101 things to do in Los Angeles

Your essential guide to the best things to do in LA this season, from stair hikes to welding workshops and more.



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Forage for your food

Find up-for-grabs fruit, berries and other edibles throughout the city with Fallen Fruit's maps, showing trees that grow on (or overhang) public property—which means the goods are free for the taking.


Spend the day at Descanso Gardens

Go for a morning walk through this 1,600-acre park—including a five-acre rose garden. This delightful tribute to the horticultural magic of Southern California includes more than 600 varieties of camellia (these are best seen between the middle of February and early May, when there are around 34,000 of the plants in bloom). There are also lilac, orchid, fern and California native plant areas, as well as a tea house donated by the Japanese-American community. The gardens host yoga classes amid the greenery. Have lunch at the Cafe and then peruse the gift shop for botany-related books and trinkets to inspire your own garden.


Watch an intimate show in a vaunted space

McCabe's Guitar Shop first opened its doors in 1958 and has since hosted an incredible list of performers. Past shows have included sets by Jeff Buckley, Cat Power, REM, Etta James, Tom Waits, T-Bone Burnett and Joni Mitchell, to name just a fraction of the talent that's played here.


Swap your food

Have a signature dish you love to make? Whip up a few batches and bring them to a Food Swap. Participants can mingle, taste each other's offerings and then trade—pickles for zucchini bread, preserves for pies. It's a great way to try new foods and get to know your neighbors.


Take (or teach) a filmmaking class

Having a little film knowledge is practically a prerequisite for living in LA. Take a film class at the Echo Park Film Center and be a novice no more. Learn digital editing, documentary filmmaking, even stop-motion animation. Already know your stuff? Volunteer to teach adult or neighborhood youth/senior classes.


Stop hiding Max from the beach patrol

While many of LA's beaches don't allow dogs, Malibu's Leo Carrillo Beach welcomes your pooch and has parking. (It's also a great beach camping spot!)

RECOMMENDED: Best beaches in LA


Get wow'ed at the Grammy Museum

The Grammy Museum may sound like a tourist trap, but its exhibits are top notch. Highlights this season include Good Vibrations: 50 Years of The Beach Boys, featuring handwritten lyric sheets, early family photos and high school yearbooks, as well as the original surfboard featured on the Surfin' Safari album cover; and Whitney! Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Whitney Houston, boasting stage costumes, rare photographs and tour books.


Brush up on your jokes

Take a comedy workshop at Groundlings Improv School. If laughing at jokes (not making them) is more your thing, check out one of the sketch comedy improv acts. Alumni who got their start on the Groundlings stage include Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Kathy Griffin, Jon Lovitz, Will Forte and more.


Join a running club

Usain Bolts–in-training can hook up with other runners at Nike's Run Club at Santa Monica Place. Go for three-, five-, or seven-mile runs along the beach on Wednesdays at 6:30pm and along San Vicente Boulevard on Sundays at 10:30am.


Take a class at the Watts Towers Arts Center

On the same site as the awe-inspiring Watts Towers themslves, the Center offers (often free) classes in music, dance and visual arts. There's also a rotating gallery of art and instruments on display, if the towers aren't feast enough for your eyes. Call 213-847-4646 or email cadwattsctr@earthlink.net for class info.

Users say

Jane J. Harley
Jane J. Harley

i was looking for hispanic things to doin LA all i got was 101 things to do in LA............... DISSAPOINTED

Joe B.
Joe B.

Be sure to visit where the sewer meets the sea in San Pedro.


I wish there was a "print this" option!


this is great! reminded me of so many things I want to do! how can I get a hard copy of this list?