Los Angeles, often referred to as the entertainment capital of the world, is renowned for its glitz and glamour. However, beyond the popular tourist destinations and crowded attractions, the city is also home to some hidden gems that offer a more authentic and local experience. With LAX luggage storage and accessible transportation, there has never been a better time to see the true LA. 

Here are eight places to visit in Los Angeles that don’t feel touristy, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture.

1. Griffith Observatory

white dome building near green trees during daytime

Nestled in Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory offers breathtaking views of the city and the stars above. While it may be known for its appearance in many Hollywood movies, this iconic landmark is still relatively undiscovered by tourists. 

Take a hike up the trails to reach the observatory and enjoy the stunning panoramas of the Los Angeles skyline. Inside, you’ll find fascinating exhibits about astronomy and space exploration. 

On clear nights, the observatory hosts public telescope viewing, allowing visitors to gaze at celestial wonders and learn about the cosmos from knowledgeable astronomers.

2. The Getty Villa

Located in the Pacific Palisades, the Getty Villa is a true hidden treasure. This museum showcases ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art and artifacts in a stunning replica of an ancient Roman villa. 

The tranquil gardens and beautiful architecture make for a serene and educational experience. Stroll through the galleries to admire the intricate sculptures, intricate mosaics, and intricate pottery. Entry to the museum is free, but reservations are required due to its popularity among locals and art enthusiasts.

3. Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Escape the tourist crowds of Rodeo Drive and head to Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach. Named after the visionary who developed the city of Venice, this street is lined with trendy boutiques, art galleries, and hip eateries. 

Explore the unique shops and discover local designers, browse through contemporary art, and indulge in delicious cuisine from around the world. The bohemian atmosphere and laid-back vibe of Abbot Kinney make it a favorite among locals and a refreshing break from the typical tourist hotspots.

4. The Last Bookstore

Tucked away in downtown Los Angeles, The Last Bookstore is a book lover’s paradise. Housed in a historic bank building, this independent bookstore offers a labyrinth of shelves filled with new and used books, as well as vinyl records and art installations. 

Lose yourself in the stacks, discover hidden reading nooks, and immerse yourself in the literary charm of the place. The Last Bookstore also hosts regular author events and live performances, making it a hub for the local arts community.

5. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Located in the city of San Marino, just outside of Los Angeles, The Huntington is a hidden oasis of culture and natural beauty. Explore the extensive library collection, which includes rare books and manuscripts, and wander through the art galleries displaying European and American art. 

Outside, immerse yourself in the tranquility of the botanical gardens, featuring themed gardens such as the Japanese Garden, Desert Garden, and Rose Garden. The Huntington provides a serene escape from the bustling city and offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors to enjoy.

6. Angels Point

For a stunning panoramic view of the city without the tourist crowds, head to Angels Point in Elysian Park. This hidden lookout offers breathtaking vistas of downtown Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium, and the surrounding hills. Pack a picnic and spend a peaceful afternoon enjoying this hidden gem’s scenic beauty and tranquility.

7. Watts Towers

Located in the Watts neighborhood, the Watts Towers is a remarkable testament to the creativity and resilience of artist Simon Rodia. These towering structures, built over 30 years, are adorned with a mosaic of glass, shells, and pottery. 

We recommend taking a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of this unique artwork. The Watts Towers are a true hidden gem, showcasing the vibrant spirit of the local community.

8. El Matador State Beach

rocky beach shore

Escape the crowded beaches of Santa Monica and Venice and discover the natural beauty of El Matador State Beach. Tucked away along the Malibu coastline, this hidden gem features stunning rock formations, caves, and pristine sandy shores. Explore the tide pools, watch the crashing waves, and enjoy a peaceful day by the ocean in this hidden paradise.

Discover the Real Los Angeles

These additional hidden gems in Los Angeles provide unique and off-the-beaten-path experiences that showcase the city’s natural beauty, artistic spirit, and local culture. 

Whether you’re seeking breathtaking views, artistic wonders, serene beaches, or outdoor adventures, Los Angeles offers something special beyond the typical tourist attractions.

Published by HOLR Magazine.