Visitors to Los Angeles can meander along L.A.’s many bike paths and hiking trails with expert car-free tour operators like Bikes and Hikes L.A. or take a specialized walking tour with Cartwheel Art Tours or Melting Pot Tours. Travelers can also rent a bike from Perry’s Beach Café & Rentals to cruise along L.A.’s beaches or lace up their running shoes and join BlacklistLA to explore the city’s neighborhoods and murals at night. Whether it is culture, coastal attractions, global cuisine, music or architecture, visitors can see it all car-free.
Biking and Walking Tours
BlacklistLA is a running group that discovers the city every Monday at 10 p.m. The group’s first meeting was at LACMA’s Urban Light in 2013, with the intention of discovering street art in Los Angeles. The name comes from the fact that street art is typically “blacklisted” from traditional galleries and viewed as graffiti or vandalism. BlacklistLA aims to provide a safe and energetic environment where people feel empowered to discover the streets of Los Angeles in a way that’s never been done before. The group has run around Downtown L.A., Hollywood, Koreatown, Culver City, Echo Park and continues to explore more of the city. Newly created by BlacklistLA is the “MetroRun,” exploring the city through Metro’s subway lines. See their website for event dates.
Bikes and Hikes L.A. is a full-service tour company that promotes an eco-friendly, healthy way to enjoy all Los Angeles has to offer. Tours are designed for everyone, from hardcore cyclists and hikers to weekend warriors and occasional participants. Bike adventures include Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, Marina del Rey and more. Or for hiking, they offer a Hollywood Hills day or sunset hike. Bikes and Hikes L.A. also offers custom tours and excursions. Group tours start at $52 per person.
Cartwheel Art Tours offers guests unique perspectives and immersive experiences in art, food, beverage and history with a focus on supporting artists and artisan businesses in the neighborhoods they explore including Downtown L.A.’s Arts District. Learn about the developments occurring in one of Los Angeles’ most unique, dynamic, art-centric and rapidly changing neighborhoods that was once a gritty section filled with unused warehouses, train tracks and manufacturing plants by the L.A. River.
Downtown L.A. Walking Tours provides daily guided tours of Downtown Los Angeles for tourists and locals who want to explore one of the world's greatest cities. They walk the city, go inside world-class monuments, learn the history and experience the architecture of the City of Angels. Tours include L.A.’s early beginnings, old and new Downtown L.A., Downtown architecture, Hollywood in Downtown L.A., haunted tales and holiday lights. Tickets are $15 for adults and children aged 13 and under are free.
The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County. The Conservancy's walking tour program explores the history and heart of the city through interpretation of L.A.'s unique architectural resources. Since 1980, Los Angeles Conservancy has introduced countless Angelenos to the rich history and culture that Downtown's architecture has to offer. Their regularly scheduled walking tours led by skilled volunteer docents, focus on the architecture of Los Angeles' historic downtown. Tours are $5 for Los Angeles Conservancy members and children twelve and under; $10 for the general public.
L.A. Art Tours specializes in small group guided tours that go off the beaten path. They take visitors into the lofts, studios and creative art spaces of artists all over the Los Angeles region. They bring special behind-the-scenes glimpses of lesser known galleries and arrange occasional art adventures that defy description. A sampling of tours offered are Brewery Arts Complex, Downtown L.A. Graffiti/Murals and the Santa Fe Art Colony. Tours start at $12 per person.
L.A. Cycle Tours started with the idea of getting more people involved and out riding with the bike community. They are a mobile company that provides bike tours and group rides at affordable prices and in various locations of L.A. Tours are designed for every type of rider from the inexperienced to professional. Tours are available in Downtown L.A., Boyle Heights, North East L.A., Echo Park, Adams District, South Los Angeles, Koreatown, Beach Cities and many other communities. Each tour includes a 21 speed hybrid bicycle (a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike), a helmet and vest. Tours start at $65 per person and group rides start at $40 per person.
L.A. River Kayak Safari takes visitors through the Los Angeles River in the community of Elysian Valley, also known as Frogtown. The safari includes a short bike ride, river knowledge and a downstream paddle that is thrilling, challenging and shows rare wildlife in Southern California. All levels of skill are welcome. Duration of the safaris range from three to four hours. Tickets start at $75 per person.
