10 Best Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

In the sprawling city of Los Angeles in Southern California, there are many attractions and things to do throughout the year. It has long been internationally recognized for the film and entertainment industry, especially for Hollywood, which has attracted aspiring actors and actresses from across the country for over a century.

Santa Monica Pie|Photo by Scott Trento on Unsplash


Today, LA is known as a culturally diverse city and the creative center of America. The rich culinary arts, incredible shopping, amazing museums, and fun family attractions are some of California’s best attractions. And with plenty of sunshine and moderate to hot weather throughout the year, there are usually shorts and T-shirts in the suitcase on almost any trip.

Sunshine lovers who come to enjoy the warm climate and beaches will find plenty of things to do and interesting neighborhoods to explore. In recent years, upgrades to the public transportation network and the addition of Metro Bike Share in Downtown LA have made it easier than ever to get around and see the sights.

For families, nearby Disneyland and Universal Studios are prime places to visit that are often worth revisiting.

To help plan your itinerary, check out our list of the top tourist attractions in Los Angeles.


On This Page:

  1. Hollywood
  2. The Original Farmers Market
  3. Universal Studios Hollywood
  4. The Getty Center
  5. Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory
  6. California Science Center
  7. Santa Monica
  8. The Broad
  9. Disneyland Resort
  10. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County



Hollywood |Photo by De’Andre Bush on Unsplash


Hollywood” is a bustling district in Los Angeles, with its own unique history and iconic sites. It’s a destination known for its association with the film industry and the glitz and glamour of the silver screen.

Near the mountains, some top spots to see include the Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Boulevard, and the Chinese Theatre. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a celebrity or two while strolling down Rodeo Drive. Hollywood also hosts a fun family activity known as the Walk of Fame, where you can find stars of your favorite actors among over 2,500 celebrity names.


2.The Original Farmers Market

The Original Farmers Market |Photo by Oleksandr Gamaniuk on Unsplash


The Los Angeles Farmers Market began in 1934 as a very modest affair, born out of the hardships of the Great Depression. At the height of economic downturn, eighteen farmers gathered and set up stalls on a piece of open land near Wilshire Boulevard to sell their produce directly to consumers.

The success of this initiative led to its expansion. At that time, it truly was a fruit and vegetable market, but over the years, it has grown to accommodate more vendors. Today, the market features stands for fruits, vegetables, alongside restaurants and specialty shops. From spices and candles to kitchenware and toys, you can find everything from trinkets to treasures at the market.

If you’re looking for something to do in Los Angeles at night, especially during the summer, the Farmers Market often hosts free evening concerts along with various forms of entertainment.


3.Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood |Photo by Marti Sotto on Unsplash


Universal Studios theme park is renowned for its blockbuster movie-based attractions, offering an exhilarating journey through some of the most iconic films. It’s both a functioning movie studio and an attraction that anyone can enjoy. Highlights range from simulator rides to roller coasters, offering a constantly evolving selection. Among the favorite rides and sets are The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Transformers, Jurassic World: The Ride, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

To save time standing in long lines, consider purchasing the ‘Skip the Line: Front of Line Pass’ at Universal Studios Hollywood. This convenient ticket grants you expedited entry to each ride, attraction, and show, along with priority access to select attractions, bypassing the queues.

When you’re weary from your journey, you can find respite in CityWalk, a three-block entertainment area featuring shopping, dining, and theaters. Another option is a guided tour of the studios to explore sets of some popular films by Universal. VIP experiences offer access to sets and areas not open to the general public, providing opportunities for exclusive glimpses into the world behind the scenes.


4.The Getty Center

The Getty Center |Photo by Adrian Newell on Unsplash


The Getty Center is an expansive complex measuring 0.75 square miles, set on 110 acres atop a hill in the Santa Monica Mountains. The unique buildings and beautiful grounds provide a perfect setting for this impressive museum. The collection includes European paintings, drawings, sculptures, and decorative arts, as well as photography from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The views from the museum grounds overlooking Los Angeles are incredible. Book a table at the restaurant to enjoy a casual lunch while soaking in the natural scenery.

The Getty Center is one of the two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum, which was established by the late oil businessman J. Paul Getty. The Getty Villa, set in a recreated Roman country house, focuses on art from the Stone Age to the end of the Roman Empire.


