Our Trekking LA tours are led by our Neighborhood Docents, an amazing cadre of local leaders and guides who provide ongoing opportunities for exploring Los Angeles’ most interesting neighborhoods, using their knowledge to introduce Tour goers to the hidden gems lurking around every street corner. Join us as a tour participant or docent.
We introduced Trekking LA in 2006, providing visitors from other parts of Los Angeles, and tourists from outside the region, with the chance to discover and experience our community art projects, as well as the authentic food, music, festivals and rich cultural history of often overlooked destinations like Highland Park, Leimert Park and East Hollywood. From sampling barbecue in these and other neighborhoods across Los Angeles to listening to jazz and dancing to music from around the world, these tours connect people to the great diversity of Los Angeles.
The 2014 program is made possible in part by funding from the California Arts Council, the James Irvine Foundation and the Craft and Folk Art Museum.
Recycled Inspiration: Finding Treasures to Make and Give in Highland Park
Saturday, December 13, 2014
In conjunction with the Craft and Folk Art Museum Show, Clare Graham and MorYork: The Answer is Yes, join us for a visit to Highland Park and an afternoon of unique finds and crafting from recycled materials. Clare Graham has spent nearly 40 years collecting and artmaking from found objects. We will start at his studio, where you will find incredible inspiration in his work that uses cast offs like soda pop tops, game tiles and wire. Then there will a short tour to explore York Blvd. including galleries, shops and a holiday bazaar. The afternoon will end with a workshop where you can make amazing things to give to your friends and family.
Meet at MorYork Gallery, 4959 York Blvd, LA 90042, the corner of York Blvd and Avenue 50., at 12:20 P.M. Bring your imagination and make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes!
Cool down by the river in Frogtown
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Join docent Patricia Perez for a late summer afternoon in Frogtown! We’ll begin by the riverside, telling tales of the famous LA River. Then we’ll embark on a journey through the culturally rich and diverse neighborhood of Elysian Valley. The tour will stop at the Tracy A. Stone Architecture Studio, Nomad’s Print Studio Gallery Art Compound, Steven B. Graziani Studio, as well as other artists’ lairs to explore the wide range of art found in Frogtown. We’ll also meet up with the team at Allins Surfboard Studio, where real hula dancers will show us their best moves. A visit to the 70’ty Community House allows tour goers to meet more local artists and check out their fascinating artwork. The final stop will top off an art-filled afternoon at the Frogtown Artwalk!
Meet at the LA River edge, at the end of Newell St., at 12:00 P.M. Public transit is highly recommended. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes!
Drum alongside Linette Park in Koreatown
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Koreatown, one of Los Angeles’ hottest spots, is bustling with people, sights, and sounds (not to mention cars) every day. But did you ever stop to think about the artistic and historical culture of the neighborhood? Join Linette Park and learn about the socio-political anecdotes of Koreatown, the history of KIWA, then journey down the popular 8th St. Littered with locally owned shops and restaurants, 8th St. is a fitting representation of Koreatown’s unique charm. We’ll stop in Mansoo BBQ, Honey Pig, and other delicious eateries. The tour will end at the 40th Annual Korean Festival at Seoul International Park. The Festival—dedicated to embracing the diversity found in not only Koreatown, but the entirety of Los Angeles—features live music, dancing, food, and drinks. It’s the perfect way to end the 2013 Trekking LA series, and we hope you will celebrate with us!
The tour will assemble at Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), 3465 W. 8th St. Los Angeles, CA 90005, at 4:00 P.M. The tour’s duration is 1-2 hours, so make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes!
Indulge in Thai Culture with Elson Trinidad in East Hollywood
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Join Elson Trinidad to explore East Hollywood, experiencing the food, art, and music of the Thai and Armenian communites based there. We’ll start off in Little Armenia with a sampling of Armenian baked goods, then make our way over to Thai Town. Elson will bring participants to some of the most popular stops in the neighborhood as well as teach them a little something about future developments in store for Thai Town. The tour also includes stops at the Sanamlung Café, Thai bookstore, and a Thai dessert eatery. We’ll end the tour with a visit to the 21st Annual Thai Art and Culture Festival at Barnsdall Park. Peruse through a collection of amazing artwork, painting demonstrations, chow down on delicious Thai food, and course, learn the dances of Thailand with the locals. You can even get a massage or try kickboxing!
The tour will assemble at the front of the Municipal Art Gallery, located in Barnsdall Park (4800 Hollywood Blvd.) Public transit is highly recommended. Wear comfortable walking shoes!
