I grew up as a child in the Los Angeles area from the 1960's to 1970's and have lived in Southern CA off and on throughout the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's, as well. (I
currently (2008) live in the Santa Clarita Valley.) When I look at tourist websites for the Los Angeles area, I am constantly amazed at how many of these websites just recite
the same obvious attractions. There are many things to do in L.A. that you will not necessarily find in tourist brochures at the Chamber of Commerce. I have decided to list
some of my favorite things to do in the Los Angeles area, as a native of the area.
Paradise Cove in Malibu - Your Own Private Beach!
I only know about Paradise Cove because we went there as kids. Our family used to load up the station wagon with kids and
then we would go to Paradise Cove. The parents went into the restaurant/bar and the older kids watched the younger ones on the beach. Paradise Cove is a private beach, and
there are lifeguards on the beach provided by the restaurant. The restaurant also delivers "to go" orders from the restaurant to you on the beach on your blanket! You buy 4
hours of free parking and beach use with a receipt of $25 or more from the restaurant. You can also eat on tables, in chairs, on the beach, during the day or at night, dine on the sand
while listening to the crash of the waves! What could be nicer than that?!
20th Century Fox Ranch - MASH, F Troop, Kung Fu, Planet of the Apes, Swiss Family Robinson, and more...
We used to go to the 20th Century Fox Ranch first for parties with our parents, but soon the older teen girls in
our family became friends with the people who lived in the house on the property and they let us go in and just wander around whenever we wanted. My older sister Jan, and I, used to
cut high school and go to "the ranch" where we would play in the sets leftover from the Planet of the Apes, MASH, and more. The place was mysterious due to the streams and odd
rock formations that ran through it and you would walk up the streams and stumble on more sets. We were usually alone (and smoking pot, it was the 1970's) and that gave us a
surreal feeling in sets like Planet of the Apes. My sisters were given MASH 4077 coats from the MASH set at "the ranch" and we used to wear them to high school. This
history-rich property is now owned by the state and is located in Malibu Creek State Park, where all can walk around the place that is shown in the opening shot of every episode
of the TV series MASH. There is an informative article about this ranch
at http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-tr-malibu21oct21. This is also an excellent place to camp and hike.
Malibu Hills Nature Trails by the Ocean
Malibu has some beautiful public nature trails
(such as the trailhead above) throughout the Santa Monica Mountains and foothills neighboring the Malibu Colony.
San Fernando Mission Convento, 17th Mission in the series
At the San Fernando Mission, located in the north end of the San Fernando Valley, in Mission Hills, you
can learn about the history of Los Angeles in an active and intriguing way. This beautiful site is complete with palm trees, peacocks, and fountains in front of the old adobe buildings. In
the back, through the northern door of the church, you will find the graves of the Bob Hope family, along with a graceful "Hope Garden."
Afternoon Tea at the Hotel Bel Air
If you are looking for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, why not take some time out for the
afternoon tea at the Hotel Bel Air? This wonderful tradition includes a
glass of champagne, with an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire Cream and fresh preserves, pastries, cookies and tea, enjoyed by a lake with swans. Seating
begins at 3 PM and ends at 4 PM. You may also enjoy their Sunday Brunch, which is a great way to treat
your mother to breakfast! For more information, call (310)472-5234.
Self-Realization Center in Pacific Palisades - A Lake Shrine, Sunken Gardens...
I found out about this place via the Source Family. The Self-Realization Center is off the map, but very worthy of a visit. The site was commissioned by Hollywood executives, thus it is very
larger-than-life in ways. The grounds contain gardens surrounding a lake, and there are quotes from great religious leaders hidden among the plants. At one end of the lake is a
spectacular shrine, and the lake has swans, etc. There is a sunken garden as well, and a chapel with an altar displaying great religious masters from many different cultures. I found this
place to be very healing, and very inclusive spiritually. I first visited this site in the early 1980's, I brought my own son there in the 1990's and he remembers it vividly
as it is so unique, and it is still hosting visitors Tuesdays through Sundays (closed Mondays). Just a short drive up Sunset Blvd. from Santa Monica in Pacific Palisades.
Looking for more things to do in the Los Angeles area? Click here to go on to PAGE TWO of things to do!
Kirsten Anderberg. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint/publish, please contact Kirsten at email@example.com.