Los Angeles is one of the busiest cities in the world where you will never run out of things to see and do. The dynamic city is home to some of the most famous landmarks on Earth, such as Hollywood. However, there is so much more to LA than the glitz and the glamour. Here, we have narrowed down on the top ten things you should do in Los Angeles to make the most of your California dream holiday.

Visit museums

The city is home to iconic museums such as the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, or better known as LACMA. It is the biggest museum in the west of the United States, which has been popularized for the forest of city street lights that sit outside the museum. Those lights are actually a whole art installation called “Urban Light”. It is best to visit in the evening as all 202 street lamps light up the night.

The city is a haven of established and up-and-coming artists, coupled with a vibrant culture that heavily supports the arts. It is no surprise that you will find a lot of unique contemporary art pieces while walking around the city.

Los Angeles Country Museum of Art
Los Angeles Country Museum of Art

Join studio tours

Because Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood and all its glory, major film and TV production studios are based in the city. The best way to have an authentic Hollywood experience is to take a few studio tours starting with the Paramount Pictures Studios. It will take you roughly a couple of hours to get around the studio’s 65-acre property. Get to visit active sets, prop and costume warehouses, and tech rooms. If you are highly interested in how production works, this tour must not be missed.

On the glitzier end, there is the Warner Brothers Studios and the Universal Studios tours. Warner Brothers is famed for their generation-defining TV series and movies, such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S and La La Land. As expected, you will be welcomed into Central Perk as if you were actually part of the gang. Meanwhile, at Universal Studios, you may take the Studio Tour which is one of the theme park’s major attractions. Both are real, working Hollywood sets wherein you can explore how your favorite TV shows and movies were created.

Another precious gem and one of Hollywood’s most iconic sites is the TLC Chinese Theater. You can go for a tour in the theater and get a glimpse of Hollywood’s golden age. The theater is also still operating as a venue where you can catch newly released films. After the TLC tour, take a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame a few steps away from the theater. 

Go shopping

LA has the biggest malls, department stores, supermarkets, and luxury shopping districts. Spend a day window-shopping at Rodeo Drive feeling like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. For those looking for a mall where you can easily find everything you need, visit The Grove and be easily absorbed by its great atmosphere.

If you want to check out something very LA, look for the best Organic Farmers Markets close to where you are staying. Organic markets are far from scarce in Los Angeles. Here, you can purchase fresh produce and products that support health and wellness. 

Venice Beach, Los Angeles
Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California

Relish the beaches

Los Angeles is home to some of the best beaches in the state of California. Choose among the stunning shorelines of Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, and Zuma Beach. The boardwalks of these beaches are as iconic as the oceans and their golden shores. Foreign visitors and locals commonly love to walk around on a perfectly sunny day, grab a snack, and watch the sun go down on the horizon.

Venice Beach and Santa Monica are also renowned surf spots. They offer some of the best surf breaks in their world-class beaches. Surf season in LA tends to be during the winter months which are December to February. 

Another awe-inspiring scenic view is the Sunset Boulevard. Take a walk and watch the sky turn pink at sundown along the iconic lines of palm trees.

Eat, eat, eat!

Indulge yourself in classic American cuisine. Prepare your appetite for the juiciest burgers, the widest spreads of brunch buffets, and the most delectable doughnuts. For the healthy eater, Los Angeles is home to a ton of hole-in-the-wall cafe’s and restaurants that specialize in serving organic dishes. Indeed, there is always an amazing place that serves your culinary preferences, whether it be the perfect steak and wine or an avocado toast with a glass of cold brew.

Watch a game

For those who are traveling during the NBA season, it is always a good idea to watch a game in the iconic Staples Center. Basketball legends, including the great Kobe Bryant, have crossed its halls. The energetic atmosphere of the arena as a Laker game commences is one of the travel memories you will never forget.

Catch a show

Broadway also tours in Los Angeles, and while you’re in the city, it could be the perfect opportunity to see the theater. There are countless theaters in LA that show various musicals and theater pieces such as the Walt Disney Concern Hall or the Sergestrom Center for the Arts. This year, the Lion King and Les Miserables will be showing in Sergestrom especially for the LA crowd.

Go for a hike

Los Angeles
Los Angeles

Los Angeles may be a massive metropolis, but it also has its share of majestic natural landscapes. Head over to the Angeles National Forest and trade in a busy day in LA for some peace and serenity while enjoying majestic views of the mountains. The 700,000 acre forest features various activities such as biking, skiing, swimming, camping, or even horseback riding. The trails are in different difficulty levels that you can choose from, so there’s no need to worry about breaking a sweat.

Spot a celebrity

Apparently, one of the most common questions of tourists traveling to Los Angeles is where to spot the celebrities. For the celebrity fandom, Calabasas, Laguna Beach, and Orange County ring a bell because of the shows that popularized these areas in LA.

However, it is common courtesy in the city to just let the celebs live their regular lives without being bothered. But if you must, book a table at the Chateau Marmont for lunch then have dinner at Catch LA or Craig’s. After hours, go for a night cap at Delilah or The Nice Guy. In these places, you are sure to spot one or a few big names in Hollywood.

Visit the theme parks

There are two major theme parks in the world, and both of which are in California. First is the Universal Studios theme part, located in Universal City, Los Angeles. Experience the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which brought millions of people to the theme park since it was opened. Get a taste of butter beer, find your wand at Ollivander’s, and cast some spells in Hogwarts to make your wizarding dreams come true.

Second is of course, the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland California. LA is the perfect take-off point to drive to the neighboring city of Anaheim to get to Disneyland. Spend a day in a fairytale as you walk around Sleeping Beauty’s castle or see the dark side in Star Wars’ Path of the Jedi. Every corner is feast for the eyes especially if you grew up watching Disney and Pixar. Kids and kids at heart will surely enjoy this trip.

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