This post is for those traveling solo to Los Angeles with recommendations for what to do on your solo trip to the City of Angels
We include safety tips, suggestions on finding the best hotel for you, where to dine alone, and how to meet people if you want to.
As a local Los Angeles tour guide, I spend a lot of time doing things alone, often before or after my tours.
To help write this post, I've used some of my and my fellow guides' experiences doing things alone in Los Angeles.
I've also used some of the ideas from people like you, who are members of our popular LA Travel Tips Facebook group.
Our group consists of roughly 1000k locals, like our tour guides, veteran travelers to LA, as well as newbies.
You don't need to become a member to read the posts, comments, and recommendations.
So, check out our group once you've finished reading this post.
- 14 Best Los Angeles Walking Tours
- Studio Tours
- Things to Do at Night
- Free Things to Do
- Which Hollywood City Tour is Best?
THINGS TO DO IN LA ALONE
Below are just 10 of the hundreds of fun things to do in Los Angeles!
We also have sections on:
- Dining Alone in Los Angeles
- How to Meet People in Los Angeles
- Is Los Angeles Safe for Solo Travelers
For more ideas, check out our ultimate list of things to do in Los Angeles.
1. Visit a Hollywood Studio
Hollywood is home to many famous and historic movie studios, and most of them offer studio tours that you can take to get a look behind the scenes.
Below are some studio tours you might enjoy:
- Warner Bros.
- Sony Pictures
- Universal Studios
- Paramount Pictures
- Adventures by Disney: Disney Backstage
Many of these movie studio tours are included either for free or at a heavy discount with a Los Angeles tourist pass or combo package.
On our LA Travel Tips Facebook page Universal Studios is the most highly recommended. It's easy to do in one day, and it's recommended you pay a little extra for the express pass.
Another recommendation for a place where films like The Social Network, The Holiday, Charlie's Angels Full Throttle, and X-Men were filmed, in addition to many other dozens of movies, is Beverly Hills Historic Doheny Greystone Estate. Best of all, parking and admission are free!
2. Take a Sightseeing Tour
In addition to celebrity home and studio tours, there are several different sightseeing adventures available in Los Angeles.
One of the most popular options is a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, as it provides transportation to several notable sites and allows you to jump off to take a closer look at each stop. Once you’re done looking around, you can hop back on and continue with the guided journey!
Some of the folks on the LA Travel Tips page said the wait for the hop-on-hop off buses was longer than in other cities. They recommended a private tour.
There are also a variety of walking tours available, all of which are pay-what-you-wish tours.
- Downtown Los Angeles Tour
- Hike to Hollywood Sign
- Hollywood Walking Tour
- Scandals and Crimes of Old Hollywood Tou
While this may be one of the least expensive options, there are also fully guided treks that focus on different subjects and areas of the city.
You can information on even more Los Angeles Walking Tours here.
3. Take In a Beautiful View
Several of our readers recommend visiting the Griffith Observatory for stunning views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign, and on clear days, the Pacific Ocean.
They call it a must-see at sunset and even afterward as you look over the twinkling lights of Tinsel Town.
Parking is expensive and hard to find. If you choose to walk up the hiking trail, it'll take about 50 minutes to get to the top. You'll probably want to Uber back down after dark though.
Also recommended is the Getty Museum, on the west side of LA. With an art collection that dates back to the Middle Ages, the Getty is one of the best art museums in Los Angeles.
As it sits atop a hill in the Santa Monica Mountains, it offers a panoramic view of Los Angeles.
If you'd like a guided tour of both the Observatory and Gerry Museum, with travel by bus, you can find that here.
The OUE Skyscape Observation Deck has one of the best views of Los Angeles. But they have something else for those who are brave enough to ride the Skyslide.
The Skyslide is a fully-enclosed slide that is almost 1,000 feet above downtown LA.
TIP: Tickets for this observation deck are included in some of the Los Angeles tourist passes.
Other folks recommend a walk around the Venice canals, followed by a walk or e-bike ride the two miles up to Santa Monica Pier.
4. Speaking of Beaches...
It’s not a trip to California without a stop at the beach!
