Once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, a vibrant and diverse city known as the entertainment capital of the world, offers an array of experiences that make it a must-visit destination. From its stunning beaches to breathtaking mountains, and from world-class museums to celebrity sightings, LA has something for everyone. What sets this city apart is the Once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles that can create unforgettable memories. With countless options, we have curated a list of the top 13 things to do in Los Angeles that you won’t want to miss. So, let’s dive in and explore these extraordinary experiences!

#1: Experience Hiking To The Hollywood Sign

Once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles

Embark on an unforgettable adventure by hiking to the renowned Hollywood Sign, an iconic landmark that perfectly captures the spirit of Los Angeles. Perched atop Mount Lee, this symbol of fame and glamour offers a challenging yet rewarding trek. The approximately two-hour round-trip hike treats you to breathtaking vistas of the city and the sign itself.

When you’re in LA, capturing photos in front of the Hollywood Sign is a must-do activity. While there are several trails providing glimpses of the sign (such as the easily accessible views from Griffith Observatory), there’s only one consistent trail that takes you behind the Hollywood Sign.

For the ultimate experience, opt for the Hollywood Sign via Innsdale Trail and Mount Lee Drive. This trail not only offers remarkable views of the sign but also gets you as close as possible to it. Although the trail is moderately challenging, remember to set out early to beat the scorching California sun.

#2: Journey to the Museum of Jurassic Technology

Discover the extraordinary Museum of Jurassic Technology, unlike any other in the world. With captivating exhibits on microminiature art and Soviet space dogs, this quirky museum takes you on a journey through fascinating and unusual topics. Prepare to be amazed as you explore the mysteries and peculiarities within its walls, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

#3: Join a TV Show Taping

Immerse yourself in the excitement of a live TV show by attending a taping in Los Angeles. With a variety of shows ranging from talk shows and game shows to sitcoms, there’s something for everyone. The best part? You can often secure free tickets to be part of the live audience, but be sure to plan ahead and book in advance for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

#4: Take a Helicopter Ride Over Los Angeles

Experience the thrill of a helicopter ride over Los Angeles for an incredible adventure. See the city from a whole new perspective and enjoy the luxury of a private ride. Take in breathtaking views of the Hollywood Sign, the Pacific Ocean, and more. Whether starting from the beach towns or exploring the northern parts, this unforgettable experience promises memories you won’t soon forget.

#5: Tour to The Getty Center

Tour to The Getty Center

Discover the renowned Getty Center, an iconic museum showcasing a remarkable array of global art. Perched atop the hills of Brentwood, this cultural gem offers not only a captivating collection but also breathtaking vistas of the city below. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the art, explore the enchanting gardens, and admire the stunning architecture that makes the Getty Center an unforgettable destination in Los Angeles.

#6: Slide Down a Skyscraper for Adventure

For an exhilarating adventure in Los Angeles, why not slide down a skyscraper? Located inside the US Bank Tower building in Downtown LA, the OUE Skyspace LA offers this awe-inspiring experience. Feel the rush as you descend the towering structure, with brave travelers embracing the challenge while trying to keep their eyes open. It’s a heart-pounding attraction that promises an unforgettable thrill in the heart of the city.

#7: Tour to The Griffith Observatory

Make your way to the Griffith Observatory, an iconic landmark offering stunning vistas of Los Angeles from its hilltop perch. Inside, you’ll find a wealth of captivating exhibits, including a planetarium, telescopes, and interactive displays that unravel the mysteries of the universe. Step out onto the Observatory’s outdoor terraces for breathtaking panoramic views or venture into Griffith Park to explore its scenic hiking trails. With appearances in popular films like “La La Land” and “Rebel Without a Cause,” the Griffith Observatory is a must-visit destination for movie aficionados and science lovers alike.

#8: Visit True Southern California Beach Culture

Immerse yourself in the authentic beach culture of Southern California during your visit to Los Angeles. Start at Venice Beach, where vibrant characters, street performers, and eccentric shops line the boardwalk. Engage in activities like biking, roller-skating, or even taking a surfing lesson. Nearby, explore the picturesque canals for stunning photo opportunities.

Head north to Santa Monica and experience the lively atmosphere of its bustling pier. Take a thrilling ride on the giant Ferris Wheel, offering panoramic views of the ocean and the city. Afterward, venture to The Bungalow, a renowned bar frequented by young celebrities and film industry professionals.

To the south lies the hidden gem of the “South Bay” area, comprising charming beach cities. Witness incredible surfing in El Porto, embrace the lively nightlife on Hermosa Beach Pier, or try a surf lesson or SUP rental at Redondo Beach Harbor.

#9: See The Santa Monica Pier

See The Santa Monica Pier

Don’t miss the chance to visit the legendary Santa Monica Pier, a beloved landmark that guarantees a fantastic time for the entire family. Explore the pier’s lively amusement park, discover marine wonders at the aquarium, and indulge in the array of dining and shopping options available. Enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean and witness a stunning sunset, creating a truly memorable experience on this iconic pier.

#10: A Journey to Napa Valley

Embark on an extraordinary journey by taking a train from Union Station to Napa Valley, an experience that deserves a spot on your list of once-in-a-lifetime things to do in Los Angeles.

