15 Best Things to Do in Silver Lake, Los Angeles

Silver Lake, Los Angeles
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Silver Lake is a Los Angeles neighborhood at the intersection of Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevards.

It is one of the hippest neighborhoods in the world-famous California city.

Many people refer to Silver Lake as the Brooklyn of Los Angeles for its bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.

However, before it became one of the most popular neighborhoods in LA, Silver Lake was first a tiny community called Ivanhoe.

In 1907, the famous neighborhood got the name Silver Lake after the Los Angeles Water Department built the Silver Lake Reservoir.

This reservoir, in turn, got its name from LA Water Commissioner Herman Silver.

Los Angeles is an enormous city, with so many places to visit that you cannot possibly explore it all in a day.

Discover the best things to do in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

Go Jogging at the Silver Lake Reservoir

View of Silver Lake Reservoir
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People who visit Silver Lake might think that the first thing to do in the neighborhood is spot its best bars and restaurants.

However, Silver Lake also has something to offer travelers who are physically active and would like to remain so even on vacation.

The waters of Silver Lake Reservoir
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With a 2.2-mile trail and a vast field, Silver Lake Reservoir is perfect for jogging and other recreational activities.

It has a basketball court, a playground, and a large area, making it a great place to work out.

One can also meditate silently in the area.

Find a secluded spot and let your worries melt away.

Spend a Night at the Paramour Estate

The Paramour Estate is also known as the Canfield-Moreno Estate or the Crestmount.

It is a century-old 22,000-square-foot mansion in Silver Lake.

You can find this mansion on a 4.5-acre hill that overlooks all of Los Angeles.

In 1988, Los Angeles named the estate one of its historic-cultural monuments.

Many thrillers and horror flicks have shot scenes at the Paramour Estate, which should add to its appeal.

For example, you have The Neon Demon, Scream 3, and Halloween: Resurrection.

Staying there might get a bit pricey, so you might need to save up.

If you can spare the cash, you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to spend a night or two at this lavish mansion.

Visit the Music Box Steps

View of the Music Box Steps
Downtowngal, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Find the Music Box Steps are at the intersection of Vendome and Del Monte.

Looking at the steps, you might wonder, “What is so special about these steps?”

The steps soon received the name Music Box Steps because of James Parrott’s 1932 short comedy silent film The Music Box.

During the movie, the legendary comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy struggled to carry a piano up a long flight of steps.

The Music Box received many awards.

In 1997, the National Film Registry chose the movie for preservation for its cultural, aesthetic, and historical importance.

Today, thousands of tourists still visit the legendary Music Box Steps in Silver Lake.

Visit the Holy Land Exhibition

The Holy Land Exhibition is a five-room museum.

The Australian preacher Antonia F. Futterer established the museum.

Born in the 1800s, Futterer was a believer and a fond reader of the Bible.

In 1926, he went on an expedition to the Holy Land, bringing home a collection of relics and artifacts from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine.

Experts estimate his collection to be 5,000 years old.

These items include oil lamps, bottles, coins, jewelry, and even a sarcophagus.

You can find them all at the Holy Land Exhibition.

The Australian preacher became obsessed with the Ark of the Covenant, which led him to start his expedition.

Years later, his adventure inspired Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to make a film about his expedition.

Unwittingly, Futterer became the inspiration for the iconic Hollywood character, Indiana Jones.

Harrison Ford’s swashbuckling archaeologist first appeared in the classic adventure movie Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981.

Front View of Neutra Institute Gallery and Museum
Bruce Boehner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re into the arts, the Neutra Institute Gallery and Museum might catch your attention.

The Neutra family owns the gallery and museum, which promote innovative research.

Built in the early 1960s, the Neutra created artworks that respond to human and climate needs in the hope of raising funds.

They wanted to raise funds to promote neuroscientific and environmental psychology research.

Years later, the museum now uses its space to help emerging creative individuals showcase their art, whether poetry, music, or painting.

The museum also gives art workshops, language and poetry lessons.

Likewise, they host community meetings to contribute to the growth of creative individuals in Silver Lake.

Neutra Institute Gallery and Museum is committed to providing safe space and cultivating education.

Try the Thai Massage at the Raven Spa

The Raven Spa offers a traditional Thai massage, a 2,500-year-old ancient healing system.

This traditional Thai massage has a unique system that includes acupressure, gentle twisting, and deep stretching.

The technique helps release tension and stress, increase vitality, and prevent various illnesses.

Notably, the massage creates peace and harmony in your mind and spirit.

Once you enter the spa, you will instantly feel as if you’ve entered an enchanted place.

The fantastic Thai massage from the Raven Spa keeps locals and even celebrities coming.

Visit the Mattachine Steps

Daytime view of the Mattachine Steps
Toglenn, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Mattachine Steps is a staircase dedicated to the Mattachine Society and its founder Harry Hay in 2012.

Columnist and labor activist Harry Hay founded the society, a national LGBT rights organization in 1950.

