Nowhere else in the metro area encompasses so many aspects of the city's colorful history as downtown Los Angeles does. Touring it is like zipping around in a time machine. One minute, you're at the city's beginnings and five minutes later, you behold the downtown Los Angeles of future in the making, past snuggled up against present in a melange that typifies L. A. at its chaotic best.
As nice as it seems to visit these downtown sights in chronological order, it isn't practical. Our tour of Downtown Los Angeles starts at Grand Avenue and 3rd Street. It's a loop that goes north to Chinatown, so you can start and end anywhere that's convenient for you.