Los Angeles, like any city, can be a bit overwhelming for a first-timer. As I recently made my first visit to L.A., I’ve taken the time to write down what to hit, miss, and save for later. I hope you enjoy my favorites!
You may recognize Griffith Observatory from its recent appearance in the hit movie, La La Land. This observatory has everything to make it the perfect tourist attraction: it’s free, it’s beautiful, and it offers a stunning view of both Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. For me, this was the perfect solution to getting a quick glimpse of the Hollywood sign during my busy 3-day trip. We parked a short walk away from the observatory and spent about 45-minutes exploring the grounds and snapping photos. Remember that this attraction is closed on Mondays, so be sure to visit another day!
LACMA, or the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, is another “typical” tourist attraction that you’ll want to fit into your trip. The most photographed part of the museum has to be Chris Burden’s Urban Light (pictured above). If you’re hoping to catch a particular exhibit, make sure that you buy your tickets ahead of time. Particularly popular events at this museum tend to sell out quickly. You can check the LACMA calendar here. General admission for an adult will cost you $15, and remember, this museum is closed on Wednesdays.
If you’re a bit of a museum nerd like myself, you’ll want to visit both LACMA and the Broad during your time in LA. The Broad museum, unlike LACMA, offers free admission, which you can reserve in advance here. For popular artwork that is on display, such as in the case of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room at the moment, you’ll have to reserve your time to enter after arriving at the museum. This cannot be done in advance.
Los Angeles is a haven for some of the most beautiful, vibrant murals. Nonetheless, they can often be hard to find if you don’t know where to look! Here are my five favorite pieces of street art in LA:
- The Polka Dot Wall by The Most Famous Artist, located at 608 Mateo St.
- The Paul Smith Pink Wall, located at 8221 Melrose Av. (This wall even has an Instagram account dedicated to photos taken at this location!)
- The Made in LA Wall, located at 8025 Melrose Ave.
- The Love Wall, by Curtis Kulig, and located at 8549 Higuera St.
- The Global Angel Wings Project Wall, by Colette Miller, located at 8401 West 3rd Street
THE LAST BOOKSTORE
The first time I saw a photo of this magical bookstore, I knew it would be one of my ultimate bucket list items to visit this place. The Last Bookstore is a used bookstore in downtown LA that has become quite a sensation due to its book-inspired décor. It’s the perfect place to spend a rainy day in Los Angeles, browsing the thousands of bookshelves. If this fun shop is on your bucket list as well, you can find it at 453 S Spring St.
Los Angeles has a vast array of delicious, quirky places to eat. However, in my short visit, the following had to be my favorites:
- Intelligentsia Coffee: For coffee and pastries.
- Home Restaurant: For brunch and patio dining.
- Tlayuda L.A. Mexican Restaurant: For an authentic taste of Mexico.
- Churro Borough: Because yes, churro ice cream sandwiches are a thing.
- Bar Covell: For a glass of wine with the ladies.
Looking for even more to do? Check out 100+ things to do in Los Angeles.