I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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If you’re looking for a fun and vibrant downtown neighborhood to explore, the LA Arts District is where it’s at! With its mix of art galleries, trendy restaurants, and unique shops, there’s plenty to see and do to keep you busy for a day or night’s worth of exploring.
I lived in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District for over two years, and never ran out of fun things to do in this quirky part of downtown! For example, did you know the New Girl Loft is located here?!
The Arts District is known as the creative and cultural hub of Los Angeles and has helped reshape the city from an uninspired metropolis into a thriving destination with urban culture!
The Downtown LA Arts District is between Little Tokyo at Alameda to the west and the railroad yards and LA River to the east. It stretches south from Commercial Street to 7th Street.
If you’re headed to the downtown LA Arts District, you should know a few things about finding parking. First, the area is notoriously crowded, so it’s best to plan ahead and arrive early. Street parking is limited, so your best bet is to find a garage or open lot in advance.
Some parking locations include:
At Mateo Public Parking Garage – 1262 Palmetto St
222 S Hewitt St. Parking
Aliso Apartments Public Parking Garage – 950 E 3rd Street
Once you’ve found a spot, read the signs on their hours of operation to avoid getting a ticket or towed. With some planning, you can easily find parking in the downtown LA Arts District and enjoy all this vibrant area has to offer!
The Arts District is home to a number of different breweries, each with its own unique atmosphere and tap list. Some of these include:
If you’re up for a round of skeeball, cornhole, or even ax throwing, hit up Arts District Brewing Co. It’s one of the most unique breweries, offering house draft beers, cocktails, greasy bar food, a photo booth, and even a dog-friendly outdoor patio.
This brewery, founded in 1997, was one of the first breweries in this district. Today, this brewery and public taproom is a gathering place for artists, musicians, and creatives of all kinds. Also, feel free to show up hungry because a different food truck (or two) is parked outside every night. The space also offers a handful of board games with a lively yet casual weekend crowd.
Flying Embers Taproom is located in the heart of Los Angeles’ Arts District at 1581 Industrial St. this brewery specializes in hard kombucha, experimental beer, and hard seltzers. It’s the perfect space for artists’ collaboration, live music, and immersive art. All I have to say is it’s quite an incredible venue with delicious beverages, tasty bites, and dope people!
Boomtown Brewery is a great place to chill with good company while enjoying good drinks and food. This place is known for its Old World and rustic ales with a modern twist.
My husband and I like to come here for the laid-back, speakeasy vibe. This place has creative, tasty drinks and a delicious bar menu.
Eatery & bar with train-style booths, swank travel-inspired drinks & a playful small plates menu. This place is especially known for its juicy burgers!
This modern take on a classic arcade combines retro video games, pinball machines & craft cocktails. The bar does get very crowded at night, especially on weekends. If you like arcades and drinking, this is the place to be!
This is my husband’s favorite place in all of the downtown LA Arts District! This entire warehouse is dedicated to virtual reality arcade games, escape rooms, and retro-style carnival games! Be sure to explore and try everything!
A great place to view some beautiful contemporary art and is also close to many other art galleries in the neighborhood.
Hauser & Wirth is an art gallery displaying contemporary art, vintage books, and paintings for purchase. If you explore the entire complex, you’ll find a mid-century modern restaurant (Manuela), herb garden, and even a chicken coop!
A dainty, small art gallery but worth checking out!
A super trendy, popular restaurant in the Arts District. If you want to eat here, it’s best to make a reservation in advance, especially on weekends.
Hip, urban gastropub focusing on inventive, locally sourced cuisine plus craft beer & boutique wine.
A stylish restaurant with a rooftop terrace. This place serves modern Mexican food and delicious cocktails.
This place always has a line out the door! This German restaurant with craft beers will make you feel like you’re in Germany for Oktoberfest!
Serving fruit-covered, all-natural, extra-thick açai and smoothie bowls, Amazebowls is the Arts District’s go-to for vegan and healthy treats.
Café Gratitude is all vegan, organic food and beverages like fresh-pressed juices and smoothies. The names of all their dishes are super creative and bohemian-inspired! Try the “I Am Loving” or the “I Am Magical!”
Urth Caffe is a European-style café offering good food, good service, and an excellent TRENDY atmosphere. This place is vegetarian/vegan-friendly- however, it can be on the pricier side.
Housed in a huge warehouse in the Arts District, Bike Shed offers everything from a restaurant, bar booths, a tattoo studio, a retail shop, events, art galleries, and so much more. This place looks so cool inside and has friendly staff, prompt service, DELICIOUS food, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options with a fun scene.
Located on the edge of the Arts District, ROW DTLA is a 30-acre enclave of fantastic food, shopping, music, and all-around good people. It’s a collective of award-winning restaurants, boutique retail shops, creative office workspaces, outdoor green spaces, art galleries, and events.
Every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm is Smorgasburg, an outdoor marketplace offering tons of gourmet food stands. Admission is free!
The Arts District Co-op is a trendy, industrial-chic retail space where contemporary and local artists sell their crafts. You can find everything from bikes to art, candles, and even vintage pieces.
Lovestitch carries some of the latest trendy clothing for women, and their staff is great! The building itself is unique with beautiful colored red bricks and green ivy.
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