If you’re planning a trip to Los Angeles and you don’t know which area to stay in, the downtown area is worth considering. Downtown LA is the central point of both the city’s metro rail system and its famous freeways, which offer fairly direct access to other parts of the Los Angeles area. From its towering skyscrapers that sparkle at night to the historic streets from which Los Angeles originally grew, downtown is also a worthy destination in its own right. There are a good assortment of hotels in downtown Los Angeles for all tastes and budgets. Here are some of its best tourist attractions:
1. Walt Disney Concert Hall: This modern architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Gehry hosts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s known for its great acoustic environment, and also offers many other types of concerts besides classical ones. The surrounding gardens are also worth a visit.
2. The Broad: A contemporary art museum featuring an extensive collection of postwar and contemporary art, including works by artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Like the Walt Disney Concert Hall above, The Broad is also worth visiting for its architecture alone. The Infinity Mirrored Room is a fascinating attraction at this museum where you can enter an environment of endless lights.
3. Grand Central Market: The variety of world cultures that comprise Los Angeles are represented at this historic public market. If you’re looking for any type of food that’s hard to come by, it might be worth seeing if they have it here. It’s also a great place to find all kinds of meats, produce, cheeses, and other groceries.
4. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA): In addition to The Broad, MOCA makes downtown Los Angeles a great place for fans of modern art. This museum also offers an architectural experience along with its artwork. As it’s located in Little Tokyo, the surrounding neighborhood might be worth a stroll.
5. The Grammy Museum: This is a must-visit for music enthusiasts which displays rare music artifacts like the handwritten lyrics of hit songs, and musical instruments that belonged to famous musicians. Another feature is a recording studio that gives you the chance to record and mix your tracks.
6. Los Angeles City Hall: This Art Deco building is one of the most famous sites in downtown LA and has been featured on many TV shows, like Dragnet of the 1960s. You can take in panoramic views of the city from its observation deck.
7. Olvera Street: Olvera Street is often called the birthplace of Los Angeles, and is home to Avila Adobe, the oldest building in the city. It was first built in 1781, when what’s now Los Angeles was still part of the Spanish Empire, and remained under Spanish rule until Mexico became independent in 1821. With its Mexican heritage, Olvera Street is a great place to explore a Mexican marketplace as well as enjoying Mexican foods. There are also celebrations for holidays like the Day of the Dead and Cinco de Mayo held here.
8. The Last Bookstore: A unique independent bookstore known for its vast collection of new and used books. Amongst its book offerings are an archway made of books which is a good photo opportunity, as well as a large collection of books upstairs that are only $1 each. The Last Bookstore also offers art exhibits, vinyl records, and a coffee shop.
9. Staples Center: As the home to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, the Staples Center is a draw for sports fans. It also serves as a venue for music concerts and other events, numerous concerts and other events, which even included Michael Jackson’s memorial service. The Staples Center is also part of LA Live, a complex that offers all kinds of shopping and entertainment.
10. Chinatown: This vibrant neighborhood features traditional Chinese architecture, authentic cuisine, and many shops and art galleries. There are celebrations of events like the Chinese New Year, as well as a Taoist temple, and Central Plaza with its red gate and decorative statues.
Whatever you’re looking for in a holiday, chances are that downtown Los Angeles has something you’ll like.