We’re Paris and Andy, we are both 24 and are currently 2 months into a 7 month trip travelling around America. We’ve always loved the States and had so many places on our bucket list that we wanted to visit we decided to put both our careers on hold to take a trip of a lifetime to see them all. As we are from England, we are only allowed a 6 month tourist visa but wanted to extend our trip to 7 months so we could spend a few weeks in Canada, with a stop off in Iceland first.
5. LIDO DI JESLO, ITALY
Lido di Jeslo is a perfect destination in Italy in which you can have the best of both worlds. It is home to 15km of white-sandy beach, with Venice also easily accessible for a day trip, there is no need to worry about the dreaded smell during your stay. Although a gondola ride is expensive, you can’t beat seeing the Grand Canal from a comfy seat on the canal, try and share a ride with another couple so you can split the cost. We highly recommend renting bikes in Lido Di Jeslo and exploring the area, you never know what you’ll find! Italian food is incredibly cheap and with hundreds of.
This is probably one of dozens of other “Things to Do in LA” lists you’ve stumbled across while planning your trip, but believe me when I say that you’ll be glad you came across my page. Here’s why: It’s compiled by a California travel expert (me) with more than 20 years of experience who has lived in Los Angeles as well as visited it hundreds of times. Hundreds, folks. I’ve seen Los Angeles change into the green juice loving, eccentric city it is today.
My guide started with a list of the most popular destinations based on tourism data, but it doesn’t stop there. We also asked our readers to vote for their favorite things to do and all that went into the final list, which is like you asking all of your friends with different tastes and preferences about their favorite places to go in LA and things to do while there.
Chill Out on Catalina Island
If you want a taste of the Mediterranean in southern California, head just off the shore of the city. You’ll technically still be in Los Angeles County, but you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped onto the coast of Greece when you visit Catalina Island,
Things are different on Catalina, and especially in the town of Avalon, where most visitors go. You’ll see fish fly and people driving golf carts instead of cars, but that’s only the start.
The real charm of the island is in its unpretentious, laid-back ambiance, enough to get you chilled out in no time. The island is worthy of a full, week-long vacation if you have the days off; if not, a weekend escape provides plenty of distractions, too.
The only downside? You have to get on a ferry boat to get there, and if you get more excited by city lights than by the sight of a buffalo in the wild, this quiet escape may not be for you.
Spend a Day at Disneyland
Disneyland Paris – July 2012
OK, we know Disneyland is technically in Orange County, but it’s still a top destination for Los Angeles visitors.
Disneyland earns a spot on this list for its cleanliness, friendly employees, and overall fun factor. Unlike other area theme parks, the park doesn’t have extra-fee attractions that raise your costs—and it doesn’t charge for a line-busting FastPass, either. It’s also sentimental: The Anaheim-based theme park is the original, the one baby-boomers grew up yearning to visit.
You can wear a funny hat all day and not feel silly about it. Its landscape is engineered to keep anything outside from intruding on your experience. Disneyland is a place where you can just enjoy being a kid with your kids.
Walt Disney wanted to create a place where parents and kids could do things together, and Disneyland offers plenty of chances to do just that. Most rides are on the gentler side, and you’ll also find shows, parades, and daily fireworks in summer. And if you don’t want to do any of that, just take a kid or two and watch them have fun.
Next door to Disneyland is California Adventure, a separate Disney park with a growing collection of rides based on animated films. Downtown Disney, a shopping, dining and entertainment area is next door.
A few downsides to keep in mind: lines can be long, tickets pricey, and people who like extreme thrill rides may find the park too tame.
Drive the Malibu Coast
West of the city of Santa Monica, the beaches run east and west, creating a beautiful setting and making for some great surfing when conditions allow. Since the days of beach-blanket movies and Beach Boys songs, Malibu has exemplified Southern California beach culture.
From a visitor’s perspective, the Malibu coastline is too scenic for its own good—you’ll spend more time than you want to driving past the backs of houses that face the beach.
Go far enough north and you’ll begin to see what all the fuss is about.
You can take in all of the scenery when you drive from Santa Monica to Oxford in just a few hours during the Malibu coast drive. Or, make a day of it and get your fill of Greek and Roman antiquities in a villa taken right out of the pages of history at the Getty Villa.
Say Hello to Hollywood
Don’t let outdated guides tell you that Hollywood is dirty and run-down. For the most part, that’s a thing of the past. That doesn’t mean it isn’t crowded and sometimes tacky-touristy, though.
Hollywood is more of a state of mind than a real place. In Los Angeles, much of the hype centers on Hollywood Boulevard, around its intersection with Highland Boulevard. Ever since Sid Grauman built his first movie houses near there and started asking his friends to imprint their hands and feet in wet cement outside his Chinese Theatre, it’s been the site of a film fan frenzy.
Along the boulevard, you’ll find the Walk of Fame, a series of stars embedded in the sidewalk, celebrating hundreds of folks’ achievements in film, television, and music. Celebrity impersonators prowl the sidewalk, posing for photos with the passers-by (for a small tip), and everyone seems to want to check out the hand and footprints at the Chinese Theatre. If you’re lucky, you might even happen by when there’s a footprint ceremony, star ceremony, or movie premiere going on.
There’s more to Hollywood than just the boulevard. Nearby you’ll find the Hollywood Bowl (the best place for a summer concert), Paramount Studios, the Hollywood Heritage Museum (birthplace of the film industry), and a bunch of other sights. You’ll find them all on this driving tour.
