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Top Unique Things to Do in LA: Explore Los Angeles With This Ultimate Guide

Things to Do in LA

Welcome to Los Angeles, a Southern California city that dazzles with a blend of glitz, glamour, and an undeniable charm unlike any other. From its iconic landmarks to hidden gems, LA is filled with unique experiences waiting to be discovered. Ready to embark on an unforgettable city adventure and explore the best things to do in LA?

To learn about some great outdoor photoshoot locations in Los Angeles, feel free to read my article "Outdoor Photoshoot Locations in Los Angeles."

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!

Exploring Universal Studios Hollywood

Things to Do in LA

Our journey starts at the heart of the city, Universal Studios Hollywood, one of the best theme parks in the country. Entering this enchanting place feels as if you’re immersing yourself in your favorite movie scenes. The thrilling Waterworld show will quicken your pulse, while the delightful donuts of Springfield will leave you craving for more. The entertainment doesn’t stop there; the Universal CityWalk is a hotbed of fun with its 18-screen movie theater and an indoor skydiving spot, a stone’s throw away from the picturesque Santa Monica Mountains.

No trip to Universal Studios Hollywood would be complete without an encounter with the enchantment of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here are some must-do activities:

  • Wander through the snow-capped roofs of Hogsmeade

  • Take a thrilling ride on the Revenge of the Mummy

  • Try the delicious butterbeer and pumpkin juice at Diagon Alley

  • Download the Universal Studios App to experience a seamless journey

  • Get access to a comprehensive list with maps, wait times, and showtimes by using your phone

Strolling the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Things to Do in LA

Leaving the magical realm behind, we journey on to the star-filled Hollywood Walk of Fame in West Hollywood. This iconic walkway along Hollywood Boulevard pays tribute to more than 2,000 celebrities from around the world. Fancy a photo with the star of your favorite character? This sidewalk is the perfect spot for that. Take a stroll along this hallway of stars and feel the magic of Hollywood come alive under your feet.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is not just about glamour and glitz; it also boasts a rich history. Initially installed in 1923 to promote a condo under construction, the walk of fame has evolved into a permanent landmark celebrating Hollywood’s most iconic characters. Some interesting facts about the Hollywood Walk of Fame include:

  • Mickey Mouse was the first fictional character to get a star on this prestigious walkway.

  • Over 2,600 stars are currently embedded in the sidewalk.

  • Each star represents a different category, including film, television, music, and theater.

  • The stars are maintained by the Hollywood Historic Trust.

Keep in mind though, while strolling the Walk of Fame, beware of the costume-clad characters who might charge a hefty price for a photo-op.

TCL Chinese Theatre Adventures

Things to Do in LA

Following this, we enter the majestic TCL Chinese Theatre, a nod to the golden age of Hollywood. The theatre boasts:

  • An exciting tour

  • The largest IMAX theater in the world, ready to take your cinematic experience to a whole new level

  • A unique tradition of preserving handprints and footprints of celebrities, offering a different kind of star-studded experience.

Just remember to keep some cash ready if you wish to snap a photo with the celebrity look-alikes strolling around the area.

Posing with Stars at Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Things to Do in LA

Moving from genuine celebrities to their wax replicas, we progress to Madame Tussauds Hollywood, boasting remarkably lifelike wax figures of Hollywood stars, celebrities, superheroes, and historical figures. Feel the thrill of standing next to your favorite superstar, or strike a pose on the T-Birds’ car from Grease while humming the tune of Grease Lightning.

The fun doesn’t stop there; you can even get your admission tickets in advance for a seamless experience.

Griffith Observatory Exploration

Things to Do in LA

Leaving Hollywood’s glamour behind, we ascend to the celestial. Enter the Griffith Observatory, your portal to the cosmos nestled in the LA’s core. The Griffith Observatory is not just about stargazing; it offers spectacular views of the Hollywood Sign and Downtown LA that are nothing short of breathtaking.

The observatory was a gift from Colonel Griffith J. Griffith in 1896, and it continues to offer visitors a peek into the mysteries of the universe.

Uncovering Griffith Park Secrets

Things to Do in LA

Merely a short distance from the observatory is the unspoiled expanse of Griffith Park, an expansive sanctuary in the city’s core. This park offers:

  • Trails

  • Flora

  • Views

  • The howls of coyotes down the canyons at night

It is a stellar alternative to the bustling city life.

Whether it’s hiking through trails, horseback riding, picnicking, or exploring the abandoned Old LA Zoo, Griffith Park has something for everyone.

