So you’re finally making the road trip (or the flight) to Los Angeles, California to visit the city the entire world has heard of. Los Angeles better known as LA, is renowned for several things predominantly for being a hub of the television, movie and music recording studios. I am going to show you 6 amazing tourist attractions in LA to make your visit more memorable. You’ll definitely enjoy the beautiful weather, the people and the history, and while you’re at it, you’ll probably find some great souvenirs to show off to your friends and maybe you might pick up one for them.
Here’s a short list of some of the big stops you almost have to hit if you’re visiting from anywhere further than 100 miles away. Plus a lot of locals enjoy these spots as well.
1. Visit Hollywood.
You can’t visit Los Angeles without taking a stroll down Hollywood. It is called Tinseltown for a reason — the main attraction in this movie buff’s paradise is Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, located right in the heart of Hollywood, the famous intersection where nearly everything is designed to glamour visitors.
Hollywood & Highland is comprised of well over 50 shops and restaurants, a movie theater, a nightclub, and more than enough of gathering spaces, the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, TV broadcast studios and last but not least, the Dolby Theatre. From a towering complex of designer stores to a crowd of costumed street performers, to a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex poking its head through the roof of the Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not museum, this area can provide a busy afternoon. The numerous shops and tourist attractions along Hollywood Boulevard add to the fun, as do the holiday decorations if you come in December.
2. Melrose Ave and LaBrea Blvd.
If you venture further south and west to check out Melrose Avenue a hodgepodge of all that encompasses L.A. This diverse district manages to be eccentric and mainstream, affordable and upscale, grungy and glamorous all at once. The one constant thing about this vibrant, lively block is that its shopping, dining and people-watching are second to none. At the edge of the Melrose Avenue shopping district you’ll find cult restaurant Pink’s Hot Dogs, the famous hot dog stand on the corner of Melrose and La Brea Avenues.
And further down you will find the historical attractions the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum where you can join others that are there to witness Ice Age fossils being excavated right in the middle of L.A. Check out the tar bubbling in the Lake Pit, prehistoric plants in the Pleistocene Garden, and explore active dig sites where excavators uncover something new every day.
3. Go to Universal Studios and Universal City Walk
Not far from Hollywood, this hive of fun tourist activity (100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City) combines amusement park rides and a carnival atmosphere with a movie-studio feel that almost puts you inside your favorite flicks. On the famous Backlot Tour, you can take the King Kong 3D/4D tour that will leave your heart pounding or you can take the Fast & Furious – Supercharged tour. The length of this attraction is 809 feet—longer than two football fields – from end to end, and many other attractions. Go behind the scenes and explore the largest and busiest motion pictures and TV studio in the world. More movies and television shows have been filmed on this lot than any other lot in the world.
Popular with both visitors and locals, Universal CityWalk is a busy area located between the parking areas and the theme park, where guests can enjoy a variety of live entertainment, restaurants and shopping opportunities and even take in a movie or two. Universal Cinema delivers high-tech elegance and chic sophistication with newly redesigned 18-plex and a 7-story IMAX with LASER theatre, making it L.A.’s ultimate movie experience! You’ll find a number of popular eating establishments here, such as The Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Buca de Beppo, Tony Roma’s Ribs, and the Wolfgang Puck Cafe. You’ll even find brand-name stores like Skechers, Quiksilver, Hot Topic, Guess, Fossil, Billabong, and Abercrombie and Fitch. Now if you are a thrill seeker you can do indoor skydiving with iFLY Hollywood, a state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel that allows you to fly without the dangers, costs, or restrictions. Soar to new heights with a truly unique flight experience at Universal CityWalk. Have fun! Universal CityWalk can be easily reached from Hollywood and Highland by using the Metro Red Line train.
4. Hit the Beach.
Santa Monica State Beach offers a nice, tourist-friendly getaway, though it can get crowded and hectic on weekends. The bright side is that it’s right next to the Santa Monica Pier, a well-trafficked amusement park area where you will find an abundance of food, entertainment and more costumed performers. This beach can be found along Ocean Avenue in the vicinity of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. For a more relaxing beach hangout, Manhattan Beach is about 30 minutes south, where a paved walkway makes it good for sightseeing. Or you can go about 40 minutes north to get to El Matador Beach near Malibu for a more secluded, scenic beach.
Venice Beach – It is one of the most sought after beaches in this beautiful city. The scintillating Venice Beach is an oceanfront community and beach, famous as a paradise for the artistic ones. Its beautiful location is thronged with Hollywood actors and musicians.
It is home to the world famous Ocean Front Walk that juts out at the Pacific Ocean. Visit this amazing city and enjoy the stroll at the stunning Ocean Front Walk. Venice beach is definitely another spot in L.A. designed for people watching. For more information on beaches click here
5. West Hollywood. Robertson Boulevard Shopping District
Those who are itching to see celebrities in their natural habitat need look no further than Robertson Boulevard. Considered one of L.A.’s trendiest streets, Robertson boasts a crop of chichi boutiques and upscale eateries that attract starlets and the paparazzi who feed off them. It is the mecca for celebrities, paparazzi who stalk them and star gazers. It is home to some to both unique shops and some of the high end labels. Many of L.A.’s hottest and hippest boutiques can be found amongst these sidewalks. The grand dame of them all is Kitson boutique, a favorite among actresses like Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Britney Spears – and those who aspire to be just like them. The clothing boutiques make up about 75% of the shops along the street. This shopping district has become a destination on many tourists’ lists.
If you want to take a break to dine or stop and grab a drink between your shopping venture, head off to The Ivy or Cuvee restaurants. Of course, Robertson Boulevard has more to offer than just shopping and people-gazing. There are some fabulous restaurants on the street that have a loyal celebrity followings. Countless entertainment industry deals have been made within this cottage-like space over lunch I’m sure. The Ivy’s menu is of Southern influenced American classic and is a bit on the costlier side. Another oh-so L.A. eatery is Newsroom Cafe, which serves up super healthy fare alongside magazines aplenty. Other favorite eateries in the area are Michel Richard, Cuvee Wine & Food and Le Pain Quotidien, among others.
Although the street itself runs for six miles, the strip of Robertson Boulevard between Beverly Boulevard (on the north) and Third Street (on the south) is considered the main attraction. It is located on the cusp of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood (just two blocks west of the Beverly Center).
6. Go to Disneyland.
It’s what every major athlete does after scoring a touchdown or hitting a home run. Disneyland (1313 S. Harbor Blvd, Anaheim) isn’t just for kids (even though it tends to send them into ecstatic spasms), as the park offers the biggest, brightest and most complete amusement park experience you’ll find outside of a dream. The rides last longer, the park-wandering characters are happier, and even the customer service folk are more helpful than any other park, despite the crowds. Explore the park’s many themed “lands,” see the light parade and jump onto the newest rides, as well as the nostalgic classics like Pinocchio and Small World. Of course, Pirates of the Caribbean never ceases to amaze – watch out for Captain Jack Sparrow sightings, which can seem surreally lifelike.
Now that you know about some fun and exciting places to go and have an amazing time during your visit to LA, what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below to let me know what you think. Sign up for emails my so you never miss a blog post!