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One of Los Angeles’s best attractions is its collection of significant museums. Four of these can be found on Museum Row in Miracle Mile, a picturesque business district stretching from Fairfax Avenue to La Brea Avenue along Wilshire Boulevard. From the Farmer’s Market and The Grove, Miracle Mile is easily accessible by bus or car, and is just 10 to 15 minutes away by foot.
Here’s a quick look at the four museums in Miracle Mile.
“Urban Light” exhibit, LACMA
LA County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Sprawled on over 20 acres of land, LACMA is home to a collection of more than 130,000 artworks representing Los Angeles’s diverse culture and more. The collection includes Asian, Latin American, Islamic, European, and American art, encompassing pre-historic to modern eras. LACMA has one of the most important Islamic art collections in the world, and its extensive Latin American collection ranges from Pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary pieces.
The museum is composed of several smaller museums housed in different buildings, such as the Ahmanson Building, Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Art of the Americas Building, and the Pavilion for Japanese Art.
In addition to these, LACMA also features outdoor sculpture exhibits, including a Rodin collection in the B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden, and the now iconic “Urban Light, “an installation by Chris Burden showcasing 202 restored street lights from the 1920s and 1930s.
The museum is open every day except Wednesdays, with free admission for LA County residents after 3 p.m. on weekdays.
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
The La Brea Tar Pits are early-1900s human excavations on what is now the site of Hancock Park along Miracle Mile. The pits contain natural asphalt or tar, which has trapped animals and leaves through many centuries and preserved their bones and remains. Fossils of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, mammoths, and other animals from the Ice Age have been unearthed from the pits and are now on exhibit at the museum found within the park.
In addition to staging and managing the exhibits, the museum still actively undertakes excavations, out of which new fossils are regularly found. The excavation sites may be toured as part of a visit to the museum. Visitors can also watch paleontologists at work through the glass walls of the museum’s Fossil Lab.
The museum is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on certain holidays.
The Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Housed in a historic building, the Petersen Automotive Museum features various galleries showcasing everything automobile – from a Ford Model T to rare luxury cars to cars from famous movie and TV shows, such as the Batmobile and the Pontiac Aztec from “Breaking Bad.” Other exhibits include car parts and technologies that have transformed the automobile over the decades, and artworks that celebrate this transportation wonder that is the very epitome of LA. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Craft and Folk Art Museum
5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
CAFAM showcases the unique works of folk and contemporary craft artists. The museum presents changing exhibits featuring the diverse creations of various artists and craft makers, such as contemporary photographs and videos, sculptural weaving, artisan furniture, enamel arts, and paper-based artworks.
The museum also coordinates hands-on workshops that are open to the public. Museum hours start at 11:00 a.m. from Tuesday to Sunday, except on the first Thursdays of every month when it operates from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
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Miracle Mile is known as the site of LA’s Museum Row, where four of the city’s most important museums are found. But this historic business district has even more to offer.
In addition to its collection of excellent museums, shops, and offices, Miracle Mile is also home to some of the city’s finest restaurants offering residents and guests a wide range of dining experiences. In many of these establishments, you get more than just good food and good wine. You also get a taste of LA’s history and artistic sensibilities.
Here are some of the restaurants in Miracle Mile that you simply can’t miss.
Tom Bergin’s Public House
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Opened in 1936, Tom Bergin’s Public House has the distinction of having the second oldest liquor license in Los Angeles County. This well-loved neighborhood gathering place has been graced by Hollywood legends like Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, and John Wayne, and in modern times, Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts. Everyone comes here to enjoy its famed Irish coffee and nostalgic Irish pub spirit, which have lived on despite the updates on the menu and interiors. In addition to the Irish coffee, must-try menu items are the wood-fired pork chops, beer-battered fish and chips, as well as 19 beers on tap and a first rate whiskey selection.
624 S La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA
République is one the latest dining destinations in Miracle Mile, opening its doors to the public in November 2016. This French bistro-style restaurant is fast earning a following for its freshly baked breads. Its French cuisine is prepared along the principles of “bistronomie,” featuring changing menus that highlight fresh seasonal ingredients while showcasing the chef’s creativity. Owned and operated by celebrated chefs Walter and Margarita Menzke, République is housed in an illustrious building that served as Charlie Chaplin’s office in the early 1900s, and later as the site of the beloved restaurants, Campanile and La Brea Bakery.
La Brea Bakery and Café
468 S La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA
This award-winning and widely popular bakery and café has won the hearts – and taste buds – not only of Angelenos but people around the world as well. It is here in their native LA, though, that they remain most loved, and their new, much bigger home on the corner of La Brea Avenue and 16th Street shows just how much they have grown since they opened in the 1980s. Famous for their chocolate chip cookies, freshly baked breads, and turkey avocado sandwiches, among many others, La Brea Bakery is a not-to-be-missed gastronomical destination in Miracle Mile.
Ray’s and Stark Bar
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Located at LACMA’s BP Grand Entrance, Ray’s restaurant and adjacent Stark Bar offer visitors a great place to dine and unwind after taking in the museum’s many wonders. Named after film producer Ray Stark, the bar and restaurant feature a chic, 1960s-inspired design with an outdoor patio that provides a sweeping view of the architecturally rich Resnick Exhibition Pavilion. Ray’s and Stark Bar serves Mediterranean-style food and in-house seasonal cocktails. It counts not only museum visitors but also business professionals and LA tourists among its guests. There’s no need to pay the museum’s admission fee to get to the restaurant.