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Venice Beach|©Annie Mole/Flickr
Venice Beach|©Annie Mole/Flickr

7 Epic Places in Los Angeles Every Local Is Proud Of

Picture of Juliet Bennett Rylah
Updated: 9 May 2017

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.

Getty Villa

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.

Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA, USA, +1 310 440 7300

Mulholland Drive

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.”

Mulholland Drive, CA, USA

Griffith Park

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.

Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA

El Matador State Beach

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.

El Matador State Beach, 32350 El Matador Beach Road, Malibu, CA, USA

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

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

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.

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA, USA, +1 310 454 4114

Barnsdall Art Park

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.

Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, CA, USA

The Hollyhock House | © Juliet Bennett Rylah