Skip to Content

Discover Los Angeles: Top Attractions for Tourists and Locals Alike

Discover Los Angeles: Top Attractions for Tourists and Locals Alike

Last Updated on May 15, 2024

Los Angeles is huge! Seriously, it’s both vast on land and stretches out into the ocean. It’s packed with so many amazing places to visit that you’ll never run out of things to do. For tourists, your bucket list is about to overflow with everything from iconic Hollywood tours to sun-soaked days at pristine beaches. And for the locals? We’re betting our list of L.A.’s top spots will make you fall head-over-heels for this city all over again.

It’s a good thing that renting a campervan in Los Angeles is so easy, because you’ll want to explore every inch of this amazing city. From the iconic Hollywood sign to the stunning architecture and diverse neighbourhoods, there’s something for everyone in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles

Starry Nights and City Lights at Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory isn’t just another stop in Los Angeles – it’s a gateway to the cosmos poised above the city’s glittering canvas. By day, marvel at the architectural splendour and expansive views of L.A. that stretch to the ocean. But as dusk falls, this place transforms. The real magic happens after dark when Los Angeles lights up, offering a view that’s absolutely enchanting.

Inside, you’re treated to fascinating exhibits that bridge the gap between science and imagination. From the mesmerizing sway of the Foucault pendulum to the electrifying demonstrations of a Tesla coil and the captivating planetarium shows, there’s plenty to spark your curiosity.

Pro tip: The rooftop’s 12-inch refracting telescope is the star for celestial gazing, but expect lines. Alternatively, the modern reflecting telescopes on the front lawn offer stellar views with less wait time. Parking is about $10 per hour, but if you’re looking to save, hop on a DASH bus for a mere 35 cents with a TAP card. Make the Griffith Observatory your must-visit for a blend of science, scenery, and the infinite beyond.

The Getty Center: An Artistic Jewel Amidst L.A.’s Hills

Nestled in the picturesque neighborhood of Brentwood, the Getty Center stands as a testament to the power of art and architecture. This iconic complex, featuring its unique blend of travertine and sleek, white metal-clad structures, is more than just a museum — it’s an immersive experience. The Getty, which evolved from its roots at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, showcases a stunning array of art ranging from intricate French furnishings to masterpieces by the great Impressionists, along with a dynamic rotation of exhibitions.

Though reaching it might require a bit of effort, your reward is not only the extraordinary art collection but also breathtaking views that sweep from the serene hills and the expansive ocean to the vibrant Downtown skyline. Whether you’re a fervent art lover or simply in search of inspiration, the Getty Center promises a memorable foray into the world of creativity surrounded by L.A.’s natural beauty. Don’t forget, while entry is free, timed tickets are essential for planning your visit.

 art museum

A Serene Escape at Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

Tucked away in the charming city of San Marino, the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens present an oasis of culture and tranquillity. Donated by Henry E. Huntington, a prominent railroad tycoon, this magnificent estate has become a treasured retreat within Los Angeles. It’s a place where time seems to stand still among the extensive library collections, breathtaking art, and lavish botanical landscapes.

Prepare to lose yourself in an afternoon of exploration, from marvelling at a rare Gutenberg Bible to strolling through the meticulously designed Japanese garden. This enclave is not just about passive observation; it’s an invitation to immerse yourself in beauty and history at a pace that encourages appreciation and reflection. While the estate is welcoming throughout the week, arranging a timed reservation is a smart move, especially on the weekends.

Whether it’s to enjoy the newly rejuvenated tea room or to admire the craftsmanship of a restored Japanese house, every visit promises a peaceful broadening of horizons amidst the hustle of L.A. life.

 botanical gardens butterfly

Explore the Heart of L.A. at Grand Central Market

Nestled in Downtown’s historic core, Grand Central Market has been a beacon of culinary diversity and community since opening its doors in 1917. This bustling European-style food hall, located on the ground floor of the iconic Homer Laughlin Building, invites a vibrant mix of Angelinos and visitors alike. It’s more than a place to satisfy your hunger; it’s a cultural experience where the air is rich with the aromas of spices, fresh produce, and a blend of historical and modern L.A.

You can’t miss the vintage neon signs that guide you through the maze of delectable offerings. Whether you’re here to feast on budget-friendly pupusas, savour the carnitas tacos, or refresh with some aguas frescas, you’re in for a treat. For those with a palate for trendsetting cuisine, check out hot spots like Sticky Rice, Broad Street Oyster Co., Shiku, Eggslut, and G&B Coffee. At Grand Central Market, every bite is a taste of Los Angeles’ dynamic food scene.

LA Food

Santa Monica Pier: Where Fun Meets the Sun

Heading over to Santa Monica? You can’t miss the vibrant heart and soul of the city—the Santa Monica Pier. This iconic landmark is where the fun never stops, and the sun always seems to shine a bit brighter. With its famous Ferris wheel spinning against the skyline, the pier is packed with entertainment. Think charming aquarium adventures, classic fairground games, and, yes, all the cotton candy you can eat.

On sunny weekends, the place buzzes like nowhere else, drawing everyone from families soaking in the joy to fitness enthusiasts showing off at the original Muscle Beach just a hop away from the pier.

But that’s not all; the pier has become a go-to spot for outdoor movie nights and cool music gigs, adding a dash of trendy to the timeless charm of the boardwalk. Whether you’re here to catch a wave, a workout, or a concert under the stars, Santa Monica Pier promises a slice of California dreamin’ with a side of unforgettable memories.Santa Monica Pier