Alternative Things to Do in Los Angeles

You have gone to Los Angeles’ most popular attractions: Disneyland, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and beaches such as Venice Beach and Long Beach. You may have “shopped til you dropped” at the luxury stores along Rodeo Drive, screamed at the top of your lungs on one of those rides at Universal Studios, or peered into the telescopes to look for heavenly bodies at the Griffith Observatory.

But Los Angeles offers endless opportunities to explore and enjoy, including activities that seem to be not too mainstream, or otherwise “off-the-beaten-path” and un-”touristy.” They border on the weird and even somewhat on the morbid. These will certainly add to your bucket list when you plan to go on a holiday in the Los Angeles county and its most famous city of the same name. Sometimes when traveling, the greatest delights and rewards come from the unexpected.

To know more about the other side of Los Angeles that many people may not know, read this interesting article “Interesting Facts about Los Angeles.”

1) Visit the Evergreen Cemetery
Cemeteries may not be everyone’s idea of a tourist spot. However, many of the most popular cemeteries are quite scenic. Most of all though, these cemeteries’ tourist-drawing power comes from the fact that many of the notable historical figures are buried there. And Los Angeles’ Evergreen Cemetery seems to have these qualities.

Evergreen Cemetery is located in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in downtown Los Angeles. Founded in 1877, it is the city’s oldest cemetery. A visit to this cemetery will matter more to you if you are an ardent devotee of some of the famous people buried here. Some of the well-known politicians (notably the city’s past mayors), war veterans, actors, musicians, sports figures, religious leaders and early American pioneers are interred at the Evergreen Cemetery. Among the most notable names include Bobby Nunn, Johnny St. Cyr and Van Nuys.

2) Explore Descanso Gardens
When you think that the popular Huntington Library gardens are too crowded (and too mainstream to your taste), Descanso Gardens would be an ideal alternative. This 150-acre botanical garden is located in the city of La Canada Flintridge in Los Angeles county. It is open all-year round and features several areas to explore such as the oak forests, the Lilac Garden, a Japanese garden, and probably the most popular the Rose Garden.

But the great thing about Descano Gardens is that it is less touristy, less crowded and much quieter, but just as gorgeous as the other botanical gardens in L.A. So enjoy the beauty and wonder of Mother Nature in relative peace and tranquility.

3) Discover the city’s “storybook architecture”
Los Angeles has an established reputation as the “city of dreams.” That’s why it’s not too odd that a style of architecture called “storybook” flourished in L.A. during the 1920s-1930s, but rarely became popular elsewhere in the United States.

As the name implies, this type of architecture is characterized by a sense of whimsy and playfulness. Mismatched doors and windows, deliberately uneven roofs and cobblestone-lined pavements are some of the most notable elements of the storybook architecture – just like the illustrations of houses that you find on storybooks. Some fine examples are the Hobbit House in Culver City, the Witches’ House and Harry Oliver’s Spadena House (both in Beverly Hills) and the Charlie Chaplin Cottages as well as the Snow White Cottages, (both located in Los Angeles city). If you want to live out your fairy tale dreams and fantasies, visit to any of these storybook houses.

4) Indulge your sweet cravings at Sweet!
If you are someone who has a sweet tooth, then Sweet! will be your ultimate candy paradise! Located along Hollywood Boulevard, Sweet! is not your ordinary candy store. Highlights include a chocolate lab where you can concoct your own sweet creations, and the Wonka Inventing Room which documents Willy Wonka’s bittersweet epic travels that inspired his famous chocolates. Visitors will be in for a delight by taking personal tasting tours, playing candy-themed games and of course shopping for lots of great variety of candies.

Sweet! is the biggest and the most extravagant candy store in the city, so if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth to the highest level possible, it’s certain that you wouldn’t want to miss this place.

5) Pig out at 626 Night Market
Los Angeles is not just a melting pot of cultures, but also a melting pot of different cuisines. The 626 Night Market festival, held only every summer, is the perfect event to gorge on a crazy array of food (predominantly Asian food) that you can ever think of. There are mouthwatering barbecues, yummy tacos, delectable seafood, the popular crazy milkshakes, and many more. It’s a paradise for every foodie and gourmand alike.

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