Los Angeles

Things to do in Los Angeles

Whether you are on a family vacation or taking a romantic escape, you can’t run out of memorable things to do in Los Angeles. There are a few diversions that will make for a classic trip. To sight-see without driving, walk (or rent bikes and ride) the beachside paths from Santa Monica down to Venice Beach, and see how the shift from well-heeled to tattooed and pierced can be vivid. Love architecture? A trip to the J. Paul Getty Museum is worth a trip just for the Richard Meier-designed space—and a world-class collection speaks for itself. Otherwise don’t miss the Gamble House in Pasadena, as well as the lineup of beautifully kept bungalows—a California classic— along this town’s residential streets.

Window-shopping along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles, even if Cartier is not within your budget. For the ultimate L.A. malls, meanwhile, check out the Beverly Center and The Grove. For more hipster-friendly fare, walk down Melrose or go to Santa Monica, where Montana Avenue has a long line of charming boutiques. What to do in Los Angeles with kids? It’s hard to resist the pull of a day trip to going down to Orange County (less than an hour away) to do Disneyland, but kids who love theme park will also love Universal Studios Hollywood and, for more old-school theme park fun, the amusement park at Santa Monica’s Pier.

Silver Lake takes its name from this picturesque stash of water that glistens amid the neighborhood’s hilly slopes.

This hulking campus of interior design showrooms cuts a striking figure in the neighborhood—it’s been nicknamed the “Blue Whale” for the outsized scale of its main blue-tinted building relative to surrounding structures.

What began as a handcrafted soap shop in the early 1970’s has today become a cult purveyor of pop ephemera and a counterculture art gallery.

This casual, organic cafe is the de facto community kitchen of Brentwood. Locals turn out in droves—especially at weekend brunch—for morning goodies like the egg dishes and stuffed French toast or afternoon fare like the enormous salads and Paninis.

The terracotta-hued complex at this famous intersection is “ground zero” of Silver Lake hipsterdom.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s first foray into Californian architecture was this impressive “California Romanza” residence he designed in 1919 for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall.

Running is practically a religion in Brentwood, where the coral-tree-lined center divider of San Vicente Boulevard doubles as a running path. The fleet-footed will find all manner of on-trend, performance running shoes here and über-knowledgeable staff to help them make the perfect selection.

This sunny boutique specializes in “free-range design” that roams both around the world (there’s a Scandinavian emphasis) and close to home (local designers are represented).

Hollywood goes hipster at this carefully curated retail complex.

Formerly a private beachfront estate that William Randolph Hearst built for actress Marion Davies, the Annenberg Community Beach House is now open to the public as a place to enjoy the Santa Monica sand in style.

Insider favorite The Runway is an ideal spot for ladies to score some locally minded togs on a budget—they carry samples and overstock exclusively from L.A. designers at discounted prices.

The Hotel Cafe is an anomaly along the Cahuenga Corridor cocktailing mecca: it’s a place where softly strummed guitars trump earsplitting dance beats and drinks are sipped, not pounded.