Los Angeles is an exciting place to live, and an even more thrilling place to tour. However, Disneyland and the Hollywood sign are certainly not the only places to see. Tourist or not, I guarantee you will find these four cool places to visit in L.A. unique, adventurous and entertaining. 

1. The Last Bookstore

Whether you’re a bookworm or haven’t even picked up a book since the fourth grade, the unique layout of The Last Bookstore, located in Downtown L.A., will appeal to anyone. As soon as you walk in, you become overwhelmed with the large, two-story space filled with 250,000 books.

The bookstore’s uniqueness stems from the way in which the books are stacked and designed to create aesthetically-pleasing shapes. For example, you can walk through a book tunnel, as well as pose for a picture in a book frame. There are books high up on the walls, in addition to various combinations of books that create sculptures and other forms of art.

The Last Bookstore also contains over 10,000 Vinyl Records and an art gallery located on the second floor. As physical bookstores are rapidly dwindling in today’s highly technological society, The Last Bookstore will hopefully remain, as the name suggests.

2. Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

Melissa Simon

As described by their website, “Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine is a Temple, a Shrine, and a Meditation Garden offering people from around the world a quiet oasis for meditation, prayer, and receiving the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda.” Everyone is welcome here, regardless of religious background. It’s a place that fills your mind and body with serenity, relaxation, and appreciation. The silence and absence of cell phones allow you to focus on the beautiful green scenery and the vast lake filled with swans and fish.

For me, Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine calms my thoughts and encourages me to focus on the blessings in my life. It also gives me an opportunity to take time for myself and meditate while being surrounded by the tranquility of nature. 

3. Paramount Ranch: The Set of Westworld

Melissa Simon

If you’ve ever seen the HBO series Westworld, you’ll absolutely love this site. Paramount Ranch, located at 903 Cornell Road Agoura Hills, CA 91301, is the actual set of where Westworld takes place. The vast Western Town is a great place to explore and wander around. Aside from examining the fake saloon, church, and jail cell, you can also enjoy the view of the Santa Monica Mountains and go on a treacherous hike, or go horseback riding, camping or mountain biking. Paramount Ranch is also a beautiful and quiet area to have a picnic with friends.

4. Culver City Stairs

Melissa Simon

An outdoor workout is perfect for a breezy and sunny day. The 282 stairs of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, AKA the Culver City Stairs, leads up to a view of the Los Angeles area. There are various hiking trails alongside the stairs, leading to the top as well. On a gorgeous day, the Culver City Stairs are packed with people exercising, sweating, listening to music, or enjoying the company of friends and family. It’s a great place to get in shape and strengthen your leg muscles. The way up is tough, so make sure to bring water, but the end result is worth it. 

Get out of your bed, grab some friends, and go explore these cool places in L.A. Tourist or not, you really can't go wrong. Step out of your comfort zone and be adventurous.