The Hollywood Sign. The Santa Monica Pier. The Rose Bowl. You’ve probably heard of, seen pictures of, or maybe even been to all of those famous Los Angeles attractions. If you’d like to add a little more excitement to your vacation, check out these six hidden gems to see when visiting Los Angeles.
Eagle Rock Canyon
If you’re looking for something free, leisurely, and beautiful, look no further than Eagle Rock Canyon. Located near Pasadena, Eagle Rock Canyon offers an easy, fairly low elevation hike and gorgeous views. It has a clearly defined trail where you can hike to the top and picnic or simply take in the view. There are tons of hikes to find in LA, but if you’re looking for a lesser-known hike when visiting Los Angeles, Eagle Rock is definitely a hidden gem you don’t want to miss.
This gem looks and feels post-apocalyptic because, well…it sort of is. Traveling to this cliff-side 1920s neighborhood in the community of San Pedro is worth the trip. It was devastated by erosion and slid into the ocean in 1929. The remains of the neighborhood are still around. Although technically off-limits to the public, these remains are still explored by many today. If you don’t mind a little adventure on your visit to Los Angeles, definitely check out the Sunken City.
Wayfarers Chapel is located just north of the Sunken City in beautiful Palos Verdes. It sits atop a hill with beautiful ocean views. The drive up to the chapel alone will take your breath away with stunning landscapes. The Wayfarer’s Chapel website describes it best as “The natural sanctuary of Palos Verdes [that] sits nestled in a grove of towering redwoods on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Designed by renowned organic architect Lloyd Wright, the stone and glass structure gives unique expression to the sacred space that welcomes all Wayfarers along life’s path.”
Ojai is just a couple of hours outside of LA proper, but it is nothing short of relaxing in luxury. With stunning landscapes and endless activities, Ojai is a vacation (or staycation) you’ll never want to end! Eric Stoen from Travel Babbo says, “There are plenty of places to stay. Our favorites (very different but both family-friendly) are the hip Caravan Outpost and the luxe Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.” If you’re looking for a perfect family vacation, Ojai is great for kids! Stoen goes on to say, “We love Ojai for nearby family getaways…every restaurant in town is kid-friendly. For activities you can go horseback riding, hiking or cycling, and the playground right in the middle of town is a great place to relax while your kids play.” For more on what Ojai has to offer see the Top 3 Ways to Relax When Visiting Ojai.
If you are an outdoorsy type, there are more challenging hikes than Eagle Rock Canyon. Take a hike up Solstice Canyon when visiting Los Angeles for a more physical workout. Located in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, Solstice Canyon has tons of trails for all levels of hikers as well as landmarks to see along the way. Of course almost nothing can surpass the beauty of Malibu. So, you’re sure to see nothing but scenic beauty on your upward journey.
When in the holy mecca of cinema, what kind of article would this be without mentioning one of LA’s many theatres? Arena Cinelounge supports independent film makers by screening them exclusively. Located in the heart of Hollywood it doesn’t get more LA, or more hipster, than that. With its cool exterior, smooth interior, and heart-centered support for the arts, Arena Cinelounge is a must-see hidden gem when visiting Los Angeles.