Top 12 Fun things to do in Los Angeles, USA

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Los Angeles is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the United States, offering endless opportunities for fun and entertainment. From iconic attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Venice Beach, to world-class museums and endless shopping, there is something for everyone in LA.

No.ActivityBrief Description
1Theme ParksVisit Disneyland, Universal Studios, and others.
2BeachesEnjoy the sun and surf at iconic LA beaches.
3Hike to the Hollywood SignTrek to this iconic landmark for stunning views.
4Hollywood Walk of FameExplore stars of famous personalities on Hollywood Blvd.
5Studio ToursBehind-the-scenes tours at Paramount and Warner Bros.
6ShoppingIndulge in retail therapy at various shopping spots.
7Tour the Queen MaryVisit the historic ocean liner in Long Beach.
8Getty CenterSee art exhibits and enjoy panoramic views.
9Hollywood BowlAttend concerts at this iconic outdoor venue.
10Arts District GalleriesExplore contemporary art galleries.
11Historic ArchitectureTour buildings with significant architectural value.
12Grand Central MarketSavor diverse cuisines at this bustling food hall.

With so many options to choose from, planning the perfect LA itinerary can be overwhelming. To help make your decision easier, here is a list of the top 12 most fun things to do in Los Angeles:

1. Spend the Day at a Theme Park

Name and Location: Spend the Day at Theme Parks like Universal Studios Hollywood at 100 Universal City Plaza in Universal City or Disneyland Park at 1313 Disneyland Dr. in Anaheim.

History and Significance: These iconic Southern California theme parks allow visitors to immerse themselves in the magic of movies and beloved characters.

What to Expect: Visitors can enjoy thrill rides, special effects shows, meet characters, and see themed lands bringing movies or creativity to life at these world-famous parks.

Visitor Information: The parks are open year-round, with hours varying by day/season. Ticket prices start around $100+ per day for adults.

No trip to LA is complete without a visit to one of its famous theme parks. Choose from Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Knott’s Berry Farm.

At Disneyland, step into the magical world of Disney and explore lands like Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Ride classics like Space Mountain and the Matterhorn Bobsleds. Disney California Adventure celebrates the culture and attractions of the Golden State with rides, shows, and immersive lands.

At Universal Studios, go behind the scenes of the movies with rides like the Studio Tour and Revenge of the Mummy. And screaming roller coasters like X2 and Tatsu await you at Six Flags Magic Mountain. With so many options, you may need multiple days to experience them all!

2. Relax on the Beach

Name and Location: Relax on scenic beaches like Santa Monica Beach, Venice Beach or Huntington Beach scattered along the Southern California coastline.

History and Significance: LA’s beaches have drawn visitors to enjoy the region’s surf, sand and sunshine since the early 20th century.

What to Expect: Visitors can swim, sunbathe, play beach volleyball, go surfing or simply admire the pacific views and seaside culture.

Visitor Information: The beaches are open daily with free admission. Amenities like parking vary by location.

LA is famous for its beaches. Head to Santa Monica to play beach volleyball, ride the solar-powered Ferris wheel at the pier, and take a spin on the historic carousel. Then make your way down the coast to Venice Beach to see the iconic row of palm trees, funky shops, and unique street performers. Rent a bike and cruise down the bike path for people watching.

Further south, you’ll find the laidback surf town vibes of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach. Or splash in the waves at family-friendly Redondo Beach. With miles of coastline, there are endless ways to soak up the iconic SoCal beach scene.

3. Hike up to the Hollywood Sign

Name and Location: Hike up to the Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park or Mount Lee in Beachwood Canyon.

History and Significance: The 50-foot Hollywood Sign overlooking Tinseltown has symbolized the district’s glitz since 1923, becoming an iconic landmark.

What to Expect: After hiking winding trails, visitors can view and take photos with the famed sign and sprawling city views as their backdrop.

Visitor Information: Hikes allow closer access but cannot reach the sign itself. Trails open sunrise to sunset.

No landmark is more iconic than the giant white Hollywood letters perched high in the Santa Monica Mountains. While you can’t walk directly up to the sign, you can get close by hiking the Mount Lee and Mount Hollywood trails right behind it.

For classic sign views, head to Lake Hollywood Park or the Griffith Observatory. Or get up even closer by joining a guided hiking tour to the Wisdom Tree viewpoint. The sign looks most magical at sunset when it lights up against the evening sky. Just be sure to respect residents and private property around the sign.

4. Walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Name and Location: Walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame along Hollywood Blvd and Vine St in Hollywood.

History and Significance: Created in 1958, the Walk of Fame pays tribute to major entertainment achievements with more than 2,700 celebrity stars.

What to Expect: Visitors can view the famed celebrity stars, take photos, spot filming locations and enjoy area shopping and dining.

Visitor Information: The Walk of Fame spans 15 blocks and is freely accessible 24 hours a day.

