Los Angeles is a city full of amazing things to see and do. From ogling the iconic Hollywood sign to spending a day at Disney Land, there's something here for everyone in the family to be excited about.
But you know, most people don't bother to look far beyond the typical tourist attractions the city has to offer, and that's exactly what we're interested in. With as much history as LA has - some good, some bad, and a lot famous - it's bound to be full of surreal places, right? Absolutely.
But don't just take my word for it, check out this list and prepare to be blown away by places you didn't even know existed - then get out there and go see them for yourself.
The Echo Park Time Travel Mart
Where: 1714 Sunset Blvd
Great Scott! This is the place to go when you need to grab a flux capacitor, or any time traveling gear you may need for your time machine... Just imagine if it was that easy for Doc and Marty, the future as we know it would be altered forever!
Mosaic Tile House
Where: 1116 Palms Blvd, Venice
This whimsical 1940-style oasis is covered from bottom to top with colored tile and splintered-glass mosaics. Adorably, this large-scale ongoing art project is a joint effort between husband and wife duo, Cheri Pann and Gonzalo, and is thankfully open for public enjoyment.
The Museum of Death
Where: 6031 Hollywood Blvd
Not for the faint of heart - or you could end up being the newest exhibit. This macabre museum is full of shocking items, like human skeletons, artwork and letters by serial killers, body bags and coffins, a suicide machine, the real severed head of Henri Landru, and much more. Seriously if you have a queasy stomach Disney Land might be more your style.
Old LA Zoo Picnic Area
Where: (closest address) 4730 Crystal Springs Dr.
Eat your lunch from the other side of the fence. the Old Zoo Picnic Area is exactly what it sounds like, abandoned zoo exhibits that have been turned into a recreational area ready to be explored by you.
The Sunken City
Where: 500 W. Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro
Perhaps a good reminder not to build homes on cliffs; the graffiti-covered ruins of many buildings destroyed by a landslide in 1929 has turned into an urban exploration destination overlooking the ocean.
Where: 648 S. Broadway
Pull up a seat next to the animatronic animals and running waterfalls at this Giant Redwood-themed cafeteria diner in downtown LA. It has been around since the 1930's, still serving an array of Depression-era favorites, like Jell-O, candied prunes, and banana cream pie.
Bronson Cave and Canyon
Where: 3200 Canyon Dr
To the Batcave! Explore the cave and canyons made famous by many blockbuster movies throughout the years. Oh, and there's no better place to view the Hollywood sign than from here.
Garden of Oz
Where: 3040 Ledgewood Dr
Follow the Yellow Brick Road through this amazing Oz-themed secret garden. The Garden of Oz is full of colorful mosaics and thrones, many of which are dedicated to beloved celebs, public figures, and of course for the fictional inspiration herself, Dorothy of Kansas.
Skeletons in the Closet
Where: Los Angeles County Coroner, 1104 N Mission Rd
Normally people don't look forward to going to the county coroner, but in LA, some people go out of their way for it. It probably helps that the Los Angeles County Coroner has their very own gift shop full of gag toe tags, 4D plastic torsos for dissecting, and chalk-outline graphic designs for you to sport on office supplies and clothes.
Lummis Home and Gardens
Where: 200 E Ave 43
Once upon a time, there was an 18th-century journalist named Charles F. Lummis who wished to live in a castle. To his dismay there were not many available on the market, so he decided to build his own stone-by-stone with rocks he gathered from the local river. This is the result, and while all good things must come to an end, after his passing it was turned into a landmark to be shared with all the people of the lands.
Where: 7220 Melrose Ave
It's time to add to your oddity collection, and Necromance has everything you could possibly need for it. You can walk out of the shop a proud new owner of human bones, bone jewelry, and of course, dozens of other specimens you didn't know you needed, like a 1920's siamese calf (already wall mounted) for the low-low price of $4,500.
