Off-Campus Activities in Los Angeles

Be sure to take advantage of living so close to the great city of Los Angeles. There are countless opportunities to explore the culture of this amazing city, simply take a day and plan your own adventure.


Downtown Los Angeles

Farmer’s Market (323) 933-9211
6333 W. Third Street

Opened in 1934. Fresh-from-the-farm produce is sold. 160 shops. Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 10am-7pm

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic District and Olvera Street
Downtown Los Angeles (see their website for directions)

This is the officially recognized birthplace of the city. Olvera Street and 27 buildings in this area have been designated as historical or architecturally significant landmarks. In the restored Mexican street market on Olvera Street you’ll find shops and stalls that sell hand-painted piñatas and other Mexican handicrafts or try an Olvera Street restaurant.

Griffith Park
(323) 913-4688
4730 Crystal Springs Drive

Among the area’s main attractions: the Los Angeles Zoo (323) 644-6400, Griffith Observation and Planetarium, and the Greek Theater. On a clear day you can see all the way to Catalina Island.

Los Angeles Zoo
(323) 644-4200

The zoo boasts more than 1,200 mammals, birds and reptiles. The Los Angeles Zoo is now an accredited botanical garden as well.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year except December 25. Summer extended hours are until 6 p.m. from July 1-September 1.

Television Show Tapings is the primary way to obtain tickets to television show tapings throughout the school year. Consult them to find tickets to the show(s) you’d like to view.

Free Tours

Downtown L.A. Historic Walking Tour

This walking tour, put together by the University of Southern California, is an excellent guide to anyone who wants to learn more about the downtown area in general.

Rim of the World Scenic Highway
California Highway 18

One of the most spectacular drives in all of California. Before you go, contact the nearest ranger station for a self-guided tour booklet. It takes you to the elevations of 8,000 feet and provides mountain and forest views.

Studio Tours

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour
(818) 954-6000

The best studio tour in Los Angeles isn’t Universal Studios. It’s one that is offered few miles down the road in Burbank. Warner Bros. Studios has been offering a studio tour for several years now. Unlike Universal, Warner’s chooses not to promote their tour. In fact, you’ll find little (if any) advertising for it. The studio doesn’t consider their tour an attraction but more of a service it offers to the studio’s fans who want to know about the movies.

The Paramount Picture Tour
(323) 956-5000

Paramount Pictures is the only major studio that actually resides in Hollywood. This studio has its own unique history and has been the home of some of the most famous movies and television shows ever created. This tour doesn’t have the sensationalism of the Universal Tram tour. In fact, it doesn’t even have a tram! Instead, Paramount offers an extensive walking tour of its studio. The tour is small and intimate with informative guides that know their history of the studio. This tour is an in-depth look at a major studio, it history, and its achievements. You don’t feel like a tourist but more like a VIP that the studio is hoping to impress.

Other Tours

(323) 294-5821

Los Angeles is home to a collection of notable architecture and cultural sites. Architours offers a variety of tours and events each month that showcase work by legends such as Wright and Neutra, or cutting edge recent work. Restaurant Design Tours offer visits to restaurants known for both their culinary and design excellence such as the Santa Monica hit Rockenwagner, and Downtown L.A.’s new venture, Ciudad. Garden Tours spotlight historic and contemporary landscapes and the Public Art Walking Tours showcase installations in and around Downtown L.A.. All tours are conducted by the architects, artists, chefs or owners.

Gray Line
(800) 339-8421

For those who don’t want to spend hours pouring through maps, this may be the tour for you. Although the combo tours to Disneyland and Universal are a bit steep, the five-hour Best of L.A. tour costs less than $20 and provides a great orientation to the city. Even Southern California locals could probably use this tour to take in the parts of L.A. they keep missing. Claiming to be the most complete tour of the star’s homes available, it focuses on downtown and the areas around Hollywood, including Beverly Hills. Stops are made at Mann’s Chinese Theater, Doheny Mansion, and Farmer’s Market.

Metro Art Project
(213) 922-4ART

Free docent-guided tours are offered of the highly touted artwork featured at the 47 station Metro Rail system and at the Gateway Transit Center. The tours introduce individual artists and the concepts behind their variety of works as well as outline the artist selection process and the challenges of creating art for public environment. Tours are available for groups of 15 or more and can be requested for any day of the week. Each tour is approximately two hours.

Off ‘ N Running Tours
(310) 246-1418

Want to get a different perspective on L.A., that doesn’t involve driving? Off ‘N Running Tours offers group and individual tours of Los Angeles the old fashioned way., on foot. Health conscious visitors can call Off ‘N Running Tours and schedule a guided three to eight mile running tour through Beverly Hills, Santa Monica or Downtown Los Angeles. Courses are designed for runners and walkers of all levels.