Los Angeles is not just a city; it’s a sprawling canvas of dreams, lights, and an intangible energy that calls to visitors from every corner of the globe. For the intrepid traveler or the local looking to unlock the city’s full potential, Los Angeles is a trove of one-of-a-kind experiences.

From the skies above the Hollywood Hills to the sandy shores of the Pacific, here are the once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

Don’t miss out hiking to the Hollywood Sign, exploring the Walk of Fame, experiencing Disneyland or Universal Studios, visiting the Getty Center for art, and taking a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.

View of Hollywood Boulevard at sunset. In 1958, the Walk of Fame was created on this street as a tribute to artists working in the entertainment industry.

1. Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Standing tall against the azure sky, the Hollywood Sign is an iconic symbol that beckons adventurers. The popular hike to the sign offers more than just a closer look at these colossal white letters. It’s a trek through history, a traverse of chaparral-draped ridges, and a 360-degree cinematic view over the sprawling metropolis.

Why it’s a Must-Do:

  • Journey through History: You follow the footsteps of ancient movie stars and city luminaries campaigning for the sign’s preservation.
  • Iconic Photo Ops: There’s no better place to capture the essence of LA than from the sign’s vantage point.

Don your hiking boots, pack some water, and embark on this journey through Tinseltown’s backyard. This is the first, once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

2. Visit the Getty Center

Perched on a hilltop like a modern-day Acropolis, the Getty Center is both a shrine to art and an architectural marvel. This cultural mecca houses priceless works from the likes of Van Gogh and Rembrandt within walls of travertine and glass, all while overlooking the city and the sea with a grace that is nothing short of breathtaking.

What You’ll Discover:

  • Masterpieces Throughout the Ages: From ancient Greek sculptures to 20th-century photographs, the Getty’s collections span art history.
  • A Sanctuary of Nature and Design: The Richard Meier-designed campus is as much a work of art as the treasures it holds, with its interplay of natural light and space.

Every trip to Los Angeles is complete with spending a day wandering the halls and gardens of the Getty Center. This is the second, once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

The amazing gardens of the The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California

3. Take a Studio Tour; once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles

Step into the heart of the entertainment industry with a guided tour of a working studio. Warner Bros, Universal, and Paramount offer visitors a VIP pass to the inner sanctums of showbiz, letting them walk where stars have walked, see how movies are made, and delve into the rich history of Hollywood.

What to Look Forward to:

  • Up Close with Sets and Props: Catch a glimpse of real sets from popular shows and movies, often left intact for future productions.
  • Insider Trivia: Learn fun facts about your favorite shows and how different visual effects and stunts are performed.

From “The Big Bang Theory” to “Jaws,” each studio has a unique tale to tell—make sure to book in advance. This is the third, once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

Pedestrians cross traffic on Hollywood Boulevard at dusk. The road serves as a theater district and major tourist attraction.

4. Explore Griffith Observatory

A Los Angeles landmark, the Griffith Observatory is much more than a place of planetary fascination — it’s a portal to the universe above. Marvel at the nightly theater of stars through the facility’s innovative telescopes, and during the day, immerse yourself in exhibits that explain the cosmos in engaging, accessible terms.

What to Expect:

  • Public Telescope Viewing: Witness the moon’s craters, Saturn’s rings, and other celestial marvels up close.
  • Educational Exhibits: Interactive displays make the mysteries of space and science approachable for all ages.

For stargazers and science buffs, a visit here is celestial! This is the fourth, once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

Griffith Park Observatory Los Angeles California

5. Stroll Along the Walk of Fame

Pay homage to the titans of the silver screen with a leisurely walk down Hollywood Boulevard. The Walk of Fame is an enduring tribute to the entertainers who’ve made the world laugh, cry, and dream. With over 2,600 terrazzo and brass stars, it’s a constellation of talent underfoot.

Noteworthy Encounters:

  • Celeb Sightings: Local impersonators and, on occasion, the stars offer photo opportunities and a bit of LA’s spectacle.
  • Enduring Stars: Find the marks of legends like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Charlie Chaplin, among many others.

Your stroll here is not just a walk; it’s a journey through the annals of entertainment history. Its fifth, once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

6. Indulge in the Cuisine of Grand Central Market

Feeding the heart and soul of Downtown LA for over a century, Grand Central Market is a sensory overload of cultural cuisine. The sights, sounds, and smells within this historic building are a tapestry of the city’s diversity. From iconic delis to innovative food startups, this communal marketplace has something for every palate.

Why It’s Unmissable:

  • Flavor Explosion: Enjoy dishes from over 40 vendors, serving every imaginable cuisine.
  • Historical Significance: As the city’s premier public market, it’s a microcosm of the area’s vibrant and storied past.

You’ll find it here whether you’re craving tacos, a falafel, or something more exotic. This is sixth, once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

Tourists in Grand Central Market in Los Angeles. Major tourists attraction in downtown L.A. on Broadway St. Old traditional style market with many food vendors inside. Opened in 1917.

7. Ride the Ferris Wheel on Santa Monica Pier

The seventh, once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles, for a quintessential LA experience, take a whirl on the Pacific Park Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier—this 130-foot-tall symbol of seaside fun treats you to jaw-dropping coastline views and a thrilling sense of nostalgia.

