Where the Murals Are

Is the Arts District the best spot to see art in LA? Duh! We’re talking the brand-new Institute…

My Weekend Sherpa:

Want to do it Did it


Is the Arts District the best spot to see art in LA? Duh! We’re talking the brand-new Institute of Contemporary Art, edgy murals, murals in progress, and surprises around every corner in this 2.5-mile DTLA urban art walk.

Park on the street near Arts District Brewing Company and gain traction on Traction Ave., passing lofts famous as the New Girl apartment façade and the first of many impressive murals—the red, white, and black Heartship. Continue right on Merrick St., followed by an immediate left onto the 4th Street Bridge, where you’ll encounter lovers sharing an intimate moment.

Oh, wait, that’s a mural! So is the big wall full of zany, exaggerated LA characters. The dog park you just passed has, natch, a mural of its own. Look for murals in progress as you make a sharp right onto 4th Place, followed by a left onto Mateo, where Blue Bottle Coffee offers a fix for those in need. After 0.5 mile, turn right onto 7th Street, but not before passing more murals, including a collab between David Choe and Aryz that meshes their different graffiti styles. Heading west on 7th Street, you come to the just-opened Institute of Contemporary Art, a free museum with a colorful mural in its front yard. Then head right onto Alameda Street and in five blocks right onto Palmetto Street. Here, bounded by Seaton, Hewitt, and 4th Streets, is a two-square-block area with murals, mini museums, and shops: the Arts District Co-op, the Architecture and Design Museum, Urth Caffe, and the Container Yard. Then head to the intersection of 4th and Hewitt, making a left onto 4th Place and crossing right onto Hewitt Street at Art Share LA’s brightly colored digs.

You’ll pass a mural of a Navajo woman next to Wurstküche as you head left on Traction Ave. Make an immediate left onto 3rd Street, passing two black-and-white murals, one of rebel art legend Ai Wei Wei and the other of elephants. Look up to see a new mural portrait of LA art icon Ed Ruscha before visiting the parking lot across the street to see the giant new work Bloom. Muraled out? No worries. Angel City Brewery has an IPA (and, well, a few more murals!) waiting for you.

To get to Arts District Brewing Co. from the west, take the Alameda St. exit off the I-10. Turn left onto Alameda and go north for 1 mile, then turn right onto Traction Ave. for 0.2 mile. From the east, exit 4th St. off the 1-10 and turn right onto 4th, taking it west for 1 mile. Turn right onto Molino St., which immediately becomes Merrick St. and veers left into Traction Ave. Arts District Brewing Co. will be on your left after one block. Dog-friendly, though not in museum and only outside at Arts District Brewing Co.


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