Griffith Park is home to the Los Angeles County Zoo. The Los Angeles County Zoo is very large in size, and provides a great day activity for families. Several hours can be spent there wandering the paths between all the animal exhibits.
The zoo is located adjacent to the entrance to Griffith Park, which is a scenic area with hills, trees, and wildlife. You can picnic in the park, and there are numerous areas that offer other activities such as horseback riding, pony rides, and a merry-go-round.
Additionally, there is the Griffith Park Observatory, recognized as a national leader in astronomy. The Museum of the American West is also located at the park, which was formerly the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, and is a great family visit to learn more about the culture of the American West.
Between the zoo, observatory, museum, and park, vacationers can easily spend a few days enjoying all the park has to offer and enjoying a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Each venue offers a calendar of special events, so families should check the schedules ahead of time to see what special activities will be going on during their visit.
Because of the location of Griffith Park, lodging is easily obtained in the nearby areas of North Hollywood, Studio City, Burbank, and Los Feliz. Those staying in these nearby areas will also be in close proximity to Universal Studios, another great place to visit, which offers rides, tours, and many activities.
One of the more famous Los Angeles tourist spots is the La Brea Tar Pits. The tar pits are lakes of tar that have remained over multiple tens of thousands of years. Because the pits were covered with water and surrounded by trees, many animals wandered in over the years and became stuck. Other animals that came to eat them likewise got stuck. This resulted in substantial numbers of fossils in the area.
Next to the pit is the wonderful George Page Museum. During construction of a garage next to the pits, they located fossils of a saber tooth tiger, wolves, bison, horses and other mammals. Most exiting was an almost fully together woolly mammoth.
The Getty Museum and Center is one of the interesting Los Angeles tourist spots. The Getty Center, located in close proximity to UCLA, is a very expensive (costing over $1 billion in total) center housing a museum and research institute, among other things. The museum is mostly for the visual arts, generally pre-20th century European paintings, drawings, sculpture, and other visual mediums. One of the main works housed there is Vincent Van Gogh's "Irises," valued at over $50 million.
Besides the painting and drawing aspect of the museum, the Getty Museum and Center also houses a vast 134,000 square foot garden designed by Robert Irwin where many hundreds of different types of plants and flowers are conveniently placed to form a beautiful piece of artwork.
The Getty Museum and Center is conveniently located near UCLA, Beverly Hills, and Bel Air, where much upscale shopping and eating is to be done as well as academic ventures at UCLA. Anybody interested in the arts, especially the visual arts, is in for a real treat at the Getty Center and Museum.
Laguna Beach is a short drive south of Los Angeles on the coast. This town is one of the more picturesque Los Angeles tourist spots, nestled between the beaches and the hills. Premier shopping and dining are available in the very pleasant downtown area. Beaches are exquisite and well protected, so sun and surf are truly beautiful as well as safe. This makes Laguna Beach a fun vacation idea for the whole family!
Laguna Beach attractions include the Laguna Playhouse, a museum showcasing local artists, and a wildlife rescue center in the canyon. Activities include sports (especially golf, volleyball and basketball) and wine tasting at any number of nearby wineries. Be sure to check on seasonal events, particularly art, dance and environmental festivals.
A popular spot is the Wyland Gallery and Shop -- view and purchase the Whaling Wall artist's fine art, jewelry, books or other accessories! These are just a few of the many Los Angeles tourist spots for you to think about. Below are some links to other vacation ideas pages I have that may be of interest to you.