Where: 1646 Lemoyne St
Step into a psychedelic art structure at RandylandLA - home to the Phantasma Gloria, the world’s first massive mosaic made of many large lenses carefully suspended in air. The artwork is so impressive and unique that it has been featured in dozens of documentaries and TV programs.
Where: 4427 Sunset Blvd
Forget an expensive trip to Hawaii, just hang out here in LA at the Tiki-Ti cocktail lounge - known for their delicious mixed drinks and tropical atmosphere. By the end of the night, you won't even remember you're not actually in Hawaii.
Saint Vincent Court
Where: St. Vincent Ct
Tucked away between Broadway and Hill Street downtown is a European inspired alleyway that looks like it was plucked straight from Rome. If you're getting tired of the same old greasy American food, here you can expect to sample traditional foods from all around the globe. You know, keepin' it saucy.
Venice of America Canals
Where: Venice Canal
While we're talking about Europe, another worthy mention is the canals. These man-made canals were created in the early 1900's with one thing in mind: Venice. They have remained a favorite spot by the community for recreational activities of all sorts. So much culture in one city!
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Where: 5801 Wilshire Blvd
A natural asphalt tar pit seeps up from the ground, carrying thousands-of-years-old carcasses and fossils with it. This site is still active, making the world's most famous Ice Age fossil excavation location! On another note, does anyone else feel oily just looking at it?
Los Feliz Murder Mansion
Where: 2475 Glendower Place
This is a mansion made famous by Dr. Garold Perelson, who gruesomely murdered his wife, beat his teenage daughter, and then committed suicide by overdose in 1959. The home has been sold and bought several times since the incident, but overall has been left to rot as the previous owners only used it for storage. The morbid and mysterious past of the home continues to attract curious onlookers - some of whom swear they've seen ghosts on the property.
Janis Joplin’s Hotel Room
Where: Highland Gardens Hotel, 7047 Franklin Ave room #105
The very room that the legendary Janis Joplin OD'd in has been turned into a makeshift shrine by guests and is still available to be rented out (when it's not booked up). Sounds like she still has a piece of many people's hearts.
Where: 4824 Vineland Ave.
Eat, drink and be merry in a giant whiskey barrel. Idle Hour is a one-of-a-kind pub with a story to match; originally designed in the 1940's, it has seen a lot of action and changes throughout the decades but one thing hasn't changed: the unbeatable whiskey.
The Academy of Magical Arts
I don't know what it is about magic-teaching schools, but just like Hogwarts you have to be invited to The Academy of Magical Arts - making it even more mysterious and exciting than it already sounds.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Where: 555 W Temple St
Not only is the architecture of this building stunning, but it is the contents that make it truly amazing. The crypt mausoleum in cathedral's basement contains relics of the mysterious third-century Roman martyr, Saint Vibiana, whose relics were unearthed in Roman catacombs in 1853.
Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel
Where: LA Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive
Take a seat on the panda, or perhaps the tiger, in fact, no matter where you sit you will notice this isn't your standard carousel. Tom Mankiewicz designed it with a purpose: to bring awareness to the growing list of endangered species. We think he did a pretty good (and adorable) job.
California Institute of Abnormalarts (CIA)
Where: 11334 Burbank Blvd
Exactly as it sounds, the CIA is home to nothing other than well-attended live performance freakshows. The strange shows compliment the odd decor, and the attendees are, well, blissfully abnormal too - and they wouldn't have it any other way.
Where: 7776 Torreyson Dr
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a UFO! Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's actually Chemosphere. This modernist house is situated in the San Fernando Valley side of the Hollywood Hills and boasts a whopping 2,200 sqft octagonal design. This home alone draws thousands of tourists to the area every year, and we're kind of not surprised.
Where: 508 S Western Ave
Two things you didn't know go perfectly together: the Titanic and Oriental food. Named in reference to the owner's love for the Titanic, Cafe Jack was turned into a chic Titanic-themed restaurant serving Thai and sushi. It's definitely a must if you enjoy a unique dining experience.