LA Unplugged: Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures and Must-See Attractions

Discover Los Angeles

Traveling to Los Angeles is an exhilarating experience that promises a vibrant blend of culture, entertainment, and natural beauty. As you arrive in the City of Angels, you’re greeted by the iconic palm-lined streets, where the allure of Hollywood’s glamour and the laid-back beach lifestyle converge. From the star-studded sidewalks of the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the sun-kissed shores of Santa Monica and Venice Beach, Los Angeles offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Whether you’re chasing the perfect wave in Malibu, hiking to the iconic Hollywood Sign, or admiring the breathtaking views from Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles captivates with its endless possibilities and infectious energy, inviting you to create memories that will last a lifetime.


Best time to visit
Best places to visit

Three Fun Facts About Los Angeles


In-N-Out Burger

The beloved fast-food chain, famous for its fresh burgers and secret menu, originated in Baldwin Park, California, in 1948. The company’s first drive-thru location opened in 1948 in nearby Pasadena.


The Hollywood Sign

Originally erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a real estate development, the iconic Hollywood Sign originally read “Hollywoodland.” The last four letters were removed in 1949, but the sign remained a symbol of the entertainment industry.


The La Brea Tar Pits

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the La Brea Tar Pits are one of the world’s most famous fossil sites. Over the years, thousands of Ice Age fossils have been unearthed from the tar pits, including mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and dire wolves.


Must See Attractions

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Griffith Observatory

Nature & parks

Perched atop Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory offers breathtaking views of the Los Angeles skyline and the iconic Hollywood Sign. Visitors can explore fascinating exhibits on space and astronomy and enjoy stargazing through telescopes.

Santa Monica Pier

Nature & parks

Iconic and lively, Santa Monica Pier offers classic California fun with its amusement park rides, arcade games, street performers, and panoramic ocean views. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a day of family-friendly entertainment.

Universal Studios Hollywood


A must-visit for movie buffs and thrill-seekers alike, Universal Studios Hollywood offers behind-the-scenes tours, thrilling rides, and live entertainment based on popular films and TV shows.

Lakes Near Los Angeles

Hey there, outdoor enthusiast! Looking to sprinkle your Los Angeles getaway with a touch of nature? Well, have I got some splashy spots for you! Let’s talk lakes—those scenic, refreshing escapes just a hop, skip, and jump from the city hustle. Whether you’re in it for the sport or just to chill by the shore, L.A.’s lakes are pretty darn cool, right? Pack that sunscreen and get ready to make a splash on your next vacation!

Big Bear Lake

40824 Big Bear Boulevard Big Bear Lake, California 92315

Ah, the jewel of the San Bernardino Mountains! It’s not just the panoramic views that’ll catch your breath – this lake’s a playground for fishing, boating, and kayaking lovers like you. And guess what? It transforms into a picturesque winter wonderland, complete with snow.

Distance from LA: 98 miles
Swimming, stand up paddleboarding, boating, fishing

Lake Gregory

24171 Lake Drive, Crestline, California 92325

Located near Crestline, Lake Gregory is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and recreational opportunities. Visitors can swim in the designated swim area, rent paddleboats, or enjoy picnics by the shore.

Distance from LA: 75 miles
Paddleboarding, swimming, kayaking

Castaic Lake

32132 Castaic Lake Drive, Castaic, California 91384

Situated northwest of Los Angeles, Castaic Lake is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and camping. The lake is known for its large population of bass, making it a favorite destination for anglers.

Distance from LA: 42 miles
Fishing, boating, hiking, camping

Secret Fishing Destinations Near Los Angeles

Hey, you! So, you’re hankering for a fishing adventure around Los Angeles? Cast your worries aside, let’s reel in some of the coolest spots where you can land your next big catch. Remember, these spots are popular for a reason. Whether you’re new to the hobby or a seasoned pro, LA’s fishing destinations have something to offer. Get out there and see what you can hook!

Malibu Pier

23000 CA-1, Malibu, California 90265

Just imagine yourself standing with the surf tickling your toes as you cast your line off Malibu Pier. You’re not only surrounded by stunning vistas but also a variety of fish that make your trip out more than worthwhile. The Pacific’s treasures await, from surfperch to rockfish.

Fishing: Pier, shoreline
Species: Halibut, mackerel, perch

Venice Beach Pier

3100 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, California 90291

Next stop, Venice Beach! Grab your fishing pole and take a stroll along the iconic Venice Fishing Pier. Don’t have your own gear? No sweat, rental spots are there for you to snag some equipment. It’s a perfect chance to mix a bit of people-watching with your fishing.

Fishing: Pier, shoreline 
Surfperch, croaker, halibut, mackerel, bonito

Santa Monica Pier

200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California 90401

Santa Monica Pier is a jewel for anglers. Its proximity to LA makes for easy access to excellent fishing grounds. A little birdy told me you might catch mackerel or even halibut there.

