What to do and see in Los Angeles, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 7, 2017 Weston Hennigan

Hollywood beckons to tourists who long for a brush with Tinseltown glamor. Tour movie studios, slip your hands into the famous prints at the TCL Chinese Theatre, or indulge in a celeb sighting at one of LA’s white-hot nightspots. Spot your favorite star while shopping at The Grove, or forget all about the famous eye candy as you take in the iconic artwork at The Getty Center. For a different type of star-gazing, peek through the telescopes at the Griffith Observatory.
Restaurants in Los Angeles

1. The Getty Center

1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1657 +1 310-440-7300
Excellent
81%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 12 reviews

The Getty Center

Spectacular museum boasts a most impressive collection by such luminaries as Van Gogh, Monet and Cezanne, along with the architectural triumph of its six buildings and gardens.

Reviewed By dod2015 - Los Angeles, California

In addition to an excellent collection of artworks , the museum is also an architectural wonder. The garden and the panoramic view are breath taking. Check the calendar for free admission days and education related events for kids. Best to book tickets in advance. One can easily spend an entire day roaming the facility and enjoy every moment of it.

2. Norton Simon Museum

411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105-1825 +1 626-449-6840
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Norton Simon Museum

The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections.

Reviewed By Rolf A - Chicago, Illinois

Not a large collection, but what gems! In two hours you can easily see the best of French 18th and 19th-century painting, some Italian and Dutch and Netherlandish paintings not see in the U.S otherwise. The Hans Memling Christ Giving His Blessing from 1478 is worth the trip from anywhere and then there are two Rembrandts, a superb Diego Rivera, a wonderful Vigee Le Brun portrait of Theresa, not to mention many Degas sculptures and probably the finest collection of Cambodian Angkor Period sculpture in the U.S.

3. The Americana at Brand

889 Americana Way Ste 330, btw Brand Blvd and Central Ave, Glendale, CA 91210-1559 +1 877-897-2097
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 402 reviews

The Americana at Brand

Reviewed By sas820 - Stanley, Hong Kong

Excellent planning that resulted in a well thought out multiple purpose community center: fine retail outlets, inviting outdoor gathering areas, wonderful fountain, trolley, wide variety of dining options, excellent seasonal decor, safe and clean parking garages.

4. Forest Lawn Memorial Park

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205-3320 +1 800-204-3131
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 207 reviews

Forest Lawn Memorial Park

This famous cemetery has dozens of fancy Hollywood tributes and exhibits, and it attracts over one million annual visitors.

Reviewed By brwerner - Burlington, Vermont

On a Sunday, very few people there. Very pretty driving around. Stopped at information just inside the entrance and got a map, calendar of events and fancy Great Mausoleum tour guide. If you are a Christian, the mausoleum will both strengthen and inform your faith. And if you are not a Christian, go for the art, museum, and beauty. Don't miss the Crucifixion and Resurrection paintings, with narration - check the website for days and hours. Whole thing not to be missed!

5. Griffith Observatory

2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90027-1299 +1 213-473-0800
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 16 reviews

Griffith Observatory

A public observatory owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles for the benefit of all. Located in on Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the Observatory offers a planetarium, exhibits, public telescopes, cafe, bookstore, and the best views of the Los Angeles basin. Admission is free, and visitors may drive directly to the Observatory and park in its lots and roads.

Reviewed By BobKava - Cooper City, Florida

We were unable to get to the observatory because of the crowds. So recommend you go there way before the opening Cars were parked everywhere. Many walked a great distance uphill to get there

6. Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal City Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 91608-1002 +1 800-864-8377
Excellent
62%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 30 reviews

Universal Studios Hollywood

Get ready for the ultimate Hollywood experience! Find a full day of action-packed entertainment all in one place: thrilling theme park rides and shows, a real working movie studio, and Los Angeles’ best shops, restaurants and cinemas at CityWalk. Universal Studios Hollywood is a unique experience that’s fun for the whole family. Explore Universal Studios backlot on the legendary Studio Tour. Then face the action head on in heart-pounding rides, shows and attractions that put you inside some of the world’s biggest movies. End your day with the energy and excitement of Universal CityWalk. All this and much more. Only at Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.

