15 Best Things to Do in Culver City, CA

Culver City, CA
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Culver City became the epicenter of Hollywood filmmaking back in the day.

Iconic movies such as Grease, Gone with the Wind, and The Wizard of Oz were a few of the many Hollywood movies shot here.

Despite its size, this small city in Los Angeles County is home to two humongous movie studios, which are still running to this day.

A planned community established in 1917 that transformed into a famous city for filmmaking, Culver City is a unique travel destination in California.

It features wholesome attractions, a vibrant arts scene, and an upscale gastronomic scene, offering visitors a worthwhile experience.

Here are the best things to do in Culver City, California:

View the Los Angeles Skyline at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Landscape of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
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Baldwin Hills Overlook is an excellent tourist attraction in Culver City for sightseeing.

It's one of the best places to visit upon arriving at Culver City because of its fascinating perspective of the Los Angeles Basin's northern portion.

The entire Baldwin Hills Overlook provides visitors the best view over Los Angeles to Santa Monica from its steep hill on Culver City's southern portion.

Likewise, you'll see beautiful views of Downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains to the east.

Skyline view from Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
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In addition, visiting this overlook in Culver City is already an adventure.

You need to hike and meander through its dirt trail to reach the top, which has a 315-foot elevation.

You can also take the stairs for an easier route to the overlook's top.

Nonetheless, both ways to reach the top are equally enjoyable.

See Fascinating Artifacts at the Wende Museum

Exterior of The Wende Museum
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The Wende Museum along Culver Boulevard is a charming museum that features a mixture of art and historical artifacts.

Displayed at this museum are over 100,000 artifacts relevant to the former Soviet Union and Cold War era.

Most of these artifacts came from Ulrike Wolf and Alwin Nachtweh, well-known activists who donated their significant collections to the museum.

Exhibit in The Wende Museum
Roller Coaster Philosophy, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Wende Museum is a must-visit place for those fascinated by the cultural and political histories of former Eastern Bloc nations such as East Germany, Romania, Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

In addition, you'll also find beautiful Cold War-era artworks from Eastern artists in one of the museum's galleries.

Old musical instrument in The Wende Museum
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Play Outside at Culver City Park

Head to Culver City Park on Jefferson Boulevard for a relaxing or perhaps a fun-filled day with your loved ones in the outdoors.

This park, open to the public, features over 41 acres of recreational area in Culver City.

Its centerpiece is the top-notch children's playground developed and designed by Kopman, a Danish company specializing in Scandinavian-style outdoor play spaces.

Suppose you brought your kids with you while touring through Culver City; this park is the perfect place to get them.

They would love to play at this park's top-notch playground or play sports at its softball field, basketball court, or skate area.

You can also head to the park's jogging and hiking paths for a worthwhile exercise.

Culver City Park is the best place to visit if you're not in the mood to tour around the city.

Explore the Massive Sony Pictures Studio Tour

Exterior of Sony Pictures Studio
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The Sony Pictures Studio is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Culver City.

Touring inside this massive studio is a one-of-a-kind experience that lets visitors travel back in time during Hollywood's Golden Age.

It lets you explore countless sound stages, studios, and production areas once utilized in filmmaking back in the day.

People touring the Sony Pictures Studio
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You'll walk through famous filming locations within the studio, such as the sets from Spider-Man, Men in Black, The Wizard of Oz, and television shows such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!

The Sony Pictures Studio Tour usually lasts an hour or two, but the experience is worthwhile.

Of course, don't forget to snap photos during the tour inside for a more memorable experience.

Pedal through the Culver Boulevard Bike Path

Biking is one worthwhile activity you should enjoy in Culver City.

For those unaware, the city is renowned throughout Los Angeles County as a top-notch biking destination, mainly for its bike-friendly roads.

You can hop on a bicycle and traverse the city's thoroughfares to see its famous attractions, or perhaps traverse the Culver Boulevard Bike Path.

