Culver City spans approximately five square miles throughout Los Angeles County. It was originally established as a planned community in 1917 by Harry Culver and quickly became an epicenter for Hollywood filmmaking, known today as the site of both the MGM and Sony Pictures Studios. In recent decades, the region has become a hub for pedestrian-friendly cultural attractions, including upscale gastropubs and a gallery scene that has been compared to New York City's Chelsea neighborhood.
1.The Wende Museum
© The Wende Museum
The Wende Museum is an art museum and historical archive that was founded in 2002 by Justinian Jampol as a repository of items related to the Cold War and the former Soviet Union. The nonprofit museum, which is named for the German word for "turning point," holds a collection of more than 100,000 artifacts related to the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, including significant collections donated by activists Alwin Nachtweh and Ulrike Wolf. Collections and exhibits showcase the political and cultural histories of former Eastern Bloc countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and East Germany, including expansive collections of Cold War-era artworks by Eastern artists. Significant collections furniture, textiles, clothing, and multimedia holdings are also showcased in cutting-edge technological exhibits.
10808 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230, Phone: 310-216-1600
2.The Museum of Jurassic Technology
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The Museum of Jurassic Technology is an acclaimed and unique museum located in Los Angeles' Palms District, originally founded in 1988 by David Hildebrand Wilson and Diana Drake Wilson. The museum is an extension of Hildebrand Wilson's cultural curiosities collection, showcasing eccentric exhibits on a variety of topics and oddities in the vein of Ripley's Believe It Or Not museums, including collections of micro-miniature sculptures and outdated pseudoscientific medicinal remedies and information on fringe psychological and biological theories. Though the museum's presentations strain scientific credibility at times, it is acclaimed as a unique examination of the experience of knowledge-gathering and museum culture, receiving the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship award in 2001.
9341 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 310-836-6131
3.Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
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Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook offers stunning views of downtown Los Angeles from a height of more than 500 feet, located just southwest of the city's downtown area. The peak is accessible from either a visitor trail that spans approximately a mile walk uphill or the 282-step Culver City Stairs staircase. Stunning views of the city's most famous sights are offered from its peak, including the famed Hollywood Hills, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean coastline. A state-of-the-art visitor center is offered at the trail's entrance, showcasing exhibits related to the area's mining and drilling history and renewed future outlook on conservation. Seasonal displays of wildflowers are also showcased along the trail, which offers opportunities for bird and wildlife watching.
6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 310-558-5547
4.Culver City Park
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Culver City Park is a 41-acre recreational park that is open to the public daily, featuring a high-profile children's playground developed by Danish company KOPMAN that offers a Scandinavian-style jungle gym and playspace. Traditional playground spaces with swings and slides are also offered, along with a basketball court, softball field, and skate park area. Visitors may also make use of the park's walking and jogging paths, along with its covered picnic area and dog-friendly Pooch Path. The park is open daily between dawn and 10:00pm, with public restrooms offered for visitors and a free parking lot provided.
9910 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 310-253-6650
5.STAR Eco Station
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STAR Eco Station is an environmental science museum in Culver City, originally opened to the public in 1997 by Erick and Kayta Bozzi and their two children. The museum works in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal environmental organizations to offer rehabilitation services for abandoned exotic wildlife, with a focus on illegally-trafficked exotic animals. It strives to preserve and conserve through education, offering a wide variety of educational programming teaching ecology and biology to students in hands-on environments. Students and visitors have the opportunity to interact with rare birds, wildcats, reptiles, and marine life in a tropical jungle habitat, with discovery station exhibits crafted by the organization's partners. A second STAR Eco Station facility is also offered in Sacramento.
