Downtown / LA Metro (9)

Downtown L.A. viewed from the Arts District

A Visual Walking Tour of the Arts District in Downtown L.A.

11/04/2015

Esther Tseng

The Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles is one of the hottest neighborhoods in L.A. From the area’s beginnings as Jean-Louis Vigne’s vineyard to an orchard growing mostly oranges and grapefruit, by the late 1800s it became an industrial center for railroads and manufacturing. Eventually, the railroads gave way to the trucking industry and industry moved to other L.A. County areas like Commerce in order to build larger buildings to accommodate their growing businesses.

In the 1970s, artists braved dangerous conditions and began to occupy the area’s dilapidated buildings, having been priced out of areas such as Venice and Hollywood. Eventually, they opened art galleries and began to develop these buildings themselves, thereby preserving a big part of L.A.’s industrial history.

The area again underwent another downturn in the 1990s before being saved by Joel Bloom and his supporters, who officially renamed the area the “Arts District.” Today, it is home to many creatives, including those in green technology, architecture and entertainment. Read on for a visual walking tour of this burgeoning urban oasis.

Olvera Street vendors

The Guide to Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles

09/17/2015

Discover Los Angeles

Olvera Street is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles, located in the oldest district of the city as part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. The colorful Mexican marketplace opened on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1930 following a preservation campaign that was spearheaded by Christine Sterling. Several of L.A.’s most historic buildings are located at Olvera Street, along with dozens of craft shops, restaurants and other businesses. Nearly two million annual visitors stroll the tree-shaded, brick-lined block. Read on and discover historic Olvera Street in Downtown L.A.

Bradbury Building in Downtown L.A.

The Guide to the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles

08/09/2015

Tanja Laden

There's a reason why one of Downtown L.A.'s most vibrant districts is called the Historic Core. Located between Hill and Main Streets and 1st and 9th Streets, this eclectic neighborhood showcases many of the things that originally put Los Angeles on the world stage, including lovely parks, ornate movie palaces and other architectural marvels. It's also where visitors can experience places that have helped contribute to L.A.'s more contemporary reputation as a food and arts destination. With no shortage of beautiful buildings, cutting-edge art galleries, trendy bars and gourmet restaurants, the Historic Core is where L.A.'s golden era meets modern times.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The Guide to Exposition Park in Los Angeles

02/18/2015

Discover Los Angeles

Located just south of Downtown Los Angeles, Exposition Park is home to a world-class collection of museums, sports facilities and recreational areas. Exposition Park also offers diverse cultural, entertainment and educational activities. The 160-acre site was founded as Agricultural Park in 1872 and subsequently renamed Exposition Park in 1910. The park has since become one of L.A.’s premier cultural and special event destinations.

Taiko drummer at Nisei Week in Little Tokyo

A Walking Tour of Little Tokyo

09/25/2014

Discover Los Angeles

With roots dating to the 1880s, Little Tokyo is a major cultural and civic center for Japanese Americans living in Southern California. Little Tokyo is a Downtown L.A. area of about five city blocks, bounded on the west by Los Angeles Street, on the east by Alameda Street, on the south by 3rd Street, and on the north by 1st Street, including the block north of 1st and west of Alameda. One of only three official Japantowns in the United States, Little Tokyo is the home of the annual Nisei Week festival, and was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1995. From museums to restaurants and bars, read on for a walking tour of Little Tokyo, one of L.A.’s most historic and popular multicultural neighborhoods.

Victorian manors on Carroll Avenue in Echo Park

Hidden Gems in Echo Park

09/23/2014

Esther Tseng

Flanked by Elysian Park, Elysian Valley, Silver Lake and Chinatown, Echo Park is a historic and diverse neighborhood where you’ll find everything from Dodger Stadium, the home of our beloved Los Angeles Dodgers, to Echo Park Lake, which reopened recently after a $45-million renovation. Locals and visitors alike enjoy paddle-boating around the lake, while the surrounding area continues to experience a retail, recreation and restaurant renaissance. Read on to find out more about Echo Park hidden gems, and discover an entirely different side of the neighborhood.

Hidden Gems in Downtown Los Angeles

10/24/2013

Esther Tseng

Downtown Los Angeles has undergone a revitalization the past several years, growing beyond the city's business center to becoming a cluster of various neighborhoods with their own distinct personalities. From the Arts District to the Historic Core, and Chinatown to South Park, every enclave makes Downtown rich with culture and opportunity. Check out a few of the lesser-known attractions, which highlight the best of Downtown's history, its exciting present and bright future.

Walt Disney Concert Hall at night

Discover Downtown Los Angeles Car Free

04/11/2013

Discover Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles is home to some of the city’s most famous and popular destinations, from world-class museums and landmark architecture to acclaimed restaurants and thriving nightlife. Read on for a car free tour of Downtown L.A. that will immerse you in the heart of our global metropolis.

For more Car Free L.A. guides, click here.

Chinatown

Discover Multicultural Downtown L.A. Car Free

04/10/2013

Discover Los Angeles

Some of the best experiences in Los Angeles are by way of some its multicultural enclaves, such as Olvera Street, Chinatown and Little Tokyo. Here’s a car-less tour of these districts that offers a virtual trek around the globe but leaves the gas tank full.

This half-day itinerary takes a minimum of five hours and calls for a lot of city walking, so wear comfortable shoes. Skip stops if you are running low on time, or want to spend more time enjoying a particular point of interest.

Recommended Methods of Travel: Metro, Walking
Total Distance: 1.7 miles. Distance Walking: 1.2 miles

For more Car Free LA guides, click here.