Conversation-worthy art, gourmet food trucks and live music together make up the staple ingredients for fun times ahead at some of the best art walks in Los Angeles. Art walks have a magical way of making the world of art far less intimidating than what you’d find at a stuffy art museum staffed by snooty art enthusiasts. Most of the art walks in LA began as a way for local business owners to drive more foot traffic through the door in exchange for providing local artists a place to showcase their work. It also gave the local community something fun to do. Get lost in a world of art with LA city lights for a backdrop, the aroma of international foods permeating the air and the sound of live music dancing in your ears.
San Pedro Art Walk
Located in a quaint neighborhood with a tight-knit art community, the San Pedro Art Walk is home to about 30 art galleries and studios that come to life every first Thursday starting at 6pm. Every month, local artists, musicians and business owners celebrate everything that makes its downtown Arts District so unique. Most of the action can be found on 4th Street to 7th Street from Pacific Avenue to Palos Verdes Street. Because of its midpoint location between Los Angeles and Orange County, the historic waterfront port city has become a popular filming location for movies like “Get Smart” and TV shows like “Dexter.” Cruise around the harbor in Ports O’Call before diving into a diverse ethnic scene infused with an artsy surfer, punk-rock vibe, a rich history and a unique culture of artists.
First Fridays on Abbot Kinney
On the first Friday of every month, it’s all about music and food at the Abbot Kinney’s monthly First Friday event where you’re likely to find the yuppiest hippies in Silicon Beach. The fun begins at 5pm and can be found on Abbot Kinney Boulevard from Venice Boulevard to Westminister. The smell of the 17 different food trucks (there used to be 50) will have your mouth salivating as you stroll through all the shops, sidewalk sales and the G2 Gallery. First Fridays draws in a pretty eclectic crowd ranging in age and backgrounds. For a little more dose of art in this part of town, the Venice Art Walk is also an option.
Long Beach Art Walk
Long Beach has its own version of First Fridays every first Friday of the month. Local business owners and artists unite through extended opening hours, performances by local musicians and intriguing art pieces that draw people into the 15 local participating businesses showcasing local art on their walls. It all goes down from 6:30pm to 9:30pm on Atlantic Avenue in Bixby Knolls from Bixby Road to San Antonio Drive. The event is free, but cash is recommended in case you want to purchase any art for yourself.
Downtown LA Art Walk
As the most notable art walk in Los Angeles, the Downtown Art Walk happens every second Thursday of the month, drawing in a monthly crowd of 25,000 visitors. Come rain or shine, Los Angelinos from all over the city come to eat, drink and play while gawking at art that inspires stimulating conversations among friends and even first dates. The Downtown Art Walk centers around Gallery Row on Spring and Main Streets between 4th and 7th Streets. However, more galleries and eateries can also be found in the Fashion District, Financial District and South Park. No other art walk better represents the varied urban culture of Los Angeles as the Downtown Art Walk.
Northeast LA Art Walk
For a Saturday night fix of art, check out the Northeast LA Art Walk based in Highland Park. Every second Saturday of the month, you’ll experience the whole art walk shebang complete with an art showcase, live music, dance performances and galleries open much later than usual. The best way to enjoy this art scene is through Spoke(n) Art Ride, a free bike tour that takes you through all the galleries in Northeast LA only on Second Saturdays. More than 40 venues, art galleries and studios participate in this event, making it even more exciting by sheer numbers.