Riding on the Metro

You don’t have to get in your car to do something cool in this town

You don’t have to get into your car to do something cool or new in L.A. One of the best things about public transportation in Los Angeles is that it allows you to explore the city in ways you might not otherwise do while cruising around in your automobile. There are a lot of great places to add to your list of “Must Visit by Metro,” which if you haven’t already started, you should.

Night Gallery & François Ghebaly
Stop/Line: Washington Station, Blue Line

Two of the most progressive contemporary art galleries in Los Angeles are just a 15 minute walk from a train. Some of the best art shows of the past year have gone down here, from Samara Golden’s ’80s dream installation to Joel Kyak’s giddy visual sea puns. Shows like this are happening all the time! Bonus: Dames n’ Games is around the corner.

Barnsdall Art Park
Stop/Line: Vermont/Sunset Station, Red Line

One of the best views of Los Angeles is literally a hike from a Metro station. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and enjoy a sunny weekend day here on their ample covered lawns that have great views of both the hills and a Frank Lloyd Wright house. (And bring covert wine to imbibe. You’re not driving there, so why not?)

Slow Culture, Mount Analog, La Cuevita, & Highland Park’s Main Drag
Stop/Line: Highland Park Station, Gold Line

Did all your friends move to this part of town, and now you hate driving over there? Don’t fret: Take the Metro! The stop is a skip from three local hot spots: the art gallery Slow Culture, the electric-leaning record store Mount Analog, and the good-time bar La Cuevita.

Culver City Arts District
Stop/Line: La Cienega / Jefferson Station, Expo Line

Culver City has the best galleries in town, from world-renowned Blum & Poe to the hyper-Angeleno leaning LAXART. They exhibit some of the most relevant artists of the moment. In a little over 10 minutes, you can walk from your train to the doors of Roberts & Tilton. Within 14 minutes? You can be zine shopping at & Pens Press.

Chandler Bikeway
Stop/Line: North Hollywood Station, Red Line

For the city biker who wants an easy, suburban ride, the Chandler Bikeway is your everyday CicLAvia. It’s clean and there are lots of points of interest. Bring the entire framily for this one!

Sunset Junction
Stop/Line: Santa Monica/Vermont Station, Red Line

Hey, cool dude: Don’t drive to Silver Lake’s heart anymore. It’s a 10-minute walk. You’ll look especially hip for being among the non-driving minority getting a bottle of wine from the Cheese Store and buying knick knacks at Reform School. Better yet, splurge at Mohawk General Store. Not driving will afford you at least some of the cash you need to shop here.

The Line Hotel
Stop/Line: Wilshire/Normandie Station, Purple Line

The Koreatown hotel has been buzzed about for years and is finally open—and getting the city talking about that part of town in a different way. Why? Because it brings great retail concepts like Poketo and cool chefs like Roy Choi (and his POT) to this part of town. Taking a train would be very Seoul of you.

Museum of Jurassic Technology
Stop/Line: Culver City Station, Expo Line

Undoubtedly one of Los Angeles’ greatest and most respected oddities, the museum is one of those things that you have to go to if you live in this city. It is a rite of passage to see this homegrown Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Where else in the world is there a museum that is and isn’t a museum and is and isn’t an art project and is and isn’t dedicated to the made-up intellectual idea of the Lower Jurassic?

Human Resources, Ooga Booga, & Chinatown
Stop/Line: Chinatown Station, Gold Line

Chinatown is a destination of itself. What we often forget is that new, hip spots, like alternative retail store Ooga Booga and non-traditional contemporary art venue Human Resources are there, too. There is always something going on here!

Maker City LA & Magic Box
Stop/Line: Grand Station, Blue Line

The city has found a new creative hub with Maker City LA. It’s a communal workspace where you can work and play and do creatively fulfilling things like attend a CreativeMornings or Arts Tech LA event. You can even go to a party with Dublab! Their Magic Box is like a tiny Los Angeles Convention Center, too, hosting happenings like foodie-central Artisanal LA.

Kyle Fitzpatrick is a writer, an infrequent performer, and a lover of dogs, art, shorts, champagne, and L.A. You can find his musings Fridays on CityThink. For more, check out his locally focused art, design, and culture website, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.