Let’s talk about Los Angeles attractions, or more precisely things to do in LA that are going to help you create a fun and memorable trip to this part of California. LA covers a lot of ground, ranging from the dry terrain of the beautiful Santa Monica mountains to the dramatic coastline of the pacific ocean. There’s lots of things to see and do, and this list of places to visit in Los Angeles will help you get right under the skin of the the fun and vibrant culture LA is famous for.
The observatory houses a fantastic planetarium as well as exhibits to explore. The planetarium is world famous, with a 290 seat theater offering presentation with a live narrator who will talk you through everything you are seeing during the show featuring their Zeiss star projector (one thing to note is that children under 5 are only allowed to view the first show of the day, and children with a fear of the dark might not enjoy these presentations since they’re conducted in almost complete darkness). There are numerous exhibits to look at including the history of the human observation of the sky and amazing pictures of the stars and the planets.
The view from the Observatory is arguably one of the best in all of Los Angeles, with a sweeping panorama over Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign, and on a clear day, the Pacific Ocean. While the views are nice during the day, they really come alive at night as the lights of the city turn on. We visited just before sunset and I think this is the perfect time to visit; not only do you get to experience the views in both the daylight and in the dark, but you get to see the sun set from a beautiful location.
But don’t underestimate this climb! It’s over 20 kilometres long and the infamously nasty last 8 kilometres take you up gradients that average over 8%. The last push up to the ski lifts takes you on gradients averaging 13% over 400 metres. It’s a leg burner, to be sure, but when you get to the top you’ll feel a massive sense of achievement!
A final tip – rather than heading back down Mt Baldy road, try the descent down Glendora Ridge Road. The road winds across the top of a ridge and offers never-ending views across wide canyons, forested mountain peaks, rugged river valleys and LA. It’s an unforgettable ride!
A great location to visit and stay in LA is Hermosa Beach. It is located close to LAX but you’ll be pleased to here it does not have much aircraft noise. It is a great beach area, largely undiscovered by tourists so you can experience the true LA beach vibe.
The beach area is lovely, with great options to swim and surf during the season and you can also rent a bicycle to ride along the wonderful beachside pathways – or just walk! I also loved how there were so many great bars and restaurants around the area, so you can experience a great range of different cuisines. Hermosa beach is a great place to relax and watch the world go by while soaking up the best of LA beach vibes.
For architectural delights, be sure to check out Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, the building is open to the public with self guided tours available during specified hours of the day. The Bradbury Building which has been featured in movies such as Bladerunner and 500 Days of Summer is also in downtown Los Angeles. You can walk around in the lobby and up to the first landing however the rest of the building is not available for sightseeing.