60 photos, 2 maps

Olvera Street™

Discover the Soul of Los Angeles
By Mike Harris



Welcome to Los Angeles, America’s second-largest city and home to 3.8 million people. But L.A. didn’t start out that way. Olvera Street: Discovering the Soul of Los Angeles is a travel guide that leads you past today’s glitzy bars and eateries, the big sports centers and high-rises, to trace the city’s roots. Travel back more than two centuries to when forty-four settlers walked from Mexico to start a new life near what would become today’s downtown Los Angeles.

While decades of neglect and the developer’s bulldozer have claimed many of the original buildings, at Olvera Street, part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, you can still see and touch the city’s beginnings. Join Mike Harris as he guides you along Olvera Street with its unique museums, artwork, multigeneration Mexican family shops, and restaurants.

Starting at the plaza’s kiosk, located just across the street from historic Union Station, journey with Mike on an easy walking tour detailing the struggles and triumphs of creating an international city. Learn how each new culture that came to Los Angeles, from Native American, Spanish, and Mexican to African American, Chinese, French, and Italian, impacted its destiny.

Contributor Bios
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mike Harris is an award-winning Southern California newsman, editor, and travel and outdoors writer and currently serves as the editor for OldWestNewWest.com. His writing focuses on the American West.