Local Highlights

20 Must-See Los Angeles Attractions

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Ah, sunny Los Angeles—the city of angels, playground of the stars, and home to more than nine million residents. As the birthplace of the film and television industry, the sprawling metropolis has become world-renowned. And for good reason. Few cities in the country match LA in terms of perfect weather, world-class dining and shopping, and a seemingly endless list of things to do and see.

No matter your tastes, interests, or budget, This Southern California city has something for everyone. Beverly Hills, Griffith Park, Hollywood Hills, Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica Pier, and more, your options for exploring the city are endless. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight some of the very best that LA has to offer. To that end, here’s a guide to Los Angeles’ main attractions. And to make it easier to strategize, we’ve grouped them into general activities. 

Are you ready? Let’s buckle up, put the top down, and go for a ride. 

See the Stars 

Places like Hollywood and Beverly Hills have become synonymous with the LA film and TV industry. But these locales are not just backdrops on the big or small screen—they’ve become legendary attractions in their own right. 

If you want to get a taste of Tinsel Town, there are several sights worth checking out, including: 

  • The Hollywood Stars – The Walk of Fame spans 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street. These permanent public monuments celebrate the achievement of actors, directors, musicians, and other entertainment legends who have made their mark on the industry. Stroll through the Hollywood Walk of Fame and find your favorite celebrities. While you’re in the area, explore Sunset Boulevard and its famous picturesque palm trees. 
  • TCL Chinese Theatre  – Along the Walk of Fame, you can visit Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Over the decades, the historic and opulent theater has hosted countless movie premieres and Academy Award ceremonies. Today, the TCL Chinese Theatre operates as a massive IMAX theater, boasting one of the largest screens in the entire country. 
  • Universal Studios Hollywood – While there are several movie studios that pull back the curtain to offer a behind-the-scenes look of how the movies are made, the Universal experience is in a class of its own. In addition to its fantastic movie theme park, visitors can go on a backlot studio tour of operational sound stages and fully-realized movie sets. Explore Universal Studios Hollywood and all it has to offer with family, friends, or on your own! Don’t forget to check out the shops and dining options on Universal Citywalk. 
  • The Hollywood Sign – You can’t forget about the infamous Hollywood Sign of LA. If an outdoor adventure is more to your liking, there are several hikes that will take you to Los Angeles’ most iconic landmark, including:1
    • Burbank Peak Trail: 3 miles round trip with 875 feet of elevation change
    • Hollyridge Trail: 3.5 miles round trip with 750 feet of elevation change
    • Innsdale Drive: 4.6 miles round trip with 750 feet of elevation change
    • Brush Canyon Trail: 6.4 miles round trip with 1,050 feet of elevation change
    • Griffith Observatory: 8.8 miles round trip with 575 feet of elevation change
  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery – For a truly special experience, there’s nothing quite like the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Yes, it’s an actual cemetery. And a beautiful one at that. But it’s also a place where people gather year-round for public events like watching classic movies or live music shows.  

Spend a Day in LA’s Beach Cities 

Within the urban sprawl of greater Los Angeles are pockets of smaller cities—each with their own stunning attractions and unique experiences. If you want to spend a day by the beach soaking up the sun, some notable places to visit include:

  • Malibu – With 21 miles of historic coastline, Malibu has some of the most spectacular beaches and picturesque views of anywhere on earth.2 That’s why it’s the summer enclave to LA’s rich and famous. Whether you paddle out at Surfrider Beach, walk to the edge of Point Dume, hike Solstice Canyon, or climb the dune at Point Mugu, there’s enough to see and do to spend a weekend in this quaint beach town. 
  • Santa Monica – If you’re on the hunt for great food, world-class shopping, and upscale nightlife, Santa Monica is the spot. With stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, SM has several must-see attractions, including: 
    • The Santa Monica Pier and Beach
    • Pacific Park on the Pier
    • 3rd Street Promenade 
    • Montana Avenue   
  • Venice Beach – What would a trip to LA be without a visit to the Venice Beach Boardwalk? This bustling, two-mile, ocean-front stretch is lined with shops, bars, and restaurants so you never run out of things to do in Venice Beach. It welcomes tens of thousands of tourists each day who all come to people-watch as they stroll past iconic landmarks, like Muscle Beach, the Venice Beach sign, and the Venice Skatepark and Rollerskate Plaza. When it starts to get dark, you can continue exploring the liveliness of Venice Beach at night.  
  • Marina Del Rey – Marina Del Rey is North America’s largest man-made small-craft harbor. It protects more than 5,000 boats of all shapes and sizes, including private superyachts.3 If you want to get on the water, it’s easy to rent a boat or paddle board. If you prefer to relax and take in spectacular views of the marina, there are dozens of award-winning restaurants lining the harbor. 
  • Palos Verdes – At the southwesternmost tip of LA is the Palos Verdes Peninsula. With panoramic ocean and city views, verdant horse trails, and massive mansions, it’s little wonder why PV is amongst the most expensive places in all of Los Angeles. Amongst its most notable landmarks include the stunning Wayfarers’ “Glass Church” Chapel, Trump National’s Signature Seaside golf course, and Abalone Cove Shoreline Park. 