See Sunset Strip
Sunset Boulevard runs from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean through some of Los Angeles’ most exclusive neighborhoods. Its most famous stretch is probably the Sunset Strip, a section whose sexy curves make it a visual icon, lined with nightclubs and emblematic billboards.
During the day, this area is mostly quiet except for folks shopping, dining and wanting to be seen at Sunset Plaza. At night, it’s illuminated by neon lights, an easy place to club-hop without driving around, and the sidewalks are full of party-goers.
The Sunset Strip runs through West Hollywood between Crescent Heights and Doheny Drive, on the north side of the Los Angeles Metro area. It’s northwest of downtown and northeast of Beverly Hills.
The Haiku Stairs, a.k.a. the Stairway to Heaven, is a semi-secret forbidden hike on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The stairs were originally built in 1943 to install antenna cables as part of a larger military radio communication system to communicate with US Navy submarines as far away as Tokyo Bay. The original wooden steps were replaced by metal, cable-supported stairs in the early 1950s when the US Coast Guard took over the installation. Soon after, the military decommissioned the entire site and it was opened to the public–until 1987, when fences and ‘no trespassing’ signs went up to prevent hikers from accessing the stairs.
After hearing about the stairs, I knew it was something I just had to do–I live for this kind of stuff. I set out solo before the crack of dawn to hit the trail before a scheduled security guard began his daily duty to thwart off would-be trespassers.
Finding the Way
After reading the horror stories local residents vs. rude hikers, I parked well away from the trail head and treaded lightly through the residential area and then stealthily over a fence onto a pitch-black maintenance road that I thought would take me directly to the stairs. I was wrong. With nothing more than a dim penlight, I spent 45 minutes heading far off-course while stumbling through dark side trails searching for a clue of a the way to the stairs. I came across some high school kids who were also searching for the stairs. With the sun beginning to rise, we found a small opening in a bamboo forest and headed in.
Finally things were looking promising and we eventually found our way to the foot of the 3,922 stairs that would take us to the 2,480 ft summit. Luckily, the security guard still hadn’t arrived and all that stood between us and the stairs were two fences covered with signs warning of the consequences of trespassing, mostly related to bodily injury or death. After getting around the fences, I accelerated skyward, leaving the group of kids behind. I was already dehydrated from my earlier fast-paced quest for the stairs, and tried to conserve the small amount of water I had. I didn’t come to the island geared up for much hiking.
I ascended with my gigantic camera dangling around my neck like a dumbbell which made things a little more difficult, but I managed to get almost 200 pictures while struggling to clear my lens of stuck-on bugs using my sweat-drenched t-shirt.
The climb was well worth it. The sun rose over the Windward coast as I ascended at a furious pace into the dense clouds–it quickly becomes obvious how the stairs earned their nickname. I met some people along the way–mostly locals, including an Army soldier who was curious how I had heard of the stairs.
I won’t mention the exact whereabouts of the stair trailhead, but a little Googling can point you in the right direction. Just remember to respect the residents–many of them aren’t too happy with some of the hikers that come trampling through.
Trying to decide what to do when you visit New York? Start with this list of New York City’s most popular attractions to get started planning your trip to the Big Apple. Popularity naturally brings crowds, but these attractions are all popular for a reason — they’re all pretty great.
Many of the attractions on this list are iconic New York institutions and could very well be on your NYC bucket-list. Do you find the idea of going to a popular attraction unappealing? I’ve listed the attractions in order of increasing popularity, but each of the highlighted attractions welcomes more than one million visitors annually!
When you think of Islands, you think of Hawaii! This is one of the biggest reasons why we would love to highlight this awesome group of Islands. Hawaii is the largest island located in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is the largest and the southeastern-most of the Hawaiian islands, a chain of volcanic islands in the North Pacific Ocean. With an area of 4,028 square miles (10,430 km2), it is larger than all of the other islands in the archipelago combined and is the largest island in the United States. The island of Hawaii is the third largest island in Polynesia, behind the two main islands of New Zealand. The island is often referred to as the Island of Hawaiʻi, the Big Island, or Hawaiʻi Island to distinguish between the island and the state. It is coterminous with Hawaiʻi County and includes the Hilo Micropolitan Statistical Area.
There are so many fun things to do on beautiful Island, we highlight 5 of them in this post.
1. Hike the Legendary Na Pali Coast, Kauai
Considered the state’s best backpacking route, the 22-mile round-trip Kalalau Trail cuts through the famed Na Pali Coast, an unspoiled wonderland where fluted cliffs and lush valleys crash abruptly into the blue Pacific. Originally built in the mid-1800s, the trail has narrow switchbacks, sheer drop-offs, and alarming, cliff-grabbing turns. Needless to say, only the brave and experienced need apply. After traversing five valleys, the path ends—as if the bounty for your trouble—at the golden sands of Kalalau Beach. Here, pitch a tent under the jungle canopy, then shower under the valley’s legendary beachside waterfall. Isolated and inspired, don’t be surprised if bidding “aloha” to the modern world comes to mind. Though state permits allow only five nights total (including time spent at Hanakoa, a campsite six miles from the trailhead) that doesn’t stop some wanderlust souls, including those who prefer the fashion sense of Adam and Eve, from making it their mission to avoid regular sweeps by officials.