Tens of millions of tourists visit Los Angeles each year. Judging by the popularity of their environment, the top attractions in Los Angeles are:
1. Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame
Whether you are a movie buff or not, a walk down Hollywood (from Hollywood Boulevard to the Sunset Strip) is an unforgettable experience. Here you can feel like a movie star and try to capture the atmosphere of creativity and luxury.
Almost all first-time visitors to Los Angeles make sure to visit Hollywood Boulevard, which is situated in the district of the same name, and take pictures with the Grauman’s Chinese Theater situated in the very heart of it. Then it’s worth a walk down the 18-block Walk of Fame, where you can find your idol’s star with hand or footprints. Just stare at the names of your favorite Academy Award-winning actors on the sidewalk, where the annual Academy Awards ceremony is held at the nearby Dolby Theater (also known as the Kodak Theater).
Our recommendation: If you are going to travel in California by car, but want to see the Walk of Fame first and get some sleep after the flight, rent a car right away at LAX (link) and go to a good cheap hotel in Hollywood with free parking where we personally stayed – La Brea Inn. It’s clean and nice, with spacious rooms and good soundproofing. It’s convenient to put the car there and walk out to the main attractions. It’s only a 3 minute walk to the Chinese Theater.
2. West Hollywood and the Sunset Strip
After that you can go to the West Hollywood neighborhood, located between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, which for years was recognized as the world center of gay culture and today has also developed into a ” home” district for the main actors of the entertainment business. West Hollywood is considered one of the most popular places for hiking tourists and the neighborhood is home to some of the city’s finest dining options. In the evening you should definitely take a walk along a two-kilometer stretch of one of the most famous streets in Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard, called Sunset Strip, which is home to famous clubs and expensive 5* hotels whose facades look especially stunning in the evening when they are lit up with millions of lights.
3. Griffith Observatory
It’s not far from Hollywood to the famous Griffith Observatory, one of the major attractions in Los Angeles. It is situated on the south side of Mt. Hollywood in Griffith City Park, one of the most famous sites in L.A. It was named for Jenkins Griffith, who gave money to build the observatory, showroom, and planetarium and later donated it to the city.
Inside the observatory are a planetarium, big telescopes and amazing displays. The observation deck provides an excellent view of the surrounding city. Anyone interested can go for a walk on one of the numerous tracks (hiking routes) in Griffith Park. It is also worth noting that the observatory is situated in direct proximity to another very famous landmark – the Hollywood Landmark on the hillside of one of the high hills surrounding the city. All visitors are sure to take a picture of the big white letters HOLLYWOOD, which are the symbol of all modern American cinema,
The cheapest way to get to Griffith Observatory from the central area of the city is by bus with the name DASH Observatory, which leaves from Vermont/Sunset station, located on the red metro line. The Observatory provides remarkable panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, the Hollywood neighborhood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Today, anyone can visit Griffith Park and the observatory absolutely free.
4. Beverly Hills
To meet someone famous, head to the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Rodeo Drive with its fashionable boutiques and expensive designer stores, Beverly Center shopping complex with the most original merchandise and the best hotel in Los Angeles – Beverly Wilshire on Wilshire Boulevard, where the movie “Pretty Woman” starring Julia Roberts was filmed. The expensive restaurants around Rodeo Drive, the most famous street in the Beverly Hills neighborhood, are still the main place for business negotiations and discussing big deals.
5. Downtown L.A
After seeing the major attractions associated with the dream factory and Hollywood, head to the Downtown area of Los Angeles, which is the center of city life, white-collar business negotiations and at the same time a concentration of the highest skyscrapers, expensive offices, bustling streets and huge warehouses. Lovers of urban architecture and urbanites should definitely walk through Downtown, where many interesting sites for tourists are literally within walking distance of each other to get a better sense of the history of Los Angeles.
Right on the streets of Downtown you can explore a wide variety of cultures and traditions and never cease to be amazed by the motley crowd of businessmen in expensive suits rushing to work with cups of Starbucks coffee mixed with different-aged hipsters.
In Los Angeles Historic District, or Pueblo de Los Angeles, this oldest part of the city is also a popular attraction for tourists who come to see Olvera Street, the most famous street in the area.
Also almost in the heart of Down Town are a number of national neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Little Tokyo and Korea Town, surrounding the Union Station, from which city bus routes run throughout the city. In addition to Japanese, Chinese and Korean neighborhoods, you’ll also find Armenian and Thai neighborhoods, as well as the Eastern Gate, Buddhist Temple and Golden Pagoda.
Downtown is also home to the best and most expensive restaurants in Los Angeles and many cultural and sports venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Staples Center, L.A. Live Entertainment Complex and Los Angeles’ largest stadium, the Coliseum Memorial, home to two Olympic games in the last century and today plays American soccer and soccer.
6. The Beaches of Los Angeles and the Getty Villa
To see the ocean and enjoy the gorgeous views and sunshine, it is worth renting a car (at Rentalcars.com) and heading to one of the most famous beaches of Los Angeles on the West Coast.
Many tourists prefer to spend a full day on the picturesque Pacific Ocean, taking a leisurely stroll on Venice Beach, visiting Zuma Beach and enjoying the views of Santa Monica Bay at sunset from Manhattan Beach.
You can also go to the most famous among surfers Malibu Beach, which is well known to us from the TV series about lifeguards. This is the most famous beach in Los Angeles, and the area around it is built by the most expensive mansions of movie stars and just rich people from all over the world. Among other things, the Malibu area is known for expensive stores and great restaurants located on the Pacific Ocean right along the road.
Driving near Santa Monica toward Malibu, you’re sure to see a sign for Getty Villa. Be sure to turn there, because the Getty Villa is an amazing place to see some of the Getty treasures – a large collection of antiquities. Keep in mind that you must sign up for the tour in advance. See the Getty’s website for all the details.
A helpful tip for those traveling by car: When traveling in Los Angeles avoid the major freeways during peak hours on weekdays (especially 6 to 9 in the morning and 4 to 7 in the evening). However, if you cannot avoid driving during these times, add an extra hour to your total time when planning your route to your destination.
7. Santa Monica Pier
Most tourists visiting Los Angeles make sure to come to the famous Santa Monica Pier during the day to see the Pacific Ocean, have lunch at a restaurant like The Lobster, or grab a refreshing lemonade and try a hot dog on a stick Hot Dog on a Stick. The famous carousel that has been riding since 1922 allows you to get in touch with the past, and the solar-powered Ferris wheel gives you a chance to admire the entire Pacific coastline from Malibu to Palos Verdes.
Not far from Santa Monica Pier, where the famous Route 66 ends (it connects the West and East coasts of the United States), you can find many tourists, athletes on bicycles riding along the scenic bike path, and locals jogging regularly along the Pacific Coast. Sports in Los Angeles are incredibly popular among people of all ages, and you have a chance to join them for a while.
It’s worth adding that the famous Santa Monica Oceanarium is home to over 100 species of marine life, as well as starfish, crabs, and other interesting ocean creatures that will be especially fun to show children.