I Love LA: 100 Things To Do In Los Angeles


This is how you know I wasn't born in San Diego: I love LA.

Every time I admit this to a true San Diegan, their response is usually a variation of "Ugh, why???" Which I totally understand because after growing up outside of Manhattan and having lived there for two years, I have the same response when people tell me they heart New York City.

But I really can't help it: I love Los Angeles. I fell in love with that city the moment I got off the plane at LAX. And while I know now that I would never want to live there, it does make for a pretty nice weekend getaway. Which is why for the past two years I've planned at least one weekend per year up there when I tackle a new bunch of items on my LA Bucket List.

This year I thought I'd sit down and actually write that list so that it no longer exists solely in my head. Partly to have a fun way to keep track of my adventures as I complete them and partly to get suggestions from Angelenos on what I'm missing.

Though I don't think I missed much. After all, I did manage to come up with 100 things to check off my list...

  • Take the train from San Diego into Union Station ✓
  • Have drinks at The Chateau Marmont
  • Hike to the Hollywood Sign ✓
  • Visit LACMA 
  • Order a Blood and Sand cocktail at Tiki Ti ✓

Toro Toro Toro!
  • Run the infield at Dodger Stadium ✓
  • Go to a Star Party at Griffith Observatory
  • Ride the Sky Slide
  • Visit the Getty Center and the Getty Villa
  • Watch a movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery ✓

Watching A Hard Day's Night at Hollywood Forever

  • Camp at Point Mogu State Park and watch the sunset at Zuma Beach
  • Ride the Ferris Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier
  • Walk through the Huntington Botanical Gardens
  • Take a free tour at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Kayak the LA River
  • Go to a The Price is Right show taping
  • Visit the Magic Castle ✓
  • Shop at Melrose Trading Post Flea Market ✓
  • Tour The Chinese Theater
  • Catch a summer concert at The Hollywood Bowl ✓

Seeing Sufjan Stevens in 2016
  • Take the Disney Movie Palace and Backstage Tour at El Capitan Theatre
  • Hike Runyon Canyon
  • Spend an afternoon at the LA Zoo
  • Go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology
  • Walk through the Descanso Gardens
  • Visit the Watts Towers Art Center 
  • Hike to the Eaton Canyon Waterfall
  • Go shopping at the Wacko Soap Plant
  • Get spellbound at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios
  • Take the Warner Brothers Studios VIP Tour ✓

My brother and I in Central Perk in 2010

Selfies with Elayne
  • Eat lunch at The Ivy ✓
  • Go on Esotouric's Charles Bukowski Bus Tour
  • Ride the LA Subway
  • Catch a Lakers game at The Staples Center
  • Get lunch at Grand Central Market
  • Enjoy a beer at Eagle Rock Brewery
  • Sneak into the Lost Sunken City
  • Buy a book at The Last Bookstore
  • Walk the Venice Beach Boardwalk and Canals ✓
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame ✓
  • Go inside one of the cages at the Abandoned LA Zoo in Griffith Park
  • Buy a vinyl album at Amoeba
  • Check out the view from the Camera Obscura in Santa Monica
  • Take a picture in front of the Made in LA wall
  • Go gallery hopping at Bergamot Station
  • Eat dinner at The SmokeHouse Restaurant
  • Get a nighttime cocktail at 71Above
  • Hike to the Batcave on the Bronson Cave Trail ✓
  • Picnic at the Silverlake Meadow
  • Pet a sloth at the Wildlife Learning Center
  • Go to Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • See a play at Pantages Theatre
  • Pretend to shop on Rodeo Drive
  • Climb to the tower of the Point Vicente Lighthouse
  • Bar hop between Whiskey a Go Go, Carney's and Saddle Ranch on the Sunset Strip
  • See LA from the Observation Deck at City Hall
  • Take a docent-led tour of the Central Library
  • Spend time with Ghandi's ashes at the Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine
  • Tour Paramount Studios
  • Brunch at the MB Post
  • See a magic show at Brookledge
  • Have a Good Time at Davey Wayne's
  • See the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center
  • Spend some time in a Frank Lloyd Wright home by touring the Hollyhock House
  • Shop at the Echo Park Time Travel Store
  • Bike The Strand Bicycle Beach Path
  • Tour Sony Pictures
  • Hike the Grotto Trail in Malibu
  • Stay at a beach cottage in Venice ✓
  • Check out the UCLA Meteorite Collection
  • Explore the Annenberg Space for Photography
  • Grab a beer at Golden Road Brewery
  • Tour the Stahl House
  • Eat lunch at Neptune's
  • Watch jazz performed at the Lighthouse Cafe
  • Take a picture at the Micheltorena Stairs at Micheltorena Elementary School
  • Visit the Museum of Natural History
  • Sit inside Wayfarers Chapel
  • Urban hike up the Baxter Street Stairs
  • Take advantage of one of the 12 days a year that the Ennis House is open to the public
  • AirBnB in Laurel Canyon at the Laurel Canyon Treehouse or the Quincy Jones Residence
  • Check out the Museum of Tolerance
  • Bowl at the Highland Park Bowling Alley
  • Be basic and visit the Museum of Broken Relationships
  • Race a turtle at Brennan's Pub Turtle Racing ✓
  • Spend a Saturday night out in Hermosa Beach and crash at Hotel Hermosa 
  • Get a drink on the rooftop at the Ace Hotel
  • Sit at the stage at Jumbo's Clown Room
  • Stay in the Marilyn Suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt
  • Get my aura photographed at the Aura Shop
  • Eat a taquito on Olvera Street
  • See a show at The Greek Theatre
  • Do the Los Angeles Conservancy Historic Downtown Walking Tour

Los Angelenos, what am I missing? What are your favorite secret or iconic LA activities?