When you visit top destinations around the country, crowds are inevitable. Sure, you can escape the masses by visiting less popular attractions, but is that worth it? Sometimes, the best attractions are worth battling the crowds. At these Los Angeles tourist attractions, dealing with a few crowds is a small price to pay for a day of entertainment, excitement, and memories!

Although you’ll fight a few crowds along the way, you won’t regret visiting these prominent LA area attractions.

Los Angeles tourist attractions

Finding the best views of the Hollywood Sign is definitely worth facing the crowds.

1. The Hollywood Sign

You had to have known that the Hollywood sign would be on our list!

An icon in cinema history and Los Angeles’ culture, the Hollywood sign is the pinnacle of tourist attractions in Los Angeles. While the Hollywood sign can be seen in several places throughout the city, a few draw in more crowds than others such as Hollywood and Highland.

Even though you can hike to see the Hollywood sign up close, you’ll still encounter your fair share of crowds along the way, especially during peak travel seasons. Once you reach the top, see the sign, and marvel at the views, you’ll forget all about the crowds.

2. Hollywood Walk of Fame

If you’re visiting Los Angeles for the first time, a trip to the Hollywood Walk of Fame must be on your itinerary. Lined with the names of legendary stars, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a staple among Los Angeles tourist attractions. Due to the iconic status of this attraction, you’re guaranteed to bump into a few (if not several) crowds. Be sure to look out for the stars of your favorite actors and actresses.

TCL Chinese Theatre - LA Tourist Attractions

By wolfgang.mller54 from Niedersachsen /Germany (TCL Chinese Theatre) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

3. TCL Chinese Theatre

While visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame, take a quick stroll down to the TCL Chinese Theatre. Also known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, this historic Los Angeles attraction is certainly worth pushing through a few crowds. Since 1927, the theater has been the epicenter of Hollywood’s film and entertainment industry, hosting film premieres and special events for the stars.

The theater also boasts the Forecourt of the Stars, where you’ll find the handprints and footprints of exceptional movie stars from the past and present. Adding your hand and footprints to this attraction has been a longstanding right of passage for Hollywood stars.

4. Runyon Canyon Trail

Who would have thought that a hiking trail would end up on a list of Los Angeles tourist attractions? This trail has become a hotspot for visitors, residents, and celebrities/influencers alike. While you can go for the views and the exercise, many tourists roam the trail hoping to spot a celebrity or two. With the size of the crowds on any given day, you just might run into your favorite celeb!

Los Angeles, CA tourist attractions

Get a glimpse of luxury brands along Rodeo Drive.

5. Rodeo Drive

Even if you’re only planning on window shopping, a trip to Rodeo Drive is necessary. Lined with luxurious brands and shops, Rodeo Drive draws in crowds looking to spot a celebrity or get a peek at the latest fashion trends. While you’d be hard pressed to actually spot a celebrity here, you never know who might show up!

6. Sunset Strip

Known for nightclubs and live music venues, Sunset Strip often draws a crowd due to its notoriety. Just by walking along or driving by the strip, you’ll be able to get a glimpse into the history of this Los Angeles neighborhood.

For fans of the Broadway show, Rock of Ages, you’ll notice that the show was based on this legendary section of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles tourist attractions

Gaze out at the stars at Griffith Observatory

7. Griffith Observatory

If you only visit one of the Los Angeles tourist attractions on this list, make sure it’s Griffith Observatory. Although the observatory was already a hot destination for travelers, its inclusion in the hit film La La Land helped to skyrocket its popularity.

Known as one of the most romantic places in LA, Griffith Observatory transports you into the stars and offers exceptional views of the cityscape. From being part of Hollywood history to stargazing, it’s not hard to see why crowds flock to Griffith Observatory.

8. Universal Studios Hollywood

Where else can you have a butterbeer in HogsmeadeTM, run from zombies, and speak with minions in Los Angeles? It’s no wonder Universal Studios Hollywood is a top destination for movie buffs and thrill seekers alike. Offering massive roller coasters, movie-themed interactive rides, and an operating movie lot with a behind-the-scenes tour, this theme park is a highly trafficked stop for tourists.

Although this theme park draws in exceptionally large crowds, it is absolutely worth your time. Of the Los Angeles tourist attractions on our list, Universal Studios Hollywood is one you just can’t pass up!

To avoid the crowds and experience your favorite rides over and over again, we recommend heading into the park after 5:00 pm. Families will have exited the park, leaving the rides wide open for you!

Los Angeles tourist attractions

A trip to Disneyland is definitely worth a crowd or two.

9. Disneyland

Also attracting hoards of tourists is the one and only Disneyland. Featuring all your favorite Disney characters, classic rides, and new experiences, Disneyland has something for everyone in your family. We also recommend visiting this tourist destination after 5:00 pm to enjoy shorter lines, fewer crowds, and undeniable magic.

10. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Growing in popularity among tourists is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, also known as LACMA. The museum offers a wide selection of artwork, from classic pieces to modern art installations. The newer exhibits and installations have captured the attention of visitors, thus increasing the crowds looking to enter the museum daily.

Brave the Crowds and Visit these Los Angeles Tourist Attractions

Even though crowds can be a pain, these Los Angeles tourist attractions make it well worth your while.

One way to beat the crowds is by skipping the ticket line and ordering your tickets to top attractions through Reserve Los Angeles. You’ll already have your tickets and can head on in!

No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a beach day or two. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll find any excuse to head to the beach. To me, there’s nothing better than the sun, sand, and waves. For your fair share of the California sunshine, make sure to head to the 10 best beaches near Los Angeles.

Best Beaches near Los Angeles

A trip to the best beaches near Los Angeles should be on your itinerary.

1) Leo Carrillo State Beach

Named after actor and conservationist, Leo Carrillo, this state beach offers a multitude of landscapes and activities for visitors. From surfing to exploring the tide pools, everyone can find something to enjoy about this beach.

Location: 28 miles Northwest of Santa Monica off of Pacific Coast Highway. Click here for directions.

Parking fees: $12 for a full day, $3.00 per hour.

Good to Know: Before lounging on the beach, explore one of the hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult in intensity. You can also reserve a camping spot.

Best Beaches Near Los Angeles

Image via Huntington Dog Beach / Facebook

2) Huntington Dog Beach

Warning: If you’re a cat person, you should probably skip this beach.

I try to travel with my dogs as much as possible. When I can find a dog beach, I’m on top of the world. If I’m that excited, I can’t imagine how amped they must be. At Huntington Dog Beach, your dog can unleash (literally) and run around the beach at their leisure. The beach also has a non-profit organization that works to make sure the area is safe and clean for your pets.

Location: 100 Goldenwest St., between Seapoint Avenue and 21st Street, Huntington Beach. Click here for directions.

Parking fees: Metered parking. $1.50 per hour.

Good to Know: Pick up after your dog! The beach is open daily from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm. If your dog is timid, it’s best to keep them on a leash at first.

El Matador State Beach in Malibu

By Graham [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

3) El Matador Beach

El Matador Beach is part of Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach just west of Malibu. This beach requires a 150-foot excursion down to the beach, so I recommend wearing sturdy shoes if possible. El Matador Beach has recently caught the eye of famous Instagrammers, even though it’s long been a favorite of professional photographers.

Location: El Matador Beach Road between Broad Beach and Decker Canyon roads along Pacific Coast Highway. Click here for directions.

Parking Fees: Limited parking.

Good to Know: Visit in the off-season to have the beach all to yourself. During the peak season, this beach can be packed.

