Things to Do

 

The one and only thing every single Angeleno needs on their LA bucket list?
 Reading this, uh, LA bucket list, which lays out all 45 things you need to
do in Los Angeles before you’re sent to the big traffic jam in the sky.
1. Check out the Doo Dah Parade
Yeah, you can go to the Rose Parade, but LA parade-pros know the Doo Dah Parade
is the superior procession; it’s basically an occasionally nude, stoner-parade fantasy,
 featuring over-the-top troupes like an array of people pushing shopping carts,
 hot ladies carrying a literal bed of roses, and dogs. Lots of dogs.
2. Visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology
The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a museum that’s… not actually really a museum?
Yeah. Exhibits include a diorama-laden ode to the history of the trailer park (don’t ask)
 and the dice of legendary provocateur Ricky Jay (seriously, why’d you ask?).
There’s also an ultra-legit tea garden on the top floor. Seriously, this place
is extraordinarily weird. And great.
3. Go to a free show at the Getty Center
Years ago, when they were building the monorail system that would eventually
take people up to the Getty Center, locals would debate whether anyone would
 go through the effort to park, wait for one of those shuttles, and go up to
 what — even then — was clearly not going to be an “important” art museum.
But the art’s become secondary to the whole experience of it — the garden is beautiful,
 the view extraordinary, and the ultimate way to experience it is during
one of the free shows, which have included Fool’s Gold and Mayer Hawthorne.
4. Star-spot in Runyon Canyon
And by “star,” we mean “that guy from the one episode of Breaking Bad maybe.”
5. Go to a Lakers playoff game
Bonus points if it’s a Finals game.
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 dodger dog
JILL WEISLEDER/DODGERS
6. Eat unlimited Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium
Which is a thing you can do in right field, along with nachos, popcorn,
and more through the 7th (which is when you’re leaving, anyways). Pro tip:
Get a bunch of extra peanut bags and throw ’em to your neighbors to make new friends.
7. Go to a secret restaurant
If you can get an invitation to the most secret restaurant in LA, even though
it’s a wallet-buster, you should go. And if not, you can always go to a secret supper club instead.
8. Go on an East LA taco crawl
Not sure where to go for LA’s most legit tacos? Good thing we figured it out for you.
9. Wait in line for Daikokuya
Is it the best ramen in LA? That’s subject to debate. But it’s LA’s most classic bowl,
 and something about putting your name on that yellow-paper list and waiting in line
in Little Tokyo for an hour with a horde of Japanese teenagers makes it taste that
much more legit.
 pink’s
FLICKR/KENT KANOUSE
10. Wait in line for Pink’s
If only to see the epic wall of celebrities.
11. Visit the Magic Castle
Whether you score an invite from someone who’s a member, or stay at the next-door
 Magic Castle Hotel (they’ll book a reservation at the club for guests), this is
one of LA’s most iconic venues and home to the world’s greatest magicians. Gotta do it.
 huntington gardens
LAGUNATICPHOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK
12. Take a walk through LA’s most beloved Japanese garden
Traffic tripping you out? The Huntington Gardens near Pasadena are one of LA’s most
beloved serene spots to get away from the city while you’re still technically in it
 — it transports you to Japan via an imported-from-Kyoto teahouse, a banzai collection,
 and an awesome koi pond.
13. Watch a movie in one of LA’s most classic movie palaces
Once upon a time, LA was known for its ornate, palatial movie theaters, almost none of
which are actually used to show movies anymore… except for during the LA Conservancy’s
 Last Remaining Seats series, which, in transport-through-time-without-a-DeLorean fashion,
 opens up long-defunct venues like the Los Angeles Theatre and the Million Dollar Theatre
 for screenings of classic movies for just a few nights during the year.
14. Visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
You already know about the annual outdoor movie screenings, but Hollywood Forever
Cemetery also hosts concerts from bands like the Flaming Lips, plus the unusual
grave sites make it an awesome place to visit, whether or not you’re there for entertainment.
15. Take one of the world’s best canyon drives
Yep, it’s Mulholland, and it’s even better if you find a place to park and
overlook the city (or the Valley) and take it all in.
16. See a ton of bands for free on the Eastside
Every Monday, the best venues in Silver Lake/Echo Park are free — and actually
book great bands. Local Natives, Foster the People, Cold War Kids, Silversun Pickups…
 all of them played Monday residencies at the Echo, Satellite, Silverlake Lounge,
or Bootleg before going on to international success.
