From Downtown LA to Santa Monica, the Metro Rapid Wilshire Boulevard bus will move you across town! Check out Pershing Square and the Jewelry District of Downtown Los Angeles. Head into the rich culture of Koreatown!
La Brea offers you great antique shopping and Fairfax takes you to the Farmers Market and museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art! For the beach loving folks, this line runs all the way to Santa Monica! (This tour includes portions of the Downtown, Koreatown and Original Farmers Market/The Grove tours)
To get to the start of the tour:
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Important Note: Please make sure to always check times and schedules for transportation, destinations and events.
This tour includes the following stops:
Pershing Square Station
Wilshire Alvarado Street
Wilshire/La Cienega Boulevard
Pershing Square Station (Metro Red Line)
See neighborhood Metro adventureFrom the Pershing Square Metro station, proceed to street level and walk to 5th and Hills streets to Pershing Square (directly across the street from the Metro station).
Check out Pershing Square (5th, Olive and Hill streets). Mexico City architect Richard Legoretta designed the yellow building, pink columns and purple water tower, while Barbara McCarren created the art program.
Across from Pershing Square, walk over to the Jewelry District (between Hill Street and Broadway, from 5th to 8th streets). Here, the streets are lined with jewelry stores from the very tiny to the very large. Gems, rings, bracelets, precious stones, gold chains, watches, pearls - one can find just about anything. If you're willing to spend the "big bucks," the more upscale stores are along Hill Street between 6th and 7th streets.
Walk two blocks west on 5th Street to the Los Angeles Public Library.
In the heart of the Financial District, is the Los Angeles Public Library (630 W. 5th St.; 213/228-7000). Constructed in 1926, and restored in 1993, the library houses murals and sculptures dating from the 1920s and '30s, as well as recent works by prominent living artists. In addition to the 2.1 million books, 10,000 magazines, and over 2 million historic photographs, the library also presents fabulous exhibitions, lecture series and public programs.
To continue the tour, board the #720 Wilshire Metro Rapid bus on 5th Street. The stop is located mid-block on the north side of the street between Hope Street and Grand Avenue. Depart the bus at Wilshire Boulevard and Alvarado Street.
Wilshire/Alvarado Bus Stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
As you depart, you will see MacArthur Park.
Once called Westlake Park, the General Douglas MacArthur Park (2230 W. 6th St.) is the centerpiece to the Los Angeles community of Westlake. In 1942, Westlake Park was renamed to honor the World War II commander, General Douglas MacArthur. As you wander through the park, take a moment to enjoy the fountain that blasts from the center of the lake. Continue to wander and notice the many public art installations: Pyramids by Judy Simonian; Clock Tower: A Monument to the Unknown, dedicated to the men that used to play chess in the park by George Herms; and a statue of General Douglas MacArthur by Roger Noble Burnham.
Across the street from the park along Alvarado Street, notice the huge neon sign atop the Westlake Theater (636 S. Alvarado St.). Now a swapmeet filled with toys, clothing and various trinkets, you may notice some of the remaining details of the original movie palace.
At the northwest corner of the park (S. Park View and Sixth streets) stands an Art Deco masterpiece, the Parkview Hotel. Constructed in 1925, the vaulted entrance is set into a magnificent front façade that gives a sense of elegance.
From Wilshire Boulevard and Alvarado Street, walk one block south on Alvarado to 7th Street. Turn right on 7th Street.
Alive with commerce and constant hustle and bustle, the community surrounding MacArthur Park is filled with unique restaurants and shops. Grab a bite at Mama’s Hot Tamales Café (2124 Wilshire Blvd.; 213/487-7474) and try the various assortments of tamales from Central America and Mexico.
Re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at Alvarado Street and Wilshire Boulevard. Depart at Wilshire and Vermont Avenue.
Wilshire/Vermont bus stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
To cotinue the tour, from the Wilshire Boulevard/Vermont bus stop, walk one block east on Wilshire Boulevard.
Designed by John and Donald Parkinson in 1929, the Bullock's Wilshire building (3050 Wilshire Blvd.) has been termed "the American version of Parisian Moderne." Currently home to the Southwestern School of Law, the design makes use of buff terra cotta, green copper and glass.
Re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at Vermont Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. Depart at Wilshire and Normandie Avenue.
Wilshire/Normandie Bus Stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
From the Wilshire Boulevard/Normandie bus stop, walk north on Normandie one block to 6th Street, turn right on 6th Street and walk two blocks east.
Built in 1926 using Churrigueresque detailing, Chapman Market (3451 W. 6th St.) is one of the earliest auto-oriented markets in the western U.S. During the evening hours, stop in at Renaissance Billiards(3465 W. 6th St.; 213/380-6864), a popular Korean bar located above the Bohemian Restaurant (3451 W. 6th St.; 213/487-6155).
From the Wilshire Boulevard/Normandie bus stop, walk two blocks west on Wilshire Boulevard.
Dedicated in 1929, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple (3663 Wilshire Blvd.) is one of the largest and most influential Reform synagogues. Byzantine-inspired and designed by architects A.M. Edelman, S. Tilden Norton, and David C. Allison, interior features include symbolic murals by Hugo Ballin, depicting episodes in the biblical and post-biblical history of the Hebrew people.
