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11 Hidden Gems to Discover in Laurel Canyon


Laurel Canyon: Nestled in the hills of Los Angeles, Laurel Canyon is a legendary neighborhood that has played a significant role in the evolution of the music and arts scene since the 1960s. While it’s well-known for its iconic residents like Jim Morrison, Frank Zappa, and Joni Mitchell, hidden gems are waiting to be discovered by those who venture off the beaten path. Let’s delve into 11 lesser-known treasures that make Laurel Canyon an enchanting destination for the curious explorer.


1. Will Rogers State Historic Park:

Often overlooked in the shadows of Laurel Canyon’s musical history, the Will Rogers State Historic Park offers a serene escape. The former home of the beloved actor and humorist Will Rogers, this park provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Visitors can explore the ranch house, stroll through the gardens, and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

2. Laurel Canyon Country Store:

Tucked away on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, the Laurel Canyon Country Store is a quaint, unassuming spot that exudes charm. This local market has been serving residents since the 1960s and offers a nostalgic trip back in time. From unique groceries to vintage memorabilia, this store preserves the essence of a bygone era.


3. Lookout Mountain Air Force Station:

Once a top-secret defense site, the Lookout Mountain Air Force Station has transformed into a residential area with a rich history. While it’s not open to the public, the unique architecture and remnants of its military past make it a fascinating site for those interested in Cold War history.

4. Harry Houdini Estate:

Nestled in the heart of Laurel Canyon, the Harry Houdini Estate is a magical retreat that once belonged to the legendary escape artist himself. Now available for private events, the estate features lush gardens, mysterious caves, and a historic mansion that transports visitors to the early 20th century.

5. Cynthia’s Artistic Expressions:

A hidden gem for art enthusiasts, Cynthia’s Artistic Expressions is a private studio tucked away in Laurel Canyon. This intimate space showcases the works of Cynthia Turner, a local artist whose vibrant creations capture the spirit of the canyon. Visitors can arrange private viewings to experience the magic of her art.


6. TreePeople Park:

Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, TreePeople Park offers a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. This environmental education center is dedicated to promoting sustainability and connecting people with nature. Explore the walking trails, attend workshops, and appreciate the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

7. The Country Store Recording Studio:

Steeped in musical history, The Country Store Recording Studio is a hidden gem where artists like Neil Young and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young once recorded. Tucked away in a former grocery store, this studio retains its vintage charm and continues to be a creative space for musicians.

8. The Wonderland School:

While education might not be the first thing that comes to mind in Laurel Canyon, The Wonderland School is a unique institution worth exploring. This progressive elementary school embraces the artistic and creative spirit of the canyon, providing a nurturing environment for young minds.

9. Zorthian Ranch:

A short drive from Laurel Canyon, Zorthian Ranch is an eccentric art haven that feels like a hidden world of its own. Founded by artist Jirayr Zorthian, the ranch features eclectic sculptures, murals, and structures that showcase the unbridled imagination of its creator.

10. Laurel Canyon Stairs:

For those seeking a physical challenge with a scenic reward, the Laurel Canyon Stairs offer a hidden workout spot. Tucked into the hillside, these steep stairs provide a workout amid lush greenery and a sense of accomplishment when you reach the top.

11. Cafe Laurent:

Away from the bustling city, Cafe Laurent is a charming French-inspired cafe that invites patrons to savor delicious pastries and coffee in a relaxed setting. This hidden gem offers a cozy retreat where locals gather to enjoy a taste of Europe in the heart of Laurel Canyon.


In conclusion:

Laurel Canyon’s allure extends beyond its musical legacy, revealing a tapestry of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or nature lover, this iconic neighborhood has something extraordinary to offer those willing to explore its secrets. So, lace up your walking shoes and embark on a journey to uncover the enchanting mysteries of Laurel Canyon.




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