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Looking for the best things to do in Los Angeles? From iconic attractions to off-the-beaten-path adventures, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ve rounded up our top picks for tours and activities in LA that offer both value and the chance to avoid crowds.

Whether you’re interested in soaking up the sun on one of LA’s legendary beaches, getting a taste of Hollywood glamour, or discovering hidden cultural gems, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. We’ve selected our recommendations with an eye towards efficiency, so you can make the most of your trip without overpaying or wasting time standing in long lines.

So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler looking to try something new, read on for our top picks for the best tours and activities in Los Angeles. From crowded must-see attractions to off-the-beaten-path adventures, there’s something for every type of traveler. Plan your trip to LA with confidence, knowing that you’ll be able to experience the best the city has to offer without the crowds.

Los Angeles Essential Things to do

Of course, no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without experiencing some of the city’s most iconic attractions. While these may be more crowded, they’re also must-sees for a reason. Here are a few of our top picks:

  • The Hollywood Walk of Fame: This world-famous sidewalk is home to the stars of some of the biggest names in entertainment. Take a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard and see if you can find your favorite celebrities’ stars.

  • The Griffith Observatory: Located in Griffith Park, this iconic observatory offers breathtaking views of the city and is a popular spot for stargazing.

  • Universal Studios Hollywood: Located in the heart of Hollywood, this movie studio and theme park offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of your favorite films and TV shows, as well as thrilling rides and attractions.

  • The Getty Center: Perched atop a hill in the Brentwood neighborhood, this museum and art center boasts breathtaking views of the city and a world-class collection of art and architecture.

While these attractions may be more crowded, they’re definitely worth a visit for the unique experiences they offer. Just be sure to plan ahead and purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines.

Things to do and experience in Los Angeles

Where to go in Los Angeles to escape the crowds?

While the above attractions are must-sees for any trip to Los Angeles, sometimes it’s nice to get away from the crowds and explore some of the city’s lesser-known gems. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle, here are a few off-the-beaten-path tours and activities to consider:

  • The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden: Located in Arcadia, this 127-acre garden is home to a wide variety of plants, including exotic palms, towering bamboo, and colorful roses. It’s a tranquil escape from the city and a great place to take a leisurely stroll.

  • The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens: Located in San Marino, this cultural and educational institution is home to a world-class art collection, a research library, and over 120 acres of stunning botanical gardens.

  • The South Bay Bicycle Trail: This 22-mile trail stretches from Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades to Torrance Beach in the South Bay. It’s a great way to see some of LA’s beautiful beaches and get some exercise while you’re at it.

  • The Los Angeles Times Museum: Located in downtown LA, this museum offers a fascinating look at the history of the newspaper industry and the role it has played in shaping the city.

These are just a few of the many off-the-beaten-path tours and activities that Los Angeles has to offer. Whether you’re interested in culture, nature, or history, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.

Recommended things to do in Los Angeles

Now that we’ve highlighted some of the must-see, potentially crowded attractions and off-the-beaten-path adventures in Los Angeles, it’s time to dive into our recommendations for the best tours and activities in the city. From iconic landmarks to hidden cultural treasures, we’ve hand-picked a selection of experiences that we believe offer the best value and memorable experiences for travelers.

We’ve chosen these recommendations with an eye towards efficiency and value, so you can make the most of your trip without overpaying or wasting time standing in long lines. We’ve also included a mix of crowded must-see attractions and off-the-beaten-path adventures, so you can experience the best of both worlds.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, we hope you’ll find something new and exciting to add to your itinerary. Without further ado, let’s take a look at our top picks for the best tours and activities in Los Angeles.

Experience everything: Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA

If you’re looking for the best way to experience all of Los Angeles’ iconic sights in one day, the Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA tour is the perfect choice. This guided tour seamlessly transports you by coach to all of the city’s top attractions, including the Hollywood sign, the sunny beaches of Santa Monica, and the glitz of Beverly Hills.

Not only is this tour a perfect introduction for first-time visitors, it’s also hassle-free, with pickup available from most hotels. Plus, you’ll have the chance to get local tips and insights from your knowledgeable guide.

With this tour, you can check off all of LA’s must-see sights in one day, without worrying about missing a thing. From Venice Beach to the Sunset Strip to Griffith Park, this tour covers it all. If you want to make the most of your trip to Los Angeles, this is the tour for you.

Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood and the beaches

Do everything in one day. Experience LA to the max and then take it easy the rest of your visit.

Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

For a unique and entertaining way to see the sights of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, the Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour is a must-do. This open-air bus tour takes you through some of the area’s most iconic landmarks, including the Hollywood Sign, the Walk of Fame, and the Chinese Theatre.

As you drive through Beverly Hills, keep an eye out for celebrity sightings and get a glimpse of the lavish homes of the rich and famous, including Tom Cruise, Taylor Swift, and Leonardo DiCaprio. With complimentary hotel transportation available from both Hollywood and Beverly Hills, this tour is a convenient and hassle-free way to explore the city.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, the Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour is a fun and memorable way to experience the glamour and glitz of LA.

Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

Take an open-air bus tour through Hollywood and Beverly Hills and explore some of the area’s landmarks and celebrity homes.

Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour

For foodies visiting Los Angeles, the Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour is a must-do experience. This intimate walking tour, capped at just 12 guests, takes you on a culinary journey through some of the best eateries, bakeries, and ethnic food destinations in Downtown LA.

As you taste your way around the city, your guide will provide live narration about LA and Hollywood history, as well as insights into the local food scene. You’ll start your tour at Pershing Square and enjoy food tastings at six different locations. With food tastings and water included in the tour price, you can focus on experiencing the delicious flavors of LA without worrying about extra spending.

Whether you’re a foodie looking to sample the best of LA’s local cuisine or just want to learn more about the city’s dynamic food culture, the Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour is a tasty and informative way to explore.

Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour

Tasting some of the best food in Los Angeles isn't just about experiencing the local cuisine, but learning about the dynamic food culture that's emerging in Downtown LA.

Universal Studios Hollywood: Ticket with Easy Cancellation

If you’re looking for world-class entertainment all in one place, look no further than Universal Studios Hollywood. With regular general admission tickets, you’ll have full access to the park for either 1 or 2 days (depending on the option selected) to enjoy rides, shows, and attractions.

For those who want to spend less time in lines, the Universal Express Ticket is also available. This ticket includes a 1-day general admission ticket, one-time skip-the-line park entry, one-time express access to each ride and attraction, and priority seating at select shows.* This ticket is very popular, so be sure to purchase it in advance to guarantee Universal Express™ privileges.

Some of the popular rides, shows, and attractions you can enjoy at Universal Studios Hollywood include:

  • The World Famous Studio Tour: Go behind-the-scenes on the world-famous Studio Tour to explore Hollywood’s most famous backlot in the world’s largest working movie studio. You’ll see the sets from hit series, witness special effects used in blockbusters like The War of the Worlds, and ride through the world’s largest 3-D experience on King Kong 360 3-D.

  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™: Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts™ castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade™, and sample fare from the wizarding world’s best-known establishments.

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: Join Gru, his daughters, and the rebellious Minions on a heartwarming and thrilling 3

Universal Studios Hollywood

Experience either 1 or 2 days of action-packed entertainment with your Universal Studios Hollywood ticket. Enjoy thrilling theme park rides and shows, tour a real working movie studio, and visit LA’s best shops, restaurants, and cinemas at CityWalk.

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