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How to Spend a Day in DTLA: Everything to Do From Morning to Night

Most Angelenos say that DTLA is anything that is North of I-10, Southwest of the I-101, and East of the I-110. But to us, DTLA is a city within a city that is a playground for creativity, social meetups, and really an awesome place to discover the latest and greatest. That’s why we love it so much boo! There is so much to do in every part of DTLA…from the hustle and bustle of the financial district, the eccentricity of the Arts District, to the fine arts of Bunker Hill, we’re pretty positive you can spend an entire day and night here. Which is why (cue the applause!) we just put together an amazing and tried-and-true DTLA guide for anything and everything you ever wanted to do in this great part of LA. Get ready to make a date with your girlfriends or bae, because here is how to spend a FULL day and night in Downtown LA.  

Morning @ The Fashion District

When to go: Mid to Late Morning, 9:30am-11:30am

Here’s what we love about getting up early to hit the scene at The Fashion district. First off, the neighborhood vibe is all about the West Coast Hub of textiles and apparel …aka the Fashion District is home to an abundance of Latinx-owned small businesses. But shopping isn’t the only thing to do here. We love to get our coffee on at the signature LA restaurant – Poppy + Rose- . Why do we love this place: 2 reasons.  Açai Bowls & Chicken and Waffles ( and coffee, of course!).  This early-bird brunch spot is known for its generous portions, diverse food options, and savory flavors. Enjoy the morning sunshine, while eating their signature chicken + waffles alongside an açai bowl or two, with your girls on a comfy bench outside, or behind floor-to-ceiling windows in their indoor dining room. They’re located  at 765 Wall St., prices are phenomenally affordable ( $$) and we suggest hitting them up.

 

After having an amazing brekkie..swing by the Los Angeles Flower District. Located at 742 Maple Ave and just a few bucks to get in, The Flower District is 6-blocks of fresh, aromatic florals from several dozens of local vendors. The Southern California Flower Market, on Wall Street, between 7th and 8th streets, is another expansive warehouse that has abundant flower vendors and floral products. You can also purchase vases, gardening supplies, and other floral decor here.

Midday: DTLA Art Crawl & Cocktails

When to go: Midday to Early Afternoon, 12pm-4pm

After a morning of breakfast and flower shopping, enjoy the creative sights of LA by venturing out to Bunker Hill. It’s the destination for fine arts and the high society. Bunker Hill is abundant with futuristic skyscrapers, lavish residential properties, and internationally renowned cultural institutions.  

Visit The Broad museum, it’s free admission and the contemporary art museum has pieces from Andy Warhol, to Roy Lichtenstein, to Jasper Johns, and  home to over 2,000 post-WWII artworks. Their current installations include: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Yayoi Kusama. Or if you’re more of a theater person, catch a matinée at The Ahmanson Theatre. The Ahmanson is a dramatic theater that sources an acclaimed crowd of actors like Neil Patrick Harris and Jane Fonda. Then, stroll on over to Otium (located at 222 S Hope St ).

They are one of the most ambitious dining and bar experiences in Los Angeles with  contemporary American Cuisine and innovative cocktails. Otium is an Instagram-worthy spot to savor rare flavors in a luscious and high-end space. Pro Tip: from 11am-2pm, you can enjoy Brunch & Lunch Favorites like their Chocolate French Toast, or their Otium Burger, with an aperitif off their brand new cocktail menu. Seating is first-come-first serve, but our favorite areas are their industrial bar space, or on their outdoor patio space that faces The Broad Museum. Or have an afternoon tea time at the The Biltmore Hotel .

The Rendezvous Court at The Biltmore Hotel offers a Tea Time Service on Saturday afternoons from 2-4pm at $75/person. As you sip on a pot of Earl Grey, Jasmine, or Green Tea,  partake in an assortment of sandwiches, scones, and pastries too. If you are 21+, take advantage of their complimentary glass of champagne to enhance your luncheon experience.

