It's true. Los Angeles is the most visited city in the United States. In fact, it's the most visited city in the world, with more than 30 million visitors each year. And that's just the official count. The real number is probably much higher, as many people visit Los Angeles without staying overnight.
But why? Why is Los Angeles so popular? What makes this city so appealing to so many people? Is it just a tourist trap? Or is there something more to it?
In this article, we'll take a look at the many reasons why everyone should visit Los Angeles. We'll start by looking at some of the city's unique features and attractions. Then we'll take a look at some of the other reasons why people visit L.A., including its climate, its food and its film industry. Let's get started!
Los Angeles Features and Attractions
Los Angeles has a lot of unique features that make it stand out from other cities in America and around the world. Here are just a few of them:
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park
Disneyland is one of L.A.'s most famous attractions, and it's been drawing visitors since 1955 when Walt Disney opened his first theme park in Anaheim, California (about an hour away from downtown L.A.). Today there are two theme parks: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park (or "DCA" for short).
Both parks are filled with rides, shows and attractions based on Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, but DCA also has rides based on Pixar movies like "Toy Story" and "The Incredibles." Both parks are also filled with restaurants, shops and hotels where you can spend a day or two exploring all that they have to offer before heading back into downtown L.A., which is only about 20 miles away from Disneyland (about 30-40 minutes by car).
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is another popular theme park near downtown L.A., located about 10 miles away from Disneyland (about 15-20 minutes by car). Universal Studios Hollywood was originally built as an actual movie studio back in 1915 but was later converted into a theme park in 1964 when NBC bought it for $8 million dollars (the same year that NBC launched its first color TV show).
Today Universal Studios Hollywood has rides based on movies like "Jaws," "Back to the Future," "The Simpsons" and many others as well as shows featuring characters like Woody Woodpecker, Shrek, Harry Potter and more! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016 to celebrate 20 years since JK Rowling published her first book about Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) which later became an award-winning film franchise starring Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter himself!
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame runs along both sides of Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea Avenue on one end to Gower Street on the other end (with some stars extending into Vine Street).
It contains over 2,600 stars honoring celebrities who have made significant contributions to entertainment over their careers including actors, musicians, directors, producers etc., including names like Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley etc.. Many tourists come here just to walk along this famous sidewalk or even take selfies with the stars.
The Hollywood Sign is another famous landmark in L.A. that's located on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills. It was originally built in 1923 as an advertisement for a housing development called "Hollywoodland," but it was later taken down in 1949 after the housing development failed.
In 1978, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to build a new sign to promote tourism and the city of L.A., and it was officially unveiled on November 1, 1978. The sign is now protected by the city of L.A., and it's illegal to deface or vandalize it in any way (including climbing up Mount Lee to take pictures of it). The sign has been repaired several times over the years due to vandalism, but it's still standing today, and you can see it from many different places around Los Angeles (and even from space).
The Hollywood Bowl is another popular attraction in L.A., located about 10 miles away from Universal Studios Hollywood (about 15-20 minutes by car).
The Hollywood Bowl has been around since 1922, when a man named John Anson Ford built a natural amphitheater bowl here for people to enjoy outdoor concerts during summer months (hence its name). Today, there are still free outdoor concerts at the Hollywood Bowl every summer as well as other events throughout the year like film screenings, comedy shows, and more!
Griffith Park is another popular destination for tourists visiting L.A., located about 8 miles away from downtown L.A. (about 10-15 minutes by car).
Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in America at 4,310 acres (1,734 hectares), and it's filled with many different attractions including the Griffith Park Observatory.
Los Angeles Food Scene
Los Angeles has some of the best food in America! Here are some of our favorite restaurants:
In N Out Burger
In N Out Burger is one of our favorite places to eat at while we're visiting Los Angeles! In N Out Burger was founded back in 1948 by Harry Snyder and his wife Esther Snyder when they opened their first location on Route 66 near Anaheim, California (about an hour away from downtown L.A.).
Today there are over 300 locations across California as well as Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas! In N Out Burger is known for its simple menu which consists mainly of burgers made with fresh ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, cheese etc., along with fries and milkshakes made with real ice cream!
We recommend ordering your burger "animal style" which means they'll add extra spread on your burger along with extra pickles and grilled onions if you want something extra special! You can also order your fries "well done" if you want them extra crispy or "light" if you want them less greasy! We recommend ordering your fries "animal style" too if you want them extra special! And don't forget to order a milkshake while you're there too!
They have a lot of different flavors to choose from, and you can even order your milkshake "animal style" if you want it extra special!
Pink's Hot Dogs
Pink's Hot Dogs is another popular hot dog stand in L.A. that's been around since 1939! Pink's Hot Dogs is located in the heart of Hollywood on La Brea Avenue, and it's known for its famous hot dogs made with all-beef franks. Pink's Hot Dogs also has a lot of other items on its menu including burgers, sandwiches, salads and more!
You can get a regular hot dog for just $3.50 or a chili cheese dog for $4.50, but if you want something extra special, you can order the "Super Dog" for $6.50 which includes mustard, onions, chili and cheese (or you can order it "Super Duper" for $7.50 which includes everything plus bacon).
You can also order fries or onion rings to go along with your hot dog if you want something else to eat besides just a hot dog!
Guelaguetza is another one of our favorite restaurants in L.A., located in Lincoln Heights on North Broadway Street near Chinatown (about 5 miles away from downtown L.A.). Guelaguetza is an award-winning restaurant that serves authentic Oaxacan cuisine from Mexico (including dishes like mole poblano, chile relleno negro and tamales).
The food here is so good that it was awarded one Michelin star in 2017! Guelaguetza also offers fresh juices and aguas frescas along with desserts like tres leches cake and flan to go along with your meal! You can also get fresh juices to go if you're looking for something healthy to drink while visiting L.A., including fresh juices made with mangoes, watermelon or pineapple among others!
Kogi is another popular Korean taco truck located in Koreatown near downtown L.A., serving tacos filled with Korean barbecue beef short ribs and other Korean ingredients like kimchi (fermented cabbage) among others! Kogi was founded by Chef Roy Choi back in 2008 when he decided to start selling his Korean tacos out of his truck after he couldn't find any good Mexican food trucks around town at the time (which were very popular at the time).
Kogi has since expanded into brick-and-mortar restaurants around town as well as several other cities across America including New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Austin among others!
Sugarfish is another great sushi restaurant located in Little Tokyo near downtown L.A., offering fresh sushi made with high quality ingredients like toro fish belly (tuna belly), uni sea urchin roe or abalone among others! Sugarfish was founded by Kazunori Nozawa back in 2003 when he opened his first location in West Los Angeles serving sushi rolls made with fresh fish and other ingredients.
Sugarfish has since expanded into multiple locations across the U.S. including New York City, Las Vegas, Chicago, Honolulu and San Francisco among others!
Ventura Farms is a popular restaurant located in Studio City near downtown L.A., offering fresh salads, sandwiches and more! Ventura Farms was founded by Chef David Myers back in 2005 when he opened his first location in Studio City serving fresh salads made with organic ingredients like arugula, baby spinach and other vegetables.
Ventura Farms has since expanded into multiple locations across the U.S., including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and New York City among others!
Café Gratitude is another great restaurant located in Venice Beach near downtown L.A., offering fresh vegan food made with organic ingredients like quinoa, kale and other vegetables among others!
Café Gratitude was founded by Sarma Melngailis back in 2004 when she opened her first location in Venice Beach serving raw vegan food made with organic ingredients like sprouts, nuts and seeds among others.
Café Gratitude has since expanded into multiple locations across the U.S., including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin among others!
Café Stella is another great restaurant located in Santa Monica near downtown L.A., offering fresh Italian food made with local ingredients like house-made pasta among others!
Café Stella was founded by Chef Michael Voltaggio back in 2010 when he opened his first location in Santa Monica serving fresh Italian food made with local ingredients like house-made pasta among others.
Café Stella has since expanded into multiple locations across the U.S., including Los Angeles (in Santa Monica), Las Vegas (in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas) and West Hollywood (in The London Hotel) among others!
Matsuhisa is another great restaurant located in Beverly Hills near downtown L.A., offering Japanese cuisine made with high quality ingredients like black cod or yellowtail sushi among others!
Matsuhisa was founded by Nobu Matsuhisa back in 1987 when he opened his first location on La Cienega Boulevard serving Japanese cuisine made with high quality ingredients like black cod or yellowtail sushi among others. Matsuhisa has since expanded into multiple locations across the U.S., including New York City (in Tribeca), Las Vegas (in Caesars Palace), Miami Beach (in Fontainebleau Hotel) and Malibu (in Malibu Country Mart) among others!
The Bazaar by José Andrés
The Bazaar by José Andrés is another great restaurant located at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills near downtown L.A., offering Spanish cuisine made with high quality ingredients like paella or suckling pig tacos among others!
The Bazaar by José Andrés was founded by Chef José Andrés back in 2008 when he opened his first location at The SLS Hotel Beverly Hills serving Spanish cuisine made with high quality ingredients like paella or suckling pig tacos among others. The Bazaar by José Andrés has since expanded into multiple locations across the U.S., including Las Vegas (in Aria Resort & Casino), Washington D.C.(in National Harbor) and Miami.
With lots of attractions and an unbeatable food scene, everyone should visit Los Angeles.