Hollywood Sign Adventure

Things to Do in LA

Referencing Griffith Park, an LA visit would not be finished without a personal encounter with the famed Hollywood Sign. This legendary sign has been a symbol of dreams and stardom since its establishment in 1923. Whether you hike up to the sign or take a private helicopter flight over it, the Hollywood Sign offers an adventure like no other.

Remember, getting up close to the sign can be challenging, so plan your visit accordingly.

Experiencing Sunset Strip

Things to Do in LA

As day turns into night, it’s time to hit the Sunset Strip, a popular nightlife spot famous for its electrifying energy. From events and concerts to nightclubs and bars, the Sunset Strip, located on the iconic Sunset Boulevard, offers a variety of entertainment options that are sure to keep you on your toes.

Don’t forget to pause and enjoy the gorgeous sunset during late afternoon drives.

Self-Guided Tour of Famous Movie Locations

Things to Do in LA

What would an LA journey be without a touch of Hollywood enchantment? Take a self-guided tour of famous movie locations throughout Los Angeles and feel the thrill of walking in the footsteps of your favorite movie characters. From the bustling Union Station to the iconic Randy’s Donuts, each location is a piece of cinematic history waiting to be discovered.

Venice Beach Boardwalk & Beach Vibes

Things to Do in LA

We trade the city view for coastal vibes as we head towards the diverse Venice Beach Boardwalk via the Pacific Coast Highway. Spend a day under the California sun, rollerblading down the pier, visiting the amusement park, or simply soaking in the lively atmosphere at the South Coast Botanic Garden.

Don’t forget to check out Abbot Kinney Boulevard, where you can indulge in some retail therapy or attend the popular First Friday event.

Venice Canals Exploration

Things to Do in LA

A short distance from Venice Beach lie the captivating Venice Canals. Modeled after the famous waterways of Venice, Italy, these canals offer a quaint escape from the city buzz. Rent a bike and ride along these serene canals or take a leisurely walk and enjoy the idyllic scenery.

The canals offer a peaceful retreat in the city center, perfect for catching your breath amid the city’s hustle and bustle near the city hall.

Beverly Hills & Rodeo Drive Extravaganza

Things to Do in LA

Our LA exploration wouldn’t be fulfilled without visiting the opulent Beverly Hills and its famed Rodeo Drive. From world-class designer stores to small private boutiques, Rodeo Drive is a shopping paradise like no other. Don’t forget to take a lunch break at the Mexican steakhouse, The Hideaway, located on the subterranean level of the Rodeo Collection.

Santa Monica Pier & Beach Fun

Things to Do in LA

Leaving behind Rodeo Drive’s glamour, we direct ourselves towards the sandy beaches of the Santa Monica Pier. Whether you’re riding the Ferris wheel, indulging in a funnel cake, or simply strolling along the pier, Santa Monica Beach is the perfect place to embrace the quintessential Californian beach culture.

Santa Monica Farmers Market Experience

Things to Do in LA

An excursion to Santa Monica wouldn’t be fulfilled without exploring the Farmers Market. This bustling market is a sensory delight, brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables that are the star ingredients at top LA restaurants later in the day.

Be sure to make the most of your visit by trying out the local produce and enjoying the lively atmosphere.

Echo Park Adventures

Things to Do in LA

Transitioning from beach to park, we progress to the fashionable Echo Park neighborhood. Whether it’s renting a swan boat on the lake, visiting the Time Travel Mart, or trying the delicious pizza at Masa, Echo Park offers a unique LA experience like no other.

Little Tokyo Cultural Journey

Things to Do in LA

Our LA expedition moves on with a cultural immersion into Little Tokyo, a pocket of Japanese-American culture situated centrally in the city. From the Koyasan Buddhist temple to the Japanese American Museum, Little Tokyo offers a rich cultural experience that is a must-see on any LA itinerary.

Live Theater in LA

Things to Do in LA

After a cultural detour, it’s time to immerse ourselves in the world of live theater in the Los Angeles area. LA’s theater scene is brimming with creativity, featuring performances in iconic venues such as the Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and the Pantages Theater.

Exposition Park Wonders

Things to Do in LA

Continuing forward, we enter Exposition Park, a centre of knowledge and amusement. From museums to entertainment venues, Exposition Park offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to all interests.

California Science Center Discovery

Things to Do in LA

While touring Exposition Park, ensure a visit to the California Science Center, a repository of scientific marvels. From human inventions to the life sciences and the US space shuttle program, the Science Center offers an exciting peek into the world of science.

Walt Disney Concert Hall Marvels

Things to Do in LA

Transitioning from science to music, we proceed to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, located in downtown Los Angeles. This architectural marvel is not just a feast for the eyes but also a haven for music lovers.

