tours are all part of the fun of the City. Taken with a pinch of salt and an acceptance that you are going full one tourist, these tours are really good fun.
The Tours take you out into Hollywood Hills, Studio City, Beverly Hills, and around Rodeo Drive. It takes in a huge number of incredible homes of both living and dead Celebrities. Some of the most famous people in Show Business have made their homes in Hollywood and many of the current generations still live here. We are really shocked at how much we enjoy these tours but there are just so much fun and the guide is so knowledgeable. It really is something not to miss!
BONUS – Malibu
Hanging out just outside of Los Angeles is the incredibly beautiful coastal City of Malibu. Home to the Rich, Famous, and Beautiful. It’s a place most of us will never be able to afford to live in, but we are perfectly welcome to come to visit!
Honestly Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway through one of the most affluent areas of the USA, taking in the breath-taking beauty is probably one of our favorite things to do when visiting LA. It’s even better if you have a convertible. There are hundreds of places to eat for all budgets. Stick around till sunset for some incredible vistas as the sun dips below the ocean.
Have Your Say
Let us know if you agree with any of the items on our list or If you think we have missed something. Have you been to LA or are you thinking of going soon? Maybe you have a trip booked? We always love hearing your opinions on our Destinations. There is so much to see and do In LA it really can be hard to narrow things down but We think if you followed our list you would have a very enjoyable trip.