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The 25 finest things to do in Los Angeles - CA

December 02, 2020

Searching for the best things to do in Los Angeles? We have you covered with the absolute best that L.A. needs to use. Whether you're a culture vulture, outdoorsy type, or merely an enthusiast of our fine city, there's sufficient here to keep you hectic. Even lifelong Angelenos will discover something new to contribute to their order of business, between the city's landmark destinations, ever-changing stock of the best dining establishments in Los Angeles, vital L.A. museums, and even some off-the-beaten-path secrets. How many of the very best things to do in Los Angeles will you try?

Your essential guide to the best things to do in Los Angeles is from stair walking to scenic drives and more.

Take a beautiful drive around the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

What is it? 10 miles of streets, mostly along Palos Verdes Drive, hugging the coast from the Torrance border to San Pedro.

Why go? The first third of the drive sticks mainly to spectacular reality a few blocks inland, but after you round Point Vicente, the drive changes significantly. For a couple of miles past Terranea, there's nothing but undeveloped oceanfront hillsides, winding roadways, and golden-hued bluffs.

Don't miss out on: Take a stroll by the Point Vicente Interpretive Center for views of the close-by lighthouse.

Have tacos and egg sandwiches at Grand Central Market.

What is it? A European-style food hall that's been operating in Downtown L.A. because 1917.

Why go? Even if you're not there for the food, it's worth a trip; people from all corners of L.A. mix and socialize amongst rows of spices, produce, and vintage neon signage. Of course, if you're starving, it's a great location to get inexpensive pupusas, carnitas tacos, and Aguas Frescas, along with food from handsome, stylish eateries like Sticky Rice, Belcampo, Sari-Sari, Horse Burglar BARBEQUE, Eggslut, McConnell's, and G&B Coffee.

Don't miss out on: Tacos Tumbras a Tomas serves the hall's go-to taco, especially the carnitas and al pastor.

Bike the Strand.

What is it? A 22-mile bike course, formally known as the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, that traces almost the whole degree of L.A.'s westward-facing coastline.

Why go? It's the very best method to tour the coastline. The course starts at Will Rogers State Beach and winds its method all the way to Torrance County Beach.

Don't miss: If you'd rather take the path at a strolling speed, you'll discover pedestrian-friendly forks in Santa Monica, Venice, and Manhattan Beach.

Travel back in time at the drive-in.

What is it? About a half-dozen drive-in movie theaters in SoCal that are still going strong.

Why go? Well, it's essentially the only way to see a film today that's not on your couch. However, it's likewise lots of enjoyable, cost-effective, and among the few methods, you can go out securely today.

Do not miss: We especially like the shows at Mission Tiki in Montclair. And look out for the occasional free screening or premieres thanks to familiar outlets like the ArcLight.

Have dinner on a closed street.

What is it? Lanes or whole streets that have been closed down to make more space for outdoor dining.

Why go? Well, truthfully, eating outside might be the only way to dine out for a while, and these street closures put a novel (and safe) spin on it.

Do not miss out on: Burbank, Long Beach, Pasadena, and Torrance have all made noteworthy promotes street closures.

See L.A. from above at Griffith Park.

What is it? A 4,000-plus-- acre rugged park in the center of the city.

Why go? The tracks, the flora, the views, the shouts of coyotes down the canyons at night, the twinkly lights of Downtown in the distance-- L.A. may not have a grassy, centralized park; however, Griffith's huge, sloping wilderness produces an excellent alternative.

Don't miss: Even when the Griffith Observatory is closed, you can still hike or drive up to the premises of the landmark Art Deco dome to take in the exceptional views.

Have an oceanfront, roadside meal at Neptune's Internet.

What is it? A postcard-worthy seafood shack on the Pacific Coast Highway towards the western edge of Malibu.

Why go? The fried ocean bites and weekend bicycle rider team make Neptune's Web a special location. (Additionally, dine up the coast with residents at Malibu Seafood, where the long line is worth the wait for fresh fish and seafood).

Do not miss: The well-known area is currently open as a drive-through. So take your food across the street and park in the dirt patch by the water, with views of surfers and kiteboarders.

Walkthrough the spectacular gardens at the Huntington Library.

What is it? A historical library, museum, and stretching gardens that was the bequest of entrepreneur Henry E. Huntington.

Why go? The Huntington's themed gardens are quickly the most spectacular manicured outdoor areas in SoCal. Through its library and museum are presently closed, the gardens are open with reservations.

Don't miss: Choose a walk around the Chinese garden, which opened its enormous expansion previously in the fall.

