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.

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.

A recent revamp turned this once-indoor mall at the edge of the popular Third Street Promenade into a hip, open-air shopping and dining experience.

This intimate rock club has a hefty legacy on its shoulders: Spaceland, the club that previously occupied this space from 1995 to 2011, was legendary in giving rise to the Silver Lake indie music scene, hosting the likes of Beck, The Foo Fighters, and The White Stripes.

This no-frills neighborhood theater is the last surviving revival movie house in Los Angeles—thanks in large part to its famous benefactor Quentin Tarantino, who stepped in to buy the property when the theater was on the brink of shutting down.

This “secret” subterranean bar is hidden below a popular wedding and events venue and offers a sultry speakeasy vibe for cocktailing and live music. The entrance—through the parking lot behind The Victorian and down a flight of stairs—is appropriately hard to find.

Though there’s more than a hint of pessimism for the printed book’s future in the name of this indie bookshop, The Last Bookstore may actually restore your faith in its survival.

For that chic L.A. jeans-and-a-t-shirt look, American Rag is the de facto headquarters—the “World Denim Bar” annex stocks designer denim in every color and fit imaginable.

Developer Abbot Kinney modeled the canals and bridges in this historic district on those in Venice, Italy.