Image via Marc Choquette / flickr

4) Malibu Surfrider Beach

As part of the best beaches near Los Angeles, Malibu Surfrider Beach is part of Malibu Lagoon State Park. With about a mile of oceanfront fun, Malibu Surfrider Beach is among the best beaches near Los Angeles due to its proximity to the famous Malibu Pier. How did this beach get the name “Surfrider?” The 1950s surfing movies, of course!

Location: 23050 & 23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265. Click here for directions.

Parking Fees: Street parking and a parking lot.

Good to Knows: Malibu Surfrider Beach is adjacent to other Malibu beaches. If this beach is crowded, simply move on to the next one!

Best beaches near Los Angeles

By Snabayan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47963942

5) Cabrillo Beach

Visiting Los Angeles in the off-season? If so, head to Cabrillo Beach for excellent whale watching opportunities. If you’re visiting during the peak season, this beach is perfect for everything from lounging in the sun to scuba diving. The area offers picnic tables, a snack bar, and other conveniences for beach-goers.

Location: 3720 Steven M. White Dr., San Pedro, CA 90731. Click here for directions.

Parking Fees: Parking lot for an hourly fee.

Good to Knows: For kids who aren’t too fond of the Pacific Ocean, Cabrillo Beach offers a playground area.

Image via Pedro Szekely / flickr

6) Santa Monica Beach

If you’ve been looking for the best beaches near Los Angeles, you likely already know about Santa Monica Beach. This iconic California beach extends 3.5 miles in length and is within walking distance from numerous hotels, restaurants, and attractions. While there, you have to check out the Santa Monica Pier. After all, if you go to Santa Monica Beach and don’t visit the pier, what are you doing with your vacation?!

Location: Along Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica. Click here for directions.

Parking Fees: The beach offers eight main parking lots and street parking. Lot prices can range from approximately $6 to $15 per day. Many beach-goers walk or bike to the beach.

Good to Knows: Try your hand at surfing or paddleboarding while at Santa Monica Beach. You’ll find several places to rent equipment or purchase lessons.

Best Beaches near LA - Venice Beach

By WiLPrZ from Rabat, Maroc (04082013 – Venice Beach – L.A. California) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

7) Venice Beach

Interested in trying your hand at surfing? Head to the Venice Breakwater at Venice Beach. This local favorite surf spot was built in 1905 by Abbot Kinney to protect his pier. As a result, the sand in this spot is ideal for sand sculptures, so keep your eye out for incredible works of art right on the beach.

Location: 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291. Click here for directions.

Parking Fees: Choose between parking in a private lot for a variable fee or finding free parking in the streets around Venice.

Good to Know: Take time to stroll along the boardwalk. You’ll find great shops, food, and entertainment!

Redondo Beach - Best Beaches near Los Angeles

By Funhistory at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42628361

8) Redondo Beach

Although many of the best beaches near Los Angeles tend to be crowded, Redondo Beach is not! Since this beach is so massive that you’ll never have trouble finding a parking spot or a place to set up on the beach. Plus, this beach boasts a seaside lagoon that’s a must for any California vacation. Keep in mind that the lagoon is not open year-round.

Location: 100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Click here for directions.

Parking Fees: Ample self-parking.

Good to Knows: For a secluded beach experience, find a spot near the Redondo Beach Jetty. This is a popular surfing spot away from the main crowd.

Foto: © JCS / via Wikimedia Commons

9) Topanga State Beach

Calm down Boy Meets World fans. I doubt you’ll find Danielle Fishel here.

What you will find, however, is a quiet beach area for you to enjoy. If you’ve ever wanted to see kayak surfing in person, now’s your chance. Topanga State Beach is known for excellent kayak surfing conditions. The beach also offers space for sunbathing, surfing, and just splashing around in the ocean.

Location: 18700 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu CA 90265. Click here for directions.

Parking Fees: $6-$8 per day parking. $3 per hour.

Good to Know: If you park in the beach’s east or west parking lots and take the underground passageway, you may or may not find Rosenthal Winery on the other side. Hint: you will.

Best Beaches near Los Angeles

Image via Chris Kuga / flickr

10) Abalone Cove Beach

I’m a marine biology nerd. So when I want to discover marine life in tide pools, I head to Abalone Cove Beach. Inside tide pools, you’ll find a wide array of brightly colored sea urchin and so much more. This is a fantastic activity for curious kids, as well.

Location: Situated in Abalone Cove Shoreline Park. Click here for directions.

Parking Fees: $5 parking.

Good to Knows: Can’t spot the tide pools? Try Sacred Cove, also located within Abalone Cove Shoreline Park.

Visit the Best Beaches Near Los Angeles on Your Vacation

As I said, no Los Angeles vacation is complete without a trip to the beach. But keep in mind that there is so much more to do and experience in LA! Remember to check out Reserve Los Angeles before your trip for discounted hotel and attraction ticket packages.

 

Warning: travel is addicting. More specifically, traveling somewhere new is addicting and planning your first trip to Los Angeles is no exception. From working out your travel details to brainstorming an itinerary, the entire process is exhilarating.

However, you only get one “first trip.” You don’t want to waste this precious opportunity to get it right! To make the most of your vacation, here’s everything you need to know before you jet off on your first trip to Los Angeles.

First trip to Los Angeles

Planning Your Trip

Before you step onto the plane, you have a bit of planning to do. Although I’m all for spontaneous travel, I’m also a firm believer that your first trip to anywhere should have a solid foundation and itinerary.

To begin organizing your first trip to Los Angeles, take these steps.

Determine What Time of Year to Travel

Since Los Angeles is such a popular destination, the time of year and seasons will have a significant impact on your travel experience. For cheaper hotel, transportation, and attraction rates, I suggest traveling in the off-season. However, the tradeoff is that you may encounter some undesirable weather.

In Los Angeles, the peak season is June through August. With kids out of school and vacation time lingering, families pack up and head to Los Angeles during the summer. To skip the crowds and enjoy the perfect weather, visit Los Angeles either in March through May or September through November.

Find the Perfect Hotel

Considering how spacious Los Angeles is, your hotel selection process will be a bit exhausting. To aid in your search, first make a list of room and amenity requirements. For instance, do you need one or two beds? Does the hotel need to offer free WiFi and a continental breakfast?

Knowing what you need from a hotel will help narrow down your search for Los Angeles hotels. Of course, make sure to factor in your travel budget!

If possible, knowing what you want to do in Los Angeles can also help you locate the perfect hotel.

Have a Plan for Getting Around

As with any major city, Los Angeles offers many modes of transportation. From public transportation to ride-sharing services, you’ll have plenty of ways to get around the city during your first trip to Los Angeles.

Common sense may say that you need to rent a car to travel around LA, however that is not necessarily the case. Traveling around Los Angeles without a car is actually pretty simple! If you can skip the rental car (and the traffic on the 405), I recommend doing so.

Once you’ve decided when your first trip to Los Angeles will be, where you’re staying, and how you’re getting around, it’s almost time to travel.

What to Do During Your First Trip to Los Angeles

Although it may be tempting, it is nearly impossible to fit all that Los Angeles has to offer into one trip. From the sunny beaches to shopping on Rodeo Drive, exciting attractions to outdoor adventures, trust me when I say Los Angeles has it all.

For the best experience, divide your activities and attractions list into two sections: priority and wish list. If you find you have time after visiting everything on your “priority” list, head to those on the “wish list”!

