Los Angeles is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. From the Hollywood Sign to the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles has a wide variety of attractions that draw millions of visitors every year.
In this article, we will explore some of these famous landmarks and discuss their histories, features, and significance.
We will also provide tips on visiting each location so you can make the most out of your trip! So continue reading to learn more about Los Angeles’ most beloved landmarks.
Famous Landmarks in Los Angeles
1. Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory is one of the most iconic landmarks in Los Angeles. More than 85 million people have visited since its opening in 1935, making it one of the city’s most popular attractions.
The observatory sits atop Mount Hollywood and offers amazing views of the cityscape. Located just minutes from downtown, you can see the Hollywood Sign and Downtown skyline, as well as educational programs about astronomy and other space-related topics.
The 16,000-square-foot building also houses interactive exhibits and engaging planetarium shows, making it a great destination for families and science lovers alike.
From the observatory’s grounds, visitors can observe distant stars and planets with its many powerful telescopes. The observatory is open daily, and admission to general grounds is free.
Visitors must reserve tickets in advance for popular public events such as public star parties, lectures, special programs, live telescope viewings at night, or even weddings!
2. Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is a world-famous movie studio and theme park located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.
It opened its doors to the public in 1915, and over the years it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern California.
From its early days as a small studio where movies were filmed, it has grown into a massive amusement park with rides and attractions based on some of the most popular films and TV shows in history.
Some of Universal Studios Hollywood’s most famous rides include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and King Kong 360 3D.
The park also offers tours of its movie studios, which are open to the public. Over the years, Universal Studios Hollywood has been used as a filming location for many famous movies and TV shows, including Back to the Future, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and The Fast and Furious.
3. Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a cultural landmark in downtown Los Angeles. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, this stunning building has become an icon of modern architecture and design.
The stainless steel exterior of the building reflects its surrounding environment, while the interior is clad in exotic woods and illuminated by natural light.
Inside, visitors will find two grand concert halls that offer superb acoustics for both orchestras and smaller ensembles. The Walt Disney Concert Hall also hosts lectures, recitals, and special events throughout the year. Beyond its walls lies a lush garden area that often features musical performances from local artists.
This beautiful venue offers something for everyone, from classical music aficionados to casual music fans. Whether you’re looking to experience the grandeur of a live concert or simply explore its unique architecture, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is an unforgettable experience.
4. The Getty
The Getty Center is a world-class museum and research complex located in the hills of Brentwood, Los Angeles. Founded by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty in 1953, it consists of two buildings: the Museum and the Research Institute.
The Center houses an impressive collection of artwork from many cultures around the world. Its permanent collection features works from artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, Pollock, and Warhol.
In addition to its art galleries, visitors can explore gardens filled with lush vegetation and sculptures dotted throughout its grounds. The Center also has an array of interactive exhibits that focus on topics like archeology and conservation.
With an array of activities for families and educational programs for students, The Getty Center is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the world’s great masterpieces.
5. Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is one of the most iconic landmarks on the California coast. Located at the end of Santa Monica’s beautiful beach, it features numerous attractions including an aquarium, amusement park, and dozens of shops and restaurants.
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll down the pier to soak up the views or partake in some fun activities like fishing or playing carnival games. With its spectacular sunsets and vibrant atmosphere, this attraction is worth visiting day or night.
Other nearby attractions include Muscle Beach Gym, Pacific Park amusement park, and Heal the Bay Aquarium. So, whether you’re visiting for the day or staying for a longer vacation, the Santa Monica Pier is an ideal spot to explore and have some fun.
6. Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Los Angeles. Located on Mount Lee in Griffith Park, it was erected as an advertisement for a housing development in 1923 and has since become an iconic symbol of the city’s entertainment industry.
The sign stands tall at 45 feet and its white block letters can be seen from miles away. Although visitors are not allowed to get up close to the actual sign, there are numerous nearby trails that offer stunning views of it.
From these vantage points, visitors can snap pictures and admire the stunning sight of this world-famous landmark.
7. Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is an iconic outdoor amphitheater located in the heart of Los Angeles. Established in 1922, it has been a popular spot for concerts and performances ever since.
Its unique acoustics make it one of the most sought-after venues to experience music and theater in the city.
It is known for hosting events such as classical music concerts, tribute bands, Broadway musicals, movie screenings, and more. On any given night, visitors can enjoy world-class entertainment at this open-air venue under the stars.
With its iconic architecture and stunning hillside setting, The Hollywood Bowl is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.
8. La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Located in the heart of Los Angeles, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in archaeology and geology. Visitors can observe fossils from ancient animals like dire wolves, saber-toothed cats, mammoths, and other extinct species.
They can also explore interactive exhibits on conservation science, watch paleontologists unearth fossils at work sites around the area, or take part in educational programs about prehistoric life.
With its stunning grounds and fascinating exhibits, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is an ideal place to learn about our planet’s past.
9. Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is one of the largest art museums in the United States. Located on Wilshire Boulevard, it houses a collection of more than 150,000 works from ancient times to the present day.
This vast repository includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, drawings, and other forms of visual expression. In addition to its permanent collection, LACMA also hosts special exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Visitors can explore galleries focusing on contemporary art or take a stroll through outdoor sculpture gardens for an afternoon in one of LA’s most noteworthy attractions.
The museum first opened its doors in 1965 as the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art. It was later renamed to its current name in 1980. The museum has since undergone several expansions and renovations, with the most recent occurring in 2008.
Today, LACMA is home to a number of notable works from artists like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse. It is also one of only a few museums in the world to house a full set of Ancient Egyptian sarcophagi.
Whether you’re an art lover or not, Los Angeles County Museum of Art is definitely worth a visit.
10. TCL Chinese Theatre
The TCL Chinese Theatre is an iconic Hollywood attraction and one of the most recognizable movie palaces in the world. Built in 1927, it has hosted countless premieres and special events since its inception.
Its signature forecourt features over 200 celebrity handprints, footprints, and signatures embedded in cement blocks that line the entrance. Inside the theater, visitors can view original movie posters, memorabilia from past gatherings, and intricate art deco designs.
Whether they’re watching a classic film or simply taking photos outside with friends, anyone who visits this legendary venue will be sure to have an unforgettable experience.