24 Unmissable Things to Do in Hollywood, California (In 2023)

24 Unmissable Things to Do in Hollywood, California (In 2023)


Welcome to Hollywood, California, the land of dreams, glamour, and movie stars! Hollywood is a must-visit destination filled with iconic landmarks, fascinating history, and a vibrant entertainment scene. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you on a journey through 24 unmissable things to do in Hollywood, from exploring the famous Hollywood Sign to indulging in classic American fare at Mels Drive-In. So grab your sunglasses and let’s dive into the glamour and glamour of Tinseltown!

Best Things to Do in Hollywood

Top things to do in Hollywood California

The best way to get around Los Angeles is to drive, you can compare car rental prices here. If you are flying into LAX, you may want to book a transfer to your hotel.

Explore Hollywood’s iconic landmarks, from the Walk of Fame to the Hollywood Sign. Experience unique attractions like Warner Bros. Studio Tour and Universal Studios Hollywood. Enjoy live music at The Bowl or explore art & culture at Barnsdall Art Park!

Planning Your Trip To Hollywood Right Now?

Below are some of the top tours in Hollywood. Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting L.A.!

1. Discover the Iconic Hollywood Sign

Best things to do in Hollywood California Hollywood Sign

The famous Hollywood Sign, a symbol of global fame, has graced the summit of Mount Lee in Beachwood Canyon since 1923. This landmark, nestled within the Santa Monica Mountains, towers above Griffith Park’s 4,200 acres of parkland in LA. A Hollywood Sign hiking tour is the best way to get an exceptional view of the iconic sign. You can also take great shots from Lake Hollywood Park and Griffith Observatory.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of hiking trails in the area, like the Cahuenga Peak Trail, Brush Canyon Trail, and Mt. Hollywood Trail, leading to the Hollywood Sign. Along the way, you might spot some celebrity homes and enjoy breathtaking views of the Los Angeles skyline. Just remember that hiking to the Hollywood Sign itself is illegal, as it’s a protected landmark located in East Hollywood.

Take this original Hollywood sign tour – This tour is an easy flat walk that takes you below the sign to capture iconic photos of the iconic landmark.

2. Unleash Your Inner Movie Buff at Universal Studios Hollywood

fun things to do in Hollywood California Universal Studios Hollywood with rides and attractions

With thrilling rides, live shows, and a peek behind the scenes, Universal Studios Hollywood serves as both a theme park and a movie studio. As a working film studio, you can experience movie magic up close and personal, making it a must-visit destination for movie buffs.

Some of the highlights at Universal Studios Hollywood include the Backlot Studio tour, which takes you behind the scenes of movie production and showcases stunts, special effects, and sets like Whoville and the Psycho House. You can also embark on an adventure through the worlds of Jurassic Park, The Simpsons, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where your favorite stories come to life before your eyes.

Get your Skip the Line Express Ticket to Universal Studios, where you have express access to each ride, attraction, and show. Make sure to book your tickets early as there are only a limited number. Details here.

3. Experience Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Best Things to do in Hollywood California Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Offering a behind-the-scenes peek at renowned movie sets and soundstages, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood also includes interactive experiences such as constructing your own Batmobile. This tour is full of amazing attractions. You can experience the iconic Central Perk set from Friends and try on the sorting hat from the Great Hall in Harry Potter. There’s more to explore too! The deluxe Warner Brothers Studio. The tour lasts six hours, giving you plenty of time to explore and immerse yourself in the world of film and television.

Located nearby is the historic El Capitan Theatre, which houses a massive Wurlitzer organ with over 2,500 pipes. Be sure to catch a show or take a tour of this magnificent theater before heading back to the bustling streets of Hollywood. Book your tour here.

4. Marvel at Griffith Observatory

Best things to do in Hollywood California Griffith Observatory
Photo Credit: Visit-California/Carol Highsmith

Griffith Observatory, equipped with a planetarium and space theater, offers an awe-inspiring educational journey through exhibits about the solar system and constellations. Located northeast of central Hollywood, in the Hollywood Hills, the observatory provides breathtaking views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign, and the surrounding landscape.

At Griffith Observatory, you’ve got a lot on your plate! You can dive into the various exhibits, catch a planetarium show, get a closer look at the stars through the telescopes, and gather heaps of knowledge about our amazing universe. It’s a whole universe of fun packed into one place!

The observatory is also home to various events and activities, making it a dynamic and engaging destination for visitors of all ages. Purchase your Griffith Observatory Guided Tour and Planetarium tickets here.

