Wondering where to travel next? Los Angeles is one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Even frequent visitors and longtime residents who are familiar with LA can always discover something new in this vibrant and exciting metropolis.
From landmark centennials and cultural milestones to the hottest new restaurants and thrilling sports events, how many of these must-sees will you scratch off your LA bucket list this year?
A world-famous highway, a legendary studio and a landmark restaurant are celebrating their centennials in 2024.
Opened as Mulholland Highway in 1924, Mulholland Drive is one of America's most beautiful scenic drives. Mulholland Drive spans 24 miles along the Santa Monica Mountains and the Hollywood Hills, from the Cahuenga Pass on its eastern end, through the Sepulveda Pass over the 405 Freeway, to the 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills.
Filmmaker David Lynch has said that one can feel "the history of Hollywood" on Mulholland Drive. His 2001 psychological thriller, Mulholland Drive was named the greatest film of the 21st century by a BBC critics' poll.
One of Mulholland Drive's most popular overlooks, the Jerome C. Daniel Overlook offers unforgettable panoramic views of the Hollywood Bowl, Downtown LA, the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. To the east, the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Observatory are clearly visible, and to the north the San Fernando Valley. The overlook was built concurrently with the Universal City Overlook ahead of the 1984 Summer Olympics (see "Anniversaries" below).
One of Hollywood's most storied movie studios, Columbia Pictures is celebrating its centennial with festival screenings, live concerts and a commemorative book from luxury publisher Assouline highlighting 100 iconic moments from the studio's incomparable film library.
Boasting more Best Picture Oscar winners than any other studio, Columbia Pictures was founded by brothers Harry and Jack Cohn and best friend Joe Brandt on Jan. 10, 1924. After Frank Capra’s 1934 classic It Happened One Night swept the Oscars, Columbia established itself as an elite studio, releasing films from award-winners and timeless classics to pop culture phenomenons, including: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, You Can't Take It with You, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, From Here to Eternity, On the Waterfront, Lawrence of Arabia, To Sir with Love, Funny Girl, Taxi Driver, Tootsie, The Karate Kid, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Men in Black, Ghostbusters, Boyz n the Hood, Groundhog Day, A League of Their Own, The Social Network, Jumanji, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Little Women, Spider-Man and many more.
THE ORIGINAL PANTRY CAFE
Located at 9th and Figueroa in Downtown LA, The Original Pantry Cafe opened at 9th and San Francisco Streets in 1924, then moved to its current location in 1950. Since their initial one-room, 15-stool space, The Pantry has grown to become an official Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and a staple of diner style fare in LA.
More LA anniversaries to celebrate in 2024: a beloved farmers market, landmark eateries, an extraordinary museum and a world-class sports and entertainment venue.
Change is in the air(port) and the leading travel trade show are two key reasons that Los Angeles is one of the world's top travel destinations.
LAX: AUTOMATED PEOPLE MOVER
The multi-billion Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) will give airport guests choices that provide a first-class, swift, convenient, and reliable way to access LAX. The program includes the Automated People Mover (APM), six new APM stations, a Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) facility, improvements to the Central Terminal Area, and a connection to LA's Metro system. Together, these projects will continue LAX's legacy as a world-class airport while relieving traffic congestion and improving the travel experience for millions of guests.
IPW (MAY 3-7)
U.S. Travel’s IPW is the leading international inbound travel trade show, with past IPWs driving $5.5 billion in future travel to the United States, and securing America’s position as a foremost global travel destination. Held in a different U.S. city each year, IPW will Bring the World to America® in Los Angeles, taking place at the LA Convention Center May 3-7 (Friday-Tuesday).
“With so many exciting new reasons to visit our City of Angels, we’re thrilled to roll out the red carpet for IPW in 2024 and showcase why LA is the ideal place to stay, play, and do business,” said Los Angeles Tourism president and CEO Adam Burke. “As one of the world’s most diverse and inclusive communities — and one of the primary gateways to the United States — we pride ourselves on being a destination where everyone is welcome."
Arts & Culture
An extraordinary citywide arts festival, the return of a lost art amusement park, and the largest Black public art project in the country are just a few of this year's arts & culture highlights.
LA's world-class dining scene includes the largest Restaurant Week in the country and numerous highly anticipated openings in 2024.
DINE LA RESTAURANT WEEK (JULY 12-26)
Following its record-breaking 15th anniversary season, Dine LA Restaurant Week returns for its 2024 Summer Edition, taking place July 12-26. Hundreds of restaurants across Los Angeles will feature prix fixe lunch and dinner menus, from local neighborhood favorites to Michelin-starred dining destinations.
In December 2023, Michelin announced its 16 most-anticipated restaurant openings of 2024, and four of them are in Los Angeles!
- Maydān Market (Summer) - "Rose Previte, co-owner of Washington, D.C.’s one Michelin Star Maydān, is expanding her hearth-centered Middle Eastern restaurant to West Adams. The 10,000 square-foot market will include an outpost of Previte’s acclaimed cocktail bar Compass Rose, plus five local businesses centered around family recipes."
- Somni (Spring) - "Chef Aitor Zabala is re-opening his modern Catalan-meets-California tasting counter Somni from The Bazaar, where he earned two Michelin Stars. Zabala has found a new 3,700 square-foot home in West Hollywood, which affords him twice as much space as he had in the past. He plans to cook a multi-course tasting menu for 14 guests per night with just one seating."