Fishing: Pier, shoreline 
Surfperch, croaker, halibut, mackerel, bonito

Top Hiking Trails 1 Hour From LA

Have you been dreaming of a little outdoor escape? Just an hour from the buzz of Los Angeles, you’ll find yourself surrounded by natural landscapes offering serene rural charm. Imagine trading city skylines for panoramic views and the chance to spot some local wildlife. Isn’t it time you laced up those hiking boots? Don’t forget, each trail invites you to breathe in the fresh air and marvel at the sprawling natural vistas. Could there be a more refreshing way to spend your vacation? So, what are you waiting for? Adventure is just around the corner!

Backbone Trail Loop

1667 Stunt Rd, Calabasas, California 91302

The Backbone Trail Loop, nestled within the stunning Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California, offers a captivating outdoor adventure for hikers and nature enthusiasts alike. Spanning approximately 67 miles, this trail loop winds through diverse landscapes, including lush forests, rocky ridges, and panoramic vistas overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Distance: 7.7 miles
Elevation Gain:
 615 m
Time to Complete:
4.5 hours

Ferndell to the West Observatory Loop Trail to Griffith Observatory

Fern Dell Dr, Los Angeles, California 90027

Beginning at the enchanting Ferndell Nature Center, where lush foliage and trickling streams create a serene ambiance, hikers embark on a scenic route that gradually ascends through Griffith Park. As the trail unfolds, panoramic views of the sprawling cityscape emerge, juxtaposed with pockets of tranquil wilderness. Upon reaching the West Observatory Loop Trail, the path meanders further through fragrant chaparral and rugged terrain, providing glimpses of native flora and occasional wildlife sightings.

Distance: 4.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 
187 m
Time to Complete:
1.5 hours

Wisdom Tree and Mount Lee

Wonder View Trailhead, Wonder View Dr, Los Angeles, California 90068

Beginning at the rugged trails of Griffith Park, hikers ascend through chaparral-covered slopes, catching glimpses of native wildlife and panoramic views of the sprawling Los Angeles basin. As the trail winds its way upward, the iconic silhouette of the Hollywood Sign comes into view, serving as a beacon for the journey ahead.

Distance: 4 miles
Elevation Gain: 
428 m
Time to Complete:
3 hours

Best Golf Courses Near Los Angeles

Fancy a game of golf, surrounded by the Californian sun and stunning landscapes? Los Angeles isn’t just about the glitz and glam; it’s a hotspot for sports aficionados like you! From the rolling fairways to world-class amenities, LA’s golf scene is teed up to impress. With 67 courses within just a 15-mile radius of LA—including 46 public and 21 private ones, plus 43 18-hole and 24 nine-hole layouts—your perfect golf day is just a short drive away. So, what’s your pick going to be? Book, swing, and enjoy the California golf experience of a lifetime!

Rancho Park Public Golf Course

10460 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90064

With its rich history dating back to the 1940s, this 18 hole championship course has been a favorite destination for golfers of all skill levels, including professional golfers and celebrities. Designed by William Johnson and William P. Bell, the course features tree-lined fairways, challenging bunkers, and well-manicured greens that provide a memorable and enjoyable round of golf.

Holes: 18
William Johnson

Visit their website for more information

Griffith Park Courses

4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, California 90027

Both courses feature well-maintained greens and fairways, as well as practice facilities and a clubhouse with dining options. With its scenic beauty, historic charm, and convenient location near downtown Los Angeles, Griffith Park Courses provide an unforgettable golfing experience for locals and visitors alike.

Holes: 18
George C. Thomas Jr.

Visit their website for more information

Oak Quarry Golf Club

7151 Sierra Ave., Riverside, California 92509

If you only ever get to play one course in Muskoka, then let it be Muskoka Bay. Its pristine environment oversees a Championship course that would prove a worthy opponent to even the best golfers, without scaring off the enthusiastic newbie. Overall, it is regarded as Muskoka’s best golf course, and one of the best in Ontario, Canada, and the world at large.

Holes: 18
Dr. Gil Morgan

Visit their website for more information

Tips on Renting a Vacation Property in Los Angeles

Define Your Needs and Budget

Determine your specific needs and preferences for the vacation rental, such as the number of bedrooms, amenities (pool, parking, Wi-Fi, etc.), location preferences (beachfront, downtown, etc.), and budget. This will help narrow down your options and make it easier to find the perfect property.

Read Reviews and Check Ratings

Before booking a vacation rental, read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of their experiences. Pay attention to ratings and feedback regarding cleanliness, communication with the host, accuracy of the listing, and overall satisfaction.

Review the Rental Agreement

Carefully review the rental agreement or terms of service before booking to understand the cancellation policy, house rules, check-in/out times, and any other important details or restrictions.

Secure Payment Methods

Use secure payment methods when booking the vacation rental, such as credit cards or trusted online payment platforms, to protect your financial information and ensure a smooth transaction.

