For many people, the mention of Los Angeles (L.A.) County often conjures images of Hollywood, A-List celebrities, and sun-soaked beaches. But the cities that make up this iconic region contain much more. From Michelin-starred restaurants, to iconic museums and cultural centers, to historic landmarks, to expansive parks and gardens, this sprawling county—the most populous in the United States and home to one-fourth of California’s population—offers countless attractions and destinations worth experiencing.
The most visited park in L.A. County is Griffith Park, perched above the city of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains. The 4,210-acre expanse features numerous hiking and biking trails, an equestrian center, an observatory (where scenes of the Oscar-winning La La Land were filmed), a golf course, playgrounds, and more. And the county’s largest park is the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, which offers water skiing, swimming, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy the region’s natural beauty at Saddleback Butte State Park, the California Poppy Reserve, Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park (where many old Western flicks were filmed), and Mount Baldy (the highest point in the county).
Other must-see attractions include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Zoo, and the Arboretum of Los Angeles.
But no visit to L.A. County would be complete without a trip to the beach. Venice Beach is a popular destination, known for its boho spirit, artsy shops, colorful murals, and notable restaurants. The Santa Monica Pier is another hot spot, featuring a ferris wheel, bumper car rides, roller coasters, arcade games, and even an aquarium—not to mention miles of soft sand. Further north, the fabled Malibu boasts several picture-perfect beaches such as Zuma Beach and Malibu Lagoon State Beach, where visitors can surf, hike, or simply sun tan.
Signature L.A. County events draw thousands of visitors each year, too. One of the most famous is the Rose Parade in Pasadena, which precedes the Rose Bowl Game. There’s also the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, the Long Beach Grand Prix, the L.A. Art Show, and the Los Angeles Times’ Festival of Books.
So whether you want to attend an event, experience world-renowned museums and galleries, explore a variety of natural wonders, stop by the Hollywood Walk of Fame, shop ‘til you drop at high-end boutiques, or savor acclaimed and ethnic cuisine, L.A. County is bound to keep you entertained.