Answers from Our Experts (3)
The best attractions in Los Angeles are Universal Studios, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Griffith Observatory, The Getty Center and Rodeo Drive.
The best things to see and do in Los Angeles are about as expansive as L.A.'s geographic area. Los Angeles is much more than just Hollywood, although you will probably want to make a stop at the Hollywood Walk of Fame and gaze at the Capitol Records building while you're here.
One of my personal favorite attractions in L.A. is the Griffith Observatory. After closing for four years and undergoing a $93 million renovation, it reopened in the fall of 2006, and features a 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope, planetarium shows, some of the best panoramic views of the L.A. basin, and more. The observatory is situated in the middle of Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, so you can pair your visit with a hike. The park has a 53-mile network of trails, some allowing you to get stellar views of the Hollywood Sign, the Hollyridge trail will take you above and behind it. If you'd rather explore Griffith Park on horseback, you can saddle up with a variety of horseback riding tours at Sunset Ranch.
Los Angeles is also making its mark in the arts. A visit to the city wouldn't be complete without exploring the collections at the Getty Center and classical Greek and Roman art at the Getty Villa. Both locations also offer gardens and perfect photo-worthy views of L.A.. Over in mid-city, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art features a diverse collection that ranges from classical to contemporary. A visit to LACMA would not be complete without seeing Chris Burden's Metropolis II, a mini car racing masterpiece that involves an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one six-lane freeway, HO scale train tracks and 1,100 custom manufactured mini cars. Burden also created Urban Light, a large scale instillation of 202 restored street lamps, which has quickly become one of the most instagrammed places in the world. You can also interact and take your photo with Levitated Mass, a 340-ton boulder created by sculpture Michael Heizer.
Summer in Los Angeles heats up with concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. The Bowl is the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which plays every Tuesday and Thursday night. Filling out the rest of the week are jazz concerts on Wednesday and KCRW's Wold Festival, featuring more contemporary bands, Sundays during the main season, which runs from late June through September. If you're more of a baseball fan, stop by Dodger Stadium on Chavez Ravine when the Boys in Blue have a home game. After recent ownership change and $100 million in renovations, the Dodgers and their stadium are set up for a winning season, while you're there don't forget to grab a Dodger Dog and garlic fries.
Other must-see attractions include the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino; original Los Angeles Farmers Market, which features restaurants, meat and produce stalls and gift shops; Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Frank Gehry-designed architectural landmark downtown; Grand Park, downtown L.A.'s version of Central Park; California Science Center, which now features the retired Space Shuttle Endeavour; and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, which features a new dinosaur hall.
L.A. is famous for many things, mostly in the entertainment world. There are endless options for places to go and things to do, but as a local to this bustling city I can easily tell you the best attractions to spend your time at when you’re here.
Regardless if you are into fitness or not, hiking in L.A. is a huge hit. Locals and tourists come here just to experience the perfect weather and view the beautiful outdoor scenery. The best way to come to this city and really “see” it, is by throwing on a pair of sneakers and hiking up one of L.A.’s most famous trails: Runyon Canyon. Runyon Canyon is an upbeat and energetic trail that welcomes locals, tourists and even most pets. Runyon is a short, relatively easy trail loop in one of the most accessible areas of Los Angeles’ mountains.
If you’re looking for more of a shopping experience, The Grove is an outdoor shopping area with restaurants, a movie theater and a farmer’s market open daily. For a more “Hollywood” experience, taking a tour of Warner Bros Studios in Burbank is the way to go. There will be a few studio tours to choose from, but Warner Bros is by far the most thorough, informative and interesting. Lastly, if you’re in Hollywood during the right season, it’s crucial to check out a show at the Hollywood Bowl. The half-shell amphitheater nestled in the Hollywood hills is one of L.A.’s finest landmarks to listen to your favorite band under the stars.