Filmmaker and confirmed New Yorker Woody Allen once antagonistically asked about Los Angeles, “Who would want to live in a place where the only cultural advantage is that you can turn right on a red light?” His question was about as off base as it gets, as proven by the overwhelming opportunities that abound in the City of Angels. Oh, and by the way, that right turn on red traffic concept? It’s now been adopted all over the country and with very few exceptions. That said, following are ways in which to get your best doses of culture in a land where this is a must. So there, Woody Allen.
Discover Great Museums
Perhaps the top of most museum must do lists in the City of Angels is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This mainstay on Wilshire Blvd., at the start of the Miracle Mile on Museum Row, is a hotbed of thrilling exhibitions and a gobsmacking permanent collection not to be missed. But don’t stop there. Also discover such notable museums as The Getty, The Getty Villa, Annenberg Photography Museum, The Broad, and The Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, to name just a handful of unforgettable and very worthy venues that have been curated to create great demand from the adoring public.
Pick A Food & Walking Tour
Choose to take a tour that will have you eating and walking during the same session, a perfect way to cover Los Angeles without having to navigate your car while you’re doing so. Among the best is the ethnic neighborhood food and culture offerings from Urban Adventures. Given the astonishing number of different nationalities that have forged roots in this multi-cultural city, you won’t be disappointed in the unique cuisines. By taking the Metro and a city bus with your group leader, you’ll cover a lot of ground while taking in dining experiences in Koreatown, Little Armenia and Thai Town. Talk about piquing your taste buds.
Take The Downtown Art Walk
Depend on the organization known as Downtown Art Walk to immerse yourself in the diverse, creative world that the core of Los Angeles has to offer. One of the popular tours from this outfit highlights the many murals of the Mecca Angelenos call home, while another will take you to the best galleries this urban section of our rather suburban city has to offer. Browse the options and come up with a walk that is right for your tastes art wise, and you should be be thrilled with the outcome. In fact, you may be so overjoyed that you may just buy something creative that you come across during your walk to add to your own home landscape.
Related: Best Museum Tours In Los Angeles
Visit the NoHo Arts District
Since about the turn of this new century, the NoHo Arts District has been thriving. Indeed, in the past 16 years, the heart of North Hollywood has turned into an inviting area with a gaggles of galleries, theaters and coffee houses being at the forefront. The stage presentations that pop up in this perky part of the Valley often include familiar faces from the big and small screens, while the java purchased after the curtain falls is not only top-of-the-line but served in cozy hideaways that encourage plenty of discussion about what you have just experienced.
Explore L.A.’s Architecture
Where else will you see a Spanish Mission-style home next to a mid-century modern manse on the same block as an English Tudor masterpiece? Los Angeles is mad for fine architecture, and not just in the abodes in which we choose to live. Some mighty fine examples of individual styles can be found all over the city. Witness the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Frank Gehry’s blocky modern ode to music, a fine example of deconstructivism done in a titanium exterior that simply can’t be passed over. But don’t stop there. Also discover such amazing edifices as the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters (visionary Thom Mayne took the illustrious 2005 Pritzker Prize for this futuristic and environmentally-friendly building), the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels (post modern architecture at its finest), the Bradbury Building (an Italian Renaissance Revival marvel), the fresh Broad Museum (an ambitious box-like building done in fiberglass panels, often referred to as a “veil covering a vault”), and the distinctive Petersen Automotive Museum, which received a new, flashy look in 2014. And that’s just for architectural starters.
Related: LA’s Best Unusual & Unique Museums