LA sprawls for miles along the Pacific Coast and back to the Santa Monica mountains. It’s a city of contrasts from the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills to quirky and alternative Venice Beach, from hikes in the mountains to riding the surf there is plenty for everyone.
Check out these 9 spots for some great LA vibes to fill up your Instagram feed!
1. The Hollywood Sign
Nothing screams LA more than an image of the Hollywood Sign. It sits high above the city in the Santa Monica hills and is easily one of the most recognisable locations in the USA. There are a number of locations you can see the sign from and we headed to Lake Hollywood Park for this one. There are plenty of hikes you can set out on to get different perspectives of the sign as well.
2. Santa Monica Pier
With flashing lights, the sound of coins clinking in slot machines and the smell of freshly fried corndogs in the air, a visit to Santa Monica Pier is a must in LA! Snag a photo with the jumble of colours and rides behind you – even better as the sun is setting and you can catch some golden hour light.
We had a blast trying our luck at the penny falls and I even won a plastic lizard and over size plastic purple ring. After guarding our corn dogs from thieving seagulls we strolled back along the pier in search of some frozen yoghurt.
3. Lifeguard Huts
The baby blue lifeguard huts are a typical sight along LA beaches and beyond so make sure you get a classic shot of one. Channeling your inner baywatch is a must.
One beach hut on Venice Beach is completely different to the others and painted with the colours of the rainbow as a tribute to pride. This was obvs my favourite!
4. The Venice Beach Sign
There’s plenty to do in the alternative Venice Beach area of LA. Take a stroll down the boardwalk and try to avoid walking away having paid for CDs you don’t want. Take a look at the stalls selling souvenirs and pick up a homemade lemonade to cool down. Stop off and watch the gym buffs working out at Muscle Beach or marvel at the skate boarding tricks at the skate park. Wander back a few steps from the boardwalk up Windward Avenue to find the infamous Venice sign.
5. Griffith Observatory
I was keen to get to the Griffith Observatory for a sunset view over LA but unfortunately we just didn’t get a chance to. LA is so big that just getting between the places you want to visit can take an hour.
Walk up through Griffith Park to reach the Art Deco observatory that houses a museum of science and space. You can get some spectacular views stretching out across LA as well as back to the Hollywood Sign as well.
6. Santa Monica Sunset
California sunsets are renowned for being super colourful and bright. The LA coastline of the Sunshine State faces in the perfect direction for a stunning sunset over the Ocean.
Boost the purple and pink vibes of sunset with a Santa Monica sunset, palm trees or rollercoaster in the background for a great silhouette.
7. Hollywood Walk of Fame
You’ve been told that it’s not what you’re expecting and you probably know it’s not the cleanest area of the city but you’re still going to visit Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame anyway because this is LA!
The first stars were unveiled in 1958 and have been added to over the years until there are now over 2,600 stars spread out along the pavement. Seek out your favourite star and snap a photo beside it.
Oh, and I kid you not, even Shrek has a star…!
8. Venice Canals
The Venice canals were created in 1905 by Abbot Kinney (the nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard is named after him) who wanted to recreate the atmosphere of Venice, Italy in LA. They’re a tranquil slice of green in an otherwise concrete jungle of a city.
9. El Capitan Theatre
Add some glitz to your Insta feed with a photo of the stunning El Capitan Theatre, a colourful, gaudy movie theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. It used to be a playhouse but was converted into a movie theatre in the 1940s. El Capitan is owned by Walt Disney so often holds premiers of many Disney films.