What do you think of when you think of LA? If you're like most tourists, Hollywood and Beverly Hills come to mind, not to mention Burbank and Studio City. And while those famous haunts are perfect spots for a first-time visitor to check out, there's a lot more to Los Angeles than the Walk of Fame. In fact, some of the city's best gems are hidden in its lesser known neighborhoods.
While Los Angeles is amazing in a lot of ways, it doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to public transportation. The most convenient option—and the best for your budget—is to rent a car. Look up Los Angeles car rental packages and decide what will work best for your trip. Remember, Super Cheap is your number one resource for underage car rental Los Angeles deals. If you're 25 or under, you don't have to worry.
Once you have your transportation squared away, all you have to do is decide on the neighborhoods you'd like to get to know better. Use this lesser known neighborhood guide to help you figure out where you'll want to be.
Echo Park is a historic neighborhood and the home of Dodger Stadium, where you can catch a Dodgers game if they're in town. You'll also find Echo Park Lake, where locals and visitors enjoy paddle-boarding and relaxing by the shore. A few neighborhood hidden gems include the Baxter Street Stairs, the Chavez Ravine Arboretum. The live music venue The Echo, a reasonably priced spot to see some occasional big names like Beck. Don't pass up the chance to browse Lemon Frog Shop, a quirky place that carries vintage clothing and accessories from all over the world.
This beautiful hillside neighborhood is home to some of the most impressive architecture in the county. Hollywood is to the west, Silver Lake is to the South and Atwater Village is to the east, so you'll be close to most of LA's best spot. But you can also stay in the Los Feliz neighborhood and have an incredible time. There are a ton of hidden gems, like Bar Covell, an unpretentious and wonderful wine bar. Yuca's is a taco stand that serves some delicious carnitas and burgers! You'll also find the infamous Greek Theatre and the Berendo Stairs to the Griffith Park Observatory. Constructed in 1924, the 181 steps will give you a workout and take you to the most scenic views in the city.
Pasadena is a beautiful breath of fresh air for anyone needing to escape the chaos and crowds of downtown LA or Hollywood. Get a glimpse of the sweeping mountain landscapes, enjoy viewing some stunning art collections or attend a show in Old Pasadena. This city from the past is a hidden gem itself. Don't miss a meeting with the Melting Pot Food Tours, a company who will take you on a guided tour through Old Pasadena. Treat you to Oaxacan nibbles and Italian gelato, tastes of other international cuisines. Pasadena is the hold of the Rose Bowl stadium, which is famous for its Tournament of Roses football game and the where the UCLA Bruins play.
This neighborhood is diverse, even by LA standards. It's a community that always seems to be in transition, but that keeps things exciting. Though it doesn't get a lot of mainstream press, it's actually one of LA's most popular neighborhoods. Some of its hidden gems include Akbar, an exciting hetero-friendly gay bar, Cafe Tropical and the Broome Street General Store. Music fans should check out Rockaway Records, which has a huge collection of rare vinyl including some from the Beatles.
Hermosa means "beautiful" in Spanish, and this beach town certainly lives up to its name. Often overlooked by tourists who prefer Venice Beach and Santa Monica for the beach fix, Hermosa Beach is just as charming. Don't miss checking out The Comedy & Magic Club, where Jay Leno and some other local celebrities are known to perform. Tickets should be purchased well in advance since the shows often sell out. Enjoy a tapas feast with a view at Mediterraneo, which is located right on the pier. It has some impressive happy hour sips and bites.
There are 114 neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and that doesn't even include the unincorporated territory surrounding it. While some of them are mostly residential, there are plenty that have all kinds of things for visitors to see, do, eat and drink. You owe it to yourself to step off the beaten path when you see LA. Our popular tourist attractions are amazing, but experiencing some of the less popular neighborhoods will allow you to see what life is like for locals. Just be careful, because you just might fall in love with the City of Angels.