Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...

 of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

 area. The area features many of the city's major arts institutions and sports facilities, sightseeing opportunities, a variety of skyscrapers and associated large multinational corporations and an array of public art and unique shopping opportunities. Downtown is the hub of the city's freeway network and Metro rapid transit system
Los Angeles County Metro Rail
Metro Rail is the rapid transit rail system consisting of five separate lines serving 70 stations in the Los Angeles County, California area. The new Expo line is due to enter service in early 2012. It connects with the Metro liner bus rapid transit system and also with the Metrolink commuter...


Though Downtown is generally thought to be bounded by the Los Angeles River
Los Angeles River
The Los Angeles River is a river that starts in the San Fernando Valley, in the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains, and flows through Los Angeles County, California, from Canoga Park in the western end of the San Fernando Valley, nearly southeast to its mouth in Long Beach...

 on the east in Lincoln Heights, the Hollywood (101) Freeway to the north, the Santa Monica (10) Freeway on the south and the Harbor (110) Freeway on the west, some sources, including the Los Angeles Downtown News
Los Angeles Downtown News
The Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper in Los Angeles, California, serving the Downtown Los Angeles area.The newspaper focuses on general news with an emphasis on real estate and business...

and Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

, extend the area past the traditional boundary to include University Park
University Park, Los Angeles, California
University Park is a historic neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, a few miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles. University Park refers to the University of Southern California as well as the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the University, in particular Exposition Park and North...

 and Exposition Park
Exposition Park (Los Angeles)
Exposition Park is located in University Park, Los Angeles, California, across the street from the University of Southern California. Exposition Park houses the following:* Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum* Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena...

, encompassing the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 (USC) and Central City West
Central City West, Los Angeles, California
Central City West is a name sometimes given to refer to the eastern edge of the neighborhood of Pico-Union in Los Angeles, California. The term is often used by residents, newspapers, and developers, as part of an attempt to include the area immediately west of the 110 Freeway as a part of Downtown...

The earliest known settlements in the area of what is now Downtown Los Angeles was by the Tongva, a Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...