7 Epic Places in Los Angeles Every Local Is Proud Of

Venice Beach
Venice Beach | ©Annie Mole/Flickr
Juliet Bennett Rylah

Tourists love Hollywood, but locals are wont to find the crowded streets irritating. However, some attractions are just too beautiful to pretend to dislike them. From a gorgeous museum full of ancient artifacts to one of the country’s most beautiful beaches, here are seven incredible landmarks locals love to show off.

1. Getty Villa


1. Getty Villa
©CheWei Chang/Flickr
The Getty Villa is absolutely stunning. It is one-half of the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the structure itself is a recreation of a Roman country house. It also contains 44,000 historical items from Greece, Rome, and Etruria, some dating as far back as 6500 B.C. About 1,200 of these objects are regularly on display in 23 galleries, including several sculptures and daily use items. The property also boasts four gardens, a Mediterranean café, and a shop with books, jewelry, and gifts.

2. Mulholland Drive

Hiking Trail

Aerial view of Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, California
© Alpha Stock / Alamy Stock Photo
The winding Mulholland Drive is a scenic road that cuts through the Santa Monica Mountains. A relaxed cruise along this road, complete with a good soundtrack, will make anyone proud to call Los Angeles home. David Lynch, director of 2001’s Mulholland Drive, called the road “mysterious” in an interview with Filmmaker Magazine. “It’s rural in many places. It’s curvy, it’s two lanes, it feels old. It was built long ago, and it hasn’t changed too much,” he said. “And at night, you ride on top of the world. In the daytime, you ride on top of the world too, but it’s mysterious, and there’s a hair of fear because it goes into remote areas. You feel the history of Hollywood in that road.”

3. Griffith Park

Museum, Park, Zoo

4 September 2016 - Los Angeles, USA. Famous Griffith Observatory museum building on the Hollywood Hills. Many tourists visiting planetarium with sceni
© AndKa / Alamy Stock Photo
Los Angeles has one of the largest public parks in the United States, and it’s right in the middle of the city. Griffith Park is 4,000 acres of trails and untamed chaparral, with highlights including the Griffith Observatory, the L.A. Zoo, and the train museum, Travel Town. Gorgeous views and a rich history have secured the park as one of Los Angeles’s most important landmarks.

4. El Matador State Beach

Natural Feature

4. El Matador State Beach
© Pacheco / Flickr
One of the most beautiful beaches in the Los Angeles area is Malibu’s El Matador State Beach. Visitors can watch the sunset from the cliffs overhead or make their way down the steep path to the rocky shore and explore the sea caves.

Venice Beach

Closer to home is famous Venice Beach. While some may dismiss this beach as a tourist attraction, it’s hard not to feel at peace after ditching the bustling boardwalk for the warm sand and rolling waves. Nearby Santa Monica offers similar ocean views, and the Ferris wheel on the pier is visible from a considerable distance.
Venice Beach, CA, USA

Venice Beach

5. Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

Shrine, Memorial, Museum, Shop, Yoga Studio

Meditation pathway
© miheco / Flickr
When the hustle and bustle of city life gets to be too much, Angelenos can head to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. Believing that everyone, regardless of faith, should have a place to be at peace, Paramahansa Yogananda founded the Self-Realization Foundation. The picturesque area is free and open to the public, and the Meditation Garden is particularly beautiful.

6. Barnsdall Art Park

Museum, Park

Frank Lloyd Wrights Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood, Los Angeles
© Kayte Deioma / Alamy Stock Photo
The views from this hilltop park are fantastic, but there’s a lot more to it than that: Barnsdall Art Park is where nature and history intersect beautifully. The park also contains the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG), where a half-dozen exhibits featuring a diverse array of artists are displayed each year. The park is also home to the historic Hollyhock House, designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article