Car Free Journey: Los Angeles

But even if you fly in, there’s no need to cram yourself into an expensive taxi or shuttle. The roomy Flyaway bus [http://www.lawa.aero/welcome_LAX.aspx?id=292#tabulation] will take you to Union Station, or indeed Westwood or the San Fernando Valley, for fares starting at a mere $7.00.

And if you have a little more time or a tighter budget, and wish to see more of the southern parts of the city, a free shuttle [http://www.lawa.org/welcome_lax.aspx?id=1240] will take you to Metro’s Green Line train, which connects to Redondo Beach in one direction, and the Blue Line (Downtown to Long beach) in the other, ending up in Norwalk.

Union Station, Los Angeles

Bus travelers arrive at the Greyhound terminal at 7th and Decatur. Metro Bus route 60 serves the terminal 24 hours every day. The nearest rail stop is the Red Line 7th Street Metro station. To get there, cross the street. Then take the 60 west bound (marked Sunset and Fugueroa) to 7th and Flower.

Union Station is a classic wonder, with comfortable chairs in an ornate waiting room, trains connecting to cities north, east, and south, the Metrolink suburban commuter trains, the Red and Purple Line subway trains, and the Gold Line light rail train, as well as numerous bus lines, including the 733 Rapid to Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

Across the street from the main entrance is Olvera Street, the city’s original plaza. Chinatown is just one stop away on the Gold Line. Stay on the Gold Line in that direction to visit charming little South Pasadena or considerably grander Pasadena itself, home of the Rose Bowl and the California bungalow, or head the other way to Little Tokyo or East Los Angeles, the home of Mexican culture (and food!) in LA!

The Purple Line takes you to Koreatown, while the Red Line counts three stops in Hollywood (Hollywood and Western, Hollywood and Vine, Hollywood and Highland, ), Universal City, and the shopping and arts district in North Hollywood. Plus one more very obvious one: Universal Studios at the Red Line Universal City stop

The North Hollywood station is the end of the Red Line. but if you want to explore the famous Valley, the connecting Orange Line Busway takes you quickly and comfortably in an east/west direction. A four-mile extension of the Orange Line, set to open this summer, will connect riders to Chatworth.

But don’t neglect Downtown, home to the Music Center and Frank Gehry’s stunning Disney Hall, the Art Deco wonderland of Spring Street, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Japanese American Museum, the ever-growing loft districts, and the Fashion District–not to mention LA Live!

The new Expo Line (that opened April 28)) takes you by University of Southern California (USC), the Coliseum, and Exposition Park with its many museums. Until the extension is built, the Expo Line will end in Culver City, which is rapidly cultivating its own downtown full of intriguing restaurants.

Or take the 720 Metro Rapid bus to the Miracle Mile, with its Tar Pits, museums, galleries, and the nearby Grove and Farmers Market shopping areas, right by Pan Pacific Park. The same bus continues on to Santa Monica, whose Third Street Promenade and amusement pier need no introduction. From there, local buses, a rental bike, or your own shoes can take you to the city’s Main Street, buzzing with people enthralled by the variety of food, art, and boutiques available there. Or, just head to the beach!

From the Miracle Mile, take the 720 to Wilshire and Fairfax. There, you can take the 780 Rapid back through Hollywood, Griffith Park, and the food-rich Los Feliz area to Old Pasadena, then loop back downtown on the Gold Line–a great (and tasty) scenic tour for the cost of a $5 day pass.

Whatever you do, you will get there unfazed by traffic and parking frenzies, ready to enjoy your stay in Los Angeles, a city that’s rich in experience for those who are willing to look beyond the windshield.

(For detailed route and schedule information, visit www.Metro.net, or call (213) 922-6000. Before you start your trip, go to http://www.metro.net/around/destination-guides or more information about attractions, dining, and other highlights along each of Metro’s rail and rapid bus line. The most affordable way to use Metro’s rail, rapid and local buses is with a one-day pass that costs $5 ($1.80 for seniors age 62 and older) and is good until 3 a.m. the following day.

For more details about Los Angeles attractions, visit www.discoverlosangeles.com, or call toll-free (800)366-6116)

 

Here are a few of Los Angeles’ outstanding attractions that are convenient to rail or rapid bus stops, along with the most convenient transit stop to each one, and the location of each listed transit stop:

(For detailed information about any of these attractions, visit www.discoverlosangeles.com, or call (323) 467-6412.)

