Head down the Arroyo Seco Historic Parkway and plunge into a kaleidoscopic world of refined culture and fascinating history.
Trip length: 3 days
Arroyo Seco Historic Parkway . Better known as Route 110, the country’s first freeway connects Pasadena and L.A., with lovely vistas and old architecture (look for the Figueroa Street Tunnels). INFO 800/307-7977 visitpasadena.com
Highland Park (7.1mi/11.4km; 14min). Get your gobble on with a look at Chicken Boy , L.A.’s quirky own take on the Statue of Liberty. Take a break with baked treats and coffee at Antigua Bread . INFO 323/467-6412 discoverlosangeles.com
Downtown (5.6mi/9.1km; 8min). Tour visually stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall ; try to catch a symphony or other concert in the acoustically exquisite hall. For big-name acts, head to nearby NOKIA Theatre L.A. Live . Nearby, check out costumes, recordings, films, and memorabilia at the Grammy Museum . INFO 323/467-6412 discoverlosangeles.com
Olvera Street (0.3mi/0.5km; 2min). Visit the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes , celebrating Mexican-American heritage in the City of Angels. Phillipe’s claims to be the birthplace of the French Dip sandwich. INFO 323/467-6412 discoverlosangeles.com
Chinatown (0.6mi/0.9km; 2min). A few blocks from Union Station, look for imported teas, ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, toys, and home furnishings in this bustling Asian enclave. Dining options abound; try Yang Chow and, for sweets, Phoenix Bakery . INFO 213/680-0243 chinatownla.com
Little Tokyo (1.5mi/2.4km; 5min). Visit the Japanese American National Museum . Watch a performance at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre , or join an unusual guided tour with Six Tastes Food Tours . INFO 323/467-6412 discoverlosangeles.com