84 Los Angeles attractions for tourists and natives alike

Visit these essential Los Angeles attractions, whether you're a tourist in for the weekend or a native looking to explore



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Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The owners of Hollywood Forever have been criticized for promoting the place as a tourist attraction, but any cemetery that houses the remains of such celluloid luminaries as Cecil B. DeMille and Jayne Mansfield would probably become one regardless. It's also the resting place of Rudolph Valentino; legend has it that a mysterious "Woman in Black" still stalks the cemetery, mourning the demise of Hollywood's original loverboy. Aside from popular posthumous celebs, Hollywood Forever is also home to summer outdoor movie screenings; Cinespia-hosted sleepovers with projected films, live music and games; as well as a number of unique concert events (past performers include Bon Iver, the XX, and Sigur Ros).

RECOMMENDED: Outdoor movies: Best open-air places to watch movies in LA

  1. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd
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The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Even if you're not a Hollywood VIP trying to score a deal over your eggs Benedict, you'll probably find your Sunday brunch at The Polo Lounge pretty glamorous anyway. Alright, it is a little on the cheesy side (spotless white tablecloths and live jazz music), but there may be no finer place to enjoy lemon ricotta pancakes or frittata than on The Polo Lounge's beautiful outside patio. For late night libations, the bar serves up a hefty cocktail list to a dressed up crowd—you'll be sure to spot some famous faces here—listening to the live piano. For the perfect nightcap, try the delectable Polo Lounge chocolate soufflé.

  1. 9641 Sunset Blvd
Book online

Los Angeles Zoo

  • Price band: 1/4

The LA Zoo's greatest asset is its location, in the isolated hills of Griffith Park. It's a pretty popular place, but the zoo's size—80 acres, plus a huge parking lot—means that, like the park itself, it rarely feels busy. The list of the zoo's highlights is headed by the Campo Gorilla Reserve, which opened in November 2007 and now serves as a home for six great apes, and the rather smaller Spider City, which comes with an agreeable schlock-horror theme and suitably dim lighting. If you want to visit, it's worth bearing in mind that some of the larger animals may seek shady refuge from the extreme heat on warm summer days, and by no means will all of them be visible.

  1. 5333 Zoo Dr
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MOCA Grand Ave

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The main branch of LA's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) houses thousands of artworks crafted from 1940 until now. Spend half an hour or an entire afternoon absorbing contemporary pieces from lesser known artists, punctuated by sightings of Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock works. For just $12 ($7 students and seniors), you can have your run of the place, including a free audio tour and access to outdoor installations. If you plan your visit for a Thursday night between 5pm and 8pm, admission to MOCA Grand Ave is on the house.

  1. 250 S Grand Ave
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Hollywood Walk of Fame

  • Free

If you can stomach the suspect superheroes, claustrophobia-inducing crowds and never-ending line of gift shops, tattoo parlors and lingerie stores, there’s actually a lot of old Hollywood history and glamour to discover along the Walk of Fame. The immortalized names on those famous five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars run from the Walk’s western extreme at the Hollywood and La Brea Gateway to the W Hotel and Pantages Theater at Gower, and additionally on Vine from the Capitol Records Building down to Sunset, near where the original movie studios sprang up a century ago. Make a pilgrimage to the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. Or find a respite from the commotion inside a movie palace or the historic Hollywood Roosevelt

RECOMMENDED: Things to do in Hollywood

  1. 7018 Hollywood Blvd
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Original LA Flower Market

  • Price band: 1/4

Visit the Original LA Flower Market in—where else?—the Flower District, Downtown. Restaurateurs, wedding planners, florists and botany geeks (and okay, some tourists) make up the early morning hustle and bustle among rows of flowers, plants and “floral accessories” from around the world. Come out later during public hours to grab a bouquet for a friend, take some great pictures or just indulge your senses. Insider tip: Avoid Wednesdays and Fridays if possible—they’re busiest.

  1. 754 Wall St
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Universal Studios & CityWalk

  • Price band: 3/4

More than any of its Southern California competitors, Universal Studios is a theme park with a capital 'T'. The theme here, of course, is the movies. The rides aren't as exciting as you might expect: certainly, they lack both Disneyland's charm and the sheer terror inspired by Six Flags Magic Mountain. But the main draw here is the studio tour. You won't see much actual moviemaking, but stunt sets and recent additions like the reimagined King Kong section add some excitement.

  1. 100 Universal City Plaza
Book online

Egyptian Theatre

  • Price band: 1/4

Built by the same man who erected the Chinese Theatre and El Capitan Theatre, the Egyptian was faithfully restored by American Cinematheque in 1998 (who also run the Aero in Santa Monica). The not-for-profit company continues to deliver a wide range of excellent themed mini-festivals and one-off Q&As with legendary figures, as well as classic films and contemporary indie cinema. On Sundays, the LA Filmforum screens experimental films and video art.

  1. 6712 Hollywood Blvd
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In-N-Out Burger

  • Price band: 1/4

Southern California may have spawned the golden arches, but no other regional fast food export has a local and out-of-towner following quite like In-N-Out. "Did you go to In-N-Out?" is bound to come up in any conversation when a tourist visits LA. And honestly, it's hard to argue with less-than-$3 cheeseburgers, late-night hours and a not-so-secret menu that offers a surprising level of customization for a fast food spot.

RECOMMENDED: Underground LA: Best restaurant secret menu items in LA

  1. Various locations in LA
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Comedy clubs

We tend to take LA’s diverse comedy scene for granted, but consider for a minute that you can walk into a comedy club practically any night of the week and see legendary comics kill—or bomb—their performances. There are big name stand-ups at the Laugh Factory, familiar faces from TV sitcoms at the Comedy Store, future SNL stars at the Groundlings Theatre, unexpected drop-ins at the Improv and LA’s thriving alt comedy scene at Largo, UCB and Nerdmelt.

RECOMMENDED: LA comedy calendar

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