Once a glitzy downtown commercial district, today's Historic Core is honored with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Standouts include examples of art deco design like the Biltmore Hotel and Los Angeles Central Library, as well as commercial mainstays like the foodie-friendly Grand Central Market. Beyond its landmark buildings, the area's Broadway Theater District is a draw for live entertainment.
Many Los Angeles sightseeing tours include stops in the Historic Core, offering a convenient way to visit without the hassle of driving. Walking tours are also a great option. History and architecture fans might prefer a Los Angeles Conservancy tour, which typically includes stops at the landmarks.
Things to know before you go
- Wear comfy shoes, since walking is the best way to see top attractions around the Historic Core.
- You can avoid planning with an LA sightseeing tour, since most visit the Historic Core, and may offer pickups in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Anaheim.
- Get the best value on nearby attractions with a Los Angeles sightseeing pass.
How to get there
Los Angeles' Historic Core includes Bunker Hill, the Broadway Theater District, and the Old Spring Street Financial District. Thanks to its central location, you can avoid the drive by hopping on the LA Metro. Take the red or purple lines to Pershing Square. You can also drive via the I-10, I-110, or US-101. To take the guesswork out of getting around, go with a guide.
When to get there
There's really no bad time to visit, though you get better views of the historic buildings if you visit during the day. Landmarks like the Bradbury Building typically hold office hours, while the Los Angeles Central Library is often open late. Don't miss the the Angels Flight funicular, though expect crowds over the weekend.
Where to Find Panoramic Views of Los Angeles
Stepping onto the open-air observation deck at OUE Skyspace, you can see the buildings of Los Angeles into the distance, from the Hollywood Sign to Dodger Stadium. Visitors can try the slide around the building, sip a cocktail, or just relax in the sunshine. The observation deck is typically open seven days a week, and discounts are included with several area sightseeing passes.
- Things to do in California
- Things to do in Santa Monica
- Things to do in Long Beach
- Things to do in Anaheim & Buena Park
- Things to do in Santa Barbara
- Things to do in La Jolla
- Things to do in Palm Springs
- Things to do in San Diego
- Things to do in Pismo Beach
- Things to do in San Luis Obispo
- Things to do in Paso Robles
- Things to do in Las Vegas
- Things to do in Sausalito
- Things to do in Nevada
- Things to do in Arizona
- Los Angeles Broadway Theater District
- LA Fashion District
- OUE Skyspace Los Angeles
- Angels Flight Railway
- Grammy Museum
- LA Live
- Bradbury Building
- Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA Grand Avenue)
- Staples Center
- Walt Disney® Concert Hall
- Orpheum Theater
- Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC)
- Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
- Japanese American National Museum
- Union Station