Have Some Fun in the Sun in and around Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a place that lends itself to checking off bucket-list experiences, for it is packed with attractions that are known throughout the world as must-do experiences. You haven't really lived until you've been to Disneyland at least once, made a trip to Universal Studios to see how movies are actually created and placed your feet in the cement hand and footprints made by world-famous movie stars in front of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. So many of L.A.'s hotspots have been memorialized in films and on television that they have become necessary stops along the way for any newcomer to the City of Angels, from Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier to the Griffith Park Observatory and the Getty Center. Angelenos love roaming from the water to the mountains, soaking in the natural beauty of Southern California one day, getting out onto the ocean another and tackling the man-made challenge of riding the world's biggest and fastest roller coasters the next. The city is so large and diverse it is almost impossible to choose just ten top attractions and activities, for these just scratch the surface of the myriad experiences to be had here. But these top ten are certainly a great place to begin a memorable Southern California experience.

Outside the City
Catalina Island
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters


A perfect day or overnight trip is a visit to Catalina Island. Get there by heading "26 miles across the sea" via the Catalina Express, the high-speed ferry that leaves from Long Beach. Book into their Commodore Lounge for comfortable seating...  Read More

Venice Beach
Photo courtesy of California Visitor's Bureau


Venice Beach isn't quite sure what it is, but it sure is interesting. The boardwalk stretches from Venice Boulevard north to Navy Street, with Muscle Beach, the basketball courts and skate park to the south and many of the head shops, surfboard...  Read More

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Photo courtesy of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.


Stroll the 120 acres of the Huntington's astonishing and varied gardens (Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Desert, Rose, Jungle, Subtropical and more), then explore the library's extraordinary collection of rare books and enjoy the art gallery's...  Read More

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX
Photo courtesy of TCL Chinese Theatre


While it is no longer called "Grauman's," the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX remains the most iconic landmark in Hollywood. Since 1927, this historic theater's front courtyard boasts the hand and footprints of fantastic stars from past to present....  Read More

Hollywood Bowl
Photo courtesy of L.A. Philharmonic Hollywood Bowl


From April to October, the Hollywood Bowl is the place in SoCal to see concerts and performances of every kind. The summer home of the L.A. Philharmonic, it's also the spot where the Beatles and the Doors played back in the day and the venue...  Read More

Griffith Park
Griffith Park


Situated on 4200-plus acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, Griffith Park is home to a number of museums and outdoor attractions. Inside the park you'll fine the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry National Center (a museum dedicated to the American West)...  Read More

Getty Center
Photo courtesy of Getty Center


The Getty Center is the legacy of billionaire J. Paul Getty, a gorgeous paean to the arts. Perched high in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Richard Meier-designed complex is stunningly beautiful both outside and in. The museum's vast collection...  Read More



Roller-coaster lovers know that Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia is one of the world's best amusement parks, boasting more hair-raising rides than any other on the planet. Fearless adventurers will find record-breaking rides like the Lex...  Read More

Universal Studios
Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood


Universal Studios is the real thing, a working movie studio that also happens to have a theme park attached to it. Which means visitors get the chance to see where some of their favorite movies and television shows are made – think the...  Read More

Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy of Disneyland


Disneyland is Walt Disney's original vision for "the happiest place on earth," and more than 50 years later it remains just that. Kids of all ages adore spending all day (and night) at this massive amusement park in Anaheim, beginning with a...  Read More


Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny