My Top 10 Touristy Places to See in L.A.

Living in L.A. for a little over 2 years now, I find myself being an occasional tour guide  when friends and families come over to visit. Over a year ago, I was on my way back from Frankfurt when a German family asked me a favor to jot down a 2 day itinerary for them while they set aside their L.A. guidebook and listened to a local (ahem). I guess this makes me a little qualified to write this. I still have a lot to discover about this city but I do wanna share my go to places when showing around first timers in L.A.

 

Rodeo Drive

 

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Now, I didn’t know this until I moved here but it is actually pronounced “roh-day-oh”. The famous expensive shopping street in Beverly Hills is where the hotel in the movie “Pretty Woman” can also be found.

 

Santa Monica Pier

A popular landmark with locals and tourists,
here is where the famous Route 66 (Chicago to L.A. route) ends.

 Inside the Pacific Park, I like to take visitors on a ride up the Pacific Wheel for panoramic views of the area. There are free concerts along the pier during the summer months.

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Santa Monica Beach

 

3rd Street Promenade

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Located right across Santa Monica Pier, this is a vibrant spot for shopping, dining or just having a drink and relax after a sun-filled day at the beach.

 

Point Dume State Beach and Preserve

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Nestled in the less crowded area of Malibu, I recommend this for those who don’t mind doing a little hike and want to end the day with a breathtaking sunset by the cliff.
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Beneath the sandy cliffside trail, seals can be found swimming and sunbathing on the rocks. I love afternoon walks when I’m here!

 

Griffith Observatory

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For scenic night views of L.A., I recommend coming here after the sun sets. Parking and admission to the observatory is free. There are also free public telescopes daily except on Mondays when the observatory is closed.

 

The J. Paul Getty Museum

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This is my favorite museum in L.A. not only for the collection it houses but also for its gardens and views overlooking the city.

Entrance is free but there is a parking fee that can also be used on the same day for parking at the Getty Villa which is located in Pacific Palisades.

 

Hollywood Sign

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A cultural and iconic landmark that anyone definitely wants to see when in LA. This can be viewed from many locations across Hollywood but I always drive to 3000 Canyon Lake Drive for great views.

 

Hollywood Walk of Fame

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The stars embedded on the sidewalks along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street attracts millions of visitors annually.
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Along Hollywood Boulevard, right in front of the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center, is where the red carpet rolls out during the Oscars. Right inside the mall is the Dolby Theater where the Oscars are held.
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Along this busy boulevard, one can also find The TCL Chinese Theatre where movie premieres are held.

 

L.A. Live

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Located in Downtown L.A., right next to this entertainment complex, one can find the L.A. Convention Center and the Staples Center.

 

LACMA – Urban Light

Being featured in several movies, this has become one of L.A.’s most photographed locations which stands at the entrance of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

 

 

That’s my top 10! Now before heading out, one thing people always ask me is, how bad is L.A. traffic?

My constant advice is:

  1. Always allot 30 mins-1 hour between each destination.
  2. Don’t drive during rush hour.
  3. Try to find out which way is against traffic and with traffic and schedule your itinerary to avoid the latter.
  4. Have a navigation app that gives you up-to-date traffic information and check it right before driving. I personally use Google Maps.
  5. If you’re heading to downtown L.A., be prepared for traffic especially on a weekday!

 

 

 

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