10 Surprising Things to do on Vacation in LA


Los Angeles, the city of angels, is a treasure trove of exciting things to do and places to explore. From the glitz and glamor of Hollywood to the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. If you’re looking for an urban adventure, head over to the Angeles National Forest, where you can enjoy a hike and take in the breathtaking views.

For film buffs, a tour of the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards, is a must. Shopaholics can find their paradise in Rodeo Drive, where high-end designer stores line the streets. If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones, a visit to the National Museum is in order. For a relaxing day, head to Echo Park or Runyon Canyon Park and enjoy the greenery within the city. And don’t miss the iconic Los Angeles City Hall, famously featured in the Superman movies.

Vacation in Los Angeles
Vacation in Los Angeles

Experiencing Los Angeles’ Finest Views

When it comes to exciting things to do in Los Angeles, taking in the city’s finest views is a must. From the hustle of Sunset Boulevard to the vibrant arts district, there’s no shortage of breathtaking panoramas. Whether it’s the iconic City Hall or the magnificent skyscrapers, Los Angeles offers a multitude of vistas that are sure to leave you in awe.

1- Get a Bird’s Eye View from Griffith Observatory

One of the most exciting things to do in LA is to hike to the Griffith Observatory. Perched 1,134 feet above sea level on Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory serves as the city’s gateway to the Milky Way. 

The observatory houses the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, considered one of the world’s finest, and offers breathtaking views of the cityscape, the Hollywood Sign, and the vast Pacific Ocean. Watching the sunset from the Griffith Observatory is an experience that encapsulates the beauty of Los Angeles.

2- Discover the Opulence of Beverly Hills

One of the most exciting things to do in LA is to immerse yourself in the opulence of Beverly Hills. This prestigious neighborhood, with its famous 90210 zip code, has been home to A-list celebrities for decades. As you drive along streets lined with tall palm trees, you’re sure to be awed by the sprawling mansions that house stars like Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Justin Bieber. 

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, offering a diverse culinary experience that matches the grandeur of the surroundings. For the ultimate experience, consider taking a guided tour, which offers an insider’s look at these glitzy estates.

3- Dive into the Beach Culture of Venice Beach

Another of the exciting things to do in LA is to soak up the unique beach culture of Venice Beach. This vibrant neighborhood offers an engaging contrast to the rest of the city, with a lively mix of skateboarders, hippies, drum circles, local arts and crafts, and hipster cafes. 

A leisurely stroll on the Venice Beach Boardwalk is a must, where you can people-watch and take in the eclectic atmosphere. Don’t forget to also visit the neighboring Santa Monica beach for a complete beach experience in LA.

Journey into the Heart of Hollywood

No trip to Los Angeles is complete without journeying into the heart of Hollywood. Start your adventure with a walking tour of Griffith Park, the largest municipal park in the country. Explore its lush greenery, hiking trails, and bike tracks. 

Don’t miss the chance to hike to the Griffith Observatory, a must-visit spot offering breathtaking city views. Griffith Park is definitely among the fun things to do in LA. After a day exploring the park, head towards the iconic Hollywood sign for a memorable selfie, capturing the essence of your LA adventure.

4- Behind the Movie Magic at Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the exciting things to do in LA that offers a unique behind-the-scenes look into the magic of movie-making. You can walk through the castle gates of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, voted the best thrill ride in 2017. With a two-day ticket, you can explore all the gripping sections of the park’s rides, shows, and attractions, making your LA visit truly magical and unforgettable.

Stepping into LA’s Rich History

Los Angeles is a city with a rich and diverse history that’s as captivating as its present. From its origins as a small pueblo to its rise as one of the most influential cities in the United States, LA’s history is filled with fascinating stories and iconic landmarks. 

So, while you’re exploring the exciting things to do in LA, make sure to also step into the city’s past and learn about the events and people that shaped it into the city it is today.

