Arts District- Alley Adventure Urban Art and Graffiti Bicycle Tour
Our popular Downtown LA Graffiti and Mural tour has been taking guests through the Arts District for years, marveling at some of the best art in Los Angeles. But there are several other less known areas packed with art, and the LA Art Tour guides know right where to find it.
You can bring your own bike, or rent one of the Metro Bikes at the start of the tour. Then your guide will take you through back streets and off the beaten paths where many of our favorite Arts District artists are creating amazing new work every week. And being bike mobile, we can cover a lot ground and show you some rarely seen treasures of our art community. This is a unique tour for art and bicycle adventurers that you do not want to miss!
2 – 2.5 hours
Water break at midpoint
$28/person with discounted Metro Bike rental
Starts at the Metro Bike Rack by Zinc Cafe and Blue Bottle in the Arts District
Your bicycle tour guide is a real artist and longtime member of the Arts District Community. They might not be able to win the Tour de France on a bicycle, but they really know street art. Living and creating art in the area for decades, each one is an expert on the history, culture, art, and artists that made the Arts District an important part of the Los Angeles creative community for decades.
The tour includes hundreds of works of art, from massive building size murals to amazing little pieces that you would ride right by if it weren’t for their expert eyes and experience. You’ll be visiting art your friends wouldn’t find in a year of searching.
The tour starts with primers on urban art history and technique, getting your feet wet before launching into the streets and alleys of Downtown LA. These aren’t all the manicured and gentrified streets of other areas of Downtown LA. You’re going to see some real grit. And lay your eyes on some of the real art being put on the walls by the real artists and crews who built LA’s legendary graffiti scene.
The tour ends back where it started, giving you a chance to enjoy dining at Zinc Cafe or one of the many other restaurants in the more gentrified areas of the Arts District (your guide will be happy to give suggestions.)
How far do we bike? About 5 or 6 miles. We move at a slow and safe pace. This isn’t a bike race.
Do I need a helmet? A helmet is not required unless the rider is under 18. If you need one, we prefer you bring your own, but we have a few helmets we can bring for our under age guests visiting from out of town, but please let us know in advance so your guide can have them on hand.
Do I need a mask? Los Angeles County currentl requires a mask be worn.
I reserved a bike, where do I get it? Your guide has a pass to check out bikes from the Metro Bike kiosk prior to the tour. We arrange with Metro to insure enough bikes, but if for some reason there aren’t enough and the Metro truck isn’t there, he will sprint over to the next kiosk to get more. Don’t worry, you’ll have a bike for the tour.
Does the tour start on time? Yes. We suggest arriving at least 10 minutes early to insure you don’t miss the beginning. There are benches to sit on at the start.
What if I’m late? The guide will still be near the start for the first 5 minutes of the tour, showing the art work on Willow St. If you are unable to locate them, you can try calling 310-503-2365 (though we may not be able to pick up if leading a tour.)
Gratuity/tip? Tips are always appreciated by our guides, but never required. If you want to demonstrate your appreciation to the guide for that job well done, a tip is very welcome.
What if it rains? This is the one tour we usually cancel if it is going to rain. Biking in the rain isn’t very fun, especially down some of alleys we traverse. You will be notified 24 hours in advance if we decide to cancel, and can either rebook or be refunded.
Are there graffiti artists on this tour? We run into artists at work more on this tour than every other tour combined. Some of them are a bit paint splattered and unkempt. And we may run into some homeless folks (though with gentrification, we also run into more and more tech workers walking tiny dogs these days.) This tour isn’t sanitized. It is the real alleys and streets of an industrial area of downtown. The art is amazing, but it is also a very real view of urban life. However, your safety is of top concern to our guides, who are long time veterans of these streets, and know very well how to traverse them.
Will we see art by (insert name here?) You may. If its in the area, you’ll likely visit it. But the routes can vary slightly, so if you expected a particular piece of art, and didn’t get to see it, your guide will gladly point you in the right direction after the tour (or break the news gently if that piece is long painted over.)
- Please arrive 10 minutes early as the tour starts on time.
- Just tell the guide your name. No need to print out the ticket or confirmation email.
- ACTIVITY IS CANCELED IF IT RAINS. Trust me, this tour is no fun in the rain. We will offer an alternate walking tour in place of a rained out bicycle tour. Walking in the rain = fun. Biking in the rain = no fun.
- ACTIVITY TAKES PLACE OUTDOORS ON BICYCLES: Dress appropriately for the weather and the activity. Wear appropriate footwear.
- We understand that your plans sometimes change. That is why we try to be as flexible and accommodating as possible.
- Prior to 48 hours before tour time, a full refund can be given.
- Sorry, no refunds within 48 hours of tour start time. Our guides need to get out of work and other commitments to lead the tours, so we commit to paying them whether guests show up or not.
- Up to 24 hours before a scheduled tour you can reschedule for a different date. We only allow one reschedule per booking.
The tour starts at the Metro Bike Rack between ZInc and Blue Bottle (580 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013.) Your guide will be at the racks at tour time, ready to check out bikes for those who reserve them. If you go into Zinc or Blue Bottle and ask the employees where we are, they are going to stare back at you blankly.
There is free street parking in the area (Willow and adjacent streets.) If you can’t locate a street spot, there are pay lots:
1256 Palmetto St