Top 16 Once In A Lifetime Things To Do In Los Angeles

Los Angeles, a city brimming with allure, has a captivating history contributing to its status as a world-renowned tourist destination.

Founded in 1781, LA’s journey from a humble Spanish settlement to a sprawling metropolis is fascinating. It evolved through the Mexican era and the Gold Rush days, eventually becoming the film industry’s epicenter during Hollywood’s golden age, solidifying its global reputation.

LA’s appeal lies in its diverse attractions. From the iconic Hollywood Sign and Walk of Fame to the bustling Venice Beach and cultural hub of Downtown. The allure of movie stars, glamorous lifestyle, and year-round pleasant weather further adds to its charm.

There are infinite once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles. LA is home to the world’s first-ever McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino, which opened in 1940.

The Watts Towers, a remarkable artistic endeavor, consisting of 17 interconnected structures adorned with tiles, seashells, and broken pottery. Moreover, the city hosted the Summer Olympics twice, in 1932 and 1984.

Los Angeles enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Throughout the year, temperatures range from 10°C (50°F) in winter to 30°C (86°F) in summer. The best months to visit are May and October, offering pleasant weather and fewer crowds to explore the city’s attractions.

Moreover, LA’s magnetic aura continues to captivate millions, making it a must-visit destination for history, culture, and entertainment enthusiasts.

1) Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, established in 1958, is an iconic landmark in Los Angeles, California.

It features over 2,690 brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Each star significantly contributes to the entertainment industry, honoring actors, musicians, directors, and celebrities.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
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It has become a symbol of fame and recognition, attracting millions of tourists worldwide who visit to see their favorite stars’ names immortalized on the Walk of Fame.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame offers various once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles for visitors to enjoy. Along the 1.3-mile stretch, tourists can find numerous souvenir shops, cafes, and restaurants to savor local delights. 

Fun activities include taking pictures with famous stars’ plaques, exploring the nearby TCL Chinese Theatre, or attending live performances at the Dolby Theatre. 

Tourists can also join guided tours to learn intriguing stories about the stars’ inductions. The walk offers a vibrant atmosphere with street performers showcasing their talents.

It’s a must-visit destination for movie enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone looking to experience the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.


Hollywood Boulevard, Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States

2) Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory was opened in 1935 and named after Griffith J. Griffith, a Welsh-American philanthropist. The observatory has been featured in various movies and TV shows, becoming an iconic landmark.

It offers stunning city views and hosts engaging astronomy exhibits, making it a popular educational destination.

Griffith Observatory
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Its planetarium and telescopes have been crucial in astronomical research and public outreach, making it a beloved and historically significant site for science enthusiasts and tourists.

At the Griffith Observatory, you’ll find an array of once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles that cater to curious minds and leisure seekers. Explore the state-of-the-art planetarium, offering captivating shows that transport you through the cosmos.

Gaze at celestial wonders through powerful telescopes during public observing sessions led by knowledgeable astronomers.

Take a leisurely hike to the iconic Hollywood Sign, or simply soak in the breathtaking views of Los Angeles from the observatory’s terraces. Inside, interactive exhibits delve into astronomy, space exploration, and cosmic wonders.

Whether you’re a science enthusiast, stargazer, or nature lover, the Griffith Observatory promises an unforgettable experience for all.


2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

3) Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier has a history dating back to its construction in 1909. Originally built as a municipal pier for sewerage pipes, it soon became an amusement park destination featuring rides and attractions.

In the 1920s, it became a hot spot for jazz performances. Over the years, the pier has survived storms, fires, and structural changes. 

Santa Monica Pier
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Today, it remains a cherished landmark, offering visitors stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and continuing to entertain with its nostalgic charm and modern entertainment options.

Santa Monica Pier offers many once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles to ensure a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. From pristine beaches perfect for sunbathing and swimming to exciting amusement park rides like the iconic Pacific Wheel, there’s no shortage of fun activities here.

The pier boasts a variety of delicious dining options for food enthusiasts, from seafood restaurants to delightful street vendors. Visitors can also enjoy shopping for souvenirs or catching live performances at the pier’s entertainment venues.

With its rich history, stunning views, and vibrant atmosphere, Santa Monica Pier promises a day of joy and wonder, leaving you with cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

4) Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood, established in 1915, is a renowned film studio and theme park in Los Angeles, California.

It’s one of the oldest and most famous studios, offering tours since 1964, where visitors explore iconic movie sets and experience thrilling attractions.

Universal Studios Hollywood
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Known for its cinematic history, Universal Studios Hollywood has pioneered creating movie magic and providing guests with an immersive entertainment experience. 

