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Top 10 Secret Spots in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, CA

Laurel Canyon is a quiet and hip neighborhood that has its own community and history that separates it from the rest of Los Angeles and Hollywood Hills. The playground for hippies and rock stars from the 60s and 70s, Laurel Canyon's is centralized around a bustling Canyon Store, Pace Restaurant, and Jim Morrison's House. Each year the whole community comes together for a festival and a portrait that is kept on a large format photo in the Canyon Store. All the neighbors come together are hot spots such as taking their children to the Wonderland School and the Laurel Canyon Dog Park. Its the perfect place to live in a great community between The Valley and Hollywood, with everything at your fingertips.

Pace Restaurant

Pace Restaurant is a stylishly rustic eatery that serves classic Italian cuisine. On the menu here are traditional pastas, original salads, tasty entrees, and pizzas baked to a delicious ciabatta-crust. The owner is highly selective of organic ingredients that go into his cooking; for this purpose he visits the local farmer's markets twice a week. In order to make the dining experience of his patrons even more pleasant, the owner is often seen seating tables and welcoming guests on arrival. The place also showcases for sale the works of local artists and provides stage for live music.
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Laurel Canyon Market

Back in the early 1900s, there was a small inn built at the intersection of Kirkwood Drive and Laurel Canyon Blvd. Made of wood, the inn was called Bungalow Lodge and represented a sort of "downtown" spot at the time. In 1929, it was destroyed by fire and another building - of brick and stone - was raised in its place, re-fashioned as a market. That is how the Canyon Country Store came into being. The new venture has proven popular with customers, in large part due to its delicatessen, as well as with the artists and musicians whose gatherings have been hosted here ever since on a regular basis.
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Runyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park is a 160-acre (65 ha) park in Los Angeles, California, at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, managed by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The southern entrance to the park is located at the north end of Fuller Avenue in Hollywood. The northern entrance is off the 7300 block of Mulholland Drive. The Runyon Canyon Road, a fire road that is closed to public motor vehicle access, runs roughly through the center of the park between the northern and southern entrances along Runyon Canyon itself, and there are numerous smaller hiking trails throughout the park. The highest point in the park at an elevation of 1,320 ft (402 m) is known as Indian Rock. Because of its proximity to residential areas of Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills, celebrity sightings are common. The park is also noted for having a fairly liberal dog policy, with dogs allowed off-leash in 90 of the park's 160 acres (0.65 km2).
Image Courtesy of: Ryan Vaarsi

Wonderland Ave School

Established in 1927, Wonderland Avenue School is a K-5 school found in Hollywood Hills north-west of Los Angeles. The school caters to the residents of the area around Laurel Canyon, as well as to the gifted/high ability children from all over the city. It is regarded as one of the best elementary education institutions in Los Angeles, and been nominated for the California Distinguished School Award. The school is aimed at providing their students with quality education which would enhance their creative and intellectual abilities.
Image Courtesy of: woodleywonderworks

Laurel Canyon Dog Park

Laurel Canyon Dog Park is originally LA's prime dog park. For the dog owners' convenience, it is fitted with benches, chairs, and has a large shade under which they can relax whilst their unleashed friends have a good time romping around. The park is equally comfortable for those looking for a secluded spot or want to rub shoulders with bigger canines. There is also a designated zone for small or shy doggies. For safety reasons, no food is allowed on the premises. The Dog Park rules are strict and set to ensure that everyone, including the dogs, can enjoy it to the maximum.
Image Courtesy of: Don DeBold

Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is a 1920s amphitheater in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, United States that is used primarily for music performances. The Hollywood Bowl is known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that graced the site from 1929 through 2003, before being replaced with a somewhat larger one beginning in the 2004 season. The shell is set against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood Sign to the Northeast. The "bowl" refers to the shape of the concave hillside the amphitheater is carved into. The bowl is owned by the County of Los Angeles and is the home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the host of hundreds of musical events each year. It is located at 2301 North Highland Avenue, north of Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood/Highland subway station and south of Route 101.
Image Courtesy of: Matthew Field

Nichols Canyon Creek

Ever heard whispers about the legend of a waterfall found in the Hollywood Hills? Surely, you know about a natural waterway (running down Woodrow Wilson and along the west side of Nichols), but what about a waterfall? Perhaps Googling “Nichols Canyon” might shed some light upon this mystery??? Give it a try and you will see that, unlike any other Google search of a city area - producing tonnes of Realtor-related blogs or pictures, the one for Nichols Canyon Creek returns zero. A handful of those popped up may well be for Nichols Canyon, but not the creek itself. Guess, the best way to learn more about the creek is to come and see for yourself.

Laurel Canyon Cleaners and Laundry

Laurel Canyon Cleaners and Laundry is a "mom and pop's" type dry cleaners with a very friendly owner who knows her customers by first name. This is exactly the kind of place where you can send all of your valuable clothing. In case you need a same day alteration you can easily have it done here. There is a lot that can be said about them, but it's best if you will experience it all yourself.

Jim Morrison's House

This house was once a dwelling place of Jim Morrison and his long-time partner Pamela Courson. It is situated right behind the Canyon Country Store, and was built in 1922. The house is furnished with custom-designed pieces and has a bunch of peculiar features, like distressed flooring, iron fixtures, open beam ceilings, as well as an outdoor shower "curtained" with mature trees as a shield from prying eyes. Still, the most important thing about this place is the "hidden shower", which is the original shower in which Jim Morrison kept his writings in scrolls, tucked behind the bathroom wall. The property is currently valued at $1.199 million, whereas the last time it went on sale in 2001, the price was $535,000.
Image Courtesy of: bcgrote

Houdini's House

Although rumors have it that Houdini and his spouse once lived in Laurel Canyon in 1919, no one knows for certain where exactly. In 1959, the fire that consumed the mansion at 2398 (now 2400) Laurel Canyon was largely referred to in the papers as the one taking place at the old Houdini mansion. The property, however, was officially owned by Houdini's friend Ralf Walker. Houdini biographers, in turn, claim that in 1919 the Houdinis resided in the guesthouse at 2435 Laurel Canyon (across the street). While there's no proof to that, there is a hard evidence that Bess Houdini indeed lived there after Harry's departure. This guesthouse was said to be standing on solid rock and the hills around it were dotted with caves, both natural and man-made. There also was an elevator that ran down through the rock to a tunnel that passed beneath Laurel Canyon Boulevard and surfaced in the gate house of the Walker mansion.
Image Courtesy of: bcgrote

Frank Zappa's House

Frank Zappa's famous dwelling, back in the 1960s, stood on the North-West corner of Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon; the lot is now empty. Eventually, the singer had to move out because every lunatic in town knew where he lived. Among other music celebrities, who also honored the area with their presence, were Jim Morrison, John Mayall, Carole King, The Mamas and The Papas, Dusty Springfield, Brian Wilson, and others. The Laurel Canyon movie of 2001 pays tribute to that era.
Image Courtesy of: bcgrote

Laurel Canyon Air Force Base

The former Lookout Mountain Air Force Base is a rather unique place. Between World War II and 1963, this facility was in use by the U.S. government as a secret nuclear bomb film unit. The compound was packed with sound-, screening-, and film-processing equipment, and was staffed by filmmakers with a top security clearance. The shroud of secrecy over this place was pulled back only a few years ago.
Image Courtesy of: Kevin

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Top 10 Secret Spots in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, CA