Dance under the full moon in Chinatown
Saturday, September 21, 2013
5:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Join LA Commons on an appetizer tour as part of our 2013 Trekking LA Series and explore Chinatown’s hidden culinary gems, giving you a taste of the distinct food culture in the neighborhood. You’ll get to meet chefs and restaurant owners, as well as try unique spins on traditional dishes and exotic specialities. Each dish will be accompanied by local beer served in a souvenir tasting glass that you get to keep. We end at the 75th Annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Central Plaza, where you will be able to dance the night away while enjoying your favorite beer from the tour which you can purchase at the beer garden. Sip on a cold one while dancing to Spirit Vine, Body Parts, The Little Ones, and Kan Wakan.
The tour will assemble at Hoan Kiem restaurant, located nearest the Far East Plaza entrance on Hill St, Suite 130, at 5:00 PM. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and come with an empty stomach!
Enjoy the local delicacies of the Byzantine Latino Quarter with Norma Fernandez
Friday, September 6, 2013
6:00 – 9:00 P.M.
The Byzantine Latino Quarter is one of Los Angeles’ hidden gems. Join local guide Norma Fernandez as she takes you for a culinary tour of the neighborhood, starting at Papa Cristo’s on Pico. But don’t fill yourself up too fast—the tour ends at the 15th Annual Greek Festival held at Saint Sophia Cathedral, where you’ll get to taste traditional Greek delicacies such as rack of lamb, gyro sandwiches, moussaka, and spanakopita. Enjoy food from other local cuisines as well. Then join in on the dancing fun at the Zorba Dance Contest and get your groove on to live music throughout the night.
Meet at Papa Cristo’s at 2771 W. Pico Blvd. at 6:00 P.M. on Friday, September 6. We recommend taking public transit but there will also be parking available for the Festival. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and come with an empty stomach!
Explore MacArthur Park and dance the night away at K-Pop Dance Night
Saturday, August 17, 2013
6:30 – 9:30 P.M.
The 2013 Trekking LA Tour Series kicks off in MacArthur Park, where you’ll get to know how the community’s cultural diversity shape its own beat. To start things off, the tour will stop at notable historical and artistic sights, as well as give you a taste of the local eateries of MacArthur Park. Our guide will take you to some known and surprising spots around the neighborhood while sharing discoveries of MacArthur Park’s unique attributes that only a local can show you.
Then we’ll join up with the K-Pop Dance Night, hosted by Radio Korea Media Group, featuring popular K-Pop singing groups, dance contests, and surprise guest performers.
Meet at the Metro Westlake/MacArthur Park Station at 660 S. Alvarado St. Los Angeles, CA 90057 at 6:30 P.M. The tour will end at Levitt Pavilion (2330 W. 6th St.). It is highly recommended to take public transit (Metro Red or Purple Line) to the meeting location. There is also street meter parking available. Arrive early to allow for parking.
Explore East Hollywood’s diverse cuisines with Elson Trinidad
Saturday, October 13th, 2012
Elson introduces participants to East Hollywood through a multi-cultural food tour of East Hollywood along the Santa Monica Blvd corridor. Sample dishes, snacks and desserts from El Salvador, Armenia, Thailand and The Philippines! Arrive hungry – bring your appetites!
In between stops, we’ll also be learning about the history of the neighborhood and how it changed from an agricultural area to the big city.
Meet at the Metro Red Line Vermont/Santa Monica Station at the southwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Vermont Avenue (LA, 90029) at 11 a.m. The tour ends at the Metro Red Line Vermont/Sunset Station, and consists of approximately 1 mile of walking flat terrain.
It is highly recommended to take public transit (Metro Red Line) to Vermont/Santa Monica. A $5 Day Pass TAP card gets you unlimited rides on Metro trains and buses all day. You can also find metered street parking nearby on Willow Brook Avenue, west of Vermont Ave. Bring change in case there are meters. Arrive early to allow for parking.
Explore East Hollywood with Elson Trinidad
Saturday, October 6th, 2012
Elson introduces participants to East Hollywood through a multi-sensory, multi-cultural tour of the Other Hollywood Blvd, from Western to Vermont Avenue. Experience Thailand to Armenia and Aline Barnsdall’s Roaring ‘20s era to today; while tantalizing your palate with samples of Thai desserts and Armenian baked goods. Meet at the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Western Station at the southeast corner of Hollywood and Western (LA, 90027) at 1pm. The tour ends at the Metro Red Line Vermont/Sunset Station, and consists of approximately 1 ½ miles of walking mostly flat terrain, however, there is a 140 foot stair climb to access the top of Barnsdall Park.
