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Weird Things to do in L.A. for an Unforgettable Experience

Weird Things to do in L.A. for an Unforgettable Experience

By California.com
December 06, 2020

As California mitigates health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, some travel restrictions may remain in certain communities. Call the local and regional tourism offices to learn more about the restrictions in your intended destination. Thank you for reading, and stay safe.

The quirky, the unusual, the obscure...oh, the weirdness is endless, especially when it comes to the City of Angels. It's easy to get lost in a city so large and in charge—there are so many strange places calling you, begging to be discovered. So, if you're looking for more quirky roadside attractions and peculiar places to visit in California, add these weird things to do in L.A. to your bucket list.

The Weird Places In Los Angeles You Need To See To Believe

When in the greater Los Angeles area, taking a stroll through the Sunken City is a must.

Sunken City

In 1929, a landslide caused a section of cliffside houses in San Pedro to fall into the ocean—alas, the Sunken City was born. Spend the weekend exploring the ruins. The remnants of the homes include broken foundations, abandoned vehicles, pipes, and miscellaneous items. Better yet, graffiti covers every inch of the concrete walls in the city, adding an artistic beauty to the demolished space. This is a favorite place for bonfires and hangouts among locals; it's definitely one of the best weird things in L.A.

Time Travel Mart

Located in Echo Park near downtown L.A., this lakeside store has everything you could possibly imagine about time travel. From books and apparel to gifts and prints, you'll find an array of unique items from the past, present, and future. Expect to see Barbarian repellent, a Victorian iPad, and a Time-Freeze Hyper Slush ice drink, to name a few. (There's even a caveman shaking hands with a robot display.) You can also feel good about indulging your quirky side: All the Time Travel Mart proceeds are donated to 826LA, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting students with creative writing skills.

Museum Of Jurassic Technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology is for those intrigued by the unconventional. The arts scene in Los Angeles County doesn't disappoint, and this museum certainly won't, either. Fascinating inventions and the history of human civilization await you. Wander through captivating exhibitions such as Micromosaics of Herald Henry Dalton or Lives of Perfect Creatures: Dogs of the Soviet Space Program. Learn about the lost arts, crafts, and technological advancements that are now either forgotten or ineffective.

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Get in touch with the world of magic and head to the extravagant Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Magic Castle

One of the best weird places in L.A., the extravagant Hollywood mansion known as Magic Castle was initially built in 1909 by real estate investor, lawyer, banker, newspaper editor, and philanthropist Rollin B. Lane. But in 1962, it became home to the Academy of Magical Arts, which was founded by successful criminal attorney William Larsen, Sr., as an obscure community of magicians. The Academy officially became an international institution when it found its new headquarters at the Magic Castle in 1962

Today, visitors can get lost in the castle's eccentric maze and discover hidden halls, bogus bookshelf doors, over-the-top cowboys showing off various card tricks, and much more. Not to mention, in order to enter you must meet the dress code standards—make sure to don your ties, ascot hats, jeweled collars, and ruffled collars.

The Underground Tunnels

Located far below the city streets is an 11-mile underground network of tunnels. Among the strangest things to do in Los Angeles with friends, these well-preserved tunnels were initially built to move horses, house an old subway, and transport goods undercover. During the 1920s, the tunnels were quite popular since they served as secret passageways for rumrunners and operating speakeasies. You'll find an entrance to the tunnels through the basement of the King Eddy Saloon—a storefront entrance for a piano shop dating back to the Prohibition era.

The Philosophical Research Society

Founded in 1934 by wisdom scholar and author Manly P. Hall, the Philosophical Research Society is dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom—and wisely serves as a repository of the world's wisdom. Hall collected manuscripts, rare books, artwork, and esoterica over many years. This scholar was inexplicably drawn to mysticism and obscure pedagogies; the property includes a historic, Mayan-inspired campus, art gallery, auditorium, bookstore, and lecture room. Hall's years of compilations are now on display for the public at the Philosophical Research Society.

Enjoy all the cat cuddles at the CatCafe Lounge. You just might want to take one home with you. Photo courtesy of CatCafe Lounge.

The CatCafe Lounge

The CatCafe Lounge is the perfect spot for coffee and cat lovers. This eccentric yet endearing spot is actually a nonprofit, specializing in rehabilitating rescue cats. The café is dedicated to the socialization of cats and aims to increase the number of cat adoptions in Los Angeles. Guests can drink their delicious lattes in the presence of over 30 cats who are all available for adoption (yay, take one home—right me-ow). The spacious and open lounge provides plenty of space for the cats and their human visitors.

The Hobbit House

Building storybook houses—homes inspired by fairy tales—was a common phenomenon in L.A. during the 20th century. However, in the 1930s, the construction of these houses came to a halt; only a few of them survived over the next 90 years. The Hobbit House, created by former Walt Disney Studios artist Joseph Lawrence, is a peculiar cottage found right by Sony Studios in Culver City. In 1996, the Hobbit House was listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, so you don't want to miss it. This offbeat adventure is also the perfect getaway for J.R.R. Tolkien fanatics—the best part is that there’s a tree growing through the roof!

California Institute of Abnormal Arts

Los Angeles is all about eccentricity, especially given the strange laws and unusual places. The California Institute of Abnormal Arts is definitely another one of the weird places in L.A. Located in North Hollywood, the obscure locale offers underground entertainment such as musical concerts, performing arts, movie screenings, and more. But beware: The vast collection of freakshow memorabilia— which includes everything from mummified little people to two-headed babies—will make you feel as though you've stepped into a terrifying horror film (or nightmare) that's only getting worse by the minute. The institute takes circus shows to a whole new level. Take your date on an unforgettable adventure and head to this weird place in L.A.

Read on to discover more weird tourist attractions in Southern California.

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