Shining Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Pier, Downtown Los Angeles, Universal Studios Hollywood, and the walk of fame on Hollywood Boulevard are just a few things that make Los Angeles iconic. Whether you’re in town for a visit or are laying down roots for the long-haul, Los Angeles is a global capital of culture with 101 things to do for everyone, at any time of day.
Discover the liveliness of Venice Beach at night, stroll the Universal Citywalk, or ride a pedal boat at Echo Park, the options of this Southern California city are endless. From steering your trusty vehicle into a drive-in movie theater to wining and dining at some of the nation’s most stalwart establishments, we’ve designated 7 ways to dive into the city’s riches after dark.
7 Fun Things To Do in L.A. After Dark
Ready to go on your own Los Angeles night tour? Take out your notepads (or note taking apps) and get ready to draft your bucket list for what to do in Los Angeles at night.
#1. Go Dancing
L.A. clubs are notorious for celeb-spotting, but you don’t have to be on the A-list to enjoy some of the best nightlife in the city:
- Cicada Club is perfect for Charleston champions looking for a brassy, ragtime-inspired dance hall.
- Catch One is ideal for big nights out, guest artists, and a sweeping sound system.
- Sound Nightclub is a top spot for local art shows, incredible music, and meeting fellow audiophiles and EDM enthusiasts.
When in doubt, hang around the Sunset strip after dark and you’re sure to find a venue to suit your style. Or, you can always take music into your own hands with one of the city’s karaoke bars!
#2. Grab a Bite
No matter how many green juices you down in the daytime, every L.A. resident’s got to eat after dark. Here are the best restaurants to try in some of the city’s hottest neighborhoods:
- Larchmont Village / Hancock park: LALA’s on Melrose – If you’ve hit a wall with your smoothie intake, come to this Argentinian steakhouse for red-blooded meats and carnivorous camaraderie. Here, you’ll find a friendly staff, unparalleled grilling, and a spirited atmosphere that’s perfect for group dining.
- Hollywood: Musso & Frank Grill – A bonafide Hollywood institution, Musso & Frank Grill is a classic chophouse that’s been in business since 1919. Their menus got all the gams, from French-American staples like bone-in pork chops to martinis fit for Greta Garbo.
- Playa Vista: Felix Trattoria – Exquisite plating, lighter-than-air pizzas, and house-made pasta all contribute to the romantic ambiance of Felix Trattoria. This restaurant gets extra cozy at night, with cushy banquettes that make it the perfect date night venue.
You can also branch out from Hollywood and Downtown LA to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, or even Glendale, where you can catch ethnic food from Armenian to Persian and Mediterranean. Another great food option is Venice Beach. And, if you’re wondering where to eat in Venice Beach, the possibilities are endless!
#3. Head for a Nightcap
From mellow watering holes to upscale lounges fit for the rich and Instagram-famous, there are countless top-ranking bars in L.A to check out. Some noteworthy establishments include:
- The Spare Room, a swanky, dusky, old-Hollywood-inspired saloon with parlor games and bowling.
- All Season Brewing, a relaxed, open-air urban brewery and beer garden on La Brea.
- Employees Only, for exquisitely crafted alcoholic and alcohol-free options in an ambiance everyone will enjoy, whether or not you imbibe.
#4. Take a Night Hike
L.A. has unbeatable access to natural beauty, and there’s no reason you can’t take advantage of the splendor after sunset. Head to Griffith Park after dark to join fellow naturalists for a night hike with the local Sierra Club chapter.
Going solo? Visit the Wisdom Tree at Cahuenga Peak if you’re in a meditative mood. Or, if you’re looking for ocean views, lope 1.35 miles along Los Leones Canyon for an unforgettable profile of the Pacific rim as the sun melts over the horizon.
#5. See the Big Game
With all of the must-see Los Angeles attractions and activities, catching a professional game is at the top of the list. It’s hard not to get swept up in team spirit in a city studded with star athletes. L.A. has three mega-major league teams you’ll want to see at least once during your time in the city:
- The L.A. Dodgers (Baseball)
- The L.A. Lakers (Basketball)
- The L.A. Rams (Football)
If you’re more of a pop culture connoisseur, don’t forget—every Big Game is also your Big Ticket to some of the best front-row celebrity sightings in town.
#6. Take Advantage of Entertainment
There’s no better city on the planet to laugh, cry, and experience every shade of human emotion with L.A.’s celebrated creative scene:
- Visit Largo, The Groundlings, or the iconic Laugh Factory to enjoy stand-up and improv comedy shows.
- See a drive-in movie at one of L.A.’s many open-air cinemas, from Grease-style Vineland to the Hawaiian-inspired Mission Tiki. If you’re on foot, be sure to put a visit to the storied Chinese theater on your L.A. bucket list.1
- Take part in the drama and get your mind blown by dipping into L.A.’s immersive theater scene like CAGES or The Nest, described by NPR as “art you could walk through.”2
When the show’s over, complete a night of entertainment with a burger and shake at one of the city’s timeless 24-hour diners. We love the retro Original Pantry Cafe in Downtown L.A., founded nearly 100 years ago, for burgers, shakes, and meaty pickles on the side.
You can also catch LA live music at the Hollywood Bowl or Walt Disney Concert Hall. If you’re up for it, you can schedule your time to see the magic of the fireworks at Disneyland Park as well.
#7. See the Stars, Two Ways
There are two types of stars to see in L.A.—celebrities, and the ones in the sky.
After dark, when the tourist rush dwindles and daytime smog starts to dither, you’ll have two opportunities to go stargazing:
- The Hollywood Walk of Fame – Nobody likes to feel like a tourist, but there’s no reason you can’t put this stop on your LA-living bucket list ironically. Head to central Hollywood and hunt for your favorite faded and immortal stars on Hollywood Boulevard.
- Star parties – David Lynch fans will love snaking through the Hollywood Hills with a pitstop at Mullholland Scenic Overlook to take in the flickering skyline. The L.A. Astronomical Society also hosts rollicking Star Parties, dark sky viewings, and even telescope-crafting workshops for science-minded star enthusiasts.3
- Griffith Observatory – Last, but certainly not least, one of L.A.’s crown jewels is the Griffith Observatory just outside of Hollywood Hills. Open until 10 pm on weekends, this is the best place in Griffith Park to gaze deep into the cosmos and the heavenly city of angels that lies beneath.
Don’t forget to visit the Santa Monica Pier to ride on the infamous Ferris Wheel.
Relish L.A. Nights with Common
Bucket list ready to go? Whether you’re planning for things to do in Venice Beach, exploring the Getty Center museums, or feeling like a star while looking at the Hollywood sign, this Southern California city can make everyone feel at home. To cap off your night, you’ll need an apartment that feels like home to rest, restore, and ready yourself for the next nighttime activity on your L.A. agenda.
Common has all-inclusive coliving spaces in some of the city’s most enviable neighborhoods, from Hollywood to Marina Del Rey. Every Common coliving apartment comes complete with:
- A private, fully-furnished bedroom
- Supplies and amenities for you to enjoy with your new roommates
- Complimentary, regular cleanings of shared spaces
- Wifi, AC, and laundry on-site
Whatever your budget, lifestyle, or timeframe, connect with Common about leasing an apartment today to start getting acquainted with L.A.
- Time Out. The best drive-in theater options in Southern California. https://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/movies/best-drive-in-theater-options-in-southern-california
- The Nest Show. FAQ. https://www.thenestshow.com/#faq
- Los Angeles Astronomical Society. Activities. https://www.laas.org/activities-1