10101 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 310-842-8060
6.Sony Pictures Studio Tour
© Sony Pictures Studio Tour
Sony Pictures Studio Tour lets visitors step back in time to the heyday of Hollywood's Golden Age, offering a chance to explore the studios and sound stages behind the production company's famed gates. All tours traverse popular filming locations and sound stages for acclaimed films from The Wizard of Oz to Men in Black and offer a chance to see the sets for hit game shows such as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Tours last approximately two hours and are offered for visitors ages 12 and older, conducted Mondays through Fridays at four times throughout the morning and afternoon hours. A two-hour Twilight Tour is also offered on Thursday evenings throughout the summer months, offering a chance to see sets and studios at dusk.
10202 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 310-244-8687
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Milla Chocolates is an award-winning chocolatier company founded by Christine Sull Sarioz, hailed by international publications such as Martha Stewart Living, The Los Angeles Times, and TimeOut as one of California's premiere craft chocolatiers. The company is known for its high-quality single-origin chocolates, which are crafted from beans sourced from Peru, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. High-quality chocolates include the company's Hazelnut?Praliné?Bar, which has received gold medals at the International Chocolate Awards. Delicious bonbons are sold in flavors such as hazelnut, raspberry, and sesame caramel, accompanied by high-quality chocolate-covered caramelized almonds in unique flavors such as raspberry with pink sea salt. Other delicacies include chocolate-covered orange chips, pistachios, and hazelnuts.
9414 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 323-515-2346
8.Culver Boulevard Bike Path
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Culver Boulevard Bike Path is a Class 1 bicycle path that spans 2.1 miles throughout Culver City, accessible for bikers, runners, joggers, and wheelchair users. The path begins near Huron Avenue and continues underneath the San Diego Freeway before terminating at Braddock Drive in Del Rey. It was constructed along the path of the former Pacific Electric interurban trolley line that formerly connected Redondo, Manhattan, and Hermoso Beaches and El Segundo to the city. Street parking is available at many locations throughout the path, with parallel bike and pedestrian lanes offered. Benches and open grassy spaces are also available along the route for cyclist and pedestrian use.
© Platform LA
Platform LA is a high-end retail complex in Culver City that was opened to the public in 2006. The boutique retail center is home to a variety of upscale designer retailers, fitness studios, and restaurants within a repurposed industrial space, serving as a launching pad for fashion and culinary entrepreneurs. Upscale and boutique fashion retailers include Bird Brooklyn, Janessa Leone, Shades of Grey, and Magasin, with beauty products, accessories, and home goods available from retailers such as Aesop, Freda Salvador, and Poketo. Restaurants include the acclaimed boutique coffee shop Blue Bottle Coffee, neighborhood cafe Hayden, which is helmed by James Beard nominated chef Ari Kolender, and authentic taqueria Loqui.
8850 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
10.Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum
© Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum
Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum is named in honor of university librarian and acclaimed African-American historian Mayme A. Clayton, known for her work preserving African-American literature, films, manuscripts, and ephemera. The museum's overseeing organization was founded in 1975 and is responsible today for the Mayme Agnew Clayton Collection, considered to be one of the most important collections of African-American cultural artifacts in the world today. More than two million rare artifacts, manuscripts, films, photographs, documents, and works of art are held by the museum today, with special collections focusing on African-Americans of the Southern California region. Various public special events and educational programs are also offered throughout the year, including jazz performances, film showings, lectures, and public workshops.
4130 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230, Phone: 310-202-1647
11.Meet in Paris
© Meet in Paris
Meet in Paris is a contemporary French bistro in Culver City, opened in 2009 by French immigrants Sebastien and Cecile Cornic. The restaurant prides itself on its attentive service and quaint and inviting atmosphere, invoking the style and vibe of a classic Parisian bistro. Full menus are served at brunch, lunch, and dinner, highlighting French classics such as croque monsieur, cioppino, and steak and frites. A full mussel bar is also offered, featuring 16 unique flavor takes served with frites and a side salad. A bottomless brunch deal is offered at weekend brunch, featuring all-you-can-drink brunch cocktail favorites paired with contemporary and classic French brunch options. A prix fixe menu is also available at dinner, highlighting three-course chef's classic meals and a selection of fine champagne imported from France.
