Things to do in Los Angeles

36 Unique Things to Do in Los Angeles

Take a walk on the wild side in Los Angeles — the glittering playground of celebrities!

Step into the spotlight, and you’ll find real life can be just as surreal as our favorite movies. While no trip to Los Angeles is complete without exploring the star-studded allure of Hollywood, there’s much more to discover in this glamorous city.

It’s a place where rolling waves crash against sun-swept pristine beaches, and iconic street art decorates hidden corners of the busy metropolis. Join us as we uncover some of the most thrilling and unique things to do in Los Angeles.

Hollywood Experience

1. Embark On a Moonlit Silent Meditation Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Get up close and personal with the iconic landmark, the Hollywood Sign. Many people make the pilgrimage to this cultural icon each day, but it’s when night falls that the hiking trails winding across Mt. Hollywood become enveloped in a more dreamy ambiance.

Lit by the stars and the moon’s soft glow, there’s no better place to remember the forgotten stars who have contributed to Hollywood’s rich cinema tapestry.

Photographer: Venti Views

2. Attend a Themed Planetarium Show and Stargaze Through Telescopes

Come and explore the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, an experience that is truly out of this world. Here, the wonders of the cosmos take center stage. As each show commences, you’ll be blanketed by near-darkness as a presenter takes you on a journey of discovery.

We’re used to dreaming the unimaginable. Still, glance through one of Griffith Observatory’s telescopes in Griffith Park, and you’ll find a celestial canvas that truly boggles the mind. In the time it took for light from those distant stars to reach your eyes, whole galaxies have shifted.

3. Explore the Hollywood Walk of Fame With a Celestial Scavenger Hunt

The brass-lined terrazzo stars that adorn Hollywood Boulevard attract many fans eager to stand where their favorite stars have. However, more than 2,700 of these gilded stars decorate the Walk of Fame.

Finding a specific celebrity’s star is no easy feat without checking the directory. But why spoil all the fun with a map when an exciting scavenger hunt is ready to begin?

4. Take a Behind-the-Scenes Tour at Warner Bros. Studios

Few studios have the legendary reputation of Warner Bros. — the creative visionaries behind films such as The Dark Knight. Studio tours let you go behind the scenes and see the artistry filmmakers weave to bring these creations to life.

Marvel at your favorite sets and see some of the unique props. If you get hungry, you can even sit down for fresh, buttery pastries and coffee in the Central Perk Café from Friends.

5. Visit the TCL Chinese Theatre for a Classic Film Screening

With its ornate design and storied history, tracing all the way back to its opening in 1927, the TCL Chinese Theatre showcases the golden era of film in all its glory. Since 2013, extensive upgrades have ensured the movie palace maintains its comfort and style.

Walk inside the golden doors of this formidable pagoda. You’ll find both Hollywood classics and new releases projected on the grandest of screens.

6. Attend a Hollywood Bowl Concert and Have a Picnic Under the Stars

What do Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, and Frank Sinatra have in common? They’ve all performed at the Hollywood Bowl. This famous outdoor amphitheater showcases some of the world’s greatest talent against the backdrop of Hollywood Hills.

Its edgy bandshell, consisting of a series of concentric arches, accentuates the acoustics of audio, letting you experience every booming note. Bring a picnic and dine under the twinkling stars for an unforgettable way to spend the evening.

7. Explore the Hollywood Forever Cemetery Alongside a Paranormal Investigator

In Hollywood, stars yearn for immortality, but what if some have taken this a little too literally? Stories of strange phenomena and otherworldly entities have given the Hollywood Forever Cemetery a reputation for the outright bizarre over the decades.

Perhaps if you visit the cemetery guided by a paranormal investigator, you too will get a chance to feel the strange cold spots that occur throughout the grounds and hear whispers inside the Abbey of the Psalms mausoleum. If you’re in the mood for even spookier experiences, check out our list of the best Halloween events in Los Angeles.

