We share this Ultimate Los Angeles bucket list so you don’t miss a thing on your trip to the iconic city. From Hollywood Boulevard to Santa Monica to the theme parks, we cover it all.
Who doesn’t love a good adventure, right? So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the dazzling City of Stars, Los Angeles. You’re going to be surprised if you think Los Angeles is only about Hollywood, famous people, and beaches.
There are a tonne of undiscovered jewels in this city just waiting to be found. There are many reasons to visit Los Angeles, it has everything: beautiful natural scenery, exciting cultural events, tasty food, and thrilling theme parks.
Los Angeles Bucket List
Road Tripping on Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive is a must-see for any LA visitor, and the best way to explore it is definitely by road trip.
From your vehicle, you’ll get panoramic views of the city that are worth a thousand pictures. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
You can also rent a campervan to make your road trip even more adventurous. Travellers Autobarn offers a range of campervans that are perfect for exploring Los Angeles and beyond.
Remember to be careful while driving, as some of the routes can be steep and winding. But it will all be worth it when you reach the scenic overlooks and see the breathtaking views.
Hiking in Runyon Canyon Park
Next on the list is Runyon Canyon Park, a paradise for hikers and outdoorsy types! Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just beginning out, this is the perfect place for you. The park has several routes ranging from easy to challenging, so there’s something for everyone.
Plus, you’ll get some spectacular views of LA from the top. Don’t worry if you’re not much of a hiker; you can take a leisurely walk and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. And the best part? It’s completely free! Don’t forget to bring water, sunscreen, and your sense of adventure.
Plus, you never know who you might run into – many celebrities are known to frequent this popular hiking spot.
Exploring the Getty Center
What’s a trip to LA without stopping by the Getty Center? This well-known museum is packed full of amazing art, beautiful buildings, and stunning gardens. You know you’re in for a treat as soon as you get on the bus that takes you to the museum.
There are paintings from Europe, statues made today, old books, and so much more in the museum. Even if you’re not a big fan of art, the stunning views of the city from the museum’s location alone are worth the visit.
Plus, admission is free! The only cost will be the parking fee.
Hang Out in Echo Park
Get ready to hang out in Echo Park, a hip and happening neighborhood packed with cool things to do. This place gives off a relaxed, bohemian vibe that you’ll dig.
You can paddle around in swan-shaped boats on Echo Park Lake or take a stroll around the park, admiring the Los Angeles skyline.
Along Sunset Boulevard, you can find fun shops and tasty food at the food trucks, bars, and small shops that line the street.
Echo Park is an excellent spot to enjoy live music, especially at the Echo, a famed folk band venue. So, if you’re all about chill vibes and good tunes, Echo Park is the place to be.
Have a Beach Day in Santa Monica
After exploring the city’s high vantage points and cultural landmarks, it’s time to slow down and soak up the sun at Santa Monica!
This trendy oceanfront city is known for its iconic pier, bustling with rides, games, and street performers making it not only on your Los Angeles bucket list but also your USA bucket list!
Take a dip in the crystal clear water, build sandcastles, or simply lay back and enjoy the Californian sun.
You can also rent a bike or rollerblade, cruise down the picturesque beachfront path, or try out street food at one of the many food trucks.
Don’t forget to stay until sunset to experience the magical colors painting the sky. This is a great place to end your trip to Los Angeles because it is by the water, and you can rest and have fun.
LA Brea Tar Pits
This LA landmark is one site that cannot be missed! Did you know that the LA Brea Tarpits is older than the city itself?
What makes it such a fun and fascinating place for tourists (and even scientists) is that you can check out the active tarpits and visit the incredible museum.
Inside the museum, you’ll find all sorts of displays with actual fossils found on site. It’s also the only Ice Age fossil excavation site found in the middle of a city. How cool?
Visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Can you say you’ve completed your Los Angeles bucket list if you didn’t visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Hollywood Boulevard is an experience unlike as you walk along the sidewalk and check out all the stars. Who knows, you might even bump into a celebrity while you’re there.
Soak up the Sun on Zuma Beach
Zuma Beach is one of the most luxurious beaches in Malibu and is an example of California’s finest beaches. It spans for miles, with clean sand, perfect waves, and tons of options for beachside snacks.
Visit Point Dume
For all the nature lovers who appreciate a beautiful view and are near Zuma Beach, you need to go and bask in the beauty of Point Dume. Walking here, you’ll catch a glimpse of harbor seals, sea lions, and even some dolphins.
Those who are into rock climbing will be happy to know that the rocks below the Preserve are a popular rock-climbing zone, which even accommodates beginners and kids over the age of 6.
Hike to the Hollywood Sign
So you can’t hike to the Hollywood Sign and get a view of it from the front, but there are tons of popular trails you can take to take you up to the iconic sign. You can even take a guided tour to see the different viewpoints of this Los Angeles bucket list item.
For anyone who wants a bit of background on the history of Hollywood, you can opt to take a guided hike to see the sign where you’ll be filled in on all the interesting details. This is an iconic landmark an one of the best places to visit in LA.
Roam Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive is one place after Hollywood Boulevard, which most tourists know and want to experience.
It’s packed with high-end designer brands, so shopping here might not be for everyone, but man, what an experience.
Tip: If you are short on time, we recommend getting the LA Hop-on, hop-off bus, so you can see all the sights including Rodeo Drive and Venice Beach, no matter where you are staying.
For another beach experience in California, why not head to Venice Beach? This has a unique vibe, with the boardwalk offering performers, street vendors, restaurants, and bars.
This is a great place to relax, enjoy some beach volleyball, or even try your hand at surfing.
As one of the most popular outdoor areas in Los Angeles, Griffith Park is a great place to visit. Take a hike, take in the views, visit the Griffith Observatory then head to the Los Angeles Zoo.
Whether it is the Lakers, the Clippers, or the Kings, Los Angeles has some great sports teams for you to enjoy and support.
We love the Dodger Stadium; an iconic baseball stadium you should try to visit.
Film studio tours
Los Angeles is known for its studios, so whilst you are here, immerse yourself in the industry at one of the studio tours.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour is a great place for those who love Friends and the DC Universe, with exhibits included in the backstage tour whilst Paramount Studios is perfect for movie lovers.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios is more than just a theme park. You can enjoy live-action shows and thrill rides here but you can also see the working studio on a backlot tour and learn about the movie-making business from these famous movie studios.
There are various ways to get tickets for Universal Studios but if you intend on seeing lots of the sights, we recommend getting a Southern California CityPass, which includes entrance to both Universal and Disneyland as well as some of the other awesome theme parks in California.
The very first Disneyland can be found just outside of the city and is a must-visit for anyone who loves Disney. Getting ready for Disneyland can be fun but make sure to book one of the best Disneyland hotels in advance and plan your itinerary.
Book tickets in advance to save money, get here early, and plan to spend at least two days here to explore both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.
To sum up, these are just a handful of the countless amazing things that may be done in Los Angeles, the “City of Stars.” Whether you’re a lover of art, a road tripper, a foodie, a beach enthusiast, or an adrenaline junkie, LA has something for everyone.