There are so many things to do in Los Angeles, you’d need more than just a holiday to experience it all. On the surface, L.A. is famous as the home to Hollywood movie stars, film studios and theme parks, and this is certainly part of its mass appeal. But you’ll also find world class restaurants, an amazing coastline and iconic cultural and sports centres to explore.
Be prepared to drive in L.A.’s notorious 6 lane highways and busy streets to get around, or take advantage of the many tours on offer. Or get away from the traffic all together, and hire a bike to cruise the winding pathway along Venice Beach.
Here are just some suggestions of what to do in Los Angeles, especially the Hollywood area.
You can experience the major tourist attractions and famous celebrity hangouts of Tinseltown either by foot or on one of the many bus tours available.
The Hop-on Hop-off Starline Tour covers more ground, taking you from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica, stopping by many West Hollywood and Beverly Hills hot spots, whilst narrating stories along the way.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
If you’re keen to see a particular star on Hollywood Boulevard, simply walk along until you spot your favourite celebrity name among more than 2,000 stars that have been immortalised in brass since 1960.
TCL Chinese Theatre
The courtyard of the former Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is where the famous hand and footprints of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars are. This is a great place to wander and see the imprints from Hollywood’s finest from past and present.
You can’t return from a trip to Hollywood without the obligatory photo of the Hollywood sign! It’s visible from many locations, though for the best views, head to The Griffith Observatory, which provides free parking, or stop at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook along Mulholland Drive.
A must see cultural icon
Rated highly amongst travellers and locals, The Getty Center is home to world renowned artworks and sculptures, all housed within the architecturally impressive buildings and surrounding gardens.
A tram takes you from the car park up the hill, passing the Bel Air vineyards, until you arrive at the top for beautiful panoramic views of Los Angeles. For information on what’s on visit http://www.getty.edu
Chill out at California’s sandy beaches
For that classic California beach experience, go to Santa Monica or Venice Beach, or slightly further west to Malibu - home to many Hollywood stars.
Head to Santa Monica pier, where you’ll be greeted with many dining options, entertainment stands, rides, and sun worshippers lying on the sand below.
One of the best ways to enjoy Venice Beach is by cruising the ever-winding path through the golden sand on a bicycle. You can hire bikes from Santa Monica beachfront. On your journey expect to pass roller skaters, skateboarders, basketball players, gym junkies and street performers.
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Glamour, high end luxury shops, fancy cars and maybe a celebrity or two. Rodeo Drive, famed for its expensive designer shops, offers a glimpse into the elite world of the rich and famous. Window shop or get out your credit card and enjoy this beautiful palm lined street under the warm L.A. sun.
Experience the Hollywood Film and TV Studios
Great for families and adults, the film studios are packed full of exciting attractions that will have you immersed in your favourite movie and TV scenes.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Offering some of the most ultimate entertaining experiences, set aside an entire day to see it all.
Harry Potter fans can now experience the wizard world, transporting you to some of its best-known establishments from the movies. Other attractions will see you walking through a scene full of zombies in The Walking Dead attraction, watching Despicable Me Minions, riding with The Simpsons, and experiencing being chased by dinosaurs in the classic Jurassic Park ride.
Take the studio tour to see famous film sets and come close to danger as you find yourself in the middle of a battle with King Kong.
Visit the official site for information to plan your trip and for ticket options http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
Go behind-the-scenes at Warner Bros. Studio to see the back lots and sound stages of some iconic TV shows, including a visit to “Central Perk” from the Friends TV series. Also filmed here is Ellen and The Big Bang Theory. On the tour you’ll visit the Harry Potter Exhibit, the DC comic universe and various prop and sound stages.
For information about the tour and how to book visit https://www.wbstudiotour.com
Treat the kids, or feel like a kid again
Disneyland - a magical place where many kids dream of going. This place has entertained families for decades and is still going strong. Other theme parks worth a visit are Knott’s Berry Farm, for a mixture of thrilling rides and immersive story-telling experiences, and Magic Mountain for the heart stopping roller coaster rides.
If you have kids, you might have planned your trip around a visit to Disneyland, however the appeal of this world famous theme park crosses many generations and is enjoyed by all ages and walks of life.
Disneyland is made up of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, so you’re likely to need more than 1 day to see it all. Disneyland Park includes 8 themed lands including Main Street, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Toontown, Frontierland and more. California Adventure Park has 7 lands to explore, including Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, A Bug’s Land and Hollywood Land.
You can also stay in one of the hotels on offer within Disneyland Resort, making it very convenient to get to and from the park over several days. For all the details visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com
Thrill seeker heaven at Magic Mountain
The ultimate playground for thrill seekers, Six Flags Magic Mountain has some of the fastest and tallest coaster rides in the country. With 16 heart pumping roller coasters, more family friendly rides than any other park in the area, kid’s shows and character meet and greets, the main objective here is to have fun!
For the latest news and location information, visit the official website https://www.sixflags.com/magicmountain
Los Angeles is diverse, busy and relatively safe, but always remember to be aware of your belongings and surroundings. Travel insurance* will allow you to enjoy your vacation with peace of mind!
Most of all, enjoy your trip!