12 Once in a Lifetime Things to Do in Los Angeles By a Local

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Dicover the Best Places to Los Angeles has so many interesting and exciting things to do and places to see that you just can’t wait. It is clear that Los Angeles is a city with lots of cool stuff to do, so see whether or not you have the time for it. The diversity and liveliness in this town are absolutely amazing, which provides an opportunity for people to have an unforgettable travel experience. 

Any time people think of this tourist city, they are greatly attracted by its wonderful weather, beautiful beaches, and strategic position to other tourist attractions. Though everyone associates LA with Hollywood and glamour, there are numerous things to do in this city: outdoor activities, diverse districts, great restaurants, and magnificent museums.

There is nothing that you cannot find in LA, which is a hub of the best moments, like celebrity sightings, wonderful scenic views, and natural marvels. Check out this guide to gather 12 amazing Once in a Lifetime Things to Do in Los Angeles By a Local.

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12 Once-in-a-Lifetime Things to Do in Los Angeles By a Local

#1 Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Exploring the Hollywood Sign is part of “Once in a Lifetime Things to Do in Los Angeles By a Local” since it unites the heavenly cultural landmark of the city with magnificent views of the city and the Pacific Ocean.

Altogether, the knowingly intense and rigorous hike along the trails in Griffith Park and getting to the site of the famous Hollywood sign provides not only an adventurous but also a remarkably LA-like experience of the city’s symbiosis of structure and nature. 

  • Special Features: Iconic landmark, stunning views of Los Angeles, photo opportunities, diverse wildlife.
  • Address: Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California, zip code 90027
  • Official Website: Hollywood Sign
  • Phone No: N/A
  • Open Hours: 24/7
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction

#2 Attend a TV Show Taping:

Attending a live TV show taping is for sure Once in a lifetime thing to do in Los Angeles by a local. You can be in the actual audience rather than among the couch potatoes who watch repeat shows. It is exciting to experience the power of the audience, share laughter in real time, or maybe even watch your favorite performers from the first row!

It is also important to note that most of the tapings are open to the public and free of charge, making it a completely awesome way to be in the heart of Hollywood. They might just get a small acting role or even catch a glimpse of themselves on the popular TV show! 

  • Special Features: Behind-the-scenes TV production experience, chance to see celebrities, live audience interaction.
  • Address: Varies by show, typically in Burbank or Hollywood.
  • Official Website: Depends on the show.
  • Phone No: Depends on the show.
  • Open Hours: Depends on the show schedule.
  • Google Map Directions: 

#3 Surf at Venice Beach

As a resident of Los Angeles, if you still haven’t tried surfing at Venice Beach, then you have done nothing because surfing is not only about catching the waves but also about living the energetic surfer’s life in the city of Los Angeles. The waves generated at this spot not only challenge the professional surfers but also bring out the fantasy of riding the waves in Venice Beach and Los Angeles Overall. 

It’s an amazing experience, and I highly recommend trying surfing on Venice Beach. It is also once in a lifetime thing to do in Los Angeles by a Local. 

  • Special Features: Iconic beach, vibrant atmosphere, diverse crowd, surfing lessons available.
  • Address: Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California, with the zip code 90291
  • Official Website: Venice Beach 
  • Phone No: (310) 396-6764
  • Open Hours: The beach is accessible 24/7.
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction

#4 See a Show at the Hollywood Bowl:

I would consider watching a show at the Hollywood Bowl is once in a lifetime thing to do in Los Angeles by a local, as it brings the best performers together in one of the most famous and historic venues. The Hollywood Bowl, located outdoors, is one of the best places to watch concerts ranging from orchestras to rock artists. 

Primarily, the Bowl is the venue for the performances of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Yet, it constantly hosts various events occurring all year round, such as the Philharmonic, concerts, jazz, and movies. You are allowed to carry your favorite food for a pre-show snack or order a picnic box and wine through the online options. 

