top things to do in LA…

hollywood sign usaWhile you’re hanging out waiting for your Intrepid USA road trip to kick off, here’s some great tips on how to spend your time in the City of Angels from Intrepid’s own Carly Wallis…

“Los Angeles is full of excesses so I had a fabulous time indulging. Whilst not famous for being the prettiest of cities, LA is generally a starting point for journeys in the west and it is well worth a few days if you can handle the pace. Here are my top tips for a great time in Los Angeles:

1. Any trip has to include Hollywood, see a film at the Chinese Mann Theatre – you might even be lucky enough to be there for a premiere, and definitely find your favourite movie star’s footprints in the sidewalk. A few hours should be enough to dedicate to this area of LA.

2. Spend the day at a theme park. Of course Disneyland is famous for the tea cup and saucer ride and Mickey Mouse ears, but if you want a little more action, I recommend Six Flags Magic Mountain Rollercoaster Park with the world’s tallest and fastest ride. White knuckle stuff. A full day is needed to make the trip to Anaheim and then experience the rides – including time to recover after each ride. I caught a local bus all the way there for a couple of dollars.

3. Make the trip out to the NBC Studios in Burbank – there are local buses from Hollywood. In fact if you spend any time in Hollywood, you might even be conscripted in the street to be in a studio audience – just look for people carrying clipboards. I saw the Jay Leno Show and That 70’s Show being filmed. It is free and a great night’s entertainment without sitting in front of the TV – well not technically anyway.

4. Visit a shopping mall. I know it sounds a little strange because you can do that at home, but going to the mall is a part of suburban life in America and you can really make a day of it. I recommend Del Amo Fashion Center – it is huge, has hundreds of shops and is a real experience for anyone not used to large scale retail. Be prepared for a lot of walking, a lot of eating and a lot of shopping.

5. Spend a day at Venice Beach. I recommend hiring a bike or some roller blades and doing laps up and down the beach to people-watch. You know all those pictures of muscular men working out on the beach? Well it happens here. There are funky shops and great places to eat here. The graffiti is picture worthy. If you are lucky you will be there for a heated beachside basketball game, a dance or beauty competition.

6. Glam up and go to a night spot- the niteclubs in LA can be glamorous and expensive but well worth it for the experience. Do your research though so you find the ‘hot’ place in town. Or head to Jazz Bar, there are some famous venues in LA.

7. See if you can get tickets to a Lakers game at the Staples Centre. Tickets are expensive but the experience of the thunderous applause and cheers, the calibre of the cheerleaders – and of course the players, is really like nothing you have seen before (if you are not from America).

So there are my top tips for a great time in LA – you’d need to add a few days to your itinerary to take it all in but it’s worth it to make sure you add these iconic places to your USA experience!”

Tour America with Intrepid on trips like this great small group adventure:
Californian Dreamin’ – 14 days ex Los Angeles
Western Sun Northbound – 7 days Los Angeles to San Francisco

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

Similar Posts


Sorry to say guys, but I think you totally missed what’s amazing about LA. I live in LA and love it. here’s what I think you should do here:

Hike Runyan Canyon. it’s right in the heart of Hollywood, but somehow out in nature too. up and down is less than an hour.

Shop. LA has some of the best small shops in the world. check out Third Street, Beverly, La Brea, Sunset Blvd in Silverlake.

Eat tacos from a taco truck. check out the foodie blogs for recommendations.

Get a day pass at a local gym. pick a gym, any gym and check out the beautiful LA bodies.

Eat healthy. LA is full of upscale, delicious modern health food restaurants. try m cafe de chaya, real food daily, or akasha.

Take a walk on the beach in Malibu. by law, all beaches must have public access, so park your car in Malibu Colony and head south for a view of the ocean on one side, some of LA’s most glamorous houses on the other.

Take in some modern architecture. LA is full of amazing mid-century buildings.

Eat some ice cream. scoops in East Hollywood. mashti malones persian ice cream in Hollywood. and of course, pinkberry frozen yogurt.

Visit the Hollywood or Santa Monica farmer’s market.

Leave a reply