5- Walk Through Time at the Battleship USS Iowa Museum

One of the most exciting things to do in LA is to traverse the historic decks of the Battleship USS Iowa Museum. This grand ship, which once hosted thousands of sailors during its service in WW2 and the Cold War, now serves an educational aim. 

The 900 feet of passageways, compartments, and turrets offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those who served. The well-preserved sailors’ washrooms add to the authenticity of the experience. It’s an adventure that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

6- Visit the Historic Chinese Theater

No vacation in the city of the rich and famous would be complete without a visit to the historic Chinese Theatre. Situated at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard, this iconic landmark is a must-see. As you stroll down Hollywood Blvd, the footprints and handprints of legendary stars like Marilyn Monroe embedded in cement catch your eye, offering an exciting photo opportunity. 

This remarkable theater, known for hosting grand movie premieres, is an integral part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, making it one of the most exciting things to do in LA.

7- Fossils and the Past: Visit the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Immerse yourself in the ancient world at the La Brea Tar Pits, one of the most exciting things to do in LA. Here, you can observe real-time excavations of fossils dating back to the Ice Age. The museum is home to a rich collection of perfectly preserved fossils, including those of mammoths and sloths. 

The Project 23 displays, named after the 23 wooden boxes filled with uncovered deposits, offer an intimate look at the fossils. Make sure to visit the Observation Pit to learn about the excavation techniques used by the scientists. Before you leave, stop by the gift shop, one of LA’s hidden gems, for a unique souvenir.

Truly Unique LA Experiences

Los Angeles is a city teeming with unique experiences just waiting to be discovered. From thrilling adventures to tranquil escapes, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Here are some truly unique experiences that should be on your list of exciting things to do in LA.

8- Dive into the Thrill of Foraging in LA

Foraging in LA is a thrilling experience that lets you connect with nature in a unique way. This activity involves searching for wild food resources, providing an exciting alternative to traditional dining. 

Whether you’re a food enthusiast looking for fresh ingredients or a nature lover seeking a new adventure, foraging in LA is a unique and exciting experience that should not be missed.

9- Enjoy Island Time on Catalina Island

If you’re looking for a break from city life, a trip to Catalina Island is a fantastic option. Located just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, this charming island offers a slice of Mediterranean charm right here in the United States. With its relaxed island atmosphere, Catalina Island is a perfect place to enjoy some island time.

There are plenty of exciting things to do on the island. You can take a leisurely bike ride around the island, explore the local botanical gardens, or simply relax on the beach. The island’s main town, Avalon, is a hub of activity with quaint shops and harbor-view restaurants. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Catalina Island is a unique LA experience that’s not to be missed.

10- Experience the Finer Things – Wine Tasting in Malibu

One of the most exciting things to do in LA is heading up the Pacific Coast Highway for about 25 minutes to Malibu. Here, you can experience the finer things in life, such as wine tasting. Malibu, known for its famous beaches and views of the Pacific Ocean, harbors a less-known secret. 

Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains are vineyards that offer an unparalleled wine tasting experience. Vineyards such as Malibu Family Wines, Rocky Oaks Winery, Triunfo Winery, and Rosenthal, Malibu’s first winery, are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Wrapping Up Your LA Adventure

As you conclude your journey through the array of exciting things to do in LA, consider taking to the skies for an unbeatable aerial view of the city. Whether you’re in the passenger seat of a plane or taking control of an ultralight trike, the stunning cityscape beneath you is a sight to behold. You may also opt for a private flying lesson, offering an exhilarating opportunity to navigate the LA skies. 

This unique experience presents an awe-inspiring view of Los Angeles’ sparkling coastline, golden sands, bustling Downtown area, and rolling Hollywood Hills, making it a highly recommended romantic or surprise date with your special someone.

Finally, consider spending your last moments in LA exploring the natural beauty of the city. Take a hike to the Griffith Observatory for breathtaking views, or visit the picturesque coastal areas of Palos Verdes and Newport Beach. These serene locations provide a blissful respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, allowing you to unwind and reflect on your incredible journey through the most exciting things to do in LA.

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Paul Osborne