Speaking of iconic Hollywood landmarks, you can’t miss strolling down the Hollywood Walk of Fame along Hollywood Boulevard. Check out the names of over 2,700 entertainment legends who have received the renowned terrazzo and brass stars since 1961.

Look down by your feet for stars honoring everyone from classic stars like Judy Garland to modern honorees like Ryan Reynolds. Stop by celeb hangouts like the TCL Chinese Theatre, El Capitan Theatre, and The Comedy Store as you walk. And be sure to snap a selfie with the Hollywood sign in the background.

5. Tour Paramount Pictures or Warner Bros. Studios

Name and Location: Tour Paramount Pictures at 5555 Melrose Ave in Hollywood or Warner Bros. Studios at 3400 W. Riverside Dr. in Burbank.

History and Significance: These two legendary movie studios give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the magic of Hollywood moviemaking.

What to Expect: Tourgoers can glimpse working soundstages, backlot sets, costumes and props from major films and TV shows at these mass media campuses.

Visitor Information: Various tours are available daily year-round, with prices starting around $50+ per person. Advance booking recommended.

For an inside look at the magic of moviemaking, tour one of the major studio lots in LA. At Paramount Pictures, walk through the heavy iron gates to see the historic studios where generations of stars have worked. Highlights include the iconic Paramount Pictures water tower, the New York backlot set, and the soundstages.

At Warner Bros., jump into the world of TV and movies on a tram tour around the massive 110-acre facility. See the studio’s collection of iconic props and costumes, and go behind-the-scenes on working sets. With a tour, you may even spot your favorite stars hard at work!

6. Shop ‘Til You Drop

Name and Location: Shop ‘til you Drop at destinations like The Grove, Beverly Center, Westfield Century City, Santa Monica Place or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

History and Significance: LA has emerged as a world-class shopping destination known for its malls filled with luxury brands, buzzing urban markets and iconic upscale boutique strips.

What to Expect: Visitors can browse premium shops and flagship stores, graze global cuisines and people-watch in sleek settings across these retail hotspots.

Visitor Information: Individual stores/venues have varying hours but most are open from 10am-9pm daily. Some areas have free parking.

It’s no secret that LA is a shopper’s paradise. From sprawling malls to couture boutiques on Rodeo Drive, you’ll find retail therapy options galore.

In Downtown LA, explore the Westfield Century City mall with its high-end shops and huge movie theater. Melrose Avenue is known for its funky boutiques, retro furniture shops, and tattoo parlors. For the ultimate luxury shopping, head to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills with its collection of designer brands like Prada, Gucci, and Cartier.

Don’t miss shopping streets like The Grove, Abbott Kinney, and the Sunset Strip. Or for bargains, head to outlets like Citadel Outlets and Cabazon Outlets. Bring extra suitcases because you’ll be stocking up on SoCal style.

7. Tour the Queen Mary

Name and Location: Tour the Queen Mary ship at 1126 Queens Hwy in Long Beach.

History and Significance: This British ocean liner hosted royalty and celebrities in its 1930s heyday before becoming a hotel attraction docked in California.

What to Expect: Visitors can take guided tours of the art deco ship, view its rumored haunted areas, dine, shop and even stay overnight aboard.

Visitor Information: The Queen Mary complex is open 10am-6pm or later daily. Tour tickets start around $29 per adult.

Step aboard the legendary Queen Mary cruise liner on a self-guided tour or special event. Docked permanently in Long Beach, this grand Art Deco ship sailed the Atlantic from 1936 to 1967.

Explore the first-class swimming pool, promenade, and inner workings of the massive vessel. See elegant dining rooms and peek into restored luxurious staterooms. Come for holidays like Halloween when the ship gets transformed into a delightfully spooky haunt. With your ticket, you can visit as often as you want during operating hours to keep discovering new secrets.

8. See Exhibits at the Getty Center

Name and Location: See Exhibits at the Getty Center at 1200 Getty Center Dr. in Brentwood.

History and Significance: Designed by Richard Meier, the Getty Center opened in 1997 to house J. Paul Getty’s art collection with scenic views.

What to Expect: Visitors can explore European art, sculpture gardens and architecture while taking in panoramas of Los Angeles and the ocean from this hilltop complex.

Visitor Information: The Getty Center is free to visit, open Tuesday–Sunday 10:00 am–5:30 pm. Timed tickets are required.

Perched high on a hilltop with sweeping city views, the Getty Center is one of LA’s top attractions. The extensive art campus includes the renowned J. Paul Getty Museum with European art from medieval times through the 19th century.

Don’t miss masterpieces like Van Gogh’s Irises and atmospheric paintings by Monet and Gauguin. The Getty also displays photography, drawings, and modern sculpture. After viewing the collections, unwind in the Central Garden’s 134 species of plants and picturesque water features. Admission to the Getty Center is free, but parking reservations are required.