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Jet Skiing

Hey there, looking to find the perfect spot for your LA getaway? Here’s the lowdown to make sure your vacation rental is all you’ve ever dreamed of!

Did you know that Los Angeles vacation rentals can give you a taste of Hollywood glam without making a dent in your wallet? With a nod to the area’s cinematic fame, some rentals near Hollywood Boulevard offer themed accommodations. Imagine staying in a place that’s a stone’s throw away from the iconic Walk of Fame.

Let’s talk innovation. The film industry and Silicon Beach’s tech hubs have created a culture of innovation that spills over into vacation rentals. Vacation homes in Los Angeles offer some of the most cutting-edge amenities. From smart homes to eco-friendly features, these properties are often equipped with the latest technology to make your stay as comfortable and intriguing as possible.

Are you ready to dive into the vibrant city life of Los Angeles? This city isn’t just about stars and the big screen; it’s a melting pot of culture, food, and experiences! Remember those famous spots: Santa Monica Pier, Staples Center, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. They’re more than just landmarks; they’re experiences.

Alright, got your attention? Fabulous! Now’s the time to find your perfect LA rental and immerse yourself in the Californian way of life. Happy travels!

Location, Location, Location!

Remember, when picking out your dream LA rental, consider those one-of-a-kind options that can add an extra sparkle to your vacation narrative! Think about your LA vibe. Wanna wake up to ocean views in Santa Monica? Or maybe you’re keen on soaking up the glitz in Beverly Hills? Remember, LA’s big, so a central spot means less time in traffic. Ever thought about sleeping on water? While beach culture is quintessential to the LA experience, some vacation rental spots take it up a notch. How about a cabin that floats? Yes, floating cabins are a thing, and they can accommodate up to four guests. You’re not just close to the water; you are on the water!

Where to Stay
In LA, neighborhoods define your stay. Fancy waking up to beachy air? Try a cozy vacation rental in Santa Monica near the iconic pier, or Venice for bohemian vibes. More of a nightlife person? West Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) serve up sleek condos just a hop from the action.

Iconic Views
Hollywood dreams are made in the Hollywood Hills, home to jaw-dropping views. Consider a private loft here, especially if Universal Studios is on your to-visit list. Or, for that postcard-perfect scenic backdrop, Malibu or Beverly Hills are sure bets.

Quick Trips
Disneyland: The magic of Disney is just a drive away.
Santa Barbara and Palm Springs: For that quick escape from city life.
San Diego: A couple of hours south for a change of scene.

Cultural Hotspots
Little Tokyo and Koreatown: Perfect for authentic Asian cuisine.
Silver Lake: Where the cool kids roam, with indie shops and hip hangouts.
Laurel Canyon: Music history buffs, this one’s for you.

Home Sweet Home

Whether it’s a sun-drenched studio with a rooftop patio or a sprawling house rental with enough rooms for the whole crew, know what you need. Are multiple bathrooms a must? Got to have a hot tub to unwind? Make a checklist!

Don’t Forget the Perks!

High-speed Wi-Fi: Because how else are you gonna stream Netflix or work remotely?
Air Conditioning: Essential for the LA heat.
Free Parking: A true gem in the city.
Pet-friendly: If your furry friend is tagging along.

Modern Conveniences

Consider what you can’t live without. A full kitchen with an electric cooktop or just a microwave oven and a fridge for snacks? Want to start your day with a Keurig coffee or need an Amazon Echo to check the weather?

Getting Around
LAX is your gateway in and out, but the city’s sprawl means a car rental might be your friend.

Budgeting Made Easy

Prices vary, but you gotta budget! Search for vacation home deals to save cash, or if you’re after luxury, splurge on a condo with a private entrance and exclusive furnishings, including original artwork.

The Final Touches

Is the cleanliness up to par? How’s the central heating? Remember to check for those little things that make all the difference, like fresh towels, linen, or even a pullout sofa for an extra guest.

With these tips, you’re set to book a vacation rental that ticks all your boxes! Happy hunting!

Frequently Asked Questions about Los Angeles

For a lavish stay, websites like AvantStay® offer luxury Los Angeles vacation homes. These sites provide a broad range of upscale properties, ensuring a touch of glamour to your visit.

Absolutely! Airbnb and other rental sites feature numerous Los Angeles properties with pools. Whether you’re looking for an apartment or a house, you’ll find options with refreshing private or shared pools.

No need to leave your pets behind! Many Los Angeles vacation rentals on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO accommodate furry companions. Just apply the pet-friendly filter to fetch the perfect spot.

You’re in luck! Venues like Venice Beach offer vacation homes with stunning oceanfront views. Check listings on popular rental sites and wake up to the sound of the surf.

For those planning a lengthy escape, several platforms provide long-term rental options. Sites like Rent By Owner™ often list properties available for extended stays at various price points.

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy LA. Platforms like Rent By Owner™ list affordable condos starting from $14 per night. Securing a weekly rental could offer even greater savings.

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