The Ultimate Bucket List for Exploring L.A.

If you’re new to the L.A. area or you’re just looking for some awesome day trip ideas, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled a list of only a handful of different places to see and experience around L.A., so don’t be afraid to do some research of your own to find your new favorite spot in this incredible city.



1. Griffith Observatory 

The word “free” is one of the best words to hear as a college student and that’s exactly how much admission is at Griffith! You can head into the observatory, check out the telescopes, admire the incredible view during the day or at night and for only $5 with your student ID card, you can check out a live program at the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. 

2. Universal Studios Hollywood

If you love theme parks and haven’t been here before, we suggest checking it out. Exhibits include The Simpsons Ride, Studio Tour, Jurassic Park – The Ride, and in spring 2016, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will finally be at the L.A. location, which is incredibly exciting for all you Harry Potter lovers out there.

 3. Runyon Canyon Park

This hike will provide you with incredible views of L.A. wherever you turn, plus you can bring your dog. Since the trail is so close to the Hollywood Hills, you never know who you may run into!


4. Urth Caffé

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there before: casually scrolling through our social media feeds until we stumble upon some really artsy pictures taken at this particular restaurant, thinking to ourselves, why can’t that be me? Now it’s your turn! Thankfully for us, the closest locations to UCLA include West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, so be sure to head over there to get delicious sandwiches, pastries, teas and coffees to post for all to see.

5. Santa Monica

From the gorgeous beach to the pier to Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica has a lot to offer for everyone, so what’s not to love?



6. Venice Beach

Don’t forget to check out the Venice Canals, Abbot Kinney Boulevard, the promenade with different vendors and the beach itself!


7. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

If you’re into art like we are, you’ll love LACMA. It’s one of the largest museums in the United States, has pieces of art from all over the world and the cost of admission is only $10 with your student ID card.

8. The Getty Center

One of the greatest things about The Getty Center is that admission is free! It’s a really awesome museum filled with art and architecture, even "Irises" by Vincent van Gogh is on display. If the art inside isn’t beautiful enough, picturesque views of L.A. can be seen from outside the museum and boy, are they a bonus. 


9. TCL Chinese Theatre

Although this area can be super touristy, it’s still really cool to say you’ve been there at least once in your lifetime. While you’re there, check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame right outside the theater!


10.  Catch a Concert at the Greek Theatre

In a city as diverse as L.A., your favorite band is probably playing at a venue near you sometime soon, so why not check one out at a super cool outdoor venue like the Greek Theatre? The band Walk the Moon will be there October 29!

11. Go to a Live Taping

When living in the entertainment capital of the world, the possibilities are endless when it comes to live entertainment. A lot of live shows like "Ellen," "Jimmy Kimmel," and "Dancing with the Stars" are filmed within Los Angeles, so check online to get tickets and be part of the crowd!


12. Drive down Highway 1

There is literally nothing quite like a road trip along the California coast. You can hop onto Highway 1 in Santa Monica and either head north for Malibu and Santa Barbara or south for Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach.


13. Visit The Grove

With over thirty different stores to shop at, you will be able to satisfy all of your shopping needs at The Grove, which also hosts multiple different restaurants and a cinema. There are always book signings happening at Barnes and Noble so be sure to check online to see who’s coming next!



14. Dodger Stadium

Can’t get enough of America’s favorite pastime? Wear some Dodger blue and check out a baseball game at Dodger Stadium when the season starts in April.

15. The Staples Center

Whether you’re a Lakers or Clippers fan, check out a game at least once during your time in L.A. The regular season starts the last week of October!

16. Hollywood Sign Hike

Simply another opportunity to see all of L.A. but this time up close and personal with the legendary sign. Need we say more?

17. Football Game at the Rose Bowl Stadium

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being packed into that famous stadium alongside thousands of UCLA fans cheering on your favorite football team. Go Bruins!


Well there you have it! We hope these ideas get you brainstorming your next big adventure!

Images courtesy of the Daily Bruin, Theme Park Insider, Bring Fido, People, Megan Reusche, PLG Estates, Art News, The Getty, Living Out Loud Los Angeles, Guides LA, Experience LA, Chasing LA, Wikipedia, Discover Los Angeles, Hollywood Sign and Giphy.