9727 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 310-815-8222
12.The Kirk Douglas Theatre
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The Kirk Douglas Theatre is one of Los Angeles' most historic former movie theater facilities, originally constructed in 1946 as a Streamline Moderne movie theater capable of seating up to 1,160 patrons. Known as the Culver Theatre throughout its initial motion picture run, the theater was an epicenter of Hollywood's entertainment community throughout the mid-20th century until it ceased operations in 1989. Since 2004, the renovated theater has been operated by the Center Theatre Group as the Kirk Douglas Theatre, with a renewed life as an intimate performing arts venue and playhouse. Its seating capacity has been reduced to 317, with two stages offered for public and private performances. Most of its original exterior has been preserved, including its historic box office. Three of its original productions have transferred to Broadway, including its Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Bengal Tiger.
9820 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Lukshon is a modern Southeast Asian restaurant in Culvert City that opened in 2001. The elegant metal and teak decor, open kitchen, and spectacular covered outdoor terrace with a fire pit create the perfect background for Chef Sang Yoon’s inventive Southeast Asian cuisine. His beautifully presented colorful and flavorful dishes represent the authentic cuisines of different Southeast Asian countries with his own imaginative modern twist. He uses fresh, seasonal ingredients and authentic Asian spices and flavors, and the result is a reputation for one of the best restaurants in LA. The meals are accompanied by a superb wine list, innovative cocktails, and a large selection of craft beers, some rare and unique.
3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 310-202-6808
14.Eco Dive Center
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Eco Dive Center offers environmentally-friendly scuba diving experiences for Los Angeles area visitors, upholding a commitment to ethical scuba diving experiences with a focus on environmental conservation and sustainability. The company is entirely solar-powered, one of the first businesses of its kind to use renewable energy for 100% of its operations. Scuba trips throughout the Southern California region are offered, including excursions to nearby Catalina Island for dives with native sea lions. Santa Barbara Island excursions are also offered, including seal dives, along with excursions to nearby San Clemente, Anacapa, San Nicolas, and Santa Cruz Islands. All trips are all-inclusive and led by certified scuba diving instructors.
4027 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230, Phone: 310-398-5759
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Johnnie's Pastrami is a Southern California institution, originally opened to the public in 1952. The retro diner and sandwich joint is operated by fourth-generation family members of its original owners and offers indoor and outdoor seating, including patio seating around a fire pit. It still serves up its classic pastrami sandwiches on rye or rolls, featuring thinly-shaved meat piled on in generous proportions. A wide variety of American diner fare is also served, including the restaurant's famous French dip sandwiches, charbroiled burgers, golden brown chicken and shrimp, and famous kosher pickles. Individual tabletop jukeboxes are offered at indoor seats, allowing guests to select from a variety of classic midcentury hits.
4017 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230, Phone: 310-397-6654
16.Akasha Restaurant and Bakery
© Akasha Restaurant and Bakery
Akasha Restaurant and Bakery is a New American restaurant originally opened in 2008 by Akasha Richmond, one of the world's most famous vegan chefs and a former tour chef for pop artist Michael Jackson. The restaurant showcases a wide menu of Californian and New American cuisine with global influences inspired by Richmond's world travels. Menus rotate regularly to reflect availability of seasonal and local ingredients, with an emphasis on locally-sourced farm ingredients and sustainably-sourced foods. Full brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour menus are offered, featuring menu items such as quinoa and sunflower seed vegetable burgers, Elote-style street corn, market-fresh stir fry options, and the restaurant's famed gluten-free onion rings. A full three-course prix fixe menu is available for parties of 15 or more, with craft beer, cocktails, and fine wines available to complement all meals. The restaurant also operates a full cafe serving Intelligentsia Coffee and a variety of sweet and savory cafe menu options.