Re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at Normandie Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. Depart at Wilshire and Western Avenue.
Wilshire/Western bus stop ( Metro Rapid Wilshire)
A few blocks east on Wilshire Boulevard, stop in one of Koreatown’s newest shopping destinations, the Aroma Center (3680 Wilshire Blvd.; 213/387-0111). Or walk south on Western Avenue, from the Metro station to Koreatown Plaza (928 S. Western at 9th St.; 213/382-1234). Inside the plaza, you’ll find everything from a Korean grocery store, Korean stationery store, Korean bakery, cosmetics, clothing, Korean music store, and health food store. Grab lunch at the food court serving a variety of Korean food ranging from Korean barbecue to Korean style noodles, to spicy tofu casserole (soon tofu), to bim-bim-bap (rice with vegetables and meat served sizzling in a hot stone pot).
From Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, walk west on Wilshire Boulevard to the next destination.
Experience a traditional Korean tea ceremony. The calm, soothing atmosphere of Hwa Sun Ji (3960 Wilshire Blvd.; 213/382-5302) is sure to remind you of old Korea. If you don't have time for a tea ceremony, stop in for traditional hot and cold teas. After taking in the Korean cultural setting, you will see why Korea is called "Land of the Morning Calm."
For a traditional Korean barbecue, check out Woo Lae Oak (623 S. Western Ave.; 213/384-2244), located just north of the Wilshire/Western Metro station.
Located at the southeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, the Wiltern Theater (3790 Wilshire Blvd.; 213/380-5005) originally opened in 1931 and is a wonderful example of Art Deco. A great place to spend an evening out, the Wiltern presents concerts, dance performances, stage productions and award shows. If you plan to catch a show, have dinner at the Atlas Supper Club (3760 Wilshire Blvd.; 213/380-8400) located right next door.
To continue the tour, re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at Western Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. Depart at Wilshire and Crenshaw Boulevard.
Wilshire/Crenshaw Bus Stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
From the Wilshire Boulevard/Crenshaw bus stop, walk 5 blocks west on Wilshire Boulevard.
Designed by Silas R. Burns and Sumner Hunt in 1927, the Ebell of Los Angeles (4400 Wilshire Blvd.) uses Spanish Colonial Revival style. Just a few doors down, view the Wilshire United Methodist Church (4350 Wilshire Blvd.) exhibiting elements of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, designed by Allison & Allison in 1924.
Re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at Crenshaw Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard. Depart at Wilshire and La Brea Avenue.
Wilshire/ La Brea bus stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
To continue the tour, from the Wilshire Boulevard/La Brea Avenue bus stop, walk west on Wilshire Boulevard
Be sure to check out the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd.; 323/936-7141). You can see Korean art exhibits, artifacts and a resource library on Korea and Korean culture. Call ahead for hours and current exhibitions.
Built in 1936 and designed by C.A. Balch, the El Rey Theatre (5515 Wilshire Blvd.) is an excellent example of Art Deco.
Re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at La Brea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. Depart at Wilshire and Fairfax Avenue.
Wilshire/Fairfax Bus Stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
Spend the afternoon on Museum Row. From the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire, explore some of LA's great museums.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (5905 Wilshire Blvd.; 323/857-6000) houses a renowned collection of more than 500,000 works from ancient times to the present.
Across the street, the Petersen Automotive Museum (6060 Wilshire Blvd.; 323/930-2277) is devoted to the history of the automobile. From motorized carriages to classic hot rods, see cars owned by celebrities in the Hollywood Gallery, or spend time in the May Family Children's Discovery Center.
Just a few blocks east from LACMA, celebrating the cultural expressions of traditional folk arts and crafts, the Craft & Folk Art Museum (5814 Wilshire Blvd.; 323/937-4230) has a permanent collection that reflects the diverse cultural groups and contemporary craft artists of the Southern California region. Across the street, the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits (5801 Wilshire Blvd.; 323/934-PAGE) is home to one of the world's largest collections of Ice Age fossils, where excavations are still ongoing.
Before you leave this area why not take a slight detour from Wilshire Boulevard and check out the Original Farmers Market. To continue the tour, at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, board the Fairfax DASH.
Fairfax DASH bus: Fairfax/3rd
Depart at Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street.
With old-fashioned charm since 1934, the Farmers Market (6333 W. 3rd St.; 323/933-9211) is a great place to spend an afternoon. Enjoy breakfast or lunch from the maze of stalls, featuring fresh fruits, vegetables and the finest meats. Find a table under an umbrella, and choose from one of the many restaurants offering selections from all over the world. Before you set off, explore the shops filled with treasures from authentic arts & crafts, antiques, jewelry, clothes and souvenirs.
Located directly behind the Farmers Market, one of LA's great shopping destinations is The Grove (189 The Grove Dr.; 323/900-8000). Almost a town unto itself, The Grove hosts such stores as Nike Goddess, Nordstrom's, J. Crew, great dining options and the Pacific Movie Theaters. Need to head back to the Farmers Market? Hop on the Green Trolley that travels between The Grove and the Farmers Market.
