Los Angeles for Cool Seekers

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Today we are sharing a post by Polly Mack, a writer and long-term traveler who lived in LA for six months. Now based in Cornwall, UK, she loves discovering the unlikely, the unusual and the strange monuments to human achievement, wherever she goes.

We only spent about ten days in L.A. in 2010, and it is one of the places we’re hoping to return to soon! Her guide to the ‘City of Angels’ includes some places we haven’t even heard of but that we’ll definitely include on our next trip to L.A.! Read on for a guide to L.A. away from Hollywood and the Walk of Fame!

Tourists, emigrants to Los Angeles, or even lifelong residents will probably still not have seen everything cool this amazing city has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or novice, improve your street cred with these offbeat, behind-the-scenes attractions and discover another side to a city which everyone thinks they have figured out…

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LA haze by Robert S. Donavan on

Museum of Jurassic Technology

This museum is located at 9341 Venice Boulevard in Culver City. The museum provides a ‘hands-on’ experience of what life in the Lower Jurassic period was like. Although the artifacts exhibited differ, depending on the time of year and which collections are currently visiting, patrons can expect to see scientific experiments, innovations and inventions of mankind from millions of years ago, such as a collection of thousands of decomposing dice. It’s only open from Thursday to Sunday, but this quirky find is certainly worth a visit.

The Wildlife Learning Center

For those who love nature but are opposed to zoos, this wildlife sanctuary will be a memorable trip. Located at 16027 Yarnell St, Sylmar, the center is open on most days from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Housing animals rescued from zoos and abandoned by private owners, you can view a sloth, a Burmese python as well as over 70 other species of animal. The olive grove setting also makes for a beautiful and natural backdrop.

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Venice Canal Historic District

Located in the historic Venice district, visitors to California can get a feel for what Venice looks like, for only the price of flights to Los Angeles. Having fallen into disrepair, many canals from the early 20th century were simply filled in. However, the canals were restored and reopened in 1993 and this neighbourhood has become stylish and highly desirable as a result. See the eclectic mix of old and new LA, along this series of waterfronts and walkways.

Museum of Death

For $15 and a bus ride to 6031 Hollywood Blvd, visitors can take a 45-minute self-guided tour of this most leftfield of museums, educating them on many unusual death artifacts. These include artwork of serial killers, photos of crime scenes and even the severed head of Bluebeard of Paris!

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Los Angeles, Watts Towers by Allie Caulfield on

The Watts Towers Campus

Located at 1727 East 107th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90002, this folk arts center houses galleries, a museum and access to the ‘homemade’ towers themselves – built out of broken glass and bottles that are 99.5 feet tall. Admission to the campus includes admission to the Watts Towers Arts Center, the Watts Towers of Simon Rodia and the Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center. Listed as both a National Historic Landmark and a Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Monument, this is one attraction that has bags of personality.

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L.A. by Ryan Vaarsi on

So next time you’re thinking of taking a stroll down the Walk of Fame or checking out the boutiques of Beverley Hills on a trip to Los Angeles, there’s an underbelly to this city which has fascinating and cultural merit all of its own.

Images used under creative commons license.

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