Photo © John Liu

Hidden Gems of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known for its beautiful beaches, exciting attractions and world-class restaurants. Many people may not know about the other hidden gems within this marvelous city. Here are 10 of the best lesser-known places in Los Angeles.

02/05/2013 by

The city of Los Angeles is known for its beautiful beaches, exciting attractions and world-class restaurants. Many people may not know about the other hidden gems within this marvelous city. Here are 10 of the best lesser-known places in Los Angeles:

Point Fermin Park

This inviting park in San Pedro is situated atop a bluff overlooking the sea. The historic Point Fermin Lighthouse is open for tours on certain days of the week. Local actors gather to perform Shakespeare plays on the park’s outdoor stage during the summer months. This park is also the perfect location to go for a picnic. The Korean Bell of Friendship, which is located directly across from the park on top of a hill, serves as a symbol of international diplomacy.

Hansen Dam Recreation Area

This outdoor attraction is located in the northern portion of the San Fernando Valley near the suburb of Lakeview Terrace. Long jogging trails, barbeque facilities and children’s play areas make this location a great place for families to spend the day. Visitors can also check out the views of the Hansen Dam from a distance. An aquatic center featuring a large recreation and swimming lake can provide additional enjoyment.

Los Angeles Horseback Riding Ranch

People who wish to enjoy the gorgeous outdoor scenery of Los Angeles while riding a horse can visit this ranch located in the Santa Monica Mountains. Horseback riding tours give people the chance to see spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and many other nearby towns. Avid stargazers have the option of taking riding tours on nights when there is a full moon.


Located in the suburban community of Tujunga, this Mexican restaurant serves some of the best Mexican food in Los Angeles. Mouthwatering salsa made with the freshest ingredients is served with every meal. Popular menu items include the beef enchiladas and the mini chicken burritos. Customers can also order cool and refreshing margaritas.

Angels Flight Railway

This railway in Downtown Los Angeles is easy to miss due to its diminutive size. The railway spans only a single block and connects Hill and Olive streets along a steep incline. The railway was built in 1901 in order to transport the city’s elite community members between the two streets. For just 25 cents, riders can catch one of two railway cars to take the short journey along the historic route. The California Plaza Watercourt, which sits atop the railway’s upper portion, features beautiful fountains and is also the place to go to hear live music on summer nights.

Watts Towers

These unique structures in Watts were created by an Italian immigrant named Simon Rodia. Each cone-shaped tower consists of winding structural steel and is encased in mortar. The towers are also adorned with broken glass, seashells and other interesting paraphernalia. The tallest tower reaches a height of nearly 100 feet.

Canyon Country Store

Visitors who are driving through Laurel Canyon can stop at this store to enjoy a fresh deli sandwich. This charming store is also stocked with grocery items imported from Great Britain and other international locations. The décor of this store can best be described as a combination of influences from the Old West and Woodstock. This store has also been visited by celebrities like Jim Morrison and Jennifer Aniston during its existence.


This Japanese restaurant sits just off the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood. In addition to its beautiful interior décor, patrons can also enjoy tasty meals such as chicken teriyaki and fried pork. Guests also have the option of ordering an oyster or quail egg shooter. Delectable sushi rolls are made with shrimp, crab, tuna and other fresh seafood items.

Little Tokyo

This district in Downtown Los Angeles is often overshadowed by Chinatown and other popular ethnic neighborhoods around the city. People who take the time to explore this district can see unique outdoor structures and art installations such as the Little Tokyo Watchtower and the Friendship Knot sculpture. A beautiful Buddhist temple and a Japanese garden are also worth seeing. The Japanese American National Museum showcases artworks, clothing and historical documents reflecting the history of America’s Japanese immigrants.

The Hollywood Castle

Most people will never have the opportunity to see this castle while taking tours of Hollywood. The structure is nestled in the Hollywood Hills away from many of the famous streets in the area. The castle is available for rental and can be used as a quiet retreat. A walking path resembling a drawbridge leads guests to the castle’s entrance. Breathtaking views of the city are present from the terrace. The inside of the castle includes medieval-style décor and vintage furnishings.


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