Los Angeles Downtown

California, Los Angeles Guide (A): Los Angeles Downtown

The Los Angeles downtown tour will take you to the heart of the city of angels; an area that’s often over-looked by visitors who come to the city searching for sunny beaches, Hollywood stars and Beverly Hills mansions. Downtown Los Angeles offers incredible dining and shopping experiences, from the bustle of the Garment District to the Jewelry Mart to the fabulous Disney Concert Hall.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Walk Route

Guide Name: Los Angeles Downtown
Guide Location: USA » Los Angeles
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: The Avila Adobe   City Hall Building   The Bradbury Building   Grand Central Market   Angelique Cafe   The Gerry Building   The Orpheum Theater   Angel Flight   Disney Concert Hall   Patina Restaurant  
Author: Kelly Bowlin
Author Bio: Kelly Bowlin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. He's written 2 novels and 26 short stories.
Author Website: http://kwbshorts.utopianrealms.org
1
The Avila Adobe

1) The Avila Adobe

The Avila Adobe has the distinction of being the oldest still-standing house in Los Angeles. It was built in 1818 at a time when Los Angeles was just a dusty settlement on the west bank above the Los Angeles River. It fell into disrepair during the early twentieth century but was since restored and now exemplifies the life style of early California. The adobe sits in the Paseo of Olvera Street which is also the oldest street in Los Angeles. Today its a wonderful place to relive history and stroll among old adobes and to sample some of the wonderful Tex-Mex eateries that can be found throughout.

213-485-6855

Hours:

Open Daily 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.
2
City Hall Building

2) City Hall Building

The iconic city hall building stands as sentinel above LA’s vast, urban sprawl. The familiar landmark has been the poster child for Los Angeles since it was built in 1928. It's 32 stories high which made it the tallest building in Los Angeles for many years. The building currently houses city administration offices including the mayor’s office. There is an observation deck open to the public on the 27th floor which offers a magnificent view of downtown. The building has also been used in many movies and television series from Dragnet and Perry Mason to the Adventures of Superman.

213-473-7002

Hours:

Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3
The Bradbury Building

3) The Bradbury Building

The Bradbury building has long been considered one of Los Angeles’s architectural masterpieces. The ground floor is open to the public where visitors can view the five story interior court yard with its ornate cast iron detail, including rich marble and polished wood work which draw the viewer’s attention to a huge skylight in the ceiling which casts light in wonderful rays of personality throughout the interior. It’s long been a destination for students of architecture who come to see a mixture of old and new and of innovation and creativity.

213-626-1893

Hours

Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
4
Grand Central Market

4) Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market is a one block wide enclosed market that is a foodie’s paradise and features a variety of ethnic fast food stalls from Mexican, to Italian to Persian and Chinese. Fresh baked goods, herbs and spices, produce, meat and seafood stalls all bring a unique, European type feel to this bustling open air market which harkens back to the turn of the century when markets like these were commonplace and not the exception. If you’re hungry, grab a quick burrito or falafel sandwich or bowl of Pad Thai Noodles at one of several choices, or pick up a bag of fresh fudge or artesian French bread. It’s all there and you’ll eat your way across the world if you’re not careful.

213-626-1893

Hours:

Monday – Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
5
Angelique Cafe

5) Angelique Cafe

Angelique Café is a hidden gem that serves gourmet French food, reasonably priced at a cozy intersection of two busy streets. “Is that possible in downtown LA?” you might ask. This is the type of restaurant you stumble upon and then rave about to anyone who’ll listen. The building sits on an unlikely corner with the look and feel of a cafe you might find on the left bank in Paris. The Charcuterie Basket which is a selection of homemade pates is magnificent. So is the Chicken Porcini Sausage and at $13.95 what a bargain. Or try the homemade Merguez sausage sandwich made with lamb and beef and Moroccan spices. Ask the owner if you can have a table on the small outdoor patio upstairs and watch LA pass below while drinking a fine Petite Noir.

Cest Bon!

213-623-8688

Hours:

Breakfast Saturday and Sunday only: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
6
The Gerry Building

6) The Gerry Building

The Gerry Building sits at the north end of the Garment/Fashion District. You could call it the tip of the iceberg. You want bargains on designer clothing or apparel? This is the place. There are hundreds of shops to choose from and many of the outlets have clothing still bundled on racks being prepared for shipment to retail outlets all across the country. Some of the shops only do wholesale business but the shopping is fun and the chance for a real bargain is exciting. For almost a mile south and east of this location you’ll find hundreds of sellers. You could spend a day easily here. If you do be sure to bring a big bag and a few good credit cards.

213-228-1988

Hours

Individual shop hours vary
7
The Orpheum Theater

7) The Orpheum Theater

The Orpheum Theater is one of LA’s most notable landmarks. To look at the faded, decaying exterior, we’re reminded that big theaters like this are no longer in vogue and that there prime is long past, but oh what a past it witnessed. It was here in 1933 that a yong Jdy Garland performed a vaudeville act and where music legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Little Richard and Stevie Wonder played into the warm summer nights. It was also used recently as a support theater for several American Idol episodes. Today it’s still used as a concert hall and as a theater for screening old classics. In today’s mega, multi-theater complexes a hall like the Orpheum theater is a testament to the saying that “the show must go on.”

877-677-4386

Hours:

Show times and performances vary.
8
Angel Flight

8) Angel Flight

When you think of Los Angeles you don’t envision hills, but yes, there are a few, in fact an area with many high rise apartments and condominiums is called Bunker Hill. At the turn of the century, this hill which connected residences with the business center downtown, was quite steep, so city planners installed a funicular to ease the commute. A funicular works on the basis of gravity with one car descending while the other car travels up; very energy efficient, but not necessarily that safe. Today the railway has been moved from its original location but still functions as a quick connection between the historic downtown core districts with the Bunker Hill California Plaza. Rides cost $.25 one way and run 365 days a year.

213-624-7300

Hours:

Open 36 days a year 6:45 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
9
Disney Concert Hall

9) Disney Concert Hall

The Disney Concert Hall is one of the most sophisticated sound theaters in the world. From the outside is appears to be a conglomeration of polished metal siding built in another galaxy, in fact it might be mistaken for a giant alien spacecraft but it is in fact the home of the los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Built at a cost of almost a quarter billion dollars, this now world renowned architectural masterpiece has begun to symbolize pop art culture at its extravagant best. In addition to classical concerts, it’s also been used by American Idol as well as many headline performers. When first completed, the reflection off the polished panels heated up several of the surrounding high residences which forced architects to sand down the finish in some sections to minimize the light reflection. The concert hall has self-guided and guided tours most days and the average tour runs about an hour. The tours begin in the Grand Avenue lobby

of the building.

323-850-2000

Hours:

Tour times and show times vary.
10
Patina Restaurant

10) Patina Restaurant

Now that you’ve walked much of downtown Los Angeles, it’s time to relax,

and what better place than Patina, winner of a coveted Michelin Star for culinary excellence.

Owned by fabled chef Joachim Splichal, this top notch restaurant features seasonal tasting menus, gourmet cheeses, caviars, and a gigantic, critically acclaimed wine list. Hey you’ve probably been eating fast food all day, so now it’s time to unwind and let yourself be truly pampered. Splurge and try the milk-fed rack of lamb for two. At $90 it’s not cheap but hey, you only live once, besides you’ve been saving money by eating street food all day.

213-972-3331

Hours:

Tuesday – Saturday: 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sunday: 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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