12 Can't-Miss Events in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is so much more than the glamour of Hollywood award shows and lazy beach days. Check out the best events in LA all year long, from a Mexican-wrestling-themed Valentine’s Day celebration to retro Christmas fun!

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Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

There’s something for everyone at Santa Monica Pier, including souvenir shops, carnival games, arcades, restaurants and a trapeze school. Don’t miss the free summer concerts on the pier or a fun ride on the 46-horse carousel or Ferris wheel. 960 1280

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Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

Spend an action-packed day with the family at Universal Studios Hollywood. Explore where blockbuster movies are made on a studio tour, and experience unique rides like Transformers: The Ride-3D, Revenge of the Mummy and the world’s largest 3-D experience, King Kong 360. We recommend the 3-block promenade, CityWalk, which includes more than 30 places to eat, 30 shops, 6 nightclubs and a 19-screen IMAX theater. 960 1280

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Disneyland

Disneyland

Thousands of people flock to Disneyland every year. Just 33 miles south of LA, this magical theme park features a seasonal FANTASMIC! Parade, the World of Color light-water show and opportunities for kids to dine with their favorite Disney characters. And you can’t forget the dozens of rides like Space Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. 960 1280

Paul Hiffmeyer / Disneyland  

The Getty Center

The Getty Center

Visit the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Center to see its permanent collection of art that includes European and American history from medieval times to the present. Head outdoors to view contemporary and modern sculptures, or take a stroll through the Center’s Central Garden. This carefully manicured garden has a 134,000-square-foot design that is the centerpiece for the natural ravine and tree-lined walkway. 960 1280

Travis Conklin / LA Tourism  

Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey

Tucked along the Pacific Coast, just south of Venice Beach, Marina del Rey is the perfect SoCal setting for a waterfront stroll or bike ride. The scenic marina is dotted with small yachts and watercraft. Visit Fisherman's Village, designed to resemble a New England seaport, where it's possible to organize sunset and dinner cruises around the harbor. 960 1280

Marina del Ray Convention & Visitors Bureau  

LA Farmers Market

LA Farmers Market

Opened in July 1934, the LA Farmers Market is a historic landmark and tourist attraction that features more than 100 restaurants, food stalls, grocers and tourist shops. This is the market for foodies in search of ethnic cuisines and specialty food markets. Looking for more places to shop? Well, you don’t have to go too far. Visit the Grove, a retail and entertainment complex located nearby. 960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific

Visit one of the largest aquariums in the US, the Aquarium of the Pacific. Located in Long Beach, CA, this amazing aquarium is home to more than 11,000 ocean animals, representing nearly 500 species found in the Pacific Ocean. Watch marine life in action like West Coast Sea Nettles (pictured). 960 1280

AFP / Getty Images  

Page Museum

Page Museum

See more than 1 million ice age fossils from 650 species -- from a Columbian mammoth tusk to the tooth of a baby mouse -- at the Page Museum. Visitors can also watch paleontologists work on fossils right before their eyes in the Fishbowl Lab. The museum is dedicated to researching the La Brea Tar Pits and displaying the animals that died there. 960 1280

Photolibrary / Getty Images  

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Explore more than 111 years of history at LA’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Visitors flock to this popular burial ground to pay homage to hundreds of Hollywood’s greatest stars like Rudolph Valentino, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Johnny Ramone and Douglass Fairbanks. 960 1280

Daniel Hartwig  

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Head to Venice Beach. The beachfront neighborhood, located on the west-side region of LA County, is known for its canals, beaches and Ocean Front Walk, a 2-and-a-half-mile pedestrian-only promenade that features performers, fortune tellers, artists and vendors. 960 1280

John Paul “Boomer” Lacoangelo / LA Tourism  

Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park

Hike, jog or just walk through the 160-acre Runyon Canyon Park, located at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. In addition to celebrity sightings, this park is also known for having a liberal dog leash policy. It’s not uncommon to see dogs roaming around — with their owners, of course — off their leashes on 90 acres of the park. 960 1280

Chris Goldberg, [Flickr  

Paramount Studios

Paramount Studios

Experience 100 years of Hollywood history and witness more in the making on a tour of the Paramount Pictures studio lot. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the longest operating and only remaining major studio in Hollywood. This studio lot is where several TV shows are filmed, including Glee, Dr. Phil, Community and NCIS: Los Angeles. 960 1280

Stephen Berkman / LA Tourism  

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Thousands of people converge on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame -- more than 2,500 stars embedded in the sidewalks. These brass stars bare the names of the famous actors, musicians, directors, and producers like Michael Jackson, Cate Blanchett and Gene Roddenberry. 960 1280

: Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images  

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

Get the best views of LA and the stars at Griffith Observatory. Located 1,134 feet above sea level, the observatory is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin and it is one of southern California’s most popular attractions. It features the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon, public telescopes and more! 960 1280

Griffith Observatory / LA Tourism  

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

More than a million people visit the 20-acre Los Angeles County Museum of Art each year. This museum holds more than 120,000 works that span from ancient times to the present. This is a must-see stop for art lovers who appreciate Asian, Latin American, pre-Columbian and Islamic art. 960 1280

Fred Prouser / Reuters  

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Enjoy a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Lillian Disney made the initial donation of $50 million to build the venue as a tribute to Walt Disney’s devotion to the arts and to the city. Frank Gehry, a Canadian-American architect, designed the building. 960 1280

Travis Conklin / LA Tourism  

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Shop till you drop in one of the most glamorous places in the US on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. More than 100 boutiques and hotels span 3 city blocks along this famous street. And while you’re in the area, don’t forget to check out the Walk of Style, which features plaques embedded in the sidewalk with personal quotes and signatures from top designers including Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani and Manolo Blahnik. 960 1280

Wendy Connet / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images  

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl officially opened on July 11, 1922. The “bowl” refers to the shape of the concave hillside where the amphitheater is located. Home to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the summer home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the amphitheater is known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that graced the site from 1929 through 2003. A larger one was added at the beginning of the 2004 season. Music lovers heading here by subway should hop off at the Hollywood & Highland station. 960 1280

Mathew Imaging / WireImage / Getty Images  

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Sunset Strip

Sunset Strip

The mile-and-a-half stretch of Sunset Boulevard, better known as Sunset Strip, passes through West Hollywood, extending from Hollywood on Harper Avenue to Beverly Hills at Sierra Drive. 960 1280

Anna Bryukhanova/iStock.com  

Capitol Records Building

Capitol Records Building

The Capitol Records Tower, located in the Hollywood Boulevard commercial and entertainment district on Vine Street, was built in 1956, and is considered one of the city's historic landmarks. 960 1280

Dan Bannister/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images  

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, located near the Kodak Theatre, consists of more then 2,000 celebrity permanent public monuments (stars) on more than 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. 960 1280

Gavin Hellier/Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images  

The Viper Room

The Viper Room

The always-popular Viper Room nightclub on Sunset Strip, which opened in 1993, was once partly owned by Johnny Depp, and is infamous for the drug-related death of actor River Phoenix. 960 1280

Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images  

Kodak Theatre

Kodak Theatre

Located in the Hollywood and Highland Center shopping mall and entertainment complex on Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue, the Kodak Theatre was built in 2001 and is the first permanent home of the Academy Awards. 960 1280

Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images  

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

The iconic Hollywood Sign, which is about 45 feet high and 350 feet wide, was created in 1923. 960 1280

Tim Hawley  

Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont

Modeled after a French chateau in France's Loire Valley, the Chateau Marmont was built in 1927. Chateau Marmont has been referenced in songs, seen on album covers and has been a high-end place to crash for some of the biggest celebrity party animals. 960 1280

David Freund/iStock.com  

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Located on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre has played host to many of the biggest movie premieres. 960 1280

Hisham Ibrahim/Photolibrary/Getty Images  

Hand and Footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Hand and Footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Quite possibly the most revered "blonde" in history, Marilyn Monroe left her handprints in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre after the release of her movie Gentleman Prefer Blondes in 1953. 960 1280

Glowimages/Getty Images  

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl

Seating almost 18,000 people, the Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural amphitheater in the US, and is set against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills. 960 1280

Mathew Imaging/WireImage/Getty Images  

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

If shopping is what you fancy, there is no better place in Hollywood than Rodeo Drive. The 3-block stretch is lined with boutiques and shops: Versace, Prada and Jimmy Choo, to name a few. 960 1280

Izzet Keribar/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Paramount Studios

Paramount Studios

Founded in 1912, Paramount Studios on Melrose Avenue is America's oldest existing film studio and the only remaining major film studio in Hollywood.
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Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Hollywood Forever

Hollywood Forever

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery located on Santa Monica Boulevard is the final resting place for some of Hollywood's most talented. It was founded in 1899 and, on the verge of bankruptcy in 1998, was bought, restored and refurbished by Tyler Cassity of Forever Enterprises. It is still active today. 960 1280

Barry Winiker/Photolibrary/Getty Images  

The Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel

Referred to by some as just "The Hotel," the Beverly Hills Hotel opened in 1912 as the first building in the greater area, and is partly responsible for the creation of the surrounding city of Beverly Hills.
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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images  

