As occasional autumn breezes ripple through the city and iced pumpkin spice lattes come out to play, Downtown Los Angeles can’t be overlooked as vibrant hub of experiences and activities.
DTLA awaits to offer you a cornucopia of experiences this fall. Whether you’re a resident looking for new experiences, or a visitor trying to make the most of your stay, each of these activities listed will cater to your various tastes. Culture, food, history, and even a cool tattoo – we’ve got you covered with things to do in dtla this fall!
Explore Art and Culture at The Broad Museum
A colder fall day in Downtown LA is an excellent time to explore art and culture at The Broad Museum. Brimming with over 2,000 works of contemporary and postwar art, The Broad holds one of the most prominent collections of its kind in the world, attracting art enthusiasts and curious minds alike.
Embark on a journey through time and style as you encounter pieces by legends such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. With its unique architectural design, The Broad itself is a work of art. Its “veil-and-vault” concept wraps the museum in a porous honeycomb-like exterior, making the building just as must-see as the works it houses.
- Participate in The Broad’s Un-Private Collection series. Listen to engaging conversations between artists housed in the Broad collection and leading figures from different fields.
- On select Saturdays, immerse yourself in Family Weekend Workshops, where families can participate in exciting workshops and artist-led activities.
- Looking for a deeper dive into the museum’s offerings? Schedule a guided tour by one of The Broad’s expertly trained guides for a deeper understanding of displayed works.
Don’t forget – general admission is FREE, but it is best to reserve your tickets online in advance to avoid long wait times or missing availability the day you want to go.
After you’ve filled your mind with enriching art, you might find your stomach rumbling. In that case, why not head on over to the next stop? An iconic DTLA location you might have heard of: Grand Central Market.
Indulge in Delicious Food at Grand Central Market
If you’re a gourmand looking to broaden your palate this fall, then Grand Central Market is your paradise. Nestled in the heart of DTLA, this bustling hub of culinary delights showcases a medley of cuisines from all over the world.
Established in 1917, the market retains its classic charm while embracing a modern vibe, establishing a perfect ambience for a laid-back foodie exploration. Whether you’re yearning for home comfort food or seeking mouthwatering, international culinary gems, there’s a stall waiting to satiate your food cravings.
- Eggslut: A favorite breakfast spot for locals and tourists alike. Try their famous Fairfax sandwich – soft scrambled eggs with cheese on a soft brioche bun.
- Sushi Rush: A key spot for high quality sushi and open handrolls – don’t skip out on their Japanese shaved ice if you find yourself here on a particularly warm fall day.
- Berlin Currywurst: If you’re looking for quick comfort and simplicty, you’ll find that perfect combo in curry covered bratwurst. Just take our word for it.
- Ana Maria: Think tacos and burritos alongside one of a kind gorditas that require extra napkins.
- Fat + Flour: The only two things you need for dessert, right? This is a small pie and cookie shop where you can also grab a quick coffee if you need to fuel up for more fall adventures.
Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of Californian wine or locally brewed craft beer for a complete Grand Central Market experience. The Market is open seven days a week, so you can drop by whenever you find yourself looking for things to do in LA!
Discover DTLA’s Architectural Gems
Whether you’re a budding architect, history buff, or simply an admirer, you’re bound to fall in love with DTLA’s eclectic mix of architectural gems.
Start your journey at the Bradbury Building, one of the city’s most fascinating historic structures. With its extraordinary skylit atrium of access walkways, stairs and elevators, and intricate ironwork, it remains a stunning example of the architectural craftsmanship of the 19th century.
Then wander over to the Los Angeles Central Library. This splendid piece of architecture boast an intriguing blend of styles including Ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival. The library isn’t just filled with books; murals, sculptures, and decorative arts imbue the building with a timeless essence.
Don’t miss the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This famous Frank Gehry-designed structure is a modern masterpiece with distinct asymmetrical lines and a reflective stainless steel façade. A guided tour will give you a deeper appreciation of this architectural marvel.
Finally, take a trip to one of the great American rail stations, Union Station. This 1939 landmark illustrates a perfect blend of Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles. Its sweeping arches, inlaid marble floors, and time-worn leather seats evoke a nostalgia that’s hard to resist.
