Patricia Skeriotis Presents . . . the 12 Days of Christmas: Part 7

“7 Natural Wonders Unknown

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A lot of the draw of Los Angeles is in the bustling, colorful city life and the glamorous reputation, but L.A. has a lot more to offer than just that.
Los Angeles has a more granola side, too. These seven natural wonders of L.A. will show you this side of the city you don’t hear about quite as often.

1. The Farmer’s Market 

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This is a great way to start touching on life outside the metropolis. Browse the locally grown fruit and veggie selection at your leisure on Broxton Avenue from 2 – 7 pm on Wednesdays.

2. La Brea Tarpits 

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Tens of thousands of years old plant and animal fossils can be found right in the middle of the city! Watch asphalt seep through the ground as you soak in the archeological history unfolding in front of your very eyes. This live excavation site is a modern marvel. See some of the most famous finds at the George C. Page Museum.

3. Mount Wilson

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Ever stop to marvel at the universe or contemplate Earth’s place in the wide, wide cosmos? If so, Mount Wilson is the place to be. Some of the most powerful and effective telescopes in the world, the Hooker and the Hale, are situated here. It was here that Hubble theorized that the universe is expanding. The steadiness of the air here gives this location optimal conditions for clear interferometer readings.

4. Ballona Wetlands

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Once the homeland of the Tongva people indigenous to California, this 600 acre expanse of wetlands is filled with unique flora and fauna. The once 2000 acre area has been largely reduced due to urban sprawl, but the government and environmental groups are working together to protect the remaining area. This beautiful landscape is not a site to miss!

5. Placerita Canyon State Park

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Besides the  picturesque landscapes, this park also has a history lesson to offer. Before the beginning of the California Gold Rush in the mid 1800s, a man named Francisco Lopez claims to have fallen asleep under an oak in what is today the park only to dream of floating in gold. After he woke up, he began to dig around the tree and realized maybe dreams do come true! This may just be a bit of folklore, but the story has stuck and the tree is now called the “Oak of the Golden Dream.”

6. California Poppies

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The wildflowers of California bloom in the Spring and leave a lasting impression on those who are able to revel in their splendor.

7. Griffith Park

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With hiking trails and the L.A. Zoo within its borders, Griffith Park is a outdoor adventure in the heart of the city.

SOURCE: http://dailybruin.com/2011/05/04/7_natural_wonders_of_los_angeles/