Early Evening: Happy Hour in Historic Broadway

When to go: Late Afternoon to Early Evening, 4pm-6pm 

Historic Broadway has a distinct, 1920’s Los Angeles meets Art Deco architectural style that has been the backdrop of famous films like The Bodyguard  and TV shows like Girlfriends. There are a ton of things to do here too. We absolutely love hitting up  The Last Bookstore which  is the largest bookstore in the State of California. Over 22,000 square feet of records, comics, artwork and of course, books! Shopping for a gift? There are boundless options for anyone.  Looking for a photo op? Their grand book tunnel is their most Instagram-worthy spot, which has even been a trendy location for marriage proposals. Before dinner grab coffee at Verve Coffee Roasters ( 833 S Spring St.). The vibe is airy, refreshing, and peaceful and the coffee is delicious.

If you need a place to grab an early dinner, check out The Wolves. They earned a spot on LA’s 2018 Eater Award for Design, because of itd early-20th century Parisian aesthetic and diverse cocktail flavors. When asked what makes The Wolves special, their bartenders would say that the bar culture reflects the gritty, eclectic culture of DTLA. Yup, we have to agree! Their staff is affable and approachable, but also knowledgable and professional. This bar represents the hard-working attitude that have helped Angelenos create the unique home that Los Angeles is for over 3.8 million people.

Dinner in South Park

When to go: The Evening, 6pm-9pm 

South Park is has been called a booming residential and entertainment district with the nation’s best attractions: L.A. LIVE, Crypto.com Arena & The Los Angeles Convention Center. South Park is also home to a number of hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, and other appealing amenities. We love discovering hidden gems in this area and here’s a few of our FAVS for dinner with friends and a cool late night hangout sesh. First, check out Cabra (located at 1060 S Broadway), on the rooftop of The Hoxton,  a 4-star hotel on Broadway and 11th.  Cabra is a spirited restaurant and dining experience that specializes in Sharable Plates that boast Peruvian flavors and fresh ingredients. Some of our favorites include their Salmon Ceviche and Yuca Fries. And you can’t beat the views of the DTLA skyline from the comfort of plush Papasan chairs, marble accents and blue-tiled tables. 

 After dinner at Cabra, walk across the street to the Downtown LA Proper hotel to Cara Cara on the 13th floor to have a cocktail and a snack in the lounge. The drinks here, especially the Three Rum Daiquiri, are outstanding. Regardless of what time of night you are there, they have plenty of heat lamps to keep you and the girls cozy. The views here are an absolute must. Facing north, you can see the Financial District, Bunker Hill, and Historic Broadway from there! 

Another treat. Right behind The Downtown LA Proper Hotel is the Alameda Night Market. Pick up some yummy horchata and other delicious Mexican food like Tacos and Sopes, at this signature LA night market.

Late Night: Girls Night in the Arts District

When to go: Late night 9pm –12am

Gallery hopping by day, bar hopping by night: This trendy and hipster neighborhood has a trendy vibe that has made The Arts District known as the coolest neighborhood in LA, according to TimeOut. Some of the coolest bars include Wolf and Crane. They have the best whiskey cocktail in town and a largeJapanese Whiskey collection in the U.S. Everyone here has a good time, including the staff, which makes  it a comfortable space to chat with friends or dance to Usher throwbacks on the dance floor. Also there’s a fully-stocked water station next to the bar, giving major #greenflag vibes.

 If you need a late night snack, we love Death & Co. It’s dark, it’s moody, and it’s intellectual. Death & Co. does not require reservations, but you might wait over two hours to get in without one. The bar itself is originally from NYC, giving it an old-school speakeasy vibe that you can’t always find here out west. The food here is incredible too. We love their Cauliflower plate.

We also love Arts District Brewery , which is a rustic, fun place to play arcade games, skee-ball, and more. There’s affordable, classic cocktails and a wide selection of beers on tap. Also there is a cute speakeasy upstairs called The Study. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We hope you’ve had fun spending a full day in Downtown LA. Now head a little south to discover all that Long Beach has to offer.