If you’re the kind of person who appreciates a smorgasbord of delectable dishes and unique retail shops, then you simply must visit Smorgasburg at Row DTLA.
Set against the backdrop of Downtown LA’s historic district, Smorgasburg is a Sunday market that has rapidly gained popularity among locals and tourists. With operating hours from 10 am to 4 pm, Smorgasburg brings together an assortment of vendors from many disciplines in one vibrant, joyous mingling space.
Pro-tip: Arrive early to avoid crowds and snag a parking spot.
So what can you expect to find at Smorgasburg?
- Food: There’s enough diversity in the food offerings to send any food lover into a state of euphoria. From gourmet doughnuts to lobster rolls, barbecue to vegan delights, the vendors at Smorgasburg cater to every taste.
- Shopping: Alongside the sensory overload of the food stalls, you’ll find a selection of sellers offering vintage clothing, handcrafted jewelry, unique homewares, and creative art pieces.
- Events: Smorgasburg isn’t just about shopping and eating, it’s also a go-to venue for events. Check their calendar in fall to catch one of their themed markets or cultural events.
The best way to enjoy Smorgasburg is to arrive with an empty stomach, and an open heart, ready to feed your curiosity and sense of adventure.
Shop for Unique Finds at The Last Bookstore
If cozying up with a good book or sifting through various old vinyl albums is your fall vibe, The Last Bookstore is not to be missed. Located on the corner of 5th and Spring Street inside a 100 year old bank building which, according to them, is full of “vaults and ghosts”. Perfect for fall but not bad as a year-round activity either! It’s an iconic venue where literature meets art, leading to one-of-a-kind finds that are sure to delight.
While you’re in DTLA this fall, consider setting aside an evening to get lost among its enchanting collection of books. This massive 20,000 square foot space is home to more than 250,000 new and used books, by subjects ranging from philosophy to cookery, graphic novels to biographies.
What sets The Last Bookstore apart isn’t just its massive selection of books though – it’s the heart and soul poured into this venture. The carefully curated shelves, the imaginative art installations made from books, and the labyrinth up in the mezzanine level all set the stage for an extraordinary retail environment that can only be described as magical.
- Step into the Sci-fi room, where you’re transported into another dimension through novels from every era.
- Feel like a detective for an afternoon as you sift through the crime section, filled with classic mysteries and thrilling page-turners.
- Embrace your inner artist in the arts and design area, bursting with inspiring photography books, artist retrospectives, and thought-provoking design books.
Let’s not forget about the vinyl records and graphic novels too. For music and comic lovers, this place is a goldmine. The vinyl selection is expansive, hosting every kind of genre from old classics to new releases. The comic section is equally impressive, catering to the young and seasoned reader alike.
The Last Bookstore doesn’t just serve as a shopping spot. It has been an important cultural hub for DTLA ever since it opened its doors back in 2005. It hosts numerous author events, book signings, and even live music for you to enjoy while you shop.
Get a Cozy Bowl of Ramen in Little Tokyo
The air gets a little crispier, the nights a bit longer, and there is no better way to welcome the Fall season than indulging in a cozy, warm bowl of ramen. And where else to go for an authentic ramen experience than DTLA’s own Little Tokyo! Arguably the best spot in the city to get your ramen fix, this iconic LA neighborhood comes with hanging lanterns and charming storefronts
Tucked within the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Little Tokyo offers a wide variety of ramen options that will please any palate. You can explore different types of ramen that carry their own unique flavors and specialties: from classics like Tonkotsu, a pork-based broth, to more unusual offerings such as vegan ramen with plant-based ingredients.
Here’s Where You Should Go
- Daikokuya is a well-established Little Tokyo favorite famous for its rich, flavorful bowls of ramen.
- RAKKAN Ramen is a vegan ramen chain! 100% plant based dishes straight from Japan.
- While at Shin-Sen-Gumi, their kaedama system caters to noodle lovers, allowing you to add more noodles to your remaining broth.
So when the Fall air starts to nip and you find yourself in downtown Los Angeles, remember to make a pit stop at Little Tokyo and dive into a comforting, steamy bowl of ramen!
Unleash Your Inner Gamer at the Two Bit Circus
Next on your DTLA Fall adventure is