Los Angeles is a vibrant metropolis teeming with fun things to do and vast, diverse neighborhoods in which to do it. But unlike New York, with its great transit system, LA is difficult to get around – difficult, but not impossible, especially if you confine your sightseeing to one small area of the city over one day. To help you on your way, we've put together a fun one-day itinerary for the LA mid city area, halfway between the ocean and downtown.
Start by getting yourself the LA Metro Day Pass which allows unlimited travel by bus or metrorail for 24 hours. Use it to make your way to the first stop, The Original Farmers Market on the corner of 3rd and Fairfax. If you're smart you'll skip breakfast and dive head first into Melting Pot Toursdelicious Petersen Automotive Museum. Dedicated to all things automotive, the museum encompasses more than 300,000 square feet, with exhibits and lifelike dioramas featuring more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Five rotating galleries on the second floor feature state-of-the-art race cars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, with focus also given to auto design and technology. The May Family Discovery Center hosts an interactive “hands-on” learning center teaching basic scientific principles and fundamental functions of a car.
If your taste is high art over race cars then you are mere steps away from the world famous Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). With 100,000 objects dating from ancient times to the present, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. LACMA’s seven-building complex is home to collections drawn from the wide geographic world, encompassing virtually the entire history of art. Among the museum’s special strengths are its holdings of Asian art, housed in part in the Bruce Goff-designed Pavilion for Japanese Art; Latin American art, ranging from pre-Columbian masterpieces to works by leading modern and contemporary artists including Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and José Clemente Orozco; and Islamic art, of which LACMA hosts one of the most significant collections in the world.
As evening falls and you’re ready for a nice candlelit dinner – hop the bus back north on Fairfax toward the Farmers Market, behind which you will find the newer, swankier extravaganza that is the Grove Los Angeles. This theme park-like world hosts fountains, colorful shops, and even a fun little tram ride. Most of all this is a place to be at night fall, where you can choose from a selection of restaurant patios and watch the world go by. And by world, we actually mean people like yourself from all countries of the globe who traveled here to wander around and do the same thing as you. If you're not too tired, and given that this is L.A. – land of movie-make-believe, why not catch the latest blockbuster at Pacific's Grove Stadium 14? After all, when in Rome…
Diane Scalia is a restaurant chef and the founding partner of Melting Pot Food Tours, the original walking-tasting food tours company in Los Angeles. Hungry, adventurous visitors to LA may learn more about how to dine well while exploring the City of Angels by visiting http://www.meltingpottours.com. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MeltingPotFoodTours!
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photo: Diana Scalia