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Visiting Los Angeles: Our Top 10 Things to See and Do

Those of us who live here already know, Los Angeles is an incredible city with the best mixture of culture, events, people and activities in the world. To prove it, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 things to see when visiting Los Angeles.

Griffith observatory part of Top 10 things to see when visiting Los Angeles, things to do in los angeles with kids
Griffith Observatory (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Hollywood Sign
Los Angeles, CA

Perhaps the most quintessential LA icon, the Hollywood sign is a must see when visiting Los Angeles. Getting up close and personal to the Hollywood sign is strictly prohibited; however there are several legal ways to view the 45-foot infamous sign. You can take a shuttle-for $10 per person you can spend an afternoon visiting the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory. You can hike one of the prime 4 hiking trails, The Lake Hollywood trail, The Cahuenga Peak hike, The Canyon Boulevard Trail or The Mount Hollywood Trail. You can also view the Hollywood sign from the Hollywood and Highland center, the Griffith Observatory or Mulholland Drive.

Olvera Street
845 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Widely considered the birthplace of LA, Olvera Street is the oldest street in Los Angeles. Home to authentic (and some kitschy) handcrafted items such as pottery, belts, wallets, purses, leather and Mexican folk art. Visitors from around the world stroll around the marketplace smelling the authentic Mexican cuisine, listening to the strolling mariachi music, and watching Aztecs and Mexican folkloric dancers. There are several festivals throughout the year, including the annual blessing of the animals on Easter, the Dia de Los Muertos party, or Las Posadas, the biggest celebration of the year.

The California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037

The California Science Center is a free (by donation) museum located in Exposition Park. Now home to the Space Shuttle Endeavor, there is so much to see here, you may need more than one day. There are many interactive exhibits, including an aquarium, a desert habitat, a bicycle high wire, and a special Discovery Room for kids ages 7 and under.

Related: Best Family-Friendly Hotels

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Made infamous by Hollywood movie classics such as “Rebel Without A Cause”, the Griffith Observatory offers telescopes for viewing far away galaxy’s, exhibits, live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and the best views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign you could ever ask for. A visit to the Griffith Observatory is a must-see and best yet: it’s always free (some nominal fee for shows).

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The largest art museum in the western United States, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) represents LA’s uniquely diverse population. Today LACMA is home to over 120,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art. Admission is free for children ages 17 and under, $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students with ID.

La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The La Brea Tar Pits and Hancock Park are situated within what was once the Mexican land grant of Rancho La Brea, now part of urban Los Angeles in the Miracle Mile district, adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Craft and Folk Art Museum. With discovers made daily, however visitors won’t find dinosaur bones, the oldest fossil specimen at the La Brea Tar Pits is a 14,500 year old Juniper tree.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
7018 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Literally walk amongst the Hollywood stars along the blocks of Hollywood Boulevard of what is known as the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The stars embedded into the concrete sidewalk represent monuments of achievement in the entertainment industry to a collection of actors, musicians, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups and fictional characters. A popular tourist attraction, you can also visit the Hollywood and Highland Center, Hollywood Wax Museum and El Capitan Theater along the way.

Grand Central Market
317 South Broadway Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Taste the best of LA in one amazing place at The Grand Central Market. Located in Downtown Los Angeles, The Grand Central Market has been celebrating the cuisines and cultures of Los Angeles since 1917. The 30,000 square-foot arcade encompasses a food emporium and retail marketplace that features the freshest fare and finest chefs in LA.

Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Quite simply put, Santa Monica beach is an absolutely gorgeous place to spend the day. Take a stroll along the sandy beach, ride the merry-go-round on the pier and shop at 3rd Street Promenade and dine at one of the many fine restaurants all while feeling the fresh cool breeze of the Pacific ocean air.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game
1000 Elysian Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Los Angeles doesn’t have just one ball club to see a game, we have two! Take yourself out to a ball game; grab a hot dog, a pack of peanuts and a cold beer at Dodgers stadium (Read our article 10 Awesome Things About Dodger Stadium) or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Just make sure you root for the home team!

Disclaimer: MomsLA has made every effort to confirm the information in this article; however, things can often change. Therefore, MomsLA makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy of the information published here. MomsLA strongly urges you to confirm any event details, like date, time, location, and admission, with the third party hosting the event. You assume the sole risk of relying on any of the information in our list. MomsLA is in no way responsible for any injuries or damages you sustain while attending any third-party event posted on our website. Please read our Terms of Use which you have agreed to based on your continued use of this website. Some events have paid to be listed on MomsLA.

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