5. Attend a Show or Take a Tour at Dolby Theatre

Best things to do in Hollywood California Dolby Theatre Kodiak

Since 2001, the Dolby Theatre has served as the iconic stage for the Academy Awards, along with hosting various live performances. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, the theatre also hosts comedy, music, and live theatre shows throughout the year, making it a versatile and exciting destination for entertainment enthusiasts.

To fully immerse yourself in the glamour and prestige of the Dolby Theatre, consider taking a guided tour where you’ll learn about the theatre’s star-studded past and get an insider’s perspective on this iconic venue.

Whether you’re attending a show or exploring the theatre on a tour, the Dolby Theatre offers a unique and memorable Hollywood experience. Grab your entrance ticket here.

6. Stroll Along the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Best things to do in Hollywood California Walk of Fame star

Featuring over 2,700 brass stars set in pink terrazzo, the famous Hollywood Walk, also known as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, pays tribute to the biggest names from show-biz, film, and music over the past few decades. The Walk of Fame stretches across three blocks of Vine Street and 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring.

As you stroll down Hollywood Boulevard, don’t miss out on the fascinating Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and the intriguing Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, the iconic TCL Chinese Theater, and the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Fun Fact: The Hollywood Walk of Fame began in 1953 with E. M. Stuart, a member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and has since become a major symbol of stardom worldwide. To locate a specific star, use the Walk of Fame directory, and immerse yourself in Hollywood’s rich history and culture.

You can book this highly-rated tour takes you not only to the Hollywood Walk of Fame but you will also see the oldest house in Hollywood, the Capitol Records Building, the Dolby Theater, The TCL Chinese Theater, and the Egyptian Theater.

7. Embrace Art and Culture at Barnsdall Art Park

Best things to do in Hollywood California Barnsdall Art House

Perched on a hill, Barnsdall Art Park is a distinctive community spot that hosts art classes, wine tastings, and outdoor movie nights along with the historically significant Hollyhock House. Designed by the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Hollyhock House is his first commission in Los Angeles and is one of eight of his creations that have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When you visit Hollyhock House, open from Tuesday to Sunday, you’ll get the chance to wander around its lush gardens, marvel at the intricate water features, and relax in the outdoor living spaces. You’ll be amazed by the Mayan-inspired stone walls and the beautifully carved fireplaces. And don’t forget to check out the eclectic furniture – it’s definitely a sight to behold!

In addition to the Hollyhock House, Barnsdall Art Park is also home to the LA Municipal Art Gallery, which showcases works by up-and-coming and underrepresented artists. With its rich cultural offerings and stunning views, Barnsdall Art Park is a must-visit destination for art lovers.

8. Join a Behind-the-Scenes Hollywood Walking Tour

Best things to do in Hollywood California Hollywood Walking Tour
Photo Credit: Visit California/Hub

So, you’re thinking about diving into the Hollywood scene? Well, a behind-the-scenes walking tour might just be your ticket to a unique and immersive Hollywood experience. Picture this: You’re uncovering the secrets of famous landmarks and cultural sites, hearing legendary tales of stars, getting your mind blown with cool trivia, and even participating in reenactments. Plus, there are interactive activities that really make Hollywood’s history come alive. Sounds like a blast, right?

Led by experienced guides, these tours provide a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood and offer a memorable experience for visitors. This tour is a good overview of film locations, historic architecture, famous sites, and iconic theaters.

Some popular stops on a Hollywood walking tour include the Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, and celebrity homes. These tours are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the glamour and glamour of Hollywood while learning about the city’s rich history and iconic landmarks.

9. Delve into Movie History at The Hollywood Museum

A treasure trove for movie enthusiasts, The Hollywood Museum showcases the largest collection of memorabilia, costumes, props, and photos from classic films, spread over four floors packed with Hollywood history. Located in the historic Max Factor Building, the museum offers an immersive experience into the world of cinema, showcasing iconic items such as Hannibal Lector’s cell from Silence of the Lambs, Marilyn Monroe’s Million Dollar Dress, and Elvis Presley’s personal bathrobe.

The museum also features rotating displays and exhibits focusing on specific movie genres, famous actors and directors, and changes in filmmaking over time. With its vast collection and engaging exhibits, The Hollywood Museum is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the history and magic of movies.

10. Shop and Dine at Hollywood and Highland Center

Best things to do in Hollywood California Hollywood and Highland Center

A buzzing hub for tourists, the Hollywood and Highland Center houses a shopping mall, dining options, hotels, and cultural hotspots. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, this center is home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Dolby Theatre, and plenty of character impersonators, making it a lively and entertaining destination for visitors.

