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Top Unique Tours in LA

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The beauty of an oceanside, major metropolitan city that spans such a vast distance and encompasses so many different cultures and activities is that the choices of entertainment are seemingly endless. Check out these tours that take you and your family (where appropriate) into a wide variety of LA communities and environments.

TMZ Tour bus
(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Starline Tours
Hollywood & Highland
6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
(800) 959-3131

In partnership with Starline tours, TMZ runs a hilarious, very entertaining tour of all the spots where celebrities got in trouble, arrested and incarcerated. Running approximately 2 hours in length, you will see all the hottest spots in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the Sunset Strip where celebrities hang out. It's definitely not uncommon to spot a celeb also! With caustic humor, jabs will be made at the celebrities who made that location famous too. Often times tour guides are also paparazzi so you can get the inside story on some famous incidents. Hear inside info and details about celebs, stories and more as the tour guides direct you. The TMZ tour is offered 7 days a week.


Malibu Wine Trail

Touted as LA's most popular wine tour, you'll enjoy a day out amongst wineries in Malibu. Offered 7 days a week, and lasting about 6 hours, professional drivers in luxury vehicles will take you to three different tasting rooms where you'll be offered wine tastings followed by tasty wine! The wineries you visit depend on the time and/or day of your tour, but each is in the Malibu area. Local wineries include Malibu Wines, Cornell Winery, Malibu and Vine Vasting Room and SIP Malibu. Make sure to come hungry as lunch is included either at Kristy's Wine Bar, the Sunset Restaurant or Duke's on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

Vintage Venice Tours
(credit: Vintage Venice Tours)

Vintage Venice Tours
15 18th Avenue
Venice, CA 90291
(424) 999-8687

Ever wondered what Venice was all about? Well, you can take an in depth walk through Venice with writer and resident Jonathan Kaplan. Kaplan's fascination with the history of Venice, the development of the city and the many events that took place there, including the movie and music scene launched him into the tour business. Along the tour, you'll discover the 104+ years of history including long-gone roller coasters, canals, and piers. In addition, take in the famous bike path, Muscle Beach, the basketball courts along the boardwalk, and much more! More than that, the tour takes you on a trail to see Venice's hidden past including murals, secluded walk ways, and much more. It features a little bit of everything and you'll leave amazed at the rich history of the area.


Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
(818) 354-4321

Offering tours free of charge to the public, including groups and individuals, you'll get a first hand look at the future being invented at JPL. You'll need to make a reservation in advance and tell them whether you're coming with a school or just as a regular visitor, but once you're in you'll get a 2+ hour tour of the fortress that's dedicated to space research and the exploration of our outer galaxies. See a model of Explorer 1, rovers, and read about missions to space.

another side of la segway tour
(credit: Kenneth L./Yelp)

Segway Tour
Another Side Of Los Angeles

When in Rome...or in this case LA, do as the Angelenos do, don't walk, Segway. Because as Missing Persons sang in the 80's "nobody walks in LA." That may not be true, but seeing LA on a Segway is a fun way to tour the city. After all, walking would take a long time! Offering a one-of-a-kind experience, Another Side of Los Angeles Tours features a variety of sightseeing adventures throughout the city including their Beverly Hills Segway Tour, a Santa Monica and Venice Beach Segway Tour, a La Brea Tar Pits Segway Tour, a Downtown LA Segway Tour, a Dream Homes Segway Tour, as well as private tours for Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. By far, one of the more popular ones is the Beverly Hills tour where you'll see the extravagance of the city, learn history, and see all the beautiful shops that line streets like Rodeo Drive. Or, take the Dream Homes Segway Tour, where you'll see the opulent homes of the rich and famous. A three hour experience will take you into Beverly Hills where you'll see the impressive mansions.


Sunset Ranch Hollywood
3400 North Beachwood Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 469-5450

If you've always had an inkling to see the Hollywood Sign up close and personal, then the Sunset Ranch Hollywood tour is right up your alley. Offering spectacular views of Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory, Downtown Los Angeles and the famed sign from Mt. Hollywood and the hills around it, this is a tour not to miss. The tour group offers day tours and evening tours where you can either select from a 1 hour or 2 hour horse back ride through the Griffith Park hills. They also offer a dinner tour, a beautiful 4+ hour tour that takes you on a round trip of over 5 miles of trails through Griffith Park. You'll end up at the Viva Fresh Mexican Restaurant in Burbank where you can dine with your special someone. Kids must be at least 8 years old to take the ride.

getty museum
(credit: istockphoto)

Getty Center Tour

Home to the most expensive museum in the world, the Richard Meyer designed Getty Museum is an architectural wonder at the pinnacle of a mountain featuring breathtaking views and lovely gardens. Just touring the Getty itself is an experience to remember from the tram ride up the hillside to the vast travertine expanse of the building. Inside The Getty houses an impressive collection of works by masters from every period. Getty offers several tours where you'll get to discover the museum's historic collection of arts, as well as the architecture and their famous gardens. Their Architecture Tours last 45 minutes and take you on a tour of the Getty Center site and its architecture. Or, choose their Garden Tour which takes you past their lush and landscaped gardens for 45 minutes. Other tours include seeing special exhibits, as well as a collection highlights tour.

Laura Gerson loves to discover things about Los Angeles and share them with your family. She blogs about kids activities and resources for moms at Mom Angeles.
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