Hidden Gems of Los Angeles

Explore dozens of treasures in the City of Angels.

Carroll Avenue in Angelino Heights, Echo Park | Photo: Michael Locke, Flickr


From Downtown L.A. to the Beach Cities, Los Angeles is filled with world-famous landmarks and attractions. But if you look closer, there are hidden gems throughout the city waiting to be discovered. Read on for our exclusive guides to exploring these treasures in the City of Angels.

Mothershucker Platter at Fishing with Dynamite
Mothershucker Platter at Fishing with Dynamite | Photo: Rick Poon

Beach Cities

The three sister Beach Cities in the South Bay of Los Angeles - Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach - represent a unique L.A. coastal culture that can only be experienced in the flesh. Read on and discover the hidden gems in the beautiful Beach Cities of L.A.

Virginia Robinson Gardens
Virginia Robinson Gardens | Photo: Friends of Robinson Gardens, Facebook

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, recognized for Rodeo Drive, its high-value real estate, and multiple references in film and television. Investors came looking for oil but found water instead, making it a prime location to build a town. Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914, named after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts and the hills in the immediate area. The city’s glamour and appeal to Golden Age Hollywood movie stars were established when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land to build Pickfair, their legendary 56-acre estate. Explore the hidden gems of Beverly Hills and you’ll soon become an expert on an L.A. neighborhood that’s known around the world as the epitome of luxury and style.

Hinoki & the Bird
Hinoki & the Bird | Photo: Hinoki & the Bird, Facebook

Century City

Century City is a center of business and commerce in Los Angeles, so it can be easy to overlook the public places worth visiting. Read on and discover 10 hidden gems in Century City, from lively bars to accalaimed restaurants and an action movie landmark.

Jackson Market and Deli
Jackson Market and Deli: Photo: Jackson Market and Deli, Facebook

Culver City

From its inception and then incorporation by Harry Culver in the early 1900s to the renovation and revitalization of its downtown that began in the 90s, Culver City is a city rich with motion picture, television and aviation history. Discover the lesser-known destinations worth seeking out in “The Heart of Screenland.”

Far Bar
Far Bar | Photo: Far Bar, Facebook
The Varnish
The Varnish | Photo: Daniel Djang, Thirsty in LA 

Downtown L.A.

Downtown Los Angeles has undergone a revitalization the past several years, growing beyond the city's business center to becoming a cluster of various neighborhoods with their own distinct personalities. From the Arts District to the Historic Core, and Chinatown to South Park, every enclave makes Downtown rich with culture and opportunity. Check out a few of the lesser-known attractions, which highlight the best of Downtown's history, its exciting present and bright future.

Victorian manors on Carroll Avenue

Victorian manors on Carroll Avenue | Photo: Michael Locke, Flickr

Echo Park

Echo Park is a historic and diverse neighborhood where you’ll find everything from Dodger Stadium, the home of our beloved Los Angeles Dodgers, to Echo Park Lake, which reopened recently after a $45-million renovation. Read on to find out more about Echo Park's hidden gems and discover an entirely different side of the neighborhood.

Hollywood Museum
Hollywood Museum lobby | Photo: Hollywood Museum, Facebook

Hollywood

When it comes to Tinseltown, you'll never run out of things to do, including world famous attractions like Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood Bowl and Pantages Theatre to name just a few. But there's a whole world of under-the-radar attractions and activities you may be missing. They include music, hikes and other features that Hollywood locals frequent to enjoy their city as one would a neighborhood. Check out the following attractions, shops and weeklies that will have you experiencing an entirely different side of Hollywood.

Ennis-House

Ennis House | Photo: Scott Beale, Flickr

 |  Photo: Scott Beale

Los Feliz

With Hollywood to the west, Silver Lake to the south and Atwater village to the east, the hillside neighborhood of Los Feliz is home to some of the most outstanding architecture in Los Angeles County, and is also the birthplace of many a motion picture and TV studio. Read on to find out the must-see, hidden gems of Los Feliz, from an architectural landmark to a red-hot dining destination.

