Whenever I travel I almost always prefer to walk from one place to another when exploring a city center. I will walk miles upon miles if it means stumbling upon hidden gems and seeing aspects of the world that aren’t always pointed out on sample itineraries.
I had the opportunity to see a small portion of DTLA when I participated in January’s Women’s March and there were so many spots I wanted to revisit and others I haven’t seen before.
My mom offered to watch Fox while she was in town and so we took her up on that one night and headed to downtown for a night of fun. I really feel like this itinerary was a little bit of everything!
First stop: MOCA
I’d been to the MOCA once before, but this was Ty’s first time. We went on a Thursday after 5 p.m. and were shocked at the ticket booth when they said 5-8 p.m. on Thursdays is free! This saved us $30 in entry fees and the museum was not crowded at all.
From there we walked through a few dreamy skyscrapers on to Angel’s Flight.
Angel’s Flight is currently closed (it’s rumored to be opening by Labor Day 2017), but it’s still a beautiful sight to see. The 116-year-old railway — the world’s shortest — saves your feet several flights of stairs and comes with a beautiful view.
We took the stairs this time and found ourselves right at Grand Central Market.
Grand Central Market is celebrating its hundredth year in operation and it’s never been better! Vendors selling pasta, cheese, sandwiches, ice cream, seafood, and dozens more will set your hungry belly up with any food you’re craving. We sat down at Ramen Hood, a vegan ramen spot, and it was seriously one of the best ramen dishes I’ve ever had in my life. Try out the Spicy Ramen if you decide to head there too.
The best part about having dinner at GCM? No reservations needed, so you can take the night by storm at whatever pace you want. It fits small appetites and large, or you can just go for drinks and dessert.We wound up splitting one huge bowl for $10, which we wouldn’t feel comfortable doing at a sit down, full-service restaurant.
The building stays open until 10 p.m., although not every vendor opts to stay open until then.
Pro tip: if you’re having a date prior to 5 p.m., check out the nearby Bradbury Building for a dose of impeccable architecture.
Our final stop was The Last Bookstore.
We found two books in the entryway (basically the dollar spot of the store) to bring back: a play manuscript for my mom to take home and a gorgeous book from 1911 that’s number 355 of less than 1,000 books printed during its first run.
From there we were treated to more books than we could process, a huge vinyl collection, artist studios upstairs, and a comic book section. There were couples sprawled across comfy leather couches just curled up to read a book. We probably would have done this if we had more time, but we wound up closing up the shop!
This may have been my favorite date night yet! All in all it cost us $9 to park all night, museum was free, dinner was $19 for drinks and ramen, and we spent $3 at the bookstore: $31 for a full night of activities and food, including parking and purchases!
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