Exploring with Detour: Downtown Los Angeles

I took another tour of Los Angeles using the Detour app, which is a free app where you can download audio tours and use your phone’s GPS to explore cities. This tour was called “Downtown: Gateway to the City of Angels,” and it was all about the story of immigrants coming to Los Angeles to build a life and the cultures they brought with them.

This tour starts right outside Union Station and walks you through some of the courtyards of the station. The tour guide shares the story of her family exiting the doors of the station and seeing the LA skyline for the first time. I’ve walked Union Station before, but I loved being able to experience it through someone else’s shoes.

Luckily, since it was a Sunday, most of the places we visited on the tour weren’t too crowded, so we were able to get around and have only a few people look at us weird!

We were led into the heart of Los Angeles, also known as Olvera Street. I’ve covered this area on the blog in the past, so check it out here. We walked through church courtyards, pedestrian streets, and alleyways bustling with shoppers and vendors. The tour led us to a rooftop where you can see an old mural called América Tropical, painted by David Alfaro Siqueiros in 1932, which has since been almost erased. Today, you can still see the original mural, now faded.

We journeyed next to Chinatown, where another audio tour guide shared her early memories of being a child in Chinatown, with all the food and culture she grew up with.

The tour ends with Philippe’s, which is where you can get a delicious French dip sandwich!

From there, we walked back into Downtown and attempted a second Detour audio tour… but had to stop because of technical difficulties. We eventually just ended up exploring the city, including the gardens of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The Broad museum was accepting guests who waited in line to enter, so we were able to get into this museum (which apparently is difficult to get into, so lucky us!). Contemporary and post-modern art is so interesting, so it was very cool to see pieces and artists that I am familiar with including Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, and Roy Lichtenstein.

What corners of Downtown LA are your favorites? Have you checked out Detour yet?



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