We lived in LA last year, and while we didn’t think it was a place we wanted to settle down, we still loved that there’s always something to do in LA (and eat). We’ve still been staying in LA one week out of every month since we moved to Las Vegas. The funny thing is (and I’m sure most people who live in LA agree) when we lived in LA, we didn’t want to drive anywhere. Now that we moved away, we’re exploring much more of the city. Now that we’re coming in from out of town, our friends are also more likely to meet us too.
Just like our Las Vegas bucket list that we’re quickly checking off, we created one for LA with a mix of both touristy and off the beaten path activities.
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Last Updated: May 8, 2020
101 Things to Do in Los Angeles - Your Ultimate LA Bucket List
Discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
Our favorite view in the city.
The Getty Center
Admission is always free, but parking isn’t. Be sure to check out the view from the gardens.
The Getty Villa
Over 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities to check out.
Beautiful white sand and very few rocks.
One of Frank Gehry’s famous designs.
The Magic Castle
You need a magician friend to invite you.
Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
(Technically Anaheim) The O.G. of Disney theme parks.
Find your favorite celebrity’s handprints and footprints.
El Capitan Theater
The venue for a majority of the Walt Disney Studios’ film premieres.
Outdoor Concert at Hollywood Bowl
Catch a concert and a picnic lunchbox fro Suzanne’s.
Eaton Canyon Waterfall
40 ft. waterfall and views of the San Gabriel mountains and Santa Monica mountains.
This is where you’ll find the Instagram-popular “Urban Light.”
Universal Studios Hollywood
Allow at least 30 minutes for parking and security.
Farmers Market DTLA
Fresh fruits and vegetable and healthy prepared foods in a historic marketplace.
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
Alternative comedy troupe founded by Amy Poehler and other comedians.
Angels Flight Railway
Tickets are only $1 for a one-way ride.
Grand Central Market
Been in operation since 1917. Tons of food stalls and delis.
Overwhelmingly beautiful ocean views.
Moderate hike to see hidden green plants against a small creek and a walkable makeshift bridge.
Lost Sunken City
Aka the “Atlantis of California”
Featuring over 60,000 books, author and celebrity events in a small storefront on Sunset Strip.
Check out their amazing tunnel of books.
Outdoor skate park, BoHo boutiques, and trendy restaurants.
Man-made canals built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney.
Chateau Marmont Hotel
Modeled loosely after the Château d’Amboise in France’s Loire Valley, popular amongst celebrities.
Avoid going in the afternoon, as there is no shade to shield you from the sun.
Movies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Lots of community events, live music and summer movie screenings.
Allow yourself at least 2-3 hours for round-trip hike.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Take a pic with your favorite celebrity’s sidewalk star.
Shopping at the Grove
Tons of stores, dinings, and pop up shops.
Shopping on Rodeo Drive
Did you know that a lot of the designer stores have personal VIP rooms in the back where they bring you all the clothes? The Dior one is amazing! They wouldn’t tell me the minimum you need to spend to shop back there, but we’re guessing it’s 100k+.
Free to visit, you can even picnic up there.
Try to visit on the weekdays when it’s not as busy. Parking is free.
Short hike to the caves, be cautious of some steeper parts and prickly plants.
Only offered Saturdays and Sundays. Call ahead for reservations.
Check out the statues of some Lakers legends outside.
Downtown LA Art Walk
Take a guided walking art tour of galleries and exhibits.
(Largest Independent Record Store)
Santa Monica Camera Obscura
Take a guided walking art tour of galleries and exhibits.
Also home to baseball competition of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.
Served as a railroad station for the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad. Free parking and free admission.
Sunday open-air market where you’ll find antiques, vintage goods, and collectibles.
(Santa Clarita) Home to more than 40 highly endangered gibbon apes.
Wacko Soap Plant
Art space, gift shop, and other interesting goods.
Silver Lake Meadow
Come for a peaceful stroll or a picnic in the meadow.
The largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States.
We love their unique art expos and events.
Wildlife Learning Center
Small animal center, great for young kids and families.
Museum of Jurassic Technology
We loved the micro mosaics and 3D x-rays.
Clean pier, limited fishing allowed. Great neighborhood bars.
Grab seafood and take a seaside walk.
Dog friendly, tons of tide pools that kids really enjoy.
This is the road that was made famous by several movies.
Admission is free every third Tuesday of the month.
Movie at ArcLight Cinemas
They have a THX certification for optimal sound and picture quality.
Watch The Room
(Cult Classic) Don’t forget your plastic spoons.
Vineland Drive-In Theater
Old school drive-in with concessions. Perfect for a date night!
Watts Towers Arts Center
Public art sculpture that is a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
Aquarium of the Pacific
Check out one of their VIP animal encounters.
Various competitions (culinary, DIY, etc) and classic fair rides.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Pulse-pounding thrill rides. We’ve heard the X2 rollercoaster is crazy scary.
Point Vincente Lighthouse
Historic lighthouse, not open to the public, but can be seen from shore.
Space Shuttle Endeavor at California Science Center
Informative exhibits that range from air and space to the world’s ecosystems.
Exposition Park Rose Garden
7-acre sunken garden that is known as one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
Brennan’s Pub Turtle Race
Craft beers and turtle races every first and third Thursday of the month.
Annenberg Space For Photography
Admission to all exhibits and public programming is free.
Echo Park Lake
Rent a paddle boat.
Whisky A Go-Go
Vibrant nightspot with live rock bands and other musical performances.
Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater
The oldest children’s theater company in Los Angeles.
1930’s ocean liner turned hotel and tourist attraction.
The Grammy Museum
Full of music history, hands-on and interactive exhibits. You can even record your own tracks.
Madame Tussauds Hollywood
Meet some famous celebrities in wax form.
Lucha Vavoom Burlesque Show
Authetic Mexican wrestling, aerial and dance performances, and more.
Father’s Office Burger
Don’t dare to ask for ketchup.
Extensive menu with unique dishes, hipster restaurant vibes.
Manhattan Beach Post
Michelin Star farm-to-table restaurant.
Try their Pistachio Orange and Blueberry Earl Grey donuts.
(Glendora) Our favorite donuts in the US right now. The strawberry donut is so good.
Always packed. Their pizzas and macarons are super popular.
Veggie-foward Italian fare.
Their trademarked Bäco sandwich is a must-try.
Great hangout spot with an outdoor patio.
Lamb shawarma, falafel, and other Middle Eastern specialities. Eater’s 38 Essential LA Restaurants, Winter 2020.
Famous for their Peruvian stir-fry.
Hinoki and the Bird
Upscale Japanese American fusion.
9-course culinary experience. Be ready to spend some cash.
Seriously good cookies. They also serve really yummy vegan and gluten free cookies.
Japanese-influenced pasta and homemade breads.
Super fresh and unique sushi and sashimi offerings.
An L.A. favorite serving up organic teas and coffees.
Try their hard-cooked lunchtime ramen.
Gourmet hamburgers, multiple locations.
Genwa Korean BBQ
One of our favorite KBBQ spots in LA.
Love this place for their galbi jjim but their prices just keep going up.
Pa Ord Noodle
Our fave Thai place in LA.
Their cold noodles are a perfect way to beat the LA heat.
(DTLA) Try their rattlesnake sausage. Surprisingly everything in that form just tastes the same.
Better known for shabu shabu, but the bibim naeng myun always has me going back.
101 Things to Do in LA Map
What’s the first thing you would do if you visited LA? Anything I’m missing on this list?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust