Travel Diary: Downtown Los Angeles, California

I have lived about an hour away from Los Angeles for my whole life.  When I used to consider new travel destinations, I overlooked the extensive list of things to do in my own backyard! Andrew and I decided to make the best out of our only day off to celebrate our two year anniversary in the “city of angels.”  It was only an hour long drive to LA but it turned out to be one my favorite travel memories. It goes to show that exploring and traveling doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars on cross-country planes and hotels.  Here is our agenda for a day in Downtown Los Angeles:

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First Stop: The Broad

Time to grab a quick coffee and head to downtown! The Broad is one of my favorite museums in LA along with LACMA.  This giant museum is full of over 2,00 pieces of interesting and engaging contemporary art.  One of my favorite pieces was the vivid and colorful painting I’m pictured with below.

You can either book tickets in advance online or stand in the long line outside the museum upon arrival.

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*I learned today that contemporary art is very weird*

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Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Los Angeles, California

Second Stop: Pershing Square

In the spirit up the upcoming holiday, Andrew and I wanted to try out the outdoor ice skating rink in Pershing Square. I am not very great at ice skating, but I thought “what the heck.” Ice skating is 100x more fun with Christmas music and a beautiful view of DTLA.  It was around $14 for each of us including skates and a free water.  I would definitely recommend this winter activity and am wanting to try out the other outdoor rink in Santa Monica!

Shop my LA style:

Third Stop: The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore is California’s largest used and new book and record store. I saw this bookstore numerous times on Pinterest and Instagram and it peaked my interested.  I really enjoy bookstores with an rustic-style atmosphere. It has shelves full of genres of poetry, graphic novels, and so much more.

Lunch: Guisados

It is hard to resist a Los Angeles Mexican food restaurant with 5 stars.  The tacos we ordered from Guisados were amazing from the warm tortilla to the delicious and fresh ingredients inside.  The fish tacos I got were seriously the best tacos I’ve ever had…so full of flavor. Next time you are in DTLA, you have to try out this amazing restaurant!

Fourth Stop: … Finding Dessert

After groaning about being too full, we decided to try to find some ice cream. We decided to look around the Grand Central Market but to our dismay our one option was $7 single scoops…WHAT? After agreeing how insane that was, we walked down to the local Rite Aid to get some delicious $1.50 cones.

Fifth Stop: The Bradbury Building

This architectural masterpiece also has an interesting history (read here).  There isn’t much to do inside other than just staring in awe, but I would recommend stoping for that anyways.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Joshua Tree, California

End the Night: Perch Rooftop Bar

This the best way to end a night in LA.  Perch has an incredible rooftop that overlooks Pershing Square and other buildings of the city.  The best time to come is when the sun is setting over the city… so so so beautiful.  This is my number one bar to visit whether you need a night out or you are looking for a great photo op.


I had such an amazing day celebrating with Andrew. Although Downtown can be stressful in a car, it was much more manageable walking between the places we wanted to see.  It is so easy to find great restaurants and cafes, cute markets, and artsy photo ops wondering the streets of Downtown.

I hope you enjoyed traveling through LA with us for day.  What’s your favorite thing to do in the big city? Let me know in the comments below.

xo Leslie

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7 thoughts on “Travel Diary: Downtown Los Angeles, California

  1. Thank you for this. Your post is very informative would be of immense use to anyone visiting LA. The post also inspires me to become a traveler in my own city.

  2. Wow! What a great day you have there! I totally agree that you don’t need thousands of money to travel. Sometimes, you just need to explore your own country / city because there’s still so much beauty 🙂

  3. Looks like you had an awesome day exploring your own backyard and the city of angels. I was in LA for only 24 hours and I love coming back to our pics of a Hollywood sign or Venice Beach!

  4. I was literally just in LA and totally wish I’d seen this post becauase I’d love to visit Pershing Square for those festive lights! And it was actually my third visit there yet I still haven’t gotten around to The Last Bookstore yet so I’m totally living vicariously thru you!

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