17. Hit a world-renowned museum without paying
Toward the end of January every year, just about every museum in LA participates
in a totally free day — which means you can finally hit LACMA, MOCA,
and The Broad without feeling like you may be sinking money into something you just don’t… get.
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 muscle beach
FLICKR/NICK WEBB
18. Work out at Muscle Beach
It’s only $10 for a day pass to this legendary right-on-the-sand buff-up factory,
 though the cost of years of therapy for feeling inadequate when you realize that
 you’re lifting a fraction of what the guy to your left is doing is much, much more expensive.
19. Be a contestant on The Price Is Right
There’s no shortage of free TV show tapings in town, but none is as iconic as
The Price Is Right — plus you totally have the chance to win…
a NEEEEEWWWW KARAAAOOKEE MACHINEEE!
20. Watch 4th of July fireworks from a rooftop
Because LA is laid out wide instead of tall, if you’re on a rooftop on the 4th of July,
 you can see multiple fireworks displays all over the city. Our favorite spot?
High at the Hotel Erwin in Venice, which gets all of the beachside displays
(Marina Del Rey! Manhattan Beach! Malibu!!!) as well as everything from Culver City to Dodger Stadium.
21. Take a free tour of the Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown has become one of LA’s most iconic buildings
, thanks to its swooping, odd sides and unusual interior design; the whole thing
is explained on daily guided tours through the building that’ll give you a whole
lot more adjectives to describe it than “odd” and “unusual.”
22. Stay alive with Marty and Elayne
Remember that scene in Swingers where they go to that bar and see that old duo
 playing that cocktail-lounge version of “Stayin’ Alive?” That duo is Marty
and Elayne, and every Tuesday through Sunday they’re still at the Dresden
in Los Feliz, busting out the most excellent kitsch imaginable.
23. Go shopping with, like, every chef ever
Ask just about any chef, anywhere, and they’ll tell you the best farmers market
 in the US is on Wednesdays in Santa Monica, thanks to both a plethora of
ultra-fresh purveyors and the early-on-a-weekday timing that make it a perfect combo.
 You could literally see Mario Batali battling it out with Michael Cimarusti for
cilantro, and it wouldn’t be that odd.
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 griffith observatory
DIEGO GRANDI/SHUTTERSTOCK
24. Go to the Griffith Observatory
Cross a ton of stuff off at the Griffith Observatory — you’ve got a killer view
of the Hollywood sign, photos at one of the most iconic movie locations of all time,
 and… tons and tons of science. Boom.
25. Go on a bar crawl downtown
It’s easy to bemoan LA as a city that’s not walkable, and therefore not bar-crawlable,
 but Downtown’s explosion in nightlife has made that an irrelevant argument once you
get there — Sixth St alone has Las Perlas, Cole’s, The Varnish, and the Association;
 a short walk (through some questionably quiet streets, for sure) gets you to the
 Ace’s upstairs bar, the just opened Love Song, and many more.
Added bonus: You can take the Metro there, and crawl along the way, too.
26. Take in a show at the Hollywood Bowl
Not only is it one of the most acclaimed venues in the world, but you can get tickets
 for some performances for literally $1 — and those seats in the back are notoriously
 party-hearty.
27. Tour a legal distillery
Shocking, but true: Greenbar is one of LA’s few legal distilleries, and it’s managed
to keep its weekly tours both under-the-radar and fun, with regular tastings of its
 crazy-good spirit lines available as well.
28. Take a drive on PCH to a killer seafood shack
You’ve gotta drive to Malibu — it’s just something you’ve gotta do — and when
you’re there you’ve gotta go to Malibu Seafood, let the salt breeze hit you,
and eat… whatever was caught today. And then, you’ve gotta go on a date
hike right afterwards. Trust.
29. Get a “prescription” card from a “doctor”
If only to be like, “Wow. That was super-easy. Wow. It really was that easy???”
30. Go to Lucha VaVOOM
Seriously, Lucha VaVOOM — the absurd, over-the-top Mexican-wrestling
spectacle that drops in LA quarterly — may be the best bang-for-your-buck
 entertainment in town. And if you don’t believe me… just ask my 86-year-old grandma.
 dinner with curtis stone
RAY KACHATORIAN
31. Have dinner with Curtis Stone
Even if you can’t convince him to hang out all night like we did, you can
have dinner with one of the best (and let’s be honest, most-handsomest)
dudes who’s ever cooked food. He’s at his tiny Beverly Hills restaurant
 Maude or at his meat-centric Hollywood spot Gwen, actually cooking,
almost all the time — and will happily pose for photos or sign menus,
so long as he’s not busy firing off the next course.
