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We Love LA--And You Will Too; LA Insight from Insiders

Passenger Transport asked the experts—LA Metro staff—for their best recommendations for things to do, places to visit, off-the-beaten-path restaurants and other “can’t miss” LA spots many tourists never see.

Here’s what they shared to help make your Annual Meeting visit fun—as well as being educational: No trip to LA is complete without …

Attending a Dodger game!
— Claudia Galicia, Transportation Planner

Putting your toes in the sand. Why? Because the great Pacific Ocean is the mighty anchor and the moment of Zen that every Angeleno and visitor can share. And because, no matter who you are, where you’re from or how long you sat in traffic to get to it, the embrace of our ocean, the sound of the surf, the salty tang of the air and the feel of sand between your toes is a deep and elemental LA pleasure.
— Michael Lejeune, Creative Director

A Metro Art tour! Free docent-guided tours of the art in the Metro system.
— Maya Emsden, DEO, Creative Services

A visit to downtown’s Preux and Proper’s to enjoy its cast-iron baked ­macaroni and scallops.
— Shelby Adams, Metro Trainee

A visit to the world-renowned Santa Monica Pier and beach. There are lots of things to see and do over there. And while you’re at it, ride a bike, walk, skate or jog and take in the sights at the nearby Venice Beach.
— Nof Orfano, Maintenance Specialist, Div 20

Seeing the Watts Towers Art Center, located at 1727 E. 107th St. The phone number is (213) 847-4646.
— Gail Harvey, Director, Customer Relations

A walk through historic Union Station, where Metro Art Presents also offers arts and cultural programming reflecting the diversity and talents of one of the world’s leading creative capitals.
— Maya Emsden, DEO, Creative Services

Being on a game show or in the audience of a live TV show. Click here.
— Eric Somilleda, Customer Information Agent

A walk down Colorado Boulevard. Every New Year’s Day, the nation tunes in to watch the Pasadena Tournament of Roses (TOR) Parade. At the corner of Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard sits the Norton Simon Museum, a landmark of the TOR Parade. The walk down Colorado should start at Norton Simon, passing through a couple of the high-end auto dealerships and conclude at one of the eateries located in Old Towne Pasadena. This would make for a great (but very warm) lunch or a close to great summer evening. Also—seeing Angeleno Heights—a historic neighborhood of 1890-1910 era of Los Angeles’ oldest Victorian homes. See the homes used in the TV show “Charmed” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
— Quintin Sumabat, DEO Finance

Urban Lights at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Broad Museum, Disney Concert Hall, the Getty Museum.
— Hamid Mahramzadeh, Supervising Engineer

Taking a ride in a Metro seat!
— Paula McEwing, Metro Slogan

A visit to El Mercadito in East Los Angeles—Mexican food and snacks, a Mexican-style market, mariachi, ornaments and trinkets.
— Flor Anaya, Senior Administrative Analyst

Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade, Exposition Park, Universal Studios, Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard.
— Brandon Farley, Senior Manager, Transportation Planning

A visit to the Griffith Observatory! You can see the whole LA basin, Hollywood sign, Pacific Ocean, downtown skyline and Santa Monica mountains from this fantastic viewpoint. Take the Metro Red Line to the Vermont/Sunset Station and connect to the LADOT DASH Observatory Shuttle. You won’t have to deal with traffic and the hassle of finding parking. The shuttle runs on Saturday and Sunday only from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., with service every 20 minutes. The cost to ride is 35 cents if you use your TAP card. Shuttle service days and hours of operation may be expanded in the near future. To view a live map, schedules, fares and for more information, visit the LADOT Observatory Shuttle website.
— Bronwen Keiner, Senior Community Relations Officer

A trip to the Last Bookstore, located at 453 S. Spring St. in downtown Los Angeles. This bookstore is unique in the fact they carry many rare and hard to find books and vinyl records! Also, no visit to LA is complete without a trip to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, located in Arcadia. The arboretum has some of the most amazing gardens and natural landscapes along with a very relaxing atmosphere.
— Della Montes, Customer Information Supervisor

A visit to Trails Cafe in Griffith Park and a hike from the cafe/trailhead to the Griffith Observatory.
— Jenna Hornstock, Deputy Executive Officer, Countywide Planning and Development

A trip to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor using Metro’s Expo Line.
— Stephanie Burke, Senior Administrative Analyst

Seeing the Chandelier Tree in Silver Lake and visiting the permanent Farmers’ Market at 3rd Street and Fairfax Boulevard—75-plus years and counting. The Grove adjacent to the Market is a destination also...like an adult Disneyland.
— Jim Conerly, Senior IT PM

A visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). While there you can view the beautiful works of art on the walls, have a picnic lunch on the grounds and some evenings listen to free music.
— Deneise Glover, Principal Contract Administrator

Visiting the Los Angeles County Fair which, by chance, will be held at the same time as the APTA meeting. The fair is a little slice of rural country in one of the largest urban city areas of the United States. It is also one of the largest county fairs in America.
— Rich Famighetti, Director, Maintenance Ops

Seeing the city views (and sometimes stars) from the Griffith Observatory.
— Georgia Sheridan, Manager, Transportation Planning
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