How can I say I’m from Southern, California and not know about these places??!!
Like usual I never know what I want to do for my birthday. I’m not a party person so I wanted to find something that was fun, relaxing, stress-free, but adventurous. I’ve been wanting to use my camera more and explore places so I started looking up Hidden Treasures of Los Angeles.
You think you’ve seeing it all being born in LA but when I started to google search I saw that there are so many places that I’ve never been to. Or fun historical facts that I am a total nerd for.
So as I continued to search and I came across this sight
The title read:
Discover 149 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in Los Angeles, California
This sight is awesome because it doesn’t just give you the touristy stuff, it gives you secret places that not a lot of people (like me) know about. So I looked through all 149 places and picked 9. There were also 4 other stops on my list from places I’ve heard about from friends, making it 13 all together. I had to fit as much as I could in one day but I’ll be back for the rest of them.
I planned the whole day out, printed copies of all the stops and the history behind them.
My boyfriend Joshua even rented an amazing FORD MUSTANG for our day of fun. He’s the best. Thanks Enterprise Rent-A-Car for hooking it up!!
While Josh took care of the paperwork, I drove my car to my moms to drop off Juliet (MY PUPPY BABY GIRL) since we’d be gone all day. Josh met me there with a Candy Apple Red 2016 FORD MUSTANG and STARBUCKS!
My usual order: Grande Soy Cappuccino with two extra add shots and a Spinach Feta Wrap.
(Little fun fact about me: I LOVE CARS especially fast ones. I got to drive a lamborghini over 100 miles an hr before. Super fun & super scary but loved every minute of it.)
After leaving my parents house we were on our way. Luckily we beat morning traffic, so instead of taking us the usual 50mins to an 1hr (driving from O.C) it only took us 35 mins. Leave after 930 and you’ll be good.
Here are some shots I took along the way.
THE LAST BOOKSTORE (From the link posted above)
The Last Bookstore is located in Downtown Los Angeles off 5th and South Spring St.
You walk in, if you have a purse or bag you have to check them in and then you come across 6 large marble pillars and a working bank vault. That’s right, this Bookstore is housed in an old abandoned bank. Pretty awesome. Take a look at some pictures down below:
The downstairs area is filled with different genres such as; Film, Music, Poetry, Comics, the Children’s Section and one of the largest selections of classic records in California.
There’s also a desk to sell or donate books as well as a sitting area. The only downside to The Last Bookstore is that they DO NOT have public restrooms.
The upstairs is where all the cute Instagram Pictures come from when you search #thelastbookstore . The books are uniquely stacked, hidden nooks throughout the area, art work, antique artifacts, a gift shop, and more.
If you love books, vintage things and art, you will love this place. There’s no time limit on how long you can stay. However they do have a time limit on the chairs and couches only when it’s crowded, so everyone can get a chance to sit & relax.
This is a great place to buy books at very reasonable prices starting from $1.00. We got there around 10:30 am (Monday) and it was pretty empty. We left around 12pm and boy did it start to get crowded. So the early you go the better. Especially if you want to get your pictures in upstairs. If you’re just going to find books and chill, your good. Perfect 1st stop.
Before our second stop we decided to grab a little more caffeine at an adorable coffee shop called
BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE
If you are a coffee lover you will appreciate the taste of this coffee. The company vowed that they would only sell coffee within 48 hours of roasting because they wanted their customers to enjoy the ascent to peak flavor.
I’m a usually a black coffee person so I just got a cold brew and the taste was delicious. It had a little fresh (fruity) taste not overpowering, believe me you can still taste the pure coffee, it was just different. I really enjoyed it. Next time I go I want to try their Avocado Toast and their New Orleans Style Iced Coffee. It looked delicious.
Check out their website for locations and read about their history pretty fascinating.
The coffee shop was a 7-10 minute walk from The Last Bookstore, on the corner of South Broadway.
