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Things to do in

Los Angeles

Go behind the scenes of your favorite films and top it off with outdoor fun on rugged hills and golden beaches.

Our most recommended things to do in Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

1. Los Angeles: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Get ready to touch, tour, and explore the 110-acre backlot that brought “Argo” and “Batman” to the big screen with is skip-the-line ticket to Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood.  From “Gravity” to “Friends,” go behind the camera for a revealing look at your favorite TV shows and movies. Explore “Stage 48: Script to Screen,” an interactive soundstage that explores phases of the film and television production process. Re-enact a scene from “Friends” on the iconic “Central Perk” set, or climb aboard Harry Potter’s broomstick for a photo opportunity. Explore the Studio Store with exclusive merch from your favorite films and TV shows. Dine at the Central Perk Cafe and enjoy your meal amongst recreated sets like Monica's apartment, and Joey and Chandler's pad. Then, shop for exclusive Friends merch in the Friends Boutique. The Grand Finale lets you step into recreated sets from the DC Universe where you can explore superheroes and supervillains. Then swish and flick your way through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and even have your own Hogwarts house sorting ceremony.

Los Angeles: Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Open-Air Bus Tour

2. Los Angeles: Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Open-Air Bus Tour

See Hollywood’s highlights for yourself on a guided sightseeing tour from the comfort of an open-top bus. Marvel at iconic locations such as the Hollywood Sign, where you can stop for a photo and admire the views of downtown LA. Make your way to the local partner’s office to begin your activity. Board the sightseeing bus, and away you’ll go on your tour of Hollywood.  Pass the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, the Art Deco entertainment complex of the Dolby Theater, and the circular Capitol Records Building and other historic sights you’ve seen 1000 times on TV.  Next, head to the Hollywood and Vine district at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.  Cruise down Sunset Boulevard, passing famous bars and nightclubs like Whiskey A-Go-Go and the Viper Room. Admire the Chateau Marmont Hotel, where Tim Burton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and other legends have stayed. Then, drive past the upscale stores on Rodeo Drive as you head towards Beverly Hills. Take a photo of the Beverly Hills Sign and the Beverly Hills Hotel, plus see the homes of Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elvis Presley, and many more. Be dropped off at your Hollywood, West Hollywood, or Beverly Hills hotel at the end of your activity. If you’re staying outside of these areas, you’ll be dropped back at the local partner’s office. 

Venice Beach: 2-hour Group Surfing Lesson

3. Venice Beach: 2-hour Group Surfing Lesson

Meet your guide at Venice Beach, one of the most famous and lively beaches in California. Take part in a 2-hour group surfing lesson which is ideal for everyone from beginners (even first timers!) to upper intermediate levels.  Start the lesson by getting geared up with the wetsuits and surfboards. Head down to the sand with your group of 5-6 fellow students. Spend the first 30-40 minutes training on the beach and learning all the important aspects of surfing. Your professional certified instructors will teach you how to pop up on the board, educate you about the ocean and end the land lesson with the most important part - safety. After that, enjoy 40 minutes with an instructor(s) in the ocean getting coaching and helpful pushes. The remaining time will be yours to practice your skills and have fun in the water. After the class, an instructor will lead you to an outdoor public shower where you will be able to rinse off. Don't worry about your belongings, as you will be able to leave everything locked in the surf school van. 

Echo Park Lake: Swan Pedal Boat Rental

4. Echo Park Lake: Swan Pedal Boat Rental

Don’t miss out on a unique way to explore Echo Park Lake by booking this swan pedal boat rental with added perks. Rated one of the best activities in Los Angeles, pedal boats are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and have been voted one of the top 10 things to do in LA. Perfect for romantic dates or a family outing, you'll explore Los Angeles' renowned Echo Park Lake on an iconic swan pedal boat. The swan pedal boats are easy to maneuver and are great fun for families and friends. See the famous Echo Park fountain, learn about Echo Park Lake's rich history while playing the included find and seek trivia game on your phone, or just sit back and relax with views of the beautiful LA skyline.

