18 Gems around LA

18 Gems around LA

  • Laci Buller
  • 05/11/22

Westside Los Angeles is a popular destination and the community is home to some of the city’s best neighborhoods. These include Venice, Mar Vista, Bel Air, Brentwood, and Hollywood. From stunning outdoor retreats to glitzy hangouts, Westside LA has it all. However, with so much to do, it’s easy to overlook the area’s best local hideouts.

If you’re interested in Westside Los Angeles homes for sale and want to get to know the area like a local, check out the following hidden gems in Westside LA.

Compartes Chocolatier

Indulge your sweet tooth at Compartes, one of the best chocolatiers in the world. Their handcrafted candies have been a favorite of locals for over 50 years, and their quality remains unmatched. After taking a tour of the factory and learning about the chocolate-making process, sample some of the store’s unique flavors, like Donuts & Coffee or Strawberry Matcha Swirl. They even offer custom chocolates for holidays, special events, or corporate gifting.

Nuart Theater

Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Theaters
Don’t miss Saturday nights at the Nuart Theater. Every week, the theater hosts a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and attendees go all out, dressing as their favorite characters and dancing in the aisles. The theater was built in 1929 and has shown everything from silent films, to indie movies, to blockbuster hits, providing a variety of experiences to guests.

Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park

See the graves of some of the biggest names in Hollywood at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park. Celebrities buried here include:
  • Marilyn Monroe (actress, Some Like It Hot)
  • Tim Conway (actor, The Carol Burnet Show)
  • Eve Arden (actress, Grease)
  • Ray Bradbury (author, Fahrenheit 451)
  • Jackie Collins (author, Hollywood Wives)
  • Farrah Fawcett (actress, Charlie’s Angels)
  • Don Knotts (actor, The Andy Griffith Show)
  • Florence Henderson (actress, The Brady Bunch)
  • Dean Martin (singer, That’s Amore)
  • Doris Roberts (actress, Everybody Loves Raymond)
  • Natalie Wood (actress, Rebel Without A Cause)

Topanga State Park

Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will love Topanga State Park. Covering 11,000 acres, the park features a robust nature center, picnic areas, and miles of trails that accommodate hikers of all skill levels.

The Last Bookstore

While not literally the last bookstore, The Last Bookstore is the biggest bookstore in LA and every bibliophile’s dream come true. Located in a former bank (including the vault), books line the walls, with designated areas for photo-ops so you can Instagram your literary exploration of the shelves. When coupled with time spent reading in a comfy chair, it’s easy to spend an entire day browsing their vast selection.

The Saddle Ranch

Saddle Ranch is a steakhouse and bar with plenty to offer its guests. It stands out among LA’s more sleek and modern options, bringing an Old West feel with a mechanical bull, home-style recipes, and friendly staff who provide top-notch service.

Museum of Broken Relationships

Photo Courtesy of Tripadvisor
Nearly everyone’s had one great heartbreak in their life, whether it’s your first love or the one who got away. The Museum of Broken Relationships memorializes those relationships with donated items from people’s former lovers. It’s a wonderful place to remember you’re not alone in heartbreak—and to sneak a peek into the lives of other people.

Shambala Preserve

See big cats up close at the Shambala Preserve. Founded by actress Tippi Hedren (The Birds) in 1983, the sanctuary has become a safe haven for animals from circuses and private zoos. It’s currently home to 235 cats, as well as two African elephants. Visitors can take walking safari tours while a guide provides background information on the different species.

Skirball Cultural Center

Study the history of the Jewish community at the Skirball Cultural Center. Storytelling brings history to life at the Skirball Cultural Center, and guides discuss the similarities and differences of Judaism to other religions, as well as how stories can act as metaphors for important life values. Interactive activities engage children in learning and open them to different faiths and lifestyles.

Fantastic Race

Explore Westside LA in a whole new way by joining the Fantastic Race—a local take on the Amazing Race. Even locals struggle to figure out some of the clues, but it’s a great way to learn about Los Angeles and find new spots you’ve never noticed before. Grab some friends to compete against and spend a day exploring a whole new side of the city—just be sure to wear your walking shoes.

The Getty Center

Photo Courtesy of Visit California
The Getty Center is a sprawling museum overlooking LA that features fine art like Vincent van Gogh’s Irises, and a stunning garden designed by installation artist Robert Irwin. While there are some permanent exhibits, the museum also features themed temporary exhibits like Iraqi palace art and the work of royal favorite Hans Holbein.

Museum of Tolerance

Explore prejudice and how it has shaped history at the Museum of Tolerance. Founded by Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal, the museum focuses on the atrocities under Hitler and also includes other historical events in Cambodia and Latin America, hate speech, and bullying. The Museum of Tolerance explores how prejudice continues to affect people’s lives today.

Fisherman’s Village

Visit New England in Westside LA at Fisherman’s Village. Located on the Marina del Rey harbor, this shopping strip resembles the fishing villages of Cape Cod. Fisherman’s Village offers a beautiful, peaceful space to walk and enjoy a slow Saturday morning. Take a boat out on the water, browse small shops, and eat the delicious New England clam chowder at La Sirenetta.

Ballona Freshwater Marsh

Nature lovers won’t want to miss the Ballona Wetlands. With over 250 species of birds taking up residence, it’s a favorite with birdwatchers but also features a unique variety of plants, fish, and reptiles. Some may enjoy the exercise of wandering through the space while others may prefer trying to spot some elusive wildlife, but folks of all ages and interests can find peace and relaxation at the Ballona Freshwater Marsh.

Garden of Taxco

Photo Courtesy of MakeMyTrip
Enjoy classic Mexican dishes at the Garden of Taxco. From seafood to plant-based plates, the food is amazing and popular among locals. Try the shrimp in a bold cilantro cream sauce and don’t miss out on guava-focused wine margarita, a restaurant favorite.

Uncle Bill’s

The best breakfast in all of Los Angeles can be found at Uncle Bill’s. Often overlooked in a city full of glamorous and innovative eateries, Uncle Bill’s focuses on serving classic recipes done extremely well. This unassuming spot on Manhattan Beach offers sweet dishes like the cinnamon apple pancakes and savory bites like the green chili omelet. Dishes may not feature fancy imported ingredients, but they hold twice the flavor of nearly any other breakfast joint on the West Coast.

Industry Café

This hole-in-the-wall jazz café serves stupendous Ethiopian food, like Yatakilt Alitcha and spicy Tibs. The weekends feature live jazz music from talented local musicians, as well as spoken-word poetry during the week.


Photo Courtesy of KCRW
Inspired by the classic black-and-white film starring Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca’s food is authentically Mexican, with tableside margaritas, burritos, and the star of the menu, Salmon à la Mandarina, fish flavored with orange and a kick of tequila. Afterward, Venice Beach is right there for a post-meal walk.

Hunting for Westside Los Angeles real estate?

If you’re interested in moving to Westside LA, contact Laci Buller Group to get started and continue exploring all the gems the area has to offer.

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