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9 Plus Size Friendly Activities In Los Angeles by Kirsty Leanne



Photography by Kaye Ford

Although I had been to LA before, I hadn't experienced the city as a plus size traveller. Luckily, I pleasantly surprised when I realised just how accessible Los Angeles can be for those size 16 and above. From stunning sunset views to incredible studio tours, there were very few moments where I felt as though my size comprised my trip - a very rare occurrence that's for sure. 
To help fellow travellers who are also heading to the city of lights, here are 9 plus size activities you should try: 

1 LACMA Urban Lights
If you want the ultimate LA Instagram photo, LACMA Urban Lights display is an absolute must. Although it can be busy at times, the Urban Lights installation is incredible and I definitely recommend visiting.

Created by Chris Burden, the Urban Lights have been outside of the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art for almost 12 years. There are a total of 202 1920's lamps and 309 LED bulbs that make up the incredible structure. We visited during the day but as the sun starts to go down, no matter what time that is, the lights will turn on. When the sun comes back up again the next morning, they turn off thanks to an astronomical timer. Since their installation in 2008, they actually haven't missed a single night.

The Urban Light structure is easy to get to using public transport, with a short 3-minute walk to and from the nearest bus stop. If you're visiting the La Brea Tar Pits beforehand, it's also a 5-minute walk away from the entrance point.

Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, United States

Cost: Free 
2 Hollywood Sign View Point

As much as I wanted to do the hike up to the Hollywood sign viewpoint, I heard it can be incredibly strenuous and knowing my hiking skills are not up to scratch I decided to give it a miss this time around.  Determined to find an easy-to-get-to location with an epic view of the Hollywood sign, my friend took to Instagram to ask for tips and tricks instead. Luckily, within minutes another friend replied with the PERFECT shoot location. With our American flag in hand, we made it our first stop the next morning.

As we were following rough instructions our friend had given us, we ended up getting a little bit lost. We started walking up a steep hill that took us to a great viewpoint, however, part of the sign was covered by overgrown trees. Thankfully, two very friendly hikers walked around the corner at that exact moment.

After we said we were looking for the best view of the sign that told us that we were a five-minute walk away, taking us back down to where our Uber had dropped us off ten minutes ago. From our drop off point, we were literally SECONDS away from this incredible view.
So where do you go for the perfect hike-free view of the Hollywood sign? Well, all you need to do is head for the start of Innsdale dog walking trail. You can get dropped off at either end, however, the view is much better on the Tabor Storage Solutions side.

Cost: Free

3 Universal Studios Tour

Universal Studios is an absolute must whilst in California and for the most part, I found it to be quite plus size friendly. Although there are a number of rides that I wouldn't class as size-accessible, the Universal Studios Studio Tour definitely was.

For those of you that don't know, Universal Studios Hollywood is located at the fully-working Universal Studios and on a 45-minute tour, you're able to visit both the front and the back lot. With sets from The Good Place, The Grinch and Jaws, the tour was definitely one of the best I've been on.
There is no walking during the tour and with carts leaving fairly regularly, you don't have to queue for long. There are 3-4 carts per tram, with 6 seats per row. My top tip would be to try and get in the front row of any of the carts, as there are just 3 seats. If you sit 2 adults on these two seats, chances are someone isn't going to sit beside you.

There are no seatbelts or safety bars. 

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, United States

Cost: $87+ depending on the type of ticket you buy


4 Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is another must when visiting Los Angeles and if you're looking for a day of sunshine and gorgeous beach views, you're in for a treat. Also known as the end of the famous Route 66, Santa Monica Pier is filled with lots of fun things to do. If all else fails, you can even spend the day relaxing on the beach or shopping on Santa Monica Blvd.

On Santa Monica Pier itself, there are a number of key things that are definitely plus size friendly. First of all, walking down to the end of the pier to see the Route 66 map. If you're stopping to admire the views and shop in the many gift shops, a slow stroll will probably take around 15-minutes all together. It's not a long pier, but there are lots of things to take photos of along the way. Once you get to the end, there are a few steps down to a viewing platform that looks out across the ocean.

Halfway down the pier, you will also find Pacific Park - a theme park located ON the pier. There is a Ferris wheel, a rollercoaster and lots of other fun rides for you to try out.

Although I didn't try all of the rides, I can confirm that the Ferris wheel is plus size friendly, especially if you're riding with just two people in your cart.

In regards to the other rides, the Pacific Park website states: There are no formal restrictions at Pacific Park, however, the manufacturer design of the safety bar and/or harness systems of some rides may make it difficult to safely access those rides.

Lastly, you have to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the sea view as you eat. It's such an incredible feeling!

It is important to note that when walking down to Santa Monica Pier there is a small steep slope. It's okay going down but can be a little tough going back up.

Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

Cost: The pier and Pacific Park are free to enter, however, you do have to pay to go on the rides.

5 Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour

Another great tour that is not only plus size friendly but INCREDIBLY fun is the Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour in Burbank. Located within driving distance of Hollywood, this is a tour ideal for those that love Harry Potter, DC, Friends and Big Bang Theory. With active recordings of your favourite shows happening at all times, this is definitely one of the most exciting tours you can go on.
The tour itself is about two hours long and it consists of both guided and non-guided time. For the guided portion, your time is split between being in a cart and walking through a number of the stages. In total, the walking time is around 15 minutes and that is split up as you're getting in and out of the cart to drive to new places.

