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Non-touristy Things To Do In Los Angeles, California

Philip
Published Aug 27, 2018

Home to such world-famous landmarks as the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory and the glitzy boutiques of Rodeo Drive, there are a vast array of attractions vying for your attention during a trip to Los Angeles. But while film studio tours and trips to the sparkling sands of Malibu Beach are almost a ‘must’ for every traveler, what about those little bonus experiences that will set your holiday apart from the all the others? Well fret not, for Los Angeles is chock full of less 'touristy’ experiences that are sure to add an extra sprinkle of magic when creating those cherished holiday memories.

Top 3 activities to book in Los Angeles

1. Supercar track day experience (from USD 204)

A petrolhead’s dream, this supercar session will be motoring heaven for all lovers of extreme road machines. From the roar of the engines to their eye-popping colors and sharp lines, these cars are normally well outside the budget of most people. But for two-and-a-half hours, you can finally get to experience what it feels like to get behind the wheel of some of the most famous names in motoring. Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Porches are just some of the vehicles available for individual experiences - and, what’s more, they all come with paddle shift gears, meaning they can be driven in manual or automatic depending on your preferred style. The experience itself will give you the chance to learn how to master these phenomenal machines from a professional before taking to the track for five-lap spins.

Los Angeles: Supercar Driving Experience in Fontana

Price: from 204 USD

Duration: 2.5 hours

Number of Reviews:

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2. Two-hour scavenger hunt in the Getty Center Museum (from USD 45)

Getty Center Museum 2-Hour Amazing Scavenger Hunt

Those who wish to do something a little bit different when exploring the Getty Center Museum’s galleries and gardens may wish to opt for this two-hour scavenger hunt. Using a smartphone app, teams of two to five people spend roughly two to three hours solving clues and tackling challenges - all the while learning about the museum’s architecture and art. So not only will you gain plenty of fascinating insights into the history and culture of the museum, you’ll have plenty of fun trying to unravel the tasks. What’s more, this challenge will be particularly appealing to larger groups, who’ll be able to split into teams for the added excitement of going head-to-head to see who completes the scavenger hunt first.

Getty Center Museum 2-Hour Amazing Scavenger Hunt

Price: from 45 USD

Duration: 2 hours

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Number of Reviews: 2

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3. Three-hour electric bike tour of Santa Monica and Venice (from USD 69)

If tackling the sun-kissed Californian coast by bicycle sounds appealing, then this three-hour tour will be right up your street. What’s more, it’s perfect for all levels of cycling abilities thanks to the bikes’ electric motors. You can choose to use pedal power, rely solely on the electric charge or utilize both, depending on the terrain. This means you’ll get exactly the amount of exercise out of the tour as you choose. Those who opt for the tour will ride on bike paths along the award-winning beach at Santa Monica, and pass beneath the pier to reach Venice’s skatepark and canals. During your fun journey, you’ll also learn about the area’s history, architecture and art from the informative guide. Those looking to hop on the bikes and enjoy the Pacific breezes should bear in mind, however, that the tour is aimed at those aged 14 years and above.

Santa Monica and Venice 3-Hour Electric Bike Tour

Price: from 69 USD

Duration: 3 hours

Rating: 4.9 / 5

Number of Reviews: 11

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4. Twenty-minute tandem paragliding experience (from USD 164)

Soar above the azure blue waters of the Pacific with this unforgettable 20-minute tandem paragliding experience. As likely to appeal to daredevils as to wildlife fans, the instructor - who will be connected to the paraglider with you - will take full responsibility of steering your flight. This will leave you free to savour the feeling of the wind rushing through your hair while keeping an eagle eye out for all manner of spectacular wildlife from above - from whales to sharks. Those who opt for this flight will also be able to opt for their take-off location as well. So whether you wish to set off and land on the sands of the beach at Malibu, or take to the skies from a 3000ft mountaintop, you’ll be all set for a truly memorable experience.

Los Angeles: 20-Minute Tandem Paragliding Experience

Price: from 164 USD

Duration: 20 minutes

Rating: 5.0 / 5

Number of Reviews: 2

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5. Scavenger hunt fun on Catalina Island (from USD 45)

Another scavenger hunt which will appeal to travelers who wish to make their sightseeing a little more memorable, this three-hour urban quest will explore parts of Catalina Island. So if the idea of embarking on your own treasure island-style adventure sounds like fun, then you are in luck. And, as with other scavenger hunts, larger groups can split up into opposing teams to experience the added frisson of excitement in knowing they are competing against the clock and each other. The Wrigley Memorial, city park and beach front are just some of the locations you are likely to pass during this family-friendly activity, which covers around two miles (3.2 kilometers).

