Do you even need an excuse to visit Los Angeles? Well, college graduation is a pretty darn good one! Your son or daughter is about to receive their diploma after a rigorous, and hopefully fun, four years. Whether it's your first visit to L.A., or your 100th, there are plenty of amazing things to do with your family.
First, find a great place to stay in Los Angeles!
Explore These 10 Places In Los Angeles During College Graduation Week
1. Downtown Walking Tour
If you’re coming for USC's graduation, you're right near Los Angeles's downtown. Often underrated compared to glitzier destinations like Hollywood, there are some great sights to see. On a walking tour, you'll see some of the city's most iconic buildings like Union Station and the Bradbury Building, and you'll learn a little bit about their history.
Of course you can't visit LA without taking a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Take the Metro Rail Red Line to the Hollywood/Highland Station, and you'll be right in the thick of things. Find your favorite celebrity's stars, or compare your shoe sizes in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre.
3. Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios has an incredible theme park, but it's also a working movie studio. Take the backlot tour to go behind the scenes of some of your favorite movies. When you're done at the park, grab dinner at Universal City Walk, and then, finish the night at Howl at The Moon, a live piano bar.
4. Pacific Coast Highway
Los Angeles is known for blue skies and an even bluer ocean. Rent a convertible, drive the 20 mile stretch between Santa Monica and Zuma Beach in Malibu, and soak in that sunshine. Don't forget to bring your sunglasses! Make a pit stop at Reel Inn for some amazing shrimp tacos while your dig your toes in the sand on their outdoor patio.
5. Getty Villa
A visit to the Getty Center is pretty common, but make the extra trek to the Getty Villa in Malibu to see more than 1,200 antiquities and changing exhibitions. Those don't even hold a candle to the property itself. The 64-acre museum complex sits on a hill above the PCH and has an amazing view.
6. Santa Monica Pier
This world-famous landmark is nostalgia over the water and is a place the whole family can enjoy. Win a stuffed animal at the Pacific Park amusement park, or take a ride on the historic carousel from 1922. Our favorite thing to do is take a relaxing stroll while munching on a funnel cake or ice cream cone.
7. Venice Beach
Just south of Santa Monica lies Venice Beach, the perfect place for people watching, shopping, and top rated dining. Ocean Front Walk offers amazing street performers, Muscle Beach, or unique and handmade gifts. Hop over to Abbot Kinney for some more upscale shopping and dining at critically acclaimed restaurants like Tasting Kitchen.
8. Take a hike
Los Angeles has a lot of great trails, so it's hard to pick just one. Runyon Canyon is the place to see and be seen. Keep your eyes peeled for the occasional celebrity sighting. For some awesome picture-ops of the Hollywood Sign, take one of the trails around Griffith Park. They have a parking lot which a major plus for Los Angeles.
9. Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive is a shopper's (or window shopper's) paradise with luxury stores like Gucci, Versace, and Cartier lining the streets. Take a light detour down Santa Monica Boulevard to visit the infamous Sprinkles ATM, open 24 hours a day. Sprinkles Ice Cream is right next door. Calories don't count when you're on vacation!
Your graduate just took their last step towards becoming an adult, so hold on to every last bit of childhood you can with a trip to Disneyland. The "Happiest Place on Earth" is enchanting, exciting, and fun no matter what your age. If you want a more grown up vacation, Downtown Disney has a wide variety of restaurants, bars and clubs.
This article was written by Lauren Gaw.