Beyond Hollywood: Things to Do in L.A.

Outside of Hollywood, there are plenty of hidden gems with rich history in Los Angeles. Check out some of these top spots on your next visit to LA.

From the quaint shops of Culver City to the golden sand at Redondo Beach, Los Angeles is full of hidden gems waiting to be explored by visitors looking to experience Los Angeles’ world-class neighborhoods and rich Hollywood history. 

Culver City

Culver City was founded in the early 1900’s and quickly became known as “The Heart of Screenland” during the 20th century due to its contributions to motion picture history. Sony Pictures Studios, formerly Metro Goldwyn Mayer, is located at 10202 W. Washington Blvd. and offers two-hour weekday tours complete with sound stages where blockbuster hits including the "Wizard of Oz" and "Spider-Man" were made. Located just minutes away at 6300 Hetzler Road in Culver City, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook offers spectacular views of the Los Angeles basin via hiking trails or stairs. The 511- foot-tall peak features a visitor’s center complete with history and conservation exhibits.

Beach Cities

Some of the most expensive real estate in the country can be found in the sister cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach due to great ocean views and a booming aerospace economy. In addition to beach activities like biking, volleyball, surfing and sunbathing, visitors can find entertainment away from the water. The Comedy & Magic Club located at 1018 Hermosa Ave. in Hermosa Beach features former Tonight Show host Jay Leno and other renowned comedians performing seven days a week. Be advised to purchase your tickets well in advance since many of the shows, including Jay Leno on Sundays, sell out quickly. Just down the road at 514 N. Pacific Coast Hwy. in Redondo Beach, the Hudson House serves up the culinary comfort food of Bravo TV fame Chef Brooke Williamson. Anything you might find on a Southern menu can be ordered here, including the famous pulled pork pretzel croissant sandwich.

Echo Park

Millions of people visit Echo Park every year while watching the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. However, this historic neighborhood also features 19th century homes surrounded by retail, recreation and restaurants. Carroll Avenue, one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles, gives entertainment buffs a glimpse at several private homes that have been featured in TV shows such as Charmed and Mad Men and music videos including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Most of these famed manor homes are found in the 1300 block of Carroll Avenue, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the mid 1970’s.

Pasadena

Pasadena is a unique city within greater Los Angeles that offers sports, culture and education all within the foothills of the Angeles National Forest. Here it’s easy to get off the beaten path and explore little-known treasures like the Palm Garden at Huntington Library (located at 1151 Oxford Road), which features more than 200 species of palm trees spread out over 207 acres of land. A children’s garden, tropical conservatory and four art galleries can also be found on site. Families visiting Pasadena might consider a visit to the Armory Center for the Arts at 145 North Raymond Avenue, where an interactive learning center and gallery offers unique perspectives of the visual arts to youth and adults alike. Several contemporary art exhibitions, performances and outreach programs are offered here throughout the year.