Sunshine, cars, celebrities… these are just a few of the things that define Los Angeles. But as any visitor to this expansive Southern California city will tell you, it’s a place with seemingly infinite possibilities. There’s downtown, with Crypto.com Arena, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Olvera Street. There’s Hollywood, with its Walk of Fame, maps to the stars’ homes and palm-tree lined boulevards. There’s Santa Monica, with its pier, shopping and ocean breezes. There’s Los Feliz, with Griffith Park and its famous observatory. Head slightly north over into the San Fernando Valley, and another world awaits, with Universal Studios and the lengthy Ventura Boulevard stretching into Sherman Oaks, Encino and Woodland Hills. Head south to Orange County, and arrive in Anaheim to partake of the Disney empire. Go Northeast to Pasadena, home of the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade.
No single visit to Los Angeles will ever cover it all, so it’s best to focus and decide what version of Los Angeles works for you. Into the beach life? Head down to Hermosa and Redondo. Like amusement parks? Disney, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood are all right here. Into dining? It’s everywhere you look (don’t miss the Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax). Into museums? Check out LACMA and the Getty Center. Want to shop? Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive would be happy to take your money (or you could just go to the Grove or the Sherman Oaks Galleria for a more reasonable stress on your wallet). Into sports? There’s Dodger Stadium for baseball, Dignity Health Sports Park for soccer, Staples Center for the Lakers, and SoFi Stadium, the brand-new NFL stadium in Inglewood, which will be home to the Rams and Chargers. (Advance notice: The 2028 Summer Olympics will be held in Los Angeles as well.) Want to party like a rock star? Get a pizza and beers at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Sunset Strip (and check out the Lemmy statue). Arts and entertainment? Every night of the week brings scores of concerts, events and screenings that fit all ages and interests.
Los Angeles, with its near-constant sunshine, car lifestyle, and film and TV industries, is a place like no other. There’s so much to do here, that travelers are well-advised to choose their own adventure.
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Subways, buses and light rail serve every corner of Los Angeles, and public transportation via the Metro system has improved markedly, depending on where you're headed. However, it is still highly recommended to rent a car or use rideshare services to navigate this sprawling city. Avoid rush hours when possible!
GRIFFITH PARK OBSERVATORY
Get a truly panoramic view of Los Angeles, including the Hollywood sign, at this Los Feliz observatory, which includes a planetarium and science exhibits in its indoor facility.
SANTA MONICA PIER
This giant pier boasts an amusement park, concessions and areas for fishing. Be sure to see it at night when the Ferris wheel is illuminated!
It's a very "touristy" experience, but for anyone fresh to Hollywood, it's still worth looking down at the Walk of Fame stars on the sidewalk and finding your favorites. Be sure to see the celebrity hand and footprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and walking up the steps that take you to the entrance of the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. The Hollywood & Highland shopping center is also right there, and has walkways where visitors can see the Hollywood sign.
THE GETTY CENTER
This majestic museum in Brentwood has a world-class art collection and is notable for its beautiful gardens, architecture and views.
This historic area in Downtown Los Angeles features a pedestrian mall and Mexican marketplace.
THE ORIGINAL FARMERS MARKET
Food and produce vendors, a wide variety of restaurant stalls and enjoyable sit-down dining are all part of the Farmers Market experience at Third and Fairfax. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities having a bite, as well as contestants from "The Price is Right" (fresh from walking over from a taping at CBS Television City) with their nametags still on their shirts.