Norton Simon Museum, 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105
This cozy museum is home to one of the best collections of Southeast Asian and Impressionist art on the West Coast. Their Monet-worthy gardens are worth the trip alone, and the collection is manageable enough to do in a day (with a latte break, of course).
Old LA Zoo, Griffith Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Although you’ll no longer see lions, tigers and bears, it’s fun to explore the animals’ old habitats. This is the perfect spot for those in search of something a little spooky and makes for some cool pictures.
Griffith Observatory, 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
If you really want to see LA, this is the place- the Observatory provides some of the best views in the city. There are some great hiking trails to get to the top if you’re feeling adventurous, but you can also drive up. Shows run every 60-90 minutes starting at 12:45 Tuesday-Friday and 10:45 Saturday and Sunday.
Echo Park Lake, 751 N. Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026
This is a great spot for a casual picnic, but the pedal boats are the main attraction. For $10 a person you get an hour of entertainment. If you’re really looking for an experience, gondola rides run for $50 per couple.
Bradbury Building, 304 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
This downtown building still houses offices, so only the ground floor is accessible to the public. If the interior looks familiar, though, it’s probably because you’ve seen it in TV shows and movies from noir films and LA classics like Chinatown to modern hits like 500 Days of Summer and The Artist
Amoeba Music, 6400 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Amoeba holds the title of world’s largest independent record store, so it’s every music lover’s dream. Whether you’re looking for a record player or an old album from nostalgia's sake, this place is the best bet.
LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Los Angeles County’s Museum of Art is known for pushing boundaries with pieces like Urban Lights or Levitated Mass. Their collection extends far beyond these modern pieces and includes everything from Breughel to Warhol.
Electric Dusk Drive-In, 1000 San Julian St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
In the heart of downtown LA, this kitschy movie theater is a great activity for date night and family night alike. It’s set up on top of a parking structure- the perfect combination of old and new. Buy your tickets in advance because the theater has a cult following and movies sell out fast.
Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
You may go for the art, but you’ll stay for the gardens. The Villa itself is gorgeous and the grounds include some of the most incredible fountains and gardens in the city. Give yourself a full day to explore- you’ll want the extra time.
Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Unlike most of LA’s other museums, admission to the Hammer Museum is always free. Stop in for a few hours and explore their unique exhibits before exploring the UCLA campus and grabbing a bite in Westwood (we recommend 800 degrees followed by ice cream sandwiches at Diddy Riese).
Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Admittedly touristy but fun nonetheless, a trip to the pier makes you feel like you’re in a different era. Besides, how can you beat a roller coaster and ferris wheel with ocean views?