Los Angeles gets a bad rap as a travel city. As long as you don’t mind spending some time behind the wheel of a rental car, the City of Angels has enough amazing experiences to keep you entertained for a weekend, a week, or a month. Hollywood, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Downtown, LA’s different neighborhoods each have their own unique flavor to offer. If you manage to run out of things to do, then you’re not trying hard enough, but here are some ideas to get you started.
LA is like no other city in North America, but if you like that big city feel, then head downtown. Check out the iconic Bradbury Building’s ironwork, grab a bite to eat at Grand Central Market (Ramen Hood is a personal favorite of mine), then head up the rickety old Angel’s Flight and walk over to the Broad art museum, one of the best free attractions in the city.
Santa Monica/Venice Beach
Don’t forget, Los Angeles is in beautiful, sunny, Southern California, so make sure you take time for a day at the beach! Walking the Venice Boardwalk is an iconic LA experience and essential for any avid people-watchers—but don’t forget about Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach in that regard either. Whether you want to find a delicious restaurant, take in the surf, or just bake in the sun for a few hours, Venice and Santa Monica are the place to be.
LA might not have a lot of parks, but Griffith Park more than makes up for it. Centered around the legendary Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park has amazing trails and stunning views. From the Los Angeles Zoo to the Greek Theatre to the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Los Angeles.
If you’re one of those people who likes to rent an AirBNB and pretend you live in a city for a few days, look no further than Silver Lake. Probably best-known as LA’s biggest “hipster” neighborhood, you’ll never have to travel far to find a delivious cup of coffee, a vegan cafe, or a cozy dive bar. Plus, its location means adventures into Downtown, Hollywood, and Griffith Park will be a snap.
Of course, as with any great city, this only scratches the surface. Spend a day at Disneyland! Catch a game at Dodger Stadium! Venture up to the Getty Museum! Wind your way along Mulholland Drive! Los Angeles has more things to offer than one brief list can cover. And if you do visit, above all else, I recommend one thing: Ask the locals what you should do! There’s no better way to find the hidden gems of a great city than asking someone who lives there.