A few years ago I went to Los Angeles, the city of angels or more commonly referred to as LA. Although it is very long overdue, I would like to share some of my favorite places and things to do during my trip.
1. Enjoy LA city view from Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory is one of my favorite spots in LA. Located up high at Mount Hollywood, you will get a beautiful panoramic view of the city from the observatory.
The observatory is open from 12 noon to 10pm on the weekdays (except on Monday when it is closed) and from 10am to 10pm on the weekends. Admission is also free – no reason to skip this when you visit LA, right?
2. Chill out at Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is another hot spot that you should add to your list of places to visit when in LA (although technically it’s located in Santa Monica). If you are in town during summer, you can choose to take a dip or chill at the beautiful beach.
For the adrenalin junkies, Pacific Park, an amusement park at the pier would probably interest you more. Admission is free and you can just pay for the rides you want to take. Fun fact: the Ferris wheel in Pacific Park is a one-of-a-kind solar paneled Ferris wheel!
3. …and try lobster roll (and the fish and chips, too!)
While you are at Santa Monica Pier, don’t forget to stop at one of the many seafood stores and try their lobster roll or fish and chips. Fresh seafood, guaranteed.
4. Visit Farmers Market
Built in 1934, LA’s Farmers Market is home to over 80 grocers and brands. From branded clothing to international delicacies, there are many things to see and buy there.
You will find a mix of traditional rustic areas (mainly the grocers’ area) and modern trendy buildings in one place here at the market. It is especially beautiful during the Christmas season when all the decorations are up.
5. Take an instaworthy photo at LACMA
LACMA must be one of the most popular photo spots in LA and was the first place that I went to after I arrived.
The lights area was smaller than I expected and it was quite crowded even late at night. Nevertheless, for those who want an instaworthy photo from LA, LACMA should be on your list!
6. … and the compulsory shot with the Hollywood sign
Not to forget, the compulsory shot with the Hollywood sign! While you can probably get a shot with the sign from a lot of places, it was a challenge for us to get a good one. I can’t remember the exact road we stopped at to take this photo but there are many spots recommendations on Google search.
7. Learn how to shoot a real gun at Los Angeles Gun Club
If you are looking for something fun and unique, head down to LA Gun Club and get your hands on some real guns and bullets. The shooting range area can be extra loud even with the ear muffles so when offered to buy extra in-ear plugs, just get it!
It was my first time handling real guns and thanks to the guys who went through National Service, I learned how to shoot. Not bad for a first timer, right?
Check out the rates for the gun rental and bullets at their official website here. Please note that from June 28 to July 4 and December 25 to January 1, the place will be closed as ammunition cannot be sold during those dates in LA.
8. Stroll at the Hollywood Walk of Fame
LA’s iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame should also be on your list if it’s your first time in LA. Although the chances of meeting an actual Hollywood star is low, you can still take a photo with their star tile as you walk down the road!
9. Drive around Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive
Other than the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills are icons of LA. Rodeo Drive, a shopping district with high-end luxury brands and Beverly Hills where renown stars (or the country’s richest people) live in. While shopping in Rodeo Drive and entering someone’s house in Beverly Hills might be impossible, you can still drive around the area to have a peek at the glamorous lifestyle.
You can also stop by the Greystone Mansion, a quiet park in the middle of Beverly Hills for some pictures too!
10. Eat Korean BBQ at Koreatown
Just as how you must visit Chinatown in San Francisco, Koreatown is a must-visit in LA. There are many Korean marts, eateries and office buildings in the area. We tried K-bbq at Kang Ho Dong’s BBQ Restaurant and it was definitely a good break from western food!
Aside from these ten places, you could also visit one of the famous theme parks, Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood or even join filming studio tours. There are many interesting things to do in LA and I’m sure you’ll enjoy LA as much as I did. Have fun!
*All of the photos in this post were taken by an iPhone 6S+, unless otherwise stated. Please pardon the quality.