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Best Hidden Gems in Los Angeles

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Wende Museum is a non-profit museum about the Cold War. It houses over 100,000 artifacts from the Cold War period that showcase life during this unique time. Visit the museum and see the huge collection of objects from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. See part of the Berlin Wall and political propaganda as well as items from the daily life of a Soviet, such as furniture and artwork. Wende Museum also conducts educational programs and events.

Endeavour is a retired space shuttle housed in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at California Science Museum. It is a retired orbiter that first flew out in May 1992 and last in May 2011, completing 25 missions while it served as a space shuttle. The exhibit starts with Endeavour Together: Parts & People, where you can observe the artifacts such as its tires, burners as well as the external tank. You are then directed to the main site, where the enthralling space shuttle is displayed. You can go around and underneath it, getting an up-close view of the Endeavour. The images and infographics educate you about the NASA space program and the journey through the city, as a part of its installation at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion. Though you can not enter the shuttle, you can tour the interiors through a live stream on the infotainment. Endeavour has been a crucial part of the American space programs and its presence is a surreal sight to witness. Make sure to reserve or avail physical tickets before they get sold out and you lose your chance to witness this amazing space shuttle.

This educational and conservation center opened in 2003. Serving the northeast Los Angeles communities, the Audubon Center at Debs Park strives to teach and inspire people to understand and care for the environment. Special programs have been designed to engage school age children, where they can explore and learn about the native flora and fauna. Spot butterflies, lizards, squirrels, rabbits, warblers, hummingbirds and more as you stroll through this serene landscape.

The Huntington, the former home of a railroad tycoon, is many things—an extensive library filled with rare books, a large art collection containing numerous European prints and paintings, botanical gardens of almost unmatched splendor and a forum for regular lectures and other activities. You will also find a fine bookstore, cafe and tea room on the grounds. Come and wander through the 150 acres of colorful gardens, lily ponds and beautiful sculptures. The rare books and manuscripts in the library include some of the earliest editions of Shakespeare's works, a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum and the Ellesmere manuscript of one or more of Chaucer's greatest works. Please note reservations are required in order to visit and prices vary depending on the day of the week.

More like its name, Ferndell is not exactly a museum, but a beautiful trail leading to the Griffith Observatory. Once home to the Tongva/Gabrielino tribe, the trail has a natural spring and various planned installations of bridges and railings. Foliage including ferns, create a bubble of clean air and a peaceful environment not away from the city. The natural stream provides the trees and plants with water as it flows through the hill accompanying the trail. Besides the flora, turtles, large koi fish, crayfish, butterflies and dragonflies add to the beauty of the trail. The trail also features waterfalls, ponds and bamboo bridges which were added during its transformation to create an atmosphere similar to that of a rainforest. The lush green plantation attracts many locals and tourists for an elevated trail rather than simply driving up to the Griffith Observatory. Locals can be spotted taking a jog or hiking up accompanied by their little ones for a fun day out. The collective display of nature and wildlife is equivalent to an interactive museum exhibit that must not be missed.

Art collector and philanthropist Frederick Weisman opened his former private residence and collection to the general public in 1991. There is no admission charge to visit this gallery, since Weisman believed that art contributes to the public good. The residence is built in the Mediterranean Revival style, and you'll be able to see a range of art, from European modernist pieces to abstract expressionist works. Magritte, Rauschenberg, Rothko, and Picasso are featured in the collection. See contemporary sculptures on the outside lawn. Tours are held five days a week and must be pre-arranged.

Skirball Cultural Center is a community events center which hosts concerts, lectures, theater, art exhibitions and more. Skirball houses a museum, cafe and offers educational courses. The center aims to explore the correlations between Jewish and American culture, and offers many family-friendly activities.

Located between tall raised buildings and inside the Wells Fargo Center, this history museum is literally a hidden gem. Wells Fargo History Museum depicts the era of gold mining and a part of Wells Frago's life in the wild west. A restored stagecoach, real gold nuggets and a telegraph system that you can try, are just a few of the things that will fascinate you. You can also try your hand at solving a morse code, which might not be as easy as you think. Guided tours can be arranged for groups or students with prior notice for free. One must visit the museum for interactive elements and to acknowledge the struggles of Wells Fargo.

The African American Firefighter Museum is a wonderful landmark that documents the history and progression of the Firefighters of the country. The museum is like a restored house that consists of wooden flooring and stairs. The museum is spread over two floors and includes several exhibits, objects and collectibles that are simply interesting. All the displays are informative and are neatly arranged along the museum. Admission is free. A must see site for those who love American History.

Located in Griffith Park, Bronson Caves. also called Bronson Canyon, was created because of an old quarry dug in 1903 by the Union Rock Company in order to mine materials to use in building the surrounding streets. After the quarry closed in the 1920s, it became a spot for movie shoots because of its rocky and unique landscape. Scenes from Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Army of Darkness were shot here, as well as the original Batman TV show. The park has hiking trails, picnic tables and, of course, caves.

One of the most intriguing museums in Los Angeles, the exhibits here are both professionally sound and completely dubious at the same time. Although the exhibits feature artifacts and relics from the Lower Jurassic period, they seem to stay faithful to the theme of the museum. The main quest for the visitor is to determine whether or not this entire museum is a sham. Regardless of your ultimate conclusion, the museum is certainly worth both the price of admission as well as your time exploring it.

This non-profit organization is dedicated to caring for abandoned farm animals, and the refuge itself is a veritable paradise. Bring your kids along during their Sunday tours to meet a whole lot of four-legged, furry and feathered friends who share this 26-acre sanctuary. If you really fall in love with one of the animals ask about their adoption program. Events are often held here, aimed at increasing awareness towards cruelty to farm animals. What better reward bringing awareness to this cause than with a cheery woof, cluck, moo, mew or a big, wet "thank you" lick!

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