Santa Monica Pier, Things to do in Los Angeles, Those Someday Goals

Things to Do in Los Angeles: Hot Spots and Hidden Gems

Creating the perfect itinerary for a vacation in Los Angeles can feel overwhelming. CheapOair can help. Whether you are traveling solo or with kids to Southern California, their new “Things To Do” web series can help you plan an unforgettable getaway.

This post is sponsored by CheapOair. As always, all opinions belong to Those Someday Goals.

I have lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, and I still get lost. No, it’s not because I’m bad at directions. Okay, it’s not only that. This city covers a vast amount of territory. Los Angeles has also welcomed an enormous population. At last count, the greater Los Angeles area includes more than 19 million people. And as The CheapOair Travel Guy, Beau Rials notes, “they all have cars.”

Planning Things to Do in Los Angeles

The traffic is one thing that can destroy an otherwise perfect itinerary. People visiting, particularly those visiting for the first time, don’t know how to prepare for it. You may have planned an entire list of incredible things to do in Los Angeles, but if they require you to keep crossing the city, you will never make most of them. When I first visited LA, I had a visit to Griffith Observatory for a 2:00 p.m. show, a quick trip to the shops on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, and a plan to go downtown before going to an event near LAX at 6:00 p.m. HA! We had to ditch everything after the Observatory to make it back to the hotel to change for the event.

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Remember: it’s not the distance; it is the time it takes to get there. Instead, plan things to do in LA based on sectors. Beach days, Hollywood days, Downtown days, Beverly Hills days, etc. This way, you can enjoy the activities without spending the entire day in the car. And while you might enjoy exploring the city that way, you know that if you are traveling with children, that’s going to get old quickly.

“Things To Do, Los Angeles”

Now that you have that insider tip, it’s time to start planning. Begin by watching the first episode in CheapOair’s new web program, “Things To Do, Los Angeles.”

As a long-time resident, I loved the episode because it gives you a taste of the city and takes you beyond the Insta-famous spots. The sights and sounds of LA grab your attention and spark an urge to explore. It doesn’t focus on just the celebrity factor. Sure, you can plan an evening of Kardashian-spotting at Craig’s or sampling the delights of Jose Andres’ The Bazaar. They offer fantastic food, and you are bound to get a celebrity spotting experience out of it. BUT Rials’ also fills you in on a place like Pink’s – it’s THE hot dog spot in Los Angeles, and it has lines around the block for a reason.

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Visiting Union Station

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Olvera Street

I love that the series takes you to Olvera Street! That’s so rare to see from travel shows. Olvera offers some of the most incredible Mexican food in the country. The flavors of Old LA and the sound of live music fill the air daily. Bring your appetite and an urge to dance. And because of its location, it is easy to combine a visit to Olvera Street with a show in the downtown theater district, a football game at USC, basketball or a concert at the Staples Center, or one of downtown’s famous walking tours.

The Hollywood Sign

The CheapOair series is terrific for offering tips for anyone traveling on a budget. Who doesn’t want to learn more about the free things to do in LA? I’m always on the lookout for that intel. You don’t have to go on a hike to get a great photo of the legendary Hollywood sign. The series gives you a tempting tip on how to see it before exploring a piece of Hollywood (celebrity and celestial) history. And Beachwood Canyon residents will thank you for taking Rials’ advice.

Muscle Beach Venice Things to Do in Los Angeles Those Someday Goals
Have lunch near the original Muscle Beach in Los Angeles

Take to the Beach

Are you hitting the road for the first time in a while? The beaches beckon and are well worth an entire day. I’m from Ohio. It is 31 degrees there right now. It’s 77 here. Now, I loved Ohio, but for a vacation, you can’t beat the LA weather. You can drive up to Paradise Cove in Malibu for breakfast on the beach, followed by sunbathing or a long walk on the sand, or check out the delights of Venice before retiring for an incredible Italian-inspired dinner at Barrique Venice (it’s in a little yellow house that seems wildly unassuming given the Michelin awarded chef).