Gamble House
Gamble House | Photo: D1v1d, Flickr

Pasadena

Pasadena is a historical enclave of culture, education and athletics, a beautiful city filled with the riches of generations past and present. From unique museums to an architectural masterpiece and a secluded garden, explore the hidden gems of Pasadena.

Suiho En (“Garden of Water and Fragrance”) Japanese Garden in Van Nuys

SuihoEn (“Garden of Water and Fragrance”) Japanese Garden in Van Nuys | Photo: *PhotoByJohn*, Flickr

San Fernando Valley

To the north of the Los Angeles Basin lies the San Fernando Valley, a bastion of suburban living with network and movie studios, parks, art galleries, shopping centers, sushi restaurants, theme parks and much more. Often referred to simply as "The Valley," it's a good idea to go beyond the stereotypes and visit a few lesser-known attractions to get a more intimate picture of the 260 square-mile region. We’ve gathered some great locations that fly under the radar in dining, recreation and culture, so you can get a good feel for what The Valley is really all about.

The Museum of Flying
The Museum of Flying | Photo: Museum of Flying, Facebook

Santa Monica

Named one of the Top 10 Beach Cities in the World by National Geographic, Santa Monica is one of L.A.’s most popular destinations for domestic and international visitors alike. Beat the crowds and go on a trek less-traveled to some of the hidden gems in sunny Santa Monica. Included are historical structures with incredible backstories, as well as cultural bastions of Santa Monica life today. You'll enjoy getting to know the real city by the beach by visiting these places.

The-Satellite

The Satellite | Photo: The Satellite, Facebook

 |  Photo: The Satellite

Silver Lake

Silver Lake is renowned as a community that’s continuously in flux, home to a population that is diverse even by L.A.'s multicultural standards. Despite all the recent Silver Lake media coverage, it can still be hard to find the lesser known places worth visiting. Read on to discover Silver Lake’s must-see hidden gems.

River Rock at Sportsmen's Lodge
River Rock at Sportsmen's Lodge | Photo: Sportsmen's Lodge, Facebook

Studio City

Known as the "Jewel of the Valley," Studio City is a community that was born out of the entertainment industry, attracting actors, musicians and writers, and serving as a hub of the San Fernando Valley and a gateway to the Westside and Hollywood.

MAK Center for Art & Architecture
MAK Center for Art & Architecture at the Schindler House | Photo: Schindler House, Facebook

West Hollywood

While West Hollywood flourishes as a tight-knit community and neighborhood, its official status goes beyond that as a city in its own right. Famous for passing legislation such as same-gender domestic partner benefits for city employees, and bans on fur sales and declawing of cats, West Hollywood represents not only much of L.A.’s entertainment history but also a beacon of social justice. Whether you're a longtime resident, or are visiting this bustling city beneath the hills for the first time, there's always something new to discover in WeHo. Take advantage of its rich, creative history and vibrant culture by going off the beaten path.

Malese Jow and Austin Charles at The Mint
Malese Jow and Austin Charles at The Mint | Photo: Justin Higuchi, Flickr

Westside Part I

The Mid-City area of L.A.’s Westside is a treasure trove of art, culture, shopping and dining. The wide range of the area's multicultural residents is exemplary of what Los Angeles is all about - there are pockets and enclaves of each that contribute to the city's beautiful patchwork quilt. And while there's no shortage of museums to see, shops to browse, or restaurants to dine at, you may want to get to know a lesser-known dimension of this side of town. Whether you're a visitor or a resident, there's something new to be learned about this area at the center of Los Angeles.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Photo courtesy of Nuart Theatre, Facebook

Westside Part II

The area of Los Angeles known as the Westside encompasses a diverse range of multicultural, historic and luxury neighborhoods. In this second part of our guide to the Westside, we cover Brentwood to Westwood and Sawtelle Japantown, including hidden gems of culture, history, shopping and nature.