So, you’re heading to Los Angeles County for the first time. Or maybe you live in L.A. County. Or maybe you’ve been here before and you’ve been there, done that with all the “standard-issue” L.A. attractions. Walk of Fame? Bo-ring. Hollywood sign? Whatever. You, my friend, are looking for something different…something unique. Something…off the beaten track. Well, look no further, my friend, because this list of interesting Los Angeles County attractions is sure to have something for everybody who is looking for something new and different to do.
This one is actually on my list of things to do in the near future. My husband is from Rancho Palos Verdes originally and we often hang out in the area visiting family and friends, so I’m surprised I haven’t made it to this one yet. In the Palos Verdes area, there is a cool hike you can do where the destination is an old shipwreck! Awesome, right? So, if you’re in the area and you want to both get some exercise and explore a very beautiful area of L.A. with some interesting history, this one’s for you! Click the link here for more information about the hike.
Tour the Sriracha Factory
If you’re like many of us here in Southern California, you can’t get enough of the delicious, spicy sriracha sauce from Huy Fong Foods. Did you know you can tour the Sriracha factory though? Sign me up! On the tour, you’ll learn about the history of Huy Fong Foods (which is interesting), and learn how this delicious sauce is made. You’ll also, of course, be able to buy all sorts of delicious sriracha memorabilia in their gift shop.
Time Travel Mart
With two locations in L.A. County to choose from, it’s convenient and fun to visit the famous Time Travel Mart. Their ‘About Us’ page describes them as such: “We are the convenience store for time travelers! We’ve been here since the beginning of time so no matter the era, we have just the thing to help you through your travels.” What you’ll really find is a funky shop filled with some of the funkiest items you can possibly imagine. It’s a great place to bring back truly odd souvenirs to your friends and family from your L.A. trip. Or, you know, for yourself.
Queen Mary Haunted Ghost Encounter
The Queen Mary is an iconic 1936 ocean liner with a permanent home in Long Beach, California. There are a lot of different tours you can take of the ship, and you can even stay on board (yes, it’s a hotel). But if you’re looking to add a little spookiness to your Queen Mary adventure, why not go on the Queen Mary Haunted Ghost Encounter tour? Voted one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America by Time magazine, the Queen Mary is sure to bring you both fright and delight!
Great Wall of LA
The Great Wall of LA is a mural designed by Judith Baca and executed with the help of over 400 community youth and artists coordinated by the Social and Public Art Resource Center. It was Baca’s first mural and SPARC’s first public art project. Its official title is The History of California. Wikipedia
If you’re in the area and you’re a fan of public art, this important cultural landmark is a great place to visit and get an appreciation for the history of Los Angeles. Here is an article with more about the wall.
Are you a fan of rabbits? Are you a fan of extremely odd attractions? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you might want to pay a visit to “The Hoppiest Place in the World,” a.k.a. The Bunny Museum. Not only will you get to view every bunny-related item you can conceivably think of, but you’ll also learn everything there is to know about bunnies, bunny lore, bunny-related history, and more. Only in L.A.
LA Coroner Shop
Ok, this is an odd one, but did you know that the L.A. Coroner’s office has a gift shop? It’s called Skeletons in the Closet, and for the past 19 years it has been attracting visitors from all over the world who want to buy strange coroner-related merchandise. Pick up items such as a chalk outline beach towel (because it IS L.A., after all), L.A. Coroner stickers, shirts, and more.
LA Waterfront Harbor Tour
Most people in L.A. don’t really visit the port all that often, but that’s a mistake because it’s an interesting part of the city. Why not try something new? Departing from San Pedro, you can take a 45 minute tour of the Los Angeles Harbor, where you will learn about the history of the port and get up close and personal with some of those big container ships. You’ll also get to view some California Sea Lions as they relax and/or play in the harbor.
Museum of Jurassic Technology
Another cool, off-kilter museum in L.A. is the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Located in Culver City, this museum is one of the wildest, wackiest, darkest, most unique places you’ll ever visit. The exhibits range on a variety of surprising topics that you never knew you wanted to know more about. If you have a passion for the odd, this is your place.
Wacko Soap Shop
Another strange L.A. institution is the Soap Plant + Wacko, also known as the Wacko Soap Shop. In this shop, you’ll find not only soap, but a variety of strange things for sale. This L.A. icon sells a variety of the strangest things imaginable, which makes it a perfect place to explore, but also a great place to pick up a truly odd and unique souvenir from your trip to Los Angeles. Who needs another I Love L.A. t-shirt, anyway?
Last, but not least, I wanted to mention Watts Towers, which is an art installation from the 1920’s that was the vision of one man, Sabato Rodia, an Italian immigrant to the United States. Although the Watts neighborhood isn’t exactly a favorite among visitors to Los Angeles, these towers are an interesting, important part of L.A. history and are definitely worth the visit.
Stay tuned for part 2, where I will write about even more interesting, off-the-beaten-track things to do in L.A. Bye for now!