Top Ten Things You Must Do & Places To Visit In Los Angeles

Views of the Central Garden and Pacific Ocean at the Getty Center
Views of the Central Garden and Pacific Ocean at the Getty Center  |  Photo:  Yuri Hasegawa

Wondering what to do in LA? Los Angeles offers endless options for memorable experiences for visitors and locals alike. Whether it’s visiting a quiet museum, or attending a boisterous ball game, there are always things to do, interesting attractions and exciting events and places to go in LA.  Read on for ten iconic "must see" places in Los Angeles.

NOTE: Hours and opening dates change frequently. Check individual websites for updated information.

The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood
The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Experience Universal Studios Hollywood

Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world, and for film fans the ultimate experience is a behind-the-scenes tour of a working studio. The Studio Tour is perhaps the most legendary attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, but you can also relive favorite movie scenes on rides like The Secret Life of Pets and Jurassic World; enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, or walk the eerily realistic streets of The Walking Dead attraction. A movie at Universal Cinema AMC Hollywood and strolling the shops at Universal CityWalk make it a full day of fun.

Hollywood Sign | Photo:  Yuri Hasegawa
Hollywood Sign | Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Visit Two LA Icons at Once: Griffith Observatory & Hollywood Sign

Visit the Griffith Observatory and see why it's been featured in films from Rebel Without a Cause to The Terminator, La La Land and beyond. Perched atop Mount Hollywood, the Observatory offers exhibits, the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and free public telescopes that are as fascinating as the surrounding 4,310 acres of Griffith Park. Hiking from the Ferndell Nature Museum up to the Observatory rewards viewers with several clear shots of The Hollywood Sign along the way. From the Observatory, hiking through the Berlin Forest to the Charlie Turner Trailhead gets you a bird's-eye view of the city that's even closer to the famous sign.

The exterior of Walt Disney Concert Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Enjoy the LA Phil - Walt Disney Concert Hall

Located on Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A., Walt Disney Concert Hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, with acoustics by Yasuhisa Toyota, the magnificent venue has received worldwide praise from critics and concertgoers alike for its stunning architecture and extraordinary sound. Attend a concert by the acclaimed LA Phil and experience classical music as it was meant to be heard.

Grand Central Market in Downtown LA
Grand Central Market in Downtown LA  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Dine Around the World - Grand Central Market

Taste your way around the world at Grand Central Market, which has been serving up global cuisines since 1917. Start the day with local icons like The Donut Man and Eggslut; stop by GCM classics China Cafe and Roast to Go; take a trip to Naples at Olio Wood-Fired Pizzeria; and enjoy Salvadoran cuisine at Sarita's Pupuseria. These are just a few of the beloved vendors of this historic DTLA emporium, where the atmosphere is lively and deliciousness awaits.

Dodger Stadium
Dodger Stadium

Catch a Game - Dodger Stadium

Los Angeles is truly a city of champions, from the “Showtime”-era Lakers to the Rams, Kings, Galaxy, and the numerous NCAA championships claimed by USC and UCLA. For baseball fans, it doesn’t get any better than catching a game at Dodger Stadium, one of the great cathedrals of Major League Baseball. Since opening its gates in 1962, the storied ballpark has hosted ten World Series and the Dodgers have won five World Championships. Dodger Stadium hosted the 1980 All-Star Game and will host the Midsummer Classic again in July 2022.

The Oscar Goes to the Academy Museum

Opened in September 2021, the spectacular Academy Museum of Motion Pictures houses more than 13 million objects in a 300,000 square-foot campus designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano. Get up-close to iconic movie props like Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz and "Rosebud" from Citizen Kane. The museum's immersive Oscars Experience transports you to the Dolby Theatre stage - after the standing ovation, you give your "thank you" speech with an Academy Award in hand. Be sure to stop by the Academy Museum Store for exclusive merch and local collabs.

Irises Van Gogh Getty
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 - 1890), Irises, 1889, Oil on canvas, 74.3 × 94.3 cm (29 1/4 × 37 1/8 in.), 90.PA.20 | Photo: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

See Van Gogh's "Irises" - Getty Center

Los Angeles museums house some of the world’s most renowned art collections. Throughout the city, you can discover masterpieces like Vincent van Gogh’s Irises, one of the most expensive paintings in history and currently on view at the Getty Center in Brentwood.

Exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House
Hollyhock House | Photo: Joshua White

Visit a UNESCO Site - the Hollyhock House

Los Angeles is filled with world-famous landmarks and attractions but for an off-the-beaten path treat, visit legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright's creation, designed for client Aline Barnsdall in his self-described “California Romanza” style. The Hollyhock House has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – only the third such site in the entire state of California – and the grounds offer an art gallery, free studio classes for kids, and lush gardens sprinkled with its namesake flower. Check the site for tour information or take a dusky stroll on your own for an unforgettable sunset.

The Hundreds flagship store on Fairfax
The Hundreds flagship store on Fairfax | Photo: The Hundreds

Shop til You Drop - Fairfax District

Shopaholics will find everything they've dreamed of and more in every corner of LA. Whether it’s popular shopping centers like Westfield Century City and The Grove; Hollywood hand-me-downs from your film or TV crush; or bargains galore at the Citadel Outlets, something is sure to catch your eye.

Streetwear fans can't miss the Fairfax District (Nocando called it “the Tigris and Euphrates of cool”), with The Hundreds and Golf Wang flagship stores; Supreme, Melody Ehsani and more.

Santa Monica Pier at sunset
Santa Monica Pier

Ride the Ferris Wheel - Santa Monica Pier

From Malibu to the South Bay, Los Angeles is home to some of the best beaches in Southern California. For a quintessential "Endless Summer" experience, a visit to the two-mile-long Santa Monica Beach is a must. Opened in 1909, the historic Santa Monica Pier is a popular destination for the entire family, home to the Pacific Park amusement park, Heal the Bay Aquarium, and a 1922 Carousel that was featured in The Sting. Don’t miss a ride on the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel, where you can enjoy a spectacular aerial view of the coast.