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Everything You Need to Know About the Downtown Districts of Los Angeles
Real Estate

Everything You Need to Know About the Downtown Districts of Los Angeles

Explore our favorite Downtown Los Angeles districts and find your best match for your next trip to the City of Angels.

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5 min read

May 31, 2021

One thing you can’t deny about Downtown L.A. is its iconic character. Each of the 13 main DTLA districts possesses unique personalities so different, yet quite complementary. Looking for adventure, culture, or a night out on the town? The heart of the city has it all. Explore our favorite Downtown Los Angeles districts and find your best match for your next trip to the City of Angels.

The Bradbury building is the oldest commercial building remaining in the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles.

Historic Core

As the name suggests, the Historic Core is a Downtown Los Angeles district rooted in rich history. Boasting many of the things that originally put L.A. on the map (such as grand movie palaces and ornate showcase architecture), the Historic Core takes you back in time in the most subtle of ways. This D.T.L.A. district is also where important events throughout the city’s history took place, such as the first Black church in L.A. as well as its first Chinatown.

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Today, many of the century-old buildings in the district have been converted to lofts and residential communities, but the facades of these buildings remain true to their original designs. Participate in the monthly public events held here like the Downtown Art Walk and you’ll understand why D.T.L.A. has a reputation of being a one-of-a-kind food, arts, and shopping destination.

New art galleries have increased the Arts District's recognition despite the concentration of established art museums spread all throughout D.T.L.A.

Downtown L.A. Arts District

Creativity comes alive in the Downtown L.A. Arts District. You’ll come across impressive murals, colorful graffiti, the coolest galleries, and cultural spaces in this district. Plan your trip here on the second Thursday of any month to see the district’s art walk. You’ll get a chance to see showcases of original artwork in galleries, watch awesome street performances, and try tasty treats from a selection of food trucks.

Don’t forget to stop by Art Share L.A. to get your creative juices flowing. A vibrant community for art enthusiasts and creatives alike, this unparalleled 28,000-square foot facility hosts residences, a gallery, ceramics studios, classrooms, and a theater. You’ll get to know the works of new artists as well as industry vets in rotating exhibits and an inclusive environment.

Fashion District D.T.L.A.

The first word that comes to mind when mentioning Fashion District D.T.L.A. is: bargains. Previously known as the Garment District, the Fashion District in DTLA is one of the driving forces behind the city’s fashion industry. You’ll find more than 2,000 retail and wholesale businesses here in apparel, footwear, accessories, lingerie, and cosmetics at unbelievable prices. 

But that’s not all. Perhaps the most exciting part of visiting the Fashion District in D.T.L.A. is finding a sample sale. The more high-end fashion showrooms are hidden in the wholesale showroom buildings of the district. And, almost every last Friday of the month, the showrooms sell their end-of-season samples to the general public at bargain prices. If you don’t manage to participate in the sample sales, don’t worry. Head to Santee Alley and you’ll find over 100 shops and the tastiest tacos in the area.

The Financial District is home to corporate office skyscrapers and hotels, as well as banks, law firms, and real estate companies.

Los Angeles Financial District

Imagine Wall Street but with more cultural diversity and better restaurant options—that's pretty much what the Los Angeles Financial District is. Located at the center of the regional Metro Rail system, this Los Angeles District offers you some of the best shopping and dining opportunities in D.T.L.A. Planning a luxurious staycation in the heart of the city? You can’t go wrong with the options available in the Financial District. You’ll have a great experience roaming this district, but it's also the perfect location to venture out from to discover the rest of D.T.L.A.'s diverse regions.

The Los Angeles Chinatown saw major development with the construction of the Central Plaza.

Chinatown, Los Angeles

One of the most famous Chinatowns in the state, this unique ethnic neighborhood in California is known as the hub for Chinese and other Asian businesses. However, the original Chinatown in Los Angeles used to have a different location, which was later demolished to build the L.A. Union Station. After this, Peter Soo Hoo, a Chinese-American community leader, spearheaded the establishment of a new Chinatown in D.T.L.A., and that’s where we frequent now.

The current Chinatown Los Angeles shares the heritage and architectural design of the original, but is still slightly more Americanized. This results in a cultural enclave that beautifully represents a harmonious blend of both cultures. Whenever you find yourself in this Los Angeles District, don’t forget to visit the Chinese American Museum. Housed in the oldest surviving structure from the original L.A. Chinatown, this museum is your one-stop shop to learn all about the district. 

As the heart of the largest Japanese American population in North America, Little Tokyo is the main cultural center in SoCal.

Los Angeles' Little Tokyo

Wondering where to find the best sushi in L.A.? Little Tokyo in Los Angeles definitely doesn’t disappoint. Blending the old and the new, the hip and the traditional, the Japanese and American, this Los Angeles District gives you an authentic taste of Tokyo on the West Coast. As one of the most walkable areas in D.T.L.A., Little Tokyo is your go-to spot to learn about the Japanese community in Los Angeles. Add the Japanese American National Museum and the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA to your itinerary to get a dose of history along with sushi.

The Los Angeles Jewelry District is renowned for wholesale prices on precious gems, watches, and all types of fine jewelry.

Jewelry District

The Jewelry District is predominantly made up of early twentieth-century buildings, half of which fall under the greater Historic Core area of D.T.L.A. Recognized for its wholesale prices on both fine and costume jewelry, gold, silver, and simulated diamonds, this Downtown Los Angeles District attracts people in the jewelry business from all parts of the world. The Jewelry District is also somewhat of a concrete jungle—it features historic buildings, theaters, monuments, delis, and bakeries, creating a multicultural experience. Grab a snack from one of the local bakeries and enjoy viewing the city at the famous Pershing Square.

Flower District

You don’t need to be a florist to enjoy the abundance of Los Angeles’ Flower District. From centerpieces made with beautiful local flowers to prized orchids coming straight from Thailand, the Flower District has it all. Enjoy exploring warehouses upon warehouses of flowers, offering a seemingly endless selection of blooms. You won’t be able to resist the temptation of taking a new potted friend home from this Downtown Los Angeles District, but we promise you, it’s worth a visit.

With 12 movie palaces located along a six block stretch, the Broadway Theater District has the largest concentration of movie palaces in the U.S.

Broadway Theater District

You don’t want to miss out on visiting the first and largest historic theater district in the country. Undoubtedly an L.A. bucket list destination, the Broadway Theater District features the biggest concentration of pre-World War II theaters in America—12 to be exact.

Many of the theaters in this Los Angeles District have hosted legendary performances throughout the history of entertainment. The Orpheum Theatre has welcomed the likes of Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aretha Franklin to its stage and continues to serve as a film location and live music venue. Looks familiar? You might have seen the iconic stage in The Artist, Last Action Hero, and more famous films. Other cool Broadway theaters to see are The Theatre at Ace Hotel and Tower Theatre.

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