Which happened to be right next to our Second Stop:
THE BRADBURY BUILDING
This building is GORGEOUS! You walk inside, no lights are needed because the whole lobby/courtyard is filled with natural light from a skylight. Just look at that architecture built by GEORGE WYMAN. Despite the fact that Wyman had no formal qualifications as an architect, mining millionaire Lewis Bradbury was inspired by George’s sketches and asked him to construct a landmark building in downtown Los Angeles.
It has been said that the architecture was heavily influenced by the utopian sci-fi novel “Looking Backward” by Edward Bellamy. The Bradbury Building was also used as a set for many movies like the original BLADE RUNNER, TV shows, music videos, and video game designs.
The building is still in use, so you’re only allowed on the first floor. Still worth checking out. The architecture alone is incredible.
Since we were so close to GRAND CENTRAL MARKET we decided to make an extra stop. My first time ever going there and man do they have food options! I need to go back once a month or better yet once a week to try all the places. Talk about a melting pot of food. Who’s going to join me?
Josh wanted to grab a bite to eat. He ordered an amazing handmade PUPUSA from Sarita’s Pupuseria.
If you are a foodie, Grand Central Market is your spot. Check out their website for a full list of all their vendors: http://www.grandcentralmarket.com/
I really wanted to try EGGSLUT….
But the line was seriously wrapped around the place. I guess I just have to go back on Monday…
3rd stop: ST. VINCENT COURT
Want to feel like you’re in Europe? Well, St. Vincent Court does exactly that. A little alleyway between Broadway and Hill St. with plaster facades and a brick-paved street with little restaurants & coffee shops.
If you feel like escaping from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is a perfect spot to relax and take your “Italian siesta”.
We made our way out of Downtown to Hollywood. We unfortunately didn’t make the Underground Tunnels of Los Angeles. I read that they recently closed down exploration of the tunnels but I was still going to try. Due to time and the possibility of not even being able to see it, I decided to pass.
*The Underground Tunnels of LA became passageways to basement speakeasies during the prohibition era.
If you want to try and see them, you have to enter the County of Los Angeles Hall of Records building, follow some red signs talking about the tunnels and eventually you’re supposed to find an old, creepy elevator to take you all the way down. I wish I could’ve done this but a lot of current reviews did say it was very unlikely because they have officials stopping you. Apparently more and more people have been wanting to check it out.
THE MUSEUM OF DEATH
The Museum of Death is the World’s largest collection of serial killer artwork and other macabre exhibits. You are probably wondering why I would choose a place like this, maybe it’s the actor in me but I love watching channels like Investigation Discovery and learning about the people behind these crimes. I think its because its hard for me to fathom their thought process on why they do these horrible acts. But I will say after spending maybe 30 mins my stomach could not handle it.
The museum is mostly articles, artifacts and pictures of these people and their crimes. It was just waaay to much for me. I’d rather just stick to watching Investigation Discovery. I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. But hey, I checked it off my list.
The remains of LA’s first punk club
I am a huge fan of music and the history behind it. So to know that this building is where the Punk scene started in Los Angeles is so cool to me. Just imagining all those talented bands like, Rhino 39, The Alley Cats & the Go-Go’s performing here, I find fascinating. The club itself closed down years ago and is now private property to:
I did get a chance to take some photos of the alley entrance and its original graffiti from when the club opened in 1977. Let’s just say I may or may not have laid on the sidewalk to get these shots.
This next stop is by far one of my favorites from the day:
Located in Bronson Canyon in the Hollywood Hills.
Once you park start walking up to the hiking trail and when you get to the fire road on your right side walk for about 10 mins and you’ll come across a very sci-fi looking landscape.
A few more feet and you’ll find the man-made cave.
Since the early 1900s The Bronson Cave was used for many movie sets and television shows like; Flash Gordon (1936), Dick Tracy Returns, The Lone Ranger, The A-Team and the original BATMAN series starring the late Adam West, just to name a few. It’s crazy to think about the history and people that walked these trails.
Once you exit the cave, you come across an awesome rock formation.
And then you see the HOLLYWOOD SIGN perfectly.