Out & About Tours takes visitors through Los Angeles’ culturally rich, vital and often hidden gay history. The company originally started as L.A.’s first and only gay bus tour, but has expanded to offering walking tours. One of their newest tours, LGBTinsel Town Walking Tour starts with a champagne welcome at The Hollywood Museum and continues to explore Tinsel Town’s gay history. The LGBTinsel Town Tours are on Sunday at 11 a.m., tickets start at $35 per person.
Bike Shops and Rentals
Established in Downtown Los Angeles in 2008, Just Ride L.A. is a family-owned bicycle store dedicated to serving Los Angeles’ active cycling community. From offering small scale repairs to selling the highest quality bicycles, Just Ride L.A. operates a full service community shop. Each member of their team has their own unique love and appreciation for the art of cycling. Recently available are electric bicycles starting at $65 for a half day.
Perry's Beach Café and Rentals has been an integral part of the Los Angeles beach scene and an icon in the beach community for over 37 years. With 12 prime locations throughout Santa Monica and Venice beach, including seven open-air Cafés, they possess a large array of amenities including an assortment of beach and bike rentals, food with fresh ingredients prepared daily, and a variety of items to satisfy a guest’s palate.
The Wheelhouse is a new community-centered bicycle and coffee shop located in the Arts District of Downtown L.A. The 3,700-square-foot space features a full coffee bar, indoor and outdoor café seating, styled retail experience and a full service department. The shop includes vintage-inspired bicycles and lifestyle accessories for everyday adventures. The café features crafted coffee and tea beverages and the service department offers a complete range of services for every type of bicycle.
On an Avital Food Tour you can explore two of L.A.’s most iconic neighborhoods, Venice and Downtown L.A., through their foods and learn about the people behind the dishes. This four-course progressive dining experience allows visitors to experience some of L.A.’s best restaurants by foot and hear the stories of restaurant owners, chefs and industry experts. Tours start at $84 per person.
Experience L.A. like a local with Los Angeles Urban Adventures - sample food and drink, explore ethnic neighborhoods, visit bustling markets and discover hidden gems while exploring the city on foot. Their small-group adventures give insight into L.A.'s diverse neighborhoods, such as Sips of Old Hollywood, Ethnic Neighborhoods and Beverly Hills. Tours are three to four hours long. Tickets start at $82 per person.
Melting Pot Tours was the first food tour company of its kind in Southern California. Visitors can enjoy a unique and incredible sightseeing day tour beyond the tourist attractions into rarely seen historic and culturally rich neighborhoods. Each tour is a full meal in a grazing fashion and features authentically prepared ethnic cuisines, quintessential American favorites and/or local specialties. Group tours start at $59 for adults and $45 for children.
Six Taste Food Tour’s knowledgeable and irresistibly cool tour guides take visitors on a three to four hour-long historical and cultural stroll through Los Angeles while giving tastes of the diverse dishes this city has to offer. Six Taste offers location-themed food tours that feature generous samples from four to seven of the best and most unique restaurants in each neighborhood. Public Downtown L.A. tours are available every weekend. Tickets start at $60 per person. They also specialize in private group tours with personalized attention and customize itineraries based on a group's interests, preferences and budget, which can range between $45-$250 per person.
Los Angeles City and Councilmember, Jose Huizar has created the DTLA Forward initiative, which is focused on improving traffic flow, pedestrian and bicyclists’ access, as well as increased green and public space in Downtown Los Angeles. One of those plans is to reconfigure Main and Spring Streets by upgrading to protected bike lanes. Details of the bike lanes are to be determined, but plans involve shifting bike lanes to the curbside of streets where automobile parking normally is, with street parking moved to the traffic side, creating a “parked car” wall of protection for bicyclists between them and moving traffic. Timeline for the new bike lanes is to be announced.
Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the Great Streets Initiative to help re-imagine neighborhood centers, one main street at a time. The first phase of the initiative is to develop community partnerships and receive targeted city services to activate the streets as public spaces. In 2014, a Great Streets corridor in each of the City’s fifteen Council Districts was announced. The corridors were identified for potential positive change, existing projects and programs, opportunities to leverage other resources and demonstration of need.