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Historic Walking Tours Of Los Angeles

June 9, 2014 5:00 AM

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(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)


With Los Angeles’ rich and storied history, a walking tour which will guide you throughout the city, is the perfect way to relish in our unique past. With guides, the stories come alive as history and will amaze you. From downtown to Hollywood, and from the Valley to the coast, they are all stories all Angelenos should know, and the best way is to take a walk.
bradbury building Historic Walking Tours Of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Conservancy
523 W. 6th St., Suite 826
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 623-2489
www.laconservancy.org

The history of Los Angeles can be seen through its architecture, and the Los Angeles Conservancy knows that best. The nonprofit organization advocates for and preserves the “historic architectural and cultural resources” of greater Los Angeles. One part of its mission is education. To that end, the walking tours have for decades given countless tourists and locals an appreciation of our city’s history. Thus, “strengthening communities” and “fostering economic development,” but these tours are, as well, reality-based entertainment. Volunteer docents are eager to share their intimate knowledge. Besides the hallmark locations, walkers will enjoy lesser-known locales like Victorian Bunker Hill, Gill’s Dodge House, the Atlantic Richfield Building and more.

Related: Best Walking Tours In Orange County

(credit: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images)

(credit: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images)


Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours
15 18th Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
(424) 999-8687
www.vintagevenicetours.com

Venice resident Jonathan Kaplan, a television writer and docent for the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Historic Theatre Foundation, is your guide for Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours. Called the “Best Walking Tour” by Los Angeles Magazine for 2012, this walking tour opens up the history of Venice. This once seaside village, now part of greater Los Angeres’ urbanscape, has a shared history with all of the Southland. Home to the famous with piers, roller-coasters and canals, Venice is larger than life. The popular image of quirkiness and oddities comes to a halt with this tour of sites only locals frequent, well maybe not completely.

(credit: Lucy Nicholson/Getty Images)

(credit: Lucy Nicholson/Getty Images)


Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes
Red Line Tours: Los Angeles
6708 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(877) 809-3320
www.redlinetours.com

Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes walking tour gives walkers a chance to visit Hollywood’s past and present. Every day of the year, except holidays including Academy Awards Day, this “no ordinary tour” goes back to the Golden Age with guides telling stories and then-and-now photo albums. While the past remains in the historic landmarks, Hollywood continues as an exciting and ever creative landscape. In two short hours, you will become a Hollywood insider.

(credit: Pachd.com)

(credit: Pachd.com)


NoHo Historic Walking Tour
Museum of the San Fernando Valley
Plaza De La Cordillera
18860 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91324
(818) 347-9665
www.themuseumsfv.org

The “Valley” was once a collection of farms and ranches, small towns and then suburbs. The walking tour is located in North Hollywood’s older districts. From the Amelia Earhart Statue to Marilyn Monroe’s elementary school, and from the old 1896 railroad depot to Fire Station No. 60 is just the beginning. Tour guides explain a history replete with the Valley’s role and connection with all of the Southland – this is L.A. It’s a vicarious visit to the far past of “real cowboys,” pioneer families, Mexican ranchos and the Spanish conquest.

(credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

(credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)


The Santa Monica Conservancy’s Downtown Walking Tour
Visitors Center
1920 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90406
(310) 496-3146
www.smconservancy.org

This all-volunteer community group takes local history seriously. Its two-hour tour covers six blocks and 130 years of Santa Monica’s history every Saturday. Visionary civic leaders oversaw early development setting the stage for today’s downtown. You’ll visit the Rapp Saloon that opened the year the city was founded, and due to its overall respect in the community, it later congenially served as City Hall. Examples of the past include the Majestic and El Miro theaters that entertained generations. Other historic buildings are examples of Romanesque Revival, Spanish Revival, Art Deco and Streamline Moderne – all part of the Southland’s heritage. The self-guided tour is made easy with tourist brochures that you can pick up at either the Visitors Center, The Convention and Visitors Bureau or the Hostelling International Travel Store at 1434 2nd St.

Related: Learn All About Santa Barbara On The Red Tile Walking Tour

Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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