5.Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory

Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory |Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash


Located in the eastern part of the Santa Monica Mountains and spanning 4,210 acres, Griffith Park is the largest city park in Los Angeles. There are various attractions here, including the Los Angeles Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, a planetarium, and a Greek theater. The park has golf courses, tennis courts, hiking trails, and an equestrian center that was originally built for the 1984 Olympic Games. The scenic drive and walking trails through the mountains offer panoramic views of the city and beyond.

Griffith Observatory stands out as one of the city’s most attractive attractions, offering free admission to the public. The grounds are equipped with exhibits and telescopes, the main attraction of which is the Zeiss telescope, which provides views of the moon and planets. Visitors can use the telescopes for free every evening. In addition, there are solar telescopes for observing the sun.


6.California Science Center

California Science Center |Photo by Oxana Melis on Unsplash


The California Science Center, open to the public for free, features the Space Shuttle Endeavour among other major exhibits. Currently, “Mission 26: The Big Endeavour” is on display in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, while the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is under construction.

Visitors can see the space shuttle and artifacts from space missions, learning everything about the shuttle and the people involved in the program.

Other exhibits at the science center cover topics such as the living world, technology, and ecosystems. The ecosystems exhibit includes an impressive 188,000-gallon kelp tank, along with live plants, animals, and fish. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the California Science Center also hosts special exhibitions, ensuring there’s always something new to see.


7.Santa Monica

Santa Monica | Photo by Scott Trento on Unsplash


Santa Monica is a unique destination that is both glamorous and laid-back, boasting a diverse population ranging from surfers, skateboarders, and yoga enthusiasts to techies and business professionals.

Next to the beach, there is a beautiful stretch of golden sand and the famous Santa Monica Pier with its iconic Ferris wheel, which most tourists come to enjoy. However, you can find a variety of experiences in this seaside city adjacent to LA.

Santa Monica’s downtown district remains vibrant throughout the day and night. Shoppers will find various options ranging from quirky old stores to high-end boutiques. For shopping and people-watching, check out the Third Street Promenade, where you can also see various street performers.

For a bit of activity, check out the 26-mile long bike path along the coastline. This long paved path stretches almost the entire length of Santa Monica Bay’s coast, connecting all the best beaches around Santa Monica. A few favorites among visitors are Venice Beach to the south and Will Rogers State Beach to the north.

Since the opening of the new Expo Metro Line, getting to Santa Monica has become much easier, connecting downtown LA to Santa Monica.


8.The Broad

The Broad | Photo by Tu Tram Pham on Unsplash


The Broad Museum opened in 2015 and was immediately successful, remaining popular to this day. This museum is centrally focused on contemporary and postwar art, featuring works from some major and journalistic establishments. Nearly 2,000 artworks are displayed in this unique building, embodying a “vault-and-veil” concept.

General admission tickets are available free of charge, but they are mostly booked well in advance. Same-day tickets are available with a first-come, first-served basis, but it typically requires some waiting in line, especially on weekends. Special exhibitions may require a separate ticket for entry.

The museum was established by Eli and Edythe Broad, who were longtime collectors of postwar and contemporary art.


9.Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort | Photo by kaleb tapp on Unsplash


Located just outside Los Angeles, Disneyland California has been a prime family vacation destination since 1955, attracting tourists with its iconic theme park rides and experiences. Disneyland Park, featuring a wide array of themed rides and experiences, is what people think of when they think of Disneyland. Disney California Adventure Park, a newer addition, offers even more action and excitement, spread across seven themed lands.

New cinema-themed rides feature many Star Wars themes. Among these are Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. These rides are located in the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge area, complete with shops and restaurants resembling the Black Spire Outpost of Batuu.

Beyond rides and Disney character encounters, the resort provides amenities and services for a complete experience. Hotels, restaurants, shopping, and all sorts of entertainment options are available at Disneyland Resort.

Getting to Anaheim, home of Disneyland Resort, is a vital part of planning a weekend getaway. Outside the park, the city offers diverse dining and shopping options, including the historic downtown area known as the Anaheim Colony District.


10.Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County | Photo by Crisoforo Gaspar Hernandez on Unsplash


The Natural History Museum boasts several galleries and extensive permanent collections exploring various subjects, but it’s best known for its dinosaur collection. Spanning 14,000 square feet, the Dinosaur Hall features an incredible display of dinosaur fossils, including a series of Tyrannosaurus rex fossils, ranging from juvenile to adult. Also showcased are a Triceratops and a Stegosaurus.

The museum engages with California and global natural history. Being in Los Angeles, which has witnessed 500 years of Southern California’s history, there’s another must-see exhibition. The Discovery Center and Insect Zoo provide interactive experiences, particularly appealing to children.