- Sushi Nakazawa (Winter) - "Best known as the apprentice to master Jiro Ono in the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Daisuke Nakazawa will open a 14-seat counter (plus a 20-seat dining room) on Robertson Boulevard. LA-based Studio UNLTD is designing the 2,000 square foot space, which will be outfitted in [ocean-inspired] deep blues and shimmering gold tones."
- Vespertine - Chef Jordan Kahn earned two Michelin stars at Vespertine in Culver City before its closure in March 2020. "The tasting menu boîte is coming back - wild-foraged ingredients, futuristic serviceware included. Kahn promises an evolution of the restaurant, which includes collaborations with artists that work in other mediums such as music [Icelandic vocalist Jónsi and American producer/composer Paul Corley are featured on Vespertine’s score] as diners move through the restaurant’s dining spaces as they experience the 16-course menu."
Argento (Winter) - Restaurateur Nic Adler (Monty's Good Burger, Nic's On Beverly) is partnering with Billie Eilish and Finneas to open Argento, a vegan restaurant in the former Little Pine space.
Bridgetown Roti - From a Caribbean pop-up to a brick-and-mortar in East Hollywood, Chef Rashida’s Bridgetown Roti specializes in island-inspired delights like flaky rotis with chicken curry topped with lemony slaw, plus handmade patties including callaloo greens with crab and pork belly.
Paradise Dynasty (Summer) - Singapore-based Paradise Dynasty will bring its colorful dumplings to the former Din Tai Fung space in Americana at Brand.
Smorgasburg Grand Reopening (Jan. 14) - After closing for the holidays, Smorgasburg will return to ROW DTLA on Sunday, January 14 with its annual Grand Reopening, which will debut numerous vendors to its rotating roster.
Los Angeles will add to its unparalleled sports legacy with the dawn of the Dodgers' "Shotime" Era. Basketball fans will be in hoops heaven with the return of March Madness, the debut of the Clippers' new arena, and honors for two LA sports legends.
Celebrate LA's diverse communities at festivals taking place across the city all year long.
OSHOGATSU FAMILY FESTIVAL - LITTLE TOKYO (JAN. 7)
Hosted by the Japanese American National Museum, the annual Oshogatsu Family Festival welcomes the Year of the Dragon with cultural performances, crafts, and activities for families and kids of all ages. Highlights include a traditional mochitsuki (Japanese rice pounding ritual) performance by Kodama Taiko; candy sculpture demos by "Shan the Candyman"; interactive storytimes and a scavenger hunt. Free admission, RSVP at the JANM website.
LUNAR NEW YEAR - CHINATOWN (FEBRUARY)
Historic Chinatown ignites the Year of the Dragon with the Midnight Temple Ceremony at Thien Hau Temple - visitors make offerings and burn incense for good fortune; traditional lion dancers perform; and firecrackers will scare away evil spirits for an auspicious start to the new year. The Lunar New Year festivities will culminate with the 125th Annual Golden Dragon Parade and festival on February 17, with more than 100,000 spectators lining the route to watch floats, marching bands, entertainers, local business leaders and cultural groups. The Golden Dragon Parade is the oldest celebration of its kind in the U.S.
TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL (APRIL 18-21)
Held over four days in the heart of Hollywood, the TCM Classic Film Festival welcomes movie lovers from around the world to gather and watch classic movies as they were meant to be experienced: on the big screen, in historic venues, with the people who made them.
FESTIVAL OF BOOKS - USC (APRIL 20-21)
Since 1996, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books has gathered writers, poets, artists, filmmakers, musicians and emerging storytellers. Taking place at USC, the festival is the largest event of its kind in the country.
NETFLIX IS A JOKE (MAY 2-12, 2024)
The biggest comedy festival in North America, Netflix Is a Joke Fest will feature the best comedians and artists in the world performing 300+ live stand-up shows, special events, table reads, sketches and more. The 11-day festival will take over renowned venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Dolby Theatre, Kia Forum, the Palladium, Orpheum Theatre and the Wiltern; as well as historic comedy venues, including the Hollywood Improv, Largo, Laugh Factory and The Comedy Store.
LA FLEET WEEK - LA WATERFRONT (MAY 22-27)
LA Fleet Week® is an annual celebration of our nation’s Sea Services, held on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles over Memorial Day Weekend. Public events include: active duty ship tours; military displays and equipment demos; aircraft flyovers, live entertainment and the ever-popular Galley Wars, a cook-off competition between Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army teams.
ANIME EXPO (JULY 4-7)
The largest anime convention in North America, the Anime Expo (AX) is held annually over July 4th Weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown LA. Each year, the four-day AX welcomes more than 100,000 fans to celebrate Japanese pop culture and experience the Masquerade, Anime Music Video Contest, concerts, and the epic Fashion Show. There's also late-night programming such as dance, video screenings, tabletop and electronic gaming, and open-mic karaoke.
RUPAUL'S DRAGCON - LACC (JULY 19-20)
RuPaul's DragCon is back, back, back again at the Los Angeles Convention Center on July 19-20! Don't miss out on the most iconic weekend ever with all of your favorite Drag Race queens, incredible shopping vendors, show-stopping performances and surprises, thousands of like-minded drag enthusiasts just like you, and SO. MUCH. MORE.
WATTS TOWERS FESTIVALS (SEPT / OCT)
For more than 40 years, the iconic Watts Towers has hosted a weekend of cultural festivals: the Day of the Drum Festival and the Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival. Both events are free and feature an all-star line-up of international recording artists, local jazz greats, percussionists and dancers. The weekend includes art exhibitions, supervised children's activities, plus food and arts & crafts vendors.