Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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14 Things to Do in LA

The Grammys are coming up on Sunday, Feb.4, 2024, so if you’re queer or a straight ally heading to LA, you may want to consider visiting these recommended sights to make the most of your time!

LGBTQ+ travelers never really need a reason to visit Los Angeles. However, if you’re visiting the City of Angels for a fun gaycation, you can’t miss out on exploring the gayborhoods in West Hollywood, and Silver Lake, or tack on a few extra days to visit Palm Springs

But if you’ve never been to LA before, we’ve compiled a shortlist of iconic sites – in no particular order – that you might want to consider adding to your vacation itinerary.  

1. Hollywood Sign
You can’t leave LA without checking out one of its most distinguishing icons. The famous Hollywood Sign sits atop Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills, overlooking Los Angeles and the California movie industry it has come to symbolize. Each letter stands 50 feet tall and is made of sheet metal painted white.

2. Disneyland
Plan your magical getaway Make a stop to see Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the gang at Disneyland. It’s a queer family-friendly attraction to add to your LA itinerary. Adults and kids can watch their favorite movies turn into real-life experiences with newly opened attractions, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Avengers Campus. Book your tickets through the new theme park reservation system that requires guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. 

Disneyland (Photo Credit: Brian McGowan on Unsplash)
Disneyland (Photo Credit: Brian McGowan on Unsplash)

3. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Only in Los Angeles are stars so common that they can even be found on the sidewalk. See if you can spot some of your favorite stars – like Janet Jackson, Ricky Martin, RuPaul, Neil Patrick Harris, and Ellen DeGeneres – among more than 2,600 brass stars across 18 city blocks.  

4. Santa Monica Beach and Pier
It’s probably one of the most recognizable sites from TV and film, especially its neon-lit arch and Ferris wheel. Located on California’s Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica Beach is home to playgrounds, parks, picnic areas, staffed lifeguard stations, and the original Muscle Beach. Take a stroll down the boardwalk and be one of nearly 8 million visitors who frequent the area each year.

Santa Monica Pier (Photo Credit: Heliberto Arias on Unsplash)
Santa Monica Pier (Photo Credit: Heliberto Arias on Unsplash)

5. Griffith Park
Griffith Park is one of the largest city parks in North America, covering a vast 4,310 acres. An oasis in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, this green space caters to visitors of all ages and interests with attractions such as the Los Angeles City Zoo and the Griffith Observatory.

6. Universal Studios Hollywood
One of the world’s oldest continuously operating movie studios, Universal® Studios Hollywood presents an entertaining mix of thrill rides and live-action shows, plus a world-famous studio tram ride. There’s no shortage of adrenaline-pumping experiences here, including Jurassic World – The RideTransformers: The Ride-3D, is an immersive, next-generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality, Hogwartz School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where you can soar above the castle grounds with Harry Potter and his friends.

Universal Studios Hollywood (Photo Credit: John Ruddock on Unsplash)
Universal Studios Hollywood (Photo Credit: John Ruddock on Unsplash)

7. Runyon Canyon Park
If you need some fresh air and a little exercise, newbies to LA should consider a hike, jog or walk through the 160-acre Runyon Canyon Park, located at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. Be mindful that it’s not uncommon to see dogs roaming around — with their owners, of course — off their leashes on 90 acres of the park.

8. Rodeo Drive
If you enjoy shopping, you should consider visiting one of the most famous shopping districts in the world, Rodeo Drive attracts a crowd of label lovers who regularly tap their credit cards at designer shops like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany, and Gucci. Between the elegant storefronts, luxury cars, and swaying palm trees, it’s a Hollywood movie scene come to life.

Rodeo Drive (Photo Credit: Suzanne Emily O’Connor on Unsplash)
Rodeo Drive (Photo Credit: Suzanne Emily O’Connor on Unsplash)

9. Venice Beach
Known for its free-spirited vibe, Venice Beach is known for its boardwalk, officially known as the Ocean Front Walk. Visitors to this LA beach will see pickup basketball teams, fortune tellers, and roller skaters. Beyond the sand, visit the skate park, the famous Muscle Beach outdoor gym, and Abbot Kinney Boulevard, featuring trendy restaurants, stylish boutiques, galleries, and cafés.

10. The Getty Center
Visit the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Center to see its permanent collection of art that includes European and American history from medieval times to the present. Head outdoors to view contemporary and modern sculptures or take a stroll through the Center’s Central Garden. This carefully manicured garden has a 134,000-square-foot design that is the centerpiece for the natural ravine and tree-lined walkway.

The Getty Center (Photo Credit: MoMorad / iStock)
The Getty Center (Photo Credit: MoMorad / iStock)

11. LA Farmers Market
Opened in July 1934, the LA Farmers Market is a historic landmark and tourist attraction that features more than 100 restaurants, food stalls, grocers, and tourist shops. This is the market for foodies in search of ethnic cuisines and specialty food markets. 

12. Sunset Strip
The legendary 1.5-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, known as the Sunset Strip, extends from Beverly Hills to Hollywood. From end to end, there are celebrity-studded music venues dating back to the heyday of rock and roll, comedy clubs, boutiques, restaurants, hotels, and cocktail bars with stellar views of the city.

Sunset Boulevard (Photo Credit: LeoPatrizi / iStock)
Sunset Boulevard (Photo Credit: LeoPatrizi / iStock)

13. Hollywood Bowl
If you have the time, catch a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year!  The famous music venue is home to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the summer home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Music lovers heading here by subway should hop off at the Hollywood & Highland station.

14. Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
More than a million people visit the 20-acre Los Angeles County Museum of Art each year. This museum holds more than 120,000 works that span from ancient times to the present. This is a must-see stop for art lovers who appreciate Asian, Latin American, pre-Columbian, and Islamic art.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Photo Credit: CORALIMAGES / iStock)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Photo Credit: CORALIMAGES / iStock)

Vacationer Staff

Vacationer Magazine's writing staff works hard to bring you all the latest LGBTQ travel articles to help inspire and inform.

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