As a native Angeleno, I’m always getting asked where the must visit places around Los Angeles are. The problem is as a local, I hadn’t grown up doing the “touristy” things around my city. I only recently started to visit the famous sites. Up until a few months ago, I had never been to the Hollywood Sign!
I thought long and hard about what sites defined Los Angeles for me. I wanted to come up with iconic sites that haven’t come and gone. Places that aren’t just trendy or hip right now but maybe not in a few months. I did my research and made a long list of places I needed to visit.
After visiting all of these places, I came up with the 6 most iconic Los Angeles spots you shouldn’t miss when you come to visit.
I don’t think you should come to Los Angeles, especially if you’ve never been, and not visit the Griffith Observatory. The main reason is the view. Honestly, I’ve been to the Observatory so many times just for the view and haven’t actually gone inside.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve visited the Observatory for many elementary school field trips and it is amazing, but the views from here are so amazing. Come on a cloudless, blue sky and you’ll be able to see an unobstructed view of the whole city. You can also choose to hike up to the Observatory. There are lots of hiking trails to choose from.
Speaking of hiking trails, the one I found to get the best view of the Hollywood Sign is a must do. Sure, there are many ways to view the sign. You can see it from Griffith Observatory. If you’re up for it, you can hike up behind the sign, as well. Nothing says Los Angeles like the Hollywood Sign.
Check out how to get the best view of the Hollywood Sign, here.
The Broad has quickly become a staple of the Los Angeles scene even though it has only been around for a couple of years. Every time I’ve been, has been enjoyable and different. They have so many pieces there that you may see different art each time you come.
Tickets are free, but you should reserve them in advance. Showing up day of could set you back on time a little since the line can and usually does wrap around the block if you don't have tickets.
Check out more about the Broad, here.
If you were to visit only one museum on your trip, I think I might lean towards the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It is so big and houses every genre and medium of art you can imagine. At the very least, come to see the famous lampposts and levitated mass sculpture. If you plan in advance, you might be able to get to see the Rain Room.
The Getty is one of the best places in LA to spend the day, maybe aside from the beach. And really, you could spend the entire day here. The grounds are beautiful, the views are impressive and the art collections are just as amazing.
Admission here is free, you just have to pay for parking.
SANTA MONICA PIER
What’s more LA than the end of Route 66? The Santa Monica Pier is definitely iconic. Come here for the food on the pier, the carnival games or rides or just to hit the beach. My personal favorite is the trapeze school. I think that's a story for another time though. Trust me though, check them it if you're curious. Beware, a trip here could come with a large crowd, but it's definitely a can't miss.
There really are so many places to add to your LA to do list, but these are definitely Los Angeles landmarks that should be at the top of your list.
Yours Truly // Shannon
For more LA tips, check out some of my other Los Angeles posts: