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Southern California

Catch a lift, or a tango lesson, at L.A.'s historic Union Station

 (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Why: Back when the railroads had major money — and ruled the world the way the tech behemoths do today — they built grand palaces. One of the last was Union Station, a splendid transportation hub in an old corner of downtown Los Angeles.

What: Union Station is at the center of the city’s transit spiderweb, providing rail, subway, bus and bike connections to destinations as close as Chinatown and as far as Beijing (by way of shuttle bus service to LAX, of course). Buses also will zip you from here to a Dodger game, or a night at the Hollywood Bowl.

You can catch a high-end meal here, at the notable Traxx restaurant, while ogling the station’s amazing Mission Moderne-style architecture, which dates to its completion in 1939. The station also is a handy launch point for pub crawls along Hollywood Boulevard or at L.A. Live.

More and more, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority hopes you’ll visit for the cultural and entertainment events it’s staging, such as free tango lessons or pop-up opera events. Architectural tours are held the second Sunday of every month.

Where: 800 N. Alameda St., downtown Los Angeles.

How much: Free, and open from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Info: Union Station tours


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