8. See Your Favorite Celebrity at the Hollywood Wax Museum

Imagine walking down the red carpet with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Elvis, and Betty White. Well, at the Hollywood Wax Museum, you don’t need a vivid imagination because the lifelike replicas of actors and musicians greet you at every turn. Enter the limelight and dress yourself with the museum’s props to see who can achieve the best celebrity look-alike between your friends.

Photographer: Simon Ray

9. Discover Sunken City in San Pedro

Once an ordinary neighborhood overlooking the coast, ruins are all that remain of a section of San Pedro after a landslide swept everything down below the cliffs in 1929.

Known as the Sunken City, the ruins offer a unique way to spend the day in search of hidden treasures such as graffiti art, signs, and crumbling buildings. The location is also a fun spot for selfies, thanks to its apocalyptic vibes.

Arts and Culture

10. Go to a Cirque du Soleil Show

Discover quirky characters and let our talented performers take you to a limitless world of imagination at one of our shows in Los Angeles. Each of our acts unfolds like a vivid dream, weaving a tapestry of eccentric artistry through acrobatics, choreographed dance, and theatrical storytelling.

11. Visit the Getty Center and Join a Public Class or Program

Visiting the historic landmark, the Getty Center, is easily one of the coolest things to do in Los Angeles, both for solo adventurers and groups.

From guided architecture tours in Los Angeles and papyrus-making workshops to art exhibitions and live performances, there’s a lot to uncover in this educational hotspot. Fans of forgotten cultures will love the opportunity to see art from the Middle Ages displayed in all its glory.

12. Enjoy a Street Art Tour in the Arts District With a Local Guide

Looking for fun things to do in Los Angeles for young adults? Don’t miss the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Arts District. Known for its many galleries, dynamic bars, and restaurants, the district showcases classic and contemporary art popular throughout the City of Angels.

As advocates for sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, we love how the local creators here practice green art.

13. Find Art in Every Corner of LA

Is there any other form of art quite as expressive as street art? It offers a unique glimpse into the beating heart of a city — an intricate embodiment of the emotions and ethos that flow through each neighborhood.

While you can find elaborate graffiti and beautiful murals in Los Angeles’ Metro stations, art is everywhere within the city, making it the perfect playground for a friendly competition.

14. Dine Under the Stars on a Dinner Cruise at Marina del Rey

Sail away on a culinary voyage at Marina del Rey while the sound of smooth jazz washes over you. Los Angeles looks entirely different from that point of view, offering a whole new perspective of the city.

Imagine the twinkling stars overhead, a cool breeze in your hair, and a gourmet dinner against the backdrop of the cityscape. Perhaps this floating theater will even get you in the mood to come see our show “O.”

15. Have lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Fancy a lighthearted jaunt around LA’s most famous hotel looking for exquisite pieces of art? The Beverly Hills Hotel is synonymous with luxury and stands as a timeless reminder of Hollywood’s glamor. Visiting this iconic location lets you walk the same halls as Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor.

But don’t get too distracted if you want to win the scavenger hunt!

16. Visit The Last Bookstore and Attempt a Book-Themed Escape Room

If there was ever a bookstore you could consider a celebrity, The Last Bookstore fits the bill. Owing to its zany decor and unexpected arrangements of books, including walls that curve inward to the ceiling, taking selfies or photo shoots inside the store is a surreal adventure. But you’ll also find plenty of rare tomes and gifts, too.

Photographer: Igor Shalyminov

17. Explore the LA Arts District With a Guided Mural Painting Workshop

Experiencing art as a viewer can be groundbreaking — especially when you discover a piece that defies conformity. However, sometimes inspiration strikes, and you just need to put pen to paper yourself. Or perhaps, in this case, spray paint on a wall. But if you find your skills lacking, the Arts District has many places to hone your craft. There are also mural workshops for kids.