For more art, visit LACMA, MOCA, the Hammer Museum, and the Broad downtown. LA is home to one of the world’s greatest art collections.

9. Catch a Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

Name and Location: Catch a Concert at the Hollywood Bowl amphitheater at 2301 N. Highland Ave. in the Hollywood Hills.

History and Significance: This famed venue has hosted musical acts ranging from the Beatles to Lady Gaga since its 1922 opening.

What to Expect: Visitors can catch orchestra performances or today’s hottest music stars during summer nights framed by the illuminated shell and picturesque surroundings.

Visitor Information: Concert season runs May-September. Ticket prices vary by show. Grounds open for tours some days when not in use.

Since 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has been the LA summer hotspot for live music under the stars. This 18,000-seat amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills features a natural bowl shape and shell backdrop for optimal acoustics.

The LA Philharmonic plays summer evening concerts featuring classical music and famous guest performers. But the playbill also includes jazz, pop, rock, R&B, and world music acts. Make a picnic dinner to enjoy with the show. Pack a sweater as nights can get chilly. With its iconic setting and endless entertainment options, an evening at the Hollywood Bowl is quintessential LA.

10. Explore Arts District Galleries

Name and Location: Explore Arts District Galleries centered around Mateo and East 3rd streets downtown near the river.

History and Significance: Home to a vibrant creative scene, LA’s Arts District mixes eclectic industrial architecture with contemporary galleries, shops and eateries.

What to Expect: Visitors can browse rotating exhibits in warehouse spaces and glimpse street art between sipping craft coffee and nibbling at foodie hotspots.

Visitor Information: The Arts District spans several walkable blocks freely open to patrons during daytime hours.

Discover LA’s booming Arts District downtown in the vicinity of Little Tokyo and the river. Once a gritty industrial area, the neighborhood now bustles with breweries, eateries, and some of the best street art in the city.

Stop into buzzy openings at Hauser & Wirth, MorYork Gallery, Vielmetter Los Angeles, and other avant-garde artist-run spaces. Check out the murals and graffiti art decorating walls along Mateo and Traction Avenue. And don’t miss the acclaimed Institute of Contemporary Art LA with engaging contemporary exhibits.

11. Tour Historic Architecture

Name and Location: Tour Historic Architecture in districts like downtown LA, Hollywood, Pasadena and West Adams.

History and Significance: Beyond its entertainment fame, Greater LA features diverse architectural styles from Victorian to Spanish Colonial Revival to Mid-Century Modern.

What to Expect: Visitors can spot Beaux Arts towers, Golden Age mansions, Frank Lloyd Wright homes and other fascinating structures across eras via tours or self-guides.

Visitor Information: Many buildings can be viewed externally anytime. Interior tours require booking specific listings during open hours.

Beyond Hollywood, discover LA’s wealth of historic architecture spanning a range of styles. The grand Walt Disney Concert Hall with its futuristic metallic curves offers free self-guided audio tours daily. The Bradbury Building’s Victorian wrought-iron atrium is considered one of the city’s most spectacular interiors, renowned for its skylit atrium and open-cage elevators.

In Hollywood, the barrel-vaulted Pantages Theatre hosted glamorous openings in the 1930s. Downtown, find the grand 1920s opulence of City Hall and the Oviatt Building. And along Wilshire Boulevard, admire the Art Deco masterpiece Bullocks Wilshire. LA has as much richness inside as glamour outside.

12. Eat Your Way through Grand Central Market

Name and Location: Eat Your Way through Grand Central Market at 317 S Broadway in downtown LA.

History and Significance: First opened in 1917, this vibrant food hall has reinvented itself over the last decade to showcase LA’s diversity through culturally blended cuisine.

What to Expect: Visitors can graze popular eateries dishing out tacos, pizza, ramen, Cuban sandwiches, Thai street food and more under one roof.

Visitor Information: Grand Central Market is open 8am-10pm daily. Admission is free; food/drink pay-as-you-order.

Downtown’s Grand Central Market food hall is a must for any foodie. The lively multi-cultural bazaar has tempting stalls dishing up authentic street food and gourmet eats.

Choices range from pho, tacos, and banh mi to barbecue, ceviche, and falafel. Don’t miss the legendary Eggslut for yolk-oozing breakfast sandwiches and tacos. The Market Restaurant by Curtis Stone does amazing Australian meat pies and salads. And Sample Green offers fresh-pressed juices if you need a wholesome break. With kitschy signs and mid-century decor, the market is a fun setting for an unforgettable LA meal.

Conclusion

From the Hollywood Hills to the beaches, LA packs in endless iconic attractions, culture, shopping, food, and entertainment. By following this Los Angeles bucket list, you can make the most of your trip through this dynamic world capital of glamour and creativity. Wherever your LA travels take you, the fun, energy, and beauty of the city are sure to leave you captivated and planning a return visit.

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