Pedal around Echo Park Lake.

What is it? A former reservoir turned public recreation area at the center of one of L.A.'s the majority of buzzing communities.

Why go? The historic Echo Park Lake has finally ended up being a family-friendly destination deserving of its strong background: the Downtown horizon amid the lotus flower blossoms, water fountains, and the Girl of the Lake statue. You can press your method through the lake in a pedal or swan boat ($ 11--$ 25 per hour) or stroll around the course that hugs its borders.

Don't miss: Make sure to stop at the revived boathouse and its breakfast pit stop Beacon.

Take your pup to the only off-leash beach, Rosie's Canine Beach.

What is it? A pooch-friendly paradise in Paradise.

Why go? The four-acre waterside spot is the only legal off-leash pet dog beach in L.A. County. The park is named after the area's late regional canine celeb, Rosie, the English bulldog.

Do not miss out on: The entrance. No fences are marking the dog-friendly area-- though you'll know you remain in the best area if you see the colorful "Dogs at Play" sculpture-- so you'll wish to stay in between Granada Opportunity and Roycroft Opportunity between 8 pm and 6 am daily.

Posture in front of streetlights at LACMA.

What is it? Chris Problem's Urban Light, a piece comprised of 202 cast-iron street lights collected from around L.A. and brought back to working order, stands outside of the enormous museum.

Why go? Though LACMA is currently closed, yes, you can still snag your streetlight selfies (between 10 am and 10 pm). In addition, Michael Heizer's teetering stone Levitated Mass and the 26-foot-tall Yoshitomo Nara sculpture Miss Forest are still viewable, too. You can also find a new installation from Alex Prager, Goodbye, Work Holiday Celebrations, that positions costumed hyperreal human sculptures around the welcome plaza.

Do not miss: As of November 21, Ray's and C+M return some alfresco consumes to the school, and the LACMA Store moves outside with a just-in-time-for-the-holidays market.

Walk along the Venice Canals.

What is it? A series of small canals that run through the beachfront area-- hence the name Venice.

Why go? Tucked in between the dirty Venice Boardwalk and the chic Abbot Kinney, the Venice Canals provide an entirely various side of the renowned beachfront community. Take a stroll through these 3 canal-lined blocks, and you'll find an idyllic scene: arching pedestrian bridges, charming beach houses, lots of ducklings, and the occasional paddle boarding bulldog.

Do not miss: Though you won't find boat rentals anywhere along the canals, you can bring your own non-motorized vessel to explore the area at water level (go through the launch ramp at Venice Boulevard).

Watch a film in the parking area.

What is it? Drive-in movie theaters are turning up in the parking area all over town.

Why go? Generally, outdoor motion picture season implies enjoying classic films in a cemetery or on a roof. But this year, they've all gone to the drive-in. Street Food Movie Theater, Cinespia, and Rooftop Movie Theater Club, to name a few, have all found new life with their short-term car-friendly formats.

Do not miss: New series and screenings are sprouting up continuously-- specifically ahead of the vacations-- so be sure to examine back all season wish for updates.

Fly a kite by the Korean Bell of Friendship.

What is it? A mighty metallic bell and pavilion in San Pedro contributed by South Korea in 1976.

Why go? Perched over the Pacific, this grassy spot neglecting the ocean is known for its name bell, with an ornately painted hipped roof. The exposed hillside is a perfect area to fly a kite thanks to persistent winds coming off the ocean.

Do not miss out on: The bell rings only 4 times each year: Fourth of July, National Liberation Day of Korea (August 15), New Year's Eve, and during Constitution Week in September.

Get some fresh air at Malibu Creek State Park.

What is it? An 8,000-acre mountainous park that looks unlike anything else in L.A.

Why go? With dramatic gorges, open pastures, lavish forests, hidden swimming pools, and rugged peaks, Malibu Creek is just one of Southern California's most sensational areas.

Don't miss: A bit of silver screen history; you can find remnants of the M * A * S * H set and splash in the rock swimming pool that was featured in Planet of the Apes.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Admire the shoreline atop Temescal Gateway Park.

What is it? A Pacific Palisades hillside park with numerous viewpoints of the ocean.

Why go? With a range of terrain, plants, and views of the Pacific and city, Temescal Canyon Park is excellent for path runners, hikers, and dog walkers. You'll experience huge, awesome views that cover from Catalina to Downtown and enough varied surface to keep you and your furry buddy going-- all the way to the Valley, must you dare.

Don't miss: The stop signs. Seriously. They're photo imposed, and you'll be sent a $100 fine if you roll through.

