Free, Self-Guided Tours of LA Neon Glow On

Traditional tours are on hold, but the Museum of Neon Art has a few suggestions for those who love to seek out shimmery signs.


What to Know

  • Museum of Neon Art
  • Free downloads of East Hollywood, Glendale, and Koreatown neon
  • There's a free family guide, too, to finding your neighborhood neon

Tours have gone online over the last few months, with guides stepping up, Zoom-style, to show us the history, nature, and stories of our city.

It's been a fascinating twist, for while you're not at physically at the place under discussion, you are seeing maps and photos from the location, giving you a different view as your guide fills in the details, virtually.

But there are still self-guided adventures to be enjoyed around Southern California, including several that have been posted by the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale.

MONA is well-known for its nighttime double-decker lights tours, and holiday adventures, with outings that wend through various parts of neon-bright Los Angeles.

Now some of those very places have been included in a trio of MONA Light Walks, which are available as free downloads on the museum's site.

The neighborhoods? You can call upon East Hollywood, Glendale, and Koreatown to find some of the zazziest and most beautiful signage in our sparkly city.

The Glendale self-guided tour? It recommends stopping by the Alex Theatre, Damon's Steakhouse, and, indeed, the museum itself, which is graced with an iconic neon swimmer.

And whether you do a drive by evening, or call upon a couple of places on foot, or choose to see the signs by sunlight, when they're not yet lit but still beautiful, is up to you.

There's also a separate Family Guide, one that focuses on locating neon treasures in your own neighborhood.

Tours that take us around town will return one day, but there are still self-guided ways to have a learning adventure.

Just be sure to don that face covering if you're out strolling, and to keep your free download nearby, to discover more about the businesses that continue to rock glowing tubes of light, night after night.

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