Avila Adobe

Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights

The oldest surviving house in LA was built in 1818 by wealthy ranchero and one-time LA mayor Francisco José Avila. After subsequent lives as a boarding house and restaurant, the abode was restored to offer a glimpse into domestic LA life circa 1840. Rooms are filled with period furniture and furnishings, including a handful of items that belonged to the Avila family. Among these is the sewing machine. The house is open for self-guided tours.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights attractions

2. América Tropical Interpretive Center

0.03 MILES

Everyone from Hollywood stars to LA intellectuals attended the 1932 unveiling of América Tropical, a rooftop mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros, one of…

3. Olvera Street

0.04 MILES

The block-long, pedestrianized 'birthplace of Los Angeles' (circa 1781) may now be a festive Mexican marketplace with gaudy decorations and souvenir…

4. Italian American Museum of Los Angeles

0.04 MILES

Aptly located inside Italian Hall – built in 1908 as a social hub for the area's Italian community – this small, interactive museum sheds light on the oft…

5. La Placita


Founded as La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles (Our Lady the Queen of the Angels Church) in 1781, and now affectionately known as la…

6. Plaza Firehouse

0.12 MILES

The city’s oldest fire station (1884) is now a one-room museum filled with dusty old fire-fighting equipment and photographs.

7. Old Plaza

0.12 MILES

El Pueblo’s central, magnolia-shaded square is crowned by a pretty wrought-iron gazebo. Sleepy and a little sketchy during the week, it often turns into a…

8. Union Station

0.13 MILES

Built on the site of LA’s original Chinatown, Union Station opened in 1939 as America’s last grand rail station. It’s a glamorous exercise in Mission…