Discover Westside’s Hidden Gems

The Westside awaits a cornucopia of food, shopping, arts and culture, architecture, nature. And the best way to experience the Westside is to travel off the beaten path and uncover the locals’ best kept secrets. Whether a first-time tourist, regular visitor, or long-time resident, the Westside offers something for everyone. Unveil a treasure trove of local hidden gems in our five neighboring cities: Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and West L.A.



Hidden Gems Part I - Curated by Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau

Beverly Hills has an international reputation for its celebrity residents and guests, grand mansions and chic shops along Rodeo Drive, but the city's multitude of unique architecture, abundant parks and gardens, gourmet food shops and specialty bars are often overlooked. Go beyond legendary Rodeo Drive or the iconic "Beverly Hills" sign in Beverly Gardens Park and check out some of these lesser known gems tucked away throughout the city as well. Click 'View More' below for the list of Beverly Hills hidden gems

Photo Credit: Greystone Mansion and Park (Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau)

Hidden Gems Part II - Curated by Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau

Journey beyond the famous designer retailers along Rodeo Drive, celebrity hot spots and exquisite hotels to find the hidden gems of Beverly Hills. The city offers a variety of local jewels to explore including gourmet food shops, lush parks and gardens, specialty boutiques and lounges that are often overlooked. Don't miss these local favorites! Click 'View More' below for the list of Beverly Hills hidden gems

Photo Credit: Paley Center for Media (Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau)

Hidden Gems Part III - Curated by Discover LA

Originally a Spanish ranch that grew lima beans, Beverly Hills is now one of the most famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, recognized for Rodeo Drive, its high-value real estate, and multiple references in film and television. Investors came looking for oil but found water instead, making it a prime location to build a town. Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914, named after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts and the hills in the immediate area. The city’s glamour and appeal to Golden Age Hollywood movie stars were established when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land to build Pickfair, their legendary 56-acre estate. Explore the hidden gems of Beverly Hills and you’ll soon become an expert on an LA neighborhood that’s known around the world as the epitome of luxury and style. Click 'View More' below for the list of Discover LA's Beverly Hills hidden gems.

Photo Credit: Saban Theatre (Discover LA)



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Hidden Gems Curated by Discover LA

From its inception and then incorporation by Harry Culver in the early 1900s to the renovation and revitalization of its downtown that began in the 90s, Culver City is a city rich with motion picture, television and aviation history. Metro Goldwyn Mayer built their studios there in the 1920s; the facility later became Sony Pictures Studios. Howard Hughes opened his Hughes Aircraft plant in 1941 - at one time it was the largest employer in Los Angeles. Sony Pictures Entertainment is Culver City’s largest employer to date. Iconic films such as "The Wizard of Oz," "Gone with the Wind," a portion of "Grease" and the Tarzan series were filmed in Culver City. By the early 2000s, parts of the Hughes empire had been purchased by or merged with General Motors, Boeing, NewsCorp and Raytheon, but Culver City’s imprint on aviation is evident throughout Martin Scorsese’s biopic, "The Aviator." Read on to learn about the lesser-known destinations worth seeking out in “The Heart of Screenland.” Click "View More' below for the list of Discover LA's hidden gems in Culver City.

Tony Tasset's Rainbow Sculpture at Sony Pictures Studio (Photo Credit: City of Culver City)



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Hidden Gems Curated by Discover LA

Named one of the Top 10 Beach Cities in the World by National Geographic, Santa Monica is one of LA’s most popular destinations for domestic and international visitors alike. Beat the crowds and go on a trek less-traveled to some of the hidden gems in sunny Santa Monica. Included are historical structures with incredible backstories, as well as cultural bastions of Santa Monica life today. You'll enjoy getting to know the real city by the beach by visiting these places. Click 'View More' below for the list Discover LA's hidden gems in Santa Monica.

Pool and Pool House at the Annenberg Community Beach House (Photo Credit: Annenberg Community Beach House)



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Hidden Gems Curated by Discover LA

While West Hollywood flourishes as a tight-knit community and neighborhood, its official status goes beyond that as a city in its own right. Famous for passing legislation such as same-gender domestic partner benefits for city employees, and bans on fur sales and declawing of cats, West Hollywood represents not only much of LA’s entertainment history but also a beacon of social justice. The legendary Sunset Strip has been undergoing a revival of sorts as the home of go-to music venues, and many of LA’s top destination restaurants lie within West Hollywood’s borders, but there are other spots that fly under the radar. Whether you're a longtime resident, or are visiting this bustling city beneath the hills for the first time, there's always something new to discover in WeHo. Take advantage of its rich, creative history and vibrant culture by going off the beaten path. Click 'View More' for the list of Discover LA's hidden gems in West Hollywood.

Photo Credit: Schindler House (Visit West Hollywood)



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Hidden Gems Part I (Mid-City Area) - Curated by Discover LA

The Mid-City area of LA’s Westside is a treasure trove of art, culture, shopping and dining. The wide range of the area's multicultural residents is exemplary of what Los Angeles is all about - there are pockets and enclaves of each that contribute to the city's beautiful patchwork quilt. And while there's no shortage of museums to see, shops to browse, or restaurants to dine at, you may want to get to know a lesser-known dimension of this side of town. Whether you're a visitor or a resident, there's something new to be learned about this area at the center of Los Angeles. Click 'View More' for the list of hidden gems.

Photo Credit: Craft & Folk Art Museum Yarn Bomb (Christopher Knight/Los Angeles Times)

Hidden Gems Part II (Brentwood, Westwood, Sawtelle Japantown Area) - Curated by Discover LA

The area of Los Angeles known as the Westside encompasses a diverse range of multicultural, historic and luxury neighborhoods. In this second part of our guide to the Westside, we cover Brentwood to Westwood and Little Osaka, including hidden gems of culture, history, shopping and nature. Click 'View More' for the list of hidden gems.

Photo Credit: Skirball Cultural Center

Hidden Gems Part III (Century City Area) - Curated by Discover LA

Century City originated as the backlot of 20th Century Fox. With the advent of television representing tough competition for the studio and a budget for the movie Cleopatra spiraling out of control, the studio sold portions of its backlot to Alcoa Inc. and William Zeckendorf with the option to lease 75 acres back. Welton Becket - who designed landmarks such as the Capitol Records building, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and the Cinerama Dome - as well as other architects were hired to develop a masterplan for the brand new commercial and residential city-within-a-city, using aluminum for high rises. The city was designed with pedestrian bridges and wide boulevards to ease crowding. Today, Century City is a center of business and commerce in Los Angeles, so it can be easy to overlook the public places worth visiting. Read on and discover 10 hidden gems in Century City. Click 'View More' for the list of hidden gems.

Photo Credit: Annenberg Space for Photography



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A Walking Tour of Westwood
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Sawtelle Japantown Walking Tour
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The Guide to Brentwood
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Westside Landmark Art Museums
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Last updated December 12, 2016