Metro Gold Line trains run every 10 to 15 minutes during peak hours and every 20 to 30 minutes during off-hours. Fares are $1.25 one way. For information contact the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (www.metro.net or 800/266-6883).
Each of the line's 13 stops has something to recommend it, but the 6 listed here offer the most in terms of shopping, dining, and sightseeing.
The station is one of the city's great buildings and is within an easy walk of the shops and restaurants of Olvera Street.
Philippe the Original. The French dip sandwiches here are legendary. $. 1001 N. Alameda St.; (213) 628-3781.
Traxx Restaurant. Glamour spot inside Union Station. $$$; closed Sun. 800 N. Alameda; (213) 625-1999.
Don't buy more than you can carry onboard: Chinatown is packed with shops.
Chinese American Museum. 10-3 Tue-Sun; $3. 425 N. Los Angeles St.; www.camla.org or (213) 626-5240.
Empress Pavilion. The place to go for dim sum. $$. 988 N. Hill St.; (213) 617-9898.
F. See On Company. Fine antiques and more. Closed Mon. 507-509 Chungking Court; (213) 628-3532.
Wing Hop Fung Ginseng. In the Far East Plaza; has a large gift selection. 727 N. Broadway, Ste. 102; (213) 626-7200.
Yang Chow Restaurant. Shrimp is king here. $-$$. 819 N. Broadway; (213) 625-0811.
SOUTHWEST MUSEUM STATION
This station gives you easy access to a culturally rich neighborhood.
Southwest Museum of the American Indian. A short walk from the station, the museum has an incomparable collection of Western arts and a fine gift shop. 10-5 Tue-Sun; $7.50. 234 Museum Dr.; www.autrynationalcenter.org or (323) 221-2164.
Walking tours. The Los Angeles Conservancy and the Highland Park Heritage Trust offer quarterly tours of historic Highland Park. Next tour is Mar 13; $10, reservations required. www.laconservancy.org or (213) 623-2489.
The center of an appealing downtown, South Pasadena's Mission is a great stop for boutiques, galleries, and dining.
Buster's Ice Cream & Coffee Stop. Calcium and caffeine: what a combo. 1006 Mission St.; (626) 441-0744.
Chi-Chi La-La. 1001 Mission; (626) 403-6625.
Kaeli's Essential Oil Body Care. 1005 Mission; (626) 441-2412.
Mark Jager Antiques. Good for folk art and vintage tile. Closed Mon. 1040 Mission; (626) 799-2640.
Tah Gallery. Closed Mon. 1015 Mission; (626) 441-6846.
Yoko. Closed Mon. 1011 Mission; (626) 441-4758.
DEL MAR AND
MEMORIAL PARK STATIONS
These two stops put you near the heart of Pasadena, within easy walking distance of museums and shopping at Paseo Colorado and Old Town Pasadena. Other highlights:
Folk Tree. Store/gallery with a superb selection of Latin American folk art, crafts. Sister store Folk Tree Collection sells international folk art, crafts. Folk Tree: 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave.; (626) 795-8733. Folk Tree Collection: 199 S. Fair Oaks; (626) 793-4828.
Marston's. One of Southern California's finest breakfasts. $$; closed Mon. 151 E. Walnut St.; (626) 796-2459.
Pacific Asia Museum. Asian art in an ornate building. 10-5 Wed-Thu and Sat-Sun, 10-8 Fri; $7. 46 N. Los Robles Ave.; (626) 449-2742.
Pasadena Museum of California Art. Golden State art, historic and contemporary. 10-5 Wed-Sun, 10-8 Fri; $6. 490 E. Union St.; (626) 568-3665.