Visit a Museum 

Are you a sucker for impressive architecture and priceless works of art? 

LA is one of the world’s cultural and art hubs, with more than a dozen different museums that are all worth the price of admission, such as: 

  • The Getty Center – An architectural wonder in its own right, the world-famous Getty Center museum rests high above Brentwood and Pacific Palisades. It boasts a first-class collection of antiquity’s most important artists, including Monet, Van Gogh, Gentileschi, and Poussin. The exhibits and installations on display change regularly, so you have plenty of reason to go more than once.  
  • Griffith Observatory – Amongst the most picturesque places in all of LA, this observatory sits on the ocean-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. From there, you can see all of LA stretched out before you, including Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the beach cities. The building is free to enter and offers a Planetarium show eight times a day, as well as viewings through the public telescope at night. Even if you don’t want to go inside, it’s a perfect place to have a picnic. 
  • Academy of Motion Pictures Museum – Unveiled in 2021, this incredible museum pays tribute to the history, science, and cultural impact the film industry has had on the world. On display are more than 13 million film-related objects that tell the stories of cinema. While the exhibition galleries will change, the inaugural ones included tributes to Bruce Lee, Citizen Kane, and Pedro Almodóvar.4  
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) – Few places in LA are more instagrammable than LACMA’s “Urban Light” sculpture, which is a forest of city street lights. But that’s just the outside. Inside, you can find scores of exhibits and collections from all over the world, including modern and contemporary art, American and Latin art, film, photography, and more. 
  • Getty Villa – Just a quick drive up PCH from Santa Monica rests the cliffside Getty Villa Museum. With gardens and architecture inspired by classical Roman design, the Getty Villa is part educational center, part museum. It celebrates the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. 

Other museums include the Hollywood Wax Museum, the Madame Tussauds Museum, and the Natural History Museum. Wherever your interests or taste lay, there’s a museum for everyone 

Catch a Show

Los Angeles isn’t just a mecca for film and TV. It’s also peerless in terms of its sports and music attractions. From watching a baseball game at the Dodger Stadium to enjoying a music show at the Greek Theater, there are lots of options. If you want to be entertained or you’re wondering what to do in Los Angeles at night, some venues worth visiting include: 

  • Crypto.com Arena – Although it’s been renamed, Angelinos will always refer to the legendary stadium as Staples Center. The multi-purpose arena is known as the house that Kobe Bryant built. It’s home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, and the largest music venue in all of downtown LA.  
  • The Pantages – Located at Hollywood and Vine, the Pantages is the hub for west coast Broadway. It currently hosts the Los Angeles production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning play, Hamilton. 
  • The Greek Theatre – Even if a show isn’t playing, a trip to the Greek outdoor amphitheater is special for any music fan. Over the 90 years it’s operated, anyone who’s anyone within the world of music has played the Greek.5
  • The Troubadour – One of the most famous rock clubs of all time, the legendary Troubadour has welcomed singer-songwriters and rock stars since 1957, including the likes of Neil Diamond, Elton John, the Eagles, Van Morison, Linda Ronstadt, Tom Waits, James Taylor, Coldplay, and more.6  
  • SoFi Stadium – Home to the Superbowl champion Los Angeles Rams, as well as the LA Chargers, SoFi stadium is a multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment destination. Even if a game isn’t going on, you can take a stadium tour of the magnificent complex. 

Other places to catch live music or show include Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

Become a Local

Within LA, there are countless places to go, sights to see, and things to do, from the Hollywood walk of fame and Downtown LA to the beaches of Santa Monica and Venice. But since this glamourous city is so big and spread out, getting from one attraction to another takes time. Experiencing all these Los Angeles attractions for yourself will likely take weeks, if not months. 

That means you’ll need a place to stay. And we can help with that. 

Common provides world-class coliving and private apartments available for leasing throughout the entire city. Whether you want to make Marina Del Rey, Hollywood, or Melrose your staging ground, each Common home provides the look and convenience of a high-end apartment without the sky-high price or hassle of renting.  

With Common, finding the perfect home is easy. Just answer a few questions and you’ll be on your way to discovering your favorite Los Angeles attraction! 

 

Sources: 

  1. Hikespeak. Trails to the Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park. https://www.hikespeak.com/california/la/griffith-park-hollywood-sign-hikes/
  2. Malibu California. Demographics. ​​https://www.malibucity.org/669/Demographics#:~:text=The%20City%20of%20Malibu%20was,coastline%20along%20the%20Pacific%20Ocean
  3. Daytrippen. Marina del Rey Day Trip Things To Do. https://www.daytrippen.com/marina-del-rey-day-trip-things-to-do/ 
  4. New York Times. Movie Museum Rethinks Exhibitions in Response to a Changing World. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/06/movies/academy-museum-oscars-diversity.html
  5. The Greek Theatre. History of the Greek Theatre.https://www.lagreektheatre.com/connect/history-of-the-greek-theatre 
  6. Troubadour. History. https://troubadour.com/history/

 

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