Los Angeles is probably one of the best cities to visit if you want a wide range of activities and adventures to choose from. Both the surrounding nature and urban areas hide dozens of cool places and experiences but in this list we wanted to introduce you to our top 7 favorites.
1. DTLA underground tunnels
According to multiple sources there are around a total of 11 miles of underground tunnels in Los Angeles that used to serve as a transportation network for alcohol during the prohibition times in the 1920s and early 1930s. In more recent history the tunnels have been used to transport dangerous criminals and cash for banks, they’ve also appeared in dozens of movies. Although the tunnels are officially closed to public it’s still possible to sneak in for those curious enough to try. The only section of the tunnels that has a relatively easily accessible entrance is located next to the Los Angeles County Hall of Records. To find this hidden gem you need to go to the elevator located here in the Grand Park. Here’s a great video that shows you exactly what to do when you get there.
2. The Bridge to Nowhere
Looking for a full day adventure? Well, look no further, if you live in the Los Angeles area. The bridge was built in 1936 in the San Gabriel Mountains, it was supposed to be a part of the The East Fork Road project that got abandoned after a major flood in 1928, and so the bridge remains stranded, going nowhere. To get to this scenic location you need to prepare yourself for a 10 mile hike down the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, following the path of the attempted highway. Bring lot’s of water if you go during the summer season, and be extra careful (and properly equipped) if you decide to attempt the hike during winter months as water levels can be high, and you do need to cross the river multiple times. Bungee America also hosts bungee jumping events there through most of the year on weekends. Be sure to consider jumping with them! The trail starts here.
3. Sunken City
90 years ago a landslide in San Pedro caused multiple beachside homes to be swallowed by the ocean. Ever since then the location has been known as the Sunken City and reveals a view of broken streets, house foundations and streetcar tracks that once were a part of a fancy neighborhood. The Sunken City has appeared on multiple movies and TV shows. Although the location is enclosed by a fence it’s pretty easy to get around it, and many people do. There are some sources online that say that violators, if caught trespassing, can face a fine of up to a $1000, however we couldn’t find a case where someone was actually fined. But, as always, you’ll have to explore this hidden gem at your own risk.
Click here to see where to go.
4. Time Travel Mart
Are you a time traveler or want to become one? Then Time Travel Mart is where you go to do your shopping. You can purchase everything starting from barbarian repellant spray and emergency mummy kit all the way to portable wormholes, robot milk and anti cloning fluid. “Whenever you are, we’re already then” is the phrase they go by, and they don’t disappoint. There are 2 Time Travel Marts, one is located in Echo Park and the other one in Mar Vista.
5. Wayfarers Chapel
Wayfarers Chapel, also known as “The Glass Church” is located in Rancho Palos Verdes, about 30 miles from Downtown Los Angeles. This architectural gem was designed by Lloyd Wright (son of Frank Lloyd Wright) in the late 1940s, and finished construction in 1951. The Chapel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It began as a dream in the mind of Elizabeth Schellenberg, a member of the Swedenborgian Church, and was originally built to serve as a place for wayfarers to stop by to rest, meditate and pray. Nowadays it serves mostly as a scenic wedding place and hosts around 800 weddings each year. Click here to navigate to this beautiful place.
6. The Last Bookstore
Founded in 2005 by Josh Spencer, an avid book lover, The Last Bookstore was started in a Downtown Los Angeles loft, but quickly grew to its current location occupying 22,000 sq. ft. on S Spring Street. Josh says that the name was chosen with irony, but seems more appropriate with each passing day as physical bookstores die out like dinosaurs from the meteoric impact of Amazon and e-books. Comfy couches and chairs around the store allow you to sit down with a book you like and enjoy it for a bit. It’s worth a visit even if you’re not a book lover yourself – the place has a special vibe and has multiple Instagram friendly sculptures / installations made of damaged book copies. Here’s a beautiful short documentary by Chad Howitt that tells you more about this wonderful place, and here’s how to get there.
7. The Magic Castle
The Magic Castle is a performance venue, restaurant and private club for magicians and magic enthusiasts, as well as the clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, located in Hollywood. To get in you either have to be a magician from the Academy of Magical Arts, know a member (to get a guest invitation) or stay at the nearby Magic Castle Hotel. The lobby of the Castle has no visible doors to the interior, and visitors must say a secret phrase to a sculpture of an owl to gain access (how cool is that?). Amazing food and drinks, scheduled magic shows and spontaneous magic performances are what await you inside. The Magic Castle is probably one of the most mysterious and intriguing places in the Los Angeles area. Go here to check it out.
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