10 Surreal Places Around L.A. That Will Transport You To Another World

Secret Los Angeles Secret Los Angeles

10 Surreal Places Around L.A. That Will Transport You To Another World

Featured Image:@thirdeye_shots

Go on a magical escape without leaving Greater Los Angeles.

With international travel still out of the picture, we’re turning our attention to the spectacular wonders that are right in our own backyard. It’s no secret that Los Angeles is utterly brimming with diversity and creativity, so why not use this time to discover and rediscover local gems? From tiled gems to enchanting structures based on fairytales, every corner offers a new adventure. Here are some of our favorite weird and wonderful places across Los Angeles that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world.

1. Garden of Oz

When you follow this yellow brick road, you won’t land up in Oz. Instead, you’ll find yourself in a mosaicked oasis filled with lush greenery. This Oz-inspired garden in the Hollywood hills is a magical place created by local wizard Gail Cottman. Guests that are lucky enough to have a key will get a taste of Gaudi’s tiled gems in Barcelona.

Location: 3040 Ledgewood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

2. The Japanese Garden

If you had plans to go to Japan this year, this would offer you some consolation. This breathtaking, authentic Japanese garden blends aesthetics and philosophical ideas to create an explosion of natural fragrances and sights. It features three different gardens to create one surreal experience. Begin with the Zen meditation garden, then wander along the Chisen or “wet-strolling” garden and end at the Shoin Building with an authentic tatami-mat teahouse. Find out more here.

Location: 6100 Woodley Ave, Los Angeles

3. Santa’s Village

Santa’s SoCal hood is a true holiday adventure throughout the year. Around 65 years ago, the Big Guy in the red suit set up camp in Lake Arrowhead and turned it into a Christmas wonderland complete with gingerbread homes, giant candy canes, a grand old sleigh, a gleaming tree and faux alpine dwellings. It’s one of the original theme parks on the West Coast and after all these years, it’s still as magical as it was then.

Find out more here

4. Pyramid Lake


Soak up the sun and scenic beauty of the Angeles and Los Padres National Forests near Castaic, California. It’s a popular place for outdoor folks thanks to the endless recreational activities to Pyramid Dam on Piru Creek forms the Pyramid Lake (a reservoir). It’s located in the Angeles and Los Padres National Forests near Castaic, California. In case you were wondering, it takes its name from the unmissable pyramid-shaped rock carved out by engineers building the Old Highway 99.

Location: 35800 Camino Del Lago, Castaic, CA 91384

4. Saint Vincent Court

Missing Europe? Well, luckily, L.A. has small pockets dedicated to recreating life in Italy. St. Vincent Court alleyway is made up of colorful shopfronts, cobbled brick paving, and charming cafes. It’s home to an eclectic mix of delis, cafes, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants, jewelry shops, a flower shop, and a tiny espresso bar.

Location: St Vincent Ct Los Angeles, CA 90014, USA

5. The Venice and Long Beach Canals

The Italian getaway that won’t leave you bankrupt and still has all the charm you could ask for. Both the Venice in L.A. and Naples canals in Long Beach have drawn inspiration from Venice, Italy’s stunning aquatic networks. In Long Beach, you can even take a trip on a gondola.

Find out more here. 

6. The ‘Witch House’ of Beverly Hills

Why travel to another city when you can be whisked away on a storybook adventure. This whimsical ‘Witch House’ brings fantasy to life through flawless attention to detail. Wandering past this stretch of the Beverly Hills neighborhood and stumbling upon this surreal architectural fantasy, you might think you’ve accidentally landed up in Disneyland.

Find out more here.

7. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

This ornate Hindu temple may seem like it’s in an ancient Indian city, but it is, in fact, right up the road in Chino Hills. It’s one of five traditional Hindu temples in North America, and it is absolutely magnificent.

Location: 15100 Fairfield Ranch Rd, Chino Hills, CA 91709

8. Heritage Square

Why escape the city when you can escape the decade at the grounds dedicated to preserving Victorian-era structures and traditions. The gothic architecture offers a mysterious adventure into a completely different time as well as being a brilliant lesson in history.

Location: Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St

9. Buena Vista Street

How could we not include the obvious but surreal world of Buena Vista Street? While attractions are closed, the quaint street beam with old-world charm immediately transports you to a simpler time reflecting Walt Disney’s early years in SoCal.

Find out more here.

10. Victoria Beach

The famous Victorian Pirate Tower on the North end of the beach goes into full fairytale mode at sunset. While it’s not quite in L.A., this magical spot is filled with wonders, from the beautiful houses and tide pools to the reefs. There are also tons of activities to keep you busy, like kayaking, volleyball, and tennis. There’s both paid and metered parking available along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Location: Laguna Beach, CA 92651

See more: 10 Hidden Gardens That Offer A Lush Escape Around L.A.

Featured Image:@thirdeye_shots

Secret Guides Things To Do