City Hall Observation Room
This is another one of those free things to do in Los Angeles which very few life-long Angelinos know about.
City Hall is a very stately art deco building built in the 1920s. It really is a magnificent building up close.
Looking at it from a distance one can’t help but notice the columns near the top where there is an observation room with fantastic views of downtown and the whole city.
There is plenty of free parking but it is about 5 blocks away so metro or biking there may be the way to go.
You must use the east entrance to gain access to the building unless you are a city employee.
Once inside, you will have to go through security screening which is fine unless you are carrying knives, guns or nuclear weapons.
When you get through security which was really fast during my visit, they give you a visitor’s sticker and directions to the observation room.
Basically, you have to take an elevator to the 25th floor where you will get off and hop on another elevator to take you to the 26th floor.
This floor is very interesting because of the paintings and photographs depicting all of LA’s previous mayors going all the way back to the 1800s so be sure to walk around the whole floor.
From here you take either a last elevator or the stairs up to the observation room which has a very high ceiling and great decor.
The room is set up for press conferences as evidenced by the podium displaying the official seal of Los Angeles so I held my own little press conference of my own to answer questions about free thinngs to do in LA.
Once you step outside onto the 360 degree balcony you will be amazed by the incredible views.
Each side has a map highlighting some of LA’s most famous buildings and landmarks.
While there, I learned something very interesting. The light or beacon on top of city hall was dedicated to Charles Limburgh but even more interesting is the light was first turned on by President Calvin Coolidge from the White House. Imagine what a technological feat it was to turn on a light in Los Angeles all the way from Washington DC back in 1928.
This really is a fantastic free thing to do in LA.