LA: Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Tour

5. LA: Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Tour

Go behind the scenes at a real working movie studio with a 1-day entrance ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood. Enjoy VIP treatment as you explore by special trolley and disembark at areas not open to the general public. Visit real sound stages where blockbuster movies and TV shows are filmed, and get a sneak peek at the enormous props warehouse. Avail of unlimited skip-the-line access to all the rides and attractions and get access to the VIP lounge to enjoy a light breakfast or gourmet lunch. Rides and Attractions: Fast & Furious - Supercharged: Hold on tight for the all-new Fast & Furious – Supercharged ride that exceeds speeds of 120 miles per hour and catapults you into a high-stakes underworld of fast cars and international crime cartels. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Get the chance to become one of the mischievous Minions on a hilarious 3D ride. Transformers: The Ride Brave an epic ride that fuses HD 3D media and flight simulation technology to put you in the middle of the ultimate war zone. Studio Tour Go behind the scenes and explore Hollywood’s most famous back lot at the world’s largest working movie studio. King Kong 360 3D Test your survival instincts and prepare to be caught in the middle of a terrifying struggle between a 35-foot T-Rex and King Kong. Springfield Grab a Homer-sized helping of donuts at Lard Lad, imbibe at Moe’s Tavern or the first Duff Brewery Beer Garden and crash through Krustyland on The Simpsons Ride. Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride Face the heart-pounding special effects and unexpected twists as you escape the Mummy’s revenge in life-like horror at speeds up to 45 mph in virtual darkness. Shrek 4D Take adventure to the next dimension in Shrek 4D, with hair-raising and eye-popping effects so real all your senses will be on ogre-time! WaterWorld Experience a tidal wave of explosive action at WaterWorld. Join an adventure that surges to life with jumping jet-skiers, perilous plunges, firefights, massive explosions and an in-your-face plane crash. Special Effects Show Learn the secrets behind the making of your favorite blockbuster movies, and become an expert in Hollywood movie effects magic. Universal’s Animal Actors Witness Tinseltown-trained critters putting pet tricks to shame with their animal antics as the animals take control. Universal CityWalk Kick back with all the great food and live music entertainment of Universal CityWalk. Get some retail therapy with over 30 shops to browse.

Los Angeles: Hollywood and Beverly Hills Guided Bus Tour

6. Los Angeles: Hollywood and Beverly Hills Guided Bus Tour

Enjoy a top-ranked tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Feel the movie-magic as you roll past the homes of Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise, and Justin Bieber. Cruise thorugh the streets in an open-air tour bus. Capture pictures of sights like Rodeo Drive, the Walk of Fame, and the Hollywood sign. Receive star treatment as your bus picks you up on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Head into the mountains to get up close to the Hollywood Sign. Continue to Beverly Hills to catch a glimpse of mansions that belong to Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and the Playboy Mansion. Avoid missing anything with the onboard 32 inch TV that shows you inside the homes of the rich and famous. Roll down the ritzy Rodeo Drive and see fancy Rolls Royce and Lamborghini cars before heading over to the fabulous Sunset Strip. Ride past the hotels and clubs where the famous come to stay and play. Return to Hollywood and the famous Chinese Theatre that features the footprints of the stars.

Los Angeles: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

7. Los Angeles: Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

Discover the top sights in Los Angles with a hop-on hop-off open-top double-decker bus tour. Choose a 24 or 48-hour ticket or upgrade your experience to the Deluxe 2-day tour with the TCL Chinese Theatre Walking Tour, and the Celebrity Homes and Lifestyle Tour.  Climb aboard the double-decker bus for unique views of sights like the world-famous Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, and Beverly Hills. Your journey will be packed with fun and engaging stories with a fully-narrated audio tour. Stop at locations throughout the city with daily departures from the starting point at the Big Bus Visitor Center Hollywood. Guests may also join the tour from any of the stops on the route. Stay comfortable with air-conditioning on the lower deck and recorded commentary available in 9 languages. Location Highlights Include: Big Bus Visitor Center Hollywood TCL Chinese Theatre Guitar Center “Rock Walk” The Comedy Store Whisky A Go Go Beverly Gardens Park Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive Beverly Center LACMA La Brea Tarpits Farmers Market The Grove Melrose Shopping Paramount Studios 3rd Street Promenade Santa Monica Pier

Los Angeles Champagne Brunch Cruise from Marina Del Rey

8. Los Angeles Champagne Brunch Cruise from Marina Del Rey

Relax and unwind on a 2-hour cruise departing from the famed harbor at Marina Del Rey. Enjoy a buffet brunch prepared from the freshest seasonal ingredients and sip on unlimited champagne or sparkling cider. Set off on a morning cruise that offers a magical escape, even if only for a couple of hours. In addition to salty breezes and abundant sunshine, this Champagne Brunch Cruise includes relaxing background music, free-flowing champagne, and a delicious brunch buffet. Sample Brunch Buffet Menu: EARLY RISER BREAKFAST PASTRIES (V)(N)Assorted Muffins and Danishes *May Contain NutsSCRAMBLED EGGS (G*)(V)American Cheddar CheeseBREAKFAST MEATS (G*)Applewood Smoked Bacon | Pork Sausage LinksBREAKFAST POTATOES (V)Carmelized Onions | Red & Green Bell PeppersFRENCH TOAST (V)Whipped Cream | Maple Syrup LATE RISERS KALE QUINOA SALAD (G*)(VG)(V)Quinoa | Roasted Red Pepper | Spinach | Lemon Oregano VinaigretteGREEN GODDESS PASTA SALAD (V)Sweet Peas | White Beans | ScallionsHAND CARVED STRIP LOIN (G*)Hornblower Signature Spice Rub | Horseradish Crème | Au JusHAND CARVED OVEN ROASTED TURKEY (G*)Cranberry SaucePASTA AL FORNO (V)Alfredo Sauce, Panko Parmesan Crust DESSERT SIGNATURE DESSERT STATION (V)(N)Cakes | Brownies | Seasons Fruit *May Contain Nuts(N) Contains Nuts(VG) Vegan(V) vegetarian(G*)

