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2 Days in LA: The Best Things to Do in Los Angeles

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

There is much more to Los Angeles, California, than the theme parks. Although, they are so much fun and worth a visit! Some of the best places to visit in Los Angeles are on Hollywood Boulevard, and I do not only mean the Hollywood Walk of Fame and its talented street performers! Moreover, the best way to explore an area at a discount is through Go City or CityPASS. This article will take a closer look into our experience using the Los Angeles' Go City Ticket.

These first four activities are perfect for a 2-day trip in the City of Angels! However, feel free to mix and match from the entire Go City listing for your ultimate weekend itinerary. Towards the middle, you will find another 5 activities we suggest, but there are so many options within the Go City listing that there is simply just not enough time!

Los Angeles skyline at sunset lined with palm trees

For those who are unfamiliar with CityPASS or Go City, they are companies that sell discounted ticket packages for various metropolitan areas around the world. These tickets provide access to the most popular places within that city. We previously used one or the other in Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, Nashville, and Orlando - to name a few. While in Los Angeles (LA), we purchased Go City's 4-Choice Explorer Pass for $123 per person. These are the 4 experiences we choose:

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

- Distance from LA: 11 miles as it is in Burbank, CA
- Parking: At their garage for $15 per car
- Approximate Time for Tour: 2.5 hours
- Ticket Price as per Retailer's website: $69

This tour is a popular tourist attraction consisting of a 1-hour guided tour, mostly by golf cart, through the backlot and a 1.5-hour self-guided walking tour through different exhibits. During the 1-hour guided tour, we saw WB's outdoor sets and sound stages. It was great to see familiar outdoor sets from beloved shows and movies like Young Sheldon and Spiderman. We also saw which sound stages were used for specific shows - both in the past and present. For instance, the sound stage dedicated to the Big Bang Theory is now the sound stage for filming Bob Hearts Abishola.

Window glass of Friends' Central Perk Cafe

On our tour, we also got the chance to see the iconic sound stage seen in the opening credit scenes of every WB production - it is one of the tallest sound stages in North America. They even had the real fountain from the Friends opening credit scene in the backlot for guests to take pictures. Once the guided part of the tour was over, we were left to explore two buildings consisting of a functioning Central Perk Café from the TV show Friends and various exhibits. My favorite parts of the exhibits were seeing 3 sets of the Big Bang Theory and getting the chance to hold a real Oscar! Matthew's favorite parts of the exhibits were being able to build his own Batmobile at the interactive design station in the DC area and seeing Harry's cupboard under the stairs in the Harry Potter section.

Some of the outdoor sets at Warner Bro. Studio

In short, the tour was fascinating! We enjoyed seeing the outdoor sets, sound stages, props, and costumes from different shows and movies. It is also exciting to say we ate at the Central Perk Café. Out of this listing, this experience was our favorite - we had the best time! It is a great place if not the perfect place to visit in Southern California if you love the entertainment industry. For more details about this spectacular experience, click here.

Big Bus Celebrity Homes & Lifestyle Tour

- Distance from LA: 8 miles on Hollywood Blvd.
- Parking: Various Options throughout the area, but we parked at Ovation Hollywood's garage and paid the daily maximum of $20
- Approximate Time for Tour: 2 hours
- Ticket Price as per Retailer's website: $55

This experience lasted around 2 hours, and they drove us to the Universal Overlook and through Hollywood Hills, Rodeo Drive, Mulholland Drive, and Beverly Hills. We had to call and reserve a time before arriving as the minibus only accommodates about 18 people. We recommend getting there early, so you can get a good spot in the open-air section of the vehicle. We were one of the last ones to board and ended up splitting up because only one seat remained in the open-air part.

Minions messing with paint

At the Universal Overlook, we got a glimpse of Universal Studios Hollywood. We even saw a minion! As we drove around, we saw the famous Hollywood sign. On our way to Beverly Hills, we rode through Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, famously known as the Sunset Strip. While in Beverly Hills, we learned that, per the Homeowners' Association, each road needs to have a specific type of tree lining the streets, and no two streets in that area have the same tree type. My favorite street was the one with the super tall palm trees - I was looking forward to seeing them the most as they are a symbol of LA and California beaches.

Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, California

Along the tour, the guide stopped at another overlook and showed us which home was owned by Jennifer Lopez (now Affleck) - I am not going to lie I did fan girl over it because I love JLo. It was also pretty neat to go through Rodeo Drive and see all the fancy, higher-end boutiques. We were hoping to see a celebrity during the tour, but unfortunately, we did not - I can only assume they were hiding from the bus that read "Celebrity Homes & Lifestyle Tour." 😅 Out of the 4 attractions we chose, this is the one I would probably swap out. Next time, we would pick Big Bus's Hop On and Off Tour since we enjoyed driving around the area over knowing where "X" celebrity lived.

Dolby Theatre® Guided Tour

- Distance from LA: 8 miles on Hollywood Blvd.
- Parking: Same as Big Bus Celebrity Homes & Lifestyle Tour
- Approximate Time for Tour: 30 - 45 minutes
- Ticket Price as per Retailer's website: $25

This tour was the shortest - it lasted 30 to 45 minutes. The Dolby Theatre is in Ovation Hollywood, formerly known as Hollywood and Highland Center, near the TCL / Grauman's Chinese Theatre. We did this tour shortly after the 2022 Oscars, and it took EVERYTHING in us not to ask the tour guide about the infamous slap. We did not want to be THOSE people, but oh my did it eat us up inside!

The day we were touring, they were setting up for Julie Andrews' AFI Life Achievement Award - it was pretty awesome to see them in action as they transformed the stage for the event. One of the first spots they took us was the Dolby Lounge to see where the celebrities go to celebrate their win. Within the lounge, they had an Oscar award behind a glass display along with a lineup of the previous years' personalized champagne bottles used for the Oscars on the bar counter.

We learned that once the celebrities win their award, they seldom come back out to enjoy the rest of the ceremony but rather leave to go out and celebrate or mingle around other parts of the theater. As such, they have seat fillers ready to take up their spots, so there is never an empty seat on-screen during the show. Before you get your hopes up (like we did), you have to be invited by someone who works for the Dolby Theatre to be a seat filler, as they do not want random people coming in and freaking out if they sit next to Beyoncé.

The most interesting revelation during this experience is that the Dolby Theatre is not as grandiose and fancy as one would assume - the employees only enhance the interior just before the show, so it looks Hollywood-ready. It was nice to see the theater inside-out during our behind-the-stage tour rather than the normal outside-in we get from watching it on TV.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

- Distance from LA: 8 miles on Hollywood Blvd.
- Parking: Same as Big Bus Celebrity Homes & Lifestyle Tour
- Approximate Time for Experience: 1.5 Hours
- Ticket Price as per Retailer's website: $29.99

Even after all our driving, sightseeing, and tourist attractions, we did not spot a single famous person! So, we decided to go to the 'source'... Madame Tussauds because if we could not see the celebrities in real life we could at least see them as wax figures. 😂 But truly, one of our travel goals is to visit every Madame Tussauds in the world - this was our third one. The other attractions were tours, but this one is more of a self-paced experience through special exhibitions with some interactive exhibits - it took us about 1.5 hours to go through.

Similar to other Madame Tussauds, they had an A-list room, a Modern Classics section, and a Pop Icons area. In these rooms, we saw Morgan Freeman, ET, and Beyoncé - to name a few. Unique to this location was an Illusions of Horror section and a Jimmy Kimmel Live Experience.

Iron Man in Madame Tussauds Hollywood

In the Illusions of Horror section, they had a lot of photo opportunities like being in a tomb next to the Mummy and being surrounded by red balloons from IT. The Jimmy Kimmel Live Experience started on a bench in front of a green screen where the TV asked you questions and recorded your answers. After a few minutes, you would go to the next section and sit in a director's chair to view your interview. It was funny how they spun the original questions/answers to mean something completely different in the final cut.

I would say it is a must-do for at least one person in your party. Moreover, the '90s room was fun - I enjoyed how they had a display of a girl's room in the '90s with an actual bed you could 'jump' on. Lastly, they had a Marvel section that included some of our favorite Avengers. Per usual, we had a good time at Madame Tussauds and encourage others to go at least once in their lifetime.

Some Other Great Go City Activities

Highlights of Santa Monica and Venice Beach Bike Tour

Santa Monica Pier with the fair rides in the view

Embark on the Highlights of Santa Monica and Venice Beach Bike Tour, a captivating three-hour journey starting at the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Pedal your way through approximately eight miles of California's stunning coastal landscape, capturing epic views along the beach path, including the historic Venice Canals and Marina del Rey. Snap photos at the vibrant Venice Public Art Walls and explore the renowned Muscle Beach, where fitness enthusiasts gather for an energetic workout. Upgrade to an e-bike for an additional $30 to enhance your cycling experience. While at the Santa Monica Pier, ride the Ferris Wheel and Roller Coaster - they are a lot of fun. You will also get the best views from the Ferris Wheel!

The Getty Center to Griffith Observatory Highlights Tour - Only on the All-Inclusive Pass

Getty Center clean lines and architecture

Explore LA's cultural and celestial wonders on the Getty Center to Griffith Observatory Highlights Tour by Go City®. This comprehensive excursion includes bus transfers, guided tours of both iconic attractions, and free time for independent exploration. Marvel at panoramic views of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and the Sunset Strip during the journey. Highlights at the Getty Center include a 30-minute guided tour showcasing modern architecture and a renowned European art collection, including Van Gogh's Irises and Cézanne's Still Life with Apples. At the Griffith Observatory, enjoy a 30-minute guided visit with telescope views and sweeping panoramas from downtown LA to the Pacific. This tour offers the perfect blend of cultural and celestial experiences in Los Angeles.

Long Beach Waterfront and Downtown Walking Tour

Long Beach at night

Discover the vibrant tales of Long Beach, one of California's most beautiful beaches, on the Long Beach Waterfront and Downtown Walking Tour, where an expert guide reveals the area's highlights, history, and hotspots. Commencing at Shoreline Park near the LA River's mouth, delve into the waterway's influence on the region's past before venturing to the bustling Port of Long Beach, passing by the aquarium and charming shopping spots. Meander through Downtown's historic buildings adorned with colorful murals and trendy restaurants, offering ideal photo opportunities. Conclude the tour with a return to the Pacific, soaking in breathtaking waterfront views and chilling tales of the infamous Queen Mary, adding an eerie twist to this engaging exploration.

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Artifact inside La Brea Tar Pits Museum

Uncover the secrets of LA's Ice Age at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, situated in the historic Miracle Mile neighborhood of Museum Row. Home to the world's largest and most diverse array of extinct Ice Age plants and animals, this live excavation site provides access to the museum's permanent exhibitions. Inside, witness paleontology in action at the glass-enclosed Fossil Lab, where scientists and volunteers prepare fossils of iconic creatures like saber-toothed cats and mammoths. Explore the Observation Pit, offering a glimpse of a genuine La Brea fossil deposit, and embark on a guided museum tour to discover the intricacies of the Fossil Lab, Lake Pit, Observation Pit, and Project 23.

Knott's Berry Farm - Only on the All-Inclusive Pass

Explore the excitement at historic Knott’s Berry Farm, a Southern California theme park offering a diverse array of rides and attractions for every thrill-seeker. From the hair-raising La Revolución with its 120-degree swings to the steep vertical drop of Hangtime, the park caters to adrenaline enthusiasts. Indulge in traditional American comfort food like Mr. Knott's chicken dinner and boysenberry pie, or grab a jar of Knott’s famous preserves at the Knott’s Berry Farm Marketplace. You can also enjoy Knott's Soak City Water Park as a Go City Option in the All-Inclusive Pass!

More Details on Go City

You can purchase Go City tickets online and begin to redeem them for experiences immediately or buy them in advance with their risk-free guarantee. One of the best things about Go City is that they allow you to refund your unused Go City tickets within 90 days of purchase - make sure to read their terms and conditions for more details on this. Moreover, Go City has two options to choose from: an All-Inclusive Pass and an Explorer Pass. For this trip, we purchased the Explorer Pass because we spent most of our time at Disneyland Park and California Adventure.

The Explorer Pass allows you to pick how many attractions you want to visit between 2 - 7, excluding 6, and you have 60 days to use it. The All-Inclusive Pass allows you to visit as many attractions as you want between 9 am and 5:30 pm for as many consecutive days as you want between 1 - 7, excluding 6. In Las Vegas, we did the All-Inclusive Pass for 3 days and accomplished a lot. So, if you have no plans for a trip and want to let Go City guide your itinerary, then I would highly recommend the All-Inclusive Pass.
All Inclusive Pass and Explorer Pass options for Los Angeles

On the other hand, if you are short on time and want to hit a few places, then the Explorer Pass is the way to go. Before purchasing, read over the listing of what attractions are included and be mindful that not all experiences are included in each pass type - this could also influence which pass type works best for you. For instance, you could go to Universal Studios Hollywood if you purchase one of the 3, 4, 5, or 7-day All-Inclusive Passes, but this item is not in the Explorer Pass. On the other hand, if you want to do the Haunted Hollywood Walking Tour, you will need an Explorer Pass as it is not part of the All-Inclusive pass.

Hollywood sign in LA

Another good tip for using Go City is to see if there are any promo codes for any major holidays and take advantage of that. For instance, we bought our Go City tickets during Memorial Day weekend, so we used their promo code for 10% off - instead of paying $123 per ticket, we paid $110.70, which added to our savings.

Disclaimer: As an affiliate of Go City (and CityPASS), I may receive monetary compensation if you purchase through the links in this blog post. However, I want to make it clear that this will not come at an extra cost to you. Your use of the links will help support my blog and allow me to continue creating high-quality content for you. Thank you for your support!

Want to purchase the Go City Los Angeles pass to visit these or some other amazing attractions and save over 50%? Click the below image to do so!

Go City Los Angeles screenshot

Check out our monthly tip blog post regarding Go City (and CityPASS) here for more details on what they are, what's the difference between them, where you can use them, and how to use them!

Moreover, Go City also has ticket packages for San Diego and San Francisco. While CityPASS has ticket packages for Southern California, San Diego, and San Francisco.

You can purchase your Go City and CityPASS tickets using these links:

Check out our other California Blog Articles below for other great travel ideas in and around Los Angeles County!

Street lined with tall palm trees with the Hollywood sign in the far back

- 3 Unique Places to Visit in Los Angeles County, California - Details over a well-known hiking spot overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a beach house located on the Pacific Coast Highway, and a plant-based fast food restaurant!
- Time to Warn-a Bro how much Fun the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is - More details about a Guided Tour in one of the West Coast's movie studios
- 3 Unique Finds North of Los Angeles, CA: Amazon Fresh, Amazon Style, and The Americana at Brand - Learn about a Grocery and Clothing Store of the future and this amazing one-stop shop for shopping, dining, and entertainment about 10 miles North of Downtown Los Angeles
- Astros win the World Series! - For an Inside Look at the Los Angeles Angels' Stadium
- 5 Beaches to Visit in Southern California - From Santa Monica Pier to Treasure Island Park
- 5 Things you Need to Know when Visiting the Santa Monica Pier - Must read before visiting the Santa Monica Pier
- Gearing up for Disney100 - Disneyland Park - One of our favorite places in Southern California where you can visit Mickey Mouse (Theme Park Visit)
- A Magical Celebration ✨- Disney100 at Disney California Adventure Park - Our other favorite place in Southern California (Amusement Park Visit)

To Sum it Up

If we had purchased each tour/attraction individually, it would have cost us $178.99 per person, but with Go City, we paid $110.70 per person with their Memorial Day 10% off code. This saved us $68.29 per person - about 38% off retail! Not only did we save, but we also had fun, and that's what we want for you all. 😊 Keep in mind, you do not have to do the same attractions we did, so feel free to check out the listings and pick your must-visit places like the Los Angeles Zoo or the Natural History Museum! Depending on the pass and attractions you choose, you may be able to save 20 - 50% off retail.

Have you ever used Go City or CityPASS? Make sure to let us know in the comments below. If you haven't, I hope this article encourages you to try Go City or CityPASS on your next trip to a major metropolitan city! Share this article with the person or people you want to travel with! Also, be sure to SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places to add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!

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External Links to Locations / Experiences Listed Above:

*Prices and information mentioned above are based on late May - early June 2022. Each business reserves the right to change its prices, packages, and details as necessary.*
** This article is not sponsored by any of the above-mentioned companies or their affiliates. However, as previously mentioned, Dale, Let's Travel! LLC is an affiliate of Go City and CityPASS and may receive monetary compensation if you purchase tickets using the above affiliate links. **

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