Living in Los Angeles means having a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to activities. Sure, you may want to try something new, but there are certain landmarks that are always worth a visit!

Urban Light
Urban Light
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
“Urban Light” is arguably Los Angeles’ most popular outdoor art exhibits. Installed in 2008 by artist Chris Burden, this large-scale sculpture is located on Wilshire Blvd. outside of LACMA and features 202 restored street lamps from the 1920’s and 1930’s. Many of them once lit the streets of Southern California and it makes for a perfect glimpse into the past as well as some great photos for Instagram!

Angels Flight
Downtown Los Angeles
Open seven days a week, 365 days a year including holidays, Angels Flight is one of the most famed landmarks in Los Angeles and claims its fame as the world’s shortest railway. After being shut down for a year, the narrow guage funicular railway in the Bunker Hill area of downtown LA has two cars running in opposite directions on a shared cable. Built in 1901, its purpose was to transport locals up and down the steep incline. Today, it is one of the city’s most well known landmarks and primarily a tourist attraction.

Griffith Observatory
Remember James Dean in his iconic pose from the movie “Rebel without a Cause” that showed him looking onto the LA skyline? Well, this fine actor in his prime was just one of millions who have enjoyed the view from the Observatory, an iconic outpost located at the top of Griffith Park. From the vantage point of this landmark sitting atop the largest municipal park in the nation you’ll be able to take advantage of a myriad of telescopes in order to zoom in on certain sections of the city below. It’s perfect for an Instagram photo of the city, or take photos of the Observatory with friends. You will be amazed at the stunning panoramas of the city.

Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica
The Santa Monica Pier is an iconic part of life in Los Angeles, with fun attractions, games, and dining that draws visitors and locals alike. This classic spot at the end of Colorado Avenue is more than a hundred years old, and has an historic carousel to prove it. From the cutting edge rides at Pacific Park to a dining spots with great sunset views, the Santa Monica Pier offers something fun for everyone to experience.

Hollywood Sign
Sure, it’s one of the most touristy places to visit in Los Angeles, but what’s more LA than the Hollywood Sign? As arguably the most iconic sign in the world, the attraction is synonymous with city of LA around the world. Originally constructed to read “Hollywoodland,” it was built up by a group of developers in 1923 to promote the land to sell for housing. Almost 100 years later, its morphed into something completely different. With ways to hike to the sign, as well as plenty of places throughout Hollywood to take photos, it’s a must-see attraction. Lake Hollywood Park offers great views of the sign, or take a hike up Mt. Lee Drive which will take you above the Sign!

Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Practically every notable star, musician, comedian and entertainer has a star on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame. Discover the history of Hollywood by navigating Hollywood Boulevard and some surrounding streets which house these prized stars. Notable stars include Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Lucille Ball, Johnny Cash, Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, John Wayne, Charlize Theron and hundreds of others.

Bradbury Building
Downtown Los Angeles
As the oldest commercial building remaining in the central city, the Bradbury Building is one of Los Angeles’ most unique treasures. Discover the light filled Victorian court that rises almost fifty feet with open cage elevators, marble stairs and ornate iron railings that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time! The building was commissioned in 1893 by Lewis L. Bradbury, an L.A. millionaire made rich by mining investments and was designed by George H. Wyman.

Malibu Pier
The Malibu Pier may not be one of the most recognizable landmarks in Los Angeles, but it is one of the best and more than worth the visit. Watch surfers ride waves, spot dolphins, see a movie star or two and take in the beautiful scenery and nature. Malibu Farm and Malibu Farm Cafe are also two of the coolest places to eat on the Westside.

Venice Canals
The beautiful waterways and houses surrounding the Venice Canals are one of Venice’s most popular attractions and one of L.A.’s best landmarks not to be missed. The man-made canals, which were built in 1905, drew inspiration from Venice, Italy, and are adorned with arched bridges. Currently, there are several blocks of beautiful walking to take in, too. Whether you are looking to escape the masses in Venice or to just take a calm stroll in the sunshine, the Venice Canals are a place of tranquility and beauty. But, keep in mind, it’s important to be respectful of noise levels as it is still a residential neighborhood.

Stahl House
With so many homes in Los Angeles, what makes the Stahl House so important? To put it simply, it’s all about the architecture. Designed by architect Pierre Koenig, the house is on the U.S. national registry of historic places because it is considered to be an iconic representation of modern architecture in L.A. during the twentieth century. It was also made famous by a photograph that Julius Shulman took where two women were sitting in a corner of the home with a panoramic view of the city through floor to ceiling glass walls. Known as Case Study House #22, it has been in many movies as well. This is one landmark all Angelenos should visit atleast once!

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Through the years, The Hollywood Forever cemetery has only grown in popularity with the many events being held on its grounds. From Cinespia outdoor movies, Día de los Muertos events to concerts and more, this is no ordinary cemetery. Angelenos flock to the grounds because of the events, and due to Hollywood’s most acclaimed stars being buried there. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles too and the only one in Hollywood. The graves and crypts are resting places for countless Hollywood elites like Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplan Jr., Rudoph Valentino, Mickey Rooney, Douglas Fairbanks, Nelson Eddy, Peter Lorre, Janet Gaynor, Tyrone Power and Clifton Webb. The cemetery is also rumored to be haunted and is a popular venue for Halloween.

Gamble House
What’s so special about the Gamble House? Designed by brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene and completed in 1909, it is a terrific example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. Now listed as a National Historic Landmark, it is a glimpse into L.A.’s past. Take a docent tour, which will focus on features of the home you may not see at first glance.

Watts Towers
If you are looking for a unique landmark, this one is definitely memorable. This collection of 17 different structures sits in the neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles, and it has been a source of pride for the neighborhood, bringing attention from all over the world since they were completed in 1954. They are a stunning achievement in architecture and art, one that has been the subject of films, books and art experts from all over. And you can visit and tour this impressive piece of artwork that lives right in your own backyard.

Jordan Schlecter is the editor for CBSLA’s “Best of Los Angeles” & “Best of Orange County”

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