Union Station, Downtown Los Angeles
- [800 N Alameda St] - a large and historic train station with numerous bus and train terminals. The buildings feature an elegant early-California architectural design and there are Spanish-style rose gardens on the grounds.
- [Paseo de la Plaza] - A collection of historic buildings, artifacts, museums and exhibits (both indoor and outdoor). The most famous parts of the Monument are Olvera Street and the Chinese American Museum (see below). As you wander through the Monument grounds, you'll find exhibits and museums, such as the Old Plaza Firehouse Museum (open Tues-Fri, 10AM-3PM), Avila Adobe (open Wed-Sun, 10AM-3PM) and the Sepulveda House (open daily, 9AM-4PM). There are ongoing exhibits at the Pico House, El Pueblo Gallery, and Hellman/Quon building. Most of the exhibits are free!
- [845 North Alameda Street] - (souvenir shopping) - Part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, this area contains 27 historic buildings, including Avila Adobe where you can view displays of some of Hispanic culture and settings from the early era of Los Angeles. Olvera Street itself is full of stands where you can shop for souvenirs and handcrafted Mexican wares, and eat lunch at a restaurant or food stand. There are a few entrances to Olvera Street - one of them is near the large central plaza that's across from Union Station.
- [425 North Los Angeles Street] - Exhibits featuring the history, rich cultural legacy and continuing contributions of Chinese Americans. The museum occupies 7200 square feet, and is located on the southern side of El Pueblo Monument.
- [200 N Spring Street - public entrance is on Main Street] - This is the business headquarters for the City of Los Angeles. The building has appeared in many movies and TV shows. The public entrance to City Hall is on Main Street, which is closer to Union Station than to Civic Center Station. The entrance is directly across from the Main Street entrance of the Los Angeles Mall.
Observation Deck at City Hall: Open to the public, Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM. It offers an outstanding view of the downtown L.A. city skyline. Admission is free, but you will need to check in at the security desk at the Main Street entrance. They will issue a pass and give you a leaflet with directions to the Observation Deck, on the 27th floor. You will pass through the Tom Bradley Room on the 26th floor. The walls on this level are covered with pictures of all past mayors of Los Angeles. The "room" is not an open space - instead it's a hallway that occupies the perimeter of the floor. The Observation level on the 27th floor is a meeting room. It's interesting to imagine what sort of meetings might occur from this vantage point overlooking the city. You can go outside on this level and walk around the perimeter of the floor. The view is great, and there are signs to let you know what's where. The views of Union Station and Disney Concert Hall are unobstructed.
(Metro Rail Red & Purple Lines)
Disney Concert Hall, Downtown Los Angeles
- [111 South Grand Avenue] - Part of the Performing Arts Center collection of theatres and concert halls. Home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and host to classical music, Jazz and other events. There are free tours during the day (see below).
Court of Historic Flags - [320 W. Temple Street] - This is a good photo opportunity, because the flags
offer an impressive foreground to frame City Hall, which dominates the view from here.
Although the official address is on Temple Street, the courtyard is most accessible on Hill Street about half way between Temple and 1st Street.
- [111 South Grand Avenue] - Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County (PACLA) - formerly known as The Music Center - is one of the largest and most highly regarded performing arts centers in the US. It is host to countless concerts, operas and plays. Includes the Center Theatre Group (the Mark Taper and the Ahmanson Theatre), the Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, plus special events. The downtown Los Angeles complex includes the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum, the Ahmanson Theatre and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Self-guided tours, and free docent-led tours are offered daily (see below).
- [555 W. Temple Street] - Home of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It's a Catholic church although the mass is open to all. The plaza area is open to the public, and it's an interesting place to take a few pictures. The building that looks like it is encircled by a spiral ramp that you can see from here is Los Angeles Central Public High School. There are free tours of the Cathedral during the day (see below).
(Metro Rail Gold Line)
- [767 N Hill St] - (souvenir shopping) - features ethnic Chinese shops and restaurants. You can buy Chinese crafts, herbs, groceries, products and souvenirs.
- [1245 N. Spring Street] - A park near Chinatown where you can walk on paths, sit on the grass and enjoy a view of the downtown buildings.
- The Championship Tour gives fans an opportunity to view Dodger Stadium in a way only the players do. This behind-the-scenes tour lets fans visit restricted areas and view the ballpark from a whole new perspective. 80-90 minute tour starting at 10:00AM and 11:30AM. Purchase tickets in advance from the Dodger Stadium website, or from the tour guide at the start of the tour. (Seasonal - this year until April 29, 2011).
- L.A. is Dodgers Town! See the Dodgers at a home game when they're in town. You can get the schedule and purchase tickets from the Dodgers website. It's time for Dodger Baseball! On days that home games are played, Metro offers ticket holders a free ride from Patsaouras Bus Plaza (east portal of Union Station) to Dodger Stadium. See the for details on the Dodger Stadium Express. (Seasonal - this year: Home games occur from March 31 to September 22, 2011).
(Metro Rail Gold Line)
- ethnic Japanese markets, restaurants and gift shops. Also, there are two museums (Japanese American National Museum and the Geffen Contemporary Museum), and historical monuments. You can find Japanese shops and restaurants throughout the District, although most are concentrated in shopping centers and plazas. (There is a list of some of those plazas on the Downtown LA Shopping page).
- [369 East 1st Street] - The Museum's goal is to promote understanding and appreciation of ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience through exhibitions of artifacts, documents, paintings and pictures. The Go For Broke" National Monument is in the parking lot of the Japanese American National Museum.
- [152 North Central Avenue] - A 40,000 square feet extension of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), featuring contemporary abstract art exhibits. There are guided tours throughout the day. An admission ticket for MOCA is valid at both locations (Geffen and Grand Avenue) on the same day. There is a shuttle to transport ticket holders between the two downtown locations.
(Metro Rail Red & Purple Lines)
MOCA Grand Avenue, Downtown Los Angeles
- [250 South Grand Avenue] - Museum with underground galleries, a cafe, and the MOCA Store. The main location for the three campuses of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). An admission ticket for MOCA is valid at both locations (Geffen and Grand Avenue) on the same day. There is a shuttle to transport ticket holders between the two downtown locations.
- [333 South Grand Avenue] - Paintings, artifacts and other exhibits related to California stagecoach and mining history. Admission is free.
- [317 South Broadway] - A large open-air market offering fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, gift shops and restaurants. Open every day.
- [351 South Hill Street (bottom) to 350 South Grand Avenue (top)] - At just under the length of a football field, it is billed as the "The Shortest Railway in the World." It is located next to Angel's Knoll Park. Open every day, 6:45AM to 10PM.
Angel's Knoll Park - [356 S Olive St] - A small park on Bunker Hill, overlooking a section of downtown. It was used as a setting in the movie, "(500) Days of Summer." There is an entrance to the top of the park on Olive Street at 4th Street, and another entrance to the bottom next to the Angel's Flight Railway on Hill Street.
- [630 W. 5th Street] - Books, computers, photos, posters, maps, etc, available for public viewing. Free docent tours are given daily (see below). Open Tues-Sat 10AM to 5:30PM. Open until 8PM on Tuesday and Thursday.
LA Jewelry District - [Hill Street between 6th and 7th Streets] - you will find a large concentration of jewelry outlets along Hill Street between 6th and 7th Streets. Some are large plazas containing hundreds of stores inside. (There is a list of some plazas on the Downtown LA Shopping page)
(Metro Rail Red & Purple Lines)
Statue of Oscar de la Joya in front of Staples Center
- [800 W Olympic Blvd] - Over two dozen exhibits that feature music that has been honored by the prestigious GRAMMY Awards, spanning many genres and generations.
- [1201 South Figueroa Street] - A large exhibition center that is the location for many conventions, trade shows and exhibits. The building is open for events, but there are no tours and really nothing to see inside except the exhibitions.
- [777 Chick Hearn Court] - Indoor/Outdoor entertainment complex featuring restaurants and clubs, a movie theatre and a bowling alley. This is a convenient place for a nice dinner and entertainment after an event at Staples Center, or after a day at the Convention Center.
- [1111 S. Figueroa Street] - A venue for large events, such as concerts, sporting events, shows and plays. The building is visually attractive, especially on nights when it is illuminated with purple lighting. The inside of the building is not open for tours or visiting, although some guided tours stop to let tourists visit Staples Center and L.A. Live across the street (on the other side of Chick Hearn Court).
(Metro Express Line 445)
- [600 State Drive] - art and history exhibitions that are designed to enhance the public's knowledge of past and present African American contributions to society. Includes modern and contemporary art, traditional African art, historical artifacts and photographs, plus over 4000 books on topics ranging from African American History, to music, art and culture.
- [700 Exposition Park Drive] - features hands-on interactive science exhibits, the Air and Space Gallery, and an IMAX movie theater (huge screen). Free admission to all exhibits except IMAX Theater.
- [900 Exposition Park Drive] - Special exhibitions are featured quarterly and permanent collections include: - Birds, chaparral and marine life - Dinosaurs, fossils and other extinct animals - Gems and minerals - Native American and Pre-Columbian cultures - North American, African and exotic mammal halls - California, Southwest and American history. There is also a "hands-on" Discovery Center where you can touch exhibits, or explore them with microscopes, magnifying glasses and binoculars. There is an "Insect Zoo" featuring 30 terrariums and aquariums that are frequently updated with new specimens. Much more!
- [823 Exposition Park Drive] - USC's art museum for over sixty years, provides a lively offering of contemporary and old master exhibitions, accompanied with tours, lectures, music and other events. Admission is free.
- the largest concentration of fashion-related businesses in the Western United States. The Fashion District occupies a huge section of the eastern part of downtown Los Angeles. On their website, you can view a map that shows what type of clothing (Men's Wear, Women's Wear, Accessories, etc) can be found in each section of the District. Many stores sell to Wholesale buyers only (signs are usually posted). Many stores accept cash only. Santee Alley is a gathering place for countless vendors selling clothes and merchandise. The alley is between Santee Street and Maple Street, starting at Olympic Boulevard. Santee Street is one block east of Los Angeles Street. (Beware: there are disreputable merchants selling counterfeit goods in the Alley, along with undercover police, looking for them.)
- [near the Fashion District] - The largest flower market in the US. The general public is able to shop the flower market after the retailer buyer shift is over (see the Flower Market website for a schedule). There is a small admission fee (only $1-$2). The market opens to the public at either 6AM or 8AM, and closes at noon. It is not open on Sundays.
- Some attractions offer self-guided and docent-led tours, free to the public. The most popular is the guided tour of the Performing Arts Center (formerly known as the Music Center), which includes all four buildings of the PACLA complex. This page also contains links to self-guided walking tours and maps of the various districts in downtown LA.
- The easiest way to see L.A.'s best attractions is to let a pro show you around. Here are a variety of guided tours of Los Angeles, from the time-tested Grand Tour to the brand-new helicopter tours. See beaches, movie star homes, downtown and all of the attractions through the eyes of an expert! This is a great way to explore our great city, even if you've been here before.
and nearby, including LA Jewelry District, LA Fashion District, Santee Alley, Little Tokyo District, LA Flower Market, Grand Central Market, Citadel Factory Outlet.