Entertain the Kids

Are you coming into town with children? As the “Things To Do, Los Angeles” reveals, places like the Santa Monica pier are a must. Between the games, the rides and the views, it’s a fun starting point for the entire family. Studio tours can be exciting, and if you love the movies, there is no better place to spend time than Los Angeles. As the CheapOair series mentions, the outdoor park and museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is perfect for the whole family, and it is adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which often has family craft days and free concerts on the weekends during the late spring, summer and fall.

LACMA Lamps, Jazz Night, Free Concerts, Free LA, Those Someday Goals, Things to Do in Los Angeles
Arrive early for the free Jazz concerts at LACMA

The “Things To Do” Series

CheapOair’s new monthly series starts in Los Angeles, but it doesn’t stop there. Travel show fans will love subscribing and following the adventures of Beau Rials as he visits exciting destinations that are sure to capture the imagination and inspire wanderlust. In addition to the CheapOair YouTube Channel, you can also catch the “Things To Do” series on the CheapOair Miles-Away blogsite. I’ve already subscribed because travel shows are my jam, and I’m always planning our next trip.

Stay Tuned

One more thing before I let you go: I hear talk that CheapOair will be reaching out to followers on their social media channels for a chance to participate in something exciting over the next couple of months. No details have leaked yet, but their followers on YouTube, Insta, Facebook and Twitter will get the inside scoop first.

This post is sponsored by CheapOair. As always, all opinions belong to Those Someday Goals. And you know I have them.

37 Replies to “Things to Do in Los Angeles: Hot Spots and Hidden Gems”

  1. Ha! I live in LA and I always forget about the “things to do here” – hahaha! On the weekends my husband and I are like, WHAT DO YOU WANNA DO?! And then we wind up doing nothing – LOL! Probably because we want to avoid tourists and crowds!

    1. LOL!! I think with so many things to do, it can feel overwhelming. So, often, we opt for Netflix. 🙂 But we’re trying to force ourselves to get out and experience more of the city.

    1. Rush hour is a complicated thing because the film industry isn’t a 8-5 gig. But if you can travel very early, between 10-12 and in the evenings after 7, you’ll see a big change. Otherwise, I’m a big fan of sticking to certain zones, where as a tourist (or even a local), you can park your car and walk to many things. It’s much more fun and significantly less stressful.

  2. Our relatives are near here so I will visit them on our next visit. We were planning to go already the last time.. man. Hopefully soon.

  3. Lots of beautiful places in Los Angeles! If I go to Los Angeles someday. The first place that I want to visit is The Hollywood Sign 🙂 Great photos!

  4. I haven’t been to the LA area for over 10 years. I really love the beaches near LA and in the OC because they are great for learning how to surf.

    1. There are some gorgeous ones in the area, and I know that in the OC they have some big surfing festivals that draw thousands.

    1. It can definitely take some getting used to. I moved here from NYC, so it was a pretty easy transition. Plus, it never hurts to be close to the beach. 🙂

  5. I like when you said it’s not the distance, it’s the time to take to the destination. Also to plan visiting by sectors, it’s a great idea.

    1. It really helps, particularly if you don’t know the city well enough to find the back ways to things.

  6. I find this very helpful. Especially your tips on the traffic and kids. I am a mom of three boys so finding things to do with my kids is always important when we travel.

  7. I found this article just in time. I am getting ready to start planning a bachelorette party to this destination! I can’t wait!

  8. My partner and I are planning a trip to LA, perfect timing to have found your blog! Thanks so much – I’m sure our trip will be better for it!

  9. I love LA! I visited for the first time last spring, and you are so right about planning days around particular areas. It’s no fun to spend all your time going from one place to another. I actually had good luck riding the subway, but just to downtown. Must get to your other suggestions next time—Griffith was actually closed for reno, so that is high on my list! Must plan a beach day, too, and see the Santa Monica pier. Great resource!

    1. It seems like Griffith was closed FOREVER! But now that it is back in the swing of things, it’s a terrific place to visit and make plans around.

  10. I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I go! I haven’t been to most of the tourist spots!

  11. I am so glad to have found this post as we have been discussing going back to LA. Our first trip was not super pleasant so we want to give it another try. You aren’t kidding about the traffic though….WOW, and it takes a lot for me to say that. I live in Dallas. I just thought we had bad traffic. LOL!

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