On a 2.2-acre campus downtown, inside two of the city's oldest buildings, Los Angeles' rich and noteworthy Mexican-American heritage spectacularly unfolds. Spanning from the city's founding in 1781 to the present day, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes features a captivating interactive experience of Mexican-American life in 1920s Los Angeles, an illuminating short-film series about Mexican-American history and an excellent digital library that gives educators and the public easy access to data at other Mexican-American cultural and historical centers. There are also special workshops and programs for students and the general public, and it's within walking distance from the trains and subways at Union Station. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., dwntwn. (213) 542-6200, lapca.org.

—Patrick Range McDonald

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