When you’re wandering the streets of Los Angeles, you’re bound to see at least one celebrity on your travels. We’re not saying you’re going to run into your favorite A-List actor personally, but you’re bound to see someone of some sort of fame and stature while you’re out and about.
Movie stars, musicians, and artists of all kinds call the City of Angels home, and even if you happen to miss a famous sighting at one of the city’s famous restaurants or nightclubs, you can also sign up for a tour of a nearby studio lot while shows and films are being shot. However, there’s a lot more to LA than just its famous residents.
If you’re short on time, seizing the day on an LA whirlwind tour will help ensure you don’t miss a fabulous thing even in a short span of time. So sit back, relax, and keep reading to learn more about all that LA has to offer.
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Start at the Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood sign is an iconic landmark that’s famous and well-known all around the world, with the famed white letters appearing in countless movies and television shows over the years.
You can spend a few minutes gazing up at the sign or start your whirlwind LA tour with a hike up and across the Hollywood Hills. The hike is around three miles in total and takes you up 500 feet up in elevation throughout—and not only can you get a great touristy picture of you by the sign, but you can also enjoy a stunning view of Los Angeles at the same time.
A recommended trail starts by the Griffith Observatory, and there’s even convenient places to park.
Enjoy the Best View
When you’re in LA, a quick trip through Griffith Observatory should be on everyone’s must-see-and-do list. The observatory’s array of telescopes are ideal for star-gazing, although this time we’re talking about the ones in the sky—not on your TV.
The observatory’s outdoor walkways have telescopes placed at prime vantage points throughout. Here you can zero in on the Hollywood Sign, since not everyone is up for a three-mile hike. You can also peer over downtown Los Angeles and even see all the way to the Pacific Ocean with ease.
When you’re short on time, the observatory is a great way to see all of LA.
See All Your Favorite Stars in One Place
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is another iconic sight to behold. Take a brief walk past the famous TCL Chinese Theater, and don’t forget to marvel at the awe-inspiring Eastern architecture before you start going through the various handprints and signatures that date all the way back to Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Did you know that Joanne Woodard is the first actress to receive a star on the iconic and famed walk? Another fun factual tidbit, there are two stars for actors both named Harrison Ford—try to see if you can locate both of them!
Grab a Bite at In n Out Burger
Okay, so grabbing a burger doesn’t seem like it should be included on a whirlwind LA tour until you try a bite of this beloved regional burger chain. After the first nibble of an In n Out burger, you’ll understand why the local fast food chain is a go to place for celebrities of all kinds—even the royal Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are known to grab a burger here on occasion.
Wondering what to try for yourself? Locals often recommend the Double-Double with or without onions—and don’t forget to add an order of Animal fries and a thick milkshake!
Walk Off Lunch on Sunset Boulevard
After a filling lunch of fast-food delights, you may want to walk off a few of those extra calories and the best place to do so is Sunset Boulevard. If you have more time than a day in your visit, there are plenty of neighborhoods off of the famous street that are well worth a visit.
Your stroll down Sunset will take you past the Hollywood Palladium, where Frank Sinatra was the first celebrity to perform at. The Cinerama Dome is another landmark to check out, along with the famed Amoeba Music. Stop in this well-loved music shop for a quick browse and maybe find a must-have album to bring back home with you.
Even the Church of Scientology has a presence on Sunset Boulevard, and while you probably won’t see some of the church’s more famous members, like John Travolta and Tom Cruise, you can take a quick tour of the free museum if you so choose.
Explore the Getty Museum
Following Sunset Boulevard eventually takes you to the Getty Museum. You can explore the museum for free marveling at displays dating back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.
The exhibits are constantly rotating so you never know what you are going to see, adding to the museum’s sense of wonder and excitement. Make sure to check the museum’s website to see what exhibits are on display during your LA visit.
Take in the Fun Vibe on Santa Monica Pier
While museums and star-studded streets are must-see attractions on any LA trip, you also don’t want to miss the fun vibe you get on Santa Monica Pier.
Stroll along the pier, stopping at vantage points to look out over the Pacific Ocean. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a seal lion or dolphin. Rent a fishing pole and drop a line in the water for an hour or so. Who knows, maybe you’ll even reel in a fish.
Catch a ride on the pier’s Ferris wheel, the view from the top is well worth the ticket price. Santa Monica Pier is also only three miles away from Venice Beach. If you have the time, go check out the world-famous beach. Rent a bike or stroll along the pristine white sand.
End the Day with a Gorgeous Los Angeles Sunset
Where’s one of the best places to watch the sun setting over Los Angeles? Venice Beach is the popular answer. After a stroll on the beach, grab a seat and watch the sun as it sets over the water. Even on cloudy days, the view is incredible.
The beach is also a great place for people watching, you’ll see all types of characters. Grab a seat, relax, and reflect on your amazing day in the City of Angels.
You Can Experience LA in a Single Day
You might think it’s impossible to truly experience LA in only one day. After all, the list of must-see attractions can keep you busy for days. With a well-planned itinerary, you can hit most of the top spots, including a few you may not even know about.
Grab a pair of comfortable shoes, a pair of sunglasses, and your adventurous spirit, and get ready to enjoy a fabulous whirlwind tour of the famous California city.