California Geography Self-Guided Field Trip of Los Angeles Instructor Matt Ebiner
1. From El Camino, go north on Crenshaw to the 105 freeway.
2. Go east on the 105 to the 110 (Harbor) Freeway.
3. Go north on the 110 Freeway, and exit at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
4. Left on Martin Luther King Boulevard.
5. Almost immediately, turn right on Figueroa, just after passing under the freeway.
6. Observe (and optional stops) on left side of Figueroa:
a. L. A. Memorial Coliseum, built in 1923, hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics
2 Super Bowls and even a World Series. Tours Tu--Fr at 11, 1 and 3 pm.
b. L. A. Sports Arena, home court for the L.A. Clippers and USC basketball teams
c. Museums: California Science Center Natural History, African-American. All free admission.
Parking costs $5.
d. IMAX Theatre: 7-story high movie screen, outstanding sound.
Call (213) 744-2014 for current movies, times and ticket prices.
e. After passing Exposition Boulevard, you'll pass USC on the left .
Founded in 1880, USC is one of the oldest universities in the West. There are free 1-hour walking tours weekdays at 10 am and 2 pm. Call (213) 740-2311 for an appointment.
f. A big sign with Felix the Cat is on the right side atop Felix Chevrolet, occasionally seen in movies.
7. Turn left at Adams Blvd. At this corner (Adams/Figueroa) is St. Vincent de Paul Church, an example of early 20th-century, Latin American Catholic architecture (built 1923), with a beautiful façade and interior. Open 7 am-4:30 pm. Free.
8. Drive about 2 miles on Adams to Normandie and turn right.
9. Go about 1 mile north on Normandie to St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 1324 S. Normandie, on right side of street after Venice. It's green domes are visible as you approach. Parking lot is on right side just past the church (free).
Stop #1 - St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral - http://www.stsophia.org/
a. This cathedral probably has the most beautiful interior of any church in Los Angeles.
***Go inside! *** (Free) It’s really only worthwhile to visit if you can go in.
b. The scheduled open hours are 10am-2pm everyday but Thursday. If the doors are locked, go to the office to the left of the church and ask permission to go inside. If photos inside are not allowed, take a photo of the exterior, but definitely go into the church to see the beautiful dome, murals, and icons. Just inside the front entrance they sell a nice post card showing the church interior. Shorts are not allowed inside the church.
c. As you return to your car, notice the signs across the street on Pico. This is probably the largest concentration of Greek shops in L.A., but it is also the southwestern edge of a L.A.'s Central American community, composed of Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants. Notice "El Quetzal", a Guatemalan/Salvadoran market.
Continue north on Normandie to Wilshire (1 mile). When you cross Olympic, you'll start seeing signs to indicate that you have entered Koreatown, home to 1/3 of the 160,000 Koreans who live in Southern California. This is the largest concentration of Koreans outside of Korea.
11. Turn right on Wilshire, the busiest boulevard in Los Angeles, stretching 16 miles from Downtown Los Angeles to the beach in Santa Monica.
12. Observe (and optional stops) along Wilshire Boulevard:
a. At Vermont, notice the Metro Red Line (subway) station on your left. L.A.'s subway first opened in 1993 as a 4 mile stretch beneath downtown. In 1997 a 2 mile extension to the west below Wilshire opened up with stations at Vermont, Normandie, and Western (behind you in the other direction). An extension to North Hollywood opened in
June, 1999 and now provides quick, underground access to more noteworthy sites.
b. After Lafayette Park, you will pass MacArthur Park on both sides of Wilshire. Named for General Douglas MacArthur of World War 2, MacArthur Park was popularized in the 1960s by a pop song of that title (and redone by Donna Summers in the 1980s). OK to visit in the daytime, but not considered safe after dark.
c. This area is the main population center of Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants. If desired, turn right or left on Alvarado just past the park to see pupusas (a Salvadoran snack) for sale, travel agencies advertising cheap flights to Guatemala City and San Salvador, fake green cards sold by enterprising sidewalk merchants, and restaurants named after Central American places (e.g., "Tikal Restaurant" on 6th Street).
After passing over the 110 freeway, turn left on Figueroa. Just past 5th Street you'll pass the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on the right. With its 5 cylindrical glass towers, it still appears futuristic even 20 years after it was built (1978). There are great views from the
revolving restaurant at the top on the 34th floor.
