First Time Visiting LA - Any Must See Spots?
July 10, 2015 12:49 PM   Subscribe

I will be visiting Los Angeles in September for the first time and staying for a week. I'm soliciting opinions on places to go and see while I am there. I enjoy photography so any scenic places would be first on my list. Thanks!
posted by QuietType to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You're not allowed to visit Los Angeles with a camera and not visit the Bradbury Building.
posted by Scram at 12:58 PM on July 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

Watts Towers
posted by hamsterdam at 1:24 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I would add that there is a ton of great architecture, Green and Green homes, the Getty Villa, Ennis-Brown house. There's also just fabulous weirdness all over the place. The Downtown fabric and toy districts, Little Ethiopia, Venice, Hancock Park.

What are you most into and maybe we can direct you a little closer to your interests.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:25 PM on July 10, 2015

The Getty Museum, Getty Villa, Griffith Park at night to get good views and photos of the city lights. Santa Monica pier has free concerts Thursday night so that's something you might want to explore.
posted by viramamunivar at 1:26 PM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you enjoy architecture at all, I recommend Disney Hall. And while you're downtown, walk through Union Station, along with the Bradbury Building (per Scram's comment above). Make time for a meal at the new Grand Central Market. (In a hurry, so no links. Sorry!)

Seconding the Watts Towers.
posted by chicainthecity at 1:58 PM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Many are unaware of the breathtaking beauty of the Lake Shrine Temple in Malibu.
A no-proselytizing site owned by the Self-Realization Fellowship of Paramahansa Yogananda in the 50's. must see.

To that I would add the grounds of the Huntington Library

and the arboretum in Arcadia

The Getty Villa in Malibu is also an amazing trip, for the beauty of the architecture and grounds.

All are a great place for pictures, in my book. I hear the Getty and the Huntington Library have art on display also, but I'm a garden geek, so I never went inside, and thought the admission was worth every penny.
posted by halhurst at 2:47 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's scenic as shit from Griffith Park.

One word of warning: Don't try to see even half of these things while you're in LA. People routinely make the mistake of overscheduling themselves, not realizing that most of these things are at least an hour from each other by car, so they end up harried and miserable. Almost everyone ignores this advice on their first trip to LA and then hates the city.

The other thing I'd mention is that LA is a city with a lot of nooks and crannies to it, and that you'll probably get a lot more out of spending at least a little time exploring around wherever you're staying than trying to hit all the scenic stuff. If you let us know where you'll be, we can give you better ideas of things to do.
posted by klangklangston at 3:20 PM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you are really into dinosaurs, the LA Museum of Natural History has the best collection I've ever seen. Otherwise, its great but not that different from what you may have seen elsewhere.
posted by SemiSalt at 3:37 PM on July 10, 2015

Places I enjoyed when I lived there:
The La Brea Tar Pits
Hiking in the Santa Monica mountains or in Sepulveda Pass though I moved away some time ago and don't remember specific spots. I was just kind of amazed that there was hiking in LA.
If you're into food, consider trying Ethiopian food unless you are from another city that has it.
The public library downtown is kind of cool.
Some bit of Hollywood - because, well, Hollywood.
Seconding the Bradbury Building and Union Station.

Absolutely seconding klangklangston about it taking forever to get anywhere. I've thrown out a few things I've enjoyed, but none of them are "must see" if they're 1.5 hours away from wherever else you are that day.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 5:27 PM on July 10, 2015

Griffith Observatory. bring a picnic and reenact scenes from Rebel without a Cause.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 7:56 AM on July 11, 2015

Point Dume in Malibu - high cliffside views of the ocean.

Kenneth Hahn State Rec Area. Drive up to the top and use zoom lens to photograph the downtown area with the mountains behind it.

Inspiration Point at Will Rogers State Park. Amazing view of Santa Monica, the west side and the ocean.

El Matador State Beach but only at low tide. Amazing mini caves that you can walk thru to get from one section of beach to the next.
posted by TheClonusHorror at 8:32 PM on July 11, 2015

If you'll be anywhere near it I'd recommend the LA Cathedral (aka Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels). It was built about ten years ago in postmodern style, so if architecture (or textiles, their tapestries are amazing) or stunning displays of vast wealth are interesting to you it can't be beat.
posted by cali at 12:07 AM on July 12, 2015

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