It’s fun to get caught in the local tourist traps occasionally, but the typical tourist checklist can be pricey, crowded, and inauthentic. Often, the best way to experience a city is to see it from the eyes of a local. Skip the line ups and avoid the crowds with our off-the-beaten-path guide to Los Angeles.

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Echo Park Lake

This beautifully transformed residential park recently underwent huge renovations. Formerly a reservoir for drinking water, today Echo Park is filled with scenic walking trails with the downtown skyline in the background. If you need a break from the noise and hustle of the city, spend an hour or two walking, picnicking, or renting a pedal boat on the lake.

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Location: Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA

Marvel at the Bradbury Building

Whether you appreciate architecture or not, the Bradbury building is a must. It’s not frequented by many tourists, although it is a highlight of several walking tours. Explore the elegant marble staircases for a great photo op, and learn about the history of the emerging LA business sector.

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Location: 304 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA

The Rosenthal Winery

Do the words “wine” and “beach” appeal to you? Then this is the place to be. Rosenthal is easy to find, right off the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway. They offer wine tastings, private guided tours, and a breathtaking venue for special events. This picturesque vineyard is a great non-touristy thing to do around LA. Sit back, relax, and indulge in a glass of California wine.

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Location: 18741 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA

LA Philharmonic Open Rehearsal

Why would you pay good money for a ticket when you can listen to a live performance of the Philharmonic Orchestra for free? They practice in the mornings from July to September at the Hollywood Bowl.

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Location: 2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA

River Kayak Safari

This adventure combines a natural and urban setting for an extraordinary day trip. Explore LA in about the least touristy way possible and see the city from a unique perspective. Your guide will teach you some basic kayaking skills and lead you on a 1.75 mile tour of the Los Angeles River.

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