From the Hollywood sign to the Walk of Fame and Venice Beach, there’s no shortage of hot tourist attractions in the Los Angeles area. But if you want to get away from the crowds (and give your wallet a rest), these secret attractions are just the ticket. Get off the beaten path and into any of these amazing attractions to see LA like a savvy local.
- Miniature Garden of Whimsy
All the Hollywood glitz and glam makes it easy to forget that Los Angeles has long been home to a scrappy population of artists, but quirky public installations like the Miniature Garden of Whimsy serve as an ideal reminder. Head up into the Hollywood Hills and look for the golden Buddha statue on N. Sycamore Ave. There’s a tiny little garden of miniature figures and plants arranged against the backdrop of the LA skyline, providing a perfect photo opportunity.
- Museum of Neon Art
Los Angeles’s museums can get quite crowded, but you can ditch the lines and see some awesomely bright art at MONA, the city’s neon art museum. A variety of exhibits and classes awaits, or you can take the city’s nighttime Neon Cruise city tour to see the best bright lights in the City of Angels.
- Free Birthday Fares to Catalina Island
Catalina Island, a gorgeous channel island off the Los Angeles coast, isn’t exactly a secret — but the free boat trip on your birthday is. You can ride the Catalina Express both ways for free on your birthday, giving you a budget-friendly way of getting out into the Pacific during your LA trip.
- Mosaic Tile House
Homeowner-artist duo Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran have painstakingly transformed their Venice Beach home into a magical wonderland of mosaic installation art. This is a private home, so you’ll need to show up at designated public hours on the weekend to see it. Once you’re there, you can take some incredible photos and enjoy truly original artwork. Learn more here.
- Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn
You don’t need to shell out big bucks for a Disneyland ticket to enjoy the magical charm of Walt’s imagination in LA. head to Griffith Park and visit Mr. Disney’s personal collection of toy trains and railroad memorabilia, all housed in a vintage barn that once resided on his personal property. Learn more at carolwood.org.
- Bob Baker Marionette Theater
Housed in a vintage theater built in Hollywood’s midcentury heyday, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater offers regular puppeteering performances. This offbeat form of entertainment is a great reminder of the ways we used to keep ourselves entertained before the movie and TV industry really took off.
- West Hollywood Park Tennis Courts
LA’s sunny weather invites outdoor activity, and you can avoid the Runyon Canyon crowds by heading to WeHo for a free game of tennis at a public park instead. What makes this park in particular so special? Its spectacular views. The tennis courts are elevated above street level, giving you a gorgeous skyline panorama. For more information, click here.
- Musso and Frank Grill
Established in 1910, Musso and Frank Grill is one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles, and its interior decor reflects its old-school charm. The food is still pretty good, too, and is reasonably priced given how historic and fancy it is. Order the fettuccine alfredo — it made its United States debut at this restaurant in the 1920s!
- Holyland Exhibition
Nestled just beyond the ultra-hip neighborhoods of Los Feliz and Silverlake, the Holyland Exhibition is a small but significant personal collection of religious artifacts collected by Antonia F. Futterer, the man who’s reported to be the real-life inspiration for Indiana Jones.
- Alpine Village
Though it’s located just outside LA in the coastal city of Torrance, the Alpine Village is well worth a visit if you’re renting a car, especially if you visit during Oktoberfest season. There’s just something unforgettable and ultra-charming about the experience of German architecture in sunny Southern California.
Plan an LA getaway at allegiant.com.