There are so many things to do in Los Angeles that you may be wondering where to start. I lived in LA for 6 months as part of my university degree so I know the city relatively well. I’ve put together a list of things that you have to do in LA then next time you visit!
What are the Things You Must Do in LA?
Los Angeles is a huge city, spanning over 1,300km², with a population of almost 4 million. Deciding where to start exploring this beautiful city can be a tricky task. Luckily I’ve put together 24 must do things in LA to make it that little bit easier for you. With that being said, I hope you enjoy this Brit’s guide to Los Angeles.
1. Santa Monica Pier
One of the most iconic things to do in Los Angeles is taking a trip to Santa Monica Pier. A true LA landmark, this pier is the end of infamous route 66. Whether you’re after some food at Bubba Gumps, or a ride on a ferris wheel in Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier has it all. Try traditional American funnel cake whilst enjoy the gorgeous coastline!
2. Venice Boardwalk
Another must-do activity in LA is Venice Boardwalk. The boardwalk runs along the top of Venice Beach and is lined with beach shops, gift shops, bars, and more! This is the perfect place to enjoy a day in the sunshine! For those who enjoy getting active try hiring a pair of rollerskates to explore this part of Los Angeles in true Californian style!
3. Muscle Beach
Along Venice Boardwalk you will find Muscle Beach, the iconic outdoor beach gym that many famous faces have trained out. Along the side of the gym, you’ll find their very own walk of fame that shows the names of many famous people who have spent time here.
4. Abbot Kinney Boulevard
One of my favourite things to do in Los Angeles is exploring Abbot Kinney Boulevard. This street is located a short walk from Venice Beach and has an array of shops, mainly independent, and restaurants and bars. In fact, my all-time favourite restaurant (of anywhere in the world is located on this street) – The Butcher’s Daughter. The restaurant is all vegetarian and vegan, and I would recommend it for food any time of the day!
5. Runyon Canyon
The only place you’ll willing get me on a hike is LA and Runyon Canyon is the best place to hike in LA. Runyon Canyon is located in the Hollywood Hills and you’re sure to have seen it on many celebrity and influencer’s Instagrams. There are three entrances to the park depending on which is easiest for you to get to. As LA gets hot, I recommend starting your hike relatively early to avoid the hottest parts of the day. There are multiple points on the hike that are perfect for stopping and appreciating the gorgeous skyline of LA. My favourite being Inspiration Point. This is one thing you definitely must do in LA if you are able.
6. Hollywood Sign Hike
Another hike to do in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Sign hike. By exploring this park you’ll get the closest you possibly can to the famous sign. After all, you can’t come to LA without seeing this sign! There are points that are ideal for photos, as well as a hike that takes you to the very top of the park, just above the sign.
7. S’mores at Dockweiler Beach
One thing to do in Los Angeles that is slightly under the radar is having s’mores at Dockweiler Beach. Until I was looking at which university I’d like to send my semester abroad at, I didn’t know Dockweiler Beach existed. This beach is popular with university students as it has large fire pits that are free to use and perfect for enjoying traditional American s’mores!
8. Griffith Observatory
For those wanting to appreciate the city from a high point, Griffith Observatory is the place to be. The Observatory is nestled at the top of Griffith Park and offers sweeping views across LA as well as another viewpoint for The Hollywood Sign. This is one of my favourite things to do in LA and I’d recommend fitting this in, even if you’re just having a short trip to the sunshine city.
9. Melrose Trading Post
For those who enjoy markets, The Melrose Trading Post is a must-do thing in LA. The Trading Post is open every Sunday between 9 am and 5 pm, and features everything from vintage clothing stores, to vinyl stores, up-and-coming clothing brands, and fresh lemonade! I learnt about this place through a guidebook and am so glad I did! There is a small entry charge to the market but it is well worth it!
10. Warner Brothers Studio Tour
If you’re a TV and movie lover you must do this one thing in LA: The Warner Brothers Studio Tour. Located in Burbank, the Warner Brothers lot is massive and has hosted a large range of productions. From Friends, to Pretty Little Liars, and even Batman, I’ve been on this tour twice now and you can bet I’ll be back next time in LA. Every tour is slightly different depending on what is being filmed at the time and based on what you tell your tour guide your favourite shows are. The last time I went, I got a picture in the Stars Hollow Gazebo and on the steps of the Full House home!
11. Rodeo Drive
Until I moved to Los Angeles I was pronouncing this road wrong. Rodeo (pronounced road-ay-oh) Drive is home to high-end shops like Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, and is located in Beverly Hills. Even if you’re not a high-end shopper, it is worth taking a look at this thing to do in Los Angeles due to how iconic it is. A short walk from Rodeo Drive you’ll also find Beverly Hills Park which features the famous sign, as well as other pieces of public artwork.
12. Grand Central Market
Located in Downtown LA, Grand Central Market is a thing to do in Los Angeles for all the foodies. Home to iconic LA restaurants such as Egg Slut, the market has many different types of food from all over the world. The bustling nature of this place shows how popular the food is here!
