We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Inspirational, Beautiful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Watts Towers

Watts Towers
1765 East 107th St, Los Angeles, CA
213 847 4646
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #41 of 310 Attractions in Los Angeles
Type: Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Monuments/ Statues, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: A unique folk-art masterpiece, this 99-foot-tall group of steel towers is decorated with scrap metal, bed frames, bottles, ceramic tiles, and thousands of seashells. One of LA's famous local landmarks, the towers were created by a construction worker who toiled over them in his spare time for 30 years until their completion in 1954.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Inspirational, Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

I visited the towers with my 2 daughters, and niece (ages 8,9,11). I have been wanting to visit ever since I watched Huell Howser's visit in an episode of California's Gold. Yes, Watts does have some unsavory areas, but please don't let that stop you from seeing these beautiful towers. I did not feel unsafe during my visit, and am so glad that I finally was able to see them. I parked in the parking lot, and walked over to the art center to buy my ticket for the tour.

Our tour guide, Lucy DeLatorre, was wonderful. She gave us plenty of information about the towers and their creator. She helped us to see the towers from different angles to fully grasp the magnitude and genius behind the artwork. The tour was only $7, a very reasonable price. After the tour we watched the short film about Simon Rodia. I must admit, the short film really moved me. Afterwards, we went to walk around the garden. There were children there from the community participating in a summer program through the center. The garden is still under construction, but is still very nice to check out. My kids loved it, and were inspired by what they saw.

There will be a FREE Drum and Jazz festival on September 28-29 @ 1:00pm

Tips
Take the guided tour
Arrive before 1:00pm
Park in parking lot
Buy the bags of sage sold in the art center ($5 donation, and they come from the garden)
watch the short film
If you have kids, pick up the Watts Towers coloring activity sheets

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

97 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    55
    30
    6
    2
    4
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Watts Towers are Beautiful and Inspiring.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

The Watts Towers exceeded our expectations. We were awed by the beauty and history of this incredible work of art. The guided tour was excellent! My wife and I felt safe and are very happy we included this attraction in our Los Angeles vacation.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Covina, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Interesting Architecture and Inspirational Story”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

I was actually hesitant to visit this place since it's located in a very ghetto neighborhood, and this attraction is indeed in a residential area, because it was originally built at a backyard of a house. I was thinking maybe to just drive there and look at the architecture without leaving the car, but I'm so glad that I went in for a visit. The ticket is $7 for adults and $3 for seniors. When we went in and bought the ticket, the 1:30 tour just started, so we checked out their gallery where there are some African American arts on display, and we sat down in a media room to watch the documentary about the builder Simon and his story of building the towers (highly recommend before starting the tour). Then at 2:00, our tour guide Lucy took us and some others to tour the actual towers outside. Lucy was really wonderful, we feel we learned a lot about the towers and the story behind it, and it's quiet inspirational. Highly recommend for a one-time visit, it's well worth it.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burtonsville, Maryland
Top Contributor
212 reviews 212 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Quick Art Stop”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

This was a quick art appreciation stop. For $7 you get a 5 minute guided tour of the towers and to peruse the small museum of modern African american art next door. I'll leave the "yes but is it art?" question for others to ponder. Come see it for yourself. It's in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. Limited parking.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“SO Spectacular, I just HAD to write a review”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Ok, I might as well fess up. I almost cancelled my plan to see this attraction. . I'm a lone , petite, female traveler from out-of state and I'm in the area for work .I've been planning see the Watts Tower for weeks but didn't want to visit it by myself due to the notoriously scary Watts neighborhood. So I asked a couple of friends who live in the LA area to come with me. Well, it turns out they didnt want to go anywhere near, much less hang out in SouthCentral LA even after I offered to drive so it's a no-go. But the adventurer in me prevailed so I decided to drive there by myself on this awesome Saturday so I could finally cross it off my "Must-do before I leave LA" list. It was sooo worth the drive! After following the parking tip from one of the previous reviews, I found the small parking lot behind the visitor's center in an alley off Willowbrook Drive right after 107th St. There were some tourists milling around. I didn't see any gang-member types and I didn't hear any gunshots,police sirens, etc at all so WHEWWW I felt safe in the area. I paid $7 for the 30-minute tour that takes you inside the Tower and it's highly recommended. There were only three of us in the tour so it was a personalized tour. You get to see the intricate details of his sculptures , take pictures and also view the " ship" that his colorful structures are suppose to look like . You can't see these details from outside the gate.After the tour, I went back to the visitor's center where I watched the 12 minute film about Watts Tower circa 1950's showing footages of Sam Rodia himself climbing and building the towers. It's truly amazing how one man without any formal education in Fine Arts could single-handedly build such spectacular sculptures . His vision and talent reminded me of the man who built the Coral Castle in Miami, FL. After the film, I still can't get enough of the Watts Towers so I walked around the Towers outside the metal fence and read all the informative signs and took more pictures . I also saw several scared tourists drive past the Towers just to briefly see it from the comfort and safety of the cars. I wanted to talk to them and encourage them to leave their cars and take the tour but I didnt since I might scare them some more thinking I'm up to no good. BTW in case you see some locals walking towards you while you're near the fence , there's no need to freak out. Chances are they are just on their way to the area behind the Towers where some locals like to hang out.

I've never reviewed an attraction before since I usually review hotels but I decided to write this today since the Watts Towers really left a lasting impression on me . Don't even think twice about seeing it. Put your negative stereotypes about SouthCentral LA aside and JUST DO IT! Also , if you're planning to visit anytime soon, please consider signing the petition letters asking for more funding from LA County. You can get it from the gallery. Apparently, the Watts Towers was a victim of budget cuts so they really need our help.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Watts Towers also viewed

 

Been to Watts Towers? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Watts Towers, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.