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Los Angeles Travel Guide: 20 Best Things to Do in LA (2024)

John Yong

John Yong

Last updated 31 December, 2024

Visiting Los Angeles soon? Here is a travel guide on the best things to do in the "City of Angels", from shopping and theme parks to nature trails and other attractions.

First time in Los Angeles and don't know what you should be doing? Don't sweat, because we have got you covered.

Whether you are a shopaholic, nature-lover, or thrill-seeker, there are plenty of places to keep you busy in the "City of Angels". In fact, there is so much to cover that we can probably write another article on it.

However, we've decided to narrow down your options and focus on the essentials when visiting Los Angeles. Without further ado, here are our recommendations.

Table of Content

 

 


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Shopping

The Grove

What: A popular open-air shopping mall that houses some of the best boutiques, shops, restaurants and entertainment in Los Angeles. There's even a Farmers Market just beside it. If you visit during the Christmas period, there will be musical and choir performances!

Where: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Opening Hours: 10am to 9pm (Sunday to Thursday) | 10am to 10pm (Friday to Saturday)

Website

 

Melrose Avenue

What: A popular shopping and dining district that runs north of Beverly Boulevard and south of Santa Monica Boulevard. Expect to find the trendiest clothing stores, as well as tons of hipster cafes to chill and recharge. You may even run into Hollywood celebrities if you're lucky!

Where: Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046

Opening Hours: Different stores have different opening hours.

Website

 

Citadel Outlets

What: The Citadel Outlets is an Egyptian-theme factory outlet that is located minutes from Downtown Los Angeles. Housing over 130 different brands, such as Coach, Michael Kors, kate spade, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, Armani, and much more, shopaholics can look forward to spending an entire day here!

Where: 100 Citadel Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90040

Opening Hours: 10am to 9pm (Monday to Sunday)

Website

 

 

Camarillo Premium Outlets

What: The Camarillo factory outlet is a one-hour drive from Hollywood. It is slightly bigger than the Citadel Outlets, housing 160 different brands, which are separated into three different districts. Expect to find premium brands such as Coach, kate spade, and Tommy Hilfiger. It also features popular sports brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma, to name a few.

Where: 740 E Ventura Blvd, Camarillo, CA 93010

Opening Hours: 10am to 9pm (Monday to Saturday) | 10am to 8pm (Sunday)

Website

 

3rd Street Promenade

What: Located just next to Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade is a premier dining and shopping destination for locals and tourists alike. From chic fashion boutiques to well-loved brands, it truly is a shopper's paradise. Once you're done shopping, you can always take a break at any of the alfresco cafes or restaurants located along the 3-block stretch. You'll be spoilt for entertainment as well, as there are regular street performances throughout the day.

Where: 1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Opening Hours: 10am to 8pm (Monday to Saturday) | 10am to 7pm (Sunday)

Website

 

Westfield Century City

What: A massive open-air shopping complex that houses popular departmental stores like Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Macy's. One of the best shopping malls in Los Angeles, you can literally plan an entire day of shopping at Westfield. It also houses 15 movie theatres and different pop-up stores, making every visit a unique one.

Where: 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

Opening Hours: 10am to 9pm (Monday to Saturday) | 10am to 8pm (Sunday)

Website

 

Rodeo Drive

What: Located within Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive is where you'd go if you feel fancy. With over 100 international brands, such as Versace, Jimmy Choo and Tiffany & Co., be prepared to do some damage with your wallet. Keep your eyes peeled as you may spot famous celebrities amongst the crowd! Fun fact: It's also one of the best places in Los Angeles to capture some photos for the 'gram.

Where: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA

Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm (Monday to Saturday) | 10am to 5pm (Sunday)

Website


 

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Venues & Attractions

Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre

What: You can't visit Los Angeles without visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theatre. One of the most iconic venues in Los Angeles, you can take a slow walk down the Walk of Fame and spot the handprints and signatures of your favourite celebrities. If you have the time, consider watching a movie at the TCL Chinese Theatre! If you are lucky, a movie premier might be happening, allowing you to spot famous movie stars. To really soak in the glitz and glam, try to plan a trip in the late afternoon or evening.