32. Sit at the stage at Jumbo’s Clown Room
The bar where Courtney Love once danced isn’t a strip club, per say —
there’s no nudity at all — nor is it really a burlesque show. It’s more
of a dive-bar-with-a-stage-where-women-who-may-or-may-not-be-conventionally-attractive-dance,
 and it’s one of LA’s best dive bars, and it’s where lots of bad decisions are made,
and it’s where you should go once. At least. Probably more.
33. Go overnight to Catalina
It was once a playground for major movie stars, but now it’s more of a
sleepy seaside hamlet… with some seriously fun stuff to do, like zip-lining,
 and adventure boating, and bar-crawl stumbling, and fried food eating, and…
well, just click the link above.
34. Take a trip down the LA River
Hopefully the drought doesn’t shut this one down: people still don’t believe it,
 but you can actually kayak down the LA River in the summer, where there’s
actual wildlife (!?!?!) and a crazy-different way of seeing the city. Plus,
bragging rights!
35. Ride a glass slide 1,000ft above the city
Depending on whom you ask, the glass slide attached to the US Bank Tower
(the West Coast’s second-tallest building) is either an anxiety attack
waiting to happen or a total adrenaline rush. If you’re in the latter camp,
 you can take a wild, sweaty-palmed, 45ft ride from the 70th to 69th floor
 — then afterwards, catch your breath on the observation deck or grab a
 drink at 71Above, a fancy-pants bar/restaurant with sweeping 360-degree
 views of LA’s skyline.
36. Get artsy in Santa Monica
Thousands signed a 2014 petition dedicated to saving Bergamot Station from
 overdevelopment, so you know this cluster of free, contemporary art galleries
 is worth a look. (Plus, there’s a great cafe and a Metro stop!)
 eggslut
THRILLIST VIDEO
37. Eat your way through Grand Central Market
You could spend an entire day at Grand Central Market and still never
try all of the 100-year-old food hall’s varied offerings, which include
beloved LA favorites like Eggslut, Sticky Rice, and Tacos Tumbras a Tomas.
38. Enjoy an Upright Citizens Brigade stand-up show
Tons of household-name comedians — Amy Poehler, Nick Kroll, and Aziz
Ansari included — have trained at this renowned improv/sketch comedy
 school, where tickets to shows are cheap and laughs are priceless.
39. Fly above the Santa Monica pier
The SM Pier has no shortage of things to do (there’s an aquarium,
musement park, classic arcade, even free concerts in the summer),
but the trapeze school’s the only one that lets you soar through
the air with a view of the Pacific.
40. Paddleboard along the Venice canals
It’s not Italy, but Venice’s man-made canals offer a peaceful oasis away
from the noisy boardwalk and Abbot Kinney. The best way to take in the
neighborhood’s quaint bridges and eclectic waterfront homes? Travel by
paddleboard, though kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorized vessels are also allowed.
41. Nurse your hangover at a 24-hour Korean spa
As home to one of the country’s largest Korean-American populations,
LA’s blessed with tons of karaoke bars, AYCE barbecue spots, and of course,
 Korean spas. Wi Spa is the most well-known option — a 24-hour facility
with hot and cold baths, sauna rooms, and co-ed areas where you can hang out,
 watch TV, and sweat out last night’s tequila shots.
 olvera street
FLICKR/KENT KANOUSE
42. Go shopping on Olvera St
Billed as LA’s “first street,” this tree-lined block serves as a lively outdoor
Mexican marketplace where vendors hawk everything from fresh-made tacos and
taquitos to pottery and folk art.
43. Order a milkshake at The Beverly Hills Hotel
Specifically at the Fountain Coffee Room — a classic diner with an old-school
Hollywood vibe that makes you think Gregory Peck might perch on the barstool
next to you any minute now.
44. Make s’mores at a beach bonfire
No summer in LA is complete without roasting hot dogs and marshmallows
over a bonfire. Dockweiler Beach is one of the few that still allows it —
providing you arrive early enough to claim a fire pit.
45. Hit up The Last Bookstore… before it’s too late
Bookstores are a dying breed, but this massive 22,000sqft space
(the largest used and new book and record store in California) is still hanging on.
Explore its cool tunnels (built from books!), thousands of tomes for sale, hidden rooms,
sculptures, and other bibliophile-friendly treasures.

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