Los Angeles is the city of stars, the city of dreams, and a city with truly endless things to do. If you’re headed into the area then you’ll want to plan ahead so you can take in all the city has to offer. From the nightlife to the drives, shopping to the walks. Are you ready for the ultimate trip to Los Angeles?
Know before you go with Los Angeles: a vacation planning guide. Here are some things you absolutely must see and do in the area when you land.
Be sure to take a photo of the Hollywood sign
When you think of Los Angeles what’s the first thing you picture? If you said the Hollywood sign then you’d be in agreement with most people. This iconic sign is built on a hill in the Hollywood area (perhaps that’s a given) and can be seen from distances all over Los Angeles. What’s more, you can hike your way near it (but please know, despite what movies may show, it is illegal to climb or touch the sign itself, so it’s blocked off). Fortunately, you can still snap some pretty great shots of it from down the hill and all around the streets.
Walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Is there anything more Los Angeles than the word ‘Hollywood’? You’ll immediately feel as though you’ve landed when you walk down the world-known pathway of the Walk of Fame. The Walk of Fame is located on Hollywood Boulevard between Gower to La Brea and on Vine Street from Sunset to Yucca (and it continues to grow with names every year). The walk is something to truly take in, with over 2,700 names of stars that line the walkway. Be sure to look at the website before you go because you might even be able to attend a live ceremony of a newly added name, a fantastic experience for locals and visitors alike. Walk along and take a photo of some of your favorite names knowing that at one point in time they were right where you’re standing, accepting the award, and now you’re there too!
Drive through the iconic Beverly Hills
When you think of Los Angeles the first thing that likely comes to mind is the scenic area of Beverly Hills. The seemingly sky-high palm trees lined along the streets. The glitz and glam of the high-end, luxury storefronts where you can find the rich and famous and celebrities shopping. In this area you’ll also enjoy some of the most beautiful drives include Beverly Gardens Park, Sunset Boulevard, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Greystone Mansion and Gardens, Mulholland Drive, and Rodeo Drive. If you can, rent a convertible so you can put the windows and top down to really enjoy this area with the weather fully surrounding you.
Head to the Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory is a 67,000-square-foot building right on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood. The iconic building on the hills of Los Angeles inspires the public to view the stars through its enormous dome that is 1,134 feet above sea level. Not only is it truly a sight to see, but it’s free to go because it’s operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
While you explore the stars, explore Griffith Park
Griffith Observatory is at the center of Los Angeles amid Griffith Park. This park contains 4,000 square-acreage of breathtaking scenery and is perfect for nature lovers and hikers. Enjoy all there is to offer—trails, wildlife, and unbeatable views of the downtown area. Walk, hike, or run your way through the hills and enjoy the park.
Stop along Venice Beach
Venice Beach is the laid-back, bohemian-spirited area of Los Angeles. It’s located on the shoreline, westward of the busy metropolis that is the bigger city. Walk along and see all of the hippy-dippy shops, funky personalities and street performers, and tons of artists that riddle the area. You’ll also see the skate park, where you can watch wheelers do their tricks. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, be sure to head to the worldwide known Muscle Beach where fit females and males get in their free outdoor workout at the outdoor gym. Love to surf? Then bring your board, or rent one there, for a lesson or to catch a wave and make the Beach Boys proud.
Go on a date on the Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is a breathtakingly quieter escape to Hollywood. As a small suburb within Los Angeles, Santa Monica is filled with great restaurants and places to shop in this beachside town. But it truly is the pier that makes it stand out from the rest. The double-jointed pier was built in 1909 and is known to be the first concrete pier ever constructed along the west coast. Go on date at the restaurant right on the pier and then follow it by exploring the concession stands, small amusement park, and of course the beautiful ocean views. This place makes for a perfect sunset date spot.
There is truly so much to do and see in the city of stars. Rather than act like a tourist, prepare like a local and look for LAX luggage storage in the area so that you can place your possessions somewhere safe while you take in all that Los Angeles has to offer—without being weighed down by baggage.