What is there to do near LAX

Los Angeles landmarks

Los Angeles is a city that many vacationers can hardly imagine at first glance. The seemingly obvious comparison with New York could hardly be further from reality, but it also corresponds to the image conveyed by Hollywood in film and television only partially the reality.

Los Angeles is so hugethat it may simply be impossible to depict all facets of this metropolitan region. The expensive villas in the north face the poor neighborhoods in the south of the region and for every beautiful side there is one that embodies exactly the opposite.

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Nevertheless, LA has in its metropolitan area and in its immediate vicinity (Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, for example, officially count as separate communities, although they seamlessly connect to the surrounding area) numerous sights.

The already mentioned Hollywood should of course be mentioned, the coast around Santa Monica and Venice Beach, Long Beach in the southwest is also impressive, but you can also find it in the city center a lot of things to seeif that's what you're looking for - the Farmers Market, LaBrea Tar Pits, and the great Exposition Park, for example.

Top 10: Sights

10. Downtown: Even if LA is often said to have no real center, that's only half the story, because of course this urban structure has a center and origin somewhere - it just hardly looks like one.

Nevertheless, a round through the downtown district can be worthwhile thanks to imposing buildings such as Union Station, Angels Flight and the City Hall. Read here what there is to see!

9. Long Beach: In the south of the metropolitan region, far from downtown, Long Beach is a very pleasant, if not necessarily tranquil, part of the city on the Pacific coast.

It is still worth seeing, thanks to the Queen Mary, an old cruise ship in Art Deco style - think of the Titanic! Read here what you need to know for a visit

8. Exposition Park: Almost in the middle of the center of Los Angeles is the often overlooked Exposition Park, a small oasis of nature and, above all, of science, as here you will find the free, but very attractive California Science Center, which is currently a real one with the Endeavor Space Shuttle to marvel at.

Read here what else you can find there!

7. La Brea Tar Pits & Hancock Park: Another atypical stop is de La Brea Tar Pits, tar springs, in the middle of the densest LA. Not only an unusual, but also a very remarkable sight, as millions (!) Bones of mammoths and other animals have already been pulled from the sources, which have blessed the temporal here over the centuries. Everything you need to know for a visit, read here!

6. Venice Beach: Strictly speaking, Venice is a district, but most travelers are mainly familiar with Venice Beach, which with its bodybuilders, (now largely legal) dealers and all kinds of self-promoters has gained a high degree of awareness beyond the national borders.

No less worth the detour, however, are the beautiful Venice Canals behind the beach, which were once modeled on the real Venice. You can find everything else here!

5. Santa Monica: To the north of Venice, one encounters Santa Monica, which strictly speaking (like some other “districts”) actually no longer belongs to Los Angeles, but basically ties in seamlessly with it.

Here you will find one of the most popular beaches in the city (wonderfully long, as is often the case, but unfortunately read almost directly on the highway), the famous Santa Monica Pier, known from film and television, but also a surprisingly beautiful shopping area. Read here when Santa Monica is most worthwhile!

4. Disneyland: It may seem a little unusual or even disrespectful to describe an amusement park as the fourth best attraction in a city, but if it fits anywhere, it is in southern California, in Los Angeles - the city that symbolizes entertainment worldwide.

And of course Disneyland is not just "any" amusement park, but a really well-designed leisure area for the whole family. Read here how to get the most out of your visit!

3. Hollywood & Walk of Fame: Of course, Hollywood is at the top of the list of Los Angeles attractions for many, but Hollywood is in reality less tangible than one might hope.

Which is also due to the fact that a lot is summarized under the term: Hollywood Boulevard with its Walk of Fame, Hollywood as the film industry that you can “visit” as part of a studio tour, but also Hollywood as a district. We'll break it down a bit here. You shouldn't miss the Hollywood Sign either!

2. Getty Center & Getty Villa: The Getty Center and the Getty Villa are two (quasi) free art museums, but they have much more to offer than “just” paintings, photographs and old statues.

Above all, the architecture is impressive, both in the Getty Center - open and modern - and in the Getty Villa - designed in the style of Ancient Rome - especially since the center, which is located on a hill, also offers great views of the city. Read here how to get tickets without any problems!

1. Griffith Observatory: At the top of the best sights in Los Angeles for us is the Griffith Observatory, located in the park of the same name, which almost everyone should be familiar with from numerous films and TV series.

Admission to the observatory, which is well worth seeing, is once again free, but the more important reason for the journey is outside the door - because almost nowhere can you enjoy such a great view of LA as here, especially in the evening. Read here what you need to know!

Good hotels in Los Angeles
  • $Hollywood Celebrity Hotel, small, good rooms, very central
  • $Best Western Woodland Hills Inn, cheap alternative outside
  • $Hotel Indigo, very nice place to stay for Disneyland / Anaheim
  • $$Best Western Plus Hills, another great choice in Hollywood
  • $$Hampton Inn, very good place to stay in Santa Monica
  • $$Courtyard by Marriott LAX, best option at the airport
  • $$$Loews Santa Monica, top choice in a prime location on the pier

Also read: More hotel tips for Los Angeles!

What to do in which period?

In one day: If you only have one day to spend in the city, you should concentrate on what you associate most with LA: Hollywood. A tour of the Walk of Fame and a visit to Mann’s Chinese Theater are part of the compulsory program, which you can do well, especially in the mornings, when the flow of tourists is still limited.

Then you could take a lap through the hills, of course photograph the famous Hollywood Sign and finally head for the Griffith Observatory - very worth seeing and with a great view on the environment.

Alternatively, you can skip the loop through the hills, head for the pretty Santa Monica with its pier around noon and then make your way to the observatory in the late afternoon the sunset to enjoy.

On two days: If you have two days, you are more relaxed in terms of the sights. As a supplement to the previously mentioned destinations, downtown and one or two parks and museums at.

The Getty Center or the Getty Villa and California Science Center in Exposition Park are the obvious options, but the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park are also worth considering. In addition, a visit to Santa Monica could be supplemented with a detour to Venice Beach to visit the beach and the canals.

On three days: After all, three days in LA are particularly recommended if you want to tackle at least one amusement park (Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm or Universal Studios Hollywood), because you can basically spend a full day in each of these parks, in Disneyland even more.

The alternatives are limited, only a studio tour or a detour to Long Beach would be a longer consideration value.

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