Los Angeles, CA

Downtown Los Angeles: Best Running Options

Running in the heart of downtown Los Angeles won’t be one of the most beautiful or scenic routes you’ll ever do. Downtown L.A. is improving but it’s still quite gritty, with super wide streets and not a lot of trees. But, if staying there for work or a convention, here’s how to make the best of it. Basically you can put together 3-4 miles in the downtown core, between I-10 and the 101. Here are our recommendations on where to run in downtown L.A.. Best bets are Grand Ave./Grand Park, L.A. State Historical Park, and Elysian Park.

Grand Ave./Grand Park. Grand Ave. has wide sidewalks, and goes by some of L.A.’s most interesting office buildings, the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, Disney Concert Hall, and Museum of Contemprary Art. Grand Park offers a ~1/2 mile loop up and down hills/stairs between Grand Ave. & North Spring St. (City Hall). It’s 1.7 miles from the Church to the Grammy Museum.

Eastern Part of Downtown. The area between Temple St. and 3rd St., known as ‘Little Tokyo’, features the Geffen Museum and the Japanese American Museum.

Spring St./Main St: Spring St. is bustling and prettier, with some trees and fun commercial spots. At the northern end, City Hall and courthouses, and some nice plazas.

Hills & Stairs. Get some hill/stair work in, off Hill St.

L.A. State Historical Park. Author Photo

Los Angeles State Historic Park. This park was just opened in 2017, and is an oasis. Located at the eastern end of downtown, bordering Chinatown (metro stop: Chinatown). An oasis of green, with numerous paths, lovely landscaping, and great views of the downtown skyline (heading westward). It’s ~1.4 miles around the perimeter paths, so you’ll have to do some laps. For a longer run, connect to Elysian Park. At the eastern end of the park, exit from the parking lot to N. Spring St., take the bridge over the viaduct and then back over it on N. Broadway. Cross over to Elysian Park Dr. Note: the park is a bit hemmed in and in an industrial zone — bridges must be used at the eastern end of the park. ROUTE MAP

Elysian Park.The best bet for a run near downtown L.A. that’s longer & more scenic is to head toward Elysian Park & Dodger Stadium. It’s gritty getting there, but runnable.

Essentials
  • Can put together 3-4 miles in the downtown core, between I-10 and the 101. State Historic Park is 1.4 miles
  • Can be flat but also options for some good hills & stairs
  • Grand Ave. is a good anchor point. For L.A. State Historic Park, use N. Spring St. (Chinatown metro stop)
  • There are subway stations in downtown L.A.

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Essentials
  • Can put together 3-4 miles in the downtown core, between I-10 and the 101. State Historic Park is 1.4 miles
  • Can be flat but also options for some good hills & stairs
  • Grand Ave. is a good anchor point. For L.A. State Historic Park, use N. Spring St. (Chinatown metro stop)
  • There are subway stations in downtown L.A.