Things To Do In Los Angeles. Of course, the weather is pleasant, and the beaches are famous. But it’s a city that’s much more ethnically inclined than many non-Angelenos realize: it’s established itself as a global playground for creatives, the museums are world-class, and L.A.’s size ticks so many boxes.
There is breathtaking natural scenery, a cemetery that has been converted into a nightclub, as well as sports stadiums that now include the Super Bowl LVI site. There’s also plenty of shopping and celebrity sightings. Here are our recommendations for the fun things to do in Los Angeles, regardless of how many trips they require.
National Forest of Angeles
With over 1,000 square miles of forest and 53 trailheads, it’s no surprise that Angeles National Forest is a popular day trip for both locals and visitors. It’s something for each outdoor enthusiast here, whether you enjoy hiking, biking, boating, running, or even skiing. The drive up Mt. Baldy is pleasant, and the views from nearly 10,000 feet are spectacular. The Devil’s Punchbowl and Bridge to Nowhere hikes are two of the best full-day options in the area.
Music by Amoeba
Though it is no longer located on Sunset Boulevard (the store relocated to Hollywood Boulevard in slightly earlier 2021), this still houses hundreds and thousands of CDs, records, cassettes, DVDs, and ephemera, helping to make it one of the world’s largest independent record stores.
The variety of music is so vast that anyone can spend many hours flipping through stacks of their favorite genre. All of the clerks are knowledgeable (and friendly) music fans. Amoeba has something for every type of music fan, whether you like indie bands such as Glass Animals or pop stars such as Rihanna.
Santa Monica beaches
Things To Do In Los Angeles: The beaches in Santa Monica are spectacular. It’s a fantastic pick for a family beach trip because of the gentle waves, soft sand, and numerous kid-friendly activity areas. People of all ages established umbrellas and listen to music, creating a festive atmosphere.
There are plenty of beach volleyball courts for all those looking to play, and beachside shops rent out bicycles as well as water toys to fully immerse themselves in fun in the sun.
North Santa Monica beach is perfect for a romantic sunset stroll or for observing seabirds trot along the water’s edge.
The Broad, housed in a building with a grooved façade that many compare to a cheese grater, houses Edythe Broad’s collection, which she accumulated with her late husband Eli. The collection is more pop than academic, and it has earned a reputation as a must-see for tourists if only to take selfies next to Jeff Koons’ balloon dog or Robert Therrien’s augmented table and chairs.
There are also appears to work by Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Murakami, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Sherman. Because of the museum’s popularity, reservations are required and difficult to come by, so plan ahead of time. It is free, and if you hurry, you’ll be able to see the museum’s highlights in no time.
The Getty Museum
The Getty has formed itself as the epicenter of Los Angeles art, as well as its opulent grounds reflect this. The Richard Meier-designed space, perched atop a hill in West Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood (with 360-degree views), is a perfect marriage of a medieval castle but also rigorous academia. Floating bridges link marble buildings, and a bubbling fountain is never far away.
And, of course, the garden, designed by iconic Southern Californian artist Robert Irwin, is a mystical place to unwind after a day of art. The museum’s gathering is well-known. In fact, few catalogs in the world can compete with the combination of ancient and modern. Looking for 2500-year-old Etruscan statues? Irises by Vincent Van Gogh?
Illuminated manuscripts that are delicate and rare? Robert Mapplethorpe as well as Walker Evans’s photography from the twentieth century? The Getty has everything.
Farmers Market in Santa Monica
Things To Do In Los Angeles: The Los Angeles area is well-known for having a farmers market during the week, and also the Santa Monica Farmers Market, kept on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, is the granddaddy of them all. The market, which spans several city blocks, is filled with seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as other goods and provisions.
There are some exceptional splurge items here that you won’t find at other farmers’ markets, such as black truffles, emu eggs, bergamot, and sea urchin. This farmers market is well-known in the restaurant industry of Los Angeles. Some of the city’s most well-known chefs shop here, including Niki Nakayama of n/naka as well as Michael Cimarusti of Providence. You’ll also be shopping with locals, many of whom are regulars, for their home kitchens.
The L.A. County Museum of Art
LACMA bills itself as an “encyclopedic museum,” with different buildings housing different collections organized by culture. However, the museum is currently undergoing a massive, contentious construction project that is scheduled to be completed in 2024. When completed, LACMA’s vast collections will be housed in a single large building designed by Peter Zumthor, the Geffen Galleries. When the collections are restored, they will be world-class.
There is a mix of Islamic, Japanese, Korean, Greek, and Mexican art, as well as contemporary art, fashion, jewelry, and design collections. Two of the most popular selfie spots in town are Chris Burden’s Urban Light as well as Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass (a massive boulder suspended above a walkway).
Flea Market at the Rose Bowl
Things To Do In Los Angeles: Every second Sunday of the month, the Rose Bowl Flea Market is held in the car park of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, a landmark athletic stadium built in 1922. The thrift store is a behemoth, the largest on the West Coast, with 2,500 vendors and 20,000 visitors each month.
It does have a bit of everything, but its specialty is mid-century modern furniture as well as vintage clothing. It’s best to go in with a few ideas (a coffee table or a few t-shirts) and just a budget in mind. Wear comfortable shoes, make sure to bring cash, and bring snacks.
The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is a historical landmark that offers one of the most distinctive concert-going experiences available anywhere. Since its inception in 1921, the Bowl has witnessed the growth of Los Angeles. The Philharmonic performs hundreds of concerts each year, as well as jazz concerts, ballets, jazz concerts, as well as operas.
It has recently become a destination for pop stars to undertake in front of a kingly backdrop with cutting-edge acoustics. As an amphitheater, the Bowl’s sight lines are almost always free from an obstruction no matter where you sit. The sound at the Bowl always is crystal clear and of the highest quality. The Bowl attracts a diverse crowd depending on the night. The Bowl has something for everyone, from highbrow amusement to pop star super fans.