Are you the type of traveler that can’t be bothered with typical tourist attractions? You’re the adventurous type that visits a new place with the goal of finding secret local spots and off-the-beaten-path novelties. If this sounds like your travel style, your next trip needs to be spent visiting these hidden gems in Los Angeles.
Echo Park Lake
751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026
Nestled in the Echo Park neighborhood, you’ll find the gorgeous Echo Park Lake. When you see this area in person, you’ll wonder how Echo Park was ever known as an unpopular neighborhood. The park and the lake have transformed Echo Park into a highly sought-after neighborhood by Los Angeles residents and visitors alike. While at the lake, you can walk along the provided paths, rent a pedal boat, go fishing, have a picnic, or just enjoy the scenery.
Korean Bell of Friendship
3601 S. Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731
In 1976, the Republic of Korea donated a massive, detailed bell and pavilion to the city and people of Los Angeles. This gift was meant to honor veterans of the Korean War, observe the bicentennial of the United States of America, and also to symbolize the friendship between our two countries.
When visiting the Korean Bell of Friendship, be sure to notice the intricate detail throughout the entire pavilion. This iconic pavilion is by far one of the best hidden gems in Los Angeles you do not want to miss.
120 S. Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Have you ever been to a secret rooftop garden? At the top of the Double Tree Hilton in downtown Los Angeles, you’ll find the Kyoto Gardens. The garden was built as a replica of an ancient Japanese garden in Tokyo and is open for visitors to explore. Plus, as a hotel guest, you can take advantage of the free yoga classes in the garden. It doesn’t get more serene than that.
Abalone Cove Tide Pools
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park: 5970 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
If you’re like me and can’t get enough of the ocean and the animals that inhabit it, head to the Abalone Cove Tide Pools. Also known as the Rancho Palos Verdes tide pools at Abalone Cove, finding these oceanic hidden gems in Los Angeles can be tricky.
To get to the tide pools, visit Abalone Cove Shoreline Park. At the southern end of the parking lot, you’ll find The Abalone Cove Trail which will lead you to the tide pools. This rocky trail takes about 20 minutes to complete, so be prepared. I recommend wearing appropriate shoes and bringing water/snacks for those who may need it. Once you reach the tide pools, you’ll completely forget about the seemingly long walk you just finished.
There is so much to discover at the tide pools, from mussels to sea urchins. Take your time and explore all that you can at this outdoor hidden gem. Plus, if you time your visit just right, you can see dolphins swimming and diving out in the distance.
Virginia Robinson Gardens
1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
While other visitors head to touristy Hollywood Blvd. and Rodeo Drive, go to one of the oldest hidden gems in Los Angeles instead. The Robinson Mansion, constructed in 1911, was one of the first homes built in Beverly Hills. The gardens have been preserved as a historical landmark and a reminder of the Beverly Hills that once was. Take a stroll through the lush gardens and discover what old Hollywood parties were truly like!
San Vicente Mountain Park
17500 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
You’ll notice that many of the places on our list of hidden gems in Los Angeles are outdoor attractions. Considering that the greater Los Angeles area is bursting with natural beauty, this should come as no surprise. With this in mind, a trip to San Vicente Mountain Park is well worth your time.
The majority of tourists will head to Runyon Canyon, as they’ve heard this is the place to hike in LA. While that trail is nice, it is also full of visitors day in and day out. So, opt for San Vicente Mountain Park instead.
The San Vicente Mountain Park offers stunning 360° views of Los Angeles, multiple hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, and several picnic areas for a memorable experience. Along the trails, you’ll learn about US military history through the interpretive displays. These displays are self-guided, so take your time and enjoy the view!
2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, CA, 91301
People go to Los Angeles and Hollywood for a glimpse at stardom, a movie set, and a celebrity or two. However, little do they know that one of the biggest hidden gems in Los Angeles is actually Hollywood’s best kept secret.
Paramount Ranch was purchased by Paramount Pictures in 1927 for use in multiple Western movies over the next 25 years. Paramount Pictures was forced to sell the ranch, and it has changed owners numerous times since. The area is still used for TV and movie productions today and visitors can explore the many nature trails onsite. While there, be sure to walk through the Western town still standing today.
The Last Bookstore
453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
As one of the more unique hidden gems in Los Angeles, the Last Bookstore is every book lover’s dream come true. With aisles upon aisles lined with used books and records, you can spend hours browsing this store. The legendary bookstore has been the focus of multiple articles, films, and interviews, due to its intriguing atmosphere and offerings. If you’re looking for a specific book, chances are they have it here.
The Garden of Oz
3040 Ledgewood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068
As one of the more creative hidden gems in Los Angeles, the Garden of Oz is quite the sight. This private junk-art garden, built in 1990 as a tribute to the Wizard of Oz, can be seen through a gate in the hills of Hollywood. The work of art is only open to the public two hours a week (Thursdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm), so plan accordingly if you want to experience the full spectacle.
Also, keep in mind that cameras and phones cannot enter the garden. This policy is in place to protect the mystery of the gardens and the privacy of the property owners.
516 Walden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Also known as the “Witch’s House”, only the Spadena House could conclude our list of hidden gems in Los Angeles. Get ready to enter the world of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, and other classic fairy tales when you view this extraordinary Beverly Hills home.
Designed by a Hollywood art director, the Spadena House originally served as offices and dressing rooms for a film studio. The house has had several owners over the years until eventually a Los Angeles real estate agent purchase the home with the intent to restore it to its original glory.
Also, guests can only walk or drive by the whimsical home out of a storybook. In addition, the home is part of several Los Angeles landmark and sightseeing tours.
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