Tag Archives: sightseeing in LA

LA’s Top 5 Touristy Spots

By Connor Brown

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3.5 minute read]

Popularity is an interesting concept. Some people see popular things as good, assuming that if many people enjoy something, it must have value. Others see popular things as bad, assuming that if a ton of people like something, it must be “basic” or overhyped. Los Angeles is home to both opinions, and as a capital of both trends and hipsters, the nuance between these two stances emerges. Many of the most popular, touristy things to do in Los Angeles are fun, others not as much. From my experience as an Angeleno, here are the five best touristy things to do in Los Angeles — all popular, pleasant, and picturesque!

Photo by Joseph Ngabo on Unsplash

1. Santa Monica

First on our list is arguably LA’s most famous beach, the iconic Santa Monica, brimming with sight seers, seagulls, and sunshine. Santa Monica is a fairly large city within LA, and offers more than just an endless, wide beach. The boardwalk is a popular tourist attraction, and while it’s not my personal favorite, many enjoy it. The Promenade along Third Street is a great shopping center, and the surrounding area is full of intriguing stores and sights. Ocean Avenue offers a great walking path, and leads right into the iconic Pacific Palisades. Best of all, Santa Monica is easily accessible via public transit, as the Metro Expo Line ends in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, blocks from both the beach and the Promenade.

2. Griffith Park

My personal favorite on this list, Griffith Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who’s been to LA. The park itself is massive, covering a large swath of the LA hills, and includes a number of great hiking paths. It is also home to one of LA’s most famous landmarks, the Griffith Observatory. If you go to the Observatory on a clear night, you can see the most spectacular views of the city. While the view is the main attraction, the Observatory is a destination in and of itself, offering fun astronomical and scientific displays, planetarium shows, and telescope viewing opportunities!

Photo by Lydia Koh on Unsplash

3. Downtown Art Museums

One of the best aspects of USC, in my opinion, is its proximity to downtown Los Angeles. Downtown LA is an enigma — there are times when it is bustling, with restaurants overflowing, rooftops full, and clubs thumping, and times when it is so empty you expect to see a tumbleweed roll across the street (Sunday afternoons). The one constant is the tranquility of the art museums. I find few things to be more relaxing than wandering around a quiet, curated space dedicated to the great artists of our time, being able to just pause and stare at some often-unintelligible expression of the human spirit. The Broad and The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) are two of the best modern art museums in the country, and are barely two miles from campus. Hop in a bus, Lyft, Metro, or Bird scooter, head up Figueroa and unwind in the sterile vibrance of a modern art museum.

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Exploring Los Angeles

By Angela Lu

Ever since I moved to Los Angeles, I started to noticed a strong Instagram culture here. Every time I go to areas such as West Hollywood or Beverly Hills, there will always be influencers who are posing for the best Instagram picture in front of a nice looking cafe or street.

As an Instagram enthusiast myself, I have also discovered a few instagrammable spots in Los Angeles that you can bring your families/friends to when they are visiting you. 

Number 1: PINK WALL. If you haven’t noticed, but there is a pink wall outside a store called Paul Smith on Melrose Ave in West Hollywood. There are always a lot of people lining up there just to get the perfect picture with the wall. 

Photo by Achim Hepp on Flickr
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Architecture Guide to Los Angeles

By Yume Nishi

As an architecture student, I love exploring Los Angeles and all the various landmarks it has to offer! Here are a few of my favorites:

Photo from Wikipedia

Griffith Observatory: Located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory is a must see, especially at night. They offer telescopes for star-gazing in the evening, or you can enjoy the view of the Hollywood sign during the day. You may have to park below and walk uphill, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes!

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Walt Disney Concert Hall: Perhaps one of the most iconic buildings in all of Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, by Frank Gehry, is one you can’t miss. Take advantage of their free tour, or go enjoy a night of philharmonic music. Fun fact: there are hidden fish all throughout the design scheme; try and find them during your visit. Also, be sure to check out the Broad Museum next door while you are here!

Photo by Prayitno on Flickr

Getty Museum: You’ll enjoy a beautiful view of Los Angeles at the Getty Museum, located in mountains above Sherman Oaks. The limestone architecture, designed by Richard Meier, can be enjoyed on a beautiful sunny day, and you can have a nice picnic on their grounds. Head inside for an eclectic collection of art, like the Iris by Van Gogh. Admission is free but parking is $15 (or $10 after 3pm).

Photo by Wayne Hsieh on Flickr

Bradbury Building: This one is a hidden gem and a quick stop on Broadway! You’ve seen it in the movies Blade Runner and (500) Days of Summer. You’ll be transported back to the late 1800’s, surrounded by ornate iron work, marble staircases, and caged elevators. Walk across the street and grab a bite at the Grand Central Market afterwards. There is an amazing variety of cultural foods but my favorite is a breakfast joint called Eggslut (yum!).

Happy Exploring!

Featured image by tiarescott on Flickr

Yume is a USC graduate from the School of Architecture. She was born in Japan and moved to the U.S. when she was 5 years old, and has lived in Orange County, CA since. Yume studied abroad in Barcelona and enjoyed learning about the cultures and languages of the various countries she traveled to during her weekends. In her free time, she loves to explore new places, cook (or attempt to!), hang out with friends and family, and cheer on the USC Trojans at football games.