The impression of Los Angeles is completely made up from what we have seen on TV and movies. In and around this California city area you’ll find beaches, amusement parks, museums, hiking trails, exclusive shopping stores and many more attractions to see. 

I am sharing with you some of what I feel are the best things to do in Los Angeles. Please note, I still have not yet experienced everything there is to do in LA!

Los Angeles Itinerary

To visualize the itinerary better, I’ve created a Google Maps link which marks all the routes and landmarks I’ll mention in this blog. Here is the complete map

Google Map for Los Angeles Sightseeing

Grifith Observatory

Start your day up at Griffith Observatory, which you may recognize if you have watched the movie La La Land. Believe me, after watching the unforgettable romantic scene where Sebastian and Mia (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone) visit the Planetarium, you are going to love this place a little more.

Admission to the observatory is free, but the place only opens at noon on weekdays and 10 am on weekends and it remains closed on Mondays.

Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory outdoors

It’s also a great place to see Los Angeles city from above, as well as the famous Hollywood sign. Contrary to popular belief though, you can’t actually get too close to the Hollywood sign since the area around it are private properties.

View of Hollywood sign from Griffith Observatory
Los Angeles, the city of stars
Mt Hollywood from Griffith Observatory
LA Skyline from Griffith observatory

Hollywood Sign

Back of the north end of the observatory parking area is a Charlie Turner Trail (also sometimes referred to as Mount Hollywood Trail) that leads into the hills. You can choose to do a short hike, like I did, to get a closer view of the famous Hollywood sign and a bird’s eye view of downtown.

Somewhere on the Charlie Turner Trail pointing at the Mt Hollywood
View of Mt Hollywood from a Charlie Turner Trail
Some views while hiking the Charlie Turner Trail
Griffith Observatory on left and LA skyline on your right

Venice Canal Walkway

We luckily stumbled into manmade Venice canals while looking for the parking near the Venice Beach. The canals are located right off 25th street in Venice Beach and is modeled after Venice in Italy (hence the name).

I would highly recommend walking down these million dollar mansions to catch gorgeous views of the sunset. This place is more like Italy than LA with tiny bridges, boats and the houses by canal

Keep in mind that although historic, still this is a residential area, so be respectful of people’s privacy when visiting.

Lighted bridges and it reflection in the canal
Venice Canals in Holiday lights

Venice Beach Broadwalk

You must try to get to the Venice beach a little before sunset to enjoy one of the best sunsets of your lifetime. Walk around the Venice Boardwalk and don’t forget to check out the famous Venice Beach sign for your Instagram pictures 😉

The vibe here is bohemian, eccentric and artistic, and you’ll find here all kind of people ranging from street performers, vendors, athletes, skaters, tourists, and beachgoers.

Sunset at the Venice Beach

Santa Monica Pier

When one thinks of Santa Monica, the Giant Ferris Wheel inevitably comes to mind. So far, this was the only beach in the states that I found really happening even at the odd hours of 11 pm unlike others. There are lots of places to eat, lot of places to buy souvenirs and lots of things to do to keep you entertained for days.

Giant Ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is also the official endpoint of the legendary highway Route 66 that stretches across most of the US. Nowadays, you can see a road sign that marks the end of the trail at the Pacific Ocean.

End of Route 66 Highway Road sign

Rodeo Drive(Beverly Hills)

Rodeo (pronounced roh-DAY-oh) drive in Beverly Hills stretches from Sunset to Wilshire. It is the most luxurious street in the world and known for its high-end stores, fancy cars and celebrity sightings.

Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

While walking down the Rodeo drive, it felt like I was in front of the world’s most exclusive and expensive retail stores, some of which even requires an appointment to get into. Nevertheless, you can do the window shopping and enjoy the ambiance without spending a penny. Besides that, keep your eyes unlatched when you’re here, you never know who you might run into!

Holiday spirit✨
Palm tree-dotted luxury shopping destination 🌴
Life is beautiful

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Make your way down to Hollywood Blvd for the walk of fame, where you can see the star-studded walkway, literally! It’s just fun to walk along and find ones that you are a big fan of.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Diextr Tips

  • When to travel– It’s great to visit all year round! Summers are not too hot, and winters are not too cold. Spring and Fall are just downright beautiful. 
  • Parking is expensive in LA especially in Downtown area. The cheaper way to park your car is to find a street parking, which are sometimes metered or sometimes free.
  • Budget– If you are on vacation and planning to sightsee, then budget at least US $100 per day to properly enjoy the city. 
  • Traffic- Public transportation in LA is almost non-existent and taxis must be booked in advance. Best way to travel around the city is by renting a car. Good news for international tourists is that anyone can drive and rent a car in LA so long as you have a valid driving license.
  • Food and Restaurants- Some famous restaurants I visited is LA-  Electric Karma for Indian Food, Intelligentsia for sipping a cup of Coffee and Pinkberry for delicious frozen yogurt.

Final Words

So that’s it! That’s my perfect day in the city of stars. 

After writing this blog, I couldn’t stop myself from watching La La land one more time to see the characters Mia and Sebastian sashaying around town in love with each other. You can also create the same magic in the city by making it a movie-like visit.

Please note that I have visited this place in Dec 2019. These days you might find some of the places closed due to COVID 19 pandemic.

If you have any recommendations on travel hacks or places to visit in LA, leave a comment below. I would love to check them out. And, as always, thanks for reading!

Also, don’t forget to visit the blog on my entire West coast trip.

#Diextr #GriffithObservatory #MountHollywood #CharlieTurnerTrail #LASkyline #RodeoDrive #BeverlyHills # #SantaMonicaPier #VeniceBeach #VeniceCanal #HollywoodWalkofFame #PinkBerry #ElectricKarma #Intelligentsia