For inspiration, consider adding these activities to your Los Angeles “to-do” list:

Sightseeing

From the Hollywood Sign to the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles is filled with exceptional sightseeing. If seeing Los Angeles’ sights is high on your to-do list, I’d recommend booking one of the many area tours to maximize your time. You can experience everything from Los Angeles’ food scene to the Warner Bros. Studio!

Outdoor Adventures

Although Los Angeles is a metropolis, you’re never too far from exceptional hiking, beaches, and other outdoor activities. Channel your adventurous side by hiking Runyon Canyon, exploring San Vicente Mountain Park, or spending the day at one of these pristine beaches:

  • Leo Carrillo State Beach
  • Venice Beach
  • Santa Monica Beach
  • El Matador Beach
  • Manhattan Beach
  • Hermosa Beach
  • Malibu Surfrider Beach

 

Of course, Los Angeles is also home to other outdoor adventures such as skydiving, jet skiing, and mountain biking. Find the activity that suits you and add it to your itinerary!

Free Activities

No one said your first trip to Los Angeles had to be an expensive one! There are hundreds of free things to do in Los Angeles. Seriously, hundreds. A few of my favorite free LA activities include:

  • Visiting the Los Angeles Public Library
  • Finding the hidden staircases around the city
  • Walking along the Santa Monica Pier
  • Strolling through Griffith Park
  • Taking advantage of free museum days throughout the year
  • Seeing the GRAMMYs Walk of Fame

 

Skip the high admission prices and explore Los Angeles for the first time completely free.

Thrills and Theme Parks

If you’re a theme park junkie, Los Angeles is the place to be. This area of California is jam-packed with rides that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Get your tickets for these Los Angeles theme parks:

 

While not all of these theme parks are directly in Los Angeles, they are a staple of any California vacation.

Your First Trip to Los Angeles: Know Before You Go

Now that you’ve got your travel plan in place and are working on your itinerary, there are a few things you should know before you visit LA.

There’s More to Los Angeles Than Hollywood
While Hollywood draws in a great deal of tourists, this is only one area of Los Angeles. There is plenty more to see and experience. Check out our Los Angeles Neighborhood guide and discover an area you’d like to explore.

Know Where You’re Going
Considering that LA is so massive, it’s always helpful to know where you’re going before you do. The last thing you want is to get lost in a city you’re unfamiliar with. Luckily, it’s as simple as opening up Google Maps on your phone!

LAX Isn’t the Only Airport
While LAX does have convenient and affordable flights, it’s not your only airport option. Shop around and see if a flight to Burbank (BUR), John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, or Long Beach (LGB) is easier and cheaper.

Your Los Angeles Trip Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
On top of all the free things to do and visiting in the off-season, there are other ways to save on your first trip to Los Angeles. Purchase the Go Los Angeles card and receive admission to tons of area attractions including Universal Studios Hollywood®.

Plan Your First Trip to Los Angeles

By now, I bet you’re already halfway done with your Los Angeles vacation plan. Don’t forget to check Reserve Los Angeles for the best hotel and attraction discounts! You can thank me later.

Have you ever wanted to set your responsibilities aside and treat yourself to a vacation? (I have.) If you’re ready to jet off on a personal getaway, I recommend heading to Los Angeles. And what better way to treat yourself (any Parks and Recreation fans?) by staying at one of the many luxury hotels in Los Angeles?

I know, I know. Deciding to spend a good chunk of your vacation budget on a hotel is a tough decision. But after reading these 7 reasons to stay at the finest hotels in LA, you’ll be on Reserve Los Angeles booking your room before you know it.

Los Angeles, California

1) Convenient Location

When you book your stay at any of the luxury hotels in Los Angeles, you’ll be in the heart of the city. The hustle of the city and the gorgeous sunshine are right outside your hotel door. Top-of-the-line hotels such as The Standard Downtown LA are located within a few steps from popular destinations including:

  • Macy’s Plaza
  • Pershing Square
  • The Last Bookstore
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall

 

Having top attractions within walking distance means you can use the money you save on transportation on more vacation fun!

2) Elegant Accommodations

A sure-fire way to feel on top of the world is by staying in a hotel with elegant accommodations. From the premium bedding to the modern decor, everything at these LA hotels is top-of-the-line.

Gift yourself a stay at the W Hollywood Hotel for exceptional accommodations including a marble bathroom, LG 42″ flat screen TV with prime entertainment options, gorgeous decor, an in-room mini-bar, and so much more. As you can see, the luxury hotels in Los Angeles go above and beyond when it comes to offering guests the best accommodations.

Luxury hotels in Los Angeles

3) State-of-the-Art Amenities

Whenever I book a hotel room, the first thing I search for is the list of amenities. Do they have a pool? What about an onsite restaurant? To say the best hotels in Los Angeles take their amenities seriously would be a massive understatement.

Take Hotel Palomar Los Angeles, for instance. This hotel has everything you could possibly want from a hotel under one roof including:

  • 24/7 Fitness Center
  • Outdoor Heated Pool
  • Evening Wine Hour Daily
  • Game Room
  • On-site Restaurant
  • Public Bikes for a Ride Around Town
  • In-Room Yoga Mats
  • Room Service
  • Premium Bath Amenities and Bathrobes
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Pet-Friendly Amenities

 

The only thing missing from their amenities is a personal butler. Los Angeles’ finest hotels offer a myriad of amenities and services for their guests. Do a bit of research and you’ll find a luxury LA hotel with the amenities you desire.

4) Renowned Hospitality

In today’s digital age, who doesn’t look at customer reviews before reserving a hotel room? I know I do. No matter if I’m staying in the finest luxury hotels in Los Angeles or a discount hotel on the outskirts of the city, I want to know about previous guests’ experiences.

That being said, renowned hospitality is yet another reason to reserve a room at one of LA’s top hotels. These hotels thrive on exceptional customer reviews, meaning they go out of their way to ensure a memorable and accommodating experience for guests.

JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, a contemporary hotel located in downtown LA, boasts numerous positive customer reviews.  A TripAdvisor customer recently posted this review of their experience here:

“We stayed at this JW Marriott for one night at the tail end of our vacation. It was exactly what we needed to re-energize for our trip home. Our one regret was that we didn’t stay an extra night or two to really take advantage of the hotel’s amenities. No matter if you’re traveling for business, family, or splurging on an independent vacation, these hotels go the extra mile to make sure your stay is remarkable…”

5) Relax in Luxury

No “treat yourself” vacation would be complete without a trip to the spa to recharge. Luckily for you, the majority of luxury hotels in Los Angeles also boast full-service spas. For world-class spa treatments including massages and facials, head to SoSpa at the Sofitel LA at Beverly Hills. If you’re looking to change your hair, head on over Le Salon, Sofitel LA at Beverly Hills’ indoor and outdoor hair and makeup salon.

After all, you can’t treat yourself to a night on the town without looking and feeling your best!

pexels-photo-restaurant-kitchen

6) Exceptional Dining

Los Angeles is known for it’s legendary variety of cuisines. From the 5-star restaurants to the hole-in-the-wall finds, you’ll want to try it all. However, some of the best dining can be found in the hotels around the city.

The Line Hotel offers guests a wide assortment of dining options such as their restaurant, Commissary (which happens to be one of the most Instagrammed places in LA). The hotel also offers an innovative craft cocktail bar, international cuisine cafe, and an additional bar with phenomenal events.

While I encourage you to explore Los Angeles’ vast cuisine varieties, sometimes the best dining is right at your hotel.

