A trip to Museum Row and West Hollywood (aka WeHo) provides a true feast for the senses, including art, architecture, history, shopping, dining and nightlife. All it takes for some instant gratification is either a rather long walk or a short local bus ride. This full-day itinerary takes approximately six to eight hours if all stops are visited. 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: DASH Bus, Walking
Total Distance: 5 miles. Walking Distance: 3.5 miles.
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Los Angeles County Museum Of Art (LACMA)
Start your journey at Los Angeles’s Museum Row with a visit to the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art (LACMA), which is accessible via any of the area’s local Metro Bus Lines: #20 (from Downtown & Westwood), #217 (from Hollywood & Culver City), #720 (from Downtown & Pasadena) and #780 (from Pasadena). The museum features more than 150,000 works from ancient to contemporary, and hosts dozens of weekly events including special exhibitions, films, live music and talks for art buffs, novices and families.
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
From LACMA, walk east along the paths through the lush botanical gardens of the museum grounds, past the still-bubbling pools of real tar, to the La Brea Tar Pits Museum. Overlooking the large tar pool from atop its grassy bluff, the La Brea Tar Pits Museum houses the thousands of fossils found at the Tar Pits, the world’s most famous Ice Age fossil excavation site. The museum is filled with educational dioramas and displays featuring countless skeletons of saber-tooth cats, dire wolves and mammoths. Visitors can watch as scientists pull new fossils from the black goo every day at several of the active excavation sites.
Petersen Automotive Museum
Walk four blocks west to the Petersen Automotive Museum, located on Wilshire Boulevard at Fairfax Avenue. The Petersen has more than 150 rare and classic cars, motorcycles and trucks and historical displays covering four floors and more than 300,000 square feet of exhibition space.
Original Farmers Market
From Wilshire, walk about three quarters of a mile north to the corner of Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street to find The Original Farmers Market. Or, take the Fairfax Avenue DASH bus line from the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire north and get off at 3rd. First opened by local farmers in 1934, this cultural-historic landmark was once a dairy farm and even took a turn as an oil field. It now houses more than 70 shops and restaurants, offering everything from oysters to authentic Mexican cuisine, burgers and sandwiches. For those with a sweet tooth, don't miss the iconic Bob’s Coffee & Donuts.
Adjacent to the Farmers Market is The Grove, a lifestyle-retail center whose dozens of high-end stores and attractions bring in 18 million visitors a year. In addition to retailers like Nordstrom and Apple, The Grove is home to a 14-screen Pacific Theatres complex, a free trolley car, and excellent restaurants with outdoor dining patios in a range of price points.
A half-mile stroll north on Fairfax takes you through one of the largest and oldest Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Los Angeles. This stretch of Fairfax is complete with a hodgepodge of cake shops, tchotchke stores, kosher shops and the mighty Canter’s Deli, which has been serving heaping pastrami sandwiches and matzo ball soup to both hipsters and bubelehs since 1931.
Mak Center For Art & Architecture at Schindler House
From the corner of Fairfax and Melrose, take the DASH Fairfax line (or walk) about 10 blocks west and exit at Kings Road. Walk a couple of blocks north to the Schindler House at 835 N. Kings Road. Considered the first house built in the Modern style, the Schindler house is an architectural gem designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Rudolph Schindler and built in 1922. It is notable for its indoor/outdoor design and is home to the Los Angeles arm of Austria’s Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), which hosts tours Wednesday through Sunday afternoons.
Ready for exciting nightlife after a day of culture? See below for our optional Sunset Strip tour.
OPTIONAL: SUNSET STRIP
Recommended Methods of Travel: Metro Bus, Walking
Total Distance: 1 mile. Walking Distance: .5 miles
If you’re not ready to go home as night falls, the legendary Sunset Strip has nightlife options galore. Walk west on Melrose Avenue three blocks to La Cienega Boulevard and hop on the Metro Bus #105. Take the #105 north up La Cienega and get off at San Vicente Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. Spanning San Vicente to the west and Crescent Heights Boulevard to the east, the Sunset Strip has a large concentration of hotspots and some of L.A.’s most famous live music venues and nightclubs.
The Whisky A Go-Go has been a vital music venue since it opened at the corner of Sunset and San Vicente in 1964. From the invention of the go-go dancer concept to its influential role in rock, punk, New Wave and heavy metal, the club’s place in music history is secure. The long list of performers includes Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Doors, Blondie, The Police, the Ramones, Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Mötley Crüe.
OPTIONAL: MONDRIAN LOS ANGELES
A 15-minute walk along Sunset heading east brings you to the Mondrian Los Angeles. With its sleek Philippe Starck design, breathtaking views of the City of Angels below and glamorous poolside Skybar lounge, the Mondrian is the epitome of Los Angeles nightlife.