14. Turn right at 2nd Street, go through the tunnel and turn right on Broadway.
15. Observe (and optional stops) along South Broadway:
a. This part of Broadway is a bustling Latino shopping district, but also shows its glorious past in certain buildings (difficult to appreciate from the car, though):
* At the corner of 3rd Street on the left side of Broadway is the 1893 Bradbury Building with its remarkable interior (free to visit).
* Exactly opposite, on the right side of Broadway is the Million Dollar Theatre with its marvelous façade, built by Sid Graumann in 1918 but now is vacant.
b. Next door to the Million Dollar Theatre is Grand Central Market, a bustling, enclosed market selling a tremendous variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and animal parts (turkey tails, beef tongue, and goat heads) at very low prices (buy 10 pounds of tomatoes for $1!).
South of 5th Street you enter the Broadway Historic Theatre District, with 12 theatres built between 1910 and 1932, now mostly showing Spanish movies or used for other purposes. The Los Angeles Theatre at 615 S. Broadway (right side) was built in just 90 days for the 1930 opening of a Charlie Chaplin film, "City Lights," and still shows movies. The Tower Theatre on the corner of 8th and Broadway (left side) also has a beautiful exterior. The Orpheum at 842 S. Broadway (left side) seats 2000 people (most
contemporary cinemas seat no more than 300 people).
16. Two streets past the Orpheum, turn left on Olympic and turn left again at Los Angeles (2 blocks from Broadway). At this corner (Olympic/Los Angeles) is the California Mart, the largest wholesale apparel market in the country. You have now entered the Los Angeles Fashion District.
17. Observe (and optional stops) along Los Angeles Street:
a. The heart of the Los Angeles Fashion District (formerly called the Garment District) is along Los Angeles Street from Olympic to 8th Street.
b. The Cooper Building at 860 S. Los Angeles has 50 factory-outlet selling mostly women's designer brands.
c. Top men's stores are Roger Stewart (729 S. Los Angeles) and Academy Awards (821 S. Los Angeles).
d. From 7th to 6th you pass dozens of wholesale fabric shops whose clients are the clothing manufacturers that make the fashions a few blocks south of here.
e. From 5th to 2nd Streets you pass through the Skid Row area - many homeless, especially evident at night or early morning when many men sleep on the sidewalks, often in makeshift cardboard shelters.
18. Turn right on 1st Street and you'll be in Little Tokyo
Stop #2 - Little Tokyo
a. There is some meter parking on the street or pay $3 to park at lots on Alameda.
b. Little Tokyo is a cultural, social, and business center for L.A.'s Japanese-American community, the largest in North America. Few Japanese-Americans live in the area however.
c. Some places in Little Tokyo are worth visiting (visit at least 2 of the following):
- Japanese-American National Museum at 369 E. 1st Street (at Central Ave.)
In a former Buddhist temple, chronicles Japanese emigration to and life in the USA. $3 for students.
- Japanese Village Plaza, across the street from the Museum, starts at the Fire Tower. It's a pedestrian mall lined with 40 shops and restaurants. Take a look inside the bookshop or the sushi restaurant. It’s very calm on weekdays.
- Cross 2nd Street to the plaza in front of the Japanese-American Cultural Center.
Be sure to see the beautifully landscaped Japanese Garden at the southeast corner of the plaza. You'll probably have to view it from above. This is one of the highlights of Little Tokyo.
- Notice the high-rise apartments beyond the garden, low-cost housing for senior citizens, many of whom lived in this area before World War II, but were relocated to internment camps during the War.
- Go to San Pedro Street and cross diagonally to Astronaut E.S. Onizuka Street, a pedestrian shopping street named for the first Japanese-American astronaut, a victim of the Space Challenger tragedy in 1985. This is an area mostly frequented by Japanese tourists; look at the shops to see what kind of products seem to be popular.
- The 21-story New Otani Hotel has a clientele of mostly Japanese tourists and businessmen and has a traditional Japanese garden on the 4rd floor!
d. Find your way back to your car and continue your driving tour of L.A.
19. Continue east on 1st Street to Alameda and turn left. (If you're already on Alameda, head north.
a. On the right side is Union Station, built in 1939 and resembling a California Mission with its 135' tower (with a clock instead of a bell, though). This architectural treasure is where you can catch an Amtrak, Metrolink, or Red Line (subway) train; elegant lobby through the front doors.
b. Directly opposite (on the left side) is El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, with Olvera Street as its central attraction. The Pueblo commemorates the site where the city was founded in 1781 although the oldest extant building is the Avila Adobe (1818). The Old Plaza Church was first built in 1822 and is still an active parish. Olvera Street itself was restored in 1930 (with prison labor!) to its current status as a "traditional" Mexican marketplace. Free tours from the plaza Tu-Sa 10-1.
c. Past Union Station and Olvera Street on the right is the Post Office Terminal Annex, with its imposing Spanish colonial architecture.
