Whether you’re a local or just visiting, the city of Los Angeles boasts endless amounts of activities to do — on any given day. So much so that there have been countless articles and lists published on the web, all devoted to finding the absolute best things to do in and around the city. Well, here’s another (and dare I say – better) one, carefully crafted to include both well-known and hidden gems for everyone’s enjoyment.
GORGE YOURSELF ON UNLIMITED DODGER DOGS
Now offering an AYCE (all you can eat) option, Dodger Stadium prices this ticket at $3o and offers seating at the Dodger’s Right Field Pavilion. This all-you-can-eat option has a few rules, though, some including the obvious: beer not included (for liability reasons, most likely) and the not-so obvious: only specific items are on the menu.
EAT AT A SECRET RESTAURANT
Although hardly secret anymore, this restaurant began as a “last way out” for chef and owner, Kaz Oyama, and can be found deep on Pico by the West Pavillon Mall. One of LA’s most secret restaurants, Totoraku – or “Secret Beef” to some regulars – requires more than a reservation to get in. In fact, Totoraku doesn’t take reservations at all; instead, a previous diner must invite you – with the chef’s permission – to the restaurant. Although pricey ($140 per person), this is definitely an experience not to be missed.
Hint: This restaurant is also BYOB, so come prepared and one-up your friends by bringing your favorite dinner pairings.
VISIT OLD TOWN PASADENA’S BEER HALL AND UNDERGROUND BAR
Der Wolfskopf, an upscale beer-hall offers more than just great German beer and food; this establishment also houses a bar underneath the main floor. Although this secretive bar requires an invite from the bartender, the selection of hard-to-find German brews accompanied with the better-known ones are reason enough to go.
EXPLORE ONE OF LA’S BEAUTIFUL JAPANESE GARDENS
Located near Pasadena, The Huntington is home to the historic and beloved Japanese Garden; attracting over 20 million since the institution opened to the public in 1928, the garden’s beauty includes koi-ponds, a moon bridge, and a Japanese House. While the entirety of The Huntington should be explored, the Japanese Garden is both an inspiration and a lesson on Japan’s distinctive traditions, architecture, and rituals.
RELAX AND UNWIND WITH A BUNCH OF FREE BANDS
Usually on Mondays, venues around Echo Park and Silver Lake host bands and artists – all free to the public. Bands such as Foster the People, Cold War Kids, Silversun Pickups and more have all played here before hitting international stardom.
Hint: Also try Santa Monica’s summer “Twilight Concerts,” running Thursday’s from June 22 – August 17.
VISIT ONE OF LA’S RENOWNED MUSEUMS
The LACMA, MOCA, The Broad, and more – all world-renowned and culturally significant, these museums can often be explored for free and boast a variety of different exhibits and interactive art rooms.
Hint: The MOCA offers free admission every Thursday from 5-8pm.
GO OVERNIGHT TO CATALINA
Whether you go by ferry or another means of transportation (you can even take a helicopter) the island is a host for fun activities, such as zip lining, bike riding, boating, kayaking, hiking and more. End the day with a drink – or two – at one of Catalina’s best bars.
WAIT IN LINE FOR THE ICONIC PINK’S HOT DOGS
Named one of the top ten hot dogs in the U.S., Pink’s hotdogs are worth the wait. A regular on best food lists, Pink’s Hot Dogs have been growing for 77 years.
TOUR ONE OF LA’S ONLY LEGAL DISTILLERIES
Visit Greenbar, one of LA’s only legal distilleries. Opening in 2004, this craft distillery is the area’s first since the prohibition. For a fun, out-of-the-norm activity, sign up for one of their weekly tours – you can also try tastings of the spirits produced at Greenbar.
OVERLOOK THE CITY ON A GLASS SLIDE 1,000-FT. IN THE AIR
Visit the U.S. Tower Bank and get a 360-degree view of Downtown and more, sliding down the side of the iconic skyscraper. There are also two observation terraces and plenty of interactive technology to experience.
SEE THE SIGHTS AT GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
With views of most of LA, the Hollywood sign and more, Griffith is a staple that everyone – tourist or local – should visit at least once. Look through telescopes, explore exhibits, see live shows at the planetarium, and take in the views of Los Angeles – and its free!
Hint: Visit both during the day and at night to get the full experience.
WALK ONE OF LA’S HIDDEN STAIRCASES
Take in all the scenery LA has to offer by walking some of the more secluded staircases, like the Hidden Stairways of Silver Lake. With more than 275 places to visit, these gems are hidden everywhere from Pasadena to the Palisades.
HIKE EATON CANYON
One of the most accessible for all ages, this trail – located in the Pasadena area park – boasts beautiful views and active wildlife.
Hint: visit on weekdays if you wish to cut out the majority of the hike and park just a mile from the waterfall.
EXPLORE THE FIRST CHINATOWN IN AMERICA
Experience the culture of LA’s Chinatown, the first established in America. It’s home to many traditional restaurants, herbal shops, antique stores and art galleries, and to wind down, visit one of the neighborhood’s best bars, Hop Louie.
SPEND THE DAY AT DESCANSO GARDENS
Visit this 1,600-acre park, renowned for its botanical collections and activities – you can take a class, go to a concert, or just explore around the area, it even includes a 5-acre rose garden.
VISIT THE LAST BOOKSTORE
The Last Bookstore is the largest new and used book and record store, opening in 2005. Explore all the tunnels (built from books), hidden rooms, records for sale, sculptures the 22,000-sq. ft. space has to offer.
And after the day is done, explore a little further and unwind with a drink or two, here.