It is one of the city's most famous bike paths, and many locals and visitors love to pass through to get around quickly.

While biking through this famous path, you'll come across students, locals, and workers heading on their trips around the city.

In addition, this bike path in Culver City is accessible at many points, with most leading you to its famous tourist attractions.

See Exotic Animals at the STAR Eco Station

You'd be surprised to discover that Culver City is also home to a unique attraction that houses rescued exotic wildlife.

Head to the STAR Eco Station along Jefferson Boulevard and see up-close exotic animals at this wildlife haven.

The STAR Eco Station is renowned throughout Los Angeles County for its valiant efforts in rescuing and rehabilitating abandoned, abused, and illegally-trafficked exotic wildlife.

Numerous groups run it from federal environmental organizations, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and other volunteers.

A visit to this unique attraction in Culver City gives you an up-close look at rare and exotic animals such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, wildcats, and insects in a tropical jungle setting.

Get a Haircut and Sip Delicious Cocktails at the Blind Barber

Exterior of Blind Barber
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Have you ever seen a barbershop with a bar that serves refreshing cocktail drinks?

Head to Blind Barber along Culver City's Washington Boulevard to get an excellent haircut while enjoying a glass or two of its finest cocktails.

Blind Barber is renowned throughout Culver City for its unique setting, where you'll enjoy combined modern pub and barber shop services.

Whether you're craving a margarita or perhaps want a buzz cut, Blind Barber has you covered once you step inside its door.

You'll have an excellent time sipping its finest cocktails while enjoying the laid-back and vintage ambiance that is genuinely worth experiencing.

Buy Fresh Produce at Jackson Market

Jackson Market is Culver City's version of a local farmers' market, which has been running since 1925.

This neighborhood market takes place on Jackson Avenue.

Also known as the "Secret Garden," Jackson Market is the best place to buy fresh produce, pastries, meat delis, coffee, breakfast items, salads, and sandwiches in the city.

If you're yearning to discover Culver City's local specialties or perhaps want to rub elbows with locals, Jackson Market is your go-to place.

Aside from the usual farmers' market specialties, the market also serves craft beer, cheeses, wines, teas, and other products.

There's also a patio where you can munch all the food you bought instead of waiting to get home to enjoy them.

Spend a Night at the Historic Culver Hotel

Exterior of the Culver Hotel
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The Culver Hotel is probably Culver City's most iconic tourist attraction.

Aside from being the city's focal point for its towering and glamorous design, the Culver Hotel also holds significant historical value.

Situated along Culver Boulevard, this hotel has been the favorite lodging for many well-known personalities in the 1920s.

Building sign of the Culver Hotel
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Constructed in 1924, the Culver Hotel has hosted many famous personalities like Ronald Reagan, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, and Buster Keaton.

Today, the hotel remains one of the most beautiful hotels in Los Angeles County, known for its illustrious backstory and elegant setting.

Staying at this famous hotel in Culver City is like stepping back in time since most of its original furnishings are still intact.

Facade of the Culver Hotel
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Walk through the Halls of the Museum of Jurassic Technology

Exterior of Museum of Jurassic Technology
Museum of Jurassic Technology (photo credit: Jennifer Bastian), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Jurassic Technology, located along Venice Boulevard, is one of the must-visit attractions in Culver City.

This museum is famous for its odd and hard-to-explain collections, which surely tickle everyone's imagination and curiosity.

Decaying dice displayed in Museum of Jurassic Technology
Cory Doctorow from Beautiful Downtown Burbank, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Jurassic Technology lets visitors explore its exhibits filled with odd sculptures, miniatures, medieval bestiaries, bizarre folk remedies, and baroque opera sets.

Visit this museum in Culver City and open your mind to understand further the backstories behind the odd but fascinating items displayed in its dimly-lit halls.

Take a Stroll at Downtown Culver City

The road of Downtown Culver City
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There's no better way to tour Culver City than heading to its downtown area.

Despite its compact size, Downtown Culver City is home to dozens of hidden gems and local treasures worthy of checking out.

Spending your afternoon downtown is a worthwhile experience, especially if you visit numerous attractions like The Culver Hotel, the Lions Fountain, Arclight Cinemas, and more.

A cafe along Downtown Culver City
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In addition, it's also where you find most of the art galleries, exhibits, and public artworks in Culver City, which are scattered throughout the area.

Of course, an afternoon stroll through Downtown Culver City would make anyone hungry.

So, don't forget to drop by some of the area's most recommended restaurants, such as The Wallace, Grand Casino Bakery & Café, Ugo, Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken, Wildcraft, and Café Vida.

Discover the Culver City Arts District

The Culver City Arts District is home to over 20 art galleries, exhibits, retail shops, restaurants, and cafes.

It's an excellent place for art lovers and average tourists in the city to spend their day exploring and having a good time.

If you're searching for a relaxing activity, visiting Culver City Art District is an excellent place to have this.

Drop by famous art exhibits such as Edward Cella Art & Architecture, Kopeikin, George Billis, Walter Maciel, Honor Fraser, and Anat Egbi, featuring their signature artworks.

Other excellent places to check out are Klowden Mann and Thinkspace Gallery.

Aside from art gallery hopping, you can also join Culver City locals to celebrate the annual Art Walk & Roll Festival every October and its monthly Art Walk tours.

Of course, don't forget to turn on your camera since there are dozens of fascinating artworks in the art district, such as murals, installations, and sculptures.

Book a Ticket at the Famous Kirk Douglas Theatre

Exterior of Kirk Douglas Theatre
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Down the street from the famous Sony Pictures Studios, a vintage sign emblazoned "Culver" illuminates sequentially every night in the city.

The signage marks the entry to Culver City's downtown area—the Kirk Douglas Theatre, which has entertained everyone since 1947.

Formerly known as the Culver Theater, the Kirk Douglas Theatre remains famous today, featuring its classy way of showcasing vintage Hollywood glamour.

Building sign of Kirk Douglas Theatre
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It's where you can watch Culver City's top-notch stage plays and musicals amidst its 1,160-seater venue.

However, this theater on Washington Boulevard is more famous than its shows; it's been renowned for its decorative and elegant embellishments, highlighting vintage elegance.

Listen to the Serenades of Culver City's Boulevard Music Summer Festival

This summer-long music concert at Culver City Hall is a fantastic event you can watch for free.

Culver City's Boulevard Music Summer Festival presents some of the best local bands and musicians.

Live music performances are held at City Hall Courtyard every Thursday night from June to August.

Dropping by this music festival before going home will be a worthwhile experience.

Culver City's Boulevard Music Summer Festival features dozens of music genres from pop, jazz, R&B, and vintage to cultural music.

After watching the entertaining concerts, you can head to the nearby restaurants and cafes to treat yourself to a hearty meal.

Other Things to Do Nearby

See Los Angeles County from a Different Point of View at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

The grounds of Kenneth Hahn State Recreation
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Located on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is renowned for its scenic views.

Aside from its scenic views of Culver City and Los Angeles, it has numerous recreational venues to enjoy.

The recreation area has numerous trails, a fishing lake, playgrounds, sports facilities, and a picnic area open for everyone.

The waters of Kenneth Hahn State Recreation
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For a more tranquil experience, visit its Japanese Garden or get active at its workout station.

With a very affordable entry fee, you can enjoy all of  Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area's amenities while enjoying the scenic view of Los Angeles.

Final Thoughts

While checking out this list of the best things to do in Culver City, California, you'll realize that it is a city of its own in the vast Los Angeles County.

It has become a unique travel destination with many options waiting for those who visit it.

Whether you're up for some movie studio tours, leisure activities, or want to discover the diverse culture and arts, fun and fascinating things are waiting for everyone in Culver City.