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Plan Your Trip to Los Angeles: Best of Los Angeles Tourism

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This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travellers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
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Explore Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a place where nature and Hollywood glamour collide. Yes, you’ve got the big film studios and iconic spots like TCL Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame. But there’s also gorgeous beaches, hiking trails, and snow-capped mountains just a drive away. Spend time exploring the Westside where you can bike along the beach in Santa Monica. Go shopping on Abbot Kinney in Venice, or take a drive up Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu and check out the unreal coastal views. Then, head east to Downtown for art museums like the MOCA and the Broad, and trendy restaurants. Mexican food is big here, and some of the best can be found at hole-in-the-wall places, taco trucks, or strip malls. Whether you want to go all out or do something more low-key, it’s up to you. We’ve got more ideas below.

Travel Advice

Essential Los Angeles

How to do Los Angeles in 3 days

Tranquil canals, a bustling boulevard, and a scenic coastal drive
Read on

Best outdoor activities in Los Angeles

I’ve lived in LA for more than five years, and I still haven’t explored every landscape (trust me, I’ve tried). Thanks to the almost constant SoCal sun and year-round pleasant temps, you’ll find locals like me outside all the time, hiking the city’s iconic Hollywood hills or surfing the Pacific waves. Here are my favourite nature areas and outdoor activities in Los Angeles.
Kristin Corpuz, Los Angeles, CA
  • Marvin Braude Bike Trail
    Whether you’re on a beach cruiser bike, a skateboard, or in rollerblades, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail (commonly called The Strand) is a can’t-miss LA destination. It stretches 22 miles along the Pacific Coast from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach. I suggest starting in Redondo and riding north, so when you reach the end, you can reward yourself with a feast of fresh seafood at Blue Plate Oysterette.
  • Zuma Beach
    Zuma was the first beach I ever went to in LA, and it set the bar impossibly high. First off, it’s not too crowded—a surprise for a popular shore in Malibu. Watch the surfers catch a wave or take a brisk dip (the Pacific Ocean is cold, people!). Wear closed-toed shoes to scramble up the boulders at the far side; during the summer, sea lions and seals sunbathe on the rocks below.
  • The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens
    This is one of LA’s most magical places, IMHO. The massive library and art collection are both notable, but the best part is the botanical garden. You can spend an entire day wandering around the property. I love the Rose Garden Tea Room, where I often treat myself to high tea, pastries, and—if I’m feeling bougie—caviar service. Tip: There’s free admission on the first Thursday of the month (reserve tickets in advance).
  • Lake Hollywood Park
    Thanks to LA’s perfect weather, picnicking is an absolute must. Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, Lake Hollywood Park is my favourite spot to curl up with a good book and a packed lunch. It has an epic view of the Hollywood sign and is a low-key, quiet escape from the city’s crazy traffic. I especially adore this park because it’s pet-friendly, so I can bring my dog Frankie with me.
  • The Getty Center
    This sprawling complex is famous for its art and design as well as its manicured grounds—all of which is free! The Getty Centre displays works by masters like Monet and Van Gogh inside a beautiful Italian travertine building, designed by Richard Meier. When you want some fresh air, head to the Cactus Garden to stroll around its stunning desert plants and stop to snap a panoramic picture of the skyline.
  • Santa Monica Farmers Market
    California’s produce is out of this world. Don’t believe me? Follow LA’s renowned chefs to the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Here, the stands are lined with fruits and veggies as well as local olive oil, handmade soap, and artisanal crafts. I always grab a basket of berries for a snack by the beach, just steps away. Tip: The earlier you go the better to get first dibs and beat the crowds.
  • Hollywood Bowl Museum
    Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl—an outdoor amphitheatre in the Hollywood Hills—are sensory experiences, to say the least. Due to its half-shell shape, you’ll hear the clearest acoustics sitting in the centre (even if you’re in the very back). Snag tickets for the LA Philharmonic orchestra, which performs film soundtracks as you watch blockbusters like Harry Potter. Don’t worry if you missed the summer concert season; you can visit the venue for free any day.
  • Malibu Creek State Park
    Trek down the Rock Pool and Century Lake trails in Malibu Creek State Park to see where hits like M*A*S*H and Planet of the Apes were filmed. This excursion is more suitable for intermediate and experienced hikers, so block off at least a half day to be safe. And remember to throw a swimsuit in your bag to cool off in the swimming hole at the end of the journey.