45 fantastic things to do in Los Angeles

A creative capital and the epicentre of the entertainment universe, Los Angeles offers limitless opportunities to explore its 30 culturally rich neighbourhoods.

From Hollywood glamour and new five-star hotels to Michelin-starred restaurants and world-class arts and cultural museums. LA also enjoys more than 300 days of warm sunshine, 120km of idyllic shoreline, more museums and performing arts venues than any other US city, and an innovative culinary scene led by influential tastemakers. These are the best things to do in Los Angeles. 

Experience Hollywood glamour at these three film studios

Experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood by taking a tour of iconic film studios such as Paramount Pictures Studio Tour, Universal Studios Hollywood and Warner Bros. Explore sets, learn about movie magic and catch a glimpse of your favourite celebrities. A behind-the-scenes deluxe studio tour with Warner Bros. Studio Tours, which is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, is a must.

Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood © Adobe Stock/Katie Chizhevskaya

Visit six iconic landmarks 

Pose for a selfie at the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, marvel at the architectural wonders of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, or take in panoramic views from the Griffith Observatory. Los Angeles is dotted with film landmarks waiting to be explored. Some notable locations to add to your travel list: Los Angeles Theatre where ‘The Prestige’ and ‘Man on the Moon’ were filmed; scenes from ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ were shot at Heritage Square Museum in Downtown LA; the grounds of the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens have been used for countless film shoots, from ‘Tarzan’ flicks in the 1930s to ‘Bridesmaids’.

Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame © Adobe Stock

Discover three of the best neighbourhood gems in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has 30 village-like neighbourhoods, including Chinatown and Koreatown, and they all offer something distinct to residents and visitors alike. Discover the best beauty and bakery spots in historic Larchmont Village, to ramen and mochi in Little Tokyo, which has roots dating back to the 1880s. Music lovers flock in search of vinyl and vintage fashion in Highland Park, Los Angeles’ first actual suburb, which has a rich history of art, architecture and culture. It’s a mecca for musicians, creatives and artisans.

Find inspiration at four world-class museums

Don’t pass up the opportunity to explore the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the premier destination celebrating the art of filmmaking. It houses an extensive collection of cinematic artefacts, from iconic costumes to historic props. The museum also hosts screenings, exhibitions and educational programs. The Getty Centre’s impressive art collection in the Paul J. Getty Trust is an enviable ensemble of European masters, post-Renaissance sculpture and decorative arts, and contemporary paintings and photographs. The futuristic exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art are a paradise for art enthusiasts. Another noteworthy institution is The Broad, which will be showing more than 120 pieces of art and archival materials created by legendary painter Keith Haring in a landmark exhibit titled ‘Art Is for Everybody’, the first large-scale museum survey of his work in Los Angeles.

The Broad in downtown LA
The Broad in downtown LA © Adobe Stock/Kapi

Eat your way through Los Angeles’ epic food scene 

Los Angeles is a culinary mecca. From gourmet food trucks to Michelin-starred restaurants, LA boasts the highest number of honours from the esteemed 2023 James Beard Awards. One such James Beard Award-winner is Margarita Manzke’s République Café Bakery and République Restaurant, a premier daytime bakery and dessert destination in the U.S.A. For a Michelin-star experience, head to Kato in Downtown LA. This restaurant has a top-notch bar-tasting menu and is launching a Kavalan Old Fashioned Bar Cart for the main dining room, where the cocktail is made tableside. This restaurant has the best non-alcoholic beverage pairing in the city. Their bar program was just awarded the only Michelin cocktail award for California.

Dine at The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air, one of Los Angeles’ most acclaimed dining institutions. Chef Connor McVay ushers in a new era for the restaurant, which features a range of innovative dishes inspired by California and Mediterranean cuisine. Perch, the buzzing rooftop restaurant and bar, sits atop a skyscraper in Downtown LA, welcoming guests with an unbeatable view of the city skyline. Another hot spot in Downtown’s Arts District is Damian, a newer California-Mexican restaurant by Chef Enrique Olvera, who is a partner in New York City’s famous Cosme restaurant.

Level 8 is the latest arrival in downtown Los Angeles, a collection of restaurants by famed venue-makers Mark and Jonnie Houston. They have turned the eighth floor of the Figueroa Street building (home to the AC Marriott and the Moxy hotels) into eight exciting venues. Check out the rooftop bar, complete with a swimming pool, at Golden Hour, the teppanyaki restaurant Maison Kasai, and the jazz-inspired music lounge Mr. Wanderlust.

The Original Farmers Market
The Original Farmers Market

One of the most coveted dining reservations in the City of Angels right now is Mother Wolf. Created by chef Evan Funke and famous for its wood-fired pizzas and traditional handmade pasta (for which Funke is renowned), Mother Wolf attracts celebrities and A-list clientele craving authentic Italian flavours. 