18. Tour the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Frank Gehry, the architect behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall, is known for his creative designs, and the concert hall itself is no exception. With its sweeping lines, bold curves, and metallic facade, the hall is a testament to the architect’s deconstructivism.

It’s also a great place to host or join a photography tour if you’re interested in buildings that break conventional design themes.

Photographer: Linda Pomerantz Zhang

19. Walk Through Los Angeles City Hall and Experience Panoramic Views From the LA Observation Deck.

Jutting up over the horizon, Los Angeles City Hall is a formidable building. In fact, it was the tallest building in the city back when it was built in 1928. Inside, the atmosphere is just as incredible, as the Art Deco style evokes memories of a simple but refined time.

After you’ve had your fill of chandeliers and ornate geometric patterns, head up to the observation deck. Breathtaking and stunning views of the skyline are ready to greet you.

Outdoor Adventures

20. Go Surfing in Malibu at Film Famous Surfing Spots

Stretching along the Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu’s beautiful beaches are tranquil places to surf. However, they’ve also been featured in countless films.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to be part of the Gidget movies or you’re a fan of Point Break, now’s your chance for an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience. If surfing’s not your thing, head to Point Dume to see the setting of the original Planet of the Apes’ iconic climax — albeit without the Statue of Liberty.

21. Rent a Swan Boat in Echo Park

Taking a leisurely trip along the bay in a swan boat is relaxing, but a race flips the whole experience for something markedly different. Feel the rush as you overtake your closest friends; then, take your victory to the picturesque grounds of Echo Park, where you can all enjoy a picnic. During the height of summer, there's even a lotus festival.

22. Partake in a Sunset Paddleboard Yoga Class

Is regular yoga a little too easy? If you’d like to take your skills to the next level and show off your perfect balance, a paddleboard yoga class at Marina del Rey could be the ticket. These 90-minute sessions are challenging yet relaxing, letting you find new joy in yoga. Watch as the sun sets around you, enveloping the bay in warm hues.

23. Experience a Unique Food Tour in Little Tokyo

Few dishes capture the unique skill of a chef and the complexity of each ingredient quite like Japanese ramen. This is because traditional ramen takes hours to make, and chefs hone their craft over decades.

With many ramen restaurants throughout Little Tokyo, the neighborhood is the perfect place to savor one of Japan’s most mouth-watering specialties during a food tour. Itadakimasu!

24. Watch a Live Performance at The Greek Theatre and Have a Backstage Tour

Designed to replicate the architecture of ancient amphitheaters, The Greek Theatre is one of Los Angeles’ most famous performance venues. It offers a unique atmosphere to enjoy concerts, stage shows, and cultural events, surrounded by majestic trees and mountains.

But take a backstage tour, and you’ll get to see even more as you step into dressing rooms and the hidden stage wings.

25. Visit the Paley Center for Media

Video may have killed the radio star, but that doesn’t mean you can’t step into the past and take a look at the history of the small screen. The Paley Center for Media showcases the golden era of television and radio before streaming brought everything to you in an instant.

From 1950s soap operas to modern podcasts, the museum lets you see how media has changed over the decades.

26. Go on an Architectural Tour and Visit Famous Buildings

Stunning examples of architectural prowess inhabit Los Angeles, woven between the city streets. Many of the city’s most famous buildings, such as Griffith Observatory, echo a bygone age, showcasing the inventive Art Deco style that swept across the nation in the 1930s.

Older sites, such as the Bradbury Building, highlight incredible Victorian architecture. A tour is the best way to see it all.

27. Take a Stroll Through Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo began with a single restaurant in 1885 before growing into a thriving business area. Starting at Little Tokyo’s famous Fire Tower, a scavenger hunt lets you retrace the history of this unique community. Other exciting cultural sites to visit include the East West Players and Shinkichi Tajiri’s Friendship Knot sculpture.

