Discover Culver City Car Free

Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City | Photo courtesy of RexSteed, Flickr

First incorporated by Harry Culver in 1917, Culver City began as an incubator for the film industry in the early 20th century, when Hal Roach and MGM Studios built their studios. The Hughes Aircraft Company opened its plant in Culver City in 1941, as seen in Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.” Discover the Culver City of today during its renaissance as a destination for art, dining, theatre and more. Thanks to the ongoing expansion of the Metro Expo Line, the neighborhood can be easily explored without driving a car. Step into one of L.A.'s most walkable neighborhoods and experience the best of Culver City.

Metro Expo Line Culver City Station | Photo courtesy of Esirgen, Wikimedia Commons

Metro Rail Expo Line

For convenient, car-free access to Culver City, go Metro and ride the expanded Expo Line to the Culver City Station. You can’t beat riding the above-ground rail and coasting into the neighborhood you're about to explore. When you exit the station, you'll be starting your journey at the center of the various locations you'll be visiting in this guide.

Cognoscenti Coffee | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Cognoscenti Coffee

For a pick-me-up to start your day, stop by Cognoscenti Coffee and enjoy a fantastic cup of third-wave coffee. They've also got great pastries from Proof Bakery baked fresh every day - get to Cognoscenti early for the best selection. The popular coffee bar is located about ten blocks east of the Expo Line station.

Photo courtesy of Arcana: Books on the Arts, Facebook

Helms Bakery District

At the historic Helms Bakery District, you'll find a diverse selection of award-winning restaurants, design and home furniture retailers, and much more. Browse Arcana: Books on the Arts, shop furniture stores like La Bella Costa and Room & Board, or nosh at top hot dog eatery Let’s Be Frank. You'll find the Helms Bakery District one block east of the Expo Line station.

Museum of Jurassic Technology

Museum of Jurassic Technology

You won’t find a more unique stop on this car-free guide than the Museum of Jurassic Technology, an offbeat marvel of a museum with exhibits that will have you scratching your head for more. The museum features over 30 permanent exhibits of quirky and mysterious artifacts, including "The Garden of Eden on Wheels: Collections from Los Angeles Area Trailer Parks," "Micromosaics of Harold "Henry" Dalton" and "The World is Bound with Secret Knots." They’ve recently added the Tula Tea Room and Borzoi Kabinet Theater, where complimentary Georgian black tea and cookies are served and films are screened hourly. The museum is located three blocks west of the Expo Line station and is open Thursday through Sunday - check open times to ensure your visit.

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Sony Pictures Studios Tour

A visit to Culver City isn't complete without a tour through Sony Pictures Studios. The former MGM Studios was the first lot of its kind in Culver City, featuring 16 separate sound stages. Take a two-hour studio tour and see where Dorothy followed the yellow brick road and the trailer where Walter White did his chemical magic. Sony Pictures Studios is located six blocks west of the Metro Expo Line station. Reservations are recommended.

Photo courtesy of Culver Hotel

The Culver Hotel

Grab a drink or two inside the historic Culver Hotel, a flatiron-style building that originally opened in 1924 as the Hotel Hunt. This beautiful hotel, where the Munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz” stayed during the movie's filming, features an ideal mix of historic charm and modern amenities. The hotel’s second-floor conference room was originally the office of Harry Culver, the founder of the city that bears his name. According to legend, Charlie Chaplin - a part owner of the hotel - sold it to John Wayne for a dollar in a poker game. Every night after 7:30 p.m., you can enjoy cocktails accompanied by live music inside the Grand Lobby. Located in the heart of downtown Culver City, the Culver Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Primary image for Kirk Douglas Theatre

Kirk Douglas Theatre

With a capacity of just 317 seats, the Kirk Douglas Theatre is the most intimate venue in the Center Theatre Group, which also includes the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatre. Built in 1947 in the Streamline Moderne style and formerly known as the Culver Theatre, the landmark venue underwent an $8 million restoration in 2004 and added two stages. The theatre is located on Washington and Duquesne in the heart of Downtown Culver City.

Rendering by Paravant Architects, courtesy of Wende Museum, Facebook

Wende Museum and Archive of The Cold War

"Wende" is the German word for "turning point" and is the namesake of this unique museum, which contains artifacts, films, exhibits, personal histories and memorabilia of the Cold War, including the collapse of East Germany and Soviet communism. Its location in Culver City seeks to provide an independence from the current political debate in Eastern Europe. Currently located on Buckingham Parkway, the Wende Museum's expansion to the much larger Culver City Armory on Culver Boulevard is one of the most anticipated museum openings of 2015.

Primary image for Thinkspace


The Thinkspace Gallery is located in Culver City's thriving arts district, showcasing the contemporary art of young and emerging artists from around the world. Because there’s a constant rotation of new art, the gallery is occasionally closed for installation. Check ahead for hours, openings and special events. The gallery is located on Washington Boulevard, about eight blocks east of the Metro Expo Line station.

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Blum & Poe Los Angeles

Blum & Poe relocated from Santa Monica to Culver City in 2003 and was pivotal in the formation of the Culver City arts district. The gallery enjoys close ties with many artists based in Tokyo, Japan. The gallery recently expanded and opened new branches in New York and Tokyo. Blum and Poe is located on La Cienega Boulevard, just north of Washington.

Office Burger at Father's Office | Photo courtesy of Hella TJ, Flickr
Office Burger at Father's Office | Photo courtesy of Hella TJ, Flickr

Father's Office - Culver City

The famous gastropub known as Father’s Office has received national recognition for its Office Burger, one of L.A.’s iconic dishes. Helmed by Chef Sang Yoon, Father’s Office features a strong craft beer program paired with delicious locally sourced menu items. The bar serves a seasonally rotating selection of 36 craft beers on tap and lesser known but delicious wines. Micro-distilled spirits and classic cocktails are offered exclusively at the Culver City location. Father’s Office is located in the Helms Bakery District about a block from the Metro Expo Line Station.