Travelers are everywhere all the time and it’s no doubt that this neighborhood in Los Angeles cannot be spared from tourist crowds. Whether it’s high or low season, this part of California attracts a large number of tourists each day of the year not just for selfies in its larger-than-life Hollywood sign but also to other attractions connected to the most recognizable film industry in the world. If you’re not a huge fan and don’t feel comfortable when the streets are jam-packed, it’s time to push through the crowd and run somewhere without lines. Wave goodbye to tourist norms and enjoy the off-the-beaten paths to these best non-touristy things to do in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California to get away from the crowds.
1. Discover your way in a speakeasy for a cocktail drink
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Enjoy going out with your crew in these establishments that sell drinks designed to recreate the 1920s Prohibition vibe mixed with unique themes and special experiences. Featuring high-quality cocktails, luxurious crystal glassware, and rotating menus, a night spent in one of these not-so-secret bars will definitely give a whole new meaning to chilling out. Whether you’re up for an intimate cocktail gathering, an 80s-themed bar or a multi-concept whiskey bar, Hollywood has everything you’re looking for to keep you up all night. Don’t forget to do the research and make sure you know the secret passages, hints, and passwords for you to get in.
Speakeasy in Hollywood
Address: 1704 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA — 90028
Website: Lost Property Bar
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 6pm - 2am
2. Indulge in California-grown produce
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Spend your Sundays in the largest farmers’ market in Los Angeles featuring a wide array of organic fruits, organic vegetables, local produce, seasonal produce and more. Bringing together farmers and producers for almost 30 years, shop for treats and get the feeling of LA life while walking around the colorful stalls, drinking espresso, watching people from different walks of life, and enjoying the number of samples being offered that will surely fill you up. Make sure to set a few hours aside to allow for a good wander around for it takes ages to decide what to eat as there is so many treats to choose from.
Hollywood Farmers Market
Address: Ivar Avenue & Selma Avenue, Hollywood, California
Website: Hollywood Farmers Market
Opening hours: Sun: 8am - 1pm
3. Choose something different for entertainment
Enjoy coming to this nightclub and sideshow that offers different types of entertainment ranging from underground music, freak shows, and performance arts. If you’re up for a totally strange experience, come on a freak show night when the decor spectacularly varies with many oddities looking to catch an eye. Visit early, snag a seat, and wait for the show to start while anticipating to be disgusted, amused, intrigued, and delighted by clowns, burlesque, puppeteers, and other types of freak show performers. After the show, grab a beer and take a tour to see all the cool weird stuff surrounded by red Asian decor with a vibe of an antique store but with alcohol and stories behind all the items.
California Institute of Abnormalarts
Address: 11334 Burbank Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91601, USA
Website: California Institute of Abnormalarts
Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 8pm - 2am
Price: 10 USD (cover)
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4. Enjoy a magical night show experience
Have the best movie experience of your life in this outdoor movie screening place, ideal for a fun date night or as a group outing. Take delight in the top-notch sound quality and a high-resolution screen and enjoy watching your all-time favorite movie while tucked in a comfy blanket with a picnic basket on the side filled with yummy food and drinks. The grass tends to be wet so make sure to bring blankets that have a plastic liner on the bottom so the water doesn’t soak through as you are laying down. Arrive early to secure a front-row seat or just to give you plenty of time to find a spot, settle in, and picnic freely before having to pay attention to the movie.
Cinespia Cemetery Screenings
Address: 6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Website: Cinespia Outdoor Cinema Movies
Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 8:30am - 5pm
Price: 12 USD
5. Treat yourself with delicious cocktails and good music
Drink while enjoying live music at Sassafras Saloon located in the heart of Hollywood. Before it gets too crowded, swing by early during your bar crawl and enjoy a good selection of classic cocktails and some of their own crafted cocktails too. Take time to take in a great atmosphere with nicely decorated space and a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe while sitting on a bench and just looking around. Complete your old-style New Orleans experience and sing along to the great mix of New Orleans jazz and blues playing on the sound system the entire time you’re in this themed bar.
