In a city as big and diverse as Los Angeles you just know that there´ll be all types of attractions for all types of travelers. You can find delicious restaurants, glamorous boutiques, famous landmarks, natural wonders, artistic hotspots, and so many other things that it’s probably safe to say that if you can think of a touristic attraction then you can probably find it some version of it in Los Angeles.
Now I could pick a theme and talk about the best restaurants in Los Angeles or the best landmarks to see in the city… but I feel especially chaotic today and so instead of making a sensible list of things to see and do I’ll give you a mad assortment of awesome things to see and do in Los Angeles coupled with a bunch of fun facts about the city. Because with such a diverse city, it’s hard to just think about a single theme.
But first a little bit of useful advice on transportation: Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States (hey that’s our first fun-fact!) and it’s also ridiculously widespread so its indispensable that you find a reliable way to transport yourself. Renting a car in Los Angeles is perhaps the best way to move around, as most of the city’s transportation infrastructure is centered on cars anyway, and there are also a bunch of options when renting. If you’re traveling with the family or with a group of friends you can rent a van, and if you’re traveling solo you can impress everyone with a convertible, hey this is the city of movie stars anyway.
So… is everything ready? Because we’re going to go on a wild ride!
1. The Hollywood sign
We´ll begin our incoherent jumble of fun facts and things to do in Los Angeles with the Hollywood sign. This one is pretty much a must-do. If you’re visiting Los Angeles and don’t have a couple of selfies with the sign on the background, then… how are you going gloat about your travel on social media?
The sign was made in 1923 as part of a publicity stunt from a housing development firm called Hollywoodland, it was supposed to last for only 18 months, but as luck would have it, it became one of Los Angeles’s most iconic landmarks.
If you’re a good photographer then you can probably take a good photo of the sign anywhere, but my recommendation for an awesome experience is to go to the Lake Hollywood Park at Canyon Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, the most amazing photos of the sign can be taken from there and if you’re feeling really adventurous you can even hike to sign itself from there!
2. La Brea Tar Pits
A long time ago, on what would someday be Los Angeles, a creature, perhaps a giant sloth or a mastodon, got stock on a tar pit. Then as the animal struggled to escape, its cries attracted predators, which in turn got stuck on the tar, which attracted further predators and scavenger until the tar pit was chock-full of dead unlucky creatures. This horrifying ice age death trap, awful as it was for ice age fauna, became a treasure trove for paleontologists making the foundation what would be La Brea Tar Pits.
La Brea Tar Pits is unique as it’s an active fossil quarry in the middle of a bustling city! The specimens found on this quarry are shown on the La Brea Tar Pits museum. There you can find uniquely complete and preserved fossils of many interesting creatures of the ice age such as mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and dire wolves. (Yes, dire wolfs once existed in real life)
You can find the site at 5801 Wilshire Blvd. the entrance is ranges from $15 for adults to $7 for children under 2 years old. The museum has a 12-dollar parking fee, but there are reportedly cheaper options for parking nearby.
3. Taco trucks
Here’s a fun fact, the popular trend of gourmet food trucks was born in Los Angeles when a Korean-American chef by the name of Roy Choi decided to take his Korean-Mexican tacos to the street, (yes Los Angeles is that diverse). So, in my opinion, it would be a disservice to Los Angeles if you stopped to eat anywhere that’s not a taco truck, and for that reason, I´ll tell you about the two most popular taco trucks in Los Angeles. Now, taco trucks are a bit harder to find than regular restaurants, so if you want to taste them both, you´ll have to do some city exploring. Again, I recommend you to book a rental car in Los Angles, as it makes finding these culinary gems of Los Angeles way easier.
Remember Roy Choi? The guy I told you about who started the food truck craze, well this is it! The OG taco truck! Or… at least its direct descendants. Here you can find an amazing blend of Mexican and Korean food. Perhaps they aren’t the most authentic tacos ever, but they are the most creative. The trucks move around the city (it figures) so you’ll find them in multiple locations that often shift day today. If you explore the city you´ll find them eventually, but if you can´t catch one you can always go to their taqueria at 3500 Overland Avenue #100.
Leo’s taco truck
Now that we´ve seen awesome fusions of flavors it’s time we taste the authentic street tacos. Leo’s taco truck offers just that, an authentic taste of Mexican food delivered with so much efficiency, that it puts most fast food venues to shame, and their prices are super inexpensive too! It’s common to see long lines of hungry customers around the yellow trucks, but don’t be intimidated by that, the lines go fast and they exist for a reason, the tacos are great and the people know it.
So, what are you waiting for? There are fossils, tacos, and landmarks waiting for you and trust me that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more to explore in Los Angeles!