Travel Destinations

An Underrated Los Angeles Guide

An Underrated Los Angeles Guide - Photo by Nicho Onufer via
Written by Carl Hedinger

Photo courtesy of Nicho Onufer via Trover.

This article is part of Hipmunk’s City Love campaign.


An Underrated Los Angeles Guide

You might think that a city that hosts millions of annual visitors is not “less traveled.” But do you realize that cities like Los Angeles get labeled as only being places for moviegoers or shoppers and that there are things that go unnoticed? This Underrated Los Angeles guide will uncover things you never would think could be done in this well-traveled city.

Public Transport

Everyone who visits Los Angeles seems to think that cars are the only way to go, but in fact, the easiest and most convenient way to see the city is via the Metro, the ever-growing public transportation system. Take a bus and let someone else do the driving through that infamous L.A. traffic.

However, those looking to avoid roads altogether should look to the L.A. Metro Rail, a virtual unknown to those who’ve always thought the city could only be navigated with wheels. You’ll be surprised by just how much time the trains save and the areas actually covered by the rail network. Let Metro take care of your travel needs and there’ll be more worry-free time during your stay.


Now that you’re free of traffic, what underrated gems can you find in this massive city? You already know the answer if you’ve arrived in the city via Amtrak, because downtown L.A. is full of things to do and places to stay. Many think of L.A.’s attractions as mostly concentrated in the suburbs, but those who love history (Olvera Street), entertainment (LA Live), or culture and food (Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and the Arts District) absolutely must go downtown. Everything is there.

Shopping Uncovered

You can even veer away from the well-traveled spots when shopping in Los Angeles. Head to Fairfax and check out the Grove, though it’s popular during Christmas for a massive tree display and fake snow. DIY fabric makers will love the Garment (aka Fashion) District for a look at the largest apparel industry in the U.S., which is a rarity these days.

Escape It All in the City

If you came to L.A. and think it’s all just a big city, well,  think again. While the crowds flock to Runyon Canyon in search of a celebrity, nobody is talking about Topanga State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. Topanga is great for hikers of all skill levels but if you’re looking for something on a smaller scale, then head to Temescal Gateway Park. Another quiet option for hikers, this park provides a beautiful view overlooking Santa Monica Bay on clearer days. If you’re not into hiking, then go to a park! There are plenty to choose from, but the most elusive and quietest option is found at Hermosa Natural Park. Go to the bench by the peak and have a peaceful look at downtown. You won’t regret it!

The secret is starting to get out about these places. Aren’t you glad there are some new things on your L.A. itinerary? Once you see these hidden gems and appreciate the peace and quiet around them, you’ll never want to spread the word about these underrated places. Oh, go ahead and tell! We’ll keep your secret.

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About the author

Carl Hedinger

I'm a writer and recovering American expat who shares my family's travels through life. Follow our adventures here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.