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Here’s What LA Visitors Can Still Do (Safely) Right Now

Know before you go: Want to visit the places recommended in this article? With local regulations changing frequently, it’s a good idea to check the web site of any attraction or business to make sure it’s open before you go. 

With its year-round sunshine and wide range of outdoor activity options, Los Angeles is the perfect travel destination. And if you’re looking for warm weather plus plenty of opportunities for social distancing, then look no further: LA has all that and more!

If you’re thinking about visiting LA during covid, you may be wondering what there is to do in LA right now. While there are still pandemic-related restrictions in place in the city, you’ll find that there are lots of things that are open as well. There are still so many safe things to do in LA right now, from those iconic experiences to outdoor adventures, and more.

Hit the beach

people on the beach in Santa Monica CA

While the rest of the country experiences snow days, Los Angeles has beach days. With the coast’s consistently pleasant temps, it’s always the perfect time to soak up the sun and relax at one of LA’s famous beaches. Just know that the water temps are freezing cold, and remember to bring a sweater as it might get breezy!

Located just steps from HI Los Angeles Santa Monica hostel is the Santa Monica Beach, one of LA’s most popular beaches. Just south of there is Venice Beach, with its iconic boardwalk (and interesting characters). If you feel like taking a mini road trip, cruise north up the Pacific Coast Highway towards Malibu (preferably in an open-top convertible) — the beaches there cannot be beat!

Go for a bike ride

bicycles at Venice Beach in LA

Grab a bike and go for a ride! This is one of the best things to do in LA any time, but especially right now: it’s a perfect way to get some fresh air. You’ll find no shortage of bike rental stands near the beach. From here, cruise down the Strand (or Marvin Braude Bike Trail), a 22-mile paved bike path that runs from Will Rogers State Beach in the north to Redondo Beach in the south.

Hike to the Hollywood sign

a view of LA from behind the Hollywood sign

One of the best outdoor activities in Los Angeles is to hike to one of its most iconic monuments. Technically, you cannot actually hike up to the sign, but rather right above and behind it. Still, it’s one of those quintessential LA experiences that everyone needs to do once in their lifetime!

To access the trail to the Hollywood sign, take the Brush Canyon Trail, which starts in Griffith Park. The hike is 6.5 miles round-trip, is rated moderate, and takes about 2.5-3 hours to complete.

Once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with some epic views of the city and beyond! If it’s a clear day, you may even be able to spot Catalina Island off in the distance.

Check out LA’s murals and art installations

a mural on the side of a building in LA

While most museums are still closed, LA has a vibrant street art scene that makes much of the city feel like an outdoor art gallery. You’ll find no shortage of Instagrammable murals and art installations all over LA!

Some of the best areas for street art include Abbot Kinney in Venice, the Arts District in Downtown LA, and Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. If you spend just a few hours wandering any of these spots, you’ll find plenty of material for your Instagram feed.

And if you still need more places to snap some Instagram photos, check out the colorful Micheltorena Stairs in Silver Lake and the Urban Lights installation at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): the museum may be closed, but the outdoor exhibits are still open.

Warm up with a bowl of ramen

a bowl of ramen

Ramen is the ultimate comfort food: there is nothing better than slurping your way through a bowl of noodles and warm broth on a chilly evening. If you associate ramen with those cheap, MSG-filled packets of noodles, you’re in for a treat: real ramen is nothing like that!

There are tons of ramen joints all around the LA area, with the best ones concentrated in Little Tokyo and on Sawtelle Avenue in West LA. Some of my favorite joints are Shin-Sen-Gumi, Daikokuya, and Tsujita.