  • Special Features: Outdoor amphitheater, iconic venue, world-class performances, picnicking under the stars.
  • Address: 2301 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90068
  • Official Website: Hollywood Bowl
  • Phone No: +1 323-850-2000
  • Open Hours: depends on the event.
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction 

#5 Take a Private tour to Warner Bros Studio Tour:

Warner Bros. Studios VIP Experience is a once-in-a-lifetime Los Angeles thing to do for the locals. You will see how movies are made and have the opportunity to explore this historic movie studio, which cannot be found anywhere else. Besides, it also helps locals identify some of their favorite movie secrets that were not known before. In addition, there are many interactive displays where people can take part; costumes and prop exhibits alone are worth visiting.

They have lots of interactive displays that one can take part in, not forgetting costumes as well as prop exhibits, which are amazing too. A tour around gives more information on how creative the process has been throughout history at Warner Bros., thus allowing visitors to understand better what they see there.

  • Special Features: Exclusive behind-the-scenes tour, iconic film studio, costume and prop exhibits, and interactive experiences.
  • Address: 3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
  • Official Website: Warner Bros. Studio Tour
  • Phone No: +1 877-492-8687
  • Open Hours: Varies by tour schedule.
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction

#6 Santa Monica:

For those who live here, going to Santa Monica is not just going to the beach; it’s about being surrounded by LA’s lively culture and way of life. The city provides relaxation mixed with fun unique to itself, such as walking on the iconic pier, where one can do beachfront activities like biking or rollerblading down it; outdoor workouts are also available.

The vibrant atmosphere, many dining places, and scenic views ensure visitors won’t be bored while they’re vacationing there. This place is an embodiment of what living in LA is all about!

  • Special Features: Iconic pier, beachfront attractions, shopping, dining, bike rentals, rollerblading, outdoor gym.
  • Address: Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • Official Website: Santa Monica
  • Phone No: +1 310-393-7593
  • Open Hours: Varies by establishment.
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction

#7 Griffith Observatory: 

If you are a resident of Los Angeles and have not visited the Griffith Observatory, then it is useless for you to live in Los Angeles. It has a great sunset viewpoint, which one must watch at least once in their life. To enjoy this sunset view, try making your visit in the late afternoon and also exploring the observatory. 

When the sun starts to set, head to the Griffith Observatory cafeteria or somewhere nearby. Sit or stand somewhere with a good view and get ready to watch the sky change colors during the sunset. This is a truly amazing moment to witness at the Griffith Observatory that you will always remember!

  • Special Features: Observatory, astronomy exhibits, city views, planetarium shows, telescope viewing.
  • Address: 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, California 90027
  • Official Website: Griffith Observatory
  • Phone No: +1 213-473-0800
  • Open Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 12 pm-10 pm, Monday: Closed.
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction 

#8 Beverly Hills:

An unforgettable trip to Beverly Hills promises one thing: luxury and prestige beyond compare. There’s nothing else quite like it anywhere! Everything from the high-end boutiques that line Rodeo Drive to the mansions located throughout this area screams expensive living and exclusivity. 

You’ll find upscale dining on every corner and beautiful parks around every corner—basically, anything you could ever want or need in terms of glitz, glamour, and beauty can be found here! This type of elegance doesn’t come around often, so seize the moment while you can because soon enough, we’ll all be drooling over images from our couches at home.

  • Special Features: Upscale shopping, celebrity sightings, luxury lifestyle, celebrity home tours, Rodeo Drive.
  • Address: Beverly Hills, CA 90210
  • Official Website: Love Beverly Hills
  • Phone No: +1 310-248-1015
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction

#9 Bioluminescence at the Beach:

Bathing in bioluminescence on the shore is as if you are suddenly in a magical world. It happens when small organisms called phytoplankton start to luminesce in the water, which gives a stunning blue light in the dark. 

It’s as if you’re strolling at the beach, and each time the water splashes up, highlights of the water form a shape that can only be described as glistening. That is something most people only get to witness once in their lifetime, and it gives you the feeling that you are involved in something special that is in line with the creation of nature.

  • Special Features: Natural phenomena, glowing ocean waters, night kayaking tours, photography opportunities.
  • Address: Various beaches in Southern California.
  • Official Website: N/A
  • Phone No: N/A
  • Open Hours: Best viewed at night during bioluminescent events.
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction 

#10 Explore the Last Bookstore:

The Last Bookstore is not just like any other bookstore; it’s a place where you can have an out-of-this-world experience. The things that make it unique are the countless books, imaginative shelves, and the general atmosphere of art. 