Los Angeles: Petersen Automotive Museum Admission Ticket

9. Los Angeles: Petersen Automotive Museum Admission Ticket

Explore one of the largest vintage car collections in the world. See a vast array of over 100 classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles displayed over three floors and 25 galleries. Admire the artistry and extravagance of iconic vehicles while learning about the engineering behind them. Marvel at Italian Maseratis and Japanese “supercars.” Discover interactive exhibits which will entertain the whole family. Visit the Cars Mechanical Institute inspired by the animated film. Watch as your favorite cars characters explain how the mechanical systems that make cars work. Paint and personalize virtual cars. Race and color your own Cars character to take home. Kids can zoom toy cars around a racetrack. Get behind the wheel of a virtual race car with the Forza Motorsports Experience. Choose one of 8 curated experiences and feel what it’s like to burn rubber on the racetrack.

Los Angeles: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket

10. Los Angeles: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket

Explore the greater Los Angeles area with this hop-on, hop-off bus sightseeing tour. Listen to the narrated tour in 9 languages. Enjoy the view from the open-air, double-decker bus as it takes you through Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica, and Venice Beach. Pick a 24-, 48-, or 72-hour pass, choose 1 of 3 tour loops, or combine them and experience the freedom of a hop-on, hop-off city sightseeing tour. Start from the Starline kiosk or at any of the stops on the list. Board the Hollywood Tour to experience the glitz and glamor of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, including such world-famous sights as Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip, Melrose Avenue shopping district, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Dolby Theater, TCL Chinese Theatre, LACMA, Petersen Automotive Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, and much more. Travel between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica on board the Santa Monica Tour, enjoying stops along the way including Fox Studios, the 3rd Street Promenade, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica Pier. Take a solar-powered Ferris wheel ride at the historic Santa Monica Pier, walk or bike along the marvelous Pacific coast, and enjoy the heaven of shops, restaurants, and attractions at 3rd Street promenade.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Los Angeles

Megan Indoe is a Brooklyn based travel enthusiast who shares her adventures with her husband and photographer Scott Herder across their travel channels on social media and their blog, Bobo & Chichi they are experts on Los Angeles as they lived there for several years!

What should I do on my first trip to Los Angeles?

First timers need to see quintessential Los Angeles attractions like the Hollywood sign which can be viewed from the Griffith Observatory along with vistas of the Los Angeles skyline, not to mention this is a really fascinating attraction in its own right, or you can hike to the Hollywood sign on the Hollyridge Trail. Another personal favorite is heading to Santa Monica to shop and dine around the Promenade, soak up the sun on the beach, or enjoy all the fun action happening on the pier. Venice Beach is also a fun stop where you can find great ocean view restaurants and bars, the famous muscle beach, and funky shops, street performers, and walk through the picturesque canals surrounded by the lavish homes.

What are some hidden gems to see in Los Angeles?

Hidden Gems to check out in Los Angeles include the conical Tesla Coil while you’re at Griffith Observatory, which you can see at work discharging lightning every hour.

If you’re wanting to explore a bit beyond the attractions in and around downtown Los Angeles head to the San Pedro Fish Market near Long Beach where you can dine at the waterfront seafood spots. Before or after you can visit the Point Fermin Lighthouse, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, and the beautiful Korean Bell of Friendship.

Or if you’re wanting to track down some of the homes used in your favorite tv shows and movies you can go drive by and take photos of the exteriors of homes used in popular movies and tv shows like the Father of the Bride, The Brady Bunch, Beverly Hillbillies, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to name a few of many!

How much time should I spend in Los Angeles?

You can spend as little as a weekend in Los Angeles to an entire week to a month!

You will want a car as this city is very spread out and if you only have a weekend you should stay around Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Venice, and/or Downtown LA.

If you have more time you can explore along the coast and drive to Malibu and Topanga State Park or explore the south and make your way towards San Pedro and Long Beach or even Anaheim, and inland to Pasadena.

What food is Los Angeles known for?

Los Angeles has plenty of food worth traveling to and for. While you’re here you should really take advantage of the great Mexican cuisine, donuts, In N Out, and a remarkable Koreatown.

