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Cool Spots, sightseeing

10 Cool Spots in L.A. That Actually Live Up to the Hype

February 15, 2017 by Courtney Sulzberger

Let’s face it, it’s hard finding things to do or places to visit that are a guaranteed good time. With so many venues, activities, and noteworthy spots in the city of angels, there’s an overwhelming amount of options.

Luckily, we’ve created a list of the top 10 cool spots in L.A. that actually live up to the hype. Consistently referenced, Instagrammed or recommended, these spots are actually worth the notoriety and renown, even enough to justify braving a crowd on a weekend.

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And if it so happens you haven’t yet checked these off your L.A. bucket list just yet, it’s time to get planning!

[RELATEDThe 4 Things You Gotta Do if You’re Visiting L.A. For Only One Day]

Griffith Observatory at dusk

Griffith Observatory at dusk. Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

1. Griffith Observatory

There’s a reason this epic location is featured in countless TV shows and movies (ahem… La La Land). One of the oldest, most unique and best things you can do in L.A. is visit the Griffith Observatory. Stop by the observation deck atop the mountains  overlooking the city or hike the various trails to the Bronson Caves or Amir’s Garden. If hiking isn’t your thing, visit the observatory itself for a look through their powerful telescope during a star party, or walk through the history of astronomy and take in a show in their riveting planetarium. Bonus Tip: This a great spot for a first date, as well as a fun day with the kiddos.

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2. Hollywood Bowl

While L.A. does contain many eccentric, fun, and historical music venues, the Hollywood Bowl never disappoints. With a venue full of great seats (honestly, there are no bad views), attendees can watch their favorite musicians, actors, and entertainers on stage. It’s situated at the bottom of the Hollywood Hills against a perfect backdrop. You can currently visit their site for a list of lease events, but check back in March when their summer series line-up is announced. Don’t forget, you can also bring a picnic to enjoy before the show!

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3. Sandstone Peak

Sandstone Peak in Malibu is one of the most referenced hikes in the greater L.A. area and for good reason. Modern Hiker calls it, “perhaps the single best day hike in Southern California.”  Guiding beginner and experienced hikers alike, the trail takes adventurers to the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains. But don’t worry, the prize at the end is breathtaking coastal and inland views. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to branch out and explore some of the less-beaten paths. This is a hike you can do over and over again, experiencing different pathways, views, and more.

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[RELATED: 5 Hike You Gotta Do Your First Year Living in L.A.]

Sandstone Peak

Mount. Allen, aka Sandstone Peak. Photo by Mitch Barrie via flickr cc

4. In-N-Out

If you live outside the U.S. and plan to visit California, chances are you’ve been told about about the deliciousness provided by In-N-Out Burger. Foreigners from around the world come to California with the hope of tasting one of In-N-Out’s epic food options. From their juicy burgers to their drool-worthy animal fries and sweet milkshakes, In-N-Out always lives up to its reputation. Bonus Tip: If you want to take you’re In-N-Out experience to the next level, be sure to check out We Like L.A.’s Most Complete In N Out Secret Menu.

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In N Out Double Double

Double Double with fries. Credit: stu_spivack via flickr cc

5. Philippe The Original

The story goes that in 1918, the owner of Philippe The Original accidentally dropped a french roll into a used roasting pan. From there, the French Dip Sandwich was born. On weekends, you’ll find a long line of regulars waiting for their French dip fix, along with a quick cup of coffee and deep food satisfaction. Stop by and see for yourself. This delicious sandwich will not disappoint.

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6. Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Even if you’re not a fan of the undead, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is always a good option for both cold and warm nights. Hosting a wide variety of outdoor events from concerts to Cinespia movie screenings, groups of friends, romantic lovers, or adventurous individuals can enjoy eerie, but fun, evenings in this unique venue. The cemetery also hosts a wide variety of cultural events, including their annual Día De Los Muertos celebration.

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Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Credit: anokarina via flickr cc

7. Huntington Library

The Huntington Library in San Marino is home to extensive art collections, engaging cultural events, and one of the most impressive botanical gardens in Southern California. The gardens, the most popular offering, feature a Japanese garden, lily pond, rose garden, children’s conservatory, and other more exotic sections. Springtime is especially colorful, but families and couples can visit the garden year ’round for a dose of greenery and calming serenity.

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Huntington Library Bridge

Japanese Garden Bridge at the Huntington Library. Credit: Michael Saechang via flickr cc

8. The Cinerama Dome

One of several historic theaters in Hollywood, the Cinerama Dome has been very well maintained over the decades and provides a one-of-kind movie watching experience. The first and only geodesic dome theater in the world, this venue includes over 800 seats in front a deeply curved screen. Whether it’s an action-packed or romantic movie, you’ll feel a part of the imaginary world you’re viewing.

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Cinerama Dome Los Angeles

The Cinerama Dome. Credit: Christopher Paulin via flickr cc

9. The Broad

If you’re an Instagram user, chances are you’ve seen a few Infinity Room selfies. Hosted at The Broad, this famed exhibit is one of many inside of the contemporary art museum. While lines are long and pre-purchased tickets are highly recommended, we’re here to tell you that it’s all worth it. Their interactive, thought-provoking and sometimes funny exhibits are a guaranteed fun afternoon with friends. Plus they really are Instagram-worthy experiences and art.

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Infinity Room

Infinity Room selfie at The Broad. Photo credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

10. The Getty

Last, but certainly not least, The Getty is a perfect spot for a full afternoon of activities with family or friends. Located off the 405 freeway, this free museum offers art exhibits, an education center for kids, and sprawling grounds featuring benches, grassy areas, and gorgeous viewing spots. Visit here for a full day of art, or bring a picnic and spend a sunny afternoon outside.

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The Getty Center Exterior

The Getty Center. Credit: Ayleen Gaspar via flickr cc

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