in the historic Angel's Flight, by 4th and Hill streets, in downtown. OK, sure, the flight is not across the sky but in a funicular and the flight lasts only for a min- but this is such a cute part of L.A. history of which to partake. The shortest rain trip in the world had been closed, due to an unfortunate mechanical failure in 2001, which resulted in a fatality of a passenger. In 2011, the historic 25 cent ride* reopened to much fanfare. (*As of 2012, now 50 cents!)
On a Hollywood note, Angel's Flight is pictured near the end of the opening credits of the popular soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful and has been featured on the big screen in the Muppets (2011) and City of Angels, with Nicolas Gage.
Fun Alternatives: Go on the Metro Red Line for a 40+ min subway rail, with a stop nearby at Pershing Square.
I stayed in an upmarket hotel in downtown LA but was I in for s surprise come late afternoon the druggies, sickos, derelects all came out right to the steps of the hotel. They are dirty, obnoxious and annoying.
Hotel security ignored them unless they went onto the steps, Police totally ignore them like they dont exist.
What a dump.
This isnt like a trap persa, its more like a sick joke than anything. So, while travelling around LA, we discovered that people here lie to you about directions. We drove hours (without a map) and we had numerous people lie about where certain places were at, it was insane. We would be in one direction and then someone would say it was in another direction. Finally I spoke to one decent person working at a gas station that told me, its almsot like a game to them, telling us wrond directions. He said now they are all being monitered by the state and could be fined for doing this to tourist. Please beware and have a map, we left ours at the hotel. Plus, you cannot use bathrooms anywhere here usless its a restaurant and you are buying something. It didnt matter if you bought somthing or not, they said no bathrooms!
Unique Suggestions: Beware of each person you speak with, they may or may not be honest with you.
Fun Alternatives: Have a map handy at all times or speak to a police officer, there were plenty of these around.
We stayed in a hotel in downtown thinking this was the place to be. Its not. It shuts up after dark. Nothing to do. Nothing to see. Everything to avoid. Its full of homeless and people that look like they are waiting for a chance to mug you.
If you do need to stay here, dont go out at night. If you need to go out at night. Dont walk or catch the trains. They simply dont feel safe. We made the mistake of heading to Long Beach late in the day. It sounded like a great place and easy to get to. It took longer than we thought and we got back after dark. We didnt want to be out and we couldnt get back fast enough.
Its simple. Dont do it.
Is there a bigger tourist trap in Los Angeles than the actual city itself. Due to the fact that many movies/tv shows are set in LA, first-timers usually expect a nice, pretty city with blonde-blue eyed hotties riding around in open topped jeeps on the way to the beach in ever so small bikini tops. But clean the city is not. Believe it or not, I have seen blonde-blue eyed hotties in an open-topped jeep... presumably headed towards the beach... man that was a good day.
Most of downtown is filled with just businesses. Kinda boring. Luckily there's a new concert hall courtesy of Mickey Mouse and of course the Lakers play not too far away in the Staples Center... no Shaq.. but Kobe's free... free... woo hoo!!!
Fun Alternatives: Go to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills.... go south to OC...
Olvera Street is worth a walk down once, but there's not very much to do there. It's not a place that people would go to for very long or more than once.
Unique Suggestions: When you do your walk-through, be sure to check out the candle store. It's cool, and they have this giant candle that's the size of a tree trunk.
Once you've seen one store hawking turquoise, belt buckles, and Frida merchandise, you've kind of seen them all.
Do check out the Mexican arts & crafts--I particularly like the shadowboxes with doors that open to reveal little scenes. They are pretty and macabre and very culturally significant.
There is a good restaurant on the street called La Casa Golondrina. There is usually live music, and the patio is festive. Feels like a little Mexico vacation. The rest of the restaurants are NOT good.
Fun Alternatives: A fun, but crowded, time to visit Olvera is during a fiesta. They do a huge Dia de los Muertos parade, and at Christmas there is a parade each day leading up the 25th that is kind of a play about the birth of Christ. There are other festivals throughout the year; check their website for details.
To me, downtown LA (the main downtown section) is a place to work and if you have tickets for a professional game to go to The Staples Center. There is a little more to offer, but not much. There are some interesting places to eat, like The Pantry, but there isn't much else here expect a few tall buildings and a bunch of bums (you could have some really interesting conversations here). There is a walking tour of some of the famous and historic buildings, too, which could be fun...Bunker Hill, The Fine Arts Building, etc.
Maybe you would want to stop by the Jewelry District if you want to buy jewelry, but downtown isn't really the place to be for tons of action and fun.
Near downtown is China Town and Olvera Street (see must see section), which are cool.
Fun Alternatives: Go to the many other options around LA...Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the mountains, the ocean, etc.
I cringe when I see a family of tourists that got suckered into staying near LAX Airport. There is absolutely nothing to see there. Also avoid downtown LA. Stay in Santa Monica, Long Beach, or Beverly Hills. Stay in Anaheim only if Disneyland is the focal point of your trip.
Unique Suggestions: Rent a car!
Every Place in La!
Sorry to be so negative but this is a fact. Los Angeles is one of the most visited places in the world and you will not find a place within the city limits that does not try to force you in.