10 Hidden Gems to Visit in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is home to the star-eyed artists, adventurous dreamers, and driven creatives who make their way to the city to find success. L.A. is also a top destination for travel — both regional and international. From Disneyland to Universal Studios to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there are a number of must-see sights for any tourist to cross off their bucket list. For the experienced traveler looking for less cliché and more off-the-beaten-path sights, Los Angeles will surprise you with all that it has to offer.

Next time SoCal is your destination of choice, be sure to check out these hidden gems in the city full of dreamers:


1. The Lost Sunken City


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Also known as Long Beach, a portion of this cliffside neighborhood sunk into the oceans years ago after a landslide — hence the name “Sunken City.” Popular with the locals for bonfires, sunset hangs, and drinking, every inch of concrete is covered in graffiti. For post-apocalyptic meets urban decay vibes, look no further.


2. The old “Los Angeles Zoo”


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Located in the heart of Griffith Park, this abandoned zoo proves that old things can be put to good use. Feel free to explore the cages and exhibits of the old zoo and venture through the history of L.A. wildlife. Bring drinks and snacks to explore the now extinct exhibit covered in graffiti.


3. Time Travel Market


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With two locations, one in Echo Park and the other in Mar Vista, this store is all about time travel. Brought to you by the nonprofit 826LA (that helps students with writing and reading proficiency), the store offers quirky gadgets and gizmos from the past and the future. You’ll find everything from dinosaur eggs to Industrial Revolution pollution.


4. The Watts Towers


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Built by an Italian immigrant named Simon Rodia, The Watts Towers are a national landmark. It took 30 years to complete the project, which Rodia used just about anything he could find to build and decorate from cement to mesh to steel to glass to tile. The tower is a beautiful sight to behold!


5. The Shakespeare Bridge


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Located at the intersection of Los Feliz and Silver Lake, the Shakespeare bridge was built in 1929 and decorated in Gothic style. Named after William Shakespeare, it was later designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1974.


6. Echo Park Lake


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After renovations in recent years, the Echo Park Lake is one to be rivaled with. Take a stroll around the lake, ride in a pedal boat shaped like a duck, grab food at street vendor, or take a yoga class. Echo Park Lake offers view of the downtown city skyline that will leave you feeling relaxed even when surrounded by the chaos of city life.


7. Venice Canals


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Located near Venice Beach, SoCal’s version of the Italian canal is alive and well. Filled with canals, boats, and beautiful bridges, the canals (built in 1905) were built to resemble the real Venice, Italy. Who says you have to travel abroad to get a taste of Italia?


8. Mulholland Drive


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Pick a clear night free of smog to drive this scenic route through the Santa Monica Mountains that separate the L.A. coast and the San Fernando Valley. You will catch aerial views of the Hollywood Bowl, the San Fernando Valley, and much of Los Angeles. Be sure to allot a few hours to complete the entire drive. The breathtaking view will be worth the time spent.

9. L.A. River


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A dried-up river beginning along the long pitch-black tunnels in the Art’s District, the L.A. River runs 51 miles and passes through 17 cities. When not filled with rain water, it flows with wastewater discharged from three wastewater treatment plants, water that is typically cleaner than water from city streets and storm drains. The river provides amazingly romantic and beautiful views of the city.


10. Wildlife Learning Center


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Los Angeles is not all city life. There are some great areas to enjoy nature and wildlife, like the Wildlife Learning Center. A lot of the animals who make their home here are rare. Unlike the Los Angeles Zoo, you can actually interact with them!