As one of the most popular cities in southern California, Los Angeles is a wonderful place to travel to any time of year. Known as the center of the nation’s television and film industry, Los Angeles boasts an array of must-see attractions that the whole family can enjoy. From tourist attractions like the Walk of Fame, to more than 100 museums, there are many places worth penciling into your itinerary.
The Getty Museum
Also known as the J. Paul Getty Museum or the Getty Center, The Getty Museum is one of the most popular museums in Los Angeles, let alone in the world. As their website details, the mission of the museum is to inspire curiosity, enjoyment and understanding of the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting, and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance. At this one-of-a-kind museum, you can see works of art dating from the eighth century through the twenty-first century, showcased against breathtaking views of the city. Each day, the Getty Center offers an extended list of tours where you can find something fun for everyone, and the best part about it is, all tours are free. From European paintings to drawings and sculptures, you could spend weeks walking around this impressive museum.
The Best Beaches in Los Angeles
Los Angeles boasts 80-degree weather year-round, making it the perfect place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts and beach goers alike. With a one-of-a-kind coastline from Malibu to South Bay, some of the best beaches in the world can be found in L.A. for families, surfers, and beach bunnies.
El Matador State Beach
The El Matador State Beach is a small, yet beautiful beach that is dominated by rocky outcrops. Just six miles north of Malibu and 25 miles from Santa Monica, this beach is marked with a small brown sign that is easy to miss, so it’s important to keep your eyes open between Broad Beach and Decker Canyon roads so you don’t drive past it. Some believe that because of its semi-hidden location, El Matador State Beach tends to avoid hordes of tourists and visitors. Once you find the small parking lot, get ready to hike down a 150-foot bluff to the water.
If you’re a fan of wide open sand, mild waves, and food stands, you should take a day trip to Zuma Beach. Also known as the best beach in L.A. county, it consistently ranks among the healthiest beaches for clean water conditions. Protected by the lifeguard unit of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Zuma Beach hosts a variety of premier surfing events each year.
Leo Carrillo State Park
The Leo Carrillo State Park Beach stretches one and a half miles across the northern tip of Malibu, and is the perfect place to escape Los Angeles tourists and beach warriors. Whether you like to swim, surf, windsurf, or fish, this is the perfect destination for those who want to enjoy the sun. If you plan on visiting this beach with a group of friends or the entire family, you’ll be happy to know that there are on-site camp grounds, a picnic area, an RV lot, and token-operated showers where you can freshen up after a long day of suntanning. Also, this is one of the rare California beaches where dogs (that are leashed) are allowed, so make sure to bring Fido!
The Hollywood Walk of Fame
Another popular tourist attraction to visit in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Comprised of more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars, the Walk of Fame can be found along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard, and three blocks of Vine Street. The stars are meant to be permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry. On the Hollywood Walk of Fame you’ll see a mix of famous actors, musicians, directors, producers, musical groups, theatrical groups, fictional characters, and more.
If you love to shop, you’ll want to make sure you can spend an afternoon on Rodeo Drive. This two-mile street, which stretches from Beverly Hills to Los Angeles, hosts a collection of more than 100 world-renowned stores and hotels. Also known as the epicenter of luxury fashion, you’ll be able to visit stores like Rolex, Louis Vuitton, GUESS, and more.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the western United States. Attracting roughly a million visitors a year, this museum holds more than 150,000 works of art, spanning from ancient times to the present. Since its inception in 1965, LACMA has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography, mirroring L.A.’s rich cultural heritage. Their mission is “To serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition, and interpretation of significant works of art from a broad range of cultures and historical periods, and through the translation of these collections into meaningful educational, aesthetic, intellectual, and cultural experiences for the widest array of audiences.”
As a national leader in public astronomy, the Griffith Observatory is one of southern California’s most popular attractions. Situated on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the observatory sits 1,134-feet above sea level and boasts the best vantage point for observing the world-famous Hollywood sign. Admission to the observatory is always free, making it the perfect place to take the whole family. Whether you plan on visiting the Samuel Oschin Planetarium or if you’re interested in looking through one of the observatory’s high-quality public telescopes, there’s always something new to explore.
Of course, no trip to California would be complete without stopping at Disneyland. If you’ve never been to this popular vacation spot, you may think of Disneyland as just another theme park – but it is much more than that! When you visit this southern California destination, you’ll enter a magical kingdom where you and your family can sail with pirates, meet fairy-tale princesses, and explore exotic jungles. There are a variety of fun rides for kids to enjoy, and the best part is they are all themed to some of Disney’s best animations and movies. Whether you take your son on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster ride or you bring your daughter to the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, there’s no shortage of activities here.
Founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, The Broad is a contemporary art museum situated on Grande Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum offers free general admission and a variety of temporary rotating exhibitions from which to explore. As home to more than 2,000 works of art, the 120,000 square-foot building has two floors of gallery space. If you feel so inclined, you can even take home limited edition prints, books, gifts, and jewelry from The Shop at The Broad.
Love music? Make sure to take a trip to the LA Phil in Los Angeles. Each year, the LA Phil, also known as one of the world’s preeminent orchestras, presents over 250 concerts at its two unique venues: the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra brings the incredible conducting talents of Gustavo Dudamel together with some of the most skilled musicians around the world. According to their website, LA Phil has been enriched by the remarkable talent and artist vision of conductors like Artur Rodzinski, Otto Klemperer, Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini and Andre Previn.
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre is the perfect place to go to see improvisational theatre in Los Angeles. With two locations, one in the neighborhoods of Chelsea and the East village, and one in the neighborhoods of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, you may see some familiar faces when you attend a comedy show (like Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts). From stand-up to improv and off-kilter comedy, it’s important to note that most of their shows sell out weeks in advance, so you may want to plan far ahead..
As you can see, there are many wonderful attractions worth visiting in Los Angeles. If you plan on flying out of the Denver International Airport for an upcoming trip to L.A., be sure to park your car with ParkDIA. We offer convenient and affordable parking spaces near DIA, and when you download our mobile app on your iOS or Android phone, you can easily reserve your parking space ahead of time.