With perennially warm weather, pleasant landscapes, and a reputation for glitter and elegance, Los Angeles, California attracts thousands of visitors daily. However, aside from the famous landmarks, the city is packed with lesser-known points of interest. Nearby most Los Angeles vacation rentals are marvelous scenic vistas, lovely parks, eclectic museums, and exciting recreational spaces. Without further ado, here are the most exciting hidden gems in the city of Los Angeles.

1. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overview

baldwin hills scenic overlook
Source: Flickr/Daniel Pouliot

The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park lies in the southwestern portion of Culver City in Los Angeles. Within the 8.5 acre park are picnic sites, an amphitheater, restrooms, and a parking lot. The walking trails include the Culver City Stairs, which take you to the summit of the hill for a breathtaking view of the Hollywood Sign, downtown Los Angeles, and the majestic Pacific Ocean. At the Visitor’s Center, exhibits highlight the history of the area. Park staff offer guided interpretive programs and tours that offer insight on local wildlife and plants.

2. Annenberg Space for Photography

the annenberg space for photography
Source: Flickr/J Q

Located on the famous Avenue of the Stars at Century City in Los Angeles, the little-known Annenberg Space for Photography celebrates the art of the still photo by exhibiting the works of digital and print photographers. Admission is always free, and the displays change several times a year to reflect the diversity of the photographic medium. Private and group tours of the facility are available. Once a week the Annenberg Space for Photography schedules Iris Night lectures on photography, an event for which you need to make reservations in advance. Other special programming includes workshops, panels, and portfolio reviews.

3. Virginia Robinson Gardens

virginia robinson home and gardens
Source: Flickr/Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation

The lovely Virginia Robinson Gardens are located on the Virginia Robinson Estate in Beverly Hills. Built in 1911, it is the first estate ever created in the Beverly Hills area. The five incomparably beautiful garden areas include a rose garden, a tropical palm garden, a formal mall garden, an Italian Renaissance terrace garden, and a kitchen garden with herbs and vegetables. The county of Los Angeles offers guided tours of the elegant grounds by appointment only. The tours include a look at the gardens, the pool pavilion, and the artwork and artifacts within the mansion.

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4. Museum of Jurassic Technology

museum of jurassic technology
Source: Flickr/Sarah Mae

The unusual Museum of Jurassic Technology is on Venice Boulevard near vacation rentals in Culver City, Los Angeles. Its eclectic, idiosyncratic displays are similar to those in questionable private natural history museums of the past, and they comprise a history of natural history museums. Topics of permanent exhibits include pre-scientific cures for illnesses, micro-miniature sculptures, dogs of the Soviet space program, international string figures, and Los Angeles trailer parks. A walk through this maze-like museum is a truly marvelous experience.

5. Chavez Ravine Arboretum

elysian park
Source: Flickr/Eric Richardson

Founded by the Los Angeles Horticultural Society in 1893, Chavez Ravine Arboretum, located in Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium, is the city’s oldest arboretum. The majestic trees in its collection are from all over the world and include rare specimens such as Indian rosewoods, Chinese cedars, Cape chestnuts, Bodhi trees, and Canary Island date palms. Some of the almost 150 trees are among the largest and oldest in the United States. Watch for hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and other bird species amidst the foliage. Near the arboretum are facilities such as picnic tables, barbecue pits, and a children’s play area. Also nearby is the Elysian Park Wildflower Trail, an easy three-mile scenic hike that offers views of flamboyant local wildflowers and the city of Los Angeles.

6. Wende Museum

wende museum wall art
Source: Flickr/Dan DeLuca

The Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War stands on Culver Boulevard in Culver City, Los Angeles. The German word “wende” stands for “transition” or “turning point,” and the displays in this fascinating museum celebrate the transition of Eastern Europe from the dark days of the Cold War to the breaking up of the Berlin Wall. The facility has over 100,000 artifacts from the Soviet Union, East Germany, Bulgaria, and the rest of the East Bloc, including uniforms, consumer products, artwork, and family heirlooms. Additionally, the museum displays numerous segments of the original Berlin Wall. Besides public tours of the facility, the museum sponsors a number of programs to educate people on the history and ramifications of the Cold War.

7. Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park and Nature Center

eaton canyon waterfall
Source: Flickr/s0crates82

The 190-acre Eaton Canyon Natural Area lies at the base of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena in eastern Los Angeles. The area has numerous hiking trails that you can explore on your own or as part of a guided tour group. Wildlife you may observe includes mule deer, mountain lions, raccoons, foxes, and various species of snakes and lizards. The Eaton Canyon Nature Center offers park information, displays on local flora and fauna, and an activity center for children. Don’t miss a visit to the lovely 50-foot Eaton Canyon Falls.

8. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum

costumes at the fidm
Source: Flickr/kara brugman

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles highlights the costume-making industry in Hollywood and around the world. Over 15,000 costumes and accessories from the 18th century to modern times are on display. These include garments, shoes, jewelry, and fragrances. The Hollywood Costume Section contains many items from past films. The museum also exhibits numerous contemporary Academy Award nominated costumes.

9. Lake Balboa Park

waterfall at lake balboa
Source: Flickr/kara brugman

Located in the San Fernando Valley in north-central Los Angeles, beautiful Lake Balboa Park provides a refreshing relief from the city scene. Beautiful flowering cherry trees along with walking and cycling paths surround the lakeside. Facilities include picnic tables, barbecue pits, a children’s play area, and sports fields. Rent a bicycle on site to explore the trails, or rent a paddle boat and head out onto the lake. Other popular activities at the park include fishing and kite flying.

 
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