things to do in downtown los angeles

Downtown LA

What to do in Downtown LA

The best things to do in Downtown LA will surprise you, from rooftop bars to the best views of the city, there are plenty of things to do downtown. If you live or work in downtown Los Angeles, you probably already know that DTLA has become the place to be, with trendy restaurants and art galleries popping up on every block. What you may not know is how easy it is to take advantage of all this without ever having to leave the neighborhood. Here are our top 10 picks for things to do in downtown LA.

Dine at the Roof Top Restaurants

For those that enjoy a view with their meal, Downtown Los Angeles offers quite a few rooftop restaurants for spectacular views of The City of Angels. If you are looking for a vibrant dining experience, locals say Perch is by far the best place to eat in downtown Los Angeles. They have one of the best scenic views in downtown Los Angeles overlooking The Music Center and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Their menu includes appetizers such as panko-crusted artichoke hearts or avocado toast; entrees include fish tacos with mango jicama slaw, an Italian sausage frittata  or everyone’s favorite, classic mac ‘n’ cheese. If you are on the hunt for brunch in Downtown Los Angeles, you should stop by Poppy + Rose. They have been named one of Los Angeles’s best new brunches of 2018 by Thrillist. Some popular choices are Breakfast Bowl, Avocado Toast (both vegan), and Huevos Rancheros. Other rooftop restaurants with great breakfast options are Fig & Olive and Sona. There is no shortage of great places to eat in Downtown LA so wherever you decide to go just make sure to enjoy the breathtaking views while you dine.

Take a stroll in Grant Park

Grant Park has long been one of downtown Los Angeles’ most well-known spots. The park was completed in 1892 and is home to Angel’s Flight, an iconic funicular railroad that runs up Bunker Hill. Today, Grant Park offers a respite from city life for locals and tourists alike. Enjoying a beautiful sunset here on a warm evening is a great way to unwind after a long day. The view from Angels Flight really can’t be beaten; you can see as far as Downtown and all of Hollywood. If you time it right, try going to Angels Flight on your way out for dinner—it’ll be great background music while you dine at one of LA’s well-known restaurants like Father’s Office or Bottega Louie.

Visit the Angels Flight & Bunker Hill

Home to Angel’s Flight, Bunker Hill is known for its gorgeous historic buildings and beautiful skyline views. With more than 50 different stores, places of interest, and restaurants you can take a stroll through one of Downtown’s most charming areas. It is also home to some great museums like MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) or The Broad Museum which is a contemporary art museum that showcases both well-known and emerging artists. You will find plenty of spots where you can relax while listening to live music or just spend some time with your friends or family.


Enjoy the Nightclubs

Downtown LA is packed with nightlife choices, but each neighborhood has its own personality. If you’re looking for a unique experience at one of the downtown Los Angeles rooftop bars, then head over to Echo Park where new bars are popping up all of the time. Many of these new establishments are opening on rooftops overlooking the bustling downtown area – an ideal way to start your evening. If an epic view isn’t your thing, you can always make your way towards other venues like The Hayworth or Bootsy Bellows that regularly have big-name DJs performing.  Want something more intimate? Check out Hooray Henry’s or Mohawk Bend’s hipster atmospheres and robust drink menus. No matter which bar you choose, it’s likely there will be some friendly folks to chat with. Either way, Downtown Los Angeles is a great place to mingle!

Shop at the Pershing Square Farmers Market

This open-air market, held every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., includes almost 150 vendors of fresh produce, baked goods, and ready-to-eat meals. There’s also a large selection of unique arts and crafts for sale, as well as live music performed by local artists. The market is located on South Olive Street just south of West 6th Street and Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles (200 South Olive Street). This market’s unique location beneath palm trees in downtown makes it stand out from other farmers’ markets. It is both an outdoor food court, outdoor bar, and an art gallery all at once—there’s even dog treats available if you happen to bring your four-legged friend along.

Tour the Museums

Museums are a big draw for visitors in Los Angeles, especially since nearly all are free (or at least have free days or hours). You can spend a morning or afternoon checking out exhibits at The Broad, MOCA Grand Avenue, and even smaller collections like the Japanese American National Museum and Autry Museum of Western Heritage. Museums in downtown Los Angeles also offer views of DTLA’s skyline that go well beyond those you get from City Hall. The best part? Most museums offer free access on Thursdays! Which means you can easily build your itinerary around museum visits: hit up your favorite local institution on Thursday, then explore DTLA by night. If you do plan on visiting multiple museums over the course of several days, consider buying a GoLosAngeles card, an all-access pass that allows you entry into most downtown Los Angeles attractions – not only museums but transit, shopping, and more. It’s definitely worth it if you will be staying long-term as it saves time and money. After all, who doesn’t love a good deal?

Explore The Flower Market

The flower market in downtown Los Angeles is a must-see if you are touring this vibrant city. There is nothing like walking around smelling all of the natural fragrances from the large assortment of flowers they have for sale. It’s a great place to explore, and its right next door to a lot of other attractions on our list. You can buy anything from roses for your significant other, succulents for your desk, or even air plants for your home decor. Many of these vendors come from faraway places just to bring their exotic goods to downtown LA so don’t miss out! What’s so special about this market is that it takes up an entire city block. This means that there are plenty of vendors selling fresh-cut flowers as well as potted and hanging ones too. So many of the beautiful arrangements here make wonderful gifts to take back home. If you love taking photos while traveling, then be sure to get some good shots here as most of these blooms will make any photo look amazing!

Shop at The Last Bookstore

Tucked away in a hidden corner of Downtown Los Angeles is The Last Bookstore: what can only be described as an urban library, filled with all sorts of books you’ve never heard of but will want to read immediately. The Last Bookstore is on Broadway, which runs parallel to 2nd Street—one of downtown’s main thoroughfares. It’s a short distance from Chinatown and Little Tokyo, as well as Olvera Street and Union Station. Locals love this place because they feel like they found their own secret bookstore no one else knows about—and it’s a pretty great place for tourists, too. The Last Bookstore has been around since 2009, it has made quite a name for itself thanks to many local news stories and press pieces. This includes being featured in Buzzfeed’s 50 Best Shopping Destinations in Los Angeles list in 2015. If you happen to be a book lover, make sure you find the time to stop by!

Downtown Los Angeles offers a lot of unique opportunities and advantages. From lunch on a rooftop to dining at one of the hundreds of restaurants, Downtown has something for everyone. If you are visiting for business or just interested in taking a tour of what Downtown Los Angeles has to offer, you will not be disappointed.

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