To: Mt. Washington

The legendary Charles Lummis hung his battered sombrero here a hundred years ago; today the house he built still stands at Carlota and Avenue 43. The communities of the Arroyo Seco are served by the Gold Line, which opened in mid-2003.

Debs Park Audubon Center
If your concrete-conditioned grade schoolers think that raptors and meadowlarks live exclusively on the Discovery Channel, this is the place to take them. The new Debs Park Audubon Center is a fifteen minute walk from the Gold Line's Southwest Museum station (or ten minutes from the #81 on Figueroa) and offers seventeen acres of trails, wildlife and capital N N-A-T-U-R-E. With advance reservations, school groups can check out compasses, activity guides, watercolor paint sets and other kid-friendly materials before heading up the trail.
Heritage Square
The stately old Queen Anne mansions may have disappeared from Bunker Hill, but you can still see several here ... not to mention an octagon house (all the rage in Civil War days), a carriage barn and a 19th century train depot. The Gold Line will get you here, or you can ride the Figueroa 81 bus to Avenue 43.)
El Alisal
Charles Lummis walked from Ohio to California to write for the Times, advised Teddy Roosevelt, founded the Southwest Museum ... and built his own house on Mount Washington. El Alisal, as he called it -- place of the sycamores in Spanish -- is five minutes on foot from Heritage Square, and the hours are about the same. For elementary schoolers, this isn't a stand-alone destination ... but if you're visiting Heritage Square, it's pretty easy to take in the Lummis home on the same day.
Southwest Museum
The 83 stops here and the 81 comes close, but the route of choice for most is now the Gold Line: the Southwest Museum stop is a soccer kick from the main entrance. This is Los Angeles' oldest museum, and still the best place in the city to teach kids about Native American culture. (Or would be if it were open: the museum closed for renovation in late 2006. Check back in a few years.)

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