9543 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: 310-845-1700
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© Tito's Tacos
Tito's Tacos is a Los Angeles institution, serving up freshly-prepared Mexican food using top-secret recipes since 1959. The restaurant is acclaimed by those seeking an authentic Baja experience without leaving Southern California, selected as the recipient of the America's Best Burrito award by the Daily Meal. It has also been acclaimed by Tech Times as one of the United States' 20 best taquerias. A full menu of Mexican favorites is available throughout the day, including tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and tostadas, with many served in the restaurant's signature hard-shell tacos, still prepared onsite daily according to traditional recipes.
11222 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90230, Phone: 310-391-5780
18.Sage Organic Vegan Bistro
© Sage Organic Vegan Bistro
Sage Organic Vegan Bistro was originally opened in 2011 by executive chef Mollie Engelhart, the producer of the vegan-positive documentary May I Be Frank, along with business partner and actor Woody Harrelson. The all-vegan restaurant offers a wide variety of health-conscious and sustainable menu options throughout the day, focusing on plant-based and organic foods. Vegan burgers, pizzas, nachos, and other American-style delicacies are served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with many options available gluten-free or nut-free. More than 25 beers are also tapped at the restaurant's bar and outdoor beer garden, dubbed as the first vegan beer garden in the world.
4130 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230, Phone: 424-228-5835
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19.Rock N Rope Adventures
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Rock N Rope Adventures is a Southern California company specializing in outdoor rock climbing adventures for participants of all ages, from amateur climbers to seasoned professionals. The company offers private and group excursions led by experienced instructors with Professional Climbing Guides Institute certification, taking tours to top area natural sites such as Joshua Tree National park, Alabama Hills, and Malibu. A variety of thrilling course options are offered, encouraging participants to step outside of their comfort zone to have a thrilling outdoor adventure experience. Top safety equipment is used to ensure participant safety, with instructors watching over participants at every point during courses.
6762 S Centinela Ave, 2nd floor, Culver City, CA 90230, Phone: 310-975-4049
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20.Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery
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Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery is a historic 1939 Roman Catholic cemetery that is located within Culver City and overseen by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The 200-acre cemetery serves as the final resting place for a number of well-known Hollywood figures of the 20th century, including Bing Crosby, Rita Hayworth, Lawrence Welk, and Bela Lugosi. Most celebrity grave sites are located at The Grotto, which is located in the cemetery's southwestern corner atop a small hillside sloping lawn. The Grotto features a volcanic stone archway at its entrance, which contains an altar with statues of the Virgin Mary and St. Bernadette.
5835 W. Slauson Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
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20 Best Things to Do in Culver City, California
- The Wende Museum, Photo: The Wende Museum
- The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Photo: Courtesy of schankz - Fotolia.com
- Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Photo: Courtesy of Kit Leong - Fotolia.com
- Culver City Park, Photo: Courtesy of Sergey - Fotolia.com
- STAR Eco Station, Photo: Courtesy of mgkuijpers - Fotolia.com
- Sony Pictures Studio Tour, Photo: Sony Pictures Studio Tour
- Milla Chocolates, Photo: Mikael Damkier/stock.adobe.com
- Culver Boulevard Bike Path, Photo: Courtesy of schankz - Fotolia.com
- Platform LA, Photo: Platform LA
- Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, Photo: Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum
- Meet in Paris, Photo: Meet in Paris
- The Kirk Douglas Theatre, Photo: Courtesy of lapandr - Fotolia.com
- Lukshon, Photo: Lukshon
- Eco Dive Center, Photo: Courtesy of Rohrlach - Fotolia.com
- Johnnie's Pastrami, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Akasha Restaurant and Bakery, Photo: Akasha Restaurant and Bakery
- Tito's Tacos, Photo: Tito's Tacos
- Sage Organic Vegan Bistro, Photo: Sage Organic Vegan Bistro
- Rock N Rope Adventures, Photo: Courtesy of lenina11only - Fotolia.com
- Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Photo: Courtesy of EinBlick - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Jenna - Fotolia.com