At Hollywood & Highland, you can shop at popular stores, dine at a variety of restaurants, and enjoy the entertainment hub. Don’t forget to visit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, just a short walk away, for an interactive experience with lifelike wax figures of famous stars from sports, music, television, and film.

11. Enjoy Live Music at the Hollywood Bowl

Best things to do in Hollywood live music performance at the Hollywood Bowl

Tucked away in the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood Bowl is a buzzing outdoor amphitheater that’s all about live music performances in a scenic setting. Whether you’re into classical concerts, jazz performances, rock and pop concerts, Broadway musicals, film screenings, or hip-hop artists, the Hollywood Bowl has got you covered. It’s all about variety and a great vibe here!

The Hollywood Bowl caters to all musical tastes and preferences.

In addition to the exceptional music, the Hollywood Bowl offers a unique entertainment experience, complete with Michelin-starred cuisine, fine wine, and comfortable seating. To make the most of your visit, arrive early and enjoy the free picnic areas, or indulge in the venue’s world-class dining options before the show.

12. Experience Old Hollywood Glamour at The Hollywood Roosevelt

Best things to do in Hollywood California Hollywood Roosevelt
Photo Credit: Visit California/Max Whittaker

The historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel offers a glimpse into Old Hollywood glamour, with luxurious accommodations and a variety of dining options. This iconic hotel has been a celebrity hangout since its opening in 1927 and is known for its opulent rooms, rooftop pool, and various restaurants and bars.

The Hollywood Roosevelt offers an unforgettable stay for guests, who can enjoy the hotel’s unique atmosphere and rich history in the entertainment industry. Whether you’re sipping cocktails by the pool or exploring the hotel’s stunning architecture, you’ll be transported back in time to the golden age of Hollywood glamour.

13. Snap Photos with Celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum

Best things to do in Hollywood California Hollywood Wax Museum Marilyn Munroe

Boasting lifelike wax figures of celebrities and iconic characters across sports, music, television, and film, the Hollywood Wax Museum is a popular tourist attraction. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, the museum has been the most visited attraction since 1965, offering visitors an up-close and personal experience with their favorite stars.

From realistic dioramas to interactive activities such as dressing up in tiaras and cowboy hats, the Hollywood Wax Museum offers a fun and engaging experience for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the chance to snap a selfie with Taylor Swift or dance alongside Michael Jackson at this unique Hollywood destination.

14. Get Up Close and Personal at Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Best things to do in Hollywood California Madame Tussauds Hollywood
Photo Credit: Visit California/Carol Highsmith

Located near the TCL Chinese Theatre, Madame Tussauds Hollywood is an interactive wax museum that features lifelike figures of renowned stars from sports, music, television, and film. Visitors can enjoy an up-close and personal experience, posing with their favorite celebrities and iconic characters in a variety of themed rooms, such as the Marvel Super Heroes room and the Sci-Fi Invasion room.

At Madame Tussauds Hollywood, you can do more than just snap selfies with your favorite stars. Take a leisurely stroll through the Spirit of Hollywood exhibit and say hello to legendary figures like Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, and Judy Garland. Or, if you’re a comic book fan, you can’t miss the interactive Marvel Super Heroes 4D experience. If you’re into the spooky stuff, step into the world of horror with the Chamber of Horrors. Ever wondered how those lifelike wax figures are made? You can take a behind-the-scenes look at the process! It’s a fun and engaging experience that visitors of all ages will enjoy.

15. Relax and Unwind at Lake Hollywood Park

Best things to do in Hollywood California Lake Hollywood Park

A peaceful oasis amidst the city’s bustle, Lake Hollywood Park provides stunning views of the Hollywood Sign. Located on the edge of Mulholland Drive, this park features serene picnic areas, paved trails for walking or jogging, and dog-friendly activities.

Whether you’re looking to relax with a good book on a blanket in the grassy areas or enjoy a leisurely stroll with your furry friend, Lake Hollywood Park is the perfect destination to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty of the Hollywood Hills.

16. Dine with a View at Yamashiro Restaurant

things to do in hollywood yamashiro restaurant

Yamashiro Restaurant is perched high on a hill and offers a dining experience you won’t forget in a hurry. It’s got jaw-dropping views of Hollywood and serves up traditional Japanese dishes that have been loved for over a century. The scenery is simply breathtaking and the atmosphere is one-of-a-kind. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on this! It is a must-visit destination for food lovers.

