The bridges in Los Angeles are more than just concrete and steel; they are symbols of LA's rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking vistas. So, whether you're chasing the cinematic allure of LA or simply seeking a new perspective on the city, these bridges await your exploration. Not to mention they serve as great place makers in this vast landscape. Get out there, capture some memories, and let these bridges become a part of your LA adventure!
1st Street Bridge
The 1st Street Bridge is an LA landmark that even newcomers will recognize. Connecting Downtown LA with Boyle Heights, this 1929 marvel has appeared in numerous movies, including Grease (the turnaround mark of the Thunder Road race), Last Action Hero and S.W.A.T. For filmmakers shooting in LA, the 1st Street Bridge is a visual cue to the City of Angels.
6th Street Bridge
Technically a viaduct, the 6th Street Bridge connects the Downtown LA Arts District with Boyle Heights and East LA. Originally opened in 1932, the bridge was demolished in January 2016 due to seismic safety concerns. The replacement bridge opened to the public on July 9, 2022. For the best experience, explore the new bridge on foot and soak in views of the LA skyline and the LA River and train yard below.
The original bridge appeared in generations of movies, TV shows and music videos, including: Them!, Grease, Repo Man, To Lie and Die in L.A., They Live, Colors, Terminator 2, Anchorman, Transformers and The Dark Knight Rises on the big screen; Columbo, 24, Lost and Bosch; and Madonna "Borderline," Beastie Boys "Sabotage," Pharrell Williams "Happy" and Kendrick Lamar "HUMBLE."
A hidden gem in the Franklin Hills neighborhood, the Gothic-style Shakespeare Bridge was originally built in 1926 and designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in April 1974. Named for The Bard and formally known as the Franklin Avenue Bridge, the span is only 260 feet long. A seismic retrofit in 1998 restored the bridge to its original historic design, preserving the distinctive towers on either end. Some fans have called it the Disney Bridge, since Walt Disney's first house is only a couple of blocks away on St. George Street; and the site of the Walt Disney Studios on Hyperion Avenue is a half-mile from the bridge.
Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge
For cyclists and walkers alike, the Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge is a must-visit. Running along the Los Angeles River, the 120-foot scenic path offers a safe and convenient way to cross busy Los Feliz Boulevard, offering stunning views of the 5 and 110 Freeways as well as the LA River. Two 24-foot bicycle rims adorn each entrance.
The bridge is named for the late Alex Baum, LA's greatest advocate for bicycling. Baum chaired the Bicycle Advisory Committee for decades and worked with Mayors Tom Bradley, Richard Riordan, James Hahn, Antonio Villaraigosa and Eric Garcetti. The bridge's opening ceremony was held in May 2002 and it was rededicated in December 2012 with new bronze plaques honoring Baum.
Santa Fe Arroyo Seco Railroad Bridge
Stretching more than 710 feet, the Santa Fe Arroyo Seco Railroad Bridge spans the Arroyo Seco Parkway in Highland Park at a height of nearly 60 feet. Originally built in 1896, the bridge is the city's tallest and longest railroad span - the Metro A Line crosses over just past the Highland Park Station. The bridge was named a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in January 1988.
Park Row Drive Bridge
Nestled in the heart of Elysian Park, the Park Row Drive Bridge overlooks the southbound Arroyo Seco Parkway, aka the 110 Freeway. Though it spans less than 200 feet, the bridge boasts panoramic views of the iconic Downtown LA skyline - snap some selfies and blow up your feed!
Colorado Street Bridge
Another historic bridge spanning the Arroyo Seco, the Colorado Street Bridge offers panoramic views of Old Town Pasadena and the San Gabriel Mountains. The Beaux-Arts style bridge spans more than 1,400 feet; and its 150-foot height made it the highest concrete bridge in the world when it opened in 1913. In February 1981, the bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources. Burn some calories by biking or walking across it; or hike a trail beneath the bridge at La Casita del Arroyo for a spectacular perspective.
The Colorado Street Bridge has appeared in everything from Charlie Chaplin's The Kid to Full House, Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" music video, and perhaps most famously in La La Land - you can take a romantic evening stroll on the bridge just like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone!
La Loma Bridge
Old World elegance defines the La Loma Bridge, which gracefully carries La Loma Road across the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in July 2004, the bridge's design is similar to the Colorado Street Bridge, which was built a year before the La Loma Bridge opened in 1914.
LA's very own slice of Italy, the Venice Canals offer a romantic stroll day and night. Numerous foot bridges crisscross this watery wonderland, surrounded by charming houses. For envy-inducing Instagram shots, visit an hour before sunset to capture the flaming colors reflecting on the water. The Venice Canals were added to the National Register of Historic Places in August 1982.
Ballona Creek Bike Path
Spanning 6.7 miles, the Ballona Creek Bike Path connects the Pacific Ocean at Marina del Rey with Culver City. Highlights include the pedestrian bridge at Ocean Drive; the newly opened Higuera Street Bridge; and the Pacific Avenue Bridge on the western end, which connects to the famed Marvin Braude Bike Trail, aka The Strand.
Pacific Electric Railway – El Prado Bridge
Named to the National Register of Historic Places in July 1989, the Pacific Electric Railway – El Prado Bridge in Torrance was designed in 1913 by pioneering Modernism architect Irving Gill.
In 2015, the double-tracked arch bridge received a Conservation Award from the LA Conservancy, which praised the restoration project "for revitalizing an icon of civic identity for the City of Torrance, a signature work of Irving Gill, and a type of historic structure that is often under-appreciated."
Though the restored bridge is no longer in use, it's become an unofficial gateway to the city and passers-by can still appreciate the graceful lines of Gill's elegant design.
Vincent Thomas Bridge
The only suspension bridge in Greater Los Angeles, the Vincent Thomas Bridge spans 1,500 feet over the LA Harbor and links San Pedro with Terminal Island. Part of State Route 47 (aka the Seaside Freeway), this architectural beauty shines day and night. Built in 1963, the bridge has appeared in movies like Lethal Weapon 2, To Live and Die in L.A. and Charlie's Angels; and on TV in Perry Mason (1964), Mission: Impossible, CHiPs and Columbo.
Every Labor Day, thousands of runners and walkers participate in Conquer the Bridge, a 5.3-mile course that crosses the bridge twice.
Queensway Twin Bridges
Set against the stunning backdrop of Queensway Bay, the Queensway Twin Bridges are the southernmost crossings of the LA River. They lead the way to the historic RMS Queen Mary, making them the primary artery linking Long Beach to this maritime legend.
The Queensway Twin Bridges appeared numerous times on CSI: Miami, as well as Dexter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Rosewood, and on the big screen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Anchorman, when the biker (Jack Black) throws Ron Burgundy's dog off the bridges.
The Bridge to Nowhere
Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Bridge to Nowhere rises 120 feet above the San Gabriel River and can only be accessed via a 10-mile round trip hike - an adventurous trek well worth taking!
If you're feeling really bold, take the plunge with Bungee America, which offers different Jump Packages every weekend as well as a Camp Out Special.