Travel Trends :: Downtown LA

Exporing Downtown LA[trip style = sun + urban + weekend getaway]

The Many Faces of LA LA has many faces. Some old, some young, some pulled, some plumped, some starry-eyed and some content. Like the millions of unique faces populating The City of Angels, you can visita million times and never tire of its vintage-glam, yet ever-changing, features. Last weekend's jaunt down South was no exception, when I experienced the primed and refurbished Downtown LA---until now, a spot that wouldn't have been on my radar. Yet re-envisioned downtowns are a travel trend spanning from the West to East Coast, and I didn't want to miss it!

{Don't miss tomorrow's LA Stories - Uptown.}

The Approach As I approached LA Live---the city's newest and hottest entertainment centre---I was greeted by Lady Los Angeles herself. The sexy, silver and tinsel-clad angelic figure is on every street pole surrounding the district---a harmonious ode to the festive season and the iconic area. Beyond her, in true LA form, sat a sparkly entertainment stretch spanning multiple city blocks in LA's Downtown.

First Impressions My first impression of this entertainment city within a city was "wow." Even for a city girl, it was overwhelmingly big, but once I navigated its brightly lit corridors, the unapproachable giant became a friendly companion. LA Live challenges the norm of dinner and a show. With multiple restaurants to choose from, you can start off midday with an appie and bevvie at the JW Marriott's Ion roof-top pool bar, catch a matinee of the famous Rockettes Christmas show, celebrate happy hour with the world's largest selection of draft beer* at the Yard House and cap off your outing with an LA Kings or Lakers game. *If you're not into the taste of beer, but still want "beer", try the Lindemans Framboise, it's like a fruity cocktail!

Old & New segway + grammy museum + LA Live Downtown LA mixes the current and the classic with new and time-honored features, some enhanced over time, some left alone. In one day, two old and new experiences:

The first ...was zipping around the city at 12mph in a bright green and pink helmet {maybe my head was kid-sized?} on a Segway! Led by Jason from Another Side Tours, we covered a lot of ground as we zig-zagged around the city on two wheels {that recalculate balance at 120 beats per second}, seeing highlights like the semi-shiny Disney Concert Hall { with panels were so bright in the sun they had to be dulled}; the oldest street in LA; Union Station and a host of art-deco buildings. I still dream about getting back onto a Segway...maybe a Christmas gift idea for the person who has e-ver-y-thing?

The second ...was at the Grammy Museum gazing at Janice Joplin's 1968, custom-painted Porsche and imagining myself in Katy Perry's famous fruit get-up from the 2009 Grammy Awards.

If you've never thought of going Downtown for your next trip to LA, consider it. This metropolis-turned-entertainment-centre is worth another look. Plus, how can you say no to a place where angels are watching over you?

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*All Downtown activities mentioned were sponsored by the LA Visitors and Convention Bureau.

[photos by moi et mon husband, except for Katy Perry by Candy Kirby]