22. Turn left at Ord Street (no traffic light, but one street past Bauchet with a traffic light). At this corner (Alameda/Ord) is Philippe's Restaurant, founded in the 1920s and claiming to have invented the French Dip sandwich. It's a cheap place for lunch.
23. Turn right on Broadway.
24. Observe (and optional stops) in Chinatown:
a. North Broadway is the heart of Chinatown, home to about 10,000 Chinese and Chinese- Americans. This is only about 5% of Southern California's Chinese population (many of whom live east of downtown in Monterey Park), but like Little Tokyo, Chinatown is an important social and cultural center (especially evident during Chinese New Year).
b. Past Alpine, notice the herbalist shops on the left with pictures of deer antlers and ginseng roots (both used for medicinal purposes). Some ginseng here costs $1000/pound.
c. Many of the signs are not only in Chinese and English, but also in Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian. These countries also have ethnic Chinese who have migrated to Southern California.
d. When you see the Bank of America with the Oriental roof and sign, turn left (College Street).
e. At the first street turn right (Hill Street). At this corner notice the architecture of Chevron.
f. At the first street turn right (Bernard). Bernard is right at the 110 Freeway entrance sign. The freeway entrance is straight ahead, so be sure to turn on Bernard.
g. Turn right on Broadway and drive slowly as you pass Chinatown plaza on your right. With its grand, arched gateway, it is the center of Chinatown but dates from only 1938 when the original Chinatown a few blocks away was demolished to make room for Union Station. Many restaurants and shops are found here, mostly geared to tourists.
25. As you continue on Broadway, get in the left lane and get on the 101 freeway going north.
26. On the 101 go about 4 miles to the Santa Monica Boulevard exit. At the exit, turn left.
After crossing over the freeway turn right on Western.
Western goes north to the Hollywood Hills with the famous Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory. You can visit the Observatory once it reopens in late 2006. At Hollywood Boulevard turn right and you'll soon cross over the 101 freeway.
Stop #3 - Hollywood
1. The Pantages Theatre at 6233 was home to the Academy Awards from 1949-1959 and hosts many Broadway productions that come to L.A.
2. Parking is usually tight, so you might have to go to a pay lot (usually around $3-5). You can try to find meter parking on one of the side streets after Cahuenga around Cherokee or Las Palmas. There's more parking south (left) of Hollywood Boulevard. If you get to Highland you've gone past most of the parking possibilities.
3. Spend at least 30-60 minutes on foot to see some of the following (all on Hollywood Blvd)
a) Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2000 bronze and marble stars inlaid in the sidewalk, commemorating stars of film, television, radio, theatre, and music.
b) The Janes House (6541) is the last of the mansions that used to line this boulevard. Built in 1903 before the movies came to Hollywood, it later served as a private school for entertainment-industry children, but now is the Hollywood Visitor Information Center with free brochures.
c) Frederick's of Hollywood Lingerie Museum (left side, 6608) with the evolution of lingerie and a Celebrity Lingerie Hall of Fame
d) Egyptian Theatre (6708) was constructed in 1922 and was inspired by the discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb. The doors and facade incorporate hieroglyphics and sphinx heads, and in the past had live caged monkeys and usherettes in Cleopatra-style garb!
e) Guinness World of Records (6764), in a former 1913 movie palace ("The Hollywood")
f) Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium (6780) has a huge tyrannosaurus on the roof, and unbelievable displays inside. Admission is $12.95.
g) Hollywood Wax Museum is across the street at 6767, with wax figures of celebrities
Admission is $12.95 (not recommended)
h) El Capitan Theatre (6838), built in 1926 and the venue for Disney world-premieres since 1991. The architecture shows both Spanish Baroque and Hindu temple styles.
i) Mann's Chinese Theatre (6925) was built in 1927 to resemble a Buddhist Temple and is famous for the concrete imprints of 150 movie stars, from John Wayne, Judy Garland, and Jimmy Durante (his nose!) to Arnold Schwarzanegger, Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, and Jim Carrey.
