Los Angeles Hotels Blog

March 31, 2010

Guide to Los Angeles landmarks

There’s a common misconception that nobody walks in Los Angeles. While it’s true that you can’t go far in Southern California without a car (unless you have hours to spend on the bus), there are actually many interesting places to visit while on walking tour of downtown Los Angeles.

Like many other large cities, the downtown Los Angeles area can be divided into distinct regions. These regions represent distinct historic, commercial and ethnic centers: Civic Center, Pueblo, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Fashion and Wholesale District, Historic District, etc. Each of these regions has a distinct character and good destinations for a walking tour.

Some tips for walking in downtown Los Angeles:

- Although you may encounter traffic on the drive to and from downtown, the streets of downtown are usually not too crowded. Parking is readily available, though you will probably have to pay for it.

- As in any large urban area, be aware of where you are and have a good idea where you’re going.

- Many restaurants and businesses are closed on Sunday.

Here are some of the interesting and fun sights to see on a walking tour of downtown Los Angeles:

* Pueblo region of downtown Los Angeles

This is the earliest settled area of Los Angeles, dating back to 1781. Olvera Street is a tourist attraction which provides the flavor of a Mexican street market. The oldest surviving residence in the city, Avila Adobe, is located on Olvera Street. Other historic structures on Olvera Street include the Plaza Church and Pico House. Nearby is Union Station, one of the great train stations in America. The station is worth a visit if you’re interested in 1930s architecture. In the same area is Philippe’s, the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Los Angeles, known as the birthplace of the French dip sandwich.

The Chinatown district of downtown Los Angeles is a short distance from Olvera Street. There are many restaurants, shops and special events in Chinatown. L.A. Chinatown is less of a tourist attraction than San Francisco Chinatown, and more of a real community of Chinese American businesses and residences.

* Civic Center region of downtown Los Angeles

The Civic Center is within walking distance of Pueblo region. The old City Hall building, once the tallest building in the area but now dwarfed by nearby skyscrapers, is a recognizable landmark from television shows like Dragnet. You can go to the observation deck at the top of City Hall

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