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When people think of Los Angeles, they tend to picture the Hollywood Sign and the city’s long connection with the film industry. However, LA’s rich Latino heritage is just as important to the City of Angels. Hispanic culture has been at the heart of LA life since the 1700s, while more than 41.9% of Angelenos identity as Hispanic today. If you’re keen to explore the city’s best-kept secrets and immerse yourself in local life, you’ll want to brush up on your language skills with Spanish classes with private tutors. Need some help putting together an itinerary? We’ve picked some of the best Hispanic neighborhoods and essential attractions worth seeking out.
Grand Central Market and Olvera Street
There’s no shortage of bustling marketplaces in Los Angeles, but these two are some of the best. For locals with Hispanic heritage, Grand Central Market is often the first port of call for grocery shopping. The market has been going strong for more than a century. For many decades, it was one of the only places in the city where Hispanic shoppers could pick up authentic ingredients to replicate the taste of home. In the 1980s, the original market was redeveloped, opening the doors to visitors from every background. If you’re looking to sample the best of Latin American cuisine, this is an essential stop.
Olvera Street is another historic landmark in LA and a hub for Hispanic culture. Located in LA’s Downtown district, Olvera Street has served as the city’s main square for more than 200 years. Home to more than two dozen historical buildings and monuments, Olvera Street attracts more than two million visitors annually. People come for the food, live performances, authentic handicrafts, and more.
Museums Celebrating Hispanic Heritage
There are more than 100 museums in Los Angeles, but only a handful go all out to celebrate the Hispanic contributions to the city. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is one of the largest of its kind. Today, the museum houses more than 150,000 artworks, with many dating back to the time of the Spanish conquistadors. However, there’s also plenty of exhibition space dedicated to Latin American pieces. What’s more, the museum shines a spotlight on the countries that contributed to LA’s thriving Hispanic population. Here, you’ll find showcases of pieces from the likes of Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and beyond.
Mingle with Locals at the 24th Street Theater
The 24th Street Theater has long attracted audiences from Spanish-speaking backgrounds. It’s beloved by the local community, bringing the contributions of the Hispanic community into focus. There’s a regular schedule of educational programs geared towards younger audiences and the uninitiated, with just about every performance genre covered.
Discover the Whole Story at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes
This cultural center is located just a short stroll from Olvera Street. It’s one of the most important historical museums in the city, celebrating the cultural influence of Hispanic peoples on LA and the wider region. A popular attraction for visitors of all ages, you’ll find interactive exhibits aplenty here. Along with an eclectic range of temporary and permanent exhibitions, this museum plays host to everything from culinary experiences to cultural festivals.