Off Beaten Path Attractions in Los Angeles

With its movie stars and palm trees, Southern California has always been something an exotic locale, perhaps even home to a looser and more carefree mode of life. Adding to the offbeat feel of the Los Angeles are the scattered semi-abandoned highlights of the short and fabulous history of this city.

This list here begins with CLUI, the Center for Land Use Interpretation. This educational group is dedicated to understanding and exploring use of the nation's geographically spaces. They maintain an exhibit space that is open 12 to 5 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; check their website to see what kind of stuff they put together. Located nearby is the cabinet of curiosities style Museum of Jurassic Technology (also open only several days a week).

Skipping down number 5, we have the Cabazon Dinosaurs which are a great example of vernacular architecture, located outside of Los Angeles on the way to Palm Springs. The two large dinosaurs (featured in a Pee-Wee Herman movie) are now owned by religious folks who mix in some Creationism with the tour. You can also just eat at the cafe there and gawk at the 150 foot long Dinny. Number 6 Citadel outlets are also in this vein: outlet stores built around an old tire factory in the shape of an Assyrian palace. . .

Los Angeles really has a ton of these odd remnants from the last century. Added to this is the weird potpourri of oddly creative work and perspectives that have continually landed in the sub-tropical Southland, an area which has now taken over from New York as the mixing pot of America. Check out this Offbeat Guide for even more odd destinations.


9331 Venice Boulevard

Center for Land Use Interpretation... read more

St. Elmo Village

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4830 St. Elmo Drive

Urban folk art... read more

The Velaslavasay Panorama

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1122 West 24th Street

The best of 19th century era entertainment...
read more

Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles

323 East 1st St

Tour L.A.'s multi-ethnic murals... read more

Cabazon Dinosaurs and Wheel Inn Restaurant

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50770 Seminole Drive

Dinosaurs in Cabazon, as seen in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure"... read more

Citadel Outlets

100 Citadel Drive

Complex of outlet stores built around the old Samson's Tire Works factory... read more

Camera Obscura

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1450 Ocean Avenue
Senior Recreation Center

Free low-key camera obscura... read more

Marine Mammal Care Center

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Angels Gate Park

Seals and sea lions rehabilitating... read more
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