From the Sunset Strip to the sandy beaches, Los Angeles is full of fun and sure will leave you speechless. LA is one of my favorite cities because of its diverse culture, never-ending food scene and vibe that I just can’t seem to get enough of. Stick around for my secret tip on how to get the real LA experience for free.
With so many things to do in LA, how do you decide what you can see in such a short amount of time? Hopefully, this guide will help you with your decision-making process and add or eliminate some things from your list of things you want to do. In this post, we’ll get to the best beaches, neighborhoods, museums, Instagram spots, workout spots, star watching spots, and so much more. Without further ado these are the 10 best things to see in Los Angeles.
Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive specifically offer a glimpse into the glamour of Hollywood. Beverly Hills is located just west of Hollywood and east of Santa Monica and it’s easily accessible via Santa Monica Boulevard or the Sunset Strip, better known as Sunset Boulevard. Driving through Beverly Hills, you get to see million dollar mansions, the nicest cars in town and possibly a celebrity sighting. After all, this is where the major stars live. Rodeo Drive offers unique shopping at upscale boutiques such as Gucci, Versace, Cartier and Chanel. You do not have to spend anything here; just looking is fine. It’s nice to stroll through the stores and see what the current and upcoming trends are.
I would recommend eating at Mulberry Pizza. There are plenty of fancy places to eat along Rodeo Drive but there’s just something about this old New York style pizzeria in the heart of California that draws the stars in. In addition to great pizza, there are plenty of signed pictures on the wall. You can see autographs from various celebrities. Finishing out Beverly Hills, I recommend driving west to the University of California, Los Angeles – better known as UCLA in the neighborhood of Westwood. You can also go to Bel Air made famous by the Prince of Bel Air.
Next on the list, we have Dodger Stadium located just outside of downtown. This baseball icon has been hosting games since 1962, making it the third oldest major league baseball stadium behind Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. If you’re in Los Angeles between April and October, I would definitely recommend you go to an LA Dodgers game and get the iconic Dodger dollar. But if you’re not there at this time, there are so many events held here year-round and the weather is always nice. This is a good place to see celebrities and recently they hosted the 2017 World Series Classic.
Keeping with the topic of classic Los Angeles sporting stadiums, the Los Angeles Coliseum is also a must-see sight if you’re in town during football season. It’s a temporary home of the NFL team, the LA Rams, and is the permanent home of the college football team, the University of Southern California Trojans. It’s the largest stadium at Pac-12 Conference and it also has the largest stadium in NFL with a capacity of 93 thousands. Built in 1923, it will be the first venue to host three different Olympics when the Olympics come to Los Angeles in 2028.
Anyway, I found that many times people go to LAX super early because they fear the traffic is bad. However, I have a list of things to do that are within 10 minutes of LAX. The first being the Inglewood Forum right next to where the new LA Rams stadium is gonna be built. The forum was constructed in 1967 and was home with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings for more than 30 years. Currently, it hosts many concerts with big names such as Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd and Kanye West.
Mulholland Drive offers endless views of Los Angeles in the valley. The drive is very nice during the day and especially at night when you can see sweeping views of Los Angeles and the city’s glow. Along this trip, there are some places you can stop and you can relive iconic movie scenes for movies like Rebel Without a Cause. Mulholland Drive also connects you to Bruin Canyon Park where you can do the same hike as many famous Youtubers that live in the Los Angeles area. You also have the big chance to see other famous people here. In addition to this, it was also a good place to see the Hollywood Bowl. This iconic venue has been hosting a variety of events throughout the years. If you’re here during the daytime, I’d recommend walking the grounds and listening to a symphony warm-up as it is free to get in.
Large Art Murals
With Instagram becoming such a big deal and people often wanting good shots of them while they’re at Los Angeles, demand is high for murals. There are many local artists who have made numerous amounts of murals. My favorite is a Fairfax Avenue shopping district. I have found that if you park at Fairfax High School, you can easily walk down to the Fairfax shops and then over to Dash, the store made famous by the Kardashians. There are quite a few murals around Dash.
The last on our countdown is Hollywood, specifically the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard that is home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where celebrities have their stars forever cemented in the sidewalk. The main stretch we’ll be talking about is between La Brea street and Lost Palmas Avenue. Hollywood high school alumni include Carol Bennett and Sarah Jessica Parker. There are many things going on in this area such as movie premieres in one of the three theaters on the block and black-tie events everywhere. It’s like The Times Square of the West Coast.
First on the Walk of Fame is a large shopping center known as a Hollywood Highland. Pro-tip for a good view of the Hollywood sign, hike to the second floor. Next, Adobe Theater is where the Academy Awards are hosted every February. As you stroll along the street, make sure to look down and see all the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Many different stars include TV broadcasters, movie stars and other film directors.
Farther down the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater is where you can still see movies and in front of the theater there are many hand prints and footprints of famous characters such as Will Smith. I normally visit Hollywood during the day. However, I recently found that the Hollywood nightlife is an interesting mix of a lot of different cultures and people that I would normally see. People are just up in different costumes all throughout the year and ready to dance and party wherever they are.
West Hollywood is the place where locals would like to go for the drink. Not too far from this is Universal Studios Hollywood. I would highly recommend going on a tour of the studio lot. There are several options from Paramount, Warner Brothers and Universal to name a few. However, it’s possible to get in the studios for free. Remember I told you that I have a secret on how to get the real experience for free?
Well, the answer to this question is that you can watch many shows in Los Angeles being filmed for free. This allows you to go to studio logs without having to pay the high price to get in. You can see all the stars for free. I highly recommend that you go see a show because it can really give you a sense of what Hollywood is and how it became the center of the movie world. A couple of examples of the shows that you can see are Ellen at the Warner Brothers lot, The Voice at the Universal lot, America’s Funniest Home Video at the Manhattan Beach studios, The Price Is Right at CBS Studios and The Ranch by Aston Kutcher, but there are so many more.
That finishes the top five places you must see when you’re in Los Angeles. Honorable mention goes to Disneyland. Disneyland didn’t make the list because it’s far away from the classic Los Angeles and more Orange County. Many people only come to Los Angeles to see Disneyland. I can’t argue. From Tomorrow Land to New Orleans Square, there’s never a dull day at Disney. Well, that’s it for the top five places in LA.