The Top Things to Do and See in Los Feliz, Los Angeles

Take in expansive views of Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory
Take in expansive views of Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory | © trekandshoot / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Renée Fabian
11 August 2021

To the east of Hollywood, the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz trades the glitz and glamour for an easygoing community with a dynamic art scene. Bordering Griffith Park, it offers swift access to attractions such as the Griffith Observatory and the LA Zoo, with laid-back cafes and a dose of quirky 20th-century theaters and shops, too.

Visit the Autry Museum of the American West

Botanical Garden, Museum
The Autry National Center.
© Leigh Green / Alamy Stock Photo
The huge collection at the Autry Museum tells the history of the old American West, and it’s one of the only museums to combine Western history and cultures with Native American perspectives. It makes for a fun day out for kids, as they can try panning for gold, learn how big-screen sound effects are produced and pretend to ride a horse in a western movie.

Explore Barnsdall Art Park

Museum, Park
Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, USA
© Citizen of the Planet / Alamy Stock Photo
Going east on Hollywood Boulevard, you’ll find Barnsdall Art Park, a renowned cultural hub. See the highly influential Hollyhock House, designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and visit the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Also, sign up for a class at the art center, or catch a show at the intimate Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. The park also offers fun year-round events, such as summer wine tastings and outdoor movie nights.

Catch a concert at the Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre is an open air music venue in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California
© Diane Modafferi / Alamy Stock Photo

Los Angeles has long been a hot destination for live music, and the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park offers the perfect outdoor concert destination. Since the 5,900-seat amphitheater opened to audiences in 1930, it has hosted legendary performers, including Frank Sinatra, Sir Elton John, Lorde and Alabama Shakes. With the scenic hills as its backdrop and plenty of food and drinks, it’s an atmospheric place to watch a spring or summer concert as the sun sets.

See the stars at the Griffith Observatory

Building, Museum, Park
Los Angeles, California, USA downtown skyline from Griffith Park.
© Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo
Enter the intergalactic world of the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park, widely regarded as one of the best planetariums out there. It’s home to the most advanced star projector – a realistic image of space beamed onto the inside of the 75ft (23m) aluminum dome – in the world, and a live storyteller guides the 290-strong seated audience through the show. The museum offers free admission and educational exhibits on astronomy. For views extending across the LA Basin to the ocean, climb the steps to the roof.

Go for a spin on the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

Amusement Park
Los Angeles, California, USA. 14th Sep, 2014. An antique carousel operates daily in Griffith Park, adjacent to the Old Zoo location. © Fred Hoerr/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News
© ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

The Spillman Engineering Company built the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round in 1926, complete with 68 handcrafted horses, and they’ve been swirling around this spot since they arrived here in 1937. You’ll likely never hear it play the same song twice, as the Stinson 165 Military Band Organ – said to be the largest carousel band organ in the West – plays more than 1,500 nostalgic songs. This area also features a playground and entrances to Griffith Park’s hiking trails.

Eat breakfast at All Time

Restaurant, American
Breakfast Sandwich with fried eggs at All Time
© All Time / David Marcinek

With a cafe, bakery, wine bar and some of the best pizza in LA, this pared-back dining room on Hillhurst Avenue pulls off the low-key restaurant trend to a T. Join the hipsters for a morning protein hit of comfort foods, such as cheesy eggs on toast, burritos or the Breakfast of All Time, which includes fried eggs, black beans, plantain and avocado. You may well get to try it all, as the relaxed neighborhood vibe will keep you coming back.

View groundbreaking art at La Luz de Jesus Gallery

Art Gallery
© Matt Kennedy
Opened in 1986 by art collector Billy Shire, La Luz de Jesus Gallery quickly became one of the most groundbreaking galleries in LA, masterfully collating bold and memorable pieces. Featuring post-Pop art that brings counterculture to a wider audience, the gallery showcases a variety of mediums, including paintings, sculpture and mixed media. All the exhibitions are temporary, but previous shows have included Joe Coleman (subject of the 1997 documentary RIP: Rest in Pieces) and Zap Comix artist Robert Williams.

See wild animals at the Los Angeles Zoo

Entrance to the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens September 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
© US Navy Photo / Alamy Stock Photo
In the northeast corner of Griffith Park (a 10-minute drive from Los Feliz), the LA Zoo focuses on conservation and endangered species and is evolving with modern demand (unlike some California animal attractions). Its 2,200 animals span 270 species, with standout exhibits including the indoor Lair (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles), Campo Gorilla Reserve and the zoo’s largest exhibit, the Elephants of Asia.

Browse the shelves at Skylight Books

Bookstore, Shop
Skylight Books Vermont Ave, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California, USA
© Citizen of the Planet / Alamy Stock Photo

In the heart of Los Feliz’s quaint shopping district, Skylight Books has been a neighborhood favorite since it opened in the 1990s. This indie store sells an exceptional selection of works, while its Arts Annex nearby focuses on music, art, film and theater books, along with a healthy selection of graphic novels. It also hosts book groups and attracts authors for regular events. With a ton of cafes close by, you can pick up coffee and a bite to eat before heading inside to find your next great read.

Watch a movie at the Vista Theatre

Vista Theater, Hollywood California
© David George / Alamy Stock Photo
The Vista Theatre may only have a single screen – but what a screen it is. Glamour and character exude from the walls, thanks to the Vista’s Egyptian motif and original art deco features from its 1920s heyday. It always plays the hottest films, and while you’re waiting for one to start, browse the collection of celebrity handprints and footprints in the lobby, including those of John Landis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
These recommendations were updated on August 11, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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