28. Hunt Down the Best Hidden Street Food in Downtown LA

Downtown in the heart of Los Angeles, food trucks and hole-in-the-wall eateries offer unforgettable meals made with passion. Take a journey through the urban maze, and you’ll find cuisine from various cultures. Whether you’d like to sample the perfect bao bun or a gourmet hotdog, there’s something for all tastes.

29. Explore Santa Monica’s Shopping Scene and Give Yourself a Makeover

Down on Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade, trendy cafes and designer outlets abound, offering one of the most dynamic shopping scenes in Los Angeles.

If you’re looking to reinvent your look, there’s no better place to start than Main Street, where independent designers showcase their creativity. For a dash of luxury, head to Montana Avenue next, where you’ll find upmarket beauty salons to complete your new style.

30. Forage at Local Farmers' Markets or Take a Cooking Class With a Renowned Chef

Farmers markets were once the place where families gathered on a Sunday morning to find fresh produce, succulent cuts of meat, and warm bread. While the rise of supermarkets dealt a significant blow to their popularity, convenience isn’t always king.

High-quality ingredients from farmers' markets can transform your culinary skills. But if you’re still not confident, why not take a cooking class led by a talented local chef?

31. Take an Electric Duffy Boat Cruise for an Unguided Bird-Watching Experience

Set sail from Marina del Rey in a Duffy Boat to see beautiful local birds. Unlike the Boat in the Storm scene from our show KÀ, it’s nothing but smooth sailing down on the bay. Some of the incredible birdlife you might spot during your leisurely journey include peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks, and song sparrows.

If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the majestic great blue heron perched on a rock in the estuary.

32. Attend a Free Outdoor Concert in Santa Monica and Join a Community Drum Circle

Drums have an uncanny ability to generate tension or excitement, creating poetic or moving moments in Mystère and many of our other shows. If you’d like to experience the power of percussion for yourself, community drum circles in Santa Monica offer the perfect opportunity. Here, surrounded by other music lovers, you’ll experience the universal language of rhythm.

33. Hike at Runyon Canyon Park at Sunrise and Meditate

Begin your day with a gentle stroll through Runyon Canyon Park near West Hollywood, and you’ll get to see a serene vista when the sun’s golden rays dance over the mountains. This idyllic atmosphere offers a tranquil spot for meditation. Feel the stress melt away as the sun greets you, setting the perfect mood for the rest of the day.

Photographer: Chizhevskaya Ekaterina

34. Take a Free Walking Tour of the DTLA Arts District

If you’re interested in culture and looking for things to do in Los Angeles, California, a trip to the Arts District provides a look at some of the region’s most distinctive local art. One of the best ways to experience the area is to take a free, self-guided art tour. You’ll visit famous sites and museums, such as the Angel City Brewery and The Broad, along with edgy street art.

35. Check Out the Watts Towers for a Community Mosaic Art Workshop

Decked out in intricate details forged from broken glass, ceramic, and seashells, the Watts Towers are a joyful example of found object art. However, the towers are also a meeting place for people to learn more about creativity in all its forms. Take a community mosaic workshop there, and set your imagination free.

36. Tour the SS Lane Victory and Take a WWII History Reenactment Tour

History buffs and maritime enthusiasts will adore the opportunity to step onto a piece of living history. Moored in San Pedro, the SS Lane Victory is a breathtaking ship from the World War II era. Tours through the vessel let you learn more about what transpired during the war and what it took to pilot a ship of this mesmerizing scale.

Leaving LA With Lifelong Memories

As your dazzling journey through Los Angeles draws to a close, it’s the memories that will stay with you. From the aesthetic architecture of some of the city’s most famous buildings to live performances at traditional theaters, the City of Angels can never be forgotten.

Likewise, our shows in Los Angeles are just as memorable. So, why not step into the audience and let us impress you with our unique, heart-pounding performances? Let our acrobatics and the suspense take you on a journey that serves as the climax to your experience in Los Angeles.

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