7) Step Into Hollywood History

Los Angeles is the city of stars, movies, and the life of glamour. Many of the luxury hotels in Los Angeles have been around for decades, meaning many of the world’s top stars have walked through the halls of these legendary hotels. The Hollywood Roosevelt having opened in 1927 and catered to the stars including Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin is one of the most historic hotels in the greater Los Angeles area. Book your stay here and you never know who you’ll cross paths with.

Entering hotel room

Find Your Perfect Room at the Luxury Hotels in Los Angeles

Whether you prefer upscale accommodations or a world of amenities, you’ll find your ideal hotel in Los Angeles. Just remember to use Reserve Los Angeles for discounts and deals on luxury hotels throughout the city!

Are you the type of traveler that can’t be bothered with typical tourist attractions? You’re the adventurous type that visits a new place with the goal of finding secret local spots and off-the-beaten-path novelties. If this sounds like your travel style, your next trip needs to be spent visiting these hidden gems in Los Angeles.

Hidden Gems in Los Angeles

Image via collectmoments / flickr

Echo Park Lake

751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026

Nestled in the Echo Park neighborhood, you’ll find the gorgeous Echo Park Lake. When you see this area in person, you’ll wonder how Echo Park was ever known as an unpopular neighborhood. The park and the lake have transformed Echo Park into a highly sought-after neighborhood by Los Angeles residents and visitors alike. While at the lake, you can walk along the provided paths, rent a pedal boat, go fishing, have a picnic, or just enjoy the scenery.

Image By Bill Ebbesen via Wikimedia Commons

Image By Bill Ebbesen via Wikimedia Commons

Korean Bell of Friendship

3601 S. Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731

In 1976, the Republic of Korea donated a massive, detailed bell and pavilion to the city and people of Los Angeles. This gift was meant to honor veterans of the Korean War, observe the bicentennial of the United States of America, and also to symbolize the friendship between our two countries.

When visiting the Korean Bell of Friendship, be sure to notice the intricate detail throughout the entire pavilion. This iconic pavilion is by far one of the best hidden gems in Los Angeles you do not want to miss.

Kyoto Gardens

120 S. Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Have you ever been to a secret rooftop garden? At the top of the Double Tree Hilton in downtown Los Angeles, you’ll find the Kyoto Gardens. The garden was built as a replica of an ancient Japanese garden in Tokyo and is open for visitors to explore. Plus, as a hotel guest, you can take advantage of the free yoga classes in the garden. It doesn’t get more serene than that.

Tidal pools at Abalone Cove near Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County, California.

Tidal pools at Abalone Cove near Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County, California.

Abalone Cove Tide Pools

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park: 5970 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

If you’re like me and can’t get enough of the ocean and the animals that inhabit it, head to the Abalone Cove Tide Pools. Also known as the Rancho Palos Verdes tide pools at Abalone Cove, finding these oceanic hidden gems in Los Angeles can be tricky.

To get to the tide pools, visit Abalone Cove Shoreline Park. At the southern end of the parking lot, you’ll find The Abalone Cove Trail which will lead you to the tide pools. This rocky trail takes about 20 minutes to complete, so be prepared. I recommend wearing appropriate shoes and bringing water/snacks for those who may need it. Once you reach the tide pools, you’ll completely forget about the seemingly long walk you just finished.

There is so much to discover at the tide pools, from mussels to sea urchins. Take your time and explore all that you can at this outdoor hidden gem. Plus, if you time your visit just right, you can see dolphins swimming and diving out in the distance.

Image by Zigzig20s (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Image by Zigzig20s (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Virginia Robinson Gardens

1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

While other visitors head to touristy Hollywood Blvd. and Rodeo Drive, go to one of the oldest hidden gems in Los Angeles instead. The Robinson Mansion, constructed in 1911, was one of the first homes built in Beverly Hills. The gardens have been preserved as a historical landmark and a reminder of the Beverly Hills that once was. Take a stroll through the lush gardens and discover what old Hollywood parties were truly like!

San Vicente Mountain Park

17500 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049

You’ll notice that many of the places on our list of hidden gems in Los Angeles are outdoor attractions. Considering that the greater Los Angeles area is bursting with natural beauty, this should come as no surprise. With this in mind, a trip to San Vicente Mountain Park is well worth your time.

The majority of tourists will head to Runyon Canyon, as they’ve heard this is the place to hike in LA. While that trail is nice, it is also full of visitors day in and day out. So, opt for San Vicente Mountain Park instead.

The San Vicente Mountain Park offers stunning 360° views of Los Angeles, multiple hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, and several picnic areas for a memorable experience. Along the trails, you’ll learn about US military history through the interpretive displays. These displays are self-guided, so take your time and enjoy the view!

Image via the National Park Service / flickr

Image via the National Park Service / flickr

Paramount Ranch

2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, CA, 91301

People go to Los Angeles and Hollywood for a glimpse at stardom, a movie set, and a celebrity or two. However, little do they know that one of the biggest hidden gems in Los Angeles is actually Hollywood’s best kept secret.

Paramount Ranch was purchased by Paramount Pictures in 1927 for use in multiple Western movies over the next 25 years. Paramount Pictures was forced to sell the ranch, and it has changed owners numerous times since. The area is still used for TV and movie productions today and visitors can explore the many nature trails onsite. While there, be sure to walk through the Western town still standing today.

Image via vagueonthehow / flickr

Image via vagueonthehow / flickr

The Last Bookstore

453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

As one of the more unique hidden gems in Los Angeles, the Last Bookstore is every book lover’s dream come true. With aisles upon aisles lined with used books and records, you can spend hours browsing this store. The legendary bookstore has been the focus of multiple articles, films, and interviews, due to its intriguing atmosphere and offerings. If you’re looking for a specific book, chances are they have it here.

The Garden of Oz

3040 Ledgewood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

As one of the more creative hidden gems in Los Angeles, the Garden of Oz is quite the sight. This private junk-art garden, built in 1990 as a tribute to the Wizard of Oz, can be seen through a gate in the hills of Hollywood. The work of art is only open to the public two hours a week (Thursdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm), so plan accordingly if you want to experience the full spectacle.

Also, keep in mind that cameras and phones cannot enter the garden. This policy is in place to protect the mystery of the gardens and the privacy of the property owners.

Image by Bobak Ha'Eri (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Image by Bobak Ha’Eri (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Spadena House

516 Walden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Also known as the “Witch’s House”, only the Spadena House could conclude our list of hidden gems in Los Angeles. Get ready to enter the world of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, and other classic fairy tales when you view this extraordinary Beverly Hills home.

Designed by a Hollywood art director, the Spadena House originally served as offices and dressing rooms for a film studio. The house has had several owners over the years until eventually a Los Angeles real estate agent purchase the home with the intent to restore it to its original glory.

Also, guests can only walk or drive by the whimsical home out of a storybook. In addition, the home is part of several Los Angeles landmark and sightseeing tours.

Visit the Top Hidden Gems in Los Angeles

Sure, reading about hidden gems in Los Angeles is fun. But visiting them in person is even better! Start planning your vacation with Reserve Los Angeles today.

 

During most vacations with children, parents tend to sacrifice their own fun in exchange for the happiness of their children. In Los Angeles, this isn’t the case. The entire family can have fun no matter what you choose to do. For a memorable vacation for the whole family, make sure these spectacular things to do in Los Angeles with kids are part of your travel plans.

