Cartwheel Art has been offering art-centric tours of downtown Los Angeles for years. But its newest and most exclusive tour, a collaboration with downtown's new Hotel Indigo, takes guests in a different direction: below ground. The immersive tours are inspired by Hotel Indigo's L.A. noir design theme and allow participants to travel back in time to the creepy and fascinating Prohibition era via the city's all-but-forgotten network of underground tunnels. The original system was built as an alternative to the dirt roads above ground, serving as an easy passageway for corrupt city officials to smuggle alcohol. Enthusiastic guides illuminate the city's history of organized crime and corruption while recounting spine-tingling, early–20th century murder stories. Walk the hallways where famous criminals such as Charles Manson and O.J. Simpson were led to trial. Venture into a storied and haunted piano bar where gangsters like Jack Dragna once played, and visit the remains of the city's first speakeasy. The tour ends at what was once the end of the Pacific Electric Red Car line in one of the city's oldest bars, where the booze is strong and, thankfully, legal. Cartwheel offers the tours on Fridays and Saturdays several times a month for $85.
Credit: Heather Platt