In a city as big as Los Angeles, it can be daunting figuring out where to explore. These are some of the city’s best tours to get you the inside scoop on the City of Angels.
Whether you’re coming to Los Angeles for the food, the glitz and glamour, the celebrity sights or the art and culture, there’s a tour that’s tailor-made just for you. LA is such a diverse city with a unique history and figuring out how to see it all can drive even the most astute travelers crazy. Here’s Culture Trip’s pick of 15 recommended tours in Los Angeles that are just right for any budget, group or individual looking to explore.
No matter where you are along the California coastline, there is a wealth of marine life. On any given day you may spot frolicking sea lions, spyhopping whales, majestic dolphins or even the occasional great white shark along the shores of LA. A tour with Newport Beach Cruise means you’ll get up close and personal with these creatures (while remaining safe and dry, of course). This family-friendly excursion leaves from the Balboa Boardwalk and careens into a marine sanctuary where you’re almost guaranteed to meet the biggest mammals of the sea.
LA is a sprawling city and it can be hard to figure out how to hit all the hotspots. The best thing about the Hop-on Hop-off Double Decker Bus Tour is that you can navigate the city however you want, in the time that you want. With more than 50 stops, the bus drives from the beaches of Santa Monica through the glitzy streets of Beverly Hills and into Downtown. There are ticket options for 24, 48, or 72 hours, so that you can decide exactly how you want to get around town at your leisure.
Recreational marijuana use is 100% legal in Los Angeles (if you are of age), and if you’re interested in knowing the ins and outs of the industry while also dabbling in the fun, then this might be the tour for you. For two and a half hours, this guided tour takes you through Hollywood where you’ll hit up a dispensary, get discounts on cannabis products, walk through a grow facility, learn the science and business of the industry, and end the day at a smoker’s lounge where you can sample you’re newly found (legal) contraband.
Sure, you could hike to the world’s most recognizable spot, but why stretch your legs when you can soar above and around the Hollywood Sign via helicopter. This exhilarating tour only lasts up to 15 minutes, but the views will have you reliving the experience for a lifetime. You’ll take off from Burbank Airport and get a birds-eye-view of Hollywood, the iconic sign, Mulholland Drive, and Downtown. You’ll never get a better look than this.
Some of the most important architects in the world have their work on full display throughout the city, and taking an architecture tour is a great way to experience the various styles. There are a whole host of tours to choose from that include a Frank Gehry Tour, a Frank Lloyd Wright Tour, a Pasadena Craftsman Home Tour, or a tour of Downtown, plus many more. For lovers of buildings and design, this is a fascinating way to explore the city and see real gems hidden in plain sight.
Ask any Angeleno for the best Mexican food in the city and they’ll captivate you with tales of their favorite taco stand in some corner of the city. LA is famous for its taco spots, and this incredible tour gives you a chance to devour LA’s best, while also getting in a spot of exercise. For three hours, you’ll be guided on a cycle tour, stopping at amazing taco stands and historic sites along the way. Everything is provided, including a bike, helmet, water and unlimited tacos.
When you think about neon lights, Las Vegas might come to mind. But one of the most interesting tours in all of Los Angeles is the Neon Cruise, a nighttime exploration of LA’s famous neon signs, movie marquees and neon art installations. The cruise is narrated by local experts as they drive you through Chinatown, through LA’s Downtown theater district, and into Hollywood with classic signs that date back to the 1930s. Keep in mind that this cruise typically only runs from June to October, but there are specialty runs for various holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.
Want to know where the rich and famous put their heads down for the night? This two-hour excursion will take you on a quest through Mulholland Drive and Beverly Hills to uncover some of the biggest and most opulent celebrity homes in the world. Highlights include the former home of Michael Jackson, as well as the 30,000-square-foot pad that Beyoncé and Jay-Z lived in. You’ll also see the homes of celebrities from Jennifer Lopez, Orlando Bloom, and Courtney Cox.
Built in 1962, Dodger Stadium is one of the oldest and most venerated baseball stadiums in the US. Fans of Major League Baseball will find lots to love here as the tour takes you behind the scenes of the 56,000-seat stadium. Highlights of the experience include a jaunt in the dugout, a walk on the actual field, a trip to the ultra-exclusive lounge behind home plate, and a stop to see all the trophies the team has amassed over the years.
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