One of the many things I get emails from friends, family, visitors and readers are things to do in Los Angeles. First off, LA is a BEAST. It’s super spread out and can take an hour or more to get from the beach to Hollywood depending on traffic.
My best advice? Plan your visit by neighbourhoods and either uber or rent a car to get around. The transit system is getting better, but it can often take twice as long to get somewhere if you’re not staying near a station. So I’m breaking it all down for you on the favourite places I try to take people to, whenever they are visiting – enjoy!
Venice Boardwalk + Skate Park – Experience the bohemian vibe that is Venice with a walk along the shops on the boardwalk and a visit to the Venice Skate Park. Head on over afterwards to Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice for some great shopping at some of the locally-owned boutiques and grab a pizza at Gjelina’s take-out counter – GTA. You might want to check-out this super cool Venice Beach food tour I took recently!
Santa Monica Pier – Plan an afternoon walking around Santa Monica Pier and visiting the amusement park. Do ride the solar-powered ferris wheel and try your luck at ring toss! Bike rentals are available on-site, so take a cruise up and down The Strand (a bike path that runs along the coast).
After the pier, walk towards Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place for some shopping. Two of my favourite places to eat near the pier includes this lobster joint and this seafood restaurant. You might want to also consider going on this DIY taco crawl. See also our Local’s Guide to Santa Monica.
The Hollywood Sign – Park underground at Hollywood & Highland and walk upstairs to the shopping mall, where there is an incredible and clear view of the Hollywood sign. Step outside and you’re on Hollywood Boulevard. Check out the Walk of Fame and The Chinese Theater all in one go!
The Original Farmers’ Market – Get a taste of the local flavors that make up LA at this outdoor farmers’ market filled with quick-serve mom and pop food stalls. I love Pampas Grill for their salad bar and Brazilian BBQ. Open daily. Walk off your meal at The Grove, an outdoor shopping mall which is attached to the market. Do not miss the donuts at Bob’s. The chocolate raised in my choice pick.
Malibu Farm Restaurant – A pretty drive along Highway 1 will lead you towards the Malibu Pier where you will find Malibu Farm Restaurant with ocean views and a delicious farm-to-table menu. Perfect for lunch or brunch. Do try their Vegetable Paella. Afterwards, head towards Malibu Country Mart for some shopping and to taste the authentic Italian gelato from GROM. You’re also a quick drive away from Zuma Beach for an afternoon hang.
The Griffith Observatory – I love taking guests up to the observatory for an incredible view of LA. There are a few hiking trails that you can check out from here, or just soak up the LA skyline and have a wander through the observatory exhibits.
DTLA Arts District – Full of local shops, restaurants and breweries, the Downtown LA Arts District is a fun place to head to for a night out. Angel City Brewery is a great place to start. Make sure to check out the Poketo store, Pie Hole and Fritzi for eats.
So this really is just a tip of the iceberg and seven of my favourite things to do in LA whenever I have visiting guests. For more ideas, check out my Travel Guide to Los Angeles and my favourite places to eat in Marina del Rey.