Hidden Gems of Eagle Rock

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Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Farmers' Market, Facebook

Tucked into the hillsides of Northeast Los Angeles, Eagle Rock is a free-spirited community full of independent businesses and art-minded events. It's an ideal neighborhood for daytime excursions, where you can hike, shop and do some beer-tasting, but there is nightlife here as well. Eagle Rock is also home to several large annual events to keep in mind if they coincide with your trip to Los Angeles.

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Cuicani at Eagle Rock Music Festival | Photo courtesy of Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Facebook

Center for the Arts Eagle Rock

Center for the Arts Eagle Rock is both an arts education center and a performance venue. Their programming includes workshops, like a recent one dedicated to Ghanaian drums and dance, film screenings and local band showcases. Eagle Rock Center for the Arts is perhaps best known as the group behind the annual Eagle Rock Music Festival, a street fest that highlights local musicians.

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Photo courtesy of Craft Beer Cellar Eagle Rock

Craft Beer Cellar

Craft Beer Cellar is an emporium filled with a variety of beverages from locally produced brews to imports. Their tasting room is open daily and they have a draft bar. Events are fairly frequent here and include special beer tasting nights, Tuesday night trivia sessions and more. Follow Craft Brew Cellar Eagle Rock on Facebook or Instagram to keep up on events.

Eagle Rock Brewery

Eagle Rock Brewery is technically located in Glassell Park, but its close proximity to Eagle Rock makes it a nice addition to a trip to this neighborhood. Family-owned Eagle Rock Brewery has been working out of the neighborhood since 2009, when they helped launch the local microbrewery craze in Los Angeles. The brewery hosts free tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and has a tap room that's open to the public. Eagle Rock Brewery also has a Women's Beer Forum that meets once a month to taste and talk about different beers. Check the brewery's website for a schedule of events.

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Eagle Rock Canyon Trail | Instagram by @chrismosley

Eagle Rock Canyon Trail

Eagle Rock is more than a name. There actually is a massive rock with a beak-like protrusion here. If you catch a glimpse of it at certain angles while speeding down the nearby freeway, it does look a bit like an eagle. You can get a better glimpse of the boulder if you head over to Eagle Rock View Drive. If you have your hiking shoes on, take a walk through the adjacent Eagle Rock Canyon Trail.

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Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Farmers' Market, Facebook

Eagle Rock Farmer's Market

In May, Eagle Rock Farmer's Market reopened with Friday evening events that celebrate locally-made food. Head to Maywood and Colorado to find produce grown in the region. The Farmer's Market takes place at Eagle Rock City Hall from 5 to 8 p.m., so come hungry and grab dinner from one of the local vendors while you shop.

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Eagle Rock Recreation Center | Instagram by @raulroa

Eagle Rock Recreation Center

Renowned for his residential designs, acclaimed Modernist architect Richard Neutra also designed the Eagle Rock Recreation Center, which was built in 1953. Part of the Los Angeles park system, the center features a gym, picnic areas and much more. Neutra's design features wooden walls that can be hand-cranked to create an indoor-outdoor space.

During the summer, the center is one of the host venues of Street Food Cinema, one of the most popular outdoor movie series in Los Angeles. Street Food Cinema turns your favorite movies into big events by bringing together revival screenings with music performances and food trucks at various locations across L.A. The Eagle Rock Recreation Center screened Raiders of the Lost Ark on June 17 and will present Almost Famous on August 12.

Occidental College

Former President Barack Obama was once a student at Occidental College, which is located in Eagle Rock. The university is small - it boasts only 2,100 undergraduate students - but influential, and hosts events like the Third Los Angeles series of talks about the city. It's home to the Occidental Children's Theater and hosts community arts events like Lummis Day, which celebrates pioneering Angeleno Charles Lummis.

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Peekaboo Playland Eagle Rock | Instagram by @koreatownmommy

Peekaboo Playland

Peekaboo Playland is an indoor playground for young children tucked inside a brick building on Colorado Boulevard. On the weekends, it turns into a private party destination, where kids can celebrate their birthdays with elaborate themed bashes. During the week, though, Peekaboo is "open play" during the day. The cover is $10 for children over a year, $8 for those between 6 and 12 months of age. Adults get in for free and there's coffee and wi-fi access to keep the adults occupied while the kids have fun.

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Photo courtesy of Pop Secret Gallery, Facebook

Pop Secret Gallery

Located on Eagle Rock Boulevard, Pop Secret Gallery is the headquarters of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and offers courses on subjects like comic book writing and childrens' book illustration. They also host model drawing sessions, a monthly comedy night, and Comic Book Sunday events. Check out Pop Secret's Facebook page to keep up on events.

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Instagram by @leannalinswonderland

We Heart Eagle Rock

We Heart Eagle Rock isn't a place, but rather a collective of local Eagle Rock businesses that join forces to go all out on Small Business Saturday, the indie alternative to Black Friday. In addition to sales and store promotions, the locals host a block party with live band performances, arts programming and family-friendly activities. This is one of the better-known Small Business Saturday events in Los Angeles, so if you're spending Thanksgiving weekend in Los Angeles, head to Eagle Rock. Follow We Heart Eagle Rock for updates on this and other local events held throughout the year.