Urban Adventure Quest: Catalina Island

Price: from 45 USD

Duration: 3 hours

Number of Reviews:

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6. Two-hour Segway tour through Wilshire Boulevard (from USD 102)

If you’re looking for a memorable way to explore some of LA’s more upmarket sights, then doing so by Segway will certainly sound appealing. This two-hour Wilshire Boulevard guided tour will glide effortlessly past the upscale boutiques of Beverly Hills and cruise alongside the famous buildings and hotels of Rodeo Drive. Passing the tree-lined streets that have impressed film and TV fans, the tour’s participants will also swing by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. One previous participant praised the “great tour” and the “knowledgeable” guide.

Los Angeles: The Wilshire Boulevard 2-Hour Segway Tour

Price: from 102 USD

Duration: 2 hours

Rating: 5.0 / 5

Number of Reviews: 1

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7. Private surf lesson (from USD 158)

Los Angeles Private Surf Lesson

The Californian coast is the spiritual home of surfing, so what better location to give the impressive sport a whirl? These one-and-a-half and two-hour beginners’ tutorials will give you a memorable induction into this mesmerizing, and immensely fun, activity. A professional instructor will give you one-on-one tuition, and introduce you to all the basics. Those at the intermediate level can also be accommodated and matched to an instructor to suit. And with sessions available from any time between 6 am and 6 pm, you can fit the fun in even the busiest of travel schedules.

Los Angeles Private Surf Lesson

Price: from 158 USD

Duration: 2 hours

Number of Reviews:

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8. Four-hour rock climbing lesson for beginners (from USD 182)

Beginner's Rock Climbing Class in Los Angeles

The more adventurous among you may wish to give this four-hour rock climbing session a go. Even if you’ve never tried the sport before, this beginner’s session will give you a tantalizing taste - teaching participants basic knots and some of the safety skills you’ll need to take to the rock face. Following full tutorial sessions, participants will then spend time on the rocks, practicing a range of different moves suitable for beginners and intermediate climbers. Capable of accommodating groups of up to six, this session will appeal to groups of friends eager to try something a little different. And all the kit you’ll need for the day is included in the price - including a harness and helmet.

Beginner's Rock Climbing Class in Los Angeles

Price: from 182 USD

Duration: 4 hours

Number of Reviews:

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9. Sunset yoga and meditation hike at the Griffith Observatory (from USD 46)

Sunset Yoga & Meditation Hike at the Griffith Observatory

One of LA’s most famous landmarks, the striking Art Deco stylings of the Griffith Observatory and its phenomenal views across the city need no introduction. But if you want to make your first visit all the more memorable then how does a sunset or sunrise walk and yoga session sound? Participants will spend about 15 minutes outside the observatory at the magical golden hour before taking to the local woodland park for half-an-hour of yoga and 20 minutes of meditation - all the while drinking in the stunning views and low-level sun.

Sunset Yoga & Meditation Hike at the Griffith Observatory

Price: from 46 USD

Duration: 2 hours

Number of Reviews:

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10. Scavenger hunt through Chinatown (from USD 40)

Los Angeles Chinatown Puzzling Adventure

This scavenger hunt offers a memorable way to explore LA’s Chinatown for groups of up to 12 people. Lasting between one and three hours, depending on the speed with which you plan on completing it, this puzzle adventure around the city streets will take in a number of local sights. What’s more, you can break your journey at any time to sample the local food and drink scene - safe in the knowledge that you are only timed on the puzzles and travel time between them. This means even the most competitive among you won’t have to feel rushed while enjoying the area’s charms.

Los Angeles Chinatown Puzzling Adventure

Price: from 40 USD

Duration: 1 to 3 hrs

Number of Reviews:

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Time to create some memories

Those hoping to sprinkle a few unique memories in among trips to the world-famous landmarks of the city will find plenty of opportunities in Los Angeles.

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I'm a writer and photographer based in the heart of the beautiful Scottish Highlands. A professional journalist by trade, I have written for and edited several newspapers, magazines and websites....Read more

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