As soon as you step inside, you feel as if you’re entering a treasure chest full of books mixed with art, and when you leave, you leave with satisfaction. It’s beyond purchasing but rather about narratives, innovations, or even friendships that may come from books or art. The works of The Last Bookstore will serve a person who loves reading or simply revels in books and art with a fabulous moment. The last bookstore.

  • Special Features: Largest independent bookstore, unique decor, literary events, hidden book tunnels, vinyl records.
  • Address: 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90013
  • Official Website: The Last Bookstore
  • Phone No: +1 213-488-0599
  • Operating hours: Daily from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Google Map Direction: Get Direction 

#11 Walt Disney Hall Concert

Going to see a show at Walt Disney Concert Hall is something that everyone should do at least once in their life because it has amazing architecture and great music, too. A very famous person made it, and it has a shiny exterior made out of metal, so this makes it look even cooler than it already is. 

They have really good sound there for when you are listening to things like orchestras or even just some guy playing the saxophone; no matter what you’re into hearing live, these walls will make sure that every note is heard crystal clear. When I went there last week with my friend Tom, we both agreed that it’s not really a place where people go to listen to music, but more a place where people go to have experiences that will stay with them forever.

  • Special Features: Iconic architecture, world-class acoustics, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, guided tours available.
  • Address: 111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90012
  • Official Website: Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Phone No: +1 323-850-2000
  • Open Hours: Box office: Tuesday-Sunday 12 pm-6 pm, closed on Mondays (open until 6 pm on performance days)
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction 

#12 Pacific Coast Highway

You should try the Pacific Coast Highway because it is one of the most special highways in the world- you always remember. Slicing through the spine of California’s coastal landscape, this epic road runs along cliffs, beaches, and pretty seaside towns. 

Every corner you turn there are spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, white water, and magenta sunsets over the water. Whether it is driving with the tops of cars, for a stroll in quaint coastal towns, or simply marveling at the magnificent scenic attractiveness thereof, the Pacific Highway coast is indeed a dream come true for the coastal California state. 

  • Special Features: Scenic coastal drive, breathtaking ocean views, iconic landmarks, charming seaside towns.
  • Address: Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), California State Route 1
  • Official Website: Visit California
  • Phone No: N/A
  • Open Hours: Open 24/7
  • Google Map Directions: Get Direction 

The Best time to visit Los Angeles

The best time to visit Best things to do
January to March (Winter)Check out museums, like the Getty Center or LACMA.
Enjoy quieter beaches for walks or bonfires.
Attend events like the LA Art Show.
April to July (Spring to Early Summer)Go hiking or explore gardens like the Huntington Library.
Visit theme parks with fewer crowds.
Enjoy festivals and outdoor concerts
August to September (Late Summer to Early Fall)Hit the beaches for water sports.
Explore food festivals and outdoor markets.
Attend music festivals and outdoor movies.
October to December (Fall to Early Winter)Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway for beautiful views.
Visit pumpkin patches and apple orchards.
Enjoy holiday events like LA Zoo Lights and ice skating.


For locals, doing the once-in-a-lifetime stuff in LA is like finding hidden treasures in your backyard. From cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway to seeing glowing beaches, these experiences stick with you forever. 

Whether you’re feeling fancy in Beverly Hills or diving into books at the Last Bookstore, each adventure adds a special touch to LA living. So, don’t just visit LA—embrace it! It’s like unlocking the heart of the city, one unique memory at a time.

Some FAQs

What are some once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles?

Imagine a drive through the Pacific Coast Highway, strolling through the Last Bookstore, or a beach experience at bioluminescence.

When would be the ideal time to visit these attractions?

That depends on the activity! Winter is ideal for indoor activities because those are cold months. Spring and early summer are good for outdoor activities.

How do you make the most of my visit to Beverly Hills?

Go to Rodeo Drive, take a tour around the nice shops, and eat in a posh restaurant.

Is it worth attending a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall?

Absolutely! With beautifully designed architecture and one of the best-sounding halls, one can have a memorable performance.

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