Whether you’re a fan of classical music or modern compositions, the Walt Disney Concert Hall promises a memorable musical experience.

Warner Bros Studio Tour Experience

Things to Do in LA

We maintain the enchantment of Hollywood with the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Go behind the scenes of your favorite movies and TV shows, and get a glimpse of the magic that goes into making them.

Hollywood Bowl Magic

Things to Do in LA

As the day winds down, there’s no better way to end it than with a live music performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Lose yourself in the enchanting atmosphere and let the music carry you away under the starry LA sky.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) & Urban Light

Things to Do in LA

Begin the following day with a cultural indulgence at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). From ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces, LACMA offers a journey through art history that is not to be missed.

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum Adventure

Things to Do in LA

Step back in time at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, a window to LA’s prehistoric past. From saber-toothed tigers to dire wolves, the tar pits offer a glimpse into a world long gone.

The Getty Center Experience

Things to Do in LA

Transitioning from history to the contemporary, our LA exploration proceeds to The Getty Center, a must-visit contemporary art museum and one of the most impressive art galleries in the city. With its stunning collection of art, architecture, and gardens, The Getty Center is a must-visit for all art enthusiasts.

The Getty Villa Escape

Things to Do in LA

Moving from one Getty establishment to another, we advance to The Getty Villa. This villa transports you to the ancient world, showcasing Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities in a setting reminiscent of an ancient Roman country house.

Melrose Avenue Excursion

Things to Do in LA

Changing pace, we direct ourselves towards the fashionable Melrose Avenue. This vibrant street is a shopper’s paradise, home to a unique blend of boutiques, eateries, and entertainment venues.

Bradbury Building History

Things to Do in LA

Take a break from the shopping spree to discover the historic Bradbury Building. Known for its unique architecture and cinematic history, the Bradbury Building is a must-see landmark in downtown LA.

Marina Del Rey: A Waterfront Haven

Things to Do in LA

Stepping away from city life, we arrive at Marina Del Rey, a peaceful seaside community. This North America's largest man-made small craft harbor houses over 5,000 boats, making it a paradise for water sports enthusiasts.

Apart from water activities, the area offers outdoor fun like cycling on the Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Trail and picnicking at Burton Chace Park. The dining scene is vibrant, offering everything from seafood to gourmet pizza. Make sure to visit Fisherman's Village, a replica of a New England seaport, for live music and harbor tours.

Runyon Canyon Park: A Natural Retreat

Things to Do in LA

Just a short distance from the Hollywood hustle, you'll find the tranquil oasis of Runyon Canyon Park. This 160-acre park is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, offering a network of hiking trails with stunning views of the city and the iconic Hollywood sign. Whether you're in for a leisurely walk or a challenging hike, Runyon Canyon Park has something for everyone. Don't forget to bring your furry friends along, as the park is dog-friendly. With its panoramic city views and a chance to spot a celebrity or two, a visit to Runyon Canyon Park is a must on your LA adventure.

The Grammy Museum Experience

Things to Do in LA

Commemorate the city’s musical legacy at The Grammy Museum. Explore the history of the music industry and its many achievements, and get an insider’s look at the making of your favorite songs.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Mystique

Things to Do in LA

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery, nestled near the iconic Hollywood Hills, is a tranquil sanctuary and the eternal resting place of numerous renowned stars. Take a moment to pay your respects and reflect on the enduring legacy of Hollywood’s golden era.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the operating hours for the California Science Center?

The California Science Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, so go experience science today!

Is the Getty Villa free to visit?

Yes, visiting the Getty Villa won't cost you a thing - admission is free!

Can you visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery?

Yes, you can visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and explore its peaceful grounds - go experience it for yourself!

What kind of performances can you see at the Hollywood Bowl?

Experience a spectacular mix of concerts, comedy shows and annual events like the Hollywood Bowl's Fireworks Spectacular at this world-class venue.

What can you do at the La Brea Tar Pits Museum?

Visit the La Brea Tar Pits Museum and explore the ancient remains of saber-toothed tigers, dire wolves, and more! Experience history come to life with fascinating artifacts and educational displays.


From the glitz of Hollywood to the serene beauty of the California coast, we’ve explored the many faces of LA. We’ve walked in the footsteps of movie stars, discovered hidden gems, and ventured off the beaten path. Whether it’s your first visit or your hundredth, LA never fails to surprise and inspire. So, what are you waiting for? Your LA adventure awaits!

To learn about some great outdoor photoshoot locations in Los Angeles, feel free to read my article "Outdoor Photoshoot Locations in Los Angeles."

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!


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