My Top 10 Things to do in L.A.

I have been living in Los Angeles for about a year and a half now, and I quite often get asked for advice from people coming out to visit what they should do while they are here. So, I have decided to make a series of blog posts helping you do just that. Each post will focus on different areas of Los Angeles, and give you recommendations for everything from activities, to where to get great Instagram photos, to where to eat. This first post however, will be a complete over view, where I have compiled my top ten things I would recommend doing in L.A. overall (in order by price of activity). So, without further ado, let’s get into my list!


1. The Hollywood Sign Hike


Description: This was the first thing I did after moving to L.A., and since then I have probably done this hike around 10 times with various visitors. But I don't mind doing it over and and over because the view is worth it every time. The hike its self is not hard from the point where I start, and takes about 2 hours to complete from start to finish. But I guarantee you, that you will not get another view of the city like this one, so definitely make sure to include it on your list!

Location: The Hollywood Hills
Cost: Free
Click here to visit their website.

2. See a Live Taping


Description: If you ever wondered how the audience members for shows like Conan, or Ellen, or Jimmy Kimmel get picked, I have a secret for you, anyone can be chosen! All you have to do is go to the website below and pick a date for your show of choice that you would like to attend. Now this does not mean you are guaranteed a seat, the tickets are given out based on a lottery system to all the people who signed up for each show. And, if you are chosen for a show, make sure to arrive early, because they often give out more tickets than they have seats, to ensure a show is never empty. Now this doesn't mean that tickets are impossible to get, I've gone to The Conan show, and The James Corden show since moving here, both on my first try for tickets. However, some shows are more difficult to get them to, such as Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel. But there's not harm in trying, and if you do get tickets, the experience is so much fun! 

Location: Varies depending on the show you choose.
Cost: Free
Click here to visit the website for tickets

3. Santa Monica Pier


Description: Santa Monica and Malibu are my favorite beaches in L.A. but they have very different vibes. If you want more of the classic beach and boardwalk type of location, then you should definitely check out the Santa Monica Pier. It has quite a few good restaurants, games, and rides. It is right next to the beach, and across the street from tons of shops and restaurants. This is definitly a great location for a day of relaxing and exploring.

Location: Santa Monica
Cost: Free
Click here to see more about what you can do at the pier.

4.  Tourist Spots (Griffith Observatory, LACMA Urban Lights, Hollywood Walk of Fame)


Description: So I put these three activities together because I definitely think they are all worth doing, but none of them really take that long to do/see, so if you are interested in them, I would just recommend doing them all on the same day, since they are fairly close to each other. I would do Hollywood Blvd first in the morning before it is flooded with people, and make sure you park in the garage next to the Dolby Theater, it will have plenty of spots. Once there, I would say see the Roosevelt Hotel, the Chinese and Dolby Theaters, and any stars on the sidewalk you are interested in, then you are good to head out. Then I would head on over to LACMA to see the Urban Light exhibit (shown above) and get some awesome pictures. Then end the day exploring the grounds at the Griffith Observatory, it has amazing views!

Location: Hollywood
Cost: Free

Click here to check out this article on Hollywood Blvd. sights.
Click here to check out the LACMA website.
Click here to check out the Griffith Observatory website.

5. Sky Space Slide


Description: Skyspace is a beautiful museum downtown with amazing views. The best part of the museum though? The glass slide. The slide is 70 stories up in the building, and goes out a window on the 70th floor, and ends on an outdoor deck on the 69th floor. The entire slide is made of glass so you can see an incredible view of the city as you go down. Then there are plenty of opportunities for great views, drinks, and pictures on the deck below. The actual sliding only takes about 2 minutes, but it's still a really fun experience that you will be glad you got to see. 

Location: OUE Skyspace LA
Cost: $33 per person
Click here to get tickets. 

