Want to know the ins and outs of the best L.A. has to offer? Let Time Out L.A's critics be your guide to the city. Even lifelong Angelenos will find something new to add to their to-do lists.Less
Even if you’re not there for the food, this century-old gathering place is worth a trip; people from all corners of L.A. mix and mingle among rows of spices, produce and vintage neon signage. Of course, if you’re hungry it’s a great place to get some al pastor tacos from Tacos Tumbras a Tomas, a fast burger from Belcampo, a vegan bowl from Ramen Hood, a breakfast sandwich from Eggslut or some strawberry perfection from the Donut Man.
A free hilltop art museum with a rolling lawn overlooking the ocean, the Getty Center’s panoramic views more than compensate for its relative inaccessibility (you need to ride a tram to the museum). So too do the masterpieces on display, particularly its Impressionist paintings and baroque and French decorative arts. Don’t miss Pacific Palisades sister institution the Getty Villa, which is brimming with Greek and Roman antiquities. Both museums require a free reservation; parking costs $20.
The trails, the flora, the views, the howls of coyotes down the canyons at night, the twinkly lights of Downtown in the distance: L.A. may not have a grassy, centralized park, but Griffith’s 4,000 acres of hilly wilderness make for a stellar alternative. And even when the Griffith Observatory is closed (on Mondays), you can still drive or hike up to the grounds of the landmark art deco dome to take in the unparalleled views.
The Huntington’s distinctly themed gardens are easily the most stunning manicured outdoor spaces in SoCal. Add in a historic library and stellar museum, and this San Marino spot is more than worth the cost of admission ($25–$29; reservations required on weekends). Wander rows of roses, climb through a bamboo forest at the Japanese garden, admire the cacti in the desert garden and go for a stroll around the Chinese garden, which recently welcomed a massive expansion.
Three words: Infinity Mirror Rooms. Downtown’s persistently popular contemporary art museum has two of Yayoi Kusama’s immersive, mirror-laden rooms (one that you can step into, one that you only pop your head into). Elsewhere in the free museum, Eli and Edythe Broad’s collection of 2,000 post-war works includes artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Kruger and Jeff Koons.
You’ve inevitably seen Point Dume’s iconic rock face in movies, TV shows and commercials—but for us, its beauty outranks its fame. You can pay for parking in the lot ($3–$15) or hunt for a free space along Westward Beach Road just outside of the entrance, but either way you’ll be rewarded with a wide and rarely crowded patch of sand. Pack a picnic for a beachfront meal as seals and dolphins frolic in the sunset surf, or climb an easygoing dirt path to the top of the point.
LACMA may be best known to out-of-towners for Chris Burden’s Urban Light, a piece made up of 202 cast-iron street lamps. But you’d be selling yourself short if you don’t venture beyond the photo-friendly installation; the museum’s collections boast modernist masterpieces, large-scale contemporary works and by far L.A.’s most consistently terrific special exhibitions. Just a heads up: The eastern half of the campus is in the midst of a massive redesign due to debut in late 2024.
Better known as the Strand, this 22-mile bike path traces nearly the entire extent of L.A.’s westward-facing coastline. The path starts at Will Rogers State Beach and winds its way all the way down to Torrance County Beach. If you’d rather take the path at a walking pace, you’ll find pedestrian-friendly walks through Santa Monica, Venice and Manhattan Beach.
The history of moviemaking finally has a permanent home in L.A., and it’s filled with the sorts of cinematic treasures you’d expect from the people who put on the Oscars (and yes, you can hold one): R2-D2, E.T. and the sole surviving shark from Jaws, among many others. But its slick, soap-bubble–like theater and three floors of exhibition space also tell an unflinching, nonlinear history of cinema that makes room for a mixture of stories.
Oh, so that’s why they call it Venice. These narrow canals offer a completely different side of the grungy-yet-posh beachfront neighborhood. The three canal-lined blocks and their arching pedestrian bridges are perfect for gawking at real estate. Though you won’t find boat rentals anywhere along the canals, you can bring your own non-motorized vessel to tour the neighborhood at water level (enter via the launch ramp at Venice Boulevard).