Mammoth Tragedy at La Brea Tar Pits

Mammoth Tragedy at La Brea Tar Pits

While excavating in the La Brea Tar Pits in order to build an underground parking garage for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art next door, a nearly intact woolly mammoth skeleton was discovered. It is now on display at George C. Page Museum on Wilshire Boulevard. 960 1280

Elizabeth W. Kearley/Moment Mobile/Getty Images  

Retro Disneyland Sign

Retro Disneyland Sign

This large sign commemorated the opening of Disneyland's new look in 1959. The park opened on July 18, 1955 to long lines of eager families and children. Although many of the rides have since changed, the long lines remain the same. 960 1280

manley099, Getty Images  

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier has been a mecca for people watching for more than 100 years. When you're done ogling the tanned and toned bodies on the pier, be sure to check out the midway games or the viewing deck. 960 1280

Lynne Gilbert, Getty Images  

Randy's Donuts

Randy's Donuts

This iconic Randy's Donuts shop features a giant donut 32.5 feet in diameter, enough to make even the diet conscious crave one of the tasty treats inside. 960 1280

Ken Ross, VW Pics, Getty Images  

Beverly Hills Hotel

Beverly Hills Hotel

Featured as cover art on the Eagles' "Hotel California" record album, the Beverly Hills Hotel is the perfect spot to spy movie stars lounging by the pool or going incognito as they recover from plastic surgery. 960 1280

Neil Emmerson / robertharding, Getty Images  

Route 101

Route 101

Angelenos stuck in LA's notoriously snarled traffic are sure to be familiar with this sign. Route 101 winds from downtown LA through Hollywood and west to the California coast. 960 1280

Geri Lavrov, Getty Images  

The Orpheum

The Orpheum

Practice your stage voice at the Orpheum theatre, which was originally a venue for vaudeville acts. You never know who might be in the audience: American Idol and America's Got Talent have broadcasted shows from Orpheum. 960 1280

stevezmina1, Getty Images  

Dodgers Stadium

Dodgers Stadium

The LA Dodgers Stadium is one of the oldest - and biggest - stadiums in Major League Baseball. If your wallet can take it, a Baseline Box will give you a great view of the field and your own private restaurant. 960 1280

Paul Spinelli, Getty Images  

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard is one of the biggest tourist stops in LA. If you're on the lookout for celebrities, be careful: in order to prevent cruising, it is illegal to drive the boulevard more than twice in four hours. 960 1280

steinphoto, Getty Images  

Westwood Village

Westwood Village

Westwood Village is one of the most interesting architectural hotspots of LA, with styles ranging from Art Deco to Mediterranean. Celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Zappa and others are buried nearby. 960 1280

Rick Gerharter / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont

The Chateau Marmont is steeped in Hollywood legend: John Belushi died in one of its rooms, and Lindsay Lohan, Howard Hughes, Keanu Reeves and many others were former long-term residents. 960 1280

David Freund, Getty Images  

Beach Crossings

Beach Crossings

A paradise for surfers and those who love them, Malibu beaches were also the filming location of the first surfing movie, Gidget. 960 1280

trekandshoot, Getty Images  

Mel's Drive-In Celebrity Bar

Mel's Drive-In Celebrity Bar

Feeling nostalgic? Mel's Drive-In vaulted into diner legend when it was used in the 1973 George Lucas film American Graffiti. In order to best recreate scenes from the movie, don't forget the poodle skirt or plenty of pomade. 960 1280

Carol Highsmith, Buyenlarge, Getty Images  

Route 66

Route 66

Running from Chicago to LA, Route 66 may no longer be part of the official interstate highway system, but is most definitely still a stylish place to get your kicks. 960 1280

Lady-Photo, Getty Images  

Santa Monica Freeway

Santa Monica Freeway

The Santa Monica Freeway runs east to west, allowing drivers to escape the city to Santa Monica to the west or Palm Springs to the east. Prepare yourself for serious traffic if you visit this 14-lane highway, even on weekends. 960 1280

Gabriele Maltinti, Shutterstock.com  

Tour the Town to Catch a Star

Tour the Town to Catch a Star

LA's many tour companies will take you on a star safari in hopes of spying celebrities in their natural habitat. 960 1280

FrankvandenBergh, iStock  

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Only famous handprints will do in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located along 1.3 miles of Hollywood Boulevard and Pine Street in downtown LA. 960 1280

David Wall, Getty Images  

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Los Angeles, United States - January 10, 2016: Close-up of the famous Hollywood Sign. Photograph taken from Mulholland Drive. 960 1280

rodolfo_salgado, Getty Images  

Bob's Big Boy

Bob's Big Boy

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery featured a rocket disguised as a Bob's Big Boy sign, but diners should not fear: they will only find burgers and other treats inside. 960 1280

Ben Noey Jr., Fort Worth Star Telegram, Getty Images  

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