As mentioned above, the famous Santa Monica Pier is worth a visit. Once there, you'll find a beautiful white sandy beach, great restaurants, and lots of activities.
You might also visit Carbon Beach, also known as Billionaires Beach, on the Malibu coast. Famous faces who have lived there include David Geffin, John Travolta, and Dr.
As all California beaches are open to the public by law, you can spend time there. The gate to Carbon Beach can be found at 22126 Pacific Coast Highway.
There are mixed recommendations about Venice Beach. Some folks say it's safe during the day when it's crowded, but to avoid it at night.
5. Head to the Mall
Los Angeles loves fashion. Watch any pre-event red-carpet interview, and you'll hear folks talking about what they're wearing.
A stroll along Rodeo Drive is fun, but our readers recommend the following malls:
- Citadel Outlet Mall | 112 stores and restaurants 20 minutes from LA
- Santee Alley has 150 stores over two blocks of LA with bargain pricing
Some other places you might like to explore are:
- Beverly Center is a high-end, luxury shopping mall located at the edge of Beverly Hills
- The Grove is open-air shopping and entertainment on LA's west side, across from Park La Brea
- Beverly Connection is an open-air shopping mall between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood
- Universal CityWalk has shops, movie theatres, a concert venue, restaurants, and more.
6. Go to a Concert, Play, or Comedy Show
Los Angeles is one of the biggest entertainment hubs in the world.
At almost any time of year, you'll find some of the top performers in music, theatre, and comedy.
Note that not only do some of these theaters host top performers but some of the venues themselves are also architecturally beautiful.
There are dozens of theatres putting on concerts, plays, and comedy shows.
One of the most well-known is Hollywood Bowl, which has had the likes of Adele on one night, a Broadway show on another, and Jerry Seinfeld on a third.
Walt Disney Concert Hall often has the Los Angeles Philharmonic, operas, ballets, and even live music played along to a movie.
If you want a memorable comedy night, you can head to The Comedy Store where some of the biggest names in comedy have gotten their start.
7. See a Live Television Show
Get yourself prepared to be part of an excited studio audience! In LA, there are numerous TV shows recorded daily and an abundance of show recordings that can be viewed for free.
Each type of show (game, talk, and late-night) has a different way of ticketing for audience viewers and some involve a wait-list, so plan ahead!
Check out this guide on how to secure a ticket to a recording for more information. Drew Carey, Jimmy Kimmel, and Dr. Phil are waiting for you!
8. Visit a Cemetary
Many people visit the final resting place of movie stars, musicians, and cultural icons to pay their respects and deal with feelings of loss.
Cemeteries are "walkable museums" that take you past both the graves of famous and non-famous people, telling you a little about their lives and perhaps even their passions.
Here are a few Los Angeles area cemeteries and information on what you can find there.
- Hollywood Forever Cemetary | Hollywood | Behind Paramount Studio
- Buried there: Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Bugsy Siegel, Hattie McDaniel, Toto from Wizard of Oz
- Other things to see: the mausoleum with Roman-like statues, a lake, gardens, live peacocks, and movies on the lawn
- Tips: It's a good place to get away from the crowds because it's quiet, well-maintained, beautiful
- Holy Cross Cemetery & Mortuary | Culver City
- Buried there: Bing Crosby, Sharon Tate, John Candy, Lawrence Welk
- Other things to see: scenic views, grottoes, waterfalls
- Tips: It's best seen by car as the cemetary is large and hilly
- Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park | Westwood Village | Near UCLA
- Buried there: Truman Capote, Ray Bradbury, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Don Knotts
- Other things to see: just the graves, some of which have pictures on them
- Tips: It sits behind some large office buildings and it small and serene
- Forest Lawn Memorial Park | Glendale
- Buried there: Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy Stewert, Walt Disney, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable
- Other things to see: museum of religious and historic art, statues, fountains, trees
- Tips: Check online for grave marker locations as the park will not have a map
- Forest Lawn Memorial Park | Hollywood Hills
- Buried there: Bette Davis, Buster Keaton, Liberace, Marvin Gaye, Michael Hutchence, Carrie Fisher
- Other things to see: Court of Remembrance, Court of Liberty, Old North Church, copy of Liberty Bell, statues
- Tips: Many famous names can be found in the Court of Remembrance. Download a map before visiting.
