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Ultimate Los Angeles Bucket List (101 Things to Do in LA)

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.

The Ultimate Los Angeles Bucket List // Local AdventurerPin

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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.

  1. The Getty Center

Admission is always free, but parking isn’t. Be sure to check out the view from the gardens.

  1. The Getty Villa

Over 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities to check out.

Beautiful white sand and very few rocks.

  1. Disney Hall

One of Frank Gehry’s famous designs.

(Conan, Ellen Show, Jimmy Kimmel)
  1. The Magic Castle

You need a magician friend to invite you.

  1. Huntington Library

Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

los angeles getty centerPin

(Technically Anaheim) The O.G. of Disney theme parks.

  1. Chinese Theatre

Find your favorite celebrity’s handprints and footprints.

  1. El Capitan Theater

The venue for a majority of the Walt Disney Studios’ film premieres.

  1. Outdoor Concert at Hollywood Bowl

Catch a concert and a picnic lunchbox fro Suzanne’s.

  1. 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.”

Jesús Rafael Soto’s Penetrable LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).Pin
  1. Universal Studios Hollywood

Allow at least 30 minutes for parking and security.

  1. Farmers Market DTLA

Fresh fruits and vegetable and healthy prepared foods in a historic marketplace.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

Alternative comedy troupe founded by Amy Poehler and other comedians.

  1. Angels Flight Railway

Tickets are only $1 for a one-way ride.

  1. Grand Central Market

Been in operation since 1917. Tons of food stalls and delis.

Overwhelmingly beautiful ocean views.

  1. Betty B Dearing Trail Hike to “The Rainforest”

Moderate hike to see hidden green plants against a small creek and a walkable makeshift bridge.

  1. Lost Sunken City

Aka the “Atlantis of California”

  1. Book Soup

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.

  1. Venice Canals

Man-made canals built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Take a pic with your favorite celebrity’s sidewalk star.

  1. Shopping at the Grove

Tons of stores, dinings, and pop up shops.

  1. 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.

Explore the Old LA Zoo + More Free Things to Do in Los Angeles //
  1. LA Zoo

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.

  1. Downtown LA Art Walk

Take a guided walking art tour of galleries and exhibits.

  1. Amoeba

(Largest Independent Record Store)

Take a guided walking art tour of galleries and exhibits.

  1. Dodger Stadium

Also home to baseball competition of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

  1. Bergamot Station

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.

where to buy succulents? melrose trading post flea market.

(Santa Clarita) Home to more than 40 highly endangered gibbon apes.

  1. Wacko Soap Plant

Art space, gift shop, and other interesting goods.

  1. Silver Lake Meadow

Come for a peaceful stroll or a picnic in the meadow.

  1. Union Station

The largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States.

  1. Night Gallery

We love their unique art expos and events.

  1. Wildlife Learning Center

Small animal center, great for young kids and families.

  1. Museum of Jurassic Technology

We loved the micro mosaics and 3D x-rays.

  1. Hermosa Beach

Clean pier, limited fishing allowed. Great neighborhood bars.

  1. Redondo Beach

Grab seafood and take a seaside walk.

Dog friendly, tons of tide pools that kids really enjoy.

Leo Carrillo State Beach (Ultimate Los Angeles Bucket List).

This is the road that was made famous by several movies.

  1. Descanso Gardens

Admission is free every third Tuesday of the month.

  1. Movie at ArcLight Cinemas

They have a THX certification for optimal sound and picture quality.

  1. Watch The Room

(Cult Classic) Don’t forget your plastic spoons.

  1. Vineland Drive-In Theater

Old school drive-in with concessions. Perfect for a date night!

  1. Watts Towers Arts Center

Public art sculpture that is a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

  1. Aquarium of the Pacific

Check out one of their VIP animal encounters.

Various competitions (culinary, DIY, etc) and classic fair rides.

  1. Six Flags Magic Mountain

Pulse-pounding thrill rides. We’ve heard the X2 rollercoaster is crazy scary.

  1. Point Vincente Lighthouse

Historic lighthouse, not open to the public, but can be seen from shore.

Point Vincente Lighthouse (Ultimate Los Angeles Bucket List).
  1. Space Shuttle Endeavor at California Science Center

Informative exhibits that range from air and space to the world’s ecosystems.

  1. Exposition Park Rose Garden

7-acre sunken garden that is known as one of the city’s best-kept secrets.

  1. Brennan’s Pub Turtle Race

Craft beers and turtle races every first and third Thursday of the month.

  1. Annenberg Space For Photography

Admission to all exhibits and public programming is free.

  1. Echo Park Lake

Rent a paddle boat.

  1. Whisky A Go-Go

Vibrant nightspot with live rock bands and other musical performances.

  1. Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater

The oldest children’s theater company in Los Angeles.

  1. Queen Mary

1930’s ocean liner turned hotel and tourist attraction.

  1. The Grammy Museum

Full of music history, hands-on and interactive exhibits. You can even record your own tracks.

  1. Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Meet some famous celebrities in wax form.

  1. Lucha Vavoom Burlesque Show

Authetic Mexican wrestling, aerial and dance performances, and more.

Father's Office Burger (Ultimate Los Angeles Bucket List).
  1. Father’s Office Burger

Don’t dare to ask for ketchup.

  1. Animal

Extensive menu with unique dishes, hipster restaurant vibes.

  1. 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.

  1. Bottega Louie

Always packed. Their pizzas and macarons are super popular.

  1. Gjelina

Veggie-foward Italian fare.

  1. Baco Mercat

Their trademarked Bäco sandwich is a must-try.

Great hangout spot with an outdoor patio.

  1. Mizlala

Lamb shawarma, falafel, and other Middle Eastern specialities. Eater’s 38 Essential LA Restaurants, Winter 2020.

Famous for their Peruvian stir-fry.

  1. Hinoki and the Bird

Upscale Japanese American fusion.

  1. Providence

9-course culinary experience. Be ready to spend some cash.

  1. DeLuscious Cookies

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.

  1. Urth Caffe

An L.A. favorite serving up organic teas and coffees.

Try their hard-cooked lunchtime ramen.

  1. Umami Burger

Gourmet hamburgers, multiple locations.

  1. 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.

  1. Pa Ord Noodle

Our fave Thai place in LA.

Their cold noodles are a perfect way to beat the LA heat.

  1. Wurstkuche

(DTLA) Try their rattlesnake sausage. Surprisingly everything in that form just tastes the same.

  1. Seoul Garden

Better known for shabu shabu, but the bibim naeng myun always has me going back.

WANT TO STAY IN LA? Click Here For Best Prices and Hotel Reviews Check Here For Rental Cars

I know we’re going to have to take many trips back to finish off this list. Thanks Lana for helping us put this list together. We lived in LA a year, but it helps knowing peeps who are born and raised in LA. :)

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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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. tom

    Thanks for sharing. I’m travelling to LA this summer. Is the sea warm enough to swim around June or July? Cheers,

    1. Local Adventurer

      Hey, Tom! The water is generally pretty cold, but since it’s so hot out during the summer, it’s definitely bearable. :) Hope you enjoy it!

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