Shannon Did What / Travel + Lifestyle Blog

los angeles

6 Iconic Los Angeles Spots You Can't Miss

TravelShannon Guerrero10 Comments

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.

one.
GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY

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.

two.
HOLLYWOOD SIGN

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.

three.
THE BROAD

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.

four.
LACMA

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.

five.
THE GETTY

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.  

six.
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:

OUE Skyspace

TravelShannon Guerrero1 Comment

Open for just over a year, the OUE Skypace in Downtown Los Angeles quickly made a name for itself because of its unique Skyslide.  This glass slide hovers just about 1000 feet over the city where brave guests can slide from the 70th floor to the 69th floor.  I’ll repeat that.  This is a glass slide.  Yes, you can slide while looking straight down at the city.  OUE Skyspace is also California’s tallest open-air observation deck.

I’ve been to Skyspace twice now and honestly both visits were pretty different.  The first time I went, it was just about sunset and the sun was quickly disappearing.  The bright lights of the city by night were really awesome.  The second time I went just as the OUE opened at 10am.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and all you could see off in the distance was blue skies.  Both options are amazing.  You can choose if city lights or blue skies are your jam.  Regardless, either will be filled with views for miles.

The Skyslide is not for the faint of heart.  I, personally, didn’t find the slide to be that intimidating though.  I guess it’s because I’ve slowly earned the nickname of daredevil by my friends or maybe because its a pretty short ride.  I’d say only a few seconds or more.  You start on the 70th floor and slide one floor down to the 69th floor.  You have to sit on a mat which really made the experience that less scary for me since it blocks some of the view.  For my mom on the other hand, she screamed the whole way down.  So, if you are scared of heights, you’ll have to put on your best brave face for this one.  Trust me, I think it’s definitely worth one try.  At least you can say you did it!

I think it’s worth mentioning that you should be a little careful on your way down.  My mom got a bit of a raspberry on her elbow as she still had momentum when she slid onto the mat at the bottom creating some friction.  Don’t worry, she’s fine!  I think a battle wound makes a good story.  She conquered her fear so that definitely should be remembered.  Her brave slide pictured below!

When you first get through security and are shuffled to the elevators, it really feels like you’re waiting in line for a ride at Disneyland.  I think it makes it a more exciting experience and really sets the tone.  After your first elevator ride, you’ll exit on the 54th floor for some pretty awesome interactive exhibits.  They’re unique experiences using technology that are much better experienced than me attempting to describe them.

Yes, the ticket price is a little high in my opinion, but most likely if you search in google, you can find a discounted rate.  Technically, your ticket doesn’t have a time frame, so you could spend the day here if you’d like.  Your entrance is timed, but not the time spent here.  They’ve added some great lounges throughout the 2 floors.

Time to plan your trip to OUE!

Yours Truly // Shannon

LA's Most Scenic Instagrammable Spots

TravelShannon GuerreroComment

There are a lot of recommendations for the best places to take pictures around Los Angeles.  You know, where can you get those pictures that are going to get you 100 likes (or more, go you!).  I’ve read them all and honestly I don’t really want to drive across the city just to jump in front of a wall to then drive back.  You should be getting something out of these spots.

I’ve put together a list of the Los Angeles’ five most scenic Instagrammable spots.  That’s right the most scenic and iconic views of LA. The ones that all of your friends will be begging you to tell them where you went to get your best ‘gram yet.  The spots that are the most recognizable scenic views that this city has to offer.

one.
HERMOSA PARK BENCH

There are a bunch of spots around the city where you can get a great view of Downtown Los Angeles.  I’d say most of the views, though, are always views of the skyline in the distance.  Not many are that close where you can really get a sense of the size of the buildings.  I’ve only recently seen this view of Downtown and I knew I needed to find where it was.  Head to Hermosa Park and take a stroll in the park to find this amazing backdrop.  If you’ve seen any pictures of people sitting with their backs toward the city, heads up they’ve since removed one of the benches.  Previously there were two benches back to back.  Regardless, I’d say its the best view of Downtown and definitely very Instagram worthy.

two.
OUE SKYSPACE

Opening up the OUE Skyspace and Skyslide added a new and different tourist attraction to LA that’s so different than others.  It brings in that adventure aspect.  You can get 360 degree views of LA from the 69th and 70th floors of the US Bank building.  The Skyslide, also, provides an perspective of the city since it is a glass slide attached to the side of the building.  Unless the infamous LA smog rolls in, you can get a pretty unobstructed picture of the city from here.  

Read more about OUE Skyspace + the Skyslide

three.
EL MATADOR BEACH

If you’ve never heard of El Matador Beach in Malibu, you’re welcome.  When you want to take any type of pictures at the beach, this is the place for you.  The giant boulders on the beach at the bottom of some gorgeous Malibu cliffs are picture perfect.  Come for golden hour just around sunset and you’ll get some gorgeous photos.  Be warned, parking can be tough here and there are a large amount of steps down to the sand.  You could head to El Matador for a beach day, but the sand isn’t very wide and there aren’t bathrooms at the bottom.  I’d stick to photos here but if you’re set on Malibu for your beach outing head over to Zuma!

Read more about El Matador Beach

four.
VENICE BEACH

Honestly, you can head to Venice Beach and find an Instagrammable spot around every corner.  There are too many to choose from to make this only one place in Venice.  The Palm Trees on the beach, the Venice Canals, the Venice Sign on Pacific and Winward or the boardwalk are all great picks.  Your pictures here will all scream scenic Los Angeles.

five.
SANTA MONICA LIFEGUARD STANDS

If the Santa Monica Lifeguard Stands don’t scream Los Angeles, I don’t know what does.  Baywatch, anyone?  All you need is a red one piece swimsuit and you’re all set.  Fun fact, it does say do not stand on lifeguard stand.  Not sure how much they actually enforce that.  Come early and you’ll get to experience Santa Monica beach without the crowds and get that picture for the ‘gram.

Check out the best Southern California beaches

 

Happy 'gramming friends.

Yours Truly // Shannon