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15 Hidden Gems in Los Angeles (2024)

Hidden Gems and Secrets in Los Angeles with the Japanese Oasis Garden in Los Angeles, California (2024)

Uncover the hidden treasures of Los Angeles with our 2024 guide to secret spots and unique experiences. Make your LA adventure unforgettable with these 15 must-visit hidden gems in Los Angeles.

Short Cut Menu 🖱️


1. The Sunken City

in San Pedro

The Sunken City in San Pedro Los Angeles in California with the vast blue Pacific Ocean and colorful city ruins

📍 Location: 500 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro

⌚ Hours: 24/7

The sunken city in San Pedro is an abandoned neighborhood that slid into the ocean because of unstable cliffs in the 1920s. Now, it remains a picturesque coastal ruin, where anyone is welcome to visit. It has drawn the attention of lots of photographers and explorers looking for a unique adventure.

Insider Tip: The sunken city has been featured in various films such as "The Fast and The Furious."

2. The Venice Canals

near Venice Beach

Secret venice canals in venice beach los angeles in California with beautiful waterways, palm trees, and boats.

📍 Location: Carroll Canal, Venice

🌐 Website: Venice Canals

⌚ Hours: 24/7

The Venice Canals in Venice, California, are a historic district designed like the famous canals of Venice, Italy, with beautiful footbridges, pedestrian walkways, and picturesque waterfront homes. Created by developer Abbot Kinney in 1905, the canals offer a relaxing escape outside the hustle and bustle of the city.

Insider Tip: Go early in the morning or during sunset to enjoy less crowds and great lighting for photos.

3. The Old Zoo

in Griffith Park

The abandoned old zoo in Griffith Park Los Angeles in California with old fence and caves for animals amongst overgrown bushes and shrubs.

📍 Location: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles

⌚ Hours: Daily 5:30AM-10:30PM

The old zoo in Griffith Park is a historic site where remains of abandoned animal enclosures from the early 20th century can still be explored today. It offers visitors a look into the park's past as a zoo before the current Los Angeles Zoo was established.

Insider Tip: After the zoo closed in 1966, the site was left abandoned.


4. The 282 Steps

in Culver City

📍 Location: 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City

⌚ Hours: Daily 6AM-9PM

The 282 steps in Culver City refer to a challenging stairway, with 282 steps (surprise surprise), located at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, offering a strenuous yet rewarding climb with panoramic views of Los Angeles. It's a popular spot for fitness enthusiasts and visitors seeking both a workout and stunning looks of the cityscape below.

Insider Tip: The steps have been featured in the 2016 film "LA LA Land."

5. The Bradbury Building


📍 Location: 304 S. Broadway, Los Angeles

🌐 Website: Bradbury Building

⌚ Hours: M-F 9AM-5PM, Sat-Sun 10AM-2PM

The Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles is a historical landmark, famous for its stunning Victorian-style atrium with gorgeous marble stairs and a glass ceiling that provides natural light. Although it was built in 1893, it still remains a popular destination for architecture enthusiasts, locals, and tourists to explore.

Insider Tip: It's said to have an uplifting effect on people who enter it, known as the "Bradbury Effect."

6. El Matador Beach

in Malibu

📍 Location: 32350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu

🌐 Website: El Matador Beach

⌚ Hours: 8AM-Sunset

El Matador Beach in Malibu is a gorgoeus spot known for its dramatic cliffs, rocky areas, and sandy shores, making it a popular destination for all types of people - photographers, nature lovers, or even just tourists looking to relax. It offers picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and is known for its seclusion compared to other beaches in the area.

Insider Tip: It's a common watch zone for spotting dolphins and whales during their seasonal migrations.

7. Break Room 86

in Koreatown

📍 Location: 630 S Ardmore Ave, Los Angeles

🌐 Website: Break Room 86

⌚ Hours: Tues-Sat 9PM-2AM

Break Room 86 in Los Angeles is an 80s-themed bar and nightclub hidden behind a secret entrance in The Line Hotel. It offers retro arcade games, live music, DJ sets, and themed cocktails, making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors looking to experience a unique blend of nightlife and rmemories of the old times.

