5 Things to do in Los Angeles 

 December 4, 2020

By  Wilson

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States. It’s the Entertainment Industry capital of the world, and a place where hopefully you’ll run into a movie director who will buy you your next drink.

Pro Tip: TIL Orange County and Los Angeles are not the same things. *avoids eye contact with Californians*

How I Got There

As usual whenever I travel, I either take a United flight or search for the cheapest flight on kayak.com. I wrote an article about how I stick to flying on United as much as possible to cash out big with my miles.

For these trips, I take United flights!

Here are my 5 things to do in Los Angeles, California, USA:

1. Griffith Observatory

Griffith is a great starting point for amateurs cough I mean for first-timers. There are multiple options to hike to the top. Driving/parking at the top or just uber were also options for us, but we decided to hike on a beautiful day.

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory, front entrance view

We took the Firebreak Trail (google maps link) – it was a mile-long (one-way) hike up and down and it took us about 35 minutes to hike up and another 25 to hike down.

Hollywood Sign

View of the Hollywood sign on the way down from Griffith Observatory

While there’s a gorgeous panoramic view of the city, there’s a solid view of the Hollywood sign. So if you squint really hard and look at the picture below closely, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

2. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Saying you went to Hollywood but didn’t see the Hollywood Stars is like saying you went to Dubai but didn’t see the Burj Khalifa. Or you went to Malta but didn’t stop by Valetta. This is where the Hollywood stars are located.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Yes, I’m team JLo. Don’t @ me

Vine Street and Hollywood Blvd

The Hollywood Walk of Fame has 15-blocks of stars embedded on sidewalks

The corner of Vine Street and Hollywood Blvd was a good starting point (google maps link). We walked along the sidewalk of Hollywood Blvd. And this is the part where I have to remind myself that one street has two sidewalks. I know, science.

3. Echo Park

Echo Park is what I like to call a low-key 3rd-date spot. Feel free to steal the idea.

The vibe is relaxing and walking around the lake feels spectacular. There were people playing music and picnicking.

Echo Park

Echo Park, north side facing south

What’s also great about Echo Park is it’s location. It’s walking distance to Dodgers Stadium, Chinatown, and (kinda) Downtown Los Angeles.

Lastly, there are options to kayak, which we ended up not doing, but still a cool option.

4. Venice Boardwalk

Venice Boardwalk is a popular tourist destination that hosts a bunch of Sk8er Boi’s. Avril knows what I’m sayin’.

There’s the famous Muscle Beach outdoor gym right next to the boardwalk. I saw many souvenir shops (AKA tourist traps). Also, you can’t tell from my pictures, but it smelled like weed.

Venice Boardwalk

Venice Boardwalk

Pro-tip: Eggslut is bucketlist-worthy.

We felt adventurous so we strolled along Abbot Kinney Blvd and rewarded ourselves with some Salt & Straw ice cream. I know. Go big or go home.

It is entirely possible to hang around Venice Boardwalk and have a great time without making it to the actual beach. (But that would be wrong because the beaches in LA are incredible.)

Which leads me to #5…

5. LA County Beaches

Let’s go to the beach, beach. Yes – the beaches in LA are that good. I lived in San Francisco for almost 2 years and rarely did I ever feel like going to the beach was a necessity. I’ll give a name and a short description of each.

Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach

Just to confirm – all following beaches surf-able depending on the forecast except Long Beach.

  • Malibu – Miley raved about it, and she’s not wrong. The pacific coast of Malibu stretches miles and miles. There are also incredible mountains surrounding the coast. Best beaches include Zuma and the pier.
  • Venice/Santa Monica – The beaches are usually bombarded by skaters coming from the boardwalk, but it’s just a gorgeous area. Santa Monica has the Ferris wheel and parks right next to the beach.
  • Dockweiler – A perfect place to relax and to plane-watch because it’s right next to LAX.
  • El Porto/Manhattan Beach – known for great waves for surfing. Spacious.
  • Hermosa Beach – It’s beautiful. There is a lot of pristine sand between the houses and the shore. Plus, there are lots of restaurants close-by for a post-beach meal.
  • Redondo Beach/Torrance Beach – In addition to the beaches, it was easy to take the stairs and walk along the walkway that included stunning views of the ocean and landscape.
  • Long Beach – You can’t surf, but you can Kite Surf! This is where I learned Kite surfing for the first time. There was also an “outdoor pool” (google maps link) that I swam in.

Where I Stayed

I stayed in Redondo Beach at an Airbnb, 2 blocks from the beach. Perfect for beach-y vacations. Absolutely perfect.

By the way, I wrote a separate article on How I Choose Where I Stay when I Travel.

Other times, I stayed with friends – Kathy/Matt in Ventura, Johnnie/Sam in West Hollywood.

Honorable Mentions

This post is mainly about things to do in LA County, but I had a great time in Ventura (shoutout to Matt and Kathy for being the best hosts!) I also really liked Huntington Beach in Orange County.

Oo Kook Korean BBQ

Photo taken at Oo Kook Korean BBQ

Koreatown for Korean BBQ is a must. I went here.

Chinatown was cool too. Tbh, not as good as the one in SF, but still cool.

If I Had More Time, I Would Have…

Gone to Staples Center. (Go Lakers?)

Check out Exposition Park which includes the LA Coliseum.

Lastly, I would have loved to take a picture in front of The Last Bookstore for the gram.

Closing Thoughts

After my experience in LA, I realized I didn’t need to leave the US to find incredible international cities. Los Angeles was truly a fantastic experience.

Final Grade: A


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Hi, my name is Wilson, founder of WFH Nomad. I was born and raised in the US, and I boast engineering and business degrees from top programs in the US. I work a normal, WFH job for a great company in America. I am extremely passionate about traveling and my job in the Tech industry, and the best part of the WFH Nomad concept is that I can do both at the same time.

I have traveled to over 47 different countries in my lifetime and I look forward to continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Thanks for visiting the website!

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