When you consider the numerous iconic landmarks, immersive architectural identity, diverse activities, as well as the jaw-dropping coastline and fantastic weather, it’s no surprise Los Angeles is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet.
The City of Angels is brimming with thrill, fame and fortune. Outside is open again, and if you’re lucky, you could probably spot some of your favourite Hollywood A-listers while on a bus tour in Beverly Hills or shopping for artisanal goods at a local farmer’s market.
Here are 15 pretty cool things for tourists to do in Los Angeles, and of course, even if you’ve been fully vaccinated, please stay safe.
1. Grab a coffee at Coffee For Sasquatch
Looking for perfect ambience while sipping on some coffee, reading your favourite book, or just catching up with friends? The lush hand-made sodas, beautifully patterned cappuccinos and design-focused space make for the perfect experience. With its stylish wooden furniture, hand-crafted vases and light-filled space, Claire Ackad’s female-led coffee shop has an ambience second to none.
2. Take a trip to the Griffith Observatory
Towering over LA to the south of Griffith Park is one of LA’s most important landmarks, Griffith Observatory. Perfect for science, space and architecture enthusiasts, this tourist attraction gives an opportunity to look through some of the world’s most powerful telescopes, explore exhibits and enjoy breathtaking views of Los Angeles.
For film lovers, you’d probably recognise the observatory from the Oscar-winning musical, La La Land, and that’s exciting, right? To get there, you can catch the Observatory bus or hike to the Griffith Observatory to experience the best sight.
3. Explore the Binoculars Building
Located close to the famous Venice Beach, the distinct building is a structure you cannot miss when visiting LA. Designed by architect Frank Gehry in 1991, the building has three different parts with entirely different styles. The most exciting part, unsurprisingly, is the giant binocular, which was designed by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Make sure to stop by and explore.
4. Watch a movie outdoors at Electric Dusk
What’s better than enjoying outdoor beauty while remaining protected? LA’s longest pop-up drive-in, Electric Dusk, offers film viewings from the comfort of your car or seated on the lawn, close to the screen. You also get to experience satisfying nostalgia as the drive-in screens older movies all-year-round, topped off with chips, popcorn, hot dogs and much more. We advise that you get your tickets ahead of time, as they sell out pretty quickly.
5. Visit the Los Angeles Zoo
After closing its gates to the public twice due to the pandemic, the LA Zoo is fully open, and fingers crossed, it stays that way. Catch the African hedgehog, blue-eyed black lemur, Chinese Goral, green mamba and lots more intriguing species living their best lives at the zoo. The zoo frequently puts out some holiday events, so be sure to check and you might catch one.
6. Get your burger fix at Monty’s Good Burger
Los Angeles has been brimming with an exciting array of plant-based burger options, but not a lot draw the kind of attention that Monty’s does. With fresh, ethically & locally sourced ingredients, they make burgers that absolutely anyone can enjoy guilt-free. Plan a day to taste some of Monty’s famed eats, and you’ll probably never want to leave LA again.
7. Stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Established to commemorate celebrities, the Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises over 2,690 terrazzo and brass stars honouring the accomplishments of musicians, actors, producers, television personalities and others in the entertainment industry. Grab your phone and take some selfies with your favourite superstars - from Marilyn Monroe to Johnny Depp, it’s a must-do when visiting LA.
8. Hike to the Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign is pretty much always in the media as a symbol of fame and fortune and so, it’s only fitting that you see it up close and personal. Get your mask, lace up your shoes and get some fresh air, some exercise and some much-needed sunshine. It’s the perfect destination to appreciate the sheer natural beauty of the country, so make sure to have your camera handy to capture once-in-a-lifetime views and a photo of yourself with the sign in the background.
9. Get a drink at E.P & L.P Rooftop & Restaurant
Sip on some champagne or grab a bite while listening to some live music as dining out and socialising is back and here to stay. With a restaurant, rooftop and theatre, E.P & L.P is also the perfect relaxation spot after a long day of activities.
10. Walk the Santa Monica Pier
Home to the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel, The Pacific Park, Heal The Bay Aquarium and Playland Arcade, the Santa Monica Pier provides endless entertainment options. At its most popular landmark, the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel, scenic views of the Southern California coastline & jaw-dropping lighting entertainment at night are a few exciting things to expect. Don’t forget to give yourself ample time as you’ll probably need that while exploring everything the pier has to offer.
11. Visit Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Named after American developer & tobacco millionaire, Abbot Kinney, the eye-catching street is what shopaholic dreams are made of. The trendy boutiques, contemporary art galleries and fine dining restaurants make for an excellent tourist experience.
12. Admire the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center
Born from an extension of oil tycoon J Paul Getty’s personal art collection, the museum, situated at the Getty Center, features works of art dating from the eighth to the twenty-first century. It is perfect for history, art and architecture lovers, as it holds an impressive art collection and features top-notch exhibitions. In addition to the extensive art collections, the magnificent architecture makes for an equally great experience. It’s no surprise that it’s constantly referred to as California’s greatest outdoor space.
13. Go running at Runyon Canyon Park
With magnificent views and calorie-burning potential, the Runyon Canyon Park is the perfect spot to recharge on your vacation. The 160-acre park is ideal for families considering cost-free leisure activities in LA. Spark your imagination, boost your mental health, get some fresh air and take a walk with your dog, if that’s your thing.
14. Go shopping on Rodeo Drive
Albeit a shopping street, Rodeo Drive remains one of the top tourist attractions in LA. Home to world-renowned brands and reputable hotels, the famous street seats perfectly at the intersection of luxury, fashion and entertainment.
15. Experience themed rides at Universal Studios Hollywood
Your visit to Los Angeles isn’t complete without a trip to one of its most action-packed locations - Universal Studios Hollywood. Have the time of your life with thrilling theme park rides and events related to popular culture produced by Universal. You can also try out exciting cinema experiences, fabulous restaurants, shopping and much more. In Universal Studios Hollywood, there’s an activity for everyone.