I highly recommend this spot. Just make sure to bring water.
Josh and I decided to take a break from sight-seeing and grab some lunch at BIRDS http://birdshollywood.com/
A delicious restaurant/bar off Franklin Ave in Hollywood. Great food, great service and great people watching.
By this point it was around 4pm and we were both pretty worn out. Walking around in 90 degree weather takes a toll. So we decided to see one more place and then take a breather by watching DUNKIRK at the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Blvd.
Our 7th stop:
THE MUSIC BOX STEPS
These steps are featured in the 1932 classic film THE MUSIC BOX, starring LAUREL and HARDY the famous silent-film comedy duo. This is the place where they tried carrying a massive piano up along the flight of stairs. Movie History buff…right here..
We started to drive to the Cinerama Dome. Here are some shots I got along the way.
The movie was really good. If you’ve never seen a movie at the Dome you should.
I had to post this video…this is Josh being … Josh.
We decided to make two last stops. I wasn’t able to complete everything I had planned but I’ll save them for another day.
Everyone needs to visit this spot, the view is absolutely breathtaking.
Final stop for the day…….
Whoever owns this home, is the coolest person. The Chandelier tree is exactly that it’s a tree with a bunch of chandeliers in them. So glad I got to see this gem. I definitely want to do this to my house one day.
Well those are all the stops I was able to do. I had such a wonderful day exploring the city, it really made me appreciate and love where I’m from.
I can’t wait for my next day of exploration!
Leave me a comment on a spot you’d like to visit that I talked about or suggestions on new places that I should try out.
Thanks for stopping and have a great week!
You are adorable Danielle! So proud of you for starting your blog. I enjoyed reading about your birthday adventures and looking at your amazing photos! Cheers to another year!
Love, sequoia’s bestie Honey 🙂
Honey!!! That means the world to me! Thank you for reading!! We should go on an adventure with Sab & Sequoia!! Girls Day!! Love you!!
I love this post! I felt like I was right there with you guys! Amazing pics! So proud of you sos! XOXO
Thanks sos!! It was awesome! My favorite was the Bronson cave, Angels point…I liked a lot. We should go on adventure with sequoia & honey!
Bronson Cave forsure my favorite
Thanks Joey! That was one of my favorite stops!!! so cool!
You should organize tours! Looks like fun!
Meghan I would love to!!!! Lets get a group together and explore!!! Thanks so much reading! xoxo
Beautiful photos! We went to The Last Bookstore yesterday. We didn’t stay nearly long enough. I want to go check out the Musicbox Stairs! The Bronson Cave is fun. Bonnie, Nikki, Blake, Heather, Jim, and I went there on our way back from hiking up to the Hollywood sign. That is a fun hike if you have never done it. But wait until the weather cools off a bit.
Francie!! Thanks so much for reading! I had a blast. I’ll definitely go back to do the hike! And you’re right, I couldn’t do it in this heat. Hope you had a blast at the bookstore!! Muah!
I LOVE your blog Dani! Your such a great writer! I also love off the beaten path finds! definetly checking out that book store with my kids and so glad we have a blue bottle in LA, didn’t realize that. Been to the one in SF a few times! Looking forward to your future posts!! ❤ Lanette
So glad you liked it!! I had so much fun!! I loooooved Blue Bottle!!! I really want to try some of their food it looked amazing. You will LOVE the bookstore, I wish I could’ve stayed longer. Thanks so much for reading!! xoxo
So glad I found your blog. I worked with Josh @ WACC. I grew up in LA also and this was so fun to experience through your photos. Looking forward to your next adventure.
Hi Annette! Thanks so much for subscribing and reading about our adventure! It was a lot of fun. What a small world! Hope you have an awesome rest of your week! Xoxo
Loving this blog, Danielle! That’s so cool you guys went out exploring in LA. Great stories and pictures. ❤️❤️❤️
Olivia!! Thanks so much for reading! We should plan a double date!!! It was so much fun exploring!