The organization aimed to resist discrimination against gay men.

They formed branches in other cities later on.

The Mattachine Steps is a monument to Harry Hay, who lived in a house close to the stairs.

Tourists, especially the members of the LGBT community, continue to the famous Mattachine Steps to honor the late LGBT rights activist.

Play Sports at Bellevue Park

Bellevue Park is a park in Silver Lake that is open to everyone.

Locals visit all the time to relax and spend time with their families.

However, athletes also frequent the park.

Bellevue Park has a gym, a football, a baseball field, a basketball court, and a jogging trail, suitable for athletes and other active people.

Skaters also visit the park all the time.

If you enjoy recreational activities, visit Bellevue Park and play your favorite sport.

Shop at the Sunset Junction

Sunset Junction was famous for its Sunset Junction Street Fair, an annual event occurring every August of every year.

They held it from 1980 to 2010.

You can find Sunset Junction at the junction of Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, two of the largest streets in LA.

If you go there, you’re likely to bring something home.

Sunset Junction will show you a good time from small craft shops to vintage clothes shops.

There are also plenty of small food businesses in the area that you can try after your shopping spree.

Bring Your Dog to the Silver Lake Dog Park

The Silver Lake Dog Park welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes.

You can find it at Silver Lake Boulevard.

Dog owners can bring their pets to the park and let them walk and make friends with other dogs.

The parks help dogs socialize; dogs regularly exposed to other dogs tend to become calmer and behave better.

In Silver Lake Dog Park, you must follow some rules for the welfare of everyone and their own pets.

You need to pick up after your dog.

Don't bring dogs under the age of four months.

Likewise, make sure your dog has had their shots.

Take a Music Lesson at Silver Lake Conservatory of Music

If you’re planning to stay in Silver Like for longer than a month, you may want to get a music lesson from the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music.

Founded in 2001, the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music aims to provide music education to children or even accomplished musicians.

They teach new musical techniques to help experienced or newbie musicians acquire or sharpen their skills.

If you have a musically gifted kid but cannot afford music lessons, you can get a scholarship from the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music.

Try Fine Wine at Silver Lake Wine

Silver Lake Wine is a winery at Glendale Boulevard that offers high-quality artisanal wine, beers, and other drinks.

If you have a taste for fine wine, drop by Silver Lake Wine and taste its wines.

It’s also a unique spot for young adults who want to go on an eventful date.

Visiting Silver Lake Wine will be an incredibly romantic time for you.

Grab a Bite at El Cochinito Restaurant

Besides visiting extraordinary places, tourists look forward to the food they want to try.

In Silver Lake, a Cuban restaurant famous among tourists is the El Cochinito Restaurant.

The restaurant not only serves the best Cuban sandwich in Silver Lake, or even Los Angeles, but in the entire world.

According to the international Cuban Sandwich Festival, the El Cochinito Restaurant serves the best Cuban sandwich in the world.

However, El Cochinito serves more than sandwiches.

Dine at this famous Cuban restaurant and delight in its delicious food.

Enjoy a Night Out in AKBAR- A Neighborhood Oasis

Akbar is a retro-style hetero-friendly bar accommodating a crowd of all ages.

Every night, people follow different themes, like “Saturday Disco,” which certainly adds to the experience.

To individuals looking for disco fun, Akbar is the place for you.

You will find Akbar along Sunset Boulevard.

The bar will rock your world with danceable music and cold beer selections.

Plus, everyone is equal in Akbar.

There are no celebrities.

We are all just a bunch of happy drunks having excessive fun.

Let Akbar- A Neighborhood Oasis to give you a taste of rock and roll.

Call your friends now and visit Akbar.

Go Fishing at Silver Lake Resort

You can also go fishing at one of the most popular fishing lakes in California, the Silver Lake Resort.

The century-old lake resort has become a favorite mountain retreat and relaxation area for Silver Lake tourists.

Since 1916, people have fished at the resort.

You’ll catch fish even from the shoreline.

However, if you want to go further on the water, Silver Lake Resort offers boat rentals.

If you have your own boat, a launching ramp is also available in the resort.

You can also go kayaking in the streams if you want the beauty of nature to mesmerize you.

Silver Lake Resort also offers rentals of parked RVs.

You can enjoy a self-contained RV and use its laundry machine, restroom, shower, and bedroom.

Likewise, you can grill at the barbecue area, a perfect addition to your RV experience.

The Silver Lake Resort welcomes you as well to its mountain cabins.

These cabins will give you time away from the digital world.

To help you get away from the digital world, these cabins only have beds and kitchens but no TVs or other gadgets.

Final Thoughts

From independent commercial establishments to artistically historical venues, Silver Lake is indeed a terrific place to visit.

After all, it’s home to some sophisticated and most celebrities and creative professionals.

With all these fun and exciting places, who wouldn’t want to visit Silver Lake, California?

Taste high-spirited LA living.

You might even find more things to do in Silver Lake, CA after you arrive.