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Enjoy the Theme Parks

When you think of things to do in Los Angeles with kids, do theme parks come to mind? They should! A day at one of Los Angeles’ theme parks will create lifelong memories as your family meets their favorite characters, rides thrilling attractions, and spends time with one another.

Los Angeles is home to these exciting theme parks:

 

However, we all know that theme park tickets for an entire family can be pricey. For discounted tickets to your favorite Los Angeles theme parks, make sure to purchase admission through Reserve Los Angeles.

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Stroll Down the Hollywood Walk of Fame

To create lifelong vacation memories with your family, take some time to experience the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a “must see” attraction, the iconic star-lined sidewalk is constantly visited by children and their families. Kids will have a great time finding their favorite celebrity’s star and discovering the names of famous Hollywood legends along the way. Plus, with approximately 24 induction ceremonies each year, your Los Angeles family vacation might include a celebrity sighting!

Visit the LACMA

Now I know what you’re thinking. How could an art museum possibly be on a list of things to do in Los Angeles with kids? Museums can lose the attention of a child in no time at all. Trust me, this museum is different.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) features mesmerizing art installations that instantly capture the attention of kids and adults alike. Your entire family will enjoy looking at the incredible works of art and interacting with the exhibits throughout this one-of-a-kind museum. Plus, the museum offers kid-oriented art programs and events throughout the year. Be sure to check out our Events Calendar to see if the LACMA is hosting any events for children during your vacation.

Learn at the California Science Center

Who says a vacation can’t be educational and entertaining at the same time? When your family visits the California Science Center, you won’t be able to help but have fun. The hands-on exhibits allow guests of all ages to learn more about ecosystems, space, inventions, biology, and so much more. Don’t forget to watch one of the exciting IMAX movies, live demonstrations, and shows while you’re there.

Check Out the Kidspace Children’s Museum

Los Angeles is filled with museums exclusively designed for kids. Even though this particular museum is on our list of things to do in Los Angeles with kids, adults admit to having just as much fun here. Kidspace Children’s Museum offers indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits for visitors to discover. Once again, your children won’t realize this is an educational attraction while exploring the great outdoors at the Arroyo Adventure exhibit or building their own invention in the Imagination Workshop.

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Get Tickets to a Show

Don’t you love the feeling of anticipation right before a show? Waiting for the curtain to rise and reveal the excitement on stage is such a wonderful feeling. Going to one of the many entertaining shows in Los Angeles is the perfect activity for families vacationing with children.

The Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament show is a top choice among kids. From the thrilling action of the tournament to the grace of the horses, this show has something for everyone in your family. And let’s not forget about the feast of a dinner they provide! Considered one of the greatest things to do in Los Angeles with kids, this show is not to be missed.

The Los Angeles area is also home to phenomenal concerts, traveling Broadway productions, and more. Find a show your family will love and reserve your seats.

Find Out Where the Wild Things Are at the Los Angeles Zoo

Who doesn’t love spending a day at the zoo? At the Los Angeles Zoo, you’ll come close to all sorts of wild animals including elephants, bearded dragons, and wallabies. The zoo also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from “LA Zoo Lights” to their daily shows and programming. When searching for things to do in Los Angeles with kids, look no further than a trip to the zoo.

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Go Under the Sea at Aquarium of the Pacific

Once you’ve seen the wild animals at the Los Angeles Zoo, it’s time to dive deep into the ocean at Aquarium of the Pacific. Just a short distance away in Long Beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific houses more than 11,000 aquatic animals. The aquarium also boasts 19 major habitats and 32 focus exhibits, as well as an ocean science and animal care center. From the interactive shark lagoon to learning about ocean conservation efforts, Aquarium of the Pacific will be one of the highlights of your Los Angeles family vacation.

Spend a Day at the Beach

When you vacation in Los Angeles with your family, you must spend at least one day at the beach. Kids will love playing in the sand, watching surfers ride the waves, lounging in the sun, and swimming in the Pacific ocean.

Visit one of these popular nearby beaches while on your Los Angeles vacation:

  • Leo Carrillo State Beach
  • Venice Beach
  • Santa Monica Beach
  • El Matador Beach
  • Manhattan Beach
  • Hermosa Beach
  • Malibu Surfrider Beach

 

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Experience Santa Monica Pier

When visiting Los Angeles with kids, your family has to experience the Santa Monica Pier. Activities at the pier include:

  • The iconic Ferris Wheel
  • Playland Arcade
  • Free Walking Tours
  • Bike Rentals
  • The historic Carousel
  • And More

 

After walking, biking, and playing at the Santa Monica Pier, your family will be hungry. Conquer hunger at one of the many delicious restaurants along the pier. Between the games and attractions, beautiful beach setting, and drool-worthy food, it’s no wonder the Santa Monica pier is on the list of things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

Save Money on All of the Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids

As you can see, the amount of activities for kids and their families in Los Angeles is never ending. As a result, parents are rightfully worried about the cost of the vacation. Luckily, there are a few ways to save money while enjoying all of the things to do in Los Angeles with kids.

First, purchase a Go Los Angeles® Card. For a low price, this card provides admission to more than 30 attractions in the Los Angeles area. Imagine how much it would have cost if you paid full price at each attraction? The Go Los Angeles® Card offers admission to popular attractions such as:

  • Madame Tussauds Hollywood
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • California Science Center IMAX
  • And so much more

 

If you noticed, many of the included attractions were on our list of the best things to do in Los Angeles with kids. It’s a win-win situation!

Next, use Reserve Los Angeles for all of your vacation planning needs. From booking a hotel room at an amazing discount to reading up on insider travel tips in our Travel Guide, you’ll be all set to save money and have a fantastic vacation with your kids in Los Angeles.

Everyone looks forward to going on vacation to the sunny state of California. However, a Los Angeles getaway can’t happen with a little budgeting and planning. In that budgeting process, we try to find every discount and savings possible. Sometimes this budgeting means forgoing a rental car as a result. Now you’re left to figure out how to get around Los Angeles without a car.

Navigating Los Angeles without a car sounds impossible, right? Wrong. While renting a car may be a great convenience, it can eat up precious funds that could be spent on another day at Disneyland or getting reservations for the Los Angeles hotel you’ve been dreaming of.

There are several ways to get around Los Angeles without a car. From public transportation to biking around the city, you have multiple transportation options at your disposal in LA.

Image via Sergio Ruiz / flickr

Image via Sergio Ruiz / flickr

Uber and Lyft

When you scratch the idea of renting a car, your first thought might be to rely on a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft. While ride-sharing services are an excellent choice, you need to be aware of the cost. Large cities such as Los Angeles tend to have much higher ride-sharing rates due to the popularity of the service, the congestion of the city, and other market factors.

For quick trips, ride-sharing services are your best option for getting around Los Angeles without a car. Just keep in mind that the cost, potential traffic, and wait times are all factors when using this type of transportation.

Metro Los Angeles / Facebook

Metro Los Angeles / Facebook

Los Angeles Public Transportation

Public transportation in Los Angeles has an unfortunate reputation for poor service, late arrivals and departures, and other issues. However, in recent years, the city has vastly improved their public transportation services. Most recently, the city introduced the Expo line which runs from Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles with several stops along the way.

The Los Angeles Metro Public Transportation service offers a variety of transportation options (bus and rail) to help you get around Los Angeles without a car. To ensure that you get to your destination on time and efficiently, use their Trip Planner to find the right line or method of public transportation. You can also use the Go Metro LA app to help you navigate the Los Angeles public transportation options.

