In our weekly events list on Friday, we told you about a trio of Martin Luther King, Jr.-themed events happening today (the 35th Annual Kingdom Day Parade, Big Sunday’s 8th Annual MLK Day Clothing Drive and Community Breakfast, and a reading by children’s author Angela Joy at Chevalier’s books), which would be a great way to use your holiday. For those still looking for additional vacation-day activities, however, here’s another great idea: take a walk. Specifically, an Angels Walk – one of a series of self-guided walking tours highlighting “the rich and diverse history of our city by encouraging exploration and discovery of the significant people, architecture, events, and cultural movements that have shaped our great neighborhoods.”
We were introduced to this great resource on a recent trip to one of our local branch libraries, where we noticed a beautiful, glossy Angels Walk brochure for a tour of the Crenshaw district. According to the Angels Walk LA website, the program was started in 1996, to help “preserve Los Angeles history while encouraging pedestrian engagement and public transortation throughout the greater Los Angeles area.” Its official supporters include LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, the LA City Council, Metro, the Bureau of Street Services, the Department of Transportation, and CalTrans.
Currently, there are 12 detailed Angeles Walks available, covering 40 miles of “trails,” with a 13th (exploring the historic Central Ave. jazz district) set to be released later this year. You can find the brochure versions of the walk guides and maps at “public tourist locations including the information desk at Union Station, the Hollywood & Highland Visitor’s Center, and at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel.” And, as we discovered, several LA Public Library branches also stock current Angels Walk brochures. (Some of the older guides are no longer in print…but they and others are still available electronically, on the Angeles Walk LA website.)
The walks seem to be primarily marketed to tourists, but they’re entirely appropriate for anyone who would like to learn more about many of our wonderful LA neighborhoods, up close and personal. And there are so many things to see on each tour that we can just about guarantee that even if you’re familiar with a given area, almost everyone can discover something new along the way. Most of the walks are about 2.5 miles long, if you see everything on the maps, but they can also be extended with quick “Farther Afield” detours recommended in the brochures, as well as with any spontaneous additions you’d like to make on your own once you’re out and about.
The 12 walks/guides currently available are:
Just the thing for a nice holiday (or weekend, or any day) morning or afternoon stroll, whether you’re entertaining visitors, or just want to learn more about your own fascinating city.
About Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.
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