Hike the Silver Lake Stairways.

What is it? Dozens of public, outside stairs spread around Silver Lake's verdant hillsides.

Why go? These WPA period staircases are appropriate for a workout or a fitness-included trip to the location. Though some house owners have tried to prevent open gain access to, make no mistake: These sets of stairs are for public usage. You can find an extensive list in author Charles Fleming's Secret Stairs.

Don't miss: Highlights include the heart-painted Micheltorena Stairways (Sundown Blvd and Micheltorena St) and the Music Box Steps (Vendome St and Del Monte Dr), of Laurel and Hardy popularity.

See the sunset from El Matador.

What is it? A gorgeous but small state beach in Malibu dominated by rocky coves.

Why go? Because it's quickly the most beautiful stretch of shoreline in the region. It's just accessible via a high gravelly path from a paid car park. But the effort deserves it, whether it's to view the waves lap against the rocks or see the sundown.

Do not miss: The tide. The beach here is quite narrow, and sand comes at a particular premium when high tide rolls in.

Tackle 282 steps at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook.

What is it? A Westside lookout is best understood for its 282 high, concrete stairs to the top.

Why go? The views from the top offer a few of the very best views of the region, with the ocean on one side and the Downtown L.A. skyline on the other (set against a background of snowcapped mountains in the winter season). As soon as you reach the summit, sit at the long park bench and take in the 360-degree views.

Do not miss: If you'd rather not batter your knees, drive and take a shortcut as much as the top of the hill and park in among the many voids ($ 6).

Achieve your farm-to-table dreams at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.

What is it? A series of farmers' markets are held every week year-round in Santa Monica.

Why go? The next time you're at a dining establishment and tempted to ask the waiter where your astoundingly fresh beets originated from-- do not. We'll save you the trouble and answer for you: the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.

Don't miss: While the marketplace occurs on a couple of days in numerous parts of Santa Monica, the best day to go is on Wednesday along with Arizona Opportunity.

Walkthrough SoCal flora at Descanso Gardens.

What is it? A hillside botanical garden in La Cañada Flintridge that harbors a year-round collection of native plants.

Why go? This wonderful tribute to the horticultural magic of Southern California includes more than 600 varieties of camellia (finest seen between the middle of February and early May), in addition to groves and hillsides of native plants.

Don't miss: A couple of reflective months-- both actually and metaphorically-- holiday decorations during Reflections at Descanso.

Relax on the sand at Point Dume State Beach.

What is it? Among Southern California's most gorgeous beaches and a frequent Hollywood shooting place due to its iconic cliff.

Why go? If you can't find a free space along Westward Beach Road or you're willing to pay for parking, you'll be rewarded with this wide and rarely crowded spot of sand and surf. As all the parking areas are just steps from the sand, Point Dume is the perfect location to load a picnic for a beachfront meal as dolphins and seals frolic throughout sundown-- simply keep an eye out for those starving seagulls.

Do not miss: A relaxed dirth path climbs from the sand to the top of the point, with lots of yellow wildflowers in the winter and spring.

Find your zen at the Lake Shrine.

What is it? A meditation garden in the Pacific Palisades.

Why go? Get lost in your ideas at one of L.A.'s best concealed: the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. Set on a 10-acre site that was used as a film set throughout the quiet age, its lovely gardens offer some increasingly uncommon possessions today: peace and harmony.

Don't miss out on: A reservation. You'll require one right now to go to the meditation gardens, which are open totally free from Wednesday through Sunday.

Drive through a tunnel of lights at Christmas Tree Lane.

What is it? A century-old tradition that dresses up a stretch of evergreens in Altadena (Santa Rosa Ave, in between Woodbury Ave and Altadena Dr) in lights.

Why go? Drive-thru light experiences are plentiful-- and, truthfully, quite overpriced-- in L.A. this year. However, consider this mile-long road lined with cedars the O.G., and effortlessly the most charming.

Do not miss: Though there will not be a formal lighting ceremony this year, anticipate them to illuminate by mid-December through New Year's Day.

Strike the slopes at a ski resort.

What is it? Just under a dozen locations within a day's drive of L.A. where you can ski or snowboard on new power-- and a few of them are simply a freeway away.

Why go? You can drive for about an hour into the mountains and satisfy snow in the winter season. But burn through a bit of additional gas, and you'll be rewarded with a true high-altitude wonderland.

Do not miss: Snow Valley, Mountain High, and the twin slopes of Bear Mountain and Snow Top are all within a three-hour drive from many parts of L.A.