6. Warner Brothers Studio Tour


Description: There are quite a few studio tours in Los Angeles, as most of the movie studios are headquartered here, but my favorite would have to be the Warner Brothers tour. If you are a film geek, or just watch a lot of movies and TV, this tour is absolutely something you have to do. I have taken it multiple times, and it changes depending on the day, so I have seen new things each time I've gone. From sets, to museums with movie artifacts, to being able to sit on the F • R • I • E • N • D • S couch, it will honestly have something for everyone, and is definitely worth your money. 

Location: Burbank
Cost: $65 per person
Click here to visit their website.

7. Go to a Film Festival


Description: Now this one you could not do if you have no control over the dates you will be in L.A. But, if you are interested in attending a festival, and can choose when your trip will be, I highly recommend it! The three I have attended are AFI Fest, L.A. Film Fest, and PaleyFest. AFI and L.A. Film Fest are both week long festivals which showcase the best in new movies. A lot of what you will be able to see there may not be coming to theaters for months, or have maybe not even been bought by a studio yet. It is a great place to see amazing movies for pretty cheap, and there are movies playing all day for seven days, so you will have plenty to do. A lot of the films will also feature panels after with the director and sometimes the actors, so you can learn more about the movie!  PaleyFest is a little different. It is also a week long, but instead of showing films, they have panels from popular movies and TV shows with the actors and creators. The panels are super interesting, and you get to see some of your favorite actors speak in the same theater where they hold the Oscars. All three options are really fun, and are a great experience if you really love film.

AFI Fest: Hollywood Blvd.
L.A. Film Festival: Mostly Culver City
PaleyFest: Dolby Theater
AFI Fest: If you just want individual tickets, they are mostly free. However, they also offer different level passes for a couple hundred dollars which gives access to special events.
L.A. Film Festival: If you just want individual tickets, they are are $13 per film. However, they also offer different level passes for a couple hundred dollars where tickets to films are included, along with other special events. 
PaleyFest: Tickets vary from $40 to $70.

Click here to visit AFI Fest's website.
Click here to visit L.A. Film Fest's website.
Click here to visit PaleyFest's website.

8. Malibu Wines Safari

Description: If you are looking for a winery to go to on your visit, look no further, here it is! And even if you don't like wine, you may want to visit this location just for the views and experience. Malibu is one of my absolute favorite places in L.A., and this winery will showcase why. You can either just go to the winery for a tasting, and to hang out while listening to live music, or you can take a safari tour, where you get to try wine, and pet exotic animals. Either option is very fun, and the wines taste amazing. This is one of best recommendations I can give you to do while you are here. 

Location: Malibu
Cost: Varies depending on package chosen but generally between $65 to $180
Click here to visit their website.

9. Attend the People’s Choice Awards


Description: Again, this is one you would have to plan your trip around, but it is such a great experience! Usually held in the second week of January, the People's Choice Awards is pretty much the only award show you can buy tickets for. It is super fun, and you get to see what it is really like to attend an award show. There are all kinds of celebrities there, and no matter where you sit, you will have a good view of the stage. 

Location: Microsoft Theater
Cost: Could be anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on your seat. 
Click here to visit their website.

10. Disney Land/Universal


Description: Last but not least, of course visiting either Disneyland or Universal Studios (or maybe even both) is a must while you are here. I don't think that either park needs me to explain them, but I have been to both, and they are both a great time no matter your age. I will say though in case you have not been before, if you only want to go to Universal for Harry Potter World, be prepared to find out it is not really a place you can spend the whole day. It is a great part of the park, and definitely a great experience for HP fans, but it is only a small part of the park, and I wouldn't want you to spend your money on it if that was all you planned on doing there (yes I know people who this has happened to). 

Disneyland: Anaheim
Universal: Universal City

Disney: Varies, but on average about $100 per person per day
Universal: Varies, but on average about $95 to $116 per person per day

Click here to visit Disneyland's website.
Click here to visit Universal's website. 

I hope that this post will help you find some fun activities to do while you are in Los Angeles, and let me know in the comments below if you have any other recommendations. Also make sure to keep checking back to my blog for more Los Angeles and other travel posts!

If you enjoyed this post, and want to see more like it, make sure to give it a like below!