j) Kodak Theatre was built in 2001 to be the permanent home of the Academy Awards
k) Hollywood and Highland is a new shopping complex
28. Returning to your car, continue west on Hollywood Blvd and turn left on La Brea Avenue.
29. Turn right on Sunset Boulevard and you'll be on one of L.A.'s most famous streets.
30. Observe (and optional stops) along Sunset Boulevard:
a. At 7300 is Guitar Center with various rock stars' handprints in cement. Started in 1985, it obviously took the idea from the Chinese theatre one block up, but this and the display of music memorabilia make it an interesting stop for rock fans.
b. The Sunset Strip starts at Crescent Heights Boulevard. The Strip is a lively stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood where several nightclubs have launched the careers of many famous musicians and entertainers.
c. Just past Crescent Heights on the right side is the castle-like Chateau Marmont Hotel (8221), with countless celebrities as past guests, including Greta Garbo, Howard Hughes, and John Belushi (he died there of a drug overdose in (1982).
Once you reach West Hollywood you’ll see several billboards that are gigantic, provocative, or
strange. Look for one of Angelyne, a woman famous for nothing except the billboards displaying her big chest.
e. At 8433 (right side) is The Comedy Store, where David Letterman, Robin Williams, and Roseanne all performed before they were household names
f. Across the street at 8430 (left side) is House of Blues, one of the newer live-music venues, jointly owned by Dan Aykroyd (one of the Blues Brothers himself) and Harvard University! The building looks like a big shack.
g. At 8852 (left side) is The Viper Room, nightclub owned by actor Johnny Depp and where River Phoenix dropped dead in 1993 from drug-related complications.
h. The Whiskey at 8901 (right side) opened in 1963 and was the first rock music club on the West Coast. It's where the Doors and Van Halen got their start.
i. The Roxy at 9001 (right side) has been another venue for major music stars. Get in the left lane if you're not there already.
33. After the Roxy, turn left on Doheny.
34. At Santa Monica Blvd, turn left on Melrose. (it diverges from Santa Monica at this intersection)
35. Continue on Melrose past San Vicente and notice the Pacific Design Center (8687 Melrose), nicknamed the "Blue Whale" for good reason. Built in 1975, it houses 200 showrooms exhibiting and selling everything related to interior design (rugs, lamps, furniture,...). Free one-hour tour weekdays at 10 am.
36. Pass La Cienega and Fairfax and you're in one of the most avant-garde shopping areas of L.A.
Stop #4 - Melrose Avenue
a. This is L.A.'s greatest concentration of funky shops and boutiques, particularly from 7200 to 7700 Melrose (from Spaulding to Alta Vista). People watching (weekend afternoons and evenings especially) and sign displays are as much fun to see as what the shops have to offer.
b. Melrose is an area with limited parking. If you park on a side street, be sure to read the signs and pay the meter. Parking citations are given out everyday around the clock.
Try to park around Martell Avenue, and then walk east on Melrose
Look for the following and browse inside a few:
(Melrose shops change often, so some might be gone)
a) Off the Wall (7325) antiques and unusual stuff - very interesting to check out
c) Other shops have catchy names ("Wasteland" for old (“vintage”) clothing; "Red Balls" for provocative clothing, "House of Freaks" for body piercing,..)
37. At La Brea, turn right and go 1.5 miles to Wilshire. This is the eastern part of L.A.'s Jewish area. If you're passing through here on a Saturday afternoon, you're likely to see Orthodox Jews walking to or from the synagogue, distinctive for their traditional clothing (largely black) and broad brimmed hats.
38. Turn right on Wilshire.
39. Observe (and optional stops) on Wilshire's Museum Row (Miracle Mile):
a. The one-mile stretch of Wilshire from La Brea to Fairfax has been traditionally called "The Miracle Mile" but now is more commonly called "Museum Row"
b. La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries are on the right side, where many fossilized skeletons dating back 40,000 years were discovered after the animals got stuck in the gooey tar ("brea" in Spanish). The museum has reconstructed skeletons of Ice Age animals such as a saber-toothed cat. 10 am-5 pm (Wed-Sun); $5.
c. LA County Museum of Art, next to the Tar Pits, is one of the best art museums in the USA.
Permanent displays include works by Degas, Monet, and Gauguin, and there are excellent temporary exhibitions.
d. At the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax is the Petersen Automotive Museum. Devoted to the history of the car including L.A.'s car culture, it has an Indy 500 car and Clark Gable's '56 Mercedes. There's a monster truck around the corner on Fairfax to the left. Check out those monstrous tires! Museum is open Tu-Su 10-6 pm.
40. Turn right on Fairfax.
41. Observe (and optional stops) along Fairfax:
a. This part of Fairfax Avenue (like La Brea) is a central artery of L.A.'s main Jewish neighborhood. Many Jews in L.A. live elsewhere, but the Fairfax District has retained a strong presence of Orthodox Jews.
b. At the corner of Fairfax and 3rd (right side) is the Farmer's Market with 150 stalls selling fresh produce and gift items, a good place for a snack.
c. Just past Farmer's market (also on the right side) is CBS Television City, mostly offices but also where game shows like Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right, are produced.
42. Just past CBS, turn left on Beverly.
43. Observe (and optional stops) along Beverly:
a. At the Beverly Center, 8600 Beverly, is the Hard Rock Cafe. See the convertible stuck in the roof and the digital display indicating the World Population Now (increasing as you watch) and Acres of Rainforest Remaining in the World (decreasing as you watch). Simple meals are expensive but the rock n roll memorabilia inside is fun to see (much more here than at Guitar Center on Sunset).
b. If you want to make a short stop for a photo, turn right at San Vicente and park across from Tail-o'-the-Pup (329 N. San Vicente, left side), a 1938 hot dog stand built in the shape of a huge hot dog. It's only a 2-minute walk back to Beverly and the Hard Rock Cafe.
44. Continue west on Beverly, then turn left on Doheny.
45. Less than a mile down Doheny, turn right on Burton Way
46. Burton Way changes names and becomes (Little) Santa Monica Boulevard, leading to the heart of Beverly Hills' shopping district.
47. Find a parking lot or meter around Beverly Drive.
Stop #5 - Beverly Hills
a. Walk down Brighton Way or Little Santa Monica Boulevard until you reach Rodeo Drive.
b. On Rodeo Drive turn left and do some window-shopping. Notice the designer products, prices, and the kinds of people who are on the streets: tourists? wealthy locals?
c. Be sure to continue on Rodeo Drive to Two Rodeo Drive, an upscale shopping area built like an Italian hill town, with cobblestone walkway leading past boutiques to a central piazza. Stroll through to see what you see.
d. At Rodeo and Wilshire Blvd is the most expensive hotel in L.A., the Regent Beverly Wilshire (9500 Wilshire) with a presidential suite costing $5500/night! The standard doubles only cost $275/night.
e. Also on Wilshire to the right (west) is Niketown (don't look for Reeboks here!) and Planet Hollywood, with movie memorabilia on display inside. Movie clips play endlessly while you eat your lunch, a great L.A. experience.
48. Return to your car and drive west on Wilshire Boulevard past the Beverly Hilton, the Los Angeles Country Club, and turn right on Comstock.
49. Turn right again on the first street (Club View) just before Holmby Park. This is a pleasant place for a peaceful break.
50. Turn right on the first street (Mapleton) and slowly drive past the incredible homes. The first mansion on the right is huge. Notice the architectural variety of the houses.
51. Turn left on the first street (Wyton) and then right at the stop sign (Beverly Glen). This area is known as the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, but is just outside of Bel Air and Beverly Hills.
52. Turn left at Sunset. If you have the time and inclination, you could go straight across Sunset into Bel Air to marvel at more magnificent houses. If you do so, you would benefit from one of the Star Maps sold on street corners in this area.
53. Turn left at Hilgard, the northeast corner of UCLA.
54. Follow Hilgard around the perimeter of campus, past the sororities (with Greek names) on your left. Turn right on LeConte.
55. Turn right at Westwood Plaza and that will take you straight onto the UCLA campus.
Stop #6 - UCLA (Westwood)
a. Park in the structure straight ahead of you when Westwood curves to the left. Make sure there's no UCLA basketball going on (season ends early March), or you'll never find a parking place. Meter parking costs $1 per 30 minutes or you can pay $5 for parking at the kiosk on Westwood just up from LeConte.
b. Wander onto the campus and get a feel for the people and facilities on such a large campus.
c. Ask someone how to get to Powell Library or Royce Hall (they're very close to each other).
These are 2 of the nicest buildings on campus. Take a look inside Powell Library, the main library on campus.
d. Walk through the sprawling Bookstore (at Ackerman Union), very close to where you parked e. The UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History features exhibits from around the world, like brightly colored, beaded flags used in Haitian voodoo ceremonies and Mexican ceramics. It's a bit of a walk, in the northeast part of campus. $3 for students; free on Th.
