Whether you’re an out-of-town guest attending a wedding in Los Angeles, or just looking for fun things to do in LA, this article is for you! I’ve compiled some of the best things to do in Los Angeles and a few tips for you in this handy guide! From time to time I’ll be updating this list, so be sure to check back periodically for updates and more fun things to do in LA!
Cost: Admission is free, but reservations are required at this time.
Beautiful lush gardens, modern architecture, amazing city views, and centuries worth of art to explore. If you have a day to spend, I highly recommend visiting the Getty Center, or the Getty Villa Museum located in Malibu which features Greek and Roman antiquities displayed throughout a stunningly recreated Roman-style country home.
Santa Monica Pier & Venice Beach
If you’re looking for some fun at one of SoCal’s iconic spots, Santa Monica pier might be just the spot for you. The pier is a national historic landmark that’s been around since 1909 and has since been reimagined as a fun place to enjoy a variety of fun activities, carnival games, rides, vendor carts, and tasty bites! During one of our last visits, we enjoyed stopping in at Rusty’s for a quick bite, great beers and a chill atmosphere. Afterwards, we shared a delicious strawberry shake from Pier Burger – yum!
Along the beach, just to the south of Santa Monica Pier, you’ll find the ever-famous Venice Beach and it’s beachfront boardwalk that features a plethora of street performers, vendors, the unique bohemian subculture it’s known for. Along Venice Beach, you’ll also find, high-end restaurants, retail options, rentable beach cruisers, and fun walking tours that feature some of Venice beach’s most famously filmed spots.
Huntington Library and Gardens
A few things to know: Reservations are required for weekends and strongly suggested for weekdays. Ticket pricing varies, but on average you’re looking at around $29 for adults and $13 for kids over 4. Closed on Tuesdays and major holidays.
One of my favorite places to visit- This sprawling San Marino property was once the home of a historic Railroad and Real Estate businessman. Henry Huntington had a passion for collecting art and literature. He spent many years building his impressive library & paradise-like botanical gardens. In 1919 Huntington and his wife created a trust that made their collection of treasures available to the public in the hopes “to promote the public welfare.” Since then, The Huntington Library has become one of the worlds greatest independent research libraries and it features over 11 million items! The art museum features over 40,000 pieces from over 500 years and includes everything from folk art, to paintings, photography and sculpture. The gardens (yes, there are more than one!) are organized in themes or styles and at the entrance, you’re offered a map to help you explore each section.
Grand Central Market
This Los Angeles landmark has been around since 1917 and features some 30,000 square feet of great food, retail options that celebrate the diverse and rich history that makes up LA. There is a little something for everyone here! Each week in the afternoons of Thursday to Sunday, the Grand Central Market hosts a Bazaar that features local creators of handmade goods for you to explore and shop.
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a little piece of Europe at this luxury outdoor mall featuring some of the world’s most iconic high-end designers and restaurants.
Enjoy great brunch or dinner on the 15th-floor patio or head to the rooftop lounge that overlooks Pershing Square for drinks and a fantastic view of the city!
The Last Bookstore
Just around the corner from Perch, you’ll find one of my personal favorite places to visit in DTLA – The Last Bookstore. This is the largest new and used bookstore in California, you can find just about any book, record, or comic book in this 22,000 square foot store! Even if you’re not shopping for a specific book, this place is so fun to walk through and browse with its variety of artistic displays, including their famous book tunnel!
It’s no secret that Los Angeles has tons of great options for nightlife and cocktails. There are also a few great speakeasys around the city.
The Varnish is located inside of Cole’s French Dip (which we think is a pretty cool spot in and of itself!)
Sunset & Vinyl is a neat little gem that you find up a back stairway inside of 800 Degrees.
Blind Barber great spot for a haircut or a drink in their famed back room!
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best things to do in LA! Did you discover another cool place that we should add to our list? Leave a comment below and let us know!