Downtown LA is nearly impossible to experience in just one day. Trust us when we say that those wanting to see as much of LA as they can need to devote more than 24 hours to the area. Our second venture into Downtown LA covered two unique neighborhoods in the city that you shouldn't miss: Little Tokyo and The Arts District. We also made a few pit stops along the way to highlight some great areas for professional and amateur photographers.
Like most large cities, Los Angeles is home to many culturally diverse communities. Places like Little Tokyo are hubs not only for Japanese Americans in the city, but also for tourists and other LA natives outside of the Japanese community.
If you plan on visiting Little Tokyo, we suggest starting out with a trip to one of the Japanese gardens in the area. While the James Irvine Japanese Garden at JACCC is the largest in DTLA, it's closed for construction in 2019. Instead, check out the peaceful and underrated Kyoto Gardens, located on the roof of the DoubleTree hotel, for a relaxing time with a great view of the surrounding area.
Next, head over to the Japanese Village Plaza for a taste of authentic cuisine. There are plenty of restaurants offering sushi, ramen, and even baked goods. The plaza is lined with shops selling Japanese candy and toys, while boba shops can be found in both the plaza and the area surrounding it.
Those interested in history and art should also consider a visit to the Japanese American National Museum and the Geffen Contemporary Museum. Both are a two-minute walk from the plaza.
Must See: The Last Bookstore
A fifteen minute walk from Little Tokyo will take you to an LA favorite, The Last Bookstore. The 22,000 square foot space is one of the largest used and new bookstores in California.
With two floors filled with books, records, and a tunnel made of books, this store is filled with fun for literature lovers and architecture enthusiasts. Take some time to pick out a new summer read, or snap some cute pictures among the stacks.
Located just a few miles away from Little Tokyo, the Arts District is an important place for LA creatives and those looking to explore the artistic culture of the city. The Arts District is a neighborhood with a spread of restaurants, parks, museums, and stores surrounded by breathtaking murals.
Those who are interested in LA Beer culture can have their pick of the breweries and bars that line the streets. Coffee-lovers will rejoice when they learn about the independent coffee houses that often host live music.
Finally, your trip to the Arts District would not be complete without snapping a few pictures with the murals that line the streets. Just don't forget to tag the artists on social media if you can find them!
That's it for our second journey into Downtown LA. For more great LA locations and activities, make sure to follow @drinkmarquis on Instagram and check back here for new posts. Do you plan on visiting one of these spots? Make sure to tag us and use the hashtag #marquismoments for a chance to be featured on our page this summer!