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16 Non Touristy Things to Do in LA

BY: Shannon Jewitt | Feb 23, 2017

Best of Groupon Chicago

“We have a little bit of everything.” That’s how Marc Canter of the famed Canter’s Deli described LA’s culinary scene. But restaurants are only the beginning of what the city has to offer. From visiting the sets of popular TV shows to snapping photos of the Hollywood sign, there’s no shortage of things to do in LA.

But those are all decidedly touristy activities. What if you want to experience the city like a native Angeleno? To help you out, we consulted some Best of Groupon businesses who call LA home, and used their recommendations to compile a three-day itinerary that covers 16 non touristy things to do in LA.

Day 1

After-Flight Workout at Long Beach Hydrobikes

110 N Marina Dr. | Long Beach

Once you hop off the plane, you’re going to want to stretch your legs. Sure, you could rent a bike to ride near the ocean… or you could ride on the ocean atop one of these pedal-powered water cycles. Besides crunching calories and getting some unique coastal views, you’ll also be able to do a little wildlife watching, since the company provides free maps of nearby bird sanctuaries and jellyfish coves.

Post-Workout Cool-Down at Hermosa Massage

407 Pacific Coast Hwy. | Hermosa Beach

After pedaling on the Pacific, you deserve some time to relax. Head over to this massage studio to take advantage of its early-bird special (a Thai-Swedish or hot stone-Swedish massage) or just kick off your shoes for a foot scrub and reflexology.

Pro Tip: If you can’t get enough of the ocean views, the heads of Jinky’s and Marmalade Cafés advise heading to nearby Manhattan Beach, an often overlooked, but decidedly LA spot.

Dinner and a Movie at Street Food Cinema

Various Locations

Dinner and a Movie at Street Food Cinema

Various Locations

Cap off the day by checking out an outdoor-cinema event, which features live music and food trucks in addition to the flick. Venues such as Exposition and Grand Hope Parks host the events, and upcoming films include The Princess Bride and 10 Things I Hate About You.

Late-Night Nosh at Canter’s Deli

419 North Fairfax Ave. | Mid-Wilshire


This 24/7 deli and LA landmark is one of best places to go in LA for a late-night snack. Just look at the praise lavished on the West Hollywood spot—especially for its pastrami—from media outlets such as Esquire, or the numerous celebrities who frequent it both on and off screen.

Midnight Me-Time at Wi Spa

2700 Wilshire Blvd. | Westlake


Chances are you’ve blown your jet-lag diet and need help winding down. If so, check out this 24-hour Korean-style spa. The 48,000-square-foot relaxation oasis stands four stories high and features five therapeutic saunas along with a long list of beauty and wellness treatments, including the popular traditional Korean body scrub.

Day 2

Healthy Eye-Opener at Raw Cane SuperJuice

5301 W Sunset Blvd. | Hollywood

The key ingredient in this juicery’s beverages is right in its name. The Hollywood spot uses only pure cane juice—which is packed with chlorophyll, manganese, and magnesium—in all its drinks.

De-Stress at Samra Acupuncture Clinic

3545 Wilshire Blvd. | Koreatown

This Koreatown holistic-health center was home to a school of Oriental medicine from the 1960s until 2010. Today, you can schedule an appointment for acupuncture or opt for cupping therapy, both of which help rebalance the body’s energies.

Get Your Ears Lowered at Mi Hair Lounge

5001 Wilshire Blvd. | Hancock Park

Now that you’re nourished and relaxed, it’s time to get dolled up. Check out this salon, ranked among Elle’s top 100 in the country, for a shampoo and blow-dry or botox hair treatment, designed to nourish and thicken strands.

Try Chili’s Korean Cousin at Gam Ja Gol

3003 W Olympic Blvd. | Koreatown


The Los Angeles Times describes Gam Ja Gol as a legendary fixture in this neighborhood. Although the menu is filled with authentic Korean food options, the Olympic Boulevard restaurant is best known for one dish: gamjatang, a hearty, spicy stew with potatoes and slow-cooked pork backbones.

Remember Disco at Valencia Lanes

23700 Lyons Ave. | Santa Clarita

Fog, black lights, and a DJ set the scene at this Santa Clarita alley’s Neon Nights, held Thursday through Saturday. Bowl a few games on a choice of 24 automatic scoring lanes or visit the video arcade or lounge, equipped with billiards, darts, and a restaurant.

Get Out of The Basement: A Live Escape Room Experience

12909 Foothill Blvd. | Sylmar

Definitely one of the most creepy things to do in Los Angeles, The Basement is unique among room-escape game spots in that it features a continuously frightening story line spread across three rooms. If the idea of being kidnapped by a cannibalistic serial killer doesn’t scare you, a look back at The Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe’s terrifying date at the spot will.

Eat Like You Just Cheated Death at Mel’s Drive-In

1660 N Highland | Hollywood

End your night at this iconic Los Angeles attraction, whose original location was the site of the 1973 film American Graffiti. The 24-hour diner has expanded to include several locations across California, each of which features juicy grass-fed burgers and sliders, among other comfort foods.

Day 3

Feast and Fandom at Jinky’s Studio Cafe

4000 Colfax Ave. | Studio City

It can be hard to take your eyes off the breakfast menu at Jinky’s, which Los Angeles Daily News describes as “on the edge of encyclopedic." If you do, you may catch a glimpse of a celebrity patron—Vanessa Hudgens, Bella Thorne, and Tyler Posey are among the actors who’ve been spotted at the Studio City location.

Reach New Heights at Up Flying Yoga

11101 Ventura Blvd. | Studio City

Like most fitness trends, aerial yoga—which incorporates suspended aerial hammocks into its yoga practices—began in big cities like LA. So it’s only logical to stop by this studio, which actress and celebrity trainer Kimberely Simonetti opened in 2012.

Turn Back Time at Skin Body Lounge

12755 Ventura Blvd. | Studio City

This Studio City med spa doesn’t view beauty as a luxury—everyone has the right to look their best. That’s why its nonsurgical aesthetic options are extensive, including eyebrow shaping and body wraps, both of which are praised by celebrity journalist Ashlan Gorse Cousteau.

Eat Like a Californian at Marmalade Cafe

710 Montana Ave. | Santa Monica

Get one last taste of LA by checking out this longstanding café’s original Santa Monica location. Since opening in 1990, Marmalade has added locations across the city, all of which serve healthy-ish cuisine that feels quintessentially Californian. Case in point: the grilled butternut squash salad, which comes topped with coconut, pecan and macadamia nuts, currants, and maple balsamic dressing.

Guide Staff Writer
BY: Shannon Jewitt