Over the years, it has evolved into a beloved destination, combining film production with theme park thrills, delighting millions of visitors worldwide.

Here you can find many options and once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles. Satisfy your taste buds or shop from themed merchandise offering souvenirs; the park ensures all the fun.

Visitors can immerse themselves in exhilarating rides based on iconic films, such as the thrilling Jurassic World – The Ride and the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter. 

The Studio Tour takes guests behind the scenes of movie-making magic, providing an unforgettable glimpse into Hollywood’s history. 

With live shows, character meet-and-greets, and stunning attractions, Universal Studios Hollywood has endless entertainment for all ages, leaving guests with cherished memories to treasure for a lifetime.


100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, United States

5) The Getty Center

The Getty Center is a well-known art museum and research institution. It was founded by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty and opened in 1997. 

The stunning architecture designed by Richard Meier features travertine and glass structures set on a hilltop with breathtaking views.

The Getty Center
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The museum houses an extensive collection of Western art from prehistoric to modern times. Its unique tram system transports visitors to the site. The Getty Center is an artistic treasure and an architectural marvel, attracting millions of visitors annually.

At the Getty Center, visitors can indulge in many once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles. The iconic museum boasts state-of-the-art galleries showcasing awe-inspiring artworks, sculptures, and photographs.

Its immaculate gardens offer a serene escape with picturesque landscapes. Visitors can enjoy delicious dining options with breathtaking views of Los Angeles. 

Educational programs, lectures, and workshops enhance the cultural experience. Additionally, the Getty Center provides engaging family activities, ensuring fun for all ages. 

The tram ride to the hilltop adds an element of adventure and anticipation. Delightful surprises await at every corner, making the Getty Center an unforgettable destination that captivates hearts and minds, leaving visitors with cherished memories of art, beauty, and inspiration.


1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049, United States

6) Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a gem conquered in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney. Its unique charm emerged through the construction of canals and a circus-like atmosphere.

In the 1950s and ’60s, the area became a hub for the Beat Generation and counterculture movements.

Venice Beach
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Renowned for its vibrant boardwalk and street performers, Venice Beach continues attracting artists, skaters, and visitors worldwide. Today, it is an iconic symbol of free-spirited creativity, blending history and modernity in an enticing coastal setting.

Along its lively boardwalk, you’ll find quirky shops, street art, and delectable food stalls providing exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

Sun-soaked sandy shores beckon beach lovers for relaxation and water sports. Skateboarders showcase their skills at the renowned skate park, while basketball courts invite friendly pick-up games.

The Venice Canals, a throwback to the area’s history, offer serene walks amidst picturesque bridges and homes. Engaging street performances and live music add a vibrant touch. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, adventure seeker, or beach bum, you should visit Venice Beach for an entertaining day out. 


1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049, United States

7) Disneyland Resort

Opened on July 17, 1955, Disneyland Resort is Walt Disney’s first theme park. Its creation inspired modern theme parks worldwide.

With iconic attractions like Sleeping Beauty Castle and Matterhorn Bobsleds, it offers an enchanting experience for visitors of all ages. 

Disneyland Resort
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Expanding in 2001 with Disney California Adventure Park, it added more excitement. Home to famous characters, parades, and shows, Disneyland Resort, continues to captivate generations, becoming a symbol of imagination and joy.

Disneyland Resort has many once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles, ensuring a magical experience for every guest. Every need is catered to here, from cozy hotels and delightful restaurants to convenient shops. 

The resort boasts thrilling rides like Space Mountain and Splash Mountain, bringing laughter and screams to the air. The enchanting parades and dazzling fireworks light up the night sky, creating unforgettable memories. 

Don’t forget to meet beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and Cinderella, adding charm to your visit. Explore themed lands like Adventureland and Tomorrowland, each with unique wonders to discover. 

With cherished moments, Disneyland Resort remains a timeless destination where dreams come true, and happiness knows no bounds.


Anaheim, CA 92802, United States

8) Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive, a world-renowned shopping district of LA, boasts a rich history dating back to the early 1900s. Originally a residential area, it became a luxury shopping destination in the 1970s. 

Designer boutiques, upscale shops, and glamorous fashion houses now line its palm tree-lined streets. 

Rodeo Drive
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Rodeo Drive has been immortalized in popular culture, appearing in movies, TV shows, and fashion magazines. Its timeless allure continues to attract celebrities, fashion enthusiasts, and tourists seeking the epitome of luxury and style.

Rodeo Drive has many fun activities and once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles for visitors. High-end boutiques showcase the latest fashion trends, while upscale restaurants serve delectable cuisine. 

Stroll along the palm-fringed streets, bask in the glamor, and spot A-list celebrities. Pamper yourself at luxurious spas, or enjoy art galleries and museums. 