Continue north of Fairfax Avenue and catch the "Price is Right" or "Hollywood Squares." If you have the time and energy, be part of a "studio audience" at one of the many game shows taped at CBS Television City (7800 Beverly Blvd.; 323/575-2458). Tickets are distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis, and do not always guarantee a seat. The best way to get tickets is to write to a show or an agency in advance, or get tickets at the CBS Studio's box office Monday through Friday.
To continue the tour, take the Fairfax DASH back to Wilshire Boulevard and re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. Depart at Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevard.
Wilshire/La Cienega Bus Stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
Moving along Wilshire Boulevard, and need a bite to eat? Well, hop off the bus and stop on “Restaurant Row.” Along La Cienega Boulevard from Wilshire to Clifton Way, you can stuff yourself with everything garlic at the Stinking Rose (55 N. La Cienenga Blvd.; 310/652-7673) to a great steak at Arne Morton's of Chicago (435 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310/246-1501).
Re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at La Cienega and Wilshire boulevards.
Wilshire/Beverly bus stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
Depart at Wilshire and Beverly Drive.
Spend the day with the rich and famous! What could be better than hanging out on Rodeo Drive? Dolce & Gabbana (312 N. Rodeo Dr.; 310/888-8701), Chanel (400 N. Rodeo Dr.; 310/278-5500), Christian Dior (309 N. Rodeo Dr.; 310/859-4700) - the list goes on! But it doesn't stop there; along Wilshire Boulevard don't forget Barney's New York (9570 Wilshire Blvd.; 310/276-4400), Neiman-Marcus(9700 Wilshire Blvd.; 310/550-5900) and Saks Fifth Avenue (9600 Wilshire Blvd.; 310/275-4211).
Walk north up Beverly Drive from Wilshire Boulevard and hang out at the Museum of TV & Radio (465 N. Beverly Dr.; 310/786-1000). Presenting major exhibitions, screenings, and lecture series, the museum's collection has well over 100,000 programs spanning from news to advertising.
To continue the tour, re-board the Wilshire Rapid bus at Beverly Drive and Wilshire Boulevard. Depart at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards.
Wilshire/Westwood Bus Stop (Metro Rapid Wilshire)
At Westwood and Wilshire boulevards, you will find the UCLA Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd.; 310/443-7000). Host to a diverse set of collections, exhibitions, symposiums, music, dance, poetry and art programs, the collection features old masters, impressionists and post-impressionists. Don't miss the Museum's bookstore which houses one of the best art book collections in Los Angeles. Be sure to check out the views of Westwood Village, the mountains and Los Angeles from the second level of the building's patio.
Walk north on Westwood Boulevard from Wilshire.
Stroll around the heart of the Westwood Village and take in some of the architecturally significant buildings that were built along the original development mandate of Mediterranean design. Note the historic Dome Building at the corner of Westwood Boulevard and Kincross Avenue, designed by Allison & Allison. Or check out the many famous and historic movie theaters that make Westwood the movie premiere capital of the world, such as the Village Mann (961 Broxton Ave.; 310/208-5576) and the Mann's Bruin (948 Broxton Ave.; 310/208-8998). Completed in 1931, the Fox Village Theatre (945 Broxton Ave.) was the first entertainment facility in Westwood Village, and maintains its original neon sign. On any given night of the week these movie houses host some of Hollywood's top celebrities.
Access the campus of UCLA by walking north on Westwood Boulevard; Westwood Boulevard will run directly onto campus. As you arrive, proceed to the parking information booth to obtain a map of the campus.
An integral part of Westwood Village's history, future and daily life is the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), one of the Village's great attributes. UCLA is a rich and historic institution with a beautiful campus and fascinating cultural institutions. Once on campus, visit the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History (405 Hilgard Ave.; 310/825-4361). The Fowler celebrates diverse cultures and rich visual arts with a unique collection of over 750,000 objects primarily from Africa, Asia, Oceania and Native and Latin America. The Fowler is considered one of the world's leading university-based anthropological museums. Stroll over to the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden (405 Hilgard Ave.; 310/443-7000), home to one of the most distinguished collections in the country. This beautiful, lush garden is free and open year-round.
Just a few steps west from the intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Le Conte (the street that boarders UCLA to the south), find the Geffen Playhouse.
For evening entertainment, consider a first-class play at the award-winning Geffen Playhouse (10886 Le Conte Ave.; 310/208-5454). One of the most respected theaters in the country, the Geffen Playhouse is an intimate and charming venue housed in perhaps the finest historic building in the village. Throughout the year, audiences can see upcoming stars and well-established actors in a wide array of classic and contemporary plays and musicals. Please call the box office for a complete listing.
Another setting for entertainment are the world-class performances at the renowned UCLA Performing Arts Center at Royce Hall (Sunset Blvd. at Royce Dr.; 310/825-2101). Royce Hall is located on the UCLA campus, and is one of the most unique presenters and producers of performing arts in the country. Dance, music, spoken word, and experimental theater, the seasonal program is unrivaled presenting a kaleidoscope of approximately 200 performances each year to an audience of more than 200,000.