Los Angeles is the most popular city in Southern California that’s also recognized all over the world. Known as the “City of Angels,” it’s home to some of the most famous celebrities.
Many people travel to Los Angeles to see some of its iconic attractions. For example, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a famous sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard that honors some of Hollywood’s most prominent celebrities, both past, and present.
The beaches in California are just as popular. The Santa Monica pier, for instance, is a tourist-friendly beach and seaside pier, complete with live entertainment, boardwalk games, and a winding rollercoaster. And Venice Beach is known for its eccentric L.A. culture and sunset views of the Pacific Ocean.
The City of Angels is also known for its diverse food options, from traditional Thai dishes to authentic Mexican street tacos. You can find this and more at Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles. In-n-Out is a popular fast-food chain that sells handmade burgers and fries. Its simple menu has kept locals and tourists coming back for more since its opening in 1948.
Los Angeles is a large city with many things to see and do. Because of this, it can be challenging to navigate the city if you’re short on time. Fortunately, due to its bustling tourism industry, travelers can experience L.A. with limited time with the help of its many guided tours. Here are seven must-see places to visit during one day in Los Angeles:
1. Shop luxury brands at Rodeo Drive
Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive is home to some of the most expensive luxury brands in the world. Some of its popular stores include Harry Winston, Stefano Ricci, Giorgio Armani, and Moncler. Tourists from around the globe flock to the famous streets to experience the glamorous side of Los Angeles.
Visitors also enjoy taking pictures of the beautiful cobblestone streets of Via Rodeo, where they can also sit down to have a meal. 208 Rodeo Restaurant offers a romantic dining experience for those who want to dine in an intimate setting.
Because Rodeo Drive attracts people from all over the world, it’s a great place to people-watch. And if you’re lucky, you may even spot a celebrity during your visit.
2. Meet your favorite characters at Universal Studios
Universal Studios is a popular amusement park filled with rides, themed shops, and specialty treats. The park is an especially popular choice for families with children, but there are many things for people of all ages to enjoy.
One of the biggest draws to the theme park is the “Wizardly World of Harry Potter“. This section of the park is dedicated to all things Harry Potter. From Harry Potter-themed rides to spellcasting classes to butter beer tastings, there’s no better place to experience the magic.
The park is also home to many live shows that are as just informational as they are fun. Animal lovers will enjoy their Animal Actors show, where different animals re-enact scenes from the popular children’s movie “The Secret Life of Pets.” For a more adventurous experience, their Waterworld show combines fire acts, massive explosions, water skiers, and even a plane crash.
3. Sip a lavender latte at Issa Rae's Hilltop Cafe
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Fans of the hit television series “Insecure” can visit one of the many eateries featured on the show. Hilltop Cafe is a trendy, casual cafe that serves classic menu items with a twist. Their Inglewood location, co-owned by Issa Rae, is popular with many of the locals. Inside, the walls are decorated with Black pictures and memorabilia. And the servers always prepare your order with a smile.
For breakfast, try their “soul bowl,” made with creamy Grits, braised collard greens, charred corn, and topped with a poached egg. Or for an afternoon lunch, try the “Hilltop Cobb” that includes marinated chicken, bacon, a hard-boiled egg, and an assortment of classic Cobb salad veggies atop of bed of baby kale and romaine lettuce.
Hilltop Cafe is the perfect place to meet friendly Black locals while you listen to some chill bops over a lavender latte or pastry. Even better, they hire Black servers and are an inclusive dining establishment for all.
4. Take a hike to the Hollywood sign
The Hollywood sign is one of the most recognized signs in the world. Many people from all over travel to the city to take pictures of it in person. One of the best ways to get up-close-and-personal to the sign is by taking one of the hiking trails that lead to it.
Hiking to the sign from the Griffith Observatory allows you to see other famous sights along the way. However, the hike stretches over 8 miles, so it’s important to prepare for the long journey. For a shorter walk, hikers can take the trail from the Griffith Observatory to Mount Hollywood. The nearly 3-mile hike offers fantastic views of Los Angeles city, the Observatory, and the Hollywood sign.
There are also shuttle buses that drive visitors to the sign while providing historical insights to riders along the way. And if you’re traveling with a group, there are many tour companies that offer private tours to accomodate larger parties.
5. Dine at a Black-owned vegan restaurant
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Stuff I Eat is a Black-owned and operated restaurant that serves tasty vegan meals. The owners, Ron and Babette Davis opened the restaurant in 2008 with a mission to bring healthier food options to the community. Years later, the establishment has been featured on The Doctors, The Steve Harvey Show, Inside Edition, and more!
Their meals are made with a love that you can taste, using natural and organic ingredients that are nutritious and delicious. The restaurant’s soul food sampler plate is a fan favorite. It comes with yams, mac ‘n’ cheese, BBQ tofu or jackfruit, kale greens, black-eyed peas, potato salad, coleslaw, and a cornbread muffin.
Don’t forget to try their tropical blend smoothie that includes an assortment of ripe fruits served in an ice-cold glass.
6. Watch the street performers on Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard is one of the most popular places for tourists to travel to worldwide, and for good reason. The famous street is home to plenty of fun activities and interesting people.
If you’re lucky, you might see a celebrity. But if not, you can snap a selfie with a wax look-a-like at the iconic Hollywood Wax Museum. You can also see your favorite stars onscreen at the famous TCL Chinese Theatre, which boasts the largest IMAX auditorium in the world.
The street performers are another draw for many tourists who come to visit. From celebrity impersonators to Marvel comic book characters, Hollywood Boulevard is one of the best places to see a lineup of entertaining characters. And no matter what time you visit, they’re there at all hours of the day so you can’t miss them.
7. Take a tour through Warner Bros. Studios
Warner Bros. Studios Hollywood offers its guests a chance to see how some of their favorite tv shows and movies are made. Their guided tours are a great way to experience some of the magic of La La Land.
During the tour, a guide escorts visitors through the studio and its backlot, where they can take pictures on the sets of popular tv shows like “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory.” And Harry Potter fans will love to take a selfie inside Harry’s iconic cupboard under the stairs. Guests can even learn how to create their own magic potion like Harry and his friends in the studio’s Potions Classroom set.
The studio lays out the red carpet for its guests, literally. Visitors can pose like a celebrity on the studio’s makeshift red carpet. They can also see famous costumes, rare props, and other archived Hollywood memorabilia.
Due to their popularity, it’s best to book a guided tour in advance to guarantee entry into the studio, especially during the summer peak season.