Top 10 things to do in LA

Cut to the chase with our curated collection of best things to do in Los Angeles.

What to do in Los Angeles? Go straight to the good stuff with our Top 10 recommendations. You can trust our knowledge and advice, because we make it our business to keep a finger on the elevated pulse of LA.

1. Sip a cocktail in Beverly Hills

Think you've tasted good cocktails? Wait until you've been to a Beverly Hills cocktail bar. You'll find the best of them on the boulevards – Santa Monica and Wilshire. A perfect example is the rooftop lounge at AC Hotel, where you can enjoy incredible views of the Miracle Mile and beyond. Signature cocktails and delectable tapas dishes kick off at 5pm. Cheers!

2. Tuck into a taco

Some say LA is the second-largest Mexican city in the world, so finding a taco truck should be a top priority. What makes these vendors special is the love and care they put into each dish. The chefs in the trucks are usually working with family recipes you won't find in restaurants. Look for Leo's Tacos Truck or Teddy's Red Tacos in various locations, or El Chato Taco Truck in the Miracle Mile.

3. Take to the sky

Los Angeles really is the City of Angels, and during your visit you can even fly like one. Choices for flightseeing include helicopter, fixed wing and light sport aircraft. From the air you can pick out all the landmarks - Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory, Venice Boardwalk, Dodger Stadium and the legendary Hollywood sign.

4. Stroll around Venice

Leave the frenzy of the city behind with a relaxing stroll around the Venice Canals. Take in the peaceful way of life among the picturesque waterways, where the locals tend to get around by boat rather than on wheels. Keep an eye out for the gondoliers gliding beneath the arched bridges as you wander past extraordinary homes and amazing gardens. Finish up with a stroll along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a mile-long feast of seriously cool fashion, art and food.

5. Malibu or Santa Monica

Devote a day to beach worship and head for Malibu or Santa Monica. Pick Malibu if you want to see mansions, surfers and Paradise Cove, the famous 'Baywatch' beach. Or choose Santa Monica for fun times at the pier. Breathe in the scent of hotdogs and candy floss as you ride the roller coaster at the amusement park, or get a birds-eye-view of the surf from the famous Ferris wheel.

6. Get edgy in the Arts District

The Arts District in Downtown can trace its roots back to the 1970s, when it was an alternative artists' colony. Today it's a hot-house of new ideas, bold concepts and edgy creativity. A self-guided walking tour leads to street art, galleries, green technology, craft breweries and new food experiences.

7. Hike to the Hollywood sign

Of all the walking experiences in the hills behind LA, hiking up to the Hollywood Sign is the most famous. The sign sits on top of Mount Lee and the walk up to it can begin in a number of places. The shortest route takes the Burbank Peak Trail and the longest route follows the Brush Canyon Trail. All the trails are within Griffith Park.

8. Shop on Rodeo Drive or Melrose Place

For celebrity spotting, window shopping and fabulous wearable souvenirs, Rodeo Drive is LA's iconic retail experience. Snap a selfie at the Rodeo Drive sign, then dawdle your way past the amazing architecture, art installations, luxury cars and designer stores. Your other option for luxury shopping is Melrose Place, fashionista central in West Hollywood.

9. Catch a show at the Disney Concert Hall

There are two reasons to make the Disney Concert Hall a must-do. First up, it's the place to catch a live musical performance that'll add a touch of class your holiday. From Rachmaninoff to Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the range of performances is extraordinary. Secondly, the building is a work of art – a Frank Gehry creation made of 6,000 stainless steel panels that look like silver sails.

10. Observe the LA night at Griffith Observatory

Behold the cosmos from California's gateway to the stars. Open from noon until late, the observatory is ready to entertain with telescopes, exhibits and live shows – and there's no charge for admission. Go at night if you want to see the city twinkle and explore the sky with the free public telescopes. Go during the day if you want to see a real-time view of the sun in the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky.

Keep exploring Los Angeles

Image of Santa Monica Pier courtesy of Matthew Lejune; Knott's Berry Farm image courtesy of Visit Anaheim