Unlike other large cities, many people visit Los Angeles without ever setting foot in downtown. That’s a shame, since the neighborhood is rich with historic architecture and cultural attractions, not to mention sports and entertainment complexes. Growing in popularity in recent years, downtown L.A. has plenty of things to do.
Dubbed DTLA, downtown Los Angeles has established itself as not just one of the most talked-about neighborhoods in the City of Angels, but the entire country.
While many bemoan the need to drive to navigate much of Los Angeles, that’s not the case with DTLA. “You can walk everywhere,” explains Stephane Lacroix, General Manager of the Downtown LA Proper Hotel, which is set to open next spring. “You can’t do that anywhere else in LA.” Here are some points that you must need to know before traveling in Downtown LA.
Some Basic Tips For Traveling:
Travel can be an excellent opportunity to expand your horizons and refresh your world-view. It can also backfire on you if you don’t take the time to prepare for the inevitable culture shock, whether your journey is domestic or international. Follow these tips and tricks to get the most out of your travel experience.
If you are traveling with a companion but you do not normally share funds, consider having a joint wallet, for expenses like meals, travel and lodging. You and your companion can add the same amount of money to the joint wallet each day. This way, you aren’t constantly splitting bills or exchanging money.
If you enjoy alcohol, there’s no better way when traveling, to get to know a new city than with a pub crawl. Visiting multiple establishments in the same night, will give an interesting cross-section of the city that you wouldn’t gain any other way. Plus, you’ll make some new friends.
Always pack a map when you travel, even if you have a GPS system. GPS systems are not always reliable. If it were to malfunction or become broken, you would be lost. A highlighter can be helpful as well, allowing you to mark your map for easy reference. As a bonus, your well-used and marked up map, makes an excellent memento to remember your trip by.
Be sure to compare airfares online. The Internet is a wondrous thing. These days, there are dozens of websites that will allow you to book a flight online. Some of these websites also allow you to check competitor rates for tickets. This makes it very easy to shop around for the best price.
When you arrive at your destination don’t hesitate to ask for help in any way. The locals of the town should be more than willing to give you good advice on where to visit. You want to make the most out of your experience so don’t be shy, remember you’ll probably never see those people again anyway.
When you’re taking a trip that requires a passport or any type of paperwork for that matter, make sure that you have a second copy available. Go to your local photocopy shop and make a copy of all of your documents. This is a great way to stay safe, even if you lose your original documents or if they are stolen.
Talk to your bellman. The man who helps carry your bags to your room is usually one of the most informed people in the hotel. He can tell you the best and worst places to eat, drink, and be merry or relax. Tipping him can bring you a wealth of information, so don’t be stingy!
If you’re going to be staying in a hotel for less than a week, don’t bother unpacking. It may not be fun to live out of your suitcase, but by not unpacking things you lower your chances of leaving something behind. You wouldn’t want to risk leaving something important behind.
To help you lighten your luggage, use sample size cosmetics and toiletries when you pack. If you don’t need a full-size bottle of shampoo, there is no reason to carry it across the country. Most drugstores have a travel section where you can purchase travel-size shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, and more.
To save money on your vacation, don’t be afraid of last-minute bookings. When airlines or cruise companies still have tickets available a few days before the departure date, they lower prices because they are desperate to sell. With a last-minute booking, you can take the vacation of your dreams at rock-bottom prices.
When traveling overseas, it is wise to prepare for emergencies beforehand, including the loss of your U.S. passport. The U.S. The US State Department website can put you in touch with the local US Consulate or Embassy in the area in which you are traveling. This information should be with you at all times. Usually, you can get your passport replaced within a couple of days.
Try to pack light when traveling. The last thing you want to be doing when is lugging heavy bags and suitcases through airport terminals and onto buses and trains. Only pack items that you are sure you will need and think about which items you could buy at your destination.
Alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum while you are traveling. It is fine to have a few drinks yet if you get drunk while waiting for a plane, train or bus you may be targeted by people looking to take advantage of the situation. Always be aware of your surroundings and staying sober will help you do this.
There are many places when traveling where you can sample local food and not break the bank. Try locating restaurants and eateries in central markets and areas. It is recommended that you arrive fairly early as this is generally for breakfast and lunch. Most of the buildings these are in are very charming and indicative of local culture.
Try to avoid eating anywhere that has a great view of a local tourist attraction if you are on a tight budget. While the food and atmosphere may be great, it will be incredibly expensive. This is due to the fact that you are technically paying a premium price just for the view of the tourist attraction.
If you have booked a cruise that has “drive-up ports,” consider booking a hotel for the night before your departure. You may find that the hotel will allow you to leave your car there while you are on your cruise, which will save you a lot of money in parking fees, making it easier to be sure to make your departure on time.
Now the choice is yours, so get out there and enjoy finding new places and people to challenge your preconceptions. Armed with a little extra knowledge now about the experience of traveling, you can expect a few fewer bumps on the road to your destination. Share this article with friends and family, who may be heading out with you or on journeys of their own.
Where to Stay in Downtown LA
Opened in October, and set in the former Los Angeles Railway Building, The Hoxton, Downtown LA, is the newest outpost by the hip, London-based hospitality brand. Despite its status as a neighborhood newcomer, the hotel is already luring in the creative set with 174 chicly appointed rooms — imagine rattan headboards, velvet seating, and chevron wood floors — contemporary diner Sibling Rival, and scenic rooftop bar, Pilot.
Down the road on South Broadway is that the Ace, the hotel that sparked the destination’s boutique hotel boom in 2014. Perched on the corner of 7th and Olive Street, The NoMad Hotel l. a. marries a luxe, layered aesthetic by French designer Jacques Garcia with a refined, yet approachable food menu by Daniel Humm. For a more intimate stay, book one among the nine cozy suites at the humanities District Firehouse Hotel, with a restaurant led by chef Ashley Abodeely.
In addition to the Downtown LA Proper Hotel – which is occupying a storied Curlett & Beelman red-brick building adjacent to The Hoxton – there’s other new accommodations to seem forward to in 2020. Come February, guests can hunker down at the Wayfarer DTLA. Socializing may be a priority here, as evidenced by the communal kitchen, subterranean lounge, and Gaslighter Social Club — where visitors can customize beverage flights from a faucet wall up the lobby. And later within the year, Mexico City-based Grupo Habita is planning a 66-room boutique property on South Alameda Street within the Arts District.
Where to Shop in Downtown LA
There’s no shortage of massive brand retail in DTLA, but doesn’t it feel better to buy locally? With that in mind, head first to Heidi Merrick’s flagship boutique on West 9th. It embodies California cool — coincidentally, Merrick is the daughter of legendary surfboard shaper Al Merrick — and is stocked with sophisticated, yet easy-to-wear jackets, dresses, and jumpsuits. Even better? All of Merrick’s garments are manufactured downtown. Bibliophiles will flip for The Last Bookstore, the aptly named shrine selling new and used tomes (vinyls, too) that’s dramatically set during a historic, two-level bank. Since launching in 2003, husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung have steadily grown Poketo into a reputable, one-stop-shop dedicated to accessible art and style. And located in the Arts District, Alchemy Works is an airy emporium purveying stylish goods, ranging from Apolis tote bags to vintage bronze heads, to help add a little more joy to everyday life.