LA has great weather, beautiful beaches, funky neighborhoods, delicious food, cultural hot spots and more. Check out our affordable and eco-friendly Los Angeles bucket list.
Los Angeles Bucket List #1: Santa Monica
Santa Monica is a beautiful LA neighborhood encompassing several parks, lots of eateries, fun shops, and, of course, the state beach and pier. The well-maintained beach is an easy-access spot to watch the sunset, have a picnic, and go for a dip in the water. The area is very busy, however. The Santa Monica Pier is right next to the beach. Here, you can go on exciting rides, watch street performers, and snack on saltwater taffy. On Saturdays from 8am to 1pm, there is a huge farmers market on Arizona Avenue, between 4th and 2nd. The market offers the largest percentage of certified-organic produce of all LA markets. It’s a great place to pick up organic pastries and snacks.
#2. The Getty
The Getty Center in Brentwood, LA features European paintings, drawings, manuscripts and sculptures from before the twentieth century. Fans of ancient Greece and Rome will be fascinated by the works on display. The building itself is an architectural wonder, and the museum sits on a hill offering terrace gardens and views of the LA skyline.
#3. Venice Beach
Quirky Venice Beach has something for everyone. Head to the beach or walk down the mile long boardwalk and check out the food stalls, street art, hippies and souvenir shops. Venice Beach is great for all sorts of sporty people as well. You can swim and surf in the ocean or bike and rollerblade along the sidewalk. The boardwalk also offers popular skate parks and the infamous Muscle Beach. You won’t get bored here.
Los Angeles Bucket List #4. Runyon Canyon
Not your typical hike, Runyon Canyon is a popular spot for tourists and natives. This LA bucket list item is a natural attraction nestled right in the middle of the city. The Runyon Canyon Park offers a short 1.6-mile loop, as well as a few longer trail options. With a 500-feet elevation, Runyon is a great way to get in a quick workout while getting a nice view of the city. This trail is for all types of people, from celebrities and vloggers to children’s class trips and dog walkers. If you aren’t a fan of the crowds, avoid going at dusk.
#5. Zuma Beach
Head to the beautiful Zuma Beach in Malibu for swimming, tanning, picnicking or surfing in the sun. This beach is much calmer than Santa Monica and Venice Beach as it’s slightly farther out, and it’s a more natural environment. There are no shops or food stalls in the area. However, this area has many beautiful natural attractions like the Point Dume lookout spot, and several hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, a nearby National Park.
#6. Melrose Thrifting
Melrose Avenue is a great area to walk around, check out some street art, and go thrift shopping. The street has lots of funky buildings and fun stores. We recommend starting at LA Rose Vintage Apparel, where they have more antiques and vintage accessories. From there, you can meander down the road toward American Vintage, one of the best vintage shops for clothing and footwear. Just a bit farther down the road are Crossroads and Vintage by Round Two. Crossroads is a bit of a mixed bag thrift shop, but you can always get some great finds if you are willing to dig a bit. Vintage by Round Two carries mostly vintage streetwear.
Los Angeles Bucket List #7. LACMA
Art lovers of all types will appreciate the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The LACMA is the biggest museum on the west coast and definitely holds up to the hype. The museum displays ancient up through modern art, including film and concert series as well. The artwork comes from a wide range of cultures and time periods, and the museum works hard to present meaningful works which impact a diverse audience. The exhibitions are constantly changing, so check out their online calendar to see what’s going on.
#8: Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard is a must-do on any LA bucket list. The iconic palm tree strip is great for a drive, walk, or bike ride down the street. Join in on people-watching, souvenir shopping, and taking pictures in front of the palm trees. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, there is a farmer’s market as well. The Saturday 8am-1pm market is bustling with people shopping for produce, jewelry, vintage apparel, books, and records. Tuesday’s 2pm-7:30pm market is a bit more relaxed but offers the same range of goods.
#9. Melrose Trading Post
Every Sunday from 9am to 5pm is the Melrose Trading Post put on at Fairfax High School. This unique flea market offers a range of artwork, vintage fashion, collectibles, antique furniture, handmade jewelry, locally-sourced goods, sustainable beauty products, house plants, literature, and more. The market is massive, so it’s a great place to walk around and window shop. If you aren’t interested in picking anything up, check out the music, dance, theater, and spoken word performances. Check their website to see upcoming event times.
The market is held by the Greenway Arts Alliance, a nonprofit organization working on community-building. Your five-dollar admission fee helps support the high school by providing funding for the arts, sports teams, leadership programs, and more.
#10. Veggie Eats
You cannot make a proper LA bucket list without including the food. LA is a highly diverse and multicultural city. The Mexican border is less than an hour away, and the city itself is populated with immigrants from all over the world. This translates to some of the best food in the US. Some of our favorite spots are Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine, Bodhi Kosher Thai, and Gegen for vegan comfort foods. All three of these restaurants are 100% vegetarian. Rahel’s offers a range of traditional Ethiopian stews and veggies with injera bread, Bodhi has delicious curries and noodles, and Gegen has burgers and loaded fries. Don’t forget to check out the Mexican food in LA as well! Chicas Tacos and Tocaya Modern Mexican both have loads of veggie options. Mexican food is generally easy to order vegan or vegetarian, so don’t be afraid to venture out and support local food trucks you find as well.
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