The cart itself is incredibly roomy, with benches rather than seats. The benches are a little on the thin side but they're comfortable for the short amount of time you spend on them. There ARE seatbelts, however, they're made to be large so that people can tighten them to fit their size. I'm a size 24 (2XL) and I was pleasantly surprised about how comfortable the belt was.

At the end of the tour, you go through a number of self-guided areas until you reach the gift shop. This takes approximately 10 minutes, depending on how fast you walk through. obviously, this does not account for gift shop time and if you're anything like me, it will add an extra 30 minutes onto the time.
I did find, however, that this was one of the many gift shops that did not stock a lot of plus sizes. I REALLY wanted a Warner Bros tour t-shirt and my usual size came up a little tight. If you are buying something, I'd definitely recommend trying it on first.

Address: 3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505, United States

Cost: $69

6 Griffith Observatory 

Griffith Observatory has some of the most incredible views of the city and if you're looking for the perfect sunset spot, THIS IS IT.

Located in the popular Griffith Park, the observatory is Los Angeles gateway to the cosmos. You can look through telescopes, explore amazing exhibits, see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and enjoy stunning views of both Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign. When you first arrive, walk behind the observatory to see the city below. It can be a little hazy but even then, it's one of the most amazing views I have ever seen.

As you walk around, there are a number of steps you have to walk up and down. These are no more than 15-20 at any given time. I did see a lift and tried to use it, however, I think it may have needed a staff member to operate it.

One of the most important things to mention is that the observatory is located at the top of a steep hill, which can either be accessed by hiking or driving. Depending on what time you're driving, chances are you're not going to be able to park within close walking distance and instead you'll have to park on one of the roads leading up to the observatory. From there it can be anything from a 45-minute walk to a 10-minute walk up a steep hill.

My top tip for avoiding that is to get an Uber or a Lyft to the rideshare point at the top of the hill. They will drop you directly outside of the observatory and you will have avoided any hiking. Phone service can be a little hard to find once you're at the top, so you may also want to book your ride back before you get there. 

Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

Cost: To walk around and experience the views is free, however, it costs around $7 to get in. 

7 Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

I love jumping on a Hop on Hop-Off Bus Tour whilst I'm travelling and while I was in Los Angeles I had the opportunity to try both of the major companies - The Big Bus Hop On Hop Off and the Starline City Sightseeing Bus. Although both had pretty similar routes, the Big Bus Hop On Hop Off was a little more plus size friendly in terms of space.

When travelling on the Starline City Sightseeing Bus I wasn't as comfortable as I found that the spaces in between the seats on the top deck were pretty small, meaning my knees were often squashed against the seats in front of me. As I got various different buses throughout the day, I noticed that it depends entirely on what bus you were on. Some were definitely more roomy than others. On every bus, the seats downstairs had much more room with an accessible area if you need it.

The Big Bus Hop On Hop Off had a lot more room on the upper deck, especially the front two seats. I spent most of the time with my feet up listening to the live guide (who actually spent most of his time insulting influencers and bloggers). The lower deck was just as comfortable, with benches rather than individual seats for you to sit on.

Both buses dropped you off right in the heart of it all at each stop, meaning the walks to and from the bus stop at each destination were minimal.

Cost: Prices vary depending on how many days you wanted your pass to last. 


8 TCL Chinese Theatre & Dolby Theatre Tours

I spent a lot of time in Hollywood and because of this I had enough time to do tours of both the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Dolby Theatre, which are just a couple of minutes walk from one another.
The TCL Chinese Theatre talk requires a small amount of walking (approximately 5 minutes) at the start and then you're led to the main theatre where you watch a short video. The theatre chairs are quite small but the video is short enough for you to stand if you prefer. Once the video is over you head outside to take a look at the handprints, which again requires around 5 minutes of being on your feet.

The Dolby Theatre tour is a little different as you spend the whole 30-minute tour on your feet, being taken from room to room. There is a lot of standing and listening to your guide, so don't feel anxious that you're going to struggle to keep up with the rest of the group. It's incredibly slow-paced and really fun to do! I really enjoyed this tour and would recommend it to anyone that's interested in a behind the scenes look at the Oscars.

Address: 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028, United States and 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028, United States

Cost: The TCL Chinese Theatre is $18 and the Dolby Theatre is $20
9 OUE Skyspace DTLA
OUE Skyspace in Downtown LA was definitely high up on my bucket list as I absolutely love being able to find viewpoints in a city. Skyspace was absolutely perfect because luckily, everything was accessible via a lift. Although you had to switch between lifts a number of times, the only time we were required to walk upstairs was to look at the slide on the OUTSIDE of the building. I didn't fancy having a go but from the looks of it, the slide was also plus size friendly.

After looking around and enjoying the view, we sat on the huge comfortable sofas enjoying a beer. They were so big, we were actually able to pretty much lie down. It was an AMAZING way to relax for a little before we went outlet shopping!

Address: 633 W 5th St #840, Los Angeles, CA 90071, United States

Cost: Tickets start from $28

I also want to add that I know a lot of people feel as though LA is very superficial and that as a plus size traveller, you won't feel welcome. I honestly didn't feel like that once and despite all the stigma, I found that it was a really welcoming and friendly environment no matter where we were. 100% would recommend.

Have you ever been to LA before? Have a missed a plus size friendly destination off of my list?

Author Bio

Kirsty Leanne is a plus size travel blogger and the founder of Plus Size Travel Too. She wants to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, she s inspire and advises people on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences. 


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