USC neighbors include world-renowned cultural institutions and sports and entertainment venues. Explore the Arts and Education Corridor of Downtown Los Angeles and Exposition Park.
One of L.A.’s biggest and most dynamic new entertainment venues, L.A. Live is a bustling complex including the Nokia Theatre, restaurants, nightclubs, an open-air plaza with giant LED broadcast screens, a gleaming two-hotel tower, the GRAMMY Museum and the Lucky Strike bowling alley. L.A. Live is across the street from the STAPLES Center and a short walk from Metro’s stations at Pico (Blue Line) and 7th Street/Metro (Red/Purple Line).
STAPLES Center is home to the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, NHL’s Kings, and WNBA’s Sparks. The world-class sports and entertainment venue also hosts figure-skating and boxing championships, major political events such as the 2000 Democratic National Convention and concerts by the biggest names in popular music. The STAPLES Center is across the street from L.A. Live and a short walk from Metro’s stations at Pico (Blue Line) and 7th Street/Metro (Red/Purple Line).
At the city-owned Los Angeles Theatre Center, the Latino Theatre Company curates a program of music, dance and theatre events relevant to contemporary life in L.A.’s diverse communities. The LATC is a short walk from the Pershing Square Metro Station (Red Line).
Founded in 1919 and currently led by vibrant music director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Philharmonic offers programming that is both innovative and faithful to classical-music tradition. The internationally acclaimed orchestra performs from October through June in Downtown L.A.’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (near the Civic Center Station on Metro’s Red/Purple Line), and in the summer at the outdoor Hollywood Bowl.
The home stadium of the Los Angeles Dodgers sits just above downtown in the hills of Elysian Park. Express bus service from Union Station is free for ticket holders.
Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and designed by USC alumnus and professor Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the most acoustically sophisticated and visually striking music venues in the world. On the lower level, REDCAT hosts cutting-edge performances and art exhibitions. Walking distance from the Civic Center Metro Station (Red/Purple Line).
Encounter innovatively themed exhibitions of contemporary art and a permanent collection featuring key works by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Diane Arbus, and many others at MOCA’s two Downtown L.A. locations. MOCA Grand Avenue, designed by Arata Isozaki, is across the street from Walt Disney Concert Hall and a short walk from Metro’s Civic Center Station (Red/Purple Line). The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, designed by USC alumnus and professor Frank Gehry, is accessible via the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station (Gold Line).
For more than four decades, the Ahmanson Theatre has presented large-scale theatrical productions of dramas, musicals, comedies and revivals of theater classics, bringing Broadway hits and exclusive engagements of Tony award–winning productions to Downtown Los Angeles. Close to Metro’s Civic Center Station (Red/Purple Line).
The most intimate venue of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, the Mark Taper forum is dedicated to the development of new voices in theatre. Since its 1967 opening, the Taper has supported emerging voices who went on to win Tony Awards and Pulitzer Prizes. Welton Becket designed the perfectly circular, thrust-stage venue. Close to Metro’s Civic Center Station (Red/Purple Line).
USC sits just south of Downtown Los Angeles in the historic University Park neighborhood. One of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the city, University Park bustles with museums, sports and entertainment venues, farmers’ markets, and institutions of higher education. Architecture ranging from Queen Anne to Craftsman recalls the neighborhood’s rich history as home to Los Angeles’ early-20th-century business and entertainment elite.
A peaceful refuge in the busy city, this seven-acre sunken garden contains 20,000 rose bushes representing almost 200 varieties of roses, as well as gazebos for picnicking and four statues by Thyra Boldsen. The free-admission garden has been open to the public since 1928. (It is closed for maintenance from January 1 to March 15 each year.)
Commissioned as a memorial to World War I veterans, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum opened in 1923 with a USC/Pomona football game. The Trojans won, and the Coliseum remains their home stadium—as well as the site of two Olympiads, two Super Bowls, a World Series, international soccer matches and concerts by the likes of the Rolling Stones and U2.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County protects more than 35 million specimens dating back 4.5 billion years. Immersive exhibits such as the Age of Mammals, Ancient Latin American Art and California History illustrate the connections between natural and cultural history on every part of the planet.
A state-of-the-art education and research facility, the California Science Center is 400,000 square feet of interactive exhibits that explore science and technology in daily life and around the world. The Ecosystems exhibit opened in 2010 features live plants and animals in 11 environments ranging from a kelp forest to a polar ice wall. The center’s seven-story education-focused IMAX theatre is the largest IMAX venue in Los Angeles. Free admission to permanent exhibitions.
Since 1981, the California African American Museum has made the history, art and culture of African Americans visible to the public with exhibitions documenting African Americans’ contribution to the settlement of the West, visual art from the 19th century to the present, traditional African Art, contemporary art from the African diaspora and more. The museum’s extensive archive and research library is open to the public. Free admission; open Tuesday through Sunday.
The L.A. campus of this national Jewish seminary offers advanced graduate study in Jewish education and communal service in the Reform tradition. The Jerome H. Louchheim School of Judaic Studies serves as the undergraduate Judaic Studies Department for USC. The Frances-Henry Library contains over 125,000 volumes of Judaica and Hebraica as well as multimedia archives.
An independent, Catholic, liberal arts college, Mount St. Mary’s College is known for the cultural diversity of its student body. The Doheny Campus, located on the former estate of oil tycoon Edward Doheny, is a tranquil, park-like setting of abundant vegetation and grand Victorian residences.
Angels Walk LA provides guidebooks for walking tours throughout Los Angeles. The Figueroa walk comprises University Park’s West Adams and Exposition Park neighborhoods.