9. Visit the LA County Museum of Art
Located on Museum Row on Wilshire Boulevard and adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States.
It holds over 150,000 pieces in its collection, dating from ancient times to the present day.
There's free admission on the second Tuesday of every month, and the popular Urban Light exhibit outside is always free to visit.
Check here for a list of even more Los Angeles' museums.
BEST LOS ANGELES HOTELS FOR SOLO TRAVELERS
We don't think you should limit your hotel search simply because you are traveling alone.
You probably have a budget and a particular taste in the hotel atmosphere.
By all means, look into any hotels that interest you. Still, there are some considerations when choosing a hotel.
Narrow down your choices by finding a neighborhood that is safe and lively.
The more people around, the better you will feel coming back to your hotel late at night.
Also, you’ll want a neighborhood that has lots of cafes and restaurants that are good for dining alone.
Some hotels have a built-in social scene, with scheduled activities, game rooms, and lounges that are welcoming to solo travelers.
Our travelers and readers have suggested these hotels for those traveling in Los Angeles.
Loews Hollywood Hotel a block off of the Sunset Strip on Hollywood Boulevard and a short Uber ride from Universal Studios, the location is close to many of Hollywood's biggest sites. It gets high marks for its customer service. Be sure to request a room with a great view.
A less expensive option is PodShare Hollywood, a hostel, which is close to Capitol Records and the Hollywood Bowl. They offer a shared lounge, kitchen, and bathroom.
The Charlie Hotel dates back to the Golden Age of Hollywood and used to be owned by Charlie Chaplin. Its suites include a fully equipped kitchen, in-unit washer and drying, and wi-fi access It's surrounded by an English Garden, and has outdoor dining areas.
The Huntley Hotel is a luxury property in Santa Monica. Rooms include a pillowtop bed, a minibar, and an espresso maker. Bicycles can be rented, and there's a complimentary shuttle to attractions within three miles.
Hilton Santa Monica is three blocks from the Santa Monica Beach and Pier. Rooms are clean and modern, and there's a free beach shuttle.
Playa Del Rey
The Inn at Playa Del Rey is a hotel built with a view in mind. Request a rook facing the Marina and wetlands because they have balconies. There's a deck and gathering room for guests. Close to the Third Street Promenade, and much more.
If you want to meet fellow solo travelers, consider staying at a hostel or pod hotel.
While there are not that many hostels in NYC compared to other international cities, there are a few, and some are fairly good.
If you want some personalized assistance finding the right hotel, join our Facebook Tips page and create a post asking for recommendations specifically for solo travelers.
DINING ALONE IN LOS ANGELES
When you dine alone in Los Angeles you will not be eating alone since a lot of people enjoy their meals without companions.
Bring a book, play on your phone, or just people-watch, something that Angelenos love to do. Just play it cool if you see someone famous!
Restaurants will not be reluctant to seat you alone.
The waitstaff is often friendlier to solo diners, especially if they know you are visiting the city.
If you want to enjoy your food with others and even make a friend or two, take a food tour like our pay-what-you-wish food tours!
Eat like an Angelenos
Thanks to the vibrant mix of cultures in Los Angeles, they have crafted some of the most creative and delicious food in the world.
You can find pretty much any kind of food you are looking for, whether that is at a restaurant, a food truck, or a market.
Restaurants recommended by the folks in our LA Travel Tips Facebook group include:
- Parks Korean BBQ | Korean
- Craig's | American
- Yamashiro | Japanese
- Pacific Dining Car | Steakhouse
- République | French-inspired bakery, café, and bar
If you want to learn more about even more of the best restaurants, consider taking a Los Angeles food tour.
Food Halls and Markets
Grand Central Market opened in 1917 and has been in continuous operation ever since. Sticky Rice is our favorite for Thai food, Lucky Bird has some of the best fried chicken in town. Swing by McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams for dessert.
You might catch sight of a celebrity at Brentwood Country Mart. Famous faces have been visiting the market since 1948!
