Life

Defy Convention With These Less-Hyped Experiences In The Western U.S.


Eric Rubens

Switching Scenes is brought to you by Boost, a brand that knows the best experiences come when you change things up.

The western region of the United States has a reputation for being chill and relaxed in comparison to its eastern US counterparts. Maybe it has something to do with the wide open spaces or the vast expanse of sky, but America seems to just get more at ease the closer you get to the calm and cool waters of the Pacific.

This relaxed vibe doesn’t insulate the region from getting tunnel vision. Tourists tend to focus on very specific areas, leaving a countless number of hidden gems undiscovered and underexplored. Which is why we’ve been spending the last month deep diving into lesser-known regions around the country. Our goal is to set you up with some truly unforgettable new experiences to help live your life to the absolute fullest.

Here are some of our favorite finds in the Western United States.

Hit LA’s underrepresented hoods for a day of dining on the cheap

Los Angeles is home to countless fine dining options, but sometimes the best meals can be found in the lesser-known corners of the city for prices that average under $20 a meal. East LA, Chinatown, and Long Beach are just some of the neighborhoods where hidden food joints serve locals the best food in the city.

Uproxx writer Dane Rivera takes us on a personal journey through the lesser-explored sections of Los Angeles as he searches for the perfect breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an unforgettable city-wide dining experience. Check it out for the spicy chicken photos at the very least.

TAKE THE EPIC LA FOOD TOUR HERE.

Ditch the Hollywood comedy clubs for the underground

Catching a good live comedy show is a bit of a gamble. Often times you can leave one of the big Hollywood comedy clubs feeling like you spent way too much money for a show that felt way too big, with performers that seemed detached from the audience.

Comedian Brad Silnutzer knows that feeling, so he started his own backyard comedy night that’s one part show and one part drinking game. Uproxx writer Chelsea Frank takes us into Brew HaHa, and what has become of Silnutzer’s underground comedy show since it left his backyard.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BREW HAHA HERE.

Go alternative in these Seattle venues

Seattle was once a cradle of the most exciting acts in alternative rock. The city has a long and storied history of giving rise to some of the world’s biggest musical acts including Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and more recently Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. And that musical legacy remains an important part of the city as exemplified by the many music venues that populate the city.

Uproxx writer Zach Johnston gives us the inside info on some of Seattle’s best music venues that have been keeping the alternative spirit of the city alive. But Zach doesn’t just offer us recommendations, he deep dives into the history of each venue, giving us a snapshot into the halls of legend.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ALTERNATIVE SEATTLE VENUES HERE.

Skip Ultra Trendy Voodoo For The Best Donuts In Portland

We are without a doubt living in a golden age of donuts. Not many generations can lay claim to the advent of the cereal-topped donut, but while everyone is busy going crazy for Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts, the place has become just a little played out. Do people go there because Voodoo has good donuts, or because people have been told they have good donuts?

Uproxx writer Lisa Dunn gets to the bottom of that pressing question by introducing us to the donuts across Portland that beat out Voodoo in terms of flavor and experience. And we don’t know about you, but when it comes to donuts what we want IS the experience of awe-inspiring flavor. The donut is, after all, a holy experience.

FIND THE BEST DONUTS IN PORTLAND HERE.

See what Vegas has to offer besides the strip

Las Vegas is small and, as such, once you’ve been there enough times it feels like you’ve seen the whole city. But Vegas is more than just the strip. Whether you’re peering at the history of Las Vegas at the Neon Museum or taking in the city from afar at the Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas has a lot to offer.

Uproxx writer Allison Sanchez shared her ultimate Vegas experience at Fremont Street in Downtown and clued us in on other worthwhile experiences to take part in in the city of Sin.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT LAS VEGAS HAS TO OFFER BEYOND THE STRIP HERE.

Dip into hidden hot springs in Idaho

The only thing in the world better than a hot spring is a secret hot spring, accessible only via a snowmobile. The Burgdorf Hot Springs in Idaho is a hidden paradise two hours away from Boise and is a trip worthy of making even your most pretentious ski-loving friends jealous.

We hit up the secluded hot spot to let you know all the insider info you need to know before making a trip out. Find out how to get to the Burgdorf Hot Springs, what to bring, and how best to make the most out of your experience.

LEARN ALL THE INSIDER INFO ON THE BURGDORF HOT SPRINGS HERE.

Visit Washington’s North Cascades National Park

Washington state’s North Cascades National Park is one of America’s five least-visited national parks. Which means its one of the only national parks that isn’t being flocked to by social media influencers and countless numbers of tourists on the daily.

But North Cascades lack of foot traffic is no indication of the national parks lack of beauty. We enlisted adventure photographer Nathaniel Wise to help show the natural beauty and large-scale wonder that is the North Cascades National Park. If anybody knows about the world’s most beautiful locales, it’s Wise!

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK HERE.

Visit the architectural wonder that is Nitt Witt Ridge

Heart Castle in central California is one of the grandest architectural achievements outside of the big cities, but we can’t help but be more amazed and taken aback by Nitt Witt Ridge, an architectural achievement that rivals the castle — and is totally built from found items and garbage.

We called on photographer and expert on all things lesser-known in California, Josh McNair, for an in-depth look on the sights and history of the famed Nitt Witt Ridge, a structure so odd and marvelous that we can’t ever bring ourselves to look away.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT NITT WITT RIDGE HERE.

Skip the big LA music venues for the raw underground scene

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Los Angeles is the second biggest city in the entire continental United States, and as such, the city has positioned itself as a sure-fire stop on any band or artist’s concert tour itinerary. With so many great shows week to week, your bank account is bound to suffer from all the deductions from ticket sales.

Save money by skipping out on the big LA music venues and take a look into the underground local LA music scene instead. Uproxx writer Dane Rivera shows us all the best venues to catch a raw and wild underground LA concert.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE UNDERGROUND LA SCENE HERE.

Walk Among Utah’s Valley of the Gods

Crowds can ruin the natural beauty of Earth’s wonders, so when it comes to recommending popular locales to get lost in, we can’t in good faith recommend something like Zion National Park. Beautiful as it may be, the number of people trying to witness that beauty can kind of put a damper on the whole experience.

To get you out in the world to witness the lesser traveled roads and valleys, we sought the help of adventure photographer Josiah Roe — who is no stranger to off-the-beaten-path adventures. Roe gives us the insider info on how to experience one of his favorite lesser-known travel spots, the epically-named Valley of the Gods.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE VALLEY OF THE GODS HERE.

Hit Venice Beach for a pickup basketball game

Basketball games are exciting, sure, but they’re also very pricey. With tickets averaging out at $100 per game, and concessions and souvenirs acting as hidden sponges for your money, being able to satiate your desire to watch an exciting game of b-ball is a rich person’s hobby. But it doesn’t have to be.

Uproxx hip-hop editor and basketball super fan Aaron Williams keyed us in on the ultimate basketball experience, and it can be had for…NONE of the price. Aaron took us to Venice Beach, where large crowds gather to watch the Venice Basketball League pickup games — for free!

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VBL HERE.

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