We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Los Angeles

Free Newsletter

Interested in Los Angeles?

We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Los Angeles each week.

More Lists
Lists you may be interested in:
We remove posts that do not follow our Trip Lists guidelines.
We reserve the right to remove any lists for any reason.
Trip List by CAbeachLover

DIY Los Angeles Tour for the first-timer

Sep 16, 2008  Transplant to L.A. from the midwest. I love to be the tour guide when friends and family come to visit.
4.0 of 5 stars based on 19 votes

This is the list for the traveler who has NEVER been to Los Angeles and just wants to see a lot of those things they've heard about or seen on t.v. This list does not have any stops at the beach as that could be a whole other list and whole other day in itself.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Los Angeles
  • Category: Perfect day
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping, Never been before
  • Appeals to: Singles, Families with teenagers, Students, Budget travelers, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Runyan Canyon Park

    This is a great way to either start or end your day in L.A. Enjoy this spectacular 360 degree view of the entire L.A. Basin, Hollywood, Santa Monica Mountains, and on a clear day the Pacific ocean. You cannot top this view. It's a great way for people to see the entire city in all it's glory. If you enter the park from the Valley side, the hike to the view point is really easy and only about 5 minutes. If you enter from the West Hollywood side, you'll be at the bottom of the canyon and need to hike up to really see the view. For the hiking challenged, the hike to the top of the canyon is obviously up hill, hard and will take a little while. If you're just there for the view, save the energy and enter from the Valley side.

  • 2. Scenic Drive Down Colwater Canyon

    If you do Runyan Canyon in the morning, afterward take Mulholland west to Coldwater Canyon south over to Beverly Hills. This is an iconic drive the entire way, but will be most recognizable in Beverly Hills. If you want to open the sun roof and look up at those tall palm trees, this is the drive to take. It's also a fun drive for guests to see houses on stilts coming out of the mountain side and some pretty beautiful Beverly Hills homes. From here, it's pretty easy access to either Santa Monica Blvd., Sunset Blvd., or hey even Rodeo Drive.

  • 3. The Farmers Market
    The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles, California

    I I know what you're thinking, "I'm on vacation, I don't want to buy produce." Well, you don't need to be buying produce to fall in love with this market and so much more. f you've just done the drive down Coldwater and have seen a little bit of Beverly Hills, you're probably ready for a bite to eat. With over 100 restaurants and shops, this is a unique place to feel a little bit of L.A. history. The Grove is also right next door, which is a fun outdoor shopping mall good for celebrity sightings and some designer stores. If coming from Beverly Hills, just take Wilshire or Santa Monica over to Fairfax.

  • 4. Hollywood and Highland Center + Hollywood Walk of Fame + Grauman's Chinese Theatre

    After lunch at the Farmer's Market continue a mile or so east to the heart of it all for the Hollywood enthusiast. If you just have one day in L.A., it may be hard to squeeze in a studio tour, so just go on down to Hollywood & Highland, park in the monster parking deck, and walk out onto Hollywood Blvd. Here you will find three big things my guests are always excited about: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and the Kodak Theatre. Go out onto Holywood Blvd., and you will get a taste of it all. These are three must see sights for the first-timer. It's something you always hear about and just have to see in person. Other points of interst near by are the Roosevelt Hotel & Mel's Diner. (NOTE: This doesn't really replace the glamour of a Studio Tour. They're just hard to fit into a day of site seeing.)

  • 5. Hollywood Sign
    Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California

    Throughout the day you've probably caught glimpses of the Hollywood sign, but if you're dying to get closer, it's really easy to get there from Hollywood & Highland. The road to look for is Franklin and just off Franklin is Beachwood Canyon. Beachwood Canyon will take you up to a really close view of the sign despite the signs saying "No Hollywood Sign Access." Also look for Sunset Ranch signs.