The Sunday Westchester Farmers' Market has a "number of local farmers, ranchers, specialty growers, food purveyors, and artisans" selling their goods.
Smorgasburg Los Angeles, an open-air food market, will provide plenty of food options due to its almost 100 vendors.
LA is famous for its food truck scene. To get the latest in food trends, be sure to track down a food truck and enjoy the cuisine like an LA local.
Roaming Hunger has a great site to help you track down where trucks are at any time of night.
If you head over to La Brea & Venice, you’ll find Leo’s Tacos parked almost nightly, with folks eating and socializing in the parking lot. Grab a couple of al pastor tacos and thank us later!
Mariscis Jalisco is an award-winning Mexican food truck that serves fresh and affordable food. You can find a seafood tostada and a deep-fried shrimp taco. They also have a brick-and-mortar location.
HOW TO MEET PEOPLE IN LOS ANGELES
Los Angeles is a fine destination for solo travelers, for both men and women.
There are so many people living here who spend time on their own that you won't feel alone!
Many locals are happy to talk to solo travelers and will offer advice and suggestions and may even chat with you for a while.
If you do want to meet other travelers, there are a few ways to do so.
Join A Walking Tour
Taking walking tours and food tours is a great way to learn about the city and meet new people.
Our pay-what-you-wish walking tours and food tours attract travelers from all over the world and quite a lot of solo travelers.
Our guides are friendly and they always make sure that no one feels left out of the tour experience!
Head to the Common Area of Your Hotel or Hostel
Most hotels have common spaces, like the lobby, pools, a hotel bar, or a restaurant.
You’ll be surrounded by other travelers, some of whom are also looking to connect with other people.
Join a LAMeetup
You can us Meetup.com as a resource for spending time with other people.
There are Los Angeles-based groups that arrange all sorts of activities.
Often, the people who turn up don't know each other so they are in the same boat as you!
It might be a gamers rooftop event, a jazz appreciation group, a museum touring group... just about anything you might find fun or interesting can be found.
IS LOS ANGELES SAFE FOR SOLO TRAVELERS?
It’s normal to be concerned with safety when traveling alone, even more so in a city as large as Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is relatively safe, and you'll be fine if you follow some safety tips.
The tips below are for both men and women of all ages.
However, women solo travelers face challenges that men solo travelers typically do not.
Always Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
You probably do this already, but take it up a notch in Los Angeles
If you find yourself in a densely crowded area, be aware of who is in your immediate surroundings.
Pay extra attention in areas with lots of tourists, such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
There will be people wanting to take pictures of you, sell a disc, or try to scam you in some way. You can and should walk right past them without engaging.
In places like Venice Beach, there may be several unhoused people, some of whom have mental health issues.
Most will leave you alone, but move through, look like you know where you are going, and don't engage with people who approach you.
Pay Attention at Night
Even if you know an area well, you should take extra precautions when out at night.
Many neighborhoods will be lively on their main streets, while their side streets can be quiet and completely without people. Stay on streets that are well-lit and fairly populated.
Research the areas you plan to visit at night ahead of time. There are neighborhoods like Skid Row, Chinatown, and even Hollywood that you'll want to be particularly careful of after dark.
Do not listen to music when walking out on the street at night. Take those earbuds out and listen to who and what is around you!
Don't accept drinks from strangers or tell them where you are staying.
As much as you can, try to take Uber or Lyft at night, and avoid public transportation in some neighborhoods.
Try To Blend In With The Locals
There is no shame in being a solo traveler in Los Angeles.
But if you have your head buried in a map on your phone, you will stand out like a sore thumb and be a target for pickpockets.
Carry yourself with confidence. Act like you own the city!
Read up on the areas you are going to so you will know in advance what to expect.
Never Leave Your Bag Unattended
This is a given in most cities. Be sure at all times to have your bag and other belongings with you.
Don’t leave your purse or phone on a table while you go off to use the restaurant restroom.
Keep your bags closed and any valuables out of sight. Don’t have your phone sticking out of your back pocket.
We hope that all the information above helps you enjoy your time in Los Angeles!
Be sure to check out our comprehensive list of things to do by month in LA, and read our posts about the weather in the month in which you'll be visiting.
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