Address: 1233 N. Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Website: Sassafras Saloon
Opening hours: 5pm - 2am (daily)
6. Get closer to nature with the Hollywood sign in the background
Enjoy the panoramic beauty of nature around Lake Hollywood Park. Take the winding roads for a short hike up to the Hollywood sign to get even better views and lovely photos and at the same time, lose some calories after days of feasting over sumptuous meals and crystal drinks. Prepare a picnic basket, spread a sheet, and sit on the grass with your kids for some quality time while playing board games and breathing in the fresh air. It’s no doubt that if you are in Hollywood and want to get a good close view of the sign, this is definitely a place to go to.
Lake Hollywood Park
Address: 3160 Canyon Lake Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Website: Lake Hollywood Park
Opening hours: 24/7
7. Promote wellness and join a free yoga
Make your way to Runyon Canyon Park located in the heart of Hollywood that is ideal for hiking, walking your furry friend, socializing, and keeping your body moving. Aim for a healthy lifestyle while staying in Los Angeles and enjoy yoga in the park with professional yoga instructors where you can join daily for free. Come prepared with the right supplies including a yoga mat, towel, bottled water, sunscreen and get there early to secure a good spot. Though advertised as free, donations are welcome so contribute for your yoga instructor’s hard work of getting you in shape.
Address: 1998 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
Website: Runyon Canyon
Opening hours: 10:30am - 11:30am (daily)
8. Discover the twisted underground tunnels of downtown LA
Prepare yourself for something pretty different and interesting and check out the creepy underground tunnels of downtown Los Angeles. Sneak around and feel the thrill of wandering your way to the entrance where you can go down for about 40 feet (12 meters) underground and be surrounded by asbestos, pipes, and old walls. Beware of signs posted to avoid being lost in this government facility as you discover the ins and outs of this bunch of tunnels that lead to the City Hall and courthouses around the vicinity. A fun adventure for the braveheart but if you have the fear of being in enclosed spaces, this is a tour you should avoid putting in your itinerary.
Underground Tunnel of Los Angeles
Address: 320 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Opening hours: 24/7
9. Relax and see a movie in an art house theater
Complete your Hollywood experience by hanging out with your friends in this arthouse movie theater offering interesting movies played every week. Take delight of its very old school and artsy vibe and enjoy viewing flicks with their high-quality screen projection and sound system. With reasonably comfortable old faux leather seats, enjoy a rowdy Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight screening and other great movies including indie films and occasional classics from a different genre, nation or period. Don’t forget to grab some quick bites in the concession stand that has a mindnumbing variety of treats, including the traditional popcorn, sodas, wine, hot dogs, and cookies.
Address: 11272 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Website: Nuart Theater
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 12pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 12:30am
Price: 12 USD (General Admission)
Experience a unique activity where you will have the opportunity to use all the latest equipment in ghost hunting. Tour and learn the history of Hollywood’s haunted landmarks lead by Linda the Ghost Hunter who will tell stories of the dead who still wander through Hollywood Boulevard. Boost your courage and make sure to grab some spirits before trying to hunt and communicate to the spirit lurking down the famous Walk of Fame and other landmarks that are known to be haunted. Make sure to wear your most comfortable footwear and dress appropriately to fully enjoy this walking excursion that will surely let you see Hollywood in a very different way.
A Hollywood walking tour with a twist..a ghost hunting twist
Duration: 2 hours
Tourist crowds shouldn’t ruin a trip
Forget the touristy spots and enjoy exploring the best non-touristy things to do in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California at your own pace and without lines. If it can’t be helped, don’t forget that a memorable holiday trip shouldn’t be ruined by crowds and that you should learn to make the best out of each day while staying in foreign lands. Be positive and enjoy the company of crowds once in a while to truly have a holiday escape you will never forget.
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