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.
String along to puppet theater
Puppetry is a dying art, but there's one puppeteer who is keeping the tradition alive. Since 1961, Bob Baker has been staging original shows in his own theater. He has entertained theatergoers with sexy Parisian pussycats, space goons and singing watermelons. These whimsical puppets have appeared in many TV shows and films, but you can catch them on stage at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater.
Tickle your funny bone
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre lives up to its revolutionary name with cutting-edge comedy. It charts new territory by mingling styles in three to four performances per night. A popular gig remains the acclaimed Asssscat improv show. The locals love this place, even though there's no bar. You can always bring your own drinks from the nearby supermarket. See more comedy venues in LA.
Go clubbing European-style
If there's one thing that LA knows how to do really well, it's throw a good party. You're welcome to enter into the spirit at Avalon, the city's pre-eminent nightclub, which favors Europe's techno renaissance music. Or you could go street haunting to find warehouse venue The Smell. It has the look of a squat, but once you get inside, you'll discover the latest in indie-noise and political art-punk. It's perfect for bright young hipsters, because it doesn't serve booze. It also serves fine veggie snacks. See more in Music & Nightlife.
Double dip your sandwich
Who invented the juicy beefy French dip sandwich? Where's the best place to eat one? The answer may well be Philippe the Original. It's been in business since 1908 and certainly claims to have whipped up the dip (but it's not the only one). Savvy customers opt for the traditional lamb or lighter turkey filling, and then ask the server to double-dip the bread in meaty juice, before adding a splash of house mustard. The wines served by the glass aren't bad either, but the sandwich is king.
Taste a trio of art venues
Culture vultures will be spoilt for choice at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. It's an ingenious multi-purpose venue, which hosts an art gallery, a library with substantial holdings and elaborate botanical gardens. A Desert Garden with cacti and old English Shakespeare Garden are among the attractions. Set aside a day to explore the highlights of this fabulous place, but don't expect to see them in depth.