There are SO many things to do in and around LA, it may be hard to prioritize. This is a perfect guide if you’re staying downtown for a business trip and looking for things to do and see while your there!
Due to traffic, you may not have time to make from downtown to other areas like Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach or Santa Monica. Trust me, I would have loved to hit up some of the restaurants in these areas but couldn’t deal the hours of traffic to go 10 – 15 miles. I was there with Ross for a work trip, so I was really along for the ride and decided to maximize my time venturing downtown instead!
Sharing all my tips on where to eat, workout, drink and fun activities to find after work. Oh, and a few must do’s if you have extra time! We stayed at Hotel Indigo and it was the perfect location to everything DTLA, within walking distance.
Scroll to the bottom to shop all my looks I wore in LA!
Where to Eat
Faith & Flower – American menu with amazing cocktails that will satisfy for anyone in your group, yet elevated dishes to impress those looking for something less than standard. You know it’s good when they are opening a second location in Hollywood.
71Above – fancy, but worth it for the views. Plan for a prefixed dinner at $78 each, but it will be an over the top meal with 360 views of LA. Really anti prefixed menu and would rather just grab drinks with a view? They have a bar area with the appetizer menu available.
Barcito – the spot for a quick bite / light snack. Empanadas + a few Palomas offer a perfect afternoon. Loved sitting in the bar area.
Broken Spanish – Looking for something besides standard Mexican? You found it. The atmosphere, food and convent location make this the spot for dates, friends, and larger groups.
Backyard Bowls – Can’t stuff your face with another unhealthy meal? Head to Backyard Bowls for breakfast or lunch. Not just serving acas bowls, you can find healthier green bowls, smoothies, and seriously healthy porridge/oatmeal options (hello chia seeds!)
Bottega Louie – Feeling fancy for brunch? Or want to feel a little European for the day? Head to Bottega Louie for those French bakery cravings – macaroons, pastries and more. Or sit down in their restaurant to enjoy the delish French toast, avo toast, farro egg scramble, and more! Great lighting for good picture.
Broken Shaker – looking for an amazing rooftop bar? Lounge on the roof of the freehand hotel at their Broken Shaker Bar. Tropical decor and couch areas make for the perfect picture. Sip cocktails with a tiki vibe and cool glasses, all with great views of DTLA.
Where to Workout – all available on ClassPass!
Speedplay – blend of Barry’s Bootcamp and Orangetheory. They offer strength and HIIT workouts, I did the HITT which was 4 stations, 9 mins each – Woodway treadmill, rowing machine, and 2 floor / dumbbell stations. They were super friendly for someone new / just visiting.
DTLA Pilates – Lagree style pilates, and only recommend this studio to those experienced with the megaformer / Lagree style fitness. The studio was very bland, basically a white room with megaformers and that’s it. It was perfect to get my workout for the day, and my inner thighs and booty were definitely sore from the lunges and squats! Due to the lack of instruction, it wouldn’t be a good experience if you’re a first timer.
The Bar Method – one of my favorite barre studios, if you haven’t been to a Bar Method yet definitely worth checking out! The arm workout series here is one of the hardest of all the barre chains, and incorporates the most stretching.
Pure Barre – Pure Barre’s are everywhere, so if you are looking to stick with what you know there is a pure barre here!
US Bank Tower Oue Skyspace – Take a clear slide that goes OUTSIDE and lands outside the building 1000 feet above LA. Talk about views. Oh, and there’s a bar here if you need some liquid courage or just want to come for the views.
LA Live / Staples Center – check to see what events are happening downtown. Aside from the typical concerts and NBA games, they also host experiences like All Star Chef Classic. I went to this food tasting event a few years ago and its a must experience for those who love a good culinary experience. Taste sample bites from the most famous chefs all around the world. (throwback pics to 2016 with the All Star Classic).
FIG @ 7th – Hello shopping center. And Target. Could it get any better than a city target? Forget something? No problem. There’s target. Also, Nordstrom Rack, Zara, H&M! Hungry / need a quick bite? There’s a ton of fast casual restaurants are also located in this shopping plaza area.
If you have extra time….
Hike the Hollywood Sign – The Hollywood sign is only about 10 – 15 miles from downtown LA, but definitely check Waze to see how long it will actually take you. Then plan for about a 2 hour hike if you actually want to get to the top. I didn’t go this time, but went a few years ago and it’s a great easy hike. Perfect Insta pic opportunity. (Throwback pic to 2016 included)
Manhattan Beach – I would 100% recommend Santa Monica and the pier as the best beach to visit outside of LA, but Manhattan Beach is right next to the airport, and it surprised me on my first visit! Perfect opportunity to explore a new area and still feel the security of being near the airport. We had this wonderful older woman tell us this tip while we ate brunch at Botegga Louie when we were debating what to do for the few hours. She overheard us and recommended Manhattan Beach as one of the nicest beaches near the airport! Manhattan Beach has a great Boardwalk to walk the beach, pier with a view, and cute beach town with restaurants and shopping. Definitely wish it was warmer for some sun bathing!
We loved our 4 days in DTLA and will definitely be back to explore more areas! Shop what I wore below!