 

720 or 780 Rapid, Wilshire & Fairfax: LACMA, Page Museum, Craft & Folk Art Museum

720 Rapid, Wilshire & Westwood: UCLA, Westwood Village

720 rapid, end of line in Santa Monica: Pier, beach, Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, Main Street

Red Line Hollywood & Highland stop: Hollywood & Highland, Wax Museum, Hollywood Bowl, Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese, Egyptian Theater, Magic Castle

Red Line Hollywood & Vine stop: Walk of Fame, Pantages Theater

Red Line Civic Center stop: Disney Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art. Little Tokyo

Gold Line, Chinatown stop: Chinatown

Gold Line, Mariachi Plaza stop: Mariachi Plaza

Blue Line, Chick Hearn (Pico) stop: LA Live

Blue Line, 103rd St. stop: Watts Towers

Red/Purple/Gold lines, Union Station: Olvera Street

 

The following accommodations are within walking distance of one or more transit stops:

PLACES TO STAY (for more choices, call (323) 467-6412.

Downtown

Kyoto Grand Hotel [http://www.kyotograndhotel.com/%5D Red Line: Civic Center stop

Westin Bonaventure [http://www.westin.com/LosAngeles%5D Red or Blue Line: 7th/Metro stop

The Standard [http://www.standardhotels.com/los-angeles/%5D Red Line: 7th & Metro stop

Millennium Biltmore [http://www.millenniumhotels.com/millenniumlosangeles/%5D Red Line

Pershing square stop

Hollywood

Renaissance Hollywood [http://renaissancehollywood.com/%5D Red Line: Hollywood & Highland stop

The Redbury [http://theredbury.com/%5D Red Line: Hollywood & Vine stop

Magic Castle Hotel [http://magiccastlehotel.com/ Red Line: Hollywood & Highland stop

Santa Monica

The following two hotels are within walking distance of the 720 Rapid’s Colorado Bl. stop

Shutters on the Beach [http://www.shuttersonthebeach.com/%5D

Holiday Inn Santa Monica http://www.holidayinn.com/hotels/us/en/santa-monica/smoca/hoteldetail%5D

Hotel Oceana Santa Monica [http://www.hoteloceanasantamonica.com/%5D 720 Rapid, Wilshire & Ocean stop

 

PLACES TO EAT (a tiny sampler) followed by the nearest transit stop in parentheses.

Downtown

Pete’s Cafe [http://www.petescafe.com/] (720 Rapid)

Nickel Diner [http://nickeldiner.com/] (720 Rapid)

Philippe’s [http://www.philippes.com/] (Gold Line)

Blossom Restaurant [http://blossomrestaurant.com/] (720 Rapid)

Via Cafe (Chinatown) [http://viacafechinatown.com/] (Gold Line)

Yangchow (Chinatown) [http://www.yangchow.com/] (Gold Line)

Hollywood

Musso & Frank’s (very old school) [http://www.mussoandfrankgrill.com/] (Red Line, 780 Rapid)

Cat & Fiddle [http://www.thecatandfiddle.com/] (Red Line, 780 Rapid)

Fabiolus [http://www.fabiolus.org/] (Red Line, 780 Rapid)

Miracle Mile

Campanile [http://www.campanilerestaurant.com/] (720 Rapid)

Luna Park [http://www.lunaparkla.com/] (720 rapid)

India’s Tandoori [http://www.indiastandoori.net/] (720 Rapid)

Nyala [http://www.nyala-la.com/] (780 Rapid)

 

Santa Monica/Venice

Panini Garden [http://paninigarden.com/] (720, 733 Rapids)

Abbot’s Habit (Venice) [http://www.abbotkinneyonline.com/index.php?/Details/Abbot-s-Habit.html]

(720, 733 Rapids)

Espresso Cielo http://sm.espressocielo.com/%5D (720, 733 Rapids)

Border Grill [http://bordergrill.com/bg_sm/bg_smwel.htm] (720 Rapid)

Capo [http://www.caporestaurant.com/] (720 Rapid)

One Pico (in Shutters on the Beach) [http://www.shuttersonthebeach.com/] (720 Rapid)

 

For More Information

For detailed route and schedule information, visit www.Metro.net, or call (213) 922-6000. Before you start your trip, go to http://www.metro.net/around/destination-guides or more information about attractions, dining, and other highlights along each of Metro’s rail and rapid bus line. The most affordable way to use Metro’s rail, rapid and local buses is with a one-day pass that costs $5 ($1.80 for seniors age 62 and older) and is good until 3 a.m. the following day.

For more details about Los Angeles attractions, visit www.discoverlosangeles.com, or call (323) 467-6412

Our thanks to Richard Risemberg for his time and expertise in sharing this special report with our readers. Visit Rick’s two websites: http://www.bicyclefixation.com, and http://www.SustainableCityNews.com

 

You can view many of Steve’s Car Free Journey columns (along with his Car Free Living Reports, and e-book: Car Free at the Beach) at www.pubtrantravel.com. Steve would love to hear from you with any comments or suggestions for future columns. Let him know if you would like to be a guest reporter and contribute a special column about your community or area. E-mail Steve at steveatlas45@yahoo.com. (Put Car Free Journey in the subject line.)

 

 

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