Insider Tip: There are secret karaoke rooms that blend into the faux wall lockers.

8. Electric Dusk Drive-in Theater

in Glendale

📍 Location: 236 N Central Ave, Glendale

⌚ Hours: Fri-Sat 8PM-11:30PM

The Electric Dusk Drive-In Theater offers a nostalgic movie-watching experience under the stars, with classic films shown on a large outdoor screen from the comfort of your car. Its old school charm makes it a popular spot for all ages - families, friends, couples, you name it.

Insider Tip: They often host themed movie nights and special events.

9. The Battleship USS Iowa

in San Pedro

📍 Location: 250 S Harbor Blvd, San Pedro

🌐 Website: Battleship USS Iowa

⌚ Hours: 10AM-5PM Daily

The Battleship USS Iowa offers an immersive experience aboard the historic World War II battleship, with interactive exhibits, restored naval artifacts, and tours. Visitors can explore the ship's deck, officer's quarters, and weaponry, while gaining insights into significant military history and what life was like at sea.

Insider Tip: The VIP provides access to the captain's cabin, gun stations, and command center.

10. The Last Bookstore


📍 Location: 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles

🌐 Website: The Last Bookstore

Hours: Daily 10AM-10PM

The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA is a hidden gem for book lovers and art enthusiasts alike. It’s known for its labyrinth of bookshelves, unique book sculptures, and cozy reading nooks, creating an enchanting atmosphere.

Insider Tip: The upstairs section (a hidden vault of rare books) is known as the "Labyrinth."

11. Vasquez Rocks

in Santa Clarita

📍 Location: 10700 W Escondido Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

🌐 Website: Vasquez Rocks

⌚ Hours: Tues-Sun 8AM-7:30PM

The Vasquez Rocks are located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs with over 900 acres of rock formations and a seasonal stream. It's are famous for their beautiful and unique terrain, and for its many amenities such as animal exhibits, hiking trails, horseback riding, and so much more.

Insider Tip: Native American tribes left behind petroglyphs that are still in the park.

12. Employees Only

in West Hollywood

📍 Location: 7953 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood

🌐 Website: Employees Only

⌚ Hours: Tues-Sun 6PM-2AM

Employees Only is a speakeasy-style bar originating from New York City, which is known for its craft cocktails and lively atmosphere. It is a classy, dark, yet entertaining nightlife experience in West Hollywood, due to its Prohibition-era inspiration and a glamorous food and drink menu.

Insider Tip: There is a "Psychic Room" where guests can have a reading.

13. The Comedy & Magic Club

in Hermosa Beach

📍 Location: 1018 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach

🌐 Website: Comedy & Magic Club

⌚ Hours: Varies

The Comedy and Magic Club hosts top comedians and magicians, offering laughter and illusions in a relaxed setting. With its longstanding reputation and welcoming ambiance, it's a favorite spot for both locals and visitors seeking quality entertainment.

Insider Tip: The club is famous for surprise appearances by well-known comedian.

14. Buckle & Boots Watering Hole

in Lancaster

📍 Location: 706 West Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster

🌐 Website: Buckle & Boots

⌚ Hours: Varies

Buckle and Boots is a popular country-themed bar and grill known for its exciting vibes featuring live music performances, line dancing, and a classic American food menu. Located in the heart of Lancaster, it attracts both locals and visitors looking to enjoy a night of country music in an entertaining environment.

Insider Tip: Try their "Texas Twinkies."

15. The Japanese Garden

in Lake Balboa

📍 Location: 6100 Woodley Ave, Lake Balboa

🌐 Website: Japanese Garden

⌚ Hours: Varies

The Japanese Garden is a hidden gem located within the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area with traditional Japanese landscaping such as serene ponds, bridges, and perfectly manicured plants. It offers visitors a peaceful retreat to stroll through picture perfect paths, see koi fish, and experience the beauty of Japanese gardening and architecture.

Insider Tip: There's a hidden bamboo grove within the Japanese Garden oasis.


Did you visit these hidden gems in Los Angeles, California?

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