Explore Koreatown with Foodie Namju Cho
Saturday, September 15th & 22nd, 2012
Namju’s “Eat Your Way Through K-Town: From Kimchi Spam Stew to Kimchi Pasta” takes you on a culinary trip through one of the most popular restaurant rows in Koreatown on 6th Street by joining food enthusiast and blogger Namju Cho. She will give you the lowdown on where to find the best warm beef broth to sip while eating cold buckwheat noodles (don’t ask, just join us!) and why kimchi pasta is actually a good idea.
This tour will meet at 6th Street and Berendo Street (the northwest corner by Dansungsa, 3317 W. 6th Street, 90020) at 11am. The tour consists of a flat walk of approximately 10 cuisine filled blocks with multiple stops and will end at 6th Street and Serrano Ave. at around 1pm. Bring a hat, comfortable walking shoes and an empty stomach! If you still find yourself hungry after the tour, stay for lunch. There is street parking and it is near the Wilshire/Western Red Line Metro stop.
Buy tickets here for September 15th
Buy tickets here for Sepember 22nd
Explore Boyle Heights with Malissa Strong
Saturday, September 15th, 2012
Malissa’s final summer tour will introduce participants to Boyle Heights’s rich historic corridor, and will look at how the historic past of Boyle heights translates to the community today. Malissa is a past president of the Boyle heights Historical Society, and can offer unique insight into this diverse and unique neighborhood. This tour will meet at the Mariachi Plaza Kiosk (near Libro Schmibros) at 1711 East First Street, Los Angeles 90003 at 10am. The tour consists of a flat walk of approximately 1/2 mile and will end again at Mariachi Plaza at around 12pm. Bring comfortable shoes, a hat and some water as this tour is held outside. Stay to get lunch or a smoothie after the tour.
Culture & Commerce: The Prosperous Persian Community
Explore Little Tehran with Liane Schirmer
Saturday, September 9th, 2012
Since the 70’s, L.A.’s “Little Tehran” has been home to a growing segment of Iran’s emigrant population, which now has the largest Persian population outside of Iran. The intellect and creativity of our Iranian neighbors in business, art, architecture and lifestyle have had an undeniably positive influence on our city. Take a walk through the heart of Persian Square and discover how Commerce & Culture interact to form a thriving, multi-generational community whose impact is felt not only in their new home, but in the country they left behind. Share the challenges and triumphs of generations old and new as L.A.’s Persian pioneers share their stories of immigration and assimilation.
Meet Liane at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Ohio and Westwood Blvd. Bring hat, sunglasses, water, and comfortable shoes. Street parking within 1-3 blocks. Bring some money to spend on delicious treats along the way!
Explore Westwood’s Little Tehran
Sunday, August 19th, 2012
Embark on a pilgrimage to discover the myriad of faith traditions embraced by L.A.’s vibrant and prosperous Persian community. From Yahweh to Zoroaster, we will discover how Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and Christianity converge in this soulful and deeply spiritual culture. This tour will be held from 11am-2pm.
LA Waterfront: Navy Weekend
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Angela’s final summer tour “LA Waterfront: Navy Weekend” invites you to get up close and personal with the Port of Los Angeles. Watch it work while you hear the story of a marshland that grew to become the busiest container port in the nation. You’ll ride the historic red cars and get introduced to San Pedro’s newest attractions, the USS Iowa and Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles.
Explore Boyle Heights’ Rich Historic Corridor
Saturday August 11th 2012
Malissa’s tour will introduce participants to Boyle Heights’ rich historic corridor. Meet at Mariachi Plaza Kiosk (near Libros Schmibros), 1711 east First Street, Los Angeles, 90033 at 10am. The Tour consists of a flat walk of approximately ½ mile and will end again at Mariachi Plaza. Bring comfortable shoes, a hat and some water. Stay to get lunch or a smoothie after the tour.
The Other Hollywood Boulevard
Saturday August 11th, 2012
Elson introduces participants to East Hollywood through a multi-sensory, multi-cultural tour of theOther Hollywood Boulevard, from Western to Vermont Avenue. Go from Thailand to Armenia and from Aline Barnsdall’s Roaring ’20s era to today. Meet at the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Western Station at the southeast corner of Hollywood and Western (LA, 90027) at 11:00am. The tour will end at 2:00pm at the Metro Red Line Vermont/Sunset Station and consist of approximately 1 1/2 miles of walking mostly flat terrain, however, there is a 140 foot stair climb to access the top of Barnsdall Park.
Buy tickets here
Energetic Activities, Performing Arts; Ho! MacArthur Park
Sunday August 12th, 2012
Edgar’s third tour to MacArthur Park/Westlake area will have a specific focus on Performing Arts. We will learn how our new members of the community are adapting to a new environment and how they are shaping the community through performances so don’t miss it! We will have the opportunity to watch a play and we will learn many new things. The play will be in Spanish!
Buy tickets here