My friend and I took a day trip down to Southern California to visit LA. I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of Los Angeles. Never really have been, but this trip slowly started to change my mind. I had a great day exploring a bit of Hollywood, Downtown LA, Olvera Street and Little Tokyo. Take a look at some spots you should visit while you’re visiting LA.

HOLLYWOOD

HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME

If you’re in Hollywood, you have to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s hard for me to focus on the stores / buildings around me because I want to look at all the names on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, I didn’t stumble upon any ceremonies, but I had fun trying to pick out names that I knew!

EL CAPITAN

The El Capitan Theatre! I have not seen a movie here yet, but it’s on my list to do so one day. It’s cool to look at from the outside. Right next door is Jimmy Kimmel Live, if he’s one of your favorite Late Night hosts.

TCL CHINESE THEATRE

The historic TCL Chinese Theatre! It’s across the street from El Capitan and is a popular spot. If you have time and don’t mind being around a lot of people, check out the handprints, footprints and signatures of famous stars. A lot of people are taking pictures of their foot or hand inside the imprints, so be careful where you walk, but so cool to see!

HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD

If you walk along Hollywood Boulevard, you’ll not only see all the places I’ve mentioned above, but you’ll also see tons of cool buildings - hotels, abandoned theaters, and more!

HOLLYWOOD SIGN

Of course, if you’re in Hollywood, you need to check out the Hollywood sign. You can hike up to the sign {on my bucket list} but you can also see the sign from afar at different points in Hollywood.

DOWNTOWN LA

GRAND CENTRAL MARKET

Grand Central Market is the best place if you’re with people who don’t want the same thing as you. It’s filled with a variety of food places. Most places have a little spot you can sit down at, or you can order it to go and find a table for you and your friends. I decided to go to Lucky Bird and my friend went to a Thai booth. There are also a couple of bars to grab a drink at if you want a beer or wine with your meal!

ARCADE

The Arcade is not a place that has games, as one might think of at first, but it has a variety of restaurants on the first floor with businesses on the other floors. You can walk the bottom floor and admire the architecture. We had already eaten when we popped in, but there were a few places that looked good!

RANDOM BUILDINGS

One of the best things about Downtown LA is wandering around and admiring the old buildings. A majority of them are closed / run-down theaters, but the architecture is so pretty to look at.

BRADBURY BUILDING

If there is one building you have to go into downtown, it’s the Bradbury Building! The outside is cool to look at, but you can go in and look at the first floor. You can’t go up to the other floors because of the businesses that occupy the space, but there is one staircase you can walk up halfway to look across the lobby. If you go to far or go someplace you’re not supposed to go, the security team makes sure to let you know. I believe there are free tours on Saturdays - it would be cool to get a tour then. Also, the open-cage elevators there are so cool, I wish I could have rode in one.

THE LAST BOOKSTORE

Pop into The Last Bookstore - you won’t regret it! It’s two stories with the upstairs being the spot you want to explore. They made art with books {like in the picture to the right} and have other artist shops for you to explore. There is even a book tunnel and a spot where the books make a circle and you can get your picture taken - but beware a lot of people like to get their picture taken at these spots, so you might have to wait a bit to get your picture.

STAPLES CENTER

SHOPS + FOOD

Like most sports arenas in major cities, there are shops and places to eat all around. We went on a day that wasn’t a game day - so there were no crowds, which were nice. If you’re looking for a common chain restaurant, this would be the place to go - they have YardHouse, Rosa Mexicano and more!

OLVERA STREET

MARKET

I love Olvera Street! If you haven’t been, you need to go! It’s a street filled with food, shops, and museums celebrating Mexican culture. The street is a pedestrian walkway with pop-up shops in the middle, with restaurants and museums on the outside.

LITTLE TOKYO

LITTLE TOKYO

Little Tokyo is similar to Olvera Street - but a little bit larger since it encompasses more. Walking through the main section, you’ll see Japanese lanterns, shops and restaurants. If you’re a fan of boba tea, there’s a spot across the street from the main strip to get some!