Did your team make it to the 2013 Rose Bowl?
Here is a list of touristy things to do in Los Angeles and I threw in some local suggestions on good places to eat. Given that you will be coming to LA during the holidays, check the schedules because a lot of places are closed on Christmas and New Years. Most museums are closed on Mondays.
We have grouped things to do by location since LA is very spread out, its best to do one location/area at a time. We have also provided you with info for the Amusement Parks in LA and a few museums.
Beach Day: Santa Monica/Venice
Santa Monica Pier
– 3rd Street in Santa Monica is a great outdoor walking street with stores/restaurants
– Santa Monica Place is a newly opened mall in Santa Monica that has some nice restaurants on the rooftop
o La Sandia (Mexican Food) is great http://www.richardsandoval.com/lasandiasm/index.php
o Sonoma Wine Garden
– Great place to walk around
– Great tourist location. Lots of street performers, venders to buy souveniers from LA
– Sidewalk Café is a great place have lunch and people watch
Venice Canals – something to see and walk
Venice Shopping (Abbot Kinney)
– shopping, art galleries, good restaurants – good to just walk around
– Starline Tours
o Tour through LA and shows you celebrity homes
o In the courtyard of the Chinese Theatre is the office of STARLINE TOURS, Hollywood’s oldest coach tour company with tours to many areas of the city including tours of the stars homes.
o Tours range from approximately 2 hours to a full day
o Most tours depart at 9:00 am
– Hollywood & Highland center for shopping (can sometimes be overcrowded)
– Hollywood Walk of Fame
o Starts at Hollywood & Highland (reaching as far east as Vine Street behind you) – this is where you can see stars names in the sidewalk
– Graumann’s Chinese Theater (handprints in cement)
– Hollywood sign hike (I know you said no to hiking but for a first time visitor to LA – this is an awesome way to see LA and see the Hollywood Sign)
– Griffith Park Observatory
o FREE ADMISSION
o Place to star gaze; beautiful views of Los Angeles & Hollywood sign
o Observatory offers a planetarium, exhibits, public telescopes, cafe, bookstore, and the best views of the Los Angeles basin.
o Closed December 25; Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
o If its raining; another good option is to see a show at the Observatory – show tickets cost $7.00
Farmers Market/Beverly Hills/West Hollywood
– Original Farmers Market/The Grove
o Farmers market is an LA landmark and a great place to shop and eat
o Outdoor dining
o Check out the outdoor fountain that ‘performs’ periodically to the sounds of specially orchestrated music. Walk through the gift shops and food stalls of the Farmer’s market, next door
– Drive/walk down Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood (aka “The Strip”)
o The Strip is one of LA’s nightlife areas with restaurants, clubs, bars, traffic and lots of people-watching. Stop here for lunch at one of the many eateries or continue past Doheny Drive into Beverly Hills
– Walk around Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills
o Great place to have lunch is Il Tramezzino in Beverly Hills (order the chicken special) http://www.iltram.net/
o Check out Sprinkles Cupcakes – there is usually a wait and they just opened Sprinkles Ice Cream
Disneyland/Disney’s California Adventure
– Disneyland is more of a theme park – with fun rides – but can be enjoyed my any age. You may want to do a park hopper as California Adventure has some more thrilling rides as well
– Great for kids
– If you choose to go to Disneyland or California Adventure, check out adjacent “Downtown Disney” for restaurants, bars and shopping
– Universal is more of a studio tour with shows and only a couple rides (Universal Orlando has a lot of rides)
– If you choose to go to Universal Studios, definitely go to Universal City Walk in the evening for dinner
*I would suggest Universal Studios over the other amusement parks because it has a combination of rides & behind the scenes Hollywood fun. Most unique to LA (and florida)
Knotts Berry Farm
– Knotts Berry Farm is an older Western Theme Park with some thrill rides, western decorations and activities
– Least expensive of all the amusement parks but also much smaller
Six Flags Magic Mountain
– Roller coaster theme park, thrill rides
– If you are coming with children, make sure they are tall enough to ride.
LACMA – modern art museum (open Jan 1)
o Biggest (and best) Art museum in LA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
o located near Original Farmers Market area close to Wilshire & Fairfax
– Getty Center – beautiful gardens and art (closed on Jan 1)
o Beautiful architecture & outside gardens
o Art collection is mediocre but some interesting pieces. Check calendar for special exhibits
– Huntington Library – If you are staying in Pasadena, this is a must see place since it is close by.
o Entry tickets on weekends are $20 which is a bit pricey for a museum
o The grounds though are amazing
Dont forget there is always the Rose Parade.