Reviewed By Cjervey2014 - Newark, New Jersey

This was the most fun that I've had in a long time. It is a bit pricey, but everywhere is, so it's priced like all of the other parks. The rides were sooo fun and the shows & tour were awesome. Can't wait to go back!

7. The Nethercutt Collection

15151 Bledsoe St, Sylmar, Los Angeles, CA 91342-2710 +1 818-364-6464
Excellent
85%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 722 reviews

The Nethercutt Collection

The Grand Salon showcases cars of the 1910s to 1930s. There are also collections of furniture, dolls, timepieces and one of the world's finest collections of mechanical musical instruments.

Reviewed By Nandee - Pacific Palisades

From a bygone era, we see the beauty of this vast assortment of cars of the past, worthy of photos and memory! Take your time and go upstairs also and enjoy a stroll through musical instruments of the past!

8. Petersen Automotive Museum

6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036-3605 +1 323-930-2277
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example. Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, its exhibits and lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Covering four floors, the facility features permanent exhibits on the first floor that trace the history of the automobile. Visitors are invited to walk through, not by, exhibits and dioramas and experience settings of early Los Angeles where the world’s first shopping district was designed. The second floor presents five rotating galleries with state-of-the-art displays of race cars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, and auto design and technology. The May Family Discovery Center is located on the third floor. Designed to spark interest in science by way of the automobile, the 6,500 square-foot, interactive "hands-on" learning center teaches children basic scientific principles by explaining the fundamental functions of a car. A spectacular all-glass penthouse conference center, Founder’s Lounge and kitchen, comprise the fourth floor, which is available for special events and functions. The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, governed by a Board of Directors.

Reviewed By Danjiro - Lake Forest, California

Just returned to the Petersen to see the Porsche Effect exhibit. As always, the exhibits show off the vehicles as art, well lit and each with a story, avoiding the pitfall of clutter and too much visual noise. The fascinating collection was well created. Also some great low riders on display. A must see for anyone with an appreciation of cars.

9. Battleship USS Iowa BB-61

250 S Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA 90731-2830 +1 877-446-9261
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Battleship USS Iowa BB-61

Celebrate the American Spirit aboard Battleship IOWA - the West Coast's only Battleship open to the public. Journey through World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War as you experience the life of a sailor on the lead ship of the last class of gunships. Walk the wood decks to see up close the 16" guns, 5" guns, missile decks, bridge, mess areas, and the world famous Captain's Cabin with the only bathtub installed on a battleship for President - FDR. Our unique interactive tour now allows you to experience, firsthand, what it was like to live and serve on the historic ship. Access original video content to glimpse currently restricted areas such as the inside of our turrets, audio commentary that share rare and fascinating stories, plus augmented reality which recreates events such as the big 16" guns being fired. Located at the LA Waterfront, former home to the US Navy fleet prior to WWII, Battleship IOWA is open 10am - 4pm daily. (Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas.)

Reviewed By df86 - York, United Kingdom

It took a while for me to navigate the metro system to get here from where I was staying in Hollywood but it was really worth it.

Great to see how the hard work that the volunteers have put into the USS Iowa has paid off. A fantastic attraction in LA, well worth a visit.

10. California Science Center

700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037-1254 +1 323-724-3623
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

California Science Center

Space Shuttle Endeavour on display in the California Science Center's Samuel Oschin Pavilion. Please reserve your passes online or by phone. Explore over 100 permanent interactive science exhibits spanning several galleries. Admission to permanent exhibit galleries is Free! (excludes IMAX and special paid exhibits) Visit Ecosystems -- a hands-on exhibit home to nearly 400 plant and animal species. Come discover amazing environments from the familiar to the fantastic, and find out how the physical and living worlds affect each other.

Reviewed By Heather B - Waterford, Michigan

What a great day for families. Seeing the space shuttle was an amazing experience and we would make a second trip next time we’re in town.

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