Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights

Walk north from El Pueblo and you'll breach the dragon gates. After being forced to make room for Union Station, the Chinese resettled a few blocks north along Hill St and Broadway. Chinatown is still the community’s traditional hub, even though most Chinese Americans now live in the San Gabriel Valley. Today Chinatown's mixes Chinese with other Asian ethnicities (especially Vietnamese) and hipsters.

There are no essential sights here, but the area (a stop on Metro Gold Line) is fun for an aimless wander. Restaurants beckon with dim sum and crispy duck, while shops overflow with curios, ancient herbal remedies and lucky bamboo, and there's an active art gallery scene, especially on the pedestrianized Chung King Rd.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights attractions

1. Italian American Museum of Los Angeles

0.24 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…

2. América Tropical Interpretive Center

0.25 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

0.25 MILES

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

5. Avila Adobe

0.28 MILES

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…

6. La Placita

0.28 MILES

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…

7. LA Plaza

0.35 MILES

This museum offers snapshots of the Mexican–American experience in Los Angeles, from Spanish colonization in the late 18th century and the Mexican…

8. Pico House

0.36 MILES

South of Old Plaza are a number of historic buildings, including the 1870 home of Pio Pico, California’s last Mexican governor. It was the city’s first…