Downtown Los Angeles is an eclectic and vibrant part of our city that marches to its own beat. I, for one, believe every true angeleno must venture off and explore this unique area for themselves, after all it’s where a lot of the culture and history of L.A. lies.
That said, there is so much to explore and enjoy in the various districts and sub-neighborhoods of downtown that it might seem like an overwhelming beast to tackle. But just in case you need that extra push to help inspire you to venture off and discover all that downtown L.A. has to offer, we’re here to help.
So whether you’re a local who has never taken the time, or maybe a first-time visitor to the city of angels, we’ve compiled a small collection of places to check out (along with some visual aids to inspire you) in downtown that will get your exploration off on the right foot.
May your adventures be joyful and enlightening. Happy exploring!
The Sixth Street Viaduct
Originally built in 1932, The Sixth Street Viaduct is a popular backdrop for movies and photoshoots alike. Check out this beauty landmark bridge in Downtown while it’s still there because some time this year it’s going to be replaced with a newer bridge. And if bridges are your thing, check out another piece we did on bridges throughout Los Angeles that are worth exploring.
Visiting L.A.’s Chinatown feels like traveling without the hassle of actually traveling. It offers loads of entertainment, amazing food and shopping.
The Los Angeles Central Library is the mother of all LA public libraries with eight floors of books to check out all in a building that dates back to the 1920s.
Grand Central Market
If you prefer to explore with food then this historic marketplace is for you. There are a host of restaurants and shops that cater to a variety of tastebuds to satisfy whatever you are craving.
L.A. City Hall is a funky building that everyone should checkout at least once for the architecture, both interior and exterior. But if that doesn’t convince enough then let it be known that you can go up to observation deck on the 27th floor (for free!) and see all of downtown and beyond.
The Broadway Theater District is the first and largest historic theater district listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it includes twelve movie palaces located along a six-block stretch of Broadway. You might think all the theaters in Downtown look rundown on the outside but if ever you get the chance to go inside, then I highly recommend you go. It’s like going back in time to when theaters were grand and majestic halls for more than just on stage entertainment. Check out the L.A. Conservancy’s website for a guide to a walking tour of the area.
St. Vincent Court
Speaking of the Theater District, if you’re nearby check out this unique alley street just off Broadway that’s lined with quaint shops and looks like something out of a movie set. Truly one of the most unique nooks in all of downtown.
Don’t let looks the outer looks of this hotel deceive because once you step foot into this building, it’s like traveling across seas to Morocco. Also, if you’re in the mood for a drink, there’s a great poolside bar that makes for a perfect date spot.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
An eyesore to some and an artistic vision to others, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is indeed a tourist attraction and show stopper because of it’s architectural design that stands out amongst the more traditional buildings surrounding it.
Go back in time to Union Station to experience train travel or just chill at the cafe and enjoy the ambiance of the vintage layout and hustle of travelers.
But we put it to you: What are your favorite areas of downtown L.A. to explore? Let us know in the comments below!