Los Angeles: Olvera Street & Union Station
Olvera Street is a beautiful place. From the first time I visited here in middle school, I was absolutely enamored with the bright colors, and positive energy that could be felt wandering down the "street."
I've visited here for their Día de Los Muertos//Day of the Dead event as well as their Virgen de Guadalupe event in December. Other events/celebrations are listed here. Even to be here for no event at all still provides an inspired and fun experience.
The mission of Olvera Street goes beyond the appearance of a Mexican Marketplace — it was created in 1930 "to preserve and present the customs and trades of early California." According to their website, many of the merchants on the street today are descended from the original vendors.
Not only all that, but it's right across the street from another historic part of Los Angeles that's still in operation and every day use: Union Station (opened in 1939) — making Olvera Street an easy destination/metro ride, and you can take a look inside this historic building. (One thing about Olvera Street is parking can be tricky to find, especially during an event. It's better to plan for a full day in downtown and just park somewhere for the entire day, then take the metro or walk to different spots.)
We were really fortunate this time around because The Avila Adobe, a house built in 1818 and is listed as the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles, was open! So we had the opportunity to go inside and walk around (usually it's closed whenever I've visited because I tend to go in the evening or at night).
Don't miss getting some churros and a picture with the burro.