Real Tourism Attractions
By Kimberly Gonzalez
Living in Los Angeles for 23 years allowed me to discover every angle in the city. I have gotten to know LA and every secret place there is. These are a few underappreciated places that should be added to your next LA visit.
Located inside the US Bank Tower, the tallest building in Downtown Los Angeles, Skyspace LA gives visitors a 360-degree view of the city and a glass slide on the outside wall of the 73rd floor of the building. You can buy tickets in advance for entrance at a certain hour. They have admission every 30 minutes. Admission with the skyslide combo is $33. The attraction consists of four floors. Once inside the building, you take a fast-paced elevator to the top floors. Exiting you see a panoramic view of Los Angeles on the walls. The next two floors are where you get to see the entire view of the city. On the second to last floor is a glass balcony that extends on the outside of the building, giving a 360-degree view. The last floor is where the slide begins. Completely made out of thick glass, visitors get a carpet to slide down the slide. At the bottom, a photographer is waiting to capture the moment. Pictures can be purchased for $40 in the lobby.
The Santee Alley, or the “real” Downtown LA, is several streets where products of all kinds are sold at cheap prices. The Santee Alley spans from four to five blocks; where merchandise such as video games, makeup, clothing, shoes, undergarments, and everything else is sold. Many say that merchandise arrives first in the Santee Alley before hitting the big stores. Likewise, there are the delicious bacon-wrapped hot dogs. These hot dogs are served with condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. They also include extra toppings such as avocado, sliced-up tomato, cilantro, onion and a jalapeño. Stands also sell freshly diced fruit with lemon and chile in a cup. Traditional Mexican goodies such as fried elote which means fried corn. Lemon and chile, or mayonnaise, cheese and butter can be added as well. You can also buy freshly squeezed fruit juices as well. Meanwhile a few blocks away, galleries sell candy, fabrics, piñatas, and party supplies. If you ever host a big party, Downtown LA is the place to shop first.
California is known for its large Latino population, with 15 million people living in California, and 4.9 million in Los Angeles itself. With this big population, comes great restaurants, one of them being La Michoacana. La Michoacana is a Mexican- inspired ice cream store. Their ice cream is 100 percent natural so it maintains its authentic Mexican taste. They sell ice cream as well as snacks such as esquites, hot Cheetos with nacho cheese, and ice cream sundaes. The first location was opened in San Fernando on the intersection of Workman and Rinaldi Street. Another location was established in Reseda close to California State University Northridge on the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way. They have been so successful that lines go around the corner. La Michoacana has been expanding all over Southern California, opening locations in both Riverside and Orange Counties.
If you’re ever looking for the perfect majestic view, Mulholland Drive and the Baldwin Hills scenic overlook, also known as the Culver City stairs, are the perfect spots. Most people coming to LA tend to go to the Observatory for a view. Unfortunately going to the Observatory means being stuck in traffic, no parking and being surrounded by tourists. When you go to Mulholland Drive, you get to enjoy an experience free of traffic and overcrowding. The main attraction of the Baldwin Hills scenic overlook is the stairs one must climb to see the panoramic view of Los Angeles southwest of downtown. Entrance for the main hike is along Jefferson Boulevard located at 6300 Hetzler Blvd. in Culver City. Parking for an entire day is six dollars and four dollars for two hours. There are 282 steps to climb before you get to the top. The stairs are man-made and underwent construction in 2006. This is a perfect place to go to for a hike as well. There is a designated picnic area on the overlook.
Actor Danny Trejo, is well-known for starring in films such as “Machete” and “XXX.” What people might not know is that he also owns restaurants such as Trejo’s Tacos and Trejo’s Donuts. His restaurants are recognized for selling vegan and non-GMO tacos. His donut shop is located in Woodland Hills on Oxnard Street and Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard. His taco locations are in Hollywood, South La Brea Street, and Pasadena.
For tourists, visiting these locations will make you feel like a real Los Angeles local. At the end of the day, you will be able to brag about these new locations you were able to enjoy in vacation.