Travel to Los Angeles, California – Episode 624

categories: USA Travel

Travel to Los Angeles - A One Week Itinerary (Travel Podcast)

Hear about travel to Los Angeles as the Amateur Traveler talks to Wendy Lee from about the City of Angels.

Wendy says, “It’s such an iconic city. Because of the film and movie industry, I think that people all over the country and even all over the world have seen more of LA than they even realize: famous buildings, parks, shopping centers. It’s so fascinating how much of LA creeps into our daily lives whether or not we know it. The other thing is the diversity. Now, most American cities these days are wonderfully diverse places but in LA you get a great combination of Asian influence, all different Asian immigrant groups, combined with Mexican and Latin American. Those two groups have had such an impact on our food, our music, and our entertainment in LA and that’s made it really fun.”

Wendy starts us downtown which has changed significantly since we last covered LA. One of the new museums downtown is the Broad museum of modern art. It is a free museum. They even have apps you can download to tell you more about the art. If you enjoy theatre, musicals, or opera right down the street from the Broad are the Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Mark Taper Forum. This has become a center for the arts in LA.

She recommends the cathedral which is a postmodern architecture cathedral. Inside there are John Nava tapestries of the saints.

The Arts District used to be the orange packing warehouses but now has street art, art galleries, and trendy shops. She highly recommends taking a walking tour of the Arts District to explore street art.

We stop at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tarpits to see the giant mammoths and sabertooth tigers. We pay homage to the movies at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. We explore the heart of Spanish/Mexican LA in Olvera Street. There are has six small museums in the Olvera Street area including one to Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Wendy recommends skipping Hollywood and doing a studio tour at Paramount Studios instead. One of the highest-rated museums on TripAdvisor is the Peterson Automotive Museum which has one whole floor with vehicles from movies, including the convertible from Thelma and Louise and a batmobile.

We stop for food at various times at the Grand Central Market, Olvera Street, Koreatown, and The Original Farmers Market. Wendy tells us of some of her favorite restaurants.

We also talk about the world’s shortest railway, which art museum is the best, trying to get around by public transportation, the best views, and a new distillery.

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Show Notes
Discover Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles
Ace Hotel DTLA
The Broad
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Mark Taper Forum
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Divining the Human
Grand Central Market
Sarita’s Pupuseria
Angels Flight
Arts District
Los Angeles Arts District Walking Tour
Greenbar Distillery
Perch LA
Olvera Street
El Pueblo de Los Ángeles Monument
La Gondrina Cafe
América Tropical Interpretive Center
Avila Adobe
Olvera Street Events
Miracle Mile
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
The Getty
Norton Simon Museum
Pasadena Museum of California Art (closed)
LA Metro
Petersen Automotive Museum
Craft and Folk Art Museum
Sun Nong Dan
Guelaguetza Restaurant
The Original Farmers Market
French Crepe Company
The Grove LA
Walk of Fame
Paramount Studio Tour
Griffith Park
The Getty Villa
Santa Monica
Venice Beach
The Omni LA
Two Days in Los Angeles
Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids


Dear Chris,

I discovered the Amateur Traveler podcast a few years ago and became an instant fan. When one episode a week isn’t enough for me, I go back to listen to old ones. Recently I decided to go back to the very beginning. It wasn’t easy to find, them but I’ve really been enjoying them! It’s fun to note the changes that have developed over the years such as the debate about the theme song after you introduced it somewhere around episode fifty-something. I particularly enjoy the personal vignettes and episodes about your own travels which were more common at the beginning.
I was listening to episode 129 which was from about 10 years ago and at the end of the episode you read a letter from a young woman from Israel named Tamar. As you were reading the letter something started to sound familiar. She mentioned her blog in the letter and you said that you’d put a link to it in the show notes. I went to the link and was both surprised and delighted to find a picture of my daughter! I don’t even think I knew what a blog was 10 years ago and I certainly didn’t know that she had been writing one! That letter gave me a good laugh and I’ve been chuckling about it for the past few days.
Ten years later and she’s still listening every week. I’m pretty sure that hearing this letter read at the end of an episode would give her a good laugh too!

Thanks again for the great podcast.

(also from Israel)

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Travel to Los Angeles - A One Week Itinerary (Travel Podcast) #travel #california #socal #lax #los-angeles #podcast

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

4 Responses to “Travel to Los Angeles, California – Episode 624”



I’ve been living in Los Angela for the past 10 or so years, and I have to say this was an excellent episode that hit all my current favorite parts of the city. The only thing I’d have to say is that if you come, you need to visit the Griffith observatory at sunset. This is where you get some of the best views of Los Angeles, and it’s a great hike from the bottom of the hill, either from the Vermont side and take the Boy Scout trail, or from the fern dell side, and take the east observatory trail. Both of these are very easy mile or so hikes, but they are somewhat hot in the mornings.
I also love the little cafe on the Fern Dell side called Trails Cafe. They have a nice, kid-friendly environment that serves hipster coffee and baked goods, like lavender shortbread and yummy quiches.
There is also a 50-cent Dash bus that goes up from the Vermont side about every 1/2 hr.
Anyway, loved the episode and really happy to have all my favorite areas of Los Angeles covered.

Cindy Carlsson


Hi, Chris! Finally getting back to the podcast after a crazy summer and the first thing I see is an episode on LA that hits exactly the things that interest me. I’m going to listen to it again tomorrow with my notebook in hand to prepare for a trip later this fall. I’ve been there a few times, but it’s been awhile now, so it was really helpful to hear how things have changed and get some ideas for things I haven’t done – like street art and food tours. So happy to have time to tune in regularly again for a bit. Still love the the show.



I love the mental picture of you listening with a notebook. I hope we can help 🙂



I like cities like LA because it is a city that has become an integral part of culture. And when you come to LA you immediately come into contact with the culture of this country. Everyone at least once thought about what to rent a chic convertible along a long highway between palm trees

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