Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right California icon-chevron-right Los Angeles icon-chevron-right The five worst-kept secrets in L.A.

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El Matador State Beach
Photograph: Courtesy Adele Payman

The five worst-kept secrets in L.A.

Angelenos have name-checked these spots so much that they’re anything but unknown. We still kinda love them anyway.

By Michael Juliano
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The more people talk about some standout secret, the less it’s, you know, secret. Something once hush-hush suddenly becomes everyone’s favorite Instagram spot, and any semblance of it being only for those in-the-know is gone. We’ll fess up: We’re as guilty as any publication of glorifying L.A.’s best secrets. But you won’t find us calling these five spots below “secret”—even though plenty of other Angelenos pretend their cover hasn’t been blown yet. But that’s alright: We still love these spots anyway—mostly.

Good Times at Davey Wayne's
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Good Times at Davey Wayne’s (and speakeasies in general)

Bars Dive bars Hollywood

As is the case at seemingly all speakeasies, this watering hole’s late-night line betrays its unmarked entrance. But walk through the fridge (yeah, we still get a kick out of it) on a weekend afternoon and you’ll find a lovely, laid-back patio bar.

Sunken City
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Lee L

Sunken City

Attractions Historic buildings and sites San Pedro

Neither Atlantis nor Pompei, these fenced-off ruins are all that remain after a 1929 landslide along an oceanfront San Pedro neighborhood. The slabs of concrete on the dirt-topped bluff have attracted the attention of seemingly every Instagrammer and tagger south of the 105.

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Hollywood Reservoir
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Eden, Janine and Jim

Hollywood Reservoir

Attractions Parks and gardens Hollywood

Like most of L.A.’s reservoirs, a chain-link fence along the perimeter separates you from the man-made lake. Throw in this reservoir’s nearness to the 101 and the area’s go-to tour-bus stop, and it’s anything but a pastoral secret. But we’re not total cynics: This spot is beautiful.

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El Matador State Beach
Photograph: Shutterstock

El Matador State Beach

Attractions Beaches Malibu

At the bottom of a cliff, Malibu’s heavenly cove hides caves and rock formations. But the race to claim some real estate in the limited high-tide sand will pit you against families, engagement shoots and sunset photographers.

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