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5 Hidden Gems in Los Angeles

a stone building

OK… so you came, you saw and you conquered the star studded side to LA. You matched your footprints and handprints to the stars at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and drove through the hills to see where the rich and famous live. But that is not all that Los Angeles has to offer. There are hidden gems all over this city for you to discover. Here are 5 of them.

Venice Canals

Built as a part of the “Venice of America” Plan that the founder of Venice Beach had, the Venice Beach Canals are famous for their man made canals running along a residential district. On the National Register of Historic Places since 1982, you can walk along its beautiful pathways and see some historic homes that have been renovated and some beautiful new construction as well. While you can no longer take a gondola ride along the canal, it is still a beautiful gem in Venice.  Truly a little part of Italy in California.

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

No, we aren’t sending you to the LADWP to pay the water and power bill (unless you need to, of course), but we are sending you there because it is cool. It might be the largest municipal utility in the United States, but go check out the fountains in front of it at Grand Park. If you go at night, you will be amazed at the view. Open to the public, they have a water trench around the whole building that attracts joggers and the fountains are lit up at night to create a beautiful display. During the day, you can take the kids there to play on the splash pad, which means fun for the whole family!

Airport Park

OK… if you love planes then this is right up your runway. Airport park is adjacent to the In n Out burger near LAX. You can get a great burger (the best in LA according to some) and watch planes flight right over your head. This is likely as close as the FAA will allow you to get to a flying plane without actually being in the plane. or flying the plane. Very cool experience for families and kids. Best part is, it’s free (burger not included).

The Last Bookstore

Calling all book lovers! There is a 20,000 square foot bookstore in downtown LA that not only sells new books, but also sells used books and vinyl records. You might have to pinch yourself, but it is true (so maybe just believe us and don’t pinch yourself… because it might hurt). The Last Bookstore was first opened in 2005 when owner Josh Spencer decided to take all of his sales experience and focus on books. From its first loft space to its current location, The Last Bookstore has taken off and is one of the largest independent booksellers in the world. You can get lost in the store while perusing thousands of books, vinyl records, graphic novels and just enjoying the really cool atmosphere. If you have a few hours, check it out… it will make you want to put down your e-reader and pick up an actual book to read. “Novel” idea.

LA Abandoned Zoo

If you are adventurous and don’t mind experiencing a spooky side to LA (and have already taken our Haunted Hollywood tour), then taking a visit to the Old LA Zoo is a must on your to do list. Located on the Eastside of Griffith Park on what used to be Griffith J Griffith’s Ostritch farm, the Old Zoo was opened in 1913 and closed in the late 1950’s. When you visit, you can actually walk through some of the old stone cages and caves. You might recognize certain areas of the zoo from scenes from the movie “The Anchorman”. There is a picnic and hiking area there as well. Some people say it is quite eerie and other’s just say “lions and tigers and bears…no more” . Don’t worry, though, you can still visit the “new” LA Zoo just down the way.


Come discover LA and so much more on a tour with us!