20 great things to do in Los Angeles for tourists

From star spotting on Rodeo Drive and at the Griffith Observatory to museum hopping between the Getty and LACMA, your guide to things to do in Los Angeles.

The list of things to do in Los Angeles is as long as the city is vast. If your time in town is limited, you could spend days in the museums alone, and never make your way to Hollywood. Hit up Venice Beach, but don't miss out on a hip Eastside 'hood. This LA city guide offers a mix of great things to do and see to get the most from your LA getaway.

RECOMMENDED: 84 Los Angeles attractions

1

Get active on Venice Beach

Venice Beach has long been known as the kooky Mecca of California, and while it's been getting more than a fair share of mainstream tourists, the area nurtures its eccentric spirit. Skateboarders, radical pamphleteers and body builders: the visibility is great if you enjoy people-watching. Go for lunch at the local Figtree's Café before scanning the shelves at Small World Books. The bohemian district is welcoming to the gay community.

2

See the sights of Hollywood

Hollywood celebrities are never far away in LA. To catch a glimpse of stardust, stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where more than 2,400 figures from the entertainment world are immortalized in pink terrazzo with symbolic gold lettering. If you're a film buff, look out for the famous hand and footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Countless premieres and galas have passed through, adding to the renowned pagoda's star quality.

3

Marvel at big budget art

The Getty Center is the envy of museums worldwide for its generous endowments. Although it doesn't match the rich collections of Old World galleries, it has some impressive works covering a vast sweep of history, from the Renaissance to present day. Among them are several paintings by Rubens, a couple by Gainsborough, and a sprinkling of Impressionists, including Monet, Renoir, Cézanne and Van Gogh. The French decorative arts and an expanding photography collection are definitely worth visiting. And don't forget to hunt out Miró and Moore in the fine sculpture garden.

4

Shop in style on Rodeo Drive

Many people dream of being Julia Roberts shopping on Rodeo Drive, but few can afford to buy from the array of high-end designers seen in the film Pretty Woman. So window-shopping is the order of the day. Along the $200-million ersatz European cobbled walkway Two Rodeo, browsing tourists mingle with serious spenders. A hop away is Anderson Court, which is the only shopping mall designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. See more in Shopping & Style.

5

Take a walking tour

Take a fuel-efficient walking tour and cherish Los Angeles' urban architectural heritage. The Los Angeles Conservancy walking tours take in the city's top sights, from Downtown's historic theaters and art deco (on a weekly basis) to the modern skyline tour (bi-monthly). Be sure to reserve a place well ahead, because the tours are incredibly popular. If you're more interested in touring Hollywood and LA's starstudded neighborhoods, click here for Hollywood tour recommendations.

Comments

Bob R
Bob R

nice list :), not.

Tourist
Tourist

This list SUCKS; "power walk to conserve energy" - I have to come to LA to do that?! "Stock up on fresh produce" - that I can get from anywhere else? I'm a tourist, not grocery shopping! The whole list is obvious, weak and/or a not great idea.

Jhoenna
Jhoenna

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Sara
Sara

Pretty much sums up the area :)

nullhogarth
nullhogarth

"Relentless smog?" The author of this piece obviously does not live in Los Angeles. While technically there is more air pollution in the LA basin overall than in some other cities, on most days the air here is clear.

Alexandre
Alexandre

this is not a recomendation for a Toruist. What about Hollywood?? You are saing that I should go visit some CD store?? C´mon...

Thor
Thor

Los Angeles also has some great whale watching and it is year round. Summer and fall giant blue whales and winter and spring the gray whale migration. Great way to see amazing coastlines and these amazing mammals.

The One
The One

wonderful stufff brozzzzz tots check itz outz manzzzz

@Bob R This is pobably the least helpful comment on here! Do you have any suggestions of better things to do, or are you just trolling?