56. Drive back down Westwood to Wilshire and turn right. This intersection is possibly the busiest one in Los Angeles.
57. After passing the tall Federal Building on your left (where you can get your passport) and the Veteran's Cemetery on your right behind the greenery, you'll pass under the freeway to get on the 405 Freeway going south (towards Long Beach).
58. The 405 is busy at most times of the day (Friday afternoon & evening is the worst) so be patient. Stay on the 405 past the 10, and then exit at Venice Boulevard. At the off-ramp go right, then turn left onto Venice.
59. After passing Abbott Kinney, try to park on a side street like Venice Way or Mildred Avenue (right side of Venice Blvd). The more you're willing to walk, the better are the parking possibilities. Remember where you parked!
Stop #7 - Venice
a. This area was a swampland 100 years ago but was drained by an enterprising cigarette manufacturer named Abbott Kinney. He tried to recreate Venice, Italy with canals, gondolas, and Venetian-style bridges. In 1925 when Venice was incorporated into the City of Los Angeles, the canals started getting paved over and now only 3 miles of canals remain. If you have energy and interest, take a canalside walk east of Pacific Avenue, south of Venice Boulevard along Dell Street.
b. Ocean Front Walk is the chief attraction, at its best on a sunny Saturday or Sunday afternoon. This is probably the best place in L.A. for people watching, where the city earns its reputation as being home to a crazy cultural kaleidoscope.
c. Muscle Beach is always an attraction as onlookers watch bodybuilders pump iron.
d. Nearby are basketball courts with pickup games going on, where Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes played some hoop in "White Men Can't Jump"
e. Look for interesting services, unusual merchandise for sale, ample opportunities for tattoo and body piercing, street performers who juggle, sing, dance, mime, impersonate, flip, and more. This is one of L.A.'s most interesting and unique experiences.
f. Venice has some great murals; one is a famous one of a 1970s roller skater proclaiming, "History is Myth". Look on the walls near the Venice Pavilion.
60. After visiting Venice, go north on Main Street (parallel to the beach and Pacific Avenue, one street inland from Pacific Ave.)
61. Observe (and optional stops) on Main Street, Venice:
a. See perhaps the most unusual building in L.A. on the right side between Sunset and Rose.
a 4-story high building shaped like a huge pair of black binoculars! The building was owned by an advertising agency but has been seeking new occupants. Maybe the Audobon Society? Perhaps the headquarters for the Neighborhood Watch Committee? Best appreciated from across the street.
If you park around this corner, you can walk back to see the binoculars building.
62. After seeing the Binoculars and Clown, turn left on any street to go to Pacific Ave where you'll go right.
63. Take Pacific Avenue to Santa Monica. The street changes names, first to Neilson, then to Ocean Avenue, but you're still going straight on the same street.
64. On Ocean Avenue you'll see Santa Monica Pier to your left and just after the pier is the long grassy Palisades Park along the left side of Ocean Ave. Grab the first parking place you can. Street parking is usually a bit more available as you get farther from the pier. There are parking structures on 2nd and 4th Streets. (Ocean Ave is like 1st Street, so 2nd is just one street up)
Stop #8 - Santa Monica
a. If it's anytime close to sunset, be sure to take a stroll through Palisades Park (no sign) , on the bluffs overlooking the ocean. This is one of the best places in L.A. to catch the sunset. Be sure to have a sweater because it's always cool. Even during mid-day, this is one of the most pleasant (even romantic!) places to go for a leisurely walk.
b. The last place on this itinerary to experience is the 3rd Street Promenade, just 2 blocks up from Palisades Park (Ocean Ave). The 3rd Street Promenade is an outdoor pedestrian mall with a more orderly slate of street performers than that seen at Venice Beach. Good food, nice shops, cinemas, outdoor entertainment, and a high degree of safety make 3rd Street Promenade one of the great places in L.A. to spend a weekend afternoon or evening.
65. After Santa Monica, make your way back home!
a. If you go up to Lincoln and turn right, you'll get to the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10).
b. Go east on the 10 to the 405.
c. Go south on the 405 (towards Long Beach) and that will take you back to the El Camino area
(Exit Redondo Beach Blvd for ECC).
Congratulate yourself for seeing more of L.A. than most Southern Californians will see in a lifetime!