If you’re looking for specific places to try you have to stop at an In N Out and try a burger - double double is legendary and see if it's worth the hype but be prepared as Californians are very passionate about their local fast food chain, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, DK’s donuts, and Canter’s Deli to name a few of the most famous spots!

What is the best way to get around Los Angeles?

The best way and really only way to get around Los Angeles is by car unless you have an unlimited budget for ride shares.

What are the best months to visit Los Angeles?

The best part about Los Angeles and Southern California is that they have one of the most comfortable climates around the world pretty much the entire year.

You can expect warm, dry summers and mild winter temperatures. The further you get away from the coastline the hotter the temperatures can get.

Even in the middle of winter you may only need a light jacket.

There are no bad times to visit Los Angeles but something to be aware of is that the month of June is known as ‘June Gloom’ as the weather is very overcast and the closer you are to the coastline, you get a marine layer for the beginning half of the day which can surprise people who are expecting sunny California weather.

What is neighborhood Los Angeles known for?

Venice is known for its funky shops and thrilling beachfront with skate park, beach volleyball courts, street performers, street vendors, outdoor beach gym known as ‘muscle beach,’ and the Venice canals!

This is a pretty laid back spot to stay and a fun area for dining and nightlife not to mention a great beach day!

Be sure to rent a beach cruiser and cruise down the beach bike path that stretches 22 miles! You can go all the way to Santa Monica, which is highly recommended to Marina Del Rey to find a nice stretch of sand to hang out on in the sun or to just people watch.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Los Angeles’s food scene is amazing but very spread out. For pockets of great food check The Grove where you can find tons of shopping and dining options plus the famous farmer’s market here, head to LA’s famous Koreatown, Thai Town, Little Armenia, and Los Feliz for more global cuisines to check out, and Santa Monica around the pier has plenty of great dining options.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

If budget is no issue you should head to Melrose Avenue Shopping District and Rodeo Drive for designer, luxury, and high end shops and boutiques.

Third Street Promenade and The Grove are basically an outdoor mall with tons of shopping opportunities for just above everyone.

And Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach is where you can find really great independent boutiques.

And for fashion lovers head to the LA Fashion District downtown where you can find deals at wholesale retailers where many boutiques and retail chains get their own inventory from!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Los Angeles?

If you had to pick one neighborhood or area to stay in, Santa Monica or Venice Beach would be the best if you’re hoping to enjoy the best of Los Angeles from beaches, shopping, and dining.

Staying at one of these beach areas is a little more laid back than Downtown LA and if you plan around traffic you can easily visit other parts of LA and get back to the beach for the rest of your afternoon and sunset.

The best times to explore and avoid the notorious Los Angeles traffic is before 7:30 am, between the hours of 9:30 to around 3:45 pm, or after 7:00 pm.

What is the best thing to do in Los Angeles for couples?

One of the most romantic and secluded areas for couples or a date is taking a stroll along long bluff overlooking the ocean at Point Dume off the coast of Malibu.

Afterwards grab a romantic dinner with one of the many restaurants with ocean views in Malibu.

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Los Angeles?

The best spots for outdoor activities are the beach and hiking around the Hollywood hills!

Head to the Hollyridge Trail for a quick hike to the Hollywood sign, start at Griffith Observatory and wander around the hiking trails, or hike the Brush Canyon Trail where you can pass the Bronson Cave, the ‘bat cave’ from the 1960s Batman television series featuring Adam West as Batman as well as the location for a famous photoshoot with the late Jim Morrison of The Doors.

Venice Beach is the best beach for the outdoors because you have outdoor volleyball courts, the skate park, the outdoor beach gym, and the 22 mile bike path!

What are the best beaches around Los Angeles?

Malibu has the most gorgeous beaches in Los Angeles, head to El Matador Beach State Park for one of the most unique coastlines in Southern California.

For a classic Los Angeles beach day walking distance from many great places to eat and awesome people watching head to Venice Beach or Santa Monica Beach.

Other Sightseeing Options in Los Angeles

Want to discover all there is to do in Los Angeles? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Los Angeles

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 8,258 reviews

It was great! Never expected my whole family and I could get to the Hollywood Sign. My wife was so proud of us. Another bucket list checked. JB our tour guide was very funny and patient with us. All of us who joined the hike made it to the sign. Definitely highly recommend this tour when you are in LA for a weekend vacay.

Gil was a fabulous tour guide! I loved learning the history of the Hollywood sign. Hiking the the sign was a bucket list item for me. So happy I chose this company for our guided tour.

The tour guide was the best, he was knowledgeable and friendly he gave us a lot of recommendations for dinning as well.

Great tour. Paul was very knowledgeable about each area of the city.

Excellent tour,guide was friendly and knowledgeable