10 Unique Parts of Downtown L.A. That Every Angeleno Ought to Explore

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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!

[RELATED: 16 Mini Adventures Every Angeleno Ought to Do Once]

View of Downtown Los Angeles
Credit: Amatullah Guyot via flickr

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.

Sixth Street Bridge
Credit: Amatullah Guyot via flickr


Visiting L.A.’s Chinatown feels like traveling without the hassle of actually traveling. It offers loads of entertainment, amazing food and shopping.

Chinatown Summer Nights 2013
Chinatown Summer Nights 2013. Credit: Eric Chan via flickr

Central Library

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.

L.A. Central Library Interior
Credit: Amatullah Guyot via flickr



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.

City Hall

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.

Los Angeles City Hall
Credit: Amatullah Guyot via flickr

Theater District

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.

Hotel Figueroa

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.

Hotel FIgueroa Interior
Credit: Sam Howzit via flickr

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.

Union Station

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.

Union Station in DTLA
Photo Credit: Amatullah Guyot via flickr

Obviously, there are lots of other cool enclaves to explore in DTLA, including Little Tokyo, The Arts District, and L.A. Live.

But we put it to you: What are your favorite areas of downtown L.A. to explore? Let us know in the comments below!


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