Where: Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Opening Hours: Opens 24 hours, 7 days a week. Avoid walking the streets late at night.n b

Website

 

Santa Monica Pier & Venice Beach

What: Santa Monica Pier is a must-visit if you enjoy the beach! Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, it features several restaurants and a small theme park. It's also a great place to catch the sunset. Once you're done with the Pier, you can either take a short walk to 3rd Street Promenade for shopping or head over to Venice Beach. The latter is known to be a playground for locals. The boardwalk is famous for its many eclectic stores, while the beach offers opportunities for surfing and sunbathing.

Where: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | 1800 Ocean Front Walk Los Angeles, CA 90291

Opening Hours: 6am to 10pm (Monday to Sunday) | 6am to 12am (Monday to Friday) 

Website

 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

What: The LACMA is the largest art museum in the Western United States. If are a huge fan of art and history, we highly recommend giving the LACMA a visit. While you're there, don't forget to capture some selfies at the Urban Light installation located in front of the museum.

Where: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Ticket Price: $25 USD (approx. S$34.27)

Opening Hours: 11am to 6pm (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday) | 11am to 8pm (Friday) | 10am to 7pm (Weekends) | Closed on Wednesday

Website

 

 

Grand Central Market

What: A downtown landmark of Los Angeles since 1917, Grand Central Market has been dubbed a "foodie heaven" by visitors and locals alike. Why? Because variety is what you'll find at Grand Central Market. From ramen and falafel to gourmet sandwiches and ice cream, there's definitely something to whet your appetite. The best part of it all? It's priced more affordably as compared to other parts of the city!

Where: 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opening Hours: 8am to 9pm (Monday to Sunday)

Website

 

The Griffith Observatory

What: Overlooking the Los Angeles basin, the Griffith Observatory offers visitors one of the best views in the entire city. Besides providing the perfect photo-op, you can also enter the observatory itself and visit the available exhibits on display. While you're there, you might as well take a peek into the telescope, allowing you to marvel at the night sky and the universe beyond.

Where: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Opening Hours: 12pm to 10pm (Tuesday to Friday) | 10am to 10pm (Weekends) | Closed on Monday

Website


 

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Parks & Nature

Griffith Park

What: Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, covering almost 4,200 acres of land. It is also home to the Los Angeles Zoo, the iconic Hollywood Sign, and the Griffith Observatory. Located in the centre of the city, Griffith Park is perfect for nature lovers or those looking to go on a hike or picnic. Just be mindful of your surroundings, as coyotes, wolves, and even a mountain lion, have made the park their home. Do stick to the trails and footpaths for your own safety!

Where: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Opening Hours: Opens 24 hours, 7 days a week. Avoid going there at night if possible.

Website

 

Point Dume

Point DumeWhat: Point Dume features majestic cliffs that overlook the ocean and is an ideal location if you are planning to swim, surf, scuba diving or rock climb. Do bring suitable footwear if you intend to hike to one of its many vantage points. Your reward will be a stunning view of the coast, and if you're lucky, you might even spot whales and dolphins during the December to mid-April migration period.

Where: Cliffside Dr &, Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265

Opening Hours: 5am to 7pm (Daily)

Website

 

 

Joshua Tree National Park

What: Joshua Tree National Park is a vast desert park where two deserts meet, the  Mojave and Colorado desert. Named after Joshua trees which can be found scattered across the land, visitors can look forward to numerous nature and hiking trails, as well as rock climbing sites. It is also the perfect place for camping and star gazing. In fact, many recommend camping out in the desert for one night and gazing at the stars beside a campfire. Just remember to bring adequate supplies, like food and water, as well as your hiking shoes. It is a 2+ hour drive from Los Angeles.

Where: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Opening Hours: Opens 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Website

 

Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake

What: If you are hoping to see snow in Los Angeles, consider a drive up to Big Bear Lake. Known as a premier 4-season destination, you can look forward to fishing, snowboarding and skiing, hiking, mountain biking and more. As its name suggests, bears do occupy the region. However, they mostly hibernate during winter time. You can afford to stay there for a day or two, and we highly recommend booking an Airbnb or a lodge for your stay.

Where: Big Bear Lake, California, USA

Website

 


 

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Theme Parks

Disneyland Park

Where: Dubbed the "happiest place on earth", Disneyland is where you can let your inner child run loose! New attractions to Disneyland Los Angeles are Tales of the Lion King live show and the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride. You can also look forward to classic attractions such as It's a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain.

Where: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

Ticket Price: From $104 USD per adult (approx. S$142.61) | +$65 USD for Park Hopper (approx. S$89.13)

Opening Hours: 8am to 12am (Daily)

Website

 

Disney California Adventure Park

Where: The Disney California Adventure Park is located just beside Disneyland Park, and it features a different set of rides, themes and attractions. The Adventure Park features more Pixar and Marvel-themed attractions, such as the Incredicoaster, Pixar Pal-A-Round, and the newly opened Avengers Campus. If you plan to visit both parks, consider getting a Park Hopper ticket, as it is cheaper than purchasing individual tickets to both.

Where: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

Ticket Price: From $104 USD per adult (approx. S$142.61) | + $65 USD (approx.  for Park Hopper (approx. S$89.13)

Opening Hours: 8am to 10pm (Sunday to Friday) | 8am to 11pm (Saturday)

Website

 

Universal Studios Hollywood

Where: You can't visit Los Angeles without a trip to Universal Studios. Located just 10 minutes away from Hollywood, its most popular attractions include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The World-Famous Studio Tour, and Jurassic World. Once you're done with the theme park, consider strolling around Universal Citywalk to pick out souvenirs for your friends and family back home.

Where: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Ticket Price: From $109 USD per adult (approx. S$149.46)

Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm (Monday) | 10am to 7pm (Tuesday to Friday) | 9am to 10pm (Saturday) | 9am to 9pm (Sunday)

Website

 

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Where: Known as the “Thrill Capital of the World”, Six Flags Magic Mountain is where thrill-seekers can test their mantle on 20 different world-class roller-coasters. Fret not though, as those less adventurous can still enjoy other family-friendly rides and attractions. Six Flags Magic Mountain is about a 45-minute drive from Los Angeles.

Where: 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355

Ticket Price: $55 USD per adult (approx. S$75.42)

Opening Hours: 10.30am to 5pm (Monday to Thursday) | 10.30am to 6pm (Friday) | 10.30am to 9pm (Saturday) | 10.30am to 8pm (Sunday)

Website


 

 

 

 


Travel Recommendations

  • Remember to apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) - Singaporeans will need to apply for ESTA before entering the US. Your entry will be denied if your ESTA isn't completed. You can sign up for it here.
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is also required - Fully vaccinated travellers must complete the full course of COVID-19 vaccination for a maximum of 2 weeks before traveling to USA. You are required to show proof of your vaccination at customs before entry into the country. Visit Sherpa for more information.
  • Keep your quarters for meter parking - You'll have to pay for meter parking if you are parking along the roadside.
  • Read the parking signs - Remember to read the parking signs to determine if meter parking is in effect. There are certain times when roadside parking is not allowed. Your vehicle may be towed if it is parked during restricted hours.
  • Validate your parking ticket - If you are parking in a mall or a carpark with a barrier, you can get your parking ticket validated, saving you around $10 USD in parking fees. However, note that there are conditions to get validation (like eating at certain restaurants or spending up to $XXX.)
  • Stay away from peak-hour traffic - Traffic normally peaks around 4pm and last till 8pm. A simple 15-minute drive can turn into 1.5 hours if the jam is really bad.
  • Do not take CDs from anyone - A common sighting at popular tourist areas are people handing out "sample" CDs. Do not take them as they expect a $5 - $10 USD tip despite saying it's free. Speaking of tipping...
  • Get used to tipping for services rendered - Unlike Singapore where tipping isn't mandatory, most service providers, such as servers, valet attendants, barbers, beauticians, etc., will expect a tip. A 15% to 20% tip is considered generous in most cases.
  • Dress like a local - There is a homeless problem in Los Angeles. To avoid getting harassed, try dressing like a local, and you should be fine.
  • Visiting Los Angeles - The best times to visit Los Angeles are in Spring (April to mid-June), Autumn (October to November) and Winter (December to March). In Summer (July to September), temperatures can get as high as 42 degrees celsius.
  • Credit cards are widely accepted - You don't need to carry stacks of notes when visiting Los Angeles as credit cards are widely accepted. In fact, they are favoured by many businesses. We suggest pairing your credit card with a multi-currency card like YouTrip or Amaze to avoid hefty foreign transaction fees. If you wish to earn miles on your purchases, consider using the Standard Chartered Rewards+ or UOB PRVI Miles credit card.
  • Buy travel insurance - Although Los Angeles has strict gun laws, petty crimes and shootings do still occur. Do purchase travel insurance that offers high medical coverage as medical bills in America can be on high side. Similarly, driving is the most convenient way to get around, so considering a travel insurance with high rental car coverage is advisable as well.

 

 

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