The hottest new way to get around Los Angeles

Los Angeles Metro’s Expo Line

At first glance, there’s nothing particularly mind-blowing about the Los Angeles Metro’s Expo Line light rail, which debuted in May.

The $1.5 billion westward expansion doesn’t reduce the city’s notorious traffic, nor does it offer captivating views. It’s not even lightning quick; the 15-mile ride from Downtown LA to Santa Monica takes 48 minutes.

But against all expectations, the Expo Line has become LA’s latest buzz. The 19-stop journey has drawn so much fanfare that its rail cars are sardined with transit riders.

The hype is actually well deserved: the cheap and easy trip from bustling downtown to beautiful beaches connects flourishing neighborhoods along the way that are otherwise hard to reach. Permanently packed with a cast of LA characters — who have waited five years for this commute — a ride on the Expo Line is worth the $1.75 ticket (or $7 for an all-day pass). And avoiding idle hours in bumper-to-bumper standstills? Priceless. Here’s how to make the most of your journey.

Start at the Downtown Los Angeles terminus. The area’s notable revitalization has deemed it “America’s Next Great City” by critics like GQ, and businesses like Faith & Flower restaurant and The Broad museum have helped it prosper in just a handful of years. Now DTLA is banging out new attractions like the OUE SkySlide, which opened in June. The clear, all-glass slide suspended 1,000 feet above the sprawling city begins on the 70th floor of the US Bank Tower and extends 45 feet down. It thrills for only a few seconds, though SkySpace, an open-air observation deck with 360-degree panoramas on the same level, allows for lingering.

Back on the ground, once-dilapidated Pershing Square is undergoing a renaissance of its own. With a complete $1 million redesign in the works (courtesy of international design team Agence Ter), the outdoor park has become home to massive art installations, like artist Patrick Shearn’s “Liquid Shard,” a kinetic sculpture of silver strands that drift in the air.

Brooklyn-based flea-food market Smorgasburg has already opened at Row DTLA, a 30-acre, reimagined complex in the Arts District slated to feature 100 new shops and restaurants in century-old buildings.

The ongoing, industrial project, which debuted in July, truly embodies the neighborhood’s speedy gentrification.

Before heading to the downtown station at 7th Street/Metro Center — which has been transformed into a brand-new, $160 million outdoor courtyard and shopping destination called The Bloc — grab a bite at the city’s most buzzy Italian joint.

Kettle Black, a former bank-turned-restaurant helmed by star chef Sydney Hunter, opened in August. If you’re bunking here before progressing to the next stop, stay at the Ace Hotel, a stylish retreat that helped spearhead the Downtown LA movement when it opened in 2014 (from $299).

Next stop, Culver City! Read the rest of the Article here.