8 places to visit in Downtown Los Angeles

This blog post aims to show certain places that travelers or locals may want to explore. The blog post seeks to help readers explore Los Angeles and all it has to offer.

#1 California Science Center

A world of fun and exploration awaits kids, as well as curious adults, at the California Science Center. In the permanent “Ecosystems” exhibit, museumgoers will learn about everything from islands to rivers to forests across eight different zones via interactive displays. In “Creative World,” technology takes center stage and explores the innovation in transportation and architecture. But the top draw for recent travelers? The museum’s “Air & Space” section includes the Gemini 11 capsule piloted by Dick Gordon and Pete Conrad and a special exhibit about the Endeavor space shuttle. An IMAX theater is also on-site. Recent visitors say the center is wonderful, lots of fun, and especially great for kids.

The photo was taken by Juan Velez.

#2 Griffith Park and Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is a planetarium and astronomy museum in California, a great free thing to do in Los Angeles, with excellent panoramic views (including the Hollywood Sign) and a good starting point for hikes. The Griffith Observatory (open from noon to 10 pm) is free every day. Once a month, on a Saturday night, the Griffith Observatory partners with local astronomy groups to turn their telescopes over to the public to gaze heavenward.

The Griffith Observatory is posted on the south face of Mount Hollywood, the highest peak in the park, and the sight of the city rippling in the sun or twinkling at night from Observatory’s terraces are the stuff of dreams.

Griffith Park is a rough-hewn wilderness, incorporating a chunk of the Santa Monica Mountains and streaked with trails for walking and horseback riding. The Los Angeles Zoo is also near and concession stands and picnic grounds. The Hollywood Sign is within the park’s boundaries and can be reached on a challenging hike.

#3 Hollywood Walk of Fame and Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,690 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. “The Walk of Fame Master Plan is the signature project of my ‘HEART of Hollywood’ initiative, and the concept plan is just the first step,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “We are working on updating the Walk of Fame in a balanced, holistic, cohesive way. As this evolves, we will keep building a sense of consensus and collaboration around various ideas. I encourage Hollywood stakeholders to view the concept plan in its entirety, provide feedback, and join us throughout this process.” The Hollywood Pantages is proud to be a longtime stakeholder on the Walk of Fame and serve a diverse population, including residents and visitors.

#4 Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is a staple destination for locals and tourists due to the Ferris wheel, beach location, and just all-around coolness. I suggest getting there earlier than later to explore it without being overcrowded by other tourists. Most of the rides start at 11 am. We got there around 10 am and loved the amount of room we had. It was empty on the pier, so if you want to come to take photos of Santa Monica Pier, I suggest arriving before it opens in the morning.

#5 The Broad

The Broad (pronounced brode) and housed in a $140 million, three-story building by Diller, Scofidio, and Renfro enshrines the collection of some 2,000 works owned by Eli Edythe Broad, two of this city’s leading philanthropists. The eye-catching honeycomb building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, is home to an expansive collection of contemporary art dating from the 1950s to the present. The collection includes Jean Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol. In addition to the permanent collection, temporary exhibits showcase new and emerging artists. The museum gets high marks from recent visitors who loved both the artwork and the architecture.

The Broad is made for people with short attention spans. Viewers can whip through the museum and get to see a lot of known artworks in a concentrated space. There is a Yayoi Kusama “Infinity Mirrored Room” in the permanent collection, which requires a reservation long in advance, but it is a must-selfie. You will want to check out Jeff Koons’s “Michael Jackson and Bubbles” (1988), as well as Robert Therrien’s “Under the Table” (1994).

The photo was taken by Juan Velez.

#6 The Getty

The Getty Center is one of the most impressive architectural achievements in the United States – and it also contains some of the finest works of art in the world. The $1.3 billion Center opened to the public on December 16, 1997, and is well known for its architecture, gardens, and views overlooking Los Angeles. Renowned architect Richard Meier designed the circular concrete-and-steel structure, and it houses an abundance of art from various ages and nations. Here you’ll find Renaissance paintings, 20th-century American photography, Baroque sculptures, historical manuscripts, and more, all housed inside a sprawling, modern campus amid the Santa Monica Mountains. The museum also offers spectacular views of Los Angeles on clear days.

#7 Urban Lights at LACMA

Probably even more famous than the LACMA art museum itself is the Urban Light installation by Chris Burden. People are out there every day, taking photos of it. You will see people getting out of their cars to capture it, lovers taking pictures under the lamps at night. People have been fascinated by the details.

Chris Burden began to collect cast iron lamps without any project in mind back in 2000. The lamps he eventually used for this installation have all been real street lights in Los Angeles and nearby cities, such as Hollywood or Anaheim; some are even from Portland in Oregon. All the Urban Light street lights are fully functional and light up in the evening. The lights are powered by solar panels on the roof of the BP Grand Entrance.

#8 Venice Canal

The Venice Canal Historic District is a district in the Venice section of Los Angeles, California. The district is noteworthy for its human-made canals built-in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as part of his Venice of America plan. Kinney sought to recreate Venice, Italy’s appearance and feel in Southern California and marketed it as the Venice of America. Just a stone’s throw from Venice Beach, you can go for peaceful waterside strolls, cross charming little footbridges, and spot ducklings in the water in summer.