Though Los Angeles remains an extremely popular tourist destination, it’s also gained the somewhat unwarranted reputation of being a bit too gimmicky or too commercial. While the Los Angeles landscape would not be complete without its share of glamour and glitz (it is the home of showbiz, after all!), the top Los Angeles tourist attractions merit a deeper look. Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the L.A. sprawl or a seasoned veteran of the City of Angels, make sure to check out these Los Angeles attractions, taking the opportunity to experience the culture, history, and innovation that make the metropolis so unique.
Venice Beach & Boardwalk
Venice Beach conjures iconic images of L.A.’s alternative beach bum scene, where skateboarders, body builders, and artists of various sorts hang out in a circus-like environment that couldn’t be recreated anywhere else. At first, this might sound a bit too much like a tourist trap, but rest assured that amid the cheap sunglasses and photo ops with costumed animals, the heart and soul of LA remains. Spend some time wandering among the booths, taking photos at the colorful skate park, and enjoying the street performers before relaxing on the sand. For an extra special experience, use a Los Angeles attractions pass to take advantage of a Santa Monica Bike Rental along the Ocean Front Walk which passes through Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Marina del Rey, and Manhattan Beach.
Looking to explore the REAL history of Hollywood? There’s no better place than the Hollywood Museum, a 4-story collection of everything associated with Tinseltown, from Marilyn Monroe’s dresses to the earliest Technicolor film set. Overflowing with the largest collection of Hollywood artifacts, this is the place to be if you’re a film fan.
Santa Monica is popular for its white sand beaches and the jagged cliffs that rise up from the coast. Due to paths that wind through the beach, it’s the perfect spot for runners, joggers, bikers, and walkers; and of course the 3-mile stretch provides ample space for sunbathers to soak in the rays. Santa Monica is also home to the iconic Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, which boats the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel and an array of carnival-style attractions. The Pier is also the locale of the kid-friendly Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, where over 100 species of marine animals (all of which can be found within the Santa Monica Bay) provide entertainment and encourage conservation.
The Getty Center
The stunningly beautiful and architecturally elaborate Getty Center encompasses an extensive collection of pre-20th century European art, from paintings and drawings to decorative arts and early photographs. The Getty Center’s grounds are just as relevant as the collection inside: In the gardens and terraces that make up the museum campus, you’ll see outdoor sculptures and even paintings,such as Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises in the Central Garden. Best of all, admission to The Getty Center is always free!
Looking for more unique and high quality attractions in Los Angeles? A Go Los Angeles Card® discount attractions pass features 37 top Los Angeles tourist attractions, including theme parks, studio tours, and museums. Check out the full list of L.A. attractions and tours: Los Angeles attractions. For one low price, you’ll experience the best of LA with one convenient pass!