Located in the North, Napa Valley is renowned for its exceptional wine offerings, making it the perfect destination for wine enthusiasts. It’s an ideal trip to embark on from LA, allowing you to explore the picturesque vineyards, indulge in wine tastings, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery that defines this captivating region.

#11: Take a Visit on the Walk of Fame

Visit on the Walk of Fame

Immerse yourself in the glamour of Los Angeles by taking a stroll along the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. With over 2,600 stars honoring entertainment legends, this iconic landmark is a must-visit. Experience the thrill of walking in the footsteps of Hollywood’s biggest names as you explore the star-studded sidewalk. Best of all, this enjoyable activity is completely free, ensuring a memorable and budget-friendly experience during your time in LA.

#12: Experience like a star in the Dolby Theatre

Dolby Theatre

Experience the glitz and glamour of the entertainment world by visiting the iconic Dolby Theatre. This renowned venue is where the Academy Awards, the most prestigious event in the film industry, take place. Step inside and feel like a star as you walk the same stage that has hosted countless Hollywood legends. Marvel at the grandeur of the theater’s architecture and immerse yourself in the magic of showbiz, creating unforgettable memories in the heart of Los Angeles.

#13: A trip to the Autry Museum of the American West

Immerse yourself in the captivating history of the American West by visiting the Autry Museum of the American West. This expansive museum offers a rich exploration of Native American traditions and the unique way of life in the frontier days. Discover fascinating exhibits, step into the past in a real saloon, and capture a memory with a photo to cherish. A visit to this museum is a must for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the vibrant heritage and culture of the American West.


Can I Enjoy Los Angeles without a car?

Absolutely! It’s entirely possible to enjoy Los Angeles without a car. The Metro subway and over-ground train system can conveniently take you to many top attractions, and L.A. Tourism offers car-free itineraries for exploring diverse neighborhoods on foot, bike, or Metro. With proper planning, you can have a successful car-free vacation in L.A.

How Much Time Should I Spend in Los Angeles?

The ideal duration for your stay in Los Angeles depends on your preferences and the activities you wish to pursue. If you prefer a fast-paced trip and want to cover the major attractions, 2 days may be sufficient. However, if you desire a more leisurely experience, allowing for ample time at each attraction and exploring more of California, consider allocating 3 or 4 days in Los Angeles. You can refer to a comprehensive guide to Los Angeles’s highlights to plan your itinerary effectively and make the most of your visit.

What Are The Adventures Things to Do in LA?

  • Go Surfing
  • Explore The Queen Mary
  • Go On A Whale Watching Tour
  • Stop By Descanso Gardens
  • Rent A Swan Boat
  • Visit Catalina Island
  • Get Thrills By Skydiving
  • Explore A Sea Cave
  • Go Ziplining
  • Try Out Sea-Kayaking

What is the best time to visit LA?

The ideal time to explore Los Angeles is during the vibrant spring season (March to May) or the enchanting fall season (September to November). These periods offer delightful weather, fewer crowds, and the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s unique charm and attractions.

Cost of the Helicopter Tours of Los Angeles

Helicopter tour prices in Los Angeles can vary depending on the duration of the tour and the specific company you choose. Prices generally range from around $200 to $500 per person. Various tour options are available, with durations ranging from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.

Cost to Visit The Getty Center

Admission to the Getty Center is free, allowing visitors to explore its world-renowned art collection and stunning architecture without a fee. However, please note that parking at the Getty Center costs $20 per car. 

What Does It Mean by the Museum of Jurassic Technology?

The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles offers a quirky collection of exhibits exploring unconventional subjects and blurring the line between fact and fiction.

Is it hard to hike to the Hollywood Sign?

The hike to the Hollywood Sign offers a moderate challenge, featuring invigorating uphill sections and rugged terrain. Spanning three miles round-trip, this rewarding adventure takes approximately two hours, providing ample opportunities for stunning panoramic views along the way.

Which are the best Beach to Visit in LA?

The best beach to visit in Los Angeles is subjective, as it depends on personal preferences. However, popular options include Santa Monica Beach for its iconic pier and vibrant atmosphere, Venice Beach for its bohemian vibe and boardwalk entertainment, and Zuma Beach for its beautiful scenery and spacious shoreline.

Final Words

Los Angeles offers an array of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. From hiking to the Hollywood Sign and exploring the Museum of Jurassic Technology to attending TV show tapings and taking helicopter rides over the city, there is something extraordinary for everyone. The Hollywood Sign hike provides a challenging yet rewarding adventure with breathtaking vistas. The Getty Center showcases remarkable art and stunning views. Immerse yourself in Southern California’s beach culture, stroll along the Walk of Fame, and feel like a star at the Dolby Theatre. With diverse activities, Los Angeles promises unforgettable memories.

Share this list of extraordinary experiences with your relatives, and friends, and on your social media platforms. Let them discover the wonders of Los Angeles and create their own unforgettable memories. Together, let’s inspire others to explore this vibrant city and indulge in its Once in a lifetime things to do in Los Angeles offerings. Los Angeles awaits, ready to captivate and delight those who venture into its magical realm. Don’t keep this treasure trove of experiences to yourself – spread the word and ignite the curiosity of others.