Don’t miss the iconic Beverly Wilshire Hotel, famous for its Hollywood connections. Immerse yourself in the chic ambiance and indulge in retail therapy. 

As the sun sets, the vibrant nightlife comes alive with trendy bars and entertainment venues. Rodeo Drive promises an enchanting escape, leaving you with unforgettable memories of luxury and allure.


Rodeo Dr, California, United States 

9) Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), established in 1965, holds a diverse collection of over 140,000 artworks from ancient times to the present. 

As the largest art museum in the Western United States, LACMA houses exceptional pieces from various cultures and eras, including Asian, European, Latin American, and American art. 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
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With innovative exhibitions, dynamic programs, and a commitment to community engagement, LACMA continues to be a beacon of artistic inspiration and cultural enrichment for visitors worldwide.

The sleek galleries provide a serene atmosphere to explore the diverse exhibits. You can take advantage of guided tours led by knowledgeable docents, enhancing your understanding of the artworks. 

The museum’s beautiful outdoor spaces offer perfect spots for relaxation and picnics amidst stunning sculptures and gardens. 

LACMA’s gift shop also allows you to take home unique souvenirs and art-inspired merchandise. Providing an enchanting combination of art, culture, and entertainment, LACMA has unforgettable experiences that will leave you inspired and enriched. Come and immerse yourself in creativity and beauty!


5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States

10) Griffith Park

Griffith Park has been famous since 1896 when Colonel Griffith J. Griffith donated it to the city. Spanning over 4,000 acres, it offers various attractions, including the iconic Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo, and numerous hiking trails. 

Its fame as a tourist destination stems from its scenic beauty, cultural landmarks, and recreational opportunities, drawing visitors worldwide. 

Griffith Park
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Griffith Park’s historic roots, combined with its natural and man-made attractions, create a captivating experience that resonates with locals and tourists.

Griffith Park a captivating haven having many once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles. Nature enthusiasts can revel in sprawling green spaces, diverse wildlife, and serene hiking trails like the famous Griffith Observatory hike. 

For cultural enthusiasts, the iconic Griffith Observatory offers stunning celestial views and educational exhibits. Families can delight in the Los Angeles Zoo, where fascinating animal encounters await. 

Additionally, visitors can enjoy picnics, golfing, horseback riding, and breathtaking sunsets at the park’s scenic vantage points. 

Moreover, with its historic landmarks, recreational opportunities, and mesmerizing landscapes, Griffith Park is a cherished retreat that leaves travelers enchanted and eager for more.


4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

11) The Hollywood Sign

The iconic Hollywood Sign was originally erected in 1923 as “Hollywoodland” to promote real estate development; it soon became a symbol of the entertainment industry. 

In the late 1940s, the last four letters were removed, leaving the iconic “Hollywood” we know today. Over the years, it underwent restoration efforts, survived threats of demolition, and remained a global landmark, representing the glamor and allure of Hollywood’s film industry.

Image Via Pinterest

The Hollywood Sign area provides visitors with an unforgettable experience and many once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles. Adventurers can explore nearby hiking trails, like the Griffith Observatory hike, offering stunning views of the sign and city. 

History buffs can visit the Hollywood Heritage Museum, celebrating Hollywood’s past. The Hollywood Bowl hosts world-class concerts in a scenic outdoor setting.

Families enjoy the Hollywood Walk of Fame, spotting their favorite stars’ names. Food lovers can indulge in gourmet eateries, relishing diverse cuisines. 

For a thrilling ride, Universal Studios Hollywood offers theme park excitement. Whatever your passion, the Hollywood Sign neighborhood has something extraordinary for every traveler.


Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States

12) La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum in Los Angeles, California, boast a mesmerizing history. Over 40,000 years ago, asphalt seeped to the surface, trapping prehistoric animals and creating a fossil treasure trove. 

It was discovered in the 20th century; excavations unveiled dire wolves, saber-toothed cats, and mammoths. The museum showcases these fossil wonders, offering a fascinating glimpse into the ancient world. 

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
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A unique blend of science and art, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum remain an awe-inspiring destination for history enthusiasts and curious minds.

At the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, adventure awaits with a myriad of once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles. Explore the museum’s state-of-the-art exhibits, unveiling prehistoric mysteries through engaging displays and interactive installations. 

Stroll through lush gardens, a serene oasis amidst the bustling city. Enjoy family-friendly activities like fossil digging and workshops, sparking curiosity in young minds. 

Experience fossil excavations up close, witnessing paleontologists at work. Delight in guided tours, unraveling the site’s captivating past or indulge in a diverse range of dining options, perfect for a tasty refuel.