The menu at Yamashiro Restaurant features a range of exquisite dishes, including koshu-braised wagyu short ribs, sake-marinated lamb chops, and belly-on pork handles with yama-hog sauce. In addition to its delicious cuisine, Yamashiro also hosts the Hollywood Night Market, featuring over 30 food vendors and live music performances.

Don’t miss the chance to dine with a view at this iconic Hollywood restaurant.

17. Confront the Macabre at the Museum of Death

things to do in hollywood museum of death

Catering to those intrigued by the macabre, the Museum of Death displays an eerie collection of art, photos, coffins, and execution devices. This unusual museum features a diverse collection of items related to death, including crime scene photos, autopsy tools, investigation reports, weapons, and more.

While the Museum of Death may not be suitable for everyone, it offers a unique and thought-provoking experience for those interested in exploring the darker side of humanity. Confront your fears and delve into the morbid world of death at this one-of-a-kind Hollywood museum.

18. Saddle Up at Sunset Ranch Hollywood

Best things to do in Hollywood California Sunset Ranch Hollywood
Photo Credit: Visit California/Hub

Sunset Ranch Hollywood offers the opportunity to experience the beauty of Griffith Park and the Hollywood Hills on horseback, providing guided tours with stunning city views. From leisurely one-hour rides to adventurous two-hour sunset tours, Sunset Ranch Hollywood caters to riders of all experience levels and interests.

In addition to the breathtaking views and unforgettable horseback riding experience, Sunset Ranch Hollywood also offers evening barbecue options and overnight stays at their charming bed and breakfast. Saddle up and explore the natural beauty of Hollywood on this unique and memorable adventure.

19. Tour the Iconic Stahl House

Renowned for its modern design and breathtaking views of Los Angeles through floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the Stahl House stands as a famous architectural landmark in Hollywood. Designed by architect Pierre Koenig and built in 1959, the Stahl House is a notable example of 20th-century modernist architecture and has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and advertisements.

Visitors can tour the iconic Stahl House, taking in its unique design and stunning views of the cityscape below. This architectural gem offers a glimpse into the world of modern design and is a must-see attraction for architecture enthusiasts and design aficionados alike.

20. Indulge in Classic American Fare at Mels Drive-In

Best things to do in Hollywood California Mels diner
Photo Credit: Visit California/Carol Highsmith

Starting as a classic American diner in San Francisco in 1947, Mels Drive-In has grown to become an iconic symbol of American pop culture. Located in Hollywood, Mels Drive-In is known for its delicious menu of classic American fare, including burgers, milkshakes, and fries, all served in a retro 1950s-style setting.

With its lively atmosphere and historic location, Mels Drive-In is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a taste of classic Americana. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy burger or a hand-spun milkshake, Mels Drive-In offers an authentic dining experience that’s sure to satisfy your cravings.

21. Discover Star-Studded Homes with Ultimate Hollywood Tours

best things to do in Hollywood Ultimate Hollywood Tours
Photo courtesy of Ultimate Hollywood Tours

Let experienced guides lead you on an open-air bus tour with Ultimate Hollywood Tours to discover the glamorous homes of your favorite celebrities and the iconic landmarks of Hollywood. These tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at star-studded homes, famous landmarks, and the stories behind some of the most legendary stars in Hollywood.

When you hop on an Ultimate Hollywood Tours bus tour, you’re in for a treat! You’ll get to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where stars of all kinds are honored. Then, it’s off to the TCL Chinese Theatre, a place filled with Hollywood history. But the real highlight? Getting to see celebrity homes! You might pass by the houses of legends like Michael Jackson and Elton John, or current superstars like Taylor Swift and Julia Roberts. It’s a star-studded experience you won’t want to miss!

With fascinating stories and insider knowledge, Ultimate Hollywood Tours offers a unique and engaging way to explore the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown.

22. Savor Authentic Mexican Cuisine at Ernie’s

Best things to do in Hollywood California Ernie's Baja Fish Tacos

Ernie’s, a popular North Hollywood restaurant, offers a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, renowned for its high-quality dishes and unique cheese melter technology. Offering a wide range of delicious menu items, including:

Tacos Burritos Enchiladas And more

Ernie’s is a must-visit destination for food lovers seeking a taste of Mexico in the heart of Hollywood. In addition to its mouthwatering menu, Ernie’s also offers a lively and welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect spot for a fun night out with friends or a family dinner. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine at this beloved Hollywood eatery.

