By H. Wadowski
When you think of pedestrian-friendly cities, Los Angeles probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. However, downtown Los Angeles boasts plenty of cool places visitors can easily walk to for those planning a day in the heart of the city.
The area is home to several museums, including The Broad (thebroad.org), a contemporary art museum housing one of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. Guests can currently see Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room,” a mirror-lined chamber housing a dazzling and seemingly endless LED light display, on exhibit through Sept. 30. Since general admission is free to The Broad, advance tickets go fast, but there is an onsite standby line for first come, first served access every day except Monday, when the museum is closed.
Just steps away from The Broad, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of four venues that comprise The Music Center (musiccenter.org) in downtown Los Angeles. Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, complimentary guided tours of the concert hall are offered on select days or guests can take a self-guided audio tour narrated by actor John Lithgow. Free docent-led tours of The Music Center campus are available as well.
Downtown Los Angeles is also home to El Pueblo de Los Angeles, an historic monument and multi-cultural district near Union Station (elpueblo.lacity.org). Not only does this district house several free museums, including the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, but it also has one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles running through it. Visitors will find several vendors selling art, crafts and other goods along Olvera Street, as well as restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine.
Another great place to get something to eat is Grand Central Market (grandcentralmarket.com). A staple of downtown Los Angeles since 1917, this iconic culinary destination boasts more than 30 vendors dishing up flavorful fare from around the world. Guests can enjoy everything from authentic currywurst at Berlin Currywurst to bento boxes at Bento Ya Japanese Cuisine.
One of the coolest places to hang out in downtown Los Angeles these days is L.A. LIVE (lalive.com). Located adjacent to STAPLES Center, this 4-million-square-foot sports and entertainment district has something for everyone, from a 14-screen movie theater to live music and theater venues. It’s also home to the GRAMMY Museum and the luxurious Lucky Strike bowling alley and lounge.