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If you're planning a trip to Los Angeles, figuring out what to see and do can be a challenge. There are so many great attractions and activities in Los Angeles, the possibilities can be overwhelming for visitors.
Many first time visitors will spend their time seeing the more popular tourist attractions and sights. But if you've already seen most of the typical landmarks or just want to get off the beaten path, there are lots of unique, less commercial and potentially more memorable things that visitors should check out while in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Farmer's Market
Though this historical, permanent farmer's market is a frequent stop for tour buses, the original Los Angeles Farmer's Market is often overlooked by most tourists. Located in the Miracle Mile area at the intersection of 3rd St and Fairfax, the Farmer's Market is packed with fruit and vegetable grocers, butchers, nut and candy stands, gift shops and a large number "quick eat" restaurants. To avoid the crowds, head to the Farmer's Market during the week for an early lunch and then check out the various shops for souvenirs. Visitors can also walk next door to the Grove shopping mall, which features major retailers like The Gap, Nordstrom and Barnes and Noble, plus a multiplex showing the latest movies.
This little strip of shops and restaurants in downtown Los Angeles is one of the best ways to get a taste of L.A.'s Mexican heritage. With truly authentic food, mariachi music and historical buildings, you'll be transported to another time and place while never leaving the heart of the city.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Library
If your interest in movies is more academic or historical in nature, spend a few hours in this library which houses a vast array of books, original memorabilia and film-related documents. Though none of the library's contents can be taken off the premises, visitors can check out materials to review on-site. Browse through newspaper clippings on your favorite actor or director, read award-winning screenplays, view classic movie posters and more.
The Rock Store
Motorcycle enthusiasts will love this biker pit-stop nestled in the rolling hills of the Santa Monica mountains just above Malibu. Chow down on a tri-tip sandwich or homemade chili and then saddle up to some of the local riders and their amazing bikes for some shop talk. You might even run into Jay Leno or other celebrities who are known to frequent the Rock Store when taking their collectible rides for a Sunday drive.
These are just a few of the more unique activities and sights that visitors to Los Angeles will enjoy beyond the typical tourist attractions. Don't be afraid to travel off the beaten path, as you'll learn much more about what Los Angeles has to offer and come away with truly memorable experiences from your trip.
Danielle Mead is a 10-year Los Angeles resident and editor of the Los Angeles guide LA4Beginners.com http://www.la4beginners.com. People planning a trip to L.A. should visit LA4Beginners.com for additional information on unique Los Angeles activities plus restaurant reviews, hotels, travel tips and more.