For those seeking to splurge, n/naka is a top choice with two Michelin stars. Chef Niki Nakayama’s Japanese tasting menu has captivated diners with its artistry and precision. Nakayama blends traditional Japanese techniques with a modern and innovative approach. Her casual counterpart, n/soto, offers a more accessible dining experience without compromising quality or flavour.

Gucci Osteria, a one-Michelin-star eatery in Beverly Hills by the renowned fashion maison, is an LA outpost of the Florence flagship. It offers pristine plates of modern Italian and views of bustling Rodeo Drive.

Santa Monica’s farmers markets are where colour and culture converge, and each offers a distinct personality. Don’t be surprised if you brush shoulders with a celebrity chef at the Downtown Farmers Markets, held on Wednesdays, or if your nose leads you to the bountiful organic produce at the lively Sunday Main Street Farmers Markets.

Soak up the sun at three beautiful beaches 

With 120 kilometres of coastline and numerous world-famous surf spots, Los Angeles is the quintessential city of ‘Endless Summer’, offering sun-seekers many beautiful beaches to explore. Catch some waves in Malibu, soak up the rays in Santa Monica, or head to Venice Beach to walk its lively boardwalk. From swimming and surfing to yoga, outdoor fitness classes, and some of the best running paths in the city, Venice is the perfect neighbourhood for those who want to tap into wellness and the great outdoors. 

Santa Monica Pier Los Angeles
Santa Monica Pier © Adobe Stock

Indulge in retail therapy at four of the best shopping streets in Los Angeles 

Los Angeles offers a shopping experience where you can splurge on designer labels or hunt for one-of-a-kind fashion treasures. A trip to LA isn’t complete without a stroll down Beverly Hills’ iconic Rodeo Drive, known as one of the most expensive streets in the world. The famed three-block stretch houses more than one hundred of the world’s leading international brands.

Just minutes from Venice Beach is Abbot Kinney Boulevard where you can find all the latest designs. Visitors can shop for homewares at Huset or pursue fashion clothing at the long list of indie boutiques, including 1970s-inspired California designs at Aviator Nation.

Explore Melrose Avenue and its boutique shops, such as John Varvatos, Paul Smith and Fred Segal. Stop by Urth Caffé to refuel with coffee and a croissant, a venue made famous by Mark Wahlberg’s hit series ‘Entourage’. 

Robertson Boulevard is another favourite shopping street for celebrities and stargazers. Three-quarters of the retail spaces along this street are dedicated to boutique fashion purveyors and high-end labels, while celebrity-favourite restaurants The Ivy and The Henry are nearby. A few blocks away is pierside Santa Monica Place, where you’ll find all the top fashion brands from luxury labels to family favourites.

Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles
Rodeo Drive © Adobe Stock

Spend time at four of the best family-friendly attractions in Los Angeles 

From thrilling rides at Disneyland Resort to educational exhibits at the California Science Center, Los Angeles is filled with family-friendly attractions. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood was five years in the making and its signature 3D-HD ride, ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’, takes thrillseekers on a journey above Hogwarts Castle with the help of Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles. Delve into Los Angeles’ rich history with a visit to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and uncover the stories that have shaped the city.

Get your heart pumping at four sport-centric venues 

Los Angeles is a sport-lover’s paradise, offering thrilling games and electrifying atmospheres all year round. Cheer on your favourite teams at legendary sports venues such as the Staples Center or Dodger Stadium. The new SoFi Stadium has several luxury suites, including the field-side cabanas, Google Cloud Suite and Corona Club Deck Suite, which are available for rent. Then, venture to the South Bay and take an adrenaline-fueled ride in a new Porsche model at Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles. For those afraid to take the wheel, a Porsche Drive Coach can spin you around the two-kilometre Handling Circuit.

an empty dodger stadium
Dodger Stadium © Adobe Stock

Start planning your trip to Los Angeles now

Rest up at four luxury hotels 

A stylish urban escape in downtown Los Angeles, Hotel Per La mixes antiques with custom furniture styled by designer Jacques Garcia, with a ground-floor restaurant and daytime café. The rooftop pool with its fierce-looking gargoyle fireplace and views of the Los Angeles skyline are a major drawcard. Built in 1922 in the former Bank of Italy with an ornate Neoclassical style, it was refurbished in 2022 by hotel founder Amadeo Pietro Giannini.

The brand new Conrad Los Angeles hotel recently opened in Downtown LA’s The Grand as the area’s newest five-star hotel. This 25-story tower welcomes visitors with four restaurants, two from the celebrated Chef José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup.

Beyond staying in stunning rooms at the newly refreshed Fairmont Century Plaza, the dedicated concierge can also arrange top-notch experiences such as an exclusive helicopter ride to Rocky Oaks Private Vineyard Estate for a tour and dinner. Alternatively, check into the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, a five-star hotel that’s been a celebrity hot spot since opening in 1912.

Hotel Per La interior dining room
Hotel Per La © The Ingalls

Treat yourself to a stylish stay at one of these exclusive hotels.

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