These 10 Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles are Worth a Visit

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Beneath the shimmering glow of the Hollywood sign, where the palm trees sway against a canvas of endless blue, Los Angeles holds secrets. Secrets that I’ve unearthed on foot, on wheels, with a coffee in hand and curiosity at heart. Are you ready to step off the beaten path and into the best hidden places to visit near Los Angeles that only a select few, including myself, have discovered?

Top 10 Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles
Top 10 Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

In the shadows of the City of Angels, away from the star-studded walk of fame, are tucked-away treasures waiting to be explored.

So, buckle up and get ready to embark on an enchanting tour with me, as I recount my captivating escapades to the best-hidden places near Los Angeles.

Places I’ve stumbled upon and returned to, not because they’re well known, but because they are pockets of quiet magic in this bustling city.

From secluded beaches kissed by the sunsets, to eclectic neighborhoods echoing with art and culture; from panoramic hiking trails to whispering vintage bookstores, LA’s secret spots are waiting to steal your heart, just as they’ve stolen mine.

Say goodbye to the tourist throngs, and hello to the undiscovered corners of LA, as we take this delightful detour together. It’s not just about the destination; it’s about the journey.

A journey that starts here, with my personal exploration of the best hidden places near Los Angeles. Let’s dive right in.

List of Top 10 Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

Here is a quick look at the Top 10 Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles:

Place NameDescription
Carroll AvenueThis is a historic street in Angelino Heights, Echo Park that features Victorian-era houses that have been featured in movies and TV shows such as Charmed, Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Mad Men.
Virginia Robinson GardensThis is a six-acre estate in Beverly Hills that was once the home of Harry and Virginia Robinson, owners of the Robinson’s department store chain. It features a mansion, a pool pavilion and various gardens that showcase exotic plants from around the world.
Hinoki & the BirdThis is an acclaimed restaurant in Century City that serves creative dishes inspired by the Silk Road, such as lobster rolls with green curry and hinoki-scented black cod. It also has a stylish patio and a cocktail bar.
Jackson Market and DeliThis is a hidden gem in Culver City that dates back to 1925. It is a market, deli and cafe that serves sandwiches, salads, soups and baked goods. It also has a secret garden where you can relax and enjoy your meal.
The Last BookstoreThis is an iconic bookstore in Downtown L.A. that occupies an old bank building. It has over 250,000 new and used books, as well as records, art and collectibles. It also features a labyrinth of bookshelves, tunnels and arches made of books.
Galco’s Soda Pop StopThis is a unique shop in Highland Park that sells over 500 flavors of soda from around the world. You can find classics like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, as well as rare and exotic varieties like cucumber, rose and bacon. You can also make your own soda at the Soda Creation Station.
The Echo Park Time Travel MartThis is a quirky store in Echo Park that sells goods you would need for a trip through the fourth dimension. You can find items such as robot milk, dinosaur eggs, time travel sickness pills and more. It is also a non-profit organization that supports young writers.
Sunken CityThis is a place in San Pedro where you can see the remnants of foundations, streets and streetcar tracks that slid into the ocean in 1929. It is now a graffiti-covered urban ruin that attracts explorers and artists.
Bradbury BuildingThis is a historic building in Downtown L.A. that was built in 1893 and features a stunning interior with iron railings, brick walls, wooden elevators and skylights. It has been used as a filming location for movies such as Blade Runner, Chinatown and 500 Days of Summer.
Griffith Observatory’s Tesla CoilThis is a high-power conical Tesla coil that is located in the basement of the Griffith Observatory. It produces artificial lightning bolts that can reach up to 12 feet long. It is operated during live shows at the observatory.
Top 10 Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

New to LA? Consider reading: 21 Unique Things to do in LA

Carroll Avenue

Los Angeles, California’s sprawling metropolis, brims with a myriad of well-known attractions that attract tourists like moths to a flame. However, this city also nurtures numerous Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Carroll Avenue
Carroll Avenue – Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

Carroll Avenue, nestled quietly in the heart of Angelino Heights, is one such clandestine gem. It harks back to a time when intricate, Victorian-era architecture dominated the skyline. As one amble down this picturesque lane, the present day slips away, replaced by a poignant nostalgia for a bygone era.

Step into this time warp, where the stately mansions, and emblems of architectural grandeur, compete for your attention.

Each one is a unique specimen, teeming with ornate detailing that harkens back to an era of unmatched craftsmanship.

Take a leisurely stroll down this avenue, and feel the history seeping into your consciousness, inviting contemplation.

Despite being cocooned within the city’s concrete jungle, Carroll Avenue offers an invigorating reprieve from the unrelenting bustle.

Here, the modern world merges seamlessly with history, forging an oasis of tranquility that invites exploration.

So, if you’re keen to unearth the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles, let your journey begin on Carroll Avenue.

This secret sanctuary will undoubtedly render a unique charm that transfigures your perception of Los Angeles.

Discover this unheralded gem, and let its heritage and beauty imbue your travel memories with an enduring resonance.

Virginia Robinson Gardens

Nestled within the bustling city of Beverly Hills, the Virginia Robinson Gardens stands as a serene oasis, a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers seeking respite from the urban chaos.

Virginia Robinson Gardens
Virginia Robinson Gardens – Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

This botanical wonderland offers an enchanting escape from the clamor of Los Angeles, transporting visitors to a bygone era of elegance and refinement.

Virginia Robinson, a prominent figure in early 20th-century Los Angeles society, designed and cultivated these magnificent gardens with a keen eye for beauty and harmony.

As you wander through the meticulously landscaped grounds, you’ll encounter a symphony of colors and fragrances, an artistic tapestry woven with exotic flora and rare specimens.

The gardens showcase a diverse range of horticultural marvels, including cycads, epiphyllums, and tillandsias, captivating the senses with their enchanting allure.

The estate’s stunning Italian Renaissance-style mansion, lovingly preserved, stands as a testament to a bygone era.

With its grand architecture and opulent interiors, the mansion offers a glimpse into the extravagant lifestyle of the Robinsons, their exquisite taste evident in every meticulous detail.

Immerse yourself in the opulence of the past as you explore the lavishly furnished rooms, adorned with priceless antiques and exquisite artwork.

A stroll through the Japanese garden, a tranquil haven of tranquility, reveals meticulously manicured bonsai trees, shimmering koi ponds, and a captivating teahouse, providing a peaceful retreat for contemplation.

The rose garden beckons with its intoxicating scents, while the palm walkway offers a shaded respite, its towering palms swaying gently in the breeze.

Virginia Robinson Gardens, one of the best hidden places to visit near Los Angeles, is a testament to the enduring allure of nature’s splendor and the human spirit’s boundless creativity.

Embark on a journey of discovery and find solace in this enchanting oasis tucked away amidst the bustling metropolis.

Hinoki & the Bird

Hinoki & the Bird is no doubt, one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Hinoki & the Bird
Hinoki & the Bird – Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

This culinary retreat, nestled inconspicuously in the city’s heart, offers an unprecedented dining experience that bewitches the senses.

It is a symphony of flavors, playing a euphony of exotic Asian influences harmonized with Californian vibrance.

As you step into this gastronomical sanctuary, its architectural aesthetics transport you into an atmosphere of tranquil sophistication.

A true personification of nirvana for epicureans, the restaurant’s menu transcends geographical boundaries, curated with meticulous precision by top-tier chefs.

The dishes, each a work of art, showcase the vibrant synergy of diverse ingredients – a confluence of unassuming simplicity and unrivaled craftsmanship.

The signature dish, the Hinoki-scented black cod, is a showstopper. Its alluring aroma engulfs you, the smoky woody fragrance of Hinoki permeating each morsel, creating a tantalizing gastronomic journey you won’t soon forget.

Nestled amidst the skyscrapers, Hinoki & the Bird transcends from being just a dining experience. It is a serendipitous discovery for those seeking unique, authentic experiences.

The restaurant epitomizes the aura of ‘hidden gems’, where cultural fusion and culinary brilliance blend seamlessly, offering an unforgettable encounter with the city’s diverse epicurean offerings.

Venture off the beaten path, for an exploration of Los Angeles’s clandestine culinary world, starting at Hinoki & the Bird. It is truly one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Jackson Market and Deli

A resplendent vestige of vintage charm, Jackson Market and Deli hails as one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Jackson Market and Deli
Jackson Market and Deli – Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

Tucked away within the unassuming suburb of Culver City, this sanctuary of sustenance presents an oasis in the urban desert.

Stepping into this locale feels akin to a time warp, back to a simpler time where communities congregated, and conversations flowed as easily as the java at the coffee counter.

The charming wooden shelves laden with artisanal products from local suppliers form a cornucopia of culinary delights.

Its offerings range from freshly brewed coffee, a selection of deli meats, and a variety of cheeses, to the occasional homemade jams and baked goods.

While Jackson Market offers a smorgasbord of gustatory pleasures, it’s the ambiance that ensnares the heart.

The outdoor patio, a well-kept secret of the locale, is a verdant retreat tucked amidst the city’s concrete hustle.

Encased in an envelope of lush foliage, this al fresco setting provides an idyllic backdrop for enjoying your meal or savoring a book.

Make no mistake, the unassuming facade of Jackson Market and Deli belies a realm of unique experiences that encapsulates the soul of the city.

In the end, the Market exemplifies a truth about LA – that its most enchanting allure often lies hidden in plain sight.

A visit to this culinary gem certifies its standing as one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

The Last Bookstore

In the heart of Downtown LA, The Last Bookstore stands as an eloquent testament to the enduring magic of printed literature, securing its place as one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore – Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

It isn’t just a bookstore, it is a haven for bibliophiles, a place where the romance of ink and paper is celebrated with reverence.

The labyrinthine layout, a cornucopia of books that snakes through the bookstore’s grandiose interiors, is a testament to the undying allure of literature.

Towering shelves, housing countless volumes, line the walls, their spines whispering tales of yore and lore.

This meandering path unfurls into the famous book tunnel, a manifestation of a bibliophile’s dream.

Its collection, an assortment of variegated genres and titles, is as eclectic as the city itself. Here, you’ll find time-worn classics nestling comfortably beside contemporary works, waiting for eager hands to thumb through their pages.

But what truly elevates this bibliotheca is its commitment to supporting independent authors and artists, creating a unique platform for creative minds to connect and flourish.

A visit to The Last Bookstore is like embarking on a journey into a bibliographic wonderland.

Check out The Last Bookstore’s website before you visit.

As you traverse the aisles, every corner turned, every book perused, unveils a slice of LA’s vibrant cultural tapestry. It truly is a paragon among the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop

A liquid library of effervescence, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, firmly ensconces itself as one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Nestled in the heart of Highland Park, it isn’t merely a store but a fizzy journey through time, a nostalgic experience swathed in a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors.

Upon entry, the visual cacophony of over 700 soda varieties greets you – an effulgent spectacle that captivates the senses.

From sarsaparilla to root beer, exotic fruit flavors to vintage cola brands, each bottle tells a story, each sip a different era’s tale.

The cornucopia of choices transcends conventional boundaries, each shelf a testament to Galco’s commitment to preserving the rich tapestry of soda pop history.

Galco’s is more than a soda pop shop. It is a beacon of cultural preservation, a custodian of carbonated heritage, where each beverage comes imbued with a nostalgic charm, a flavor that resonates with the bygone eras.

The famed ‘Soda Creation Station’ takes the experience a notch higher, inviting patrons to concoct their unique flavors, thus perpetuating the art of soda-making.

In a city renowned for its landmarks, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop unassumingly stands out as a testament to Los Angeles’s rich and diverse heritage.

It truly represents a unique facet of the city’s charm, making it one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

The Echo Park Time Travel Mart

Amongst the eclectic kaleidoscope of Los Angeles lies an emporium of the extraordinary, The Echo Park Time Travel Mart, an irrefutable contender for the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

The Echo Park Time Travel Mart
The Echo Park Time Travel Mart – Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

This whimsical locale, in the heart of the vibrant Echo Park neighborhood, is a window to the past and the future, promising a temporal escapade unlike any other.

At first glance, the Mart presents itself as a peculiar curiosity shop, boasting an array of outlandish wares from various epochs.

Fancy a ‘Mammoth Chunks’ can from the Pleistocene era? Or perhaps a ‘Robot Milk’ bottle from the 25th century? Here, the borders of time dissolve, blending the archaic, the contemporary, and the futuristic into a fascinating bricolage of artifacts.

Peel the layers, and the Mart reveals its heart – it is a nonprofit storefront for ‘826LA’, an organization dedicated to inspiring creativity among young writers.

The profits from your ‘time-traveling’ purchases contribute to enriching their lives, nurturing the scribes of the future.

The Echo Park Time Travel Mart, with its enchanting concept and noble mission, is an emblem of LA’s multifaceted persona.

It is a hidden gem that allows you to traverse time while contributing to a cause, marking it as one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Sunken City

Straddling the border between urban reality and nature’s whimsicality is the fascinating Sunken City, a site that resonates with an eerie beauty.

Sunken City
Sunken City – Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

It earns its well-deserved title as one of the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles. Once a residential neighborhood in the 1920s, today it’s an otherworldly labyrinth of crumbled foundations and graffiti-laden ruins, ravaged by a slow landslide and the relentless Pacific waves.

The haunting tableau of disintegrated sidewalks, fractured roads, and toppled power lines is a mesmerizing testament to nature’s power.

As you traverse this unusual terrain, each fragment of rubble echoes the past, forming a canvas for historiographical interpretation.

But it’s not just history that enchants visitors. The panoramic views of the ocean and the distant Catalina Island from the cliffs amplify the site’s allure.

It is the paradoxical blend of decay and breathtaking vistas that marks the Sunken City as a unique spectacle.

Tread quietly on this hallowed ground, for you’re stepping on the remnants of a bygone era.

Let the whispers of the past mingle with the rustling sea breeze as you take in the poignant charm of this dilapidated paradise.

Truly, the Sunken City is a poetic paradox, making it one of the most intriguing among the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Bradbury Building

Stepping into the heart of Downtown LA, amidst the bustling modern cityscape, one is often startled by the grandeur of the Bradbury Building.

Bradbury Building
Bradbury Building – Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

This architectural marvel undeniably ranks amongst the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

A masterpiece of the 19th century, it encapsulates an era of ornate aesthetics and the intrinsic charm of antiquity.

From the exterior, the Bradbury seems unassuming, its brick and sandstone facade blending into the urban palette.

However, once inside, you are ushered into an intricate panorama of wrought-iron balustrades, delicately carved railings, and a mesmerizing grid of atrium skylights that bathe the interiors in a cascade of ethereal light.

A marquee feature of this architectural marvel is its antiquated elevators. Encased in ornamental iron, these quaint lifts serve as time capsules, transporting visitors through the building’s storied past.

As you ascend, the breathtaking symphony of iron, glass, and light evolves into a three-dimensional spectacle, each floor offering a new perspective.

Having graced the silver screen in iconic films like Blade Runner, the Bradbury Building is more than a historical monument – it is a cultural touchstone.

Embarking on a tour through its illustrious corridors is like traveling back in time, thereby making it one of the unmissable entries in the list of Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Griffith Observatory’s Tesla Coil

In the annals of LA’s iconic attractions, Griffith Observatory’s Tesla Coil holds a place of pride.

Griffith Observatory’s Tesla Coil
Griffith Observatory’s Tesla Coil

An electrifying spectacle tucked within the city’s astral heart, it illuminates a niche among the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Encased within a protective cage, this electrifying apparatus paints an intriguing portrait of scientific wonderment.

Every hour, spectators gather in anticipation, their gazes fixed on the contraption as it awakens. With a crescendo of audible hums and a kaleidoscope of crackling sparks, the coil unravels its dramatic symphony of electricity, each bolt a visible testament to Nikola Tesla’s genius.

The Tesla Coil at the Griffith Observatory isn’t merely a spectacle; it’s an interactive learning experience.

It’s a tangible manifestation of the ephemeral dance of electric currents, bringing to life the abstract theories that dot the pages of physics textbooks.

It’s a symbol of human curiosity, of our ceaseless endeavor to unravel the secrets of the universe.

Tucked away in the observatory’s celestial bosom, the Griffith Observatory’s Tesla Coil is more than an attraction; it is an homage to scientific exploration and a testament to the magic that ensues when science meets art.

It is indeed a luminary, both literally and metaphorically, within the Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles.

Final Thoughts on Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

After a thrilling journey exploring Los Angeles’ best-kept secrets, I can confidently say that there are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

The peaceful tranquility of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, the captivating murals of the Arts District, and the breathtaking views at Murphy Ranch — these are experiences that have enriched my love for this city in ways I never expected.

I guarantee that once you delve into these hidden corners of LA, you’ll see the city through a completely new lens.

Adventure is right at your doorstep, and I hope this guide helps you uncover the lesser-known wonders of Los Angeles.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, set your GPS, and start your own exploration of these spectacular places near Los Angeles that are off the beaten path.

Trust me, it’s an adventure you won’t regret!

FAQs on Best Hidden Places to Visit Near Los Angeles

What are some hidden places to visit near Los Angeles?

While the list of hidden gems is extensive, some of the more intriguing include the Murphy Ranch, a hidden-in-plain-sight WWII-era Nazi sympathizer camp; the Sunken City, a cliff-side neighborhood now crumbled into artistic ruins; and El Matador State Beach, known for its dramatic rock formations.

How far are these hidden places from Los Angeles?

The distance varies based on each location. Murphy Ranch and Echo Park’s Carroll Avenue are within Los Angeles, while the Sunken City in San Pedro is about a 25-mile drive. El Matador State Beach is approximately a 40-mile journey from downtown LA, and Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve is about 30 miles away.

Are these places family-friendly?

Yes, most of these places are family-friendly. For instance, El Matador Beach and Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve offer safe and fun environments for children to explore nature. However, places like Sunken City, due to its unstable cliffs and graffiti, may be more suitable for older children and adults.

Do I need to pay to visit these places?

While many of these hidden gems are free to visit, such as the Murphy Ranch or the Sunken City, some locations like El Matador State Beach and Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve charge a nominal parking fee. It’s always a good idea to check the current status online before you visit.

What should I bring for a day trip to these places?

Pack according to the nature of the place you’re visiting. For beach visits like El Matador or Abalone Cove, carrying beach essentials like towels, sunscreen, and water. For urban explorations like Echo Park or Murphy Ranch, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Always remember to pack enough water, snacks, and a first-aid kit, no matter where you go.

Are these places open year-round?

Most of these places are open year-round, but it’s essential to check their official websites or contact local park services for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Also, be aware that California’s weather can vary significantly throughout the year, which might impact your visit.

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