13. The Last Bookstore
Once you’ve grabbed lunch at Grand Central Market, the next thing to do in LA is a trip to The Last Bookstore. This is the most unique bookshop I have ever visited and you could easily spend hours getting lost within its walls. Opening first in 2005, the store was opened in response to the growing trend of online retailers and e-readers. Today The Last Bookstore is one of the largest independent bookshops still standing.
14. Los Angeles County Museum of Art
One of my favourite things to do in LA is visiting LACMA. This art museum is home to the Urban Lights installations, which you can see on its forecourt without paying a penny. However, I truly advise you to pay admission and step inside to see their many artworks. Every time I’ve been to LACMA I’ve seen a different expedition, from life-size houses made from netting, to a tiger skin made from cigarettes. LACMA is truly worth an afternoon of your time spent in Los Angeles.
15. The Broad
If you enjoy art, another thing to do whilst you’re in LA is to visit The Broad. Another place I didn’t learn to pronounce properly before I lived in the city. With works from Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons, this is a contemporary art museum not to be missed!
16. The Grove
For the shoppers among us, one thing to do in LA is visit The Grove. This outdoor shopping mall has an array of stores and restaurants that will have you spending all your holiday money! My favourite restaurant in this area is Marmalade, which is a Los Angeles chain. Again, this is great for both breakfast and lunch!
17. Farmers’ Market
The LA Farmers’ Market is in the same location as the grove so you can tick these two things to do in Los Angeles off at the same time. The market has everything from fruit and meat produce, to restaurants, to shops such as Khiels. This is the Original Los Angeles Farmers’ Market so is not a thing to miss doing!
18. The Getty Center
Another museum to make time for whilst you’re in LA is The Getty Center. This large museum houses many artworks from ancient artworks to more modern pieces. With cafes, restaurants, and an absolutely stunning view over the city this is one thing you’ll definitely want to do in LA.
19. See a Concert at The Troubadour
The famous Troubadour venue is one thing I’m so glad I managed to see whilst living in LA. This music venue has seen everyone from the likes of Elton John, to Bob Dylan. If you’re a music fan I highly recommend getting tickets to a show whilst you’re in LA. I personally saw Maisie Peters, who is a young British singer-songwriter, who I hadn’t had the chance to see in the UK yet. The small nature of this venue also meant that after the show I also got to meet Maisie (we had a conversation about British vs American chocolate!).
20. See a Concert at The Greek Theatre
Another concert venue in LA that you must see is The Greek Theatre. The Greek Theatre is located at the bottom of Griffith Park and is a traditional amphitheater. I went to my first country concert here to see Maren Morris. I really loved this venue and its unique location nestled in the LA hills and would for sure visit again if I had the opportunity to.
21. Malibu Pier
For those looking for slightly more chilled things to do in LA, you’ll love Malibu – especially Malibu Pier. Slightly further north in the city, Malibu Pier is far quieter than Santa Monica and is a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the main city. The pier is located on the Pacific Coast Highway and features Malibu Farm restaurant and Malibu Farm Cafe. After you’ve spent time on the pier, this is a great beach to relax and read a book on.
22. Hollywood Walk of Fame
One thing to do in LA that you’ll probably have heard much about is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I’ll be honest and say this isn’t my favourite place I’ve visited in LA, and I’ve only been once. However, for celebrity fans, you’ll enjoy seeing the long road of names memorialised on this street. From this street, you’ll also be able to spot other LA landmarks such as the Capitol Records tower.
23. Venice Canals
The next thing to do in LA is to visit the Venice Canals. Explore the meandering canals and the beautiful houses that line them with an afternoon stroll. I’ve taken many a stroll through these canals and have enjoyed their relaxing vibe each time.
24. Third Street Promenade
My final suggestion of things to do in Los Angeles is another one for the shopaholics. Located in Santa Monica is Third Street Promenade, featuring many famous American stores from Victoria’s Secret to LuluLemon. My personal favourite store on this shopping parade is Sephora (as we don’t have one in the UK)! At one end you’ll also find a shopping mall that houses Bath and Body Works, as well as one of The Cheesecake Factory’s locations.
What Things Should I Do First in LA?
My recommendation for what to do first in LA is to visit the famous beaches of Santa Monica and Venice. I’d also recommend fitting it a hike, even if you’re only visiting for a short time to get the full view of the city. For those who aren’t able, or are not a fan of hiking, I would suggest you visit Griffith Observatory instead. And if you can only eat in one place in LA whilst you’re there, make sure it’s The Butcher’s Daughter!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post of my top 24 things to do in Los Angeles. I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve got any things to do in LA that I haven’t mentioned so I can add them to my list for my next trip!
The Ultimate Things to do in Los Angeles Checklist
To make your trip that little bit easier I’ve created the ultimate things to do in Los Angeles checklist that you can save to your phone or device. I’d love to see which activities you tick off as you explore this wonderful city!
About Katie May
I am a British blogger and YouTuber who works full-time in digital marketing. My blog features my thoughts on my English Literature and Philosophy degree, as well as insights into my favourite beauty bits including whether I think Glossier is worth it! I hope you enjoy reading my posts!