Hollywood, California, is undoubtedly known for its glitz, glamour, and the world-famous entertainment industry. From the iconic Hollywood Sign to the Walk of Fame, it’s easy to get caught up in the star-studded allure of this bustling neighborhood in Los Angeles. However, if you’re looking to break away from the typical tourist attractions and experience the quirkier side of Tinseltown, you’re in for a treat. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most unusual and fascinating things to do in Hollywood, California. Prepare to be amazed and entertained by the offbeat and unexpected gems this vibrant city has to offer.
The Museum of Death: A Morbid Curiosity
Location: Museum of Death
If you have a morbid curiosity or a fascination with the macabre, the Museum of Death is a must-visit attraction in Hollywood. This museum, as the name suggests, is dedicated to all things related to death. It houses an extensive collection of serial killer memorabilia, crime scene photos, autopsy instruments, and more. While it may not be for the faint of heart, it offers a unique and thought-provoking experience for those interested in the darker aspects of human history.
Time Travel Mart: A Quirky Shopping Experience
Location: Time Travel Mart
Step into the Time Travel Mart, a store that will transport you to different eras through its whimsical products. This quirky shop is a front for 826LA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children with their writing skills. You can browse through items like Viking odorant, Dodo chow, and even robot emotions. The proceeds from your purchases support a good cause while allowing you to take home a unique souvenir from your Hollywood adventure.
Esotouric Bus Adventures: Uncover Hidden Stories
Location: Esotouric Bus Adventures
If you’re a history buff with a penchant for the obscure, Esotouric Bus Adventures should be on your itinerary. This guided tour company specializes in uncovering forgotten and unusual stories from Los Angeles’s past. Explore the city’s hidden history, including unsolved mysteries, true crime tales, and the secret lives of Hollywood’s most enigmatic figures. Each tour offers a deep dive into a different aspect of LA’s history, making it a captivating experience for both locals and tourists.
Museum of Jurassic Technology: Blurring Reality and Imagination
Location: Museum of Jurassic Technology
The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a place where reality and imagination intertwine in the most peculiar way. This unique museum presents a collection of curious artifacts and exhibits that blur the line between fact and fiction. From exhibits on microminiature sculptures to collections of letters from unknown scientists, you’ll find yourself questioning what’s real and what’s a clever illusion. It’s a place that challenges your perceptions and leaves you in a state of wonderment.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery: A Resting Place for Legends
Location: Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Visiting a cemetery might seem like an odd choice for entertainment, but the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is far from ordinary. This historic burial ground is the final resting place of numerous Hollywood legends, including Rudolph Valentino, Judy Garland, and Douglas Fairbanks. Beyond paying your respects, the cemetery hosts unique events like outdoor movie screenings and live music performances. It’s a place where life and death come together in a strangely beautiful way.
The Magic Castle: An Exclusive Magical Experience
Location: The Magic Castle
Hidden behind an unassuming facade, The Magic Castle is an exclusive private club for magicians and magic enthusiasts. To enter, you’ll need an invitation from a member or a reservation at their on-site restaurant. Once inside, you’ll be treated to a night of enchanting performances, close-up magic, and mind-bending illusions. The experience is not only magical but also a glimpse into a world that few outsiders get to see.
Los Angeles Coroner’s Office Gift Shop: A Truly Unusual Souvenir Stop
Location: Coroner’s Office Gift Shop
For a souvenir shopping experience that’s truly out of the ordinary, consider a visit to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office Gift Shop. This unusual store offers a wide range of merchandise related to forensic science, crime scene investigation, and the morbidly fascinating world of the coroner’s office. From body bags to toe tags and crime scene tape, you can take home a piece of the dark side of Hollywood.
Museum of Broken Relationships: Love and Loss on Display
Location: Museum of Broken Relationships
Love and heartbreak are universal experiences, and the Museum of Broken Relationships explores these emotions through a diverse collection of artifacts and personal stories. This museum showcases items donated by individuals from around the world, each with a story of love and loss attached. It’s a poignant and touching exhibition that reminds us of the shared human experience of heartache and resilience.
Velvet Margarita Cantina: A Dive Bar with a Twist
Location: Velvet Margarita Cantina
While Hollywood is no stranger to nightlife, the Velvet Margarita Cantina stands out as a dive bar with a twist. This eclectic venue combines Mexican cuisine, craft cocktails, and an ambiance that feels like stepping into a psychedelic time machine. The decor is a visual feast of neon lights, Day of the Dead art, and vintage memorabilia. It’s a place where you can enjoy a margarita while surrounded by the unexpected.
The Last Bookstore: A Literary Wonderland
Location: The Last Bookstore
For book lovers seeking an otherworldly experience, The Last Bookstore is a must-visit destination. This sprawling bookstore is more than just a place to buy books; it’s a labyrinthine wonderland of literary exploration. Wander through whimsical book sculptures, secret passageways, and a hauntingly beautiful book tunnel. Whether you’re a dedicated reader or simply appreciate the artistry of books, this place will leave you enchanted.
Hollywood, California, is not just about red carpets and blockbuster movies. It’s a city filled with odd and extraordinary experiences waiting to be discovered. From museums dedicated to death and heartbreak to magical castles and time-traveling stores, Hollywood offers a myriad of unconventional attractions that cater to all interests. So, the next time you find yourself in Tinseltown, take a break from the usual tourist spots and delve into the quirky and unexpected side of Hollywood.
1. Are these odd attractions suitable for children?
While some of the attractions mentioned may not be suitable for young children due to their morbid or mature themes, there are family-friendly alternatives available in Hollywood, such as the Griffith Observatory or the Hollywood Wax Museum.
2. How can I obtain tickets or reservations for these unique experiences?
For most of the attractions mentioned, it’s a good idea to check their official websites for ticket information, reservations, and operating hours. Some may require advance booking or have limited availability, so plan ahead.
3. Is it safe to visit these offbeat locations in Hollywood?
Hollywood, like any other major city, has its share of safe and less safe areas. It’s advisable to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially when exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods. Stick to well-traveled areas during the day and consider using reputable transportation options when moving around the city at night.