Non Touristy Things To Do In LA – Your Los Angeles Guide

The city of (broken) dreams has always been a popular travel destination, but the sad reality is that everyone who visits always ends up doing the same lost of top tourist attractions. While feasting your eyes on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or driving around trying to take a peek at celebrities beautiful mansions probably IS fun, why not take check out some of the more non touristy things to do in LA?

Non Touristy Things To Do in LA

Treat yourself to a luxury stay

If you’re going to vacation in one of the coolest cities in the United States, you might as well do it right! One thing LA has a lot of is luxury places to stay. You will quickly discover that a lot of Los Angeles vacation rentals are the answers to your dreams. That is if your dream is to visit LA and stay in a magnificent hidden retreat, complete with private swimming pool, panoramic views of the city or ocean or even a hideaway up in the Hollywood Hills. While there are definitely some unique boutique hotels to check into, if you really want to experience LA like a local rent a luxury villa is the way to go. Just think of those Instagram photos!

Curry & mimosas at Badmaash brunch

Eggs and pre-noon cocktails may not seem like the most radical suggestion for how to spend a weekend morning in Los Angeles, but Badmaash isn’t your typical brunch spot. This family-run Indian gastropub has rehashed their already ingenious menu with a breakfast spin, making a huge splash in the LA brunch game. The results are truly one-of-a-kind. If you want to experience the city in the eyes of a local, brunch here is a must. This is a top local spot and definitely one of the best non touristy things to do in LA!


Get runway ready at Decades

If fashion is your passion, Rodeo Drive isn’t the only place to get your designer fix. The famed consignment boutique Decades curates an unparalleled selection of pre-loved designer apparel. Even if your budget is more conducive to window shopping than shopping sprees, Decades is still worth a visit. The quality of goods make browsing akin to looking at pieces at a fashion museum, and the shop is so unique it appeared in its very own reality show on Bravo! This is one shop where you can be guaranteed no one back home will be wearing the same top as you!

Sea Lion spotting at Marina Del Rey pier

Who says having fun has to be expensive? If you need a nature fix, and one that’s free to boot, skip the lines at the zoo and watch these playful critters in their natural habitat. If a safe, dry view from the pier isn’t quite adventurous enough for you, then rent a kayak splash around! Be sure to keep your distance though, these lovable puppies-of-the-sea aren’t quite so cuddly up close.


Fill up on Filipino

Los Angeles is known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to trendsetting. Pop culture lives and dies at the mercy of the Hollywood elite. It’s usually just a matter of time before what’s popular in LA becomes the American standard. So Los Angeleans’ unlikely obsession Filipino food could be an indication that the next big food craze is right around the corner. Squeeze into RiceBar for some Pork Longganisa (chorizo’s Filipino cousin) so you can tell your friends back home you had it before it was cool.

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Point of view right now.

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Investigate the creepiness of the Museum of Death

If you’re amused by the darker things in life, the Museum of Death in Hollywood may be just your style. Boasting the largest collection of serial killer artwork, this sordid museum showcases everything from pet taxidermy to the Heaven’s Gate suicide cult recruitment video. Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

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so worth the trip

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Navigate the hidden speakeasies of Koreatown

These secret bars turn a simple pub crawl into a scavenger hunt. Whether they’re protected by a password like the Wizard of Oz (R Bar), guarded by a puzzle like the Chamber of Secrets (Lock & Key) or hidden in the back of a barbershop like Luke Cage, (Blind Barber) getting to these clandestine watering holes is half the fun!


Round-the-clock treats at SK doughnuts

Satiate your sweet tooth night or day with tasty treats from SK Doughnuts. A Los Angeles staple, SK concocts wild, delicious creations including the “Skronut,” LA’s version of the New York croissant/donut hybrid the “cronut.” With toppings ranging from fresh strawberries to Fruity Pebbles, there’s sure to be something for every palate.


Unthaw LA’s history at La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

You don’t need a flying DeLorean to travel back to prehistoric LA. Ice Age fossils preserved for eons in natural asphalt were discovered n the 1800’s and continueto be unearthed to this day. The fossilized bones of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and mammoths are on display. You can also take a stroll through the Pleistocene Garden to see the life-size replicas of these long-extinct beasts.


Pop bottles on the roof at the Standard

Boasting panoramic views of the city, the rooftop at the Standard Hotel is the perfect place for a night out. Turn up on Friday or Saturday night for a wild, racous night or, or during the week a have a more relaxed evening in the waterbed lounge chairs. Gear up for drinks, DJ’s and dancing but be sure to dress to the nines. This exclusive downtown hotspot takes its dress code seriously.

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#skyclad @therooftop

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Dinner from a movie at Paco’s Tacos Cantina

What’s more “Los Angeles” than eating tacos in a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint? Eating tacos in a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint that was featured in Jerry Maguire, that’s what! Vibrant and cozy, Paco’s Tacos serves up classic Mexican cuisine that will make you say, “You had me at ‘hola.’”


Have YOU been to Los Angeles? Would love to hear your thoughts on other unique things to do in LA – I’m sure there must be loads!

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  • Lisa // Fjords & Beaches
    April 3, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Ooh, the sea lion spotting seems fun! And I would actually love to visit the Museum of Death, haha! :) Great guide, Janet!

  • Mark
    April 4, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Thanks for writing this article! I’m realizing more and more how large LA is, after reading a few blog posts. The eats are always a good way to go through a town. I’m surprised to see the section of Filipino food, I’m reading this from El Nido, Philippines and have forgotten how much Filipino food is starting to grow on the global scene. Cheers for spreading the word further, one of the most underrated cuisines!

  • Marianne Frontino McCreight
    April 13, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    If you want to see what the ‘burbs are like, I can hook you up with my family. Insider tours are always the best! And you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Rancho Cucamonga!