Every city has its standard tourist attractions and Los Angeles is no exception, but locating a city’s quirky side is quickly becoming a hot travel trend.
With beautiful weather, world-class cuisine and incredible entertainment options, L.A. is known for a nearly endless array of activities to keep families from getting bored — but it’s eclectic and unusual side is what makes it so much fun to ditch the guidebook and explore!
Check out the following list for a crash course on ways to see the weird side of the City of Angels.
This little museum located in L.A.’s Chinatown district is an absolute must-see for anyone looking for something different. Owners and curators Carl Baldwin and Caren Anderson are happy to take you on a guided tour of this collection of more than 2,500 velvet paintings and memorabilia from every corner of the globe. Not only will you learn about the history of velvet and the craft of creating artwork with it, but you will have the experience of enjoying unique and one-of-a-kind works of art by masters of the medium such as Erik Askew, Louis Behan and Edgar Leeteg. The Hall of Elvis celebrates all things Elvis, while the black-light room provides a psychedelic experience. Even the restroom is decked out in velvet art with images of Frank Zappa, Anthony Bourdain and Ryan Seacrest adorning the walls.
This homage to the adorable rabbit has provided visitors with an overload of cuteness since 1998. Located in a residential neighborhood of Altadena, this unusual museum is jam-packed with more than 30,000 bunny-related items on display. It is also home to a number of live house-bunnies that call the museum home and love interacting with visitors.
Los Angeles boasts some of the best street art in the world, and the city of Pacoima, just a short distance north of downtown L.A., has an impressive collection on public display. Known as the Mural Mile, the three-mile radius surrounding the Pacoima City Hall is home to more than 50 murals by local artists. A multitude of styles and subjects are showcased ranging from a massive portrait of Frida Kahlo to a likeness of the “Mona Lisa,” complete with a sombrero and rifle. The project is designed to give local artists a chance to showcase work while revitalizing their local neighborhood with the beauty of art.
The oldest children’s theater in Los Angeles is also one of the best ways to spend an afternoon. This little theater nestled into a corner near downtown L.A. has entertained children and fueled imaginations since 1963. An official Cultural-Historic Landmark of Los Angeles, the theater puts on productions with more than 2,000 handcrafted characters. While the theater is in the process of renovating the original location, performances are still going on, so check out the website to find out when to catch the next show.
Clifton’s Cafeteria is a piece of history right in the heart of downtown L.A. Stop in to grab a bite from the cafeteria, enjoy a drink from one of several themed bars or just to check out the decor. The entire building is decked out in an impressive array of styles and artifacts ranging from an enormous tree in the center of the building to the stuffed bison and peacocks adorning the various rooms. Celebrating bygone eras of California’s past, the Clifton retains a touch of California elegance.
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Northwest Florida is a haven for beachgoers seeking the waters of Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Destin. But this region of Florida also has some extensive history, offering family travelers a great way to introduce young ones to Florida’s Spanish and indigenous past.
More than 1,000 miles from Spain’s capital city of Madrid, the seven Canary Islands are also part of Spain. They are the tallest peaks of ancient volcanoes rising out of the Atlantic, not far from the coast of North Africa. Two of these volcanoes, both still active, offer exciting adventures for families traveling to the islands.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.