California—and especially the area around Los Angeles—is full of things to explore...but sometimes you want to take a step off the beaten path. If you're looking for things to do in California and LA but want to avoid the usual busy stops, then check out these 10 unique attractions!
The Last Bookstore
A used bookstore located in an old bank, The Last Bookstore has taken some design cues from its predecessor. The marble pillars and intricate details remain, but now the walls are filled with nearly every book you could imagine. You'll also find sculptures made out of damaged old books and hidden corners with special displays.
Way back in 1929, there was a massive landslide just off the coast of Los Angeles in the small community of San Pedro. As the land slipped into the sea, it took several homes, sidewalks, streets, and structures along with it. You can still find the ruins of the landslide, and it's now a popular hiking spot.
Odds are, you've seen Bronson Cave before—it's a favorite filming spot in Hollywood and was featured as the Batcave in the 1960s Batman TV series. An old quarry in Griffith Park is home to the man-made cave, and the round-trip hike to the spot is only 2/3 of a mile total!
Just off 25th Street in Venice Beach, you'll find California's take on the Venice Canals. The waterways are lined with sidewalks and bridges and are perfect for a peaceful little stroll away from the hustle and bustle.
The Watts Towers took 33 years to build, largely because a single man was behind their construction. Italian immigrant Sabato Rodia built the towers with a hodgepodge of materials, including steel, concrete, wire mesh, porcelain, and glass. Started in 1921, the finished towers are still standing today, rising as far as 99.5 feet into the sky (nearly 10 stories high) in some places.
The Abandoned Zoo at Griffith Park
Out for a hike in Griffith Park and looking for a picnic spot? The Old LA Zoo used to be located in Griffith Park before relocating, and you can still find traces scattered around the park, including large and small animal enclosures. Picnic benches have been moved into some of the larger enclosures, so it's the perfect place to stop and explore for a bit.
Take a step back into the Wild West, just a short day trip away from Los Angeles. Pioneertown was built in the 1940s as a filming location, but it's far from a ghost town—in fact, you'll find tons of businesses operating in the town! Check out the rustic 20-room inn, browse the goods at MazAmar Art Pottery, and see if you can catch a mock gunfight on Main Street.
Fork in the Road
Head to Pasadena, and you'll come to a literal fork in the road—seriously. Located at the intersection of Pasadena and St. John Avenue, the Fork in the Road stands 18-feet high and has been dubbed as "Fork Plaza" by locals.
California Cactus Center
Looking to add to your succulent collection? The California Cactus Center in Pasadena is filled with both common and rare cacti and succulents, but they specialize in providing especially hard-to-find specimens from all around the world. Even if you aren't looking to add a plant to your collection, their unique inventory is well-worth a browse!
Vintage Arcade Superstore
Miss the days of hanging out at the arcade and beating your high score in Asteroids? Located in Glendale, the Vintage Arcade Superstore houses the largest collection of used classic arcade and pinball games in the state. If you aren't looking to by a machine, you can rent out their showroom for parties and special events and enjoy freeplay on over 50 machines.
Explore Life in California
There's a lot to love in California, and we're here to make sure you don't miss any of the highlights. Take some time to explore our other guides to life in the area, browse our buying resources, and let us know if you have any questions. Once you're ready to get started on your real estate journey—whether you're looking to buy your dream home or sell for top dollar—we're here to help!