Seasoned Angelos know there are so many Los Angeles neighborhoods to explore and enjoy! From your classic spots including Venice and Santa Monica, to areas less visited by tourists such as Manhattan Beach. We’re here to give you the lowdown on 10 of our favorite places to visit in LA!
Table of Contents:
- Downtown LA
- Santa Monica
- West Hollywood
- The Hollywood Hills
- Beverly Hills
- Redondo Beach
- Manhattan Beach
- Catalina Island
Which Neighborhoods in LA Should I Prioritize Visiting?
If it’s your first time in LA, we strongly suggest you split out your vacation by area day by day to try and cover as much ground as possible. You can’t visit without seeing the famous Venice Beach, or the Santa Monica Pier, or taking a stroll down Rodeo Drive. But we’ll leave it up to you which Los Angeles neighborhoods you choose to put on your travel bucket list!
When you think of the LA skyline, Downton Los Angeles is the neighborhood you’re thinking of. With its sky-high buildings and rich historical landmarks, this is a spot in town not to be missed on your first visit to LA. In Downtown you can explore Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Arts District, the Jewelry District and so much more.
Don’t Miss: The Last Bookstore – named the ‘most photographer bookstore in the world’ you’ll see why as soon as you step inside!
Best Place to Eat: Grand Central Market – there’s lots of vendors here so perfect for groups who struggle to decide on what type of food!
Top Attractions: Angels Flight Railway, The Broad, Walt Disney Concert Hall
Venice is known for its world famous beach, beautiful canals, and the local characters. On the boardwalk you’ll be treated to street performers, artists, as well as food and souvenir vendors. We adore spending the day at Venice beach watching the skaters, listening to the waves, and grabbing some tacos and iced drinks. The sunsets in Venice are also extra special.
Don’t Miss: Venice Canals – a peaceful spot in the city that will have you wishing you had a few more millions in the bank to relocate!
Best Place to Eat: The Butcher’s Daughter, Abbot Kinney Boulevard – a vegan/vegetarian restaurant that serves up delicious brunch through to dinner
Top Attractions: Muscle Beach, Venice Boardwalk
Santa Monica is a popular spot among both tourists and locals. A hot spot for enjoying seaside pleasures, as well as indulging the inner shopaholic in you with its fantastic shops. 3rd Street Promenade is full of all the shops you could ever need, along with cafes for when you need a caffeine fix. Santa Monica is most famous for its pier and the attractions on it – don’t forget to try a funnel cake whilst you’re here. We also think the pier has one of the best coastal views of any neighborhood in LA!
Don’t Miss: Palisades Park
Best Place to Eat: Cobi’s – Southeast Asian food in a rustic setting
Top Attractions: Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park, End of Route 66
West Hollywood is known for its nightlife! With some of the most iconic music venues in the world, you won’t be disappointed spending a night in WeHo. We highly recommend getting a ticket to a show at The Troubadour – even if it’s for an artist you’ve never heard of! Take a trip to the Sunset Strip to enjoy a memorable night with friends.
Don’t Miss: The Troubadour
Best Place to Eat: Eggslut – a cafe with a menu entirely based on eggs! We recommend the Fairfax sandwich
Top Attractions: Universal Studios Hollywood, LACMA, Book Soup, Melrose Avenue
The Hollywood Hills
One of the most prestigious of Los Angeles neighborhoods, the Hollywood Hills is home to the rich and famous. Take a drive through this area to take in the unbelievable mansions and relaxed hills living. The perfect way to enjoy this particular LA neighborhood is to take a hike through the hills, or a drive up to a viewpoint (Mulholland Drive is famed for its views).
Don’t Miss: Hiking in the hills – we love Runyon Canyon
Best Place to Eat: Take a picnic and eat in Griffith Park – we love the picnic benches near the Old LA Zoo
Top Attractions: The Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, TCL Chinese Theatre
The most famous zip code in the world 90210, or Beverly Hills, is an LA neighborhood you cannot miss experiencing. From the luxurious houses and hotels, to the high end shops on Rodeo Drive. For those who adore people watching Beverly Hills is the perfect spot to sit outside a cafe and take in the passersby.
Don’t Miss: Spadena House (The Witch’s House)
Best Place to Eat: Sprinkles Cupcakes (Try out the cupcake ATM!)
Top Attractions: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills Sign
Located at the North of LA, Malibu is another exclusive neighborhood. With its luxurious beach front properties, regular dolphin and whale sightings off its coast, and with some of LA’s most sought after restaurants, this is a very relaxed place to spend a day in LA.
Don’t Miss: The Getty Villa
Best Place to Eat: Malibu Farm Cafe
Top Attractions: Malibu Pier, El Matador State Beach, Malibu’s Wineries
Redondo Beach is a more residential area of LA, less frequently visited by tourists but just as much worth your time as the busier spots! At Redondo Beach you can treat your inner athlete to surfing opportunities, rollerblading and so much more.
Don’t Miss: Redondo Beach Pier
Best Place to Eat: Ocean Diner – fantastic local spot for breakfast with interesting items on the menu
Top Attractions: Redondo Beach Historical Museum, The Beach, Hopkins Wilderness Park
Often used for filming – think the 90210 relaunch in the 2000s – or more recently commonly featured on Netflix’s Selling Sunset. Manhattan Beach has a laid back vibe, with a stunning sandy beach, beautiful pier, and lots of restaurants to treat yourself to!
Don’t Miss: Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden
Best Place to Eat: Sugarfish
Top Attractions: Roundhouse Aquarium, Manhattan Beach Arts Center, Farmers Market
Away from the mainland of LA, you’ll find Catalina Island (officially part of LA county) which can be accessed via ferry from Long Beach. This small island, which you may recognise from your Macbook background, is a picturesque place to spend a day trip from main LA. With the locals using golf buggies to get around, and quaint cafes and restaurants on the waterfront, you’ll think you’ve stepped into a movie arriving here!
Don’t Miss: Hermit Gulch Lookout
Best Place to Eat: Scoops Ice Cream
Top Attractions: Wrigley Memorial, Catalina Island Casino, Undersea Sub Expedition
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