5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States

13) The Broad

The Broad Los Angeles is a contemporary art museum that opened in 2015, showcasing the impressive collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. 

Located in Downtown LA, the striking architectural design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro draws visitors in. Its 2,000 works feature renowned artists like Warhol, Koons, and Hockney. 

The Broad
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The museum’s commitment to accessibility and free admission fosters cultural inclusivity. As a cultural landmark, The Broad contributes to LA’s vibrant art scene, inspiring creativity and enriching the city’s history. 

The Broad Los Angeles offers many once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles, making it a must-visit destination. 

You’ll find an expansive gallery space, comfortable seating areas, and a gift shop offering unique art-related items. 

As you explore, you’ll be captivated by the diverse art collection, including pop art, contemporary masterpieces, and thought-provoking installations. 

Additionally, the museum occasionally hosts special exhibitions and events, enriching the experience further. Outside, take in the striking architecture and enjoy the scenic views of Downtown LA. 

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a casual visitor, The Broad promises an enriching and enjoyable journey into contemporary art.


221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

14) Malibu Beaches

Malibu Beaches have a rich history dating back to Native American Chumash settlements. In the 1920s, the area began to develop into a popular beach destination, attracting Hollywood stars and elite residents. Malibu became a city in 1991, and its pristine beaches have since remained iconic for surfing, sunbathing, and relaxation. Throughout the years, conservation efforts have been essential to protect the natural beauty and wildlife, making Malibu Beaches a cherished and sought-after coastal paradise.

Malibu Beaches has many fulfilled once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles for an enchanting coastal experience. From well-equipped beachside resorts to cozy vacation rentals, there’s something for every traveler’s taste. 

Malibu Beaches
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You can indulge in water sports like surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking or simply bask in the sun on the golden sandy shores. Hiking enthusiasts will find scenic trails with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. 

For a cultural retreat, explore the Getty Villa showcasing ancient art and architecture. As the sun sets, relish delightful seafood at local eateries while marveling at the captivating coastal scenery – a perfect ending to a remarkable day.


Beach in Malibu, California United States 

15) Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, established in 1913, is a premier scientific and educational institution. 

Located in Exposition Park, it houses an extensive collection of specimens, artifacts, and exhibits spanning various disciplines such as paleontology, mineralogy, and anthropology. 

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
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With a mission to inspire curiosity and promote understanding of the natural world, the museum offers various educational programs and engaging experiences for visitors of all ages.

Its rich history and commitment to research and education have made it a beloved cultural landmark in Los Angeles.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County boasts a diverse array of once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles that cater to visitors’ interests. From awe-inspiring exhibits on prehistoric creatures and dazzling gemstones to interactive displays showcasing human evolution and cultural heritage, there’s something to captivate everyone. 

The museum also features state-of-the-art theaters, educational programs, and guided tours to enhance the experience. The beautiful Exposition Park surrounds the museum for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a serene escape with lush gardens and picnic areas. 

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or curious mind, this museum provides an enriching and entertaining destination for all visitors. 


900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007, United States

16) The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, established in 1978, is renowned for its rich history and diverse natural beauty. Spanning over 150,000 acres in Southern California, it offers a unique blend of coastal and mountain environments. 

The area boasts historic sites like the Sepulveda Adobe and Paramount Ranch, making it a cultural treasure. 

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
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With stunning vistas, hiking trails, and picturesque beaches, it attracts tourists seeking outdoor adventures and breathtaking scenery. 

From its wildlife and plant diversity to its outdoor recreational opportunities, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has become a magnet for nature enthusiasts and history lovers.

Looking for interesting once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles? This place has it all! Picnic areas, campgrounds, and visitor centers provide comfort and convenience. 

Hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trails cater to adventurers of all levels. The area’s scenic drives, like Mulholland Highway, offer breathtaking vistas. 

Wildlife watching and birding opportunities abound, while beaches like Zuma and El Matador invite relaxation and surfing. 

The historic sites and cultural heritage add a fascinating touch for history buffs. Whether you seek tranquillity or excitement, this picturesque wonderland has something for everyone. Uncover the hidden treasures of nature and history in this captivating oasis!


Calabasas, CA 91302, United States

Best Hotels To Stay In Los Angeles 

With their sophisticated decor, impeccable service, and breathtaking skyline views, these hotels promise their visitors a memorable stay for business and leisure travelers.

  • The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles
  • Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
  • The Peninsula Beverly Hills
  • The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
  • InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
  • The Langham Huntington, Pasadena

Also, note that it’s always a good idea to check for the latest reviews and availability before making any reservations. However, have a happy holiday and enjoy the above-mentioned once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles for an amazing trip.