How to See More of LA Without Hitting Traffic

It’s true what they say: Nobody walks in LA.

That’s because Los Angeles is HUGE. 469 square miles huge. Big enough to put Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Manhattan inside LA city limits with room for more. So if you’re hoping to hit up LA’s westside and Downtown LA in the same day, chances are you need a car to do it.

But with almost 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s kind of insane how much time LA natives spend in their cars…

Want to see more of Los Angeles without sitting in bumper to bumper traffic? Here are some incredible ways to see Los Angeles that don’t involve brake lights on the 405 freeway.

the most incredible la walking tours

Photo: SoCal Stair Climbers

Photo: SoCal Stair Climbers

PAINTED STAIRWAY TOUR: Now Instagram famous, the Painted Stairways include 11 painted stairways stretching 6.7 miles across the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Grab your own map for a self-guided walking tour or check out the SoCal Stair Climbers Facebook Page to join their free Painted Stairway tours.

DLTA FOOD TOUR: Sidewalk Tours offers six unique stops showcasing the latest and greatest of the Downtown LA food scene. Enjoy a variety of foods like sushi burritos, slow braised carne tacos and delectable French macarons. The tour guides are expert foodies, inspired by a love of food, history and community. You’ll hear some entertaining stories about LA as you grub on DTLA’s finest foods.  

VENICE BEACH BIKE TOUR: Learn all about Venice's rich, colorful history as you cruise along the popular 15-mile Santa Monica bike path. Choose from 1 to 3 hour bike tours and discover famous local legends and hear amusing tales about the film stars, Bohemians, artists and poets who have all contributed to making Venice quirky. End your bike tour with a beachfront rooftop wine tasting. 

STREET ART TOUR: LA Art Tours offer guided adventures to see the lofts, secret galleries, and graffiti and mural filled streets of downtown Los Angeles. These tours are truly one of a kind - some pieces you will see might last only days before being covered while others have been preserved for decades.

SUNSET HORSEBACK RIDING TOUR: Surprised to find a horse ranch in the middle of Los Angeles? Sunset Ranch is located in the heart of Griffith Park - enjoy a 1 or a 2-hour guided tour through the hills where you will see the famous Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory and epic views of Los Angeles.

DEARLY DEPARTED TRAGICAL HISTORY TOUR: For fans of the macabre, this “trip down bad memory lane” takes you to the homes and locations through Los Angeles and the Sunset Strip where your favorite celebrities lived and died. The history of LA scandal takes front and center on this tragical history tour. This tour is not for the faint of heart or anyone under 12 years of age.

ART DECO ARCHITECTURE TOUR: Here’s a little-known fact: some of LA’s Old Hollywood glamour is found in the heart of downtown! This DTLA walking tour hosted by the Los Angeles Conversancy features LA’s own Art Deco masterpieces built in the 1920s and 30s. Learn about the history of Art Deco in Los Angeles and why it remains a defining architectural style even today.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES HOLLYWOOD TOUR: Skip the Movie Stars Home Tour and check out this walking tour covering the history and old glamour of Hollywood’s past. Learn about the iconic Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, how Hollywood got its name and filming locations throughout Hollywood.

UNDISCOVERED CHINATOWN TOUR: Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more! The 2 1/2 hour walking tour will take you to a number of off-the-beaten-track points of interest and will guide those interested in shopping to some of Chinatown’s best bargains and its trendiest shops. 

Looking for even more ways to experience LA? Lark’s got you covered: check out our guide to LA’s best tacos and how to see the best (and avoid the worst) of Hollywood.