Los Angeles is more than just Hollywood stars and palm trees. While some might travel into town for those two reasons, LA has much more to offer. From beaches to museums and restaurants and bookstores, there is something in LA for everybody. Whether you are planning a trip down here or are just looking for something to do over a free weekend, here is the ultimate Los Angeles Bucket List.
1. The Hollywood Sign
A Los Angeles landmark, the Hollywood sign is a symbol for glamour, success and ambition. The sign is so famous that it is protected by restricting gates and surveillance cameras. It even has its own security guard! But fret not for there are plenty of hiking trails that give you a great view of the sign so you can snap that perfect Instagram photo. Not to mention, the trails leading up to the sign will give you a great view of the city as well!
2. The Griffith Observatory
If you are into science and want a great view of Los Angeles, this majestic observatory is sure to deliver both. The Observatory functions as a planetarium, a public gathering center, and an educational facility. Not only is it home to a Zeiss 12-inch refracting telescope, but it is really a great meeting place for the diversity of Los Angeles as people from all different walks of life come to visit. The building itself is Instagram-worthy so be sure to stop by next time you’re in town. You have to see this from the Los Angeles bucket list.
3. The Getty Center
LA is home to a number of museums, but if you are on a tight schedule then this is the one museum you must visit! Located on a hilltop overlooking the 405 freeway, the museum is home to art from Middle ages to the present. Be sure to visit the Central Garden created by artist Robert Irwin. A beautiful and winding walk through this enchanting place will have you feeling like you stepped into Wonderland. Awaken your inner art critic with a visit to this blast from the past!
4. LA County Fair
If you happen to be in LA in September, the county fair is the place to be. The fair attracts about a million people each year and is one of the largest fairs in the United States. Attractions include arcades, concerts, and petting zoos. It provides an opportunity to meet a diverse group of people from all over California and also provides the opportunity to learn about California and it’s heritage. Don’t miss it!
5. Grand Central Market
If you want to take the foodie’s tour of LA, then you must stop by the Grand Central Market. A LA landmark since 1917, the Grand Central Market has made it its mission to bring together the different cultures and cuisines of Los Angeles. With over 30 vendors, the market provides must-try cuisine like the much beloved food truck-turned-hot spot Eggslut or the Salvadoran favorite Sarita’s Pupuseria. There is something for every palette here!
6. The Last Bookstore
For every bookworm out there, this is definitely a destination you want to cross off of your bucket list. This whimsical bookstore takes up half a city block and houses thousands of volumes of books. You could spend the day browsing the shelves or indulging in their expansive record collection. And while browsing for first editions and records is cool, the best part about this place is the decor. From the book tunnel to the Lovecraft Chamber, there is no place that isn’t worth an Instagram post. So hurry and come by! This is yet another one of the cool places to visit on the Los Angeles bucket list.
7. The Santa Monica Pier
What’s better than riding a Ferris wheel on the beach? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that the Santa Monica Pier could make that dream come true. After a day frolicking on the beach, take a stroll through the pier and stop by its many shops, arcades, and restaurants. I also hear it is a great place for Pokemon hunting, if you’re into that sort of thing.
8. Hollywood Walk of Fame
No trip to LA is complete without visiting your favorite star’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With more than 15 blocks filled with stars, you could make a day out of this outing. Be sure to post your selfies to your social media pages. How else are people going to believe you visited Big Bird’s star? This is a must-see on the Los Angeles bucket list.
9. Dodger Stadium
There is nothing better than watching your home team play at the stadium that bears their namesake. Whether you are an out-of-towner or a local, this is sure to be a fun time. Enjoy a “Dodger Dog” or Nachos out of a baseball hat as you cheer your team on and sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at the top of your lungs. And don’t forget to pick up a souvenir Dodger jersey. Go Blue!
10. Amoeba Music
This one is for all music lovers! Amoeba is the largest independent record store housing thousands of vinyl, CDs, and videos. It also hosts a number of events including artist meet and greets, live shows, and album signings. The store has a wide selection of genres and rare finds, so everyone is bound to find something they enjoy. This is one of the places you NEED to see on the Los Angeles bucket list.