23. Experience TCL Chinese Theater

Best things to do in Hollywood California Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Serving as an entertainment hub for moviegoers for over 95 years, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, now renamed the TCL Chinese Theater, is an iconic Hollywood landmark. This historic theater, located on Hollywood Boulevard, is known for its imported Chinese elements, red carpet premieres, and the famous forecourt, where the hands and footprints of legendary Hollywood stars are immortalized in cement.

To fully appreciate the history and glamour of the TCL Chinese Theater, consider taking a tour where you’ll learn all about the theater’s star-studded past and insider stories about its famous guests.

With its stunning architecture and rich history, the TCL Chinese Theater is a must-visit attraction for any Hollywood enthusiast.

24. Join the Drunken History of Hollywood Walking Tour

Best things to do in Hollywood Drunken History of Hollywood Walking Tour

Join the Drunken History of Hollywood Walking Tour for a fun, unconventional exploration of Hollywood. This 2-hour walking tour offers a unique blend of history, trivia, reenactments, comedy acts, and drinks at local bars, making for a truly entertaining and memorable experience.

So, what’s the deal with The Drunken History of Hollywood Walking Tour? Well, it all starts outside the Egyptian Theater. From there, you’re off to explore some of Hollywood’s most iconic landmarks and hear their stories. And the best part? You get to enjoy some alcoholic beverages along the way! It’s perfect for history buffs, comedy fans, or anyone looking for a fun night out in Hollywood.

Join us for an unforgettable adventure that’s sure to leave you laughing and learning. This tour is not currently operating but keep checking back as it will re-open again.

FAQs About Things to Do in Hollywood

FAQ Things to do in Hollywood

From exploring iconic landmarks to indulging in delicious cuisine, Hollywood offers a wide variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests.

Alright, so you’ve got questions about Hollywood? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Let’s talk about some of the cool stuff you can do on a day trip, the attractions you absolutely can’t miss in LA, some fun activities to keep you entertained, and finally, let’s clear up a common question – is Hollywood an actual city? So, let’s dive right in!

What can you do in Hollywood for a day?

You can pack so much into just one day in Hollywood! Start by exploring the Hollywood Walk of Fame, then head over to the TCL Chinese Theatre for a tour. Don’t forget to check out the Hollywood Museum and maybe even take a hike up to the Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park. If you’re a film buff, a studio tour at Universal Studios Hollywood is a must. Round off your day with a live show at the Pantages Theatre. And that’s just the beginning – there’s so much more to discover!

With so much to see and do, Hollywood offers a full day of excitement and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

What should I not miss in LA?

When you’re in Los Angeles, there are some spots you just can’t miss! Get your art fix at the Getty Center, gaze at the stars from the Griffith Observatory, walk among the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or get your adrenaline pumping at Universal Studios Hollywood. Don’t forget to catch a sunset at the Santa Monica Pier, explore the vast Griffith Park, dive into history at the Getty Villa, or immerse yourself in art at LACMA. For a touch of prehistoric times, visit La Brea Tar Pits. And of course, no trip to LA is complete without a visit to the iconic Hollywood Sign.

What is fun in Hollywood?

In Hollywood, fun is the name of the game! You can explore studio backlot exhibits, dive into the world of film at movie-themed museums, or get the inside scoop on Hollywood with guided tours. Don’t forget to take a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and while you’re there, check out the TCL Chinese Theatre. For a dose of history, the Hollywood Museum is a must-visit. And if you’re into the weird and wonderful, the Guinness World Records Museum is just the ticket!

Is Hollywood an actual city?

Yes, Hollywood is a real neighborhood located in Los Angeles, California. Known as the hub of the American film and entertainment industry, Hollywood is home to iconic landmarks, historic theaters, and a vibrant entertainment scene that attracts millions of visitors each year. One of the most famous streets in this neighborhood is Hollywood Blvd, where you can find many of these attractions. Just a short distance away, you can also explore the equally exciting West Hollywood area.

Fun things to do in Hollywood California

From exploring the iconic Hollywood Sign and attending live performances at the Hollywood Bowl to indulging in authentic Mexican cuisine at Ernie’s and discovering star-studded homes on an Ultimate Hollywood Tours bus tour, Hollywood offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. With its rich history, diverse entertainment options, and stunning scenery, Hollywood is truly a must-visit destination that promises to captivate and inspire. So grab your camera, put on your best pair of sunglasses, and get ready to experience the magic of Hollywood!

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