Sights to Behold:

  • Panoramic Views: Gaze out over the crashing waves of the Pacific and the city beyond, and maybe even catch a sunset.
  • Carnival Atmosphere: The pier’s hustle and bustle below you perfectly contrast the serenity above.

It’s a perfect cap for a beach day or a romantic nighttime interlude.

8. Visit the Griffith Park Observatory

The other side of the Griffith Park Observatory offers a different kind of escapade. This urban oasis is one of the world’s largest municipal parks and right in Los Angeles’s backyard. Its trails, golf courses, and the pristine wilderness offer a chance to immerse in nature.

Park Highlights:

  • The Hollywood Hills: Hike or take in the panoramic views of the city and the iconic Hollywood Sign.
  • The Los Angeles Zoo: Home to over 1,400 animals, including several endangered species.

Indulge in bucolic bliss and check out the park’s many offerings.

View from the Griffith park, Los Angeles, California.

9. Take a Beach Day in Venice Beach

With its carnival of characters, Venice Beach is one of Los Angeles’s most colorful and quirky landmarks. People-watching here is an activity as you stroll past muscle beach weightlifters, jugglers, fortune tellers, and local artists.

Beach-Day Extras:

  • Fitness and Fun: Try your hand at beach volleyball, rent a bike along the strand, or even take a surfing lesson.
  • Art and Street Performances: The world-famous boardwalk is an open-air gallery and stage, reflecting the city’s bohemian spirit.

Let the day drift by as you soak up the sun and the distinctive Venice vibe.

For more watch this video;

More from us, read here;

How Many Days In Hanoi?

10. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise in Marina del Rey

It’s often said that the best way to see Los Angeles is from a distance, and the waters off Marina del Rey make for one of the most stunning viewpoints. As the sun dips below the horizon, the city’s skyline turns to silhouette, and the world feels as though it’s paused just for this daily spectacle.

Cruising Highlights:

  • Luxury Afloat: There’s a vessel for every taste, from intimate sailboats to opulent yachts.
  • Unwind and Enjoy: Whether you charter a private cruise or take a public excursion, this is LA luxury at its laid-back best.

A sunset cruise is a memorable way to conclude your visit to the City of Angels. These were the once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

Marina del Rey in Venice, seaside neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles, USA.

Conclusion

Los Angeles is a city of superlatives and celebratory experiences, brimming with the iconic and the original. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, these ten once-in-a-lifetime activities will deepen your appreciation for Los Angeles sheer variety and vitality.

Don’t miss out on these—each is a brushstroke in a larger-than-life portrait of one of the world’s most fascinating cities.

Frequently Asked Questions;

How can I spend my perfect day in LA?

Certainly! Here’s a structured itinerary for a perfect day in LA, organized by time:
8:00 AM – Breakfast and Beach Stroll
Enjoy breakfast at a local café.
Take a stroll along Venice Beach Boardwalk or Santa Monica Pier.
10:00 AM – Museum Visit
Visit a museum such as the Getty Center or LACMA.
12:30 PM – Lunch
Sample local cuisine at a recommended spot.
2:00 PM – Landmark Exploration
Explore iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame or Griffith Park.
5:00 PM – Sunset Viewing
Head to Griffith Observatory for sunset views.
7:00 PM – Dinner
Enjoy dinner at a trendy restaurant or beachside café.
9:00 PM onwards – Nightlife or Relaxation
Experience LA’s nightlife in Hollywood or Downtown.
Alternatively, relax with a beachside stroll or peaceful evening.
This structured plan allows for a diverse range of experiences while making the most of your day in Los Angeles. Adjustments can be made based on personal preferences and the operating hours of specific attractions or restaurants.

What to do in Los Angeles for adults?

Los Angeles offers a wide range of activities for adults. From exploring world-class museums like the Getty Center to indulging in diverse culinary experiences, there’s something for every taste. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike in Griffith Park or relax on the beaches of Malibu. The city’s vibrant nightlife scene in areas like Hollywood and Downtown offers entertainment and excitement. Film buffs can take studio tours or visit iconic filming locations. And for those seeking relaxation, spa days and yoga studios abound. LA truly has something to offer every adult visitor.

What is worth seeing in Los Angeles?

In Los Angeles, some must-see attractions include:
1. The iconic Hollywood Sign and Walk of Fame.
2. The Getty Center for art enthusiasts.
3. The beautiful Griffith Observatory for stunning city views.
4. The vibrant Venice Beach Boardwalk.
5. The historic and cultural Olvera Street in Downtown LA.
6. The lively Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade.
7. The impressive Universal Studios Hollywood for movie buffs.
8. The scenic and upscale Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
8. The eclectic and artsy neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Echo Park.
10. The diverse cuisine and bustling atmosphere of Grand Central Market.
These attractions offer a taste of the rich culture, history, and entertainment that Los Angeles has to offer.

What is the most famous thing about LA?

The most famous thing about Los Angeles is likely its association with the entertainment industry, particularly Hollywood. LA is renowned as the entertainment capital of the world, home to Hollywood studios, celebrities, and iconic landmarks such as the Hollywood Sign and Walk of Fame. The city’s influence on global pop culture through movies, television, music, and fashion has cemented its status as a symbol of glamour, creativity, and fame.

Similar Posts