When using public transportation throughout Los Angeles keep in mind these quick tips:

  • Be informed before you travel. There’s nothing worse than being unprepared and lost at the same time.
  • Know how much a Metro pass and fares cost. If riding a bus, bring exact change.
  • Try to travel at off-peak times to avoid the hustle and bustle of locals getting to and from work.
  • Have a backup transportation plan in case your train or bus does not arrive on time.

 

The city of Los Angeles has made great strides to improve their public transportation system. After all, what public transportation system in a large city doesn’t have flaws? Know before you go and you’ll be on your way to a fantastic vacation in Los Angeles without a car.

Taxi Service

Like most notable cities, Los Angeles offers a variety of taxi services for visitors to utilize. However, remember that taxis can have extremely high rates. With the legendary Los Angeles traffic, a taxi may cost you quite a bit of your travel budget. Depending on the current market rates of Uber and Lyft, a taxi has the potential to cost even more than a ride-sharing service. Before you hail a taxi, be sure to check the current transportation rates.

Los Angeles without a car

Experience Los Angeles by bike!

Bike Around Los Angeles

Los Angeles, especially the Santa Monica area, is a bike-friendly city. In fact, when you visit Santa Monica, you’ll notice that almost everyone uses a bike to get around. The Metro service actually offers a bike sharing service available all over the city, available 24/7/365. This simple sharing service allows locals and visitors the opportunity to get some exercise, easily get to their destination, and experience Los Angeles along the way.

Whether you it as your primary means of transportation or just for fun, you can rely on a bike to help you navigate Los Angeles without a car.

Take the Bus

While the Metro system does offer a bus system, they aren’t the only buses available in the city.

Looking for a ride to and from LAX? Trust the Flyaway buses throughout LA. These airport bus rides are a mere $8-$10 depending on your location in Los Angeles.

The Big Blue Bus Company also provides transportation around the Santa Monica area. This service is ideal for those looking to get to the Expo line without the hassle of a car, lugging a bike around, or other nuisances.

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour (40)

A tour helps you see the Los Angeles landmarks without a car.

Go on a Tour of Los Angeles

One of the best ways to maximize your time in Los Angeles without a car is to reserve your spot for one of the many tours. From bus tours to walking tours, you can see major landmarks throughout the city without having to worry about parking or traffic. Get your tickets for one of these fantastic LA tours:

 

Even though you’ll need to use some form of transportation to get to your tour departure point, you have many options for doing so in LA.

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Innovative car rental services helps you avoid the prices of commercial rental companies.

Use Turo

Turo is the AirBnB of rental cars. If you decide you need a car at some point during your vacation, you can avoid the ghastly commercial rental car prices and use Turo instead. Through this service, locals can rent out their cars (protected by the company’s insurance policy, of course) to visitors who want to explore Los Angeles.

Turo offers for cars to be dropped off locally, in the city, or at the airport. Drivers and riders must be approved by Turo in order to use the service. This provides a safe and trusted experience for both parties involved.

Turo’s rental rates are also competitive in comparison to the big rental brands such as Enterprise and Budget. As their website states, Turo can offer rates up to 30% less than the big brands. With Turo, you might not have to navigate Los Angeles without a car or break your budget.

Walking

Unfortunately, Los Angeles isn’t the most “walkable” city. However, it can be if you plan accordingly and utilize additional transportation options. Most importantly, try to reserve a hotel room in a centrally located area. Doing so will make it easy for you to walk to your intended destinations and attractions.

Even if you don’t intend on walking to your destinations, having a conveniently located hotel will make vacationing in Los Angeles without a car so much easier.

You can enjoy the great city of Los Angeles without a car.

You can enjoy the great city of Los Angeles without a car.

Visiting Los Angeles Without a Car is Possible

Enjoying the sights and sounds of Los Angeles without a car is completely possible. From public transportation to innovative rental car companies, you’ll have no trouble getting to your destinations.

Before you go, don’t forget to book your hotel and attraction tickets through Reserve Los Angeles!

 

While many think of travel and vacation as a luxury, we believe it’s a way of life. However, that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank every time you go on a trip. This rings especially true for those who want to travel to Los Angeles, but aren’t keen on shattering their budget. Luckily for them, there’s a ton of free things to do in Los Angeles. 101 and counting to be exact.

When you head out to the home of the Hollywood sign, keep these absolutely free activities on your list of things to do.

Sightseeing in LA

Free Sightseeing Activities in Los Angeles

Everyone who goes on vacation does a bit of sightseeing. But, sightseeing can become a nuisance when there’s a price tag attached to your fun. Fortunately, sightseeing is one of the many free things to do in Los Angeles. Check out these extraordinary sights the next time you find yourself in the city.

  1. Walk through downtown Los Angeles

What better way to see the city than for free, free and more free?

  1. Window shop on Rodeo Drive

Or actually shop. Your choice!

  1. Take a picture with a celebrity in front of Madame Tussauds

The wax museum places a new celebrity by the box office every day.

  1. Find the famous Los Angeles murals in Metro Stations

You won’t be disappointed by these artistic masterpieces.

  1. Visit the Los Angeles Public Library

So. Many. Books.

  1. Hollywood Walk of Fame

See if you can find your favorite star.

  1. Hollywood Forever Cemetery

See the final resting place of legendary stars and Hollywood icons.

  1. Hollywood Boulevard ceremonies

Twice a month you can get a glimpse of the stars.

  1. Walk through the beautiful UCLA campus

Be sure to check out the rose garden while you’re there!

  1. Take a free trip to Catalina Island on your birthday

A free trip to an island on my birthday? Count me in.

  1. Explore the old L.A. Zoo in Griffith Park

All explorers and adventurers will love exploring this abandoned zoo.

  1. Visit Paramount Ranch to see an old western movie set

Western movie fans will love seeing this old production set in person.

  1. Roam through the Last Bookstore

Try not to get lost in the largest used book and record store in LA.

  1. Find all of the hidden and not-hidden staircases around Los Angeles

The city is filled with secret staircases, and not so secret staircases. Can you find them?

  1. Stroll down Lock Lock Bridge

Profess your love for your significant other on love lock bridge (for free)!

  1. See an original replica of an In N Out restaurant

You’ll want a burger immediately.

  1. Experience Little Tokyo

Stroll through the neighborhood, taste the authentic cuisine, and visit the local shops.

  1. Visit Chinatown

Be sure to check out the Twin Dragon Towers Gateway while you’re exploring the neighborhood.

  1. Visit Koreatown

Make sure to check out this list of 15 great things to do in Koreatown.

  1. See the Korean Bell of Friendship

Have your camera ready for this historic landmark.

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  1. Visit the Santa Monica Pier

Enjoy a ride on the historic carousel while you’re there.

  1. Experience the Sunset Strip

It’s a Los Angeles right of passage, and it’s free.

  1. See Mural Mile on Van Nuys Boulevard

Be ready to immediately pick your jaw up off the floor after witnessing these gorgeous murals.

  1. Marvel at the glass sculptures at Randyland in Echo Park

There’s nothing else like it!

  1. Go to the City Hall Observation Deck

Ready for some of the best (free) views of Los Angeles?

  1. Experience Mariachi Plaza

Celebrate the history and brilliance of mariachi musicians at Mariachi Plaza.

  1. Visit jazz legends at Inglewood Park Cemetery

A must-see for musicians and fans.

  1. Walk through 3rd Street Promenade

Between the views, the shopping, and the food, you might not want to leave.

  1. Go to the Bradbury Building

This is the oldest commercial building in Los Angeles and it’s free to see!

  1. Enjoy a self-guided tour of Los Angeles architecture

Los Angeles is home to some stunning architecture. Go check it out for yourself!

  1. Walk down Olvera Street

See the historic area and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument.

Free Things to Do in Los Angeles

Free Outdoor Activities in Los Angeles

Don’t spend your Los Angeles vacation cooped up in a hotel. Some of the top free things to do in Los Angeles are right outside your window.

  1. Go to Exposition Park

From a rose garden to being within walking distance from major attractions, this free park does not disappoint.

  1. Walk through Leimert Park Village

With live music, retail, culture, and the arts buzzing around this village, you won’t want to leave.

  1. Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Absolutely one of the top free things to do in Los Angeles.

  1. Bike or stroll through the historic Venice Canals

You’ll feel transported back in time in this historic area of Los Angeles.

  1. Take a nighttime walk or hike through Griffith Park

It’s an absolutely beautiful walk.

  1. ROGA (Running and Yoga) in Santa Monica

One Saturday a month, you can get a great workout for free right in Santa Monica.

  1. Go to one of the many beaches

You’ve got plenty of beaches to choose from. Go out there and enjoy the beautiful weather, sand, and the ocean!

  1. Go hiking on one (or more) of the numerous trails

Los Angeles is home to several hiking trails ranging in difficulty.

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  1. Try your hand at surfing

Always wanted to try surfing? Now’s your chance. Already a seasoned pro? What are you waiting for?

  1. Birdwatching at Audubon Center at Debs Park

Discover Los Angeles’ winged wildlife at the Audubon Center.

  1. See the boats at Marina del Rey harbor

Stroll through the harbor and check out the different boats. Perhaps you’ll get a glimpse of the legendary sunset.

  1. Experience Palisades Park

You’ll want to roam this 26.4-acre park for as long as you can.

  1. Visit Point Fermin Park and Lighthouse

This historic (and free) site in San Pedro is not to be missed.

  1. Learn about the wild at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve

Check out the North and South reserves for the full experience.

  1. Drive by Chandelier Tree in Silver Lake at night

Don’t forget your camera. You’ll want it.

  1. Hike to the Wisdom Tree at the summit of Burbank Peak

This is a popular spot for fans of geocaching.

  1. Watch whales along the Palos Verdes Peninsula

Be sure to bring binoculars for maximum sightseeing.

  1. Climb Eldred Street in Highland Park

Get ready for an epic 33% grade climb up the steepest street in the city.

  1. Walk the Dominguez Gap Wetlands

Take a leisurely stroll down this 2.3-mile walk.

  1. Go to Runyon Canyon

The 130-acre park is one of the most popular (and free) destinations in Los Angeles.

  1. Visit Will Rogers State Historic Park

The former estate of humorist Will Rogers is not to be missed!

  1. See Pershing Square

Enjoy the heart of Los Angeles in Pershing Square.

  1. Enjoy a bike ride up the LA River

While you’ll have to rent a bike, the ride itself is free and magnificent.

  1. Experience the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens

Seriously, this place is unlike any other.

  1. See new worlds at the Abalone Cove tide pools

What will you be able to spot in the tide pools?

  1. Explore Idyllwild

This area of Los Angeles is filled to the brim with exciting activities.

  1. Go to the Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park

Explore this 8.5-acre park that features a museum, wetlands, and more.

  1. Brave the Tarantula Trail

Tell me how it is. I’m not brave enough!

Walt Disney Concert Hall at sunset June 2013

Visit One of the Many Free Museums in Los Angeles

Learning while on vacation can be exciting – especially when it’s free. When looking for absolutely free things to do in Los Angeles, you have to visit one of these extraordinary museums.

  1. El Pueblo Historical Monument

Another do-not-miss, absolutely free Los Angeles icon.

  1. Check out the Watts Towers

These incredible towers will leave you speechless.

  1. See the La Brea Tar Pits

Check out this fascinating fossil attraction right in the center of Los Angeles.

  1. Take a self-guided tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall

Try not to be too astounded when you tour this magnificent concert hall.

  1. Enjoy the Banning Residence Museum

Make sure this Greek Revival-Victorian home is on your list.

  1. Experience the California African American Museum

The California African American Museum is constantly adding new exhibits.

  1. Enjoy the Getty Center

You have to visit the largest arts organizations in the world!

  1. Then, see the Getty Villa

Explore this recreation of an ancient Roman country house, for free.

  1. Go to the Hammer Museum

From contemporary art that pushes the boundaries to film, this art museum is not to be missed.

  1. Listen to the music at the Hollywood Bowl Museum

A must-see if you’re going to a Hollywood Bowl concert.

  1. Experience the Paley Center for Media

Formerly known as the Museum of Television & Radio and the Museum of Broadcasting.

  1. Stroll through the Santa Monica Museum of Art

There’s plenty of masterpieces for you to see here.

  1. Remember and honor at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Take time to learn about and remember what happened during the Holocaust.

  1. Take advantage of the annual So-Cal Free Museum for All Day

LA offers free museum days throughout the year. Take advantage of it!

  1. Explore the Greystone Mansion Grounds

Owned by the City of Beverly Hills, you have to explore this estate.

  1. Be taken back at the Jet Propulsion Library

To see the robotic exploration of the solar system, you need to make your reservation well in advance.

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  1. Stargaze at Griffith Observatory

Can’t get enough of the Los Angeles night sky? Head to the Griffith Observatory.

  1. Visit the Broad

Check out this contemporary art museum filled with phenomenal works of art.

  1. Take a snapshot at the Annenberg Space for Photography

An excellent free activity for photographers and photo fanatics.

  1. Check out the lobby of the Capitol Records Building

While you can’t tour the building, the lobby is equally as marvelous.

  1. Let the kids explore Travel Town in Griffith Park

Kids (and transportation experts) will love exploring Travel Town in Griffith Park.

  1. See an out of this world Glendale Planetarium show

Sit under the stars and explore the universe – for free.

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Free Arts and Entertainment Activities in Los Angeles

There’s no doubt that Los Angeles is one of the arts and entertainment capitals of the world. After all, Hollywood does call it home! There’s plenty of free things to do in Los Angeles related to art, music, entertainment, and film.

  1. Be part of a TV studio audience.

Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and Ellen all offer free tickets for studio audiences.

  1. Participate in a downtown LA Art Walk

One of the best free things to do in Los Angeles is check out to the art scene.

  1. Experience one of the Chinatown Art Nights

There’s phenomenal art available all across the city of LA.

  1. Enjoy one of the numerous free concert series in LA

Los Angeles is filled with free concert series. Attend a free concert!

  1. Listen to free concerts at Amoeba Music

Did you know Amoeba Music is the world’s largest independent record store?

  1. Play for free on Saturday’s at Royce’s Arcade Warehouse

Frogger, Mario Bros., whatever game you prefer, you can play it at Royce’s Arcade Warehouse.

  1. Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park is a classic Los Angeles event. And it’s free!

  1. Thursday night game nights at Grand Central Market

Calling all competitive board game fans: this is the free event for you.

  1. Experience Art at the Regen Projects

Can you tell that LA likes art yet?

  1. Join a listening party at Sonos Studios

Check out one of the regular listening parties here.

  1. Go on an art crawl at the old PBR factory

The old PBR factory is a must-see. Combined with a free art crawl, sounds like a great deal.

  1. Visit sites from your favorite LA-based television show

Have a favorite LA-based TV show? Make a list of the sites from the movie and go find them!

  1. Enjoy Bergamot Station

Home to several galleries, Bergamot Station is not to be missed.

  1. Check out the Rock Walk in front of Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd

Musicians especially need to experience the Rock Walk at the Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd.

  1. See the GRAMMYS Walk of Fame

Find all your favorite GRAMMY winners here.

  1. Free exhibits at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

Are you a budding fashion designer? Check out the free exhibits here.

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Free Culinary Things to Do in Los Angeles

Are you a self-proclaimed foodie (or world renowned, for all I know)? If so, you can experience the culinary world of LA without breaking the bank. Eating for free has to be one of my favorite free things to do in Los Angeles.

  1. Visit the Original Farmers’ Market

While you can attend the Original Farmers Market in LA for free, you should still support local businesses by buying products and produce.

  1. Free Tours and Tastings at San Antonio Winery

Free wine? I’m in.

  1. Experience the Brewery Tours at Golden Road

A free brewery tour sounds like a perfectly good time to me.

  1. Go to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market

As one of the founding farmers markets in Los Angeles, this free event has plenty of history.

Endless Free Things to Do in Los Angeles

The excuse “a vacation to LA is expensive” is no longer valid, especially with so many free things to do in Los Angeles. Pack your bags, book your hotel with Reserve Los Angeles, and visit Los Angeles today.

Los Angeles is a magical city. It’s the backdrop for multiple box-office hits, the home of the stars, and the ideal place for a vacation with your significant other. Between the cityscape and the hundreds of activities, there’s no better place for a vacation for just the two of you. If you and your loved one plan to vacation to LA, make sure you visit these 10 romantic places in LA during your trip.

Romantic places in LA - Beach

Relax at the beach for a romantic LA date.

1) A Day at the Beach

When you travel all the way to California, you owe it to yourself and your significant other to spend time at the beach. Even if you’re not the most outdoorsy type, you won’t regret visiting a California beach. Plus, the beaches throughout the region are some of the most romantic places in LA, especially during a sunrise or sunset. If a sunset walk on the beach in Los Angeles doesn’t scream romance, I don’t know what does!

You don’t have to stick to the popular (read: crowded) beaches such as Venice Beach and Hermosa Beach Pier. In fact, for a truly romantic time, it’s best to avoid these tourist spots all together and find a beach where the two of you can enjoy each other’s company. Instead, visit the following Los Angeles area beaches:

  • El Matador Beach
  • Crystal Cove
  • Dockweiler State Beach
  • Leo Carrillo State Park

 

When you go to the beach, spend time walking along the shore, staring out at the ocean, and exploring. Bring a picnic for an added touch!

2) Dine at the Most Romantic Restaurants in LA

Everyone knows that Los Angeles is home to award-winning restaurants. From world-renowned cuisine to hole-in-the-wall, family-owned restaurants, you can find everything and anything to eat in LA. While on a vacation with your spouse or significant other, make it a point to reserve a table at one of the top romantic restaurants in the city.

Bonus points if you can get a table with a view of the Los Angeles skyline or the ocean. Make a reservation at these restaurants for a fine dining experience unlike any other:

 

Queen Mary - Romantic Places in LA

Experience the Queen Mary for a fantastic vacation.

3) Experience The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary was once a world-class ocean liner. Now, it serves as one of the most romantic places in LA. Once onboard, you can participate in an intriguing tour of the ship’s history, dine at one of the many restaurants, stroll along the Promenade Deck, and even learn where the most haunted parts of the ship are.

For a one-of-a-kind, romantic vacation, choose to reserve a hotel room aboard the Queen Mary. The ocean liner boasts all types of rooms, from standard rooms to full, luxury suites. You and your significant other won’t be disappointed when you spend time on the Queen Mary.

Romantic Places in LA - Rose Garden

Looking for a romantic place in LA? How about a rose garden?

4) Exposition Rose Garden

While Exposition Park is a must-see attraction in Los Angeles, the real gem is the Exposition Rose Garden. Considered one of the most romantic places in LA by far, the rose garden offers the perfect backdrop for an unbeatable date with your significant other.

Ideally, visit during peak blooming seasons such as spring and early summer for stunning pictures of the roses and landscape. As one can imagine, the picturesque rose garden has been home to many proposals over the years.

5) The Ocean

Of course, the ocean is one of the top romantic places in LA. Between walking on the sand and looking out at the ocean, you can’t top a date on the beach.

Actually, yes you can.

Surprise your date with a dinner cruise on the ocean for a spectacular time. Dinner cruises in LA offer everything you need to set the mood for an outstanding date, from delicious food to unbeatable views of the the city reflecting off of the water. What’s more romantic than sailing on a luxury yacht while staring out at the beautiful city of Los Angeles?

Hollywood Bowl - Romantic Places in LA

Image by Patrick Woodard / Flickr

6) Hollywood Bowl

Attending an event or concert at the Hollywood Bowl is a rite of passage in Los Angeles. As the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the USA, attending a concert here is breathtaking. Audiences are allowed to bring in their own food and beverages, so pack a bag of your significant other’s favorite foods and enjoy your evening under the stars at one of the top romantic places in LA.

Not a fan of watching a concert outside? Head over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall instead.

7) Stroll Through a Secret Garden

One of Los Angeles’ best kept secrets is the gorgeous public gardens scattered about the city for guests to explore. From the botanical gardens at the Huntington Library to the gardens on the grounds of the Robinson mansion, you’ll be blown away by the sheer beauty of these romantic places in LA.

When you’re in Los Angeles with your significant other, make it a point to take a stroll through one of these mesmerizing gardens.

 

Griffith observatory 2006

8) Griffith Observatory

You don’t have to go to Hollywood to see stars in Los Angeles. Go to Griffith Observatory to gaze up at the night sky, planets, stars, and more using their public telescopes. You and your significant other can peer spend the night spotting constellations and other magnificent astrological sights. After staring at the stars, make sure you and your loved one spend time in the planetarium and exploring the other exhibits.

Plus, the observatory doesn’t only offer great views of the sky. Griffith Observatory boasts an impressive view of the Los Angeles cityscape. There’s a reason the observatory made the list of most romantic places in LA — the atmosphere combined with the incredible views make for one fantastic night.

Zuma Canyon - Romantic Places in LA

Image by Andrew Rollinger / Flickr

9) Zuma Canyon

Everyone hikes Runyon Canyon with the intention of seeing the Hollywood sign and the views of the city. However, the trails are always crowded since tourists actively choose this trail to visit. Instead of elbowing your way through crowds up to the top, why not go for a secluded hike with your loved one somewhere equally as gorgeous and exciting such as Zuma Canyon?

Once you arrive at this Los Angeles treasure, you will quickly realize why Zuma Canyon made the list of romantic places in LA. The serene atmosphere combined with the stunning natural landscape makes for a phenomenal outdoor date.

10) The Museum of Contemporary Art

Home to mesmerizing works of art, the Museum of Contemporary Art is a wonderful place for a date in Los Angeles. Walk through the galleries and exhibits hand-in-hand with your significant others as you marvel at extraordinary works of art. Pair the museum with reservations at one of the previously mentioned restaurants, and you’ll cross off two of the most romantic places in LA on our list!

Romantic Places in LA - skyline

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Now that you know the best romantic places in LA, it’s time to book your trip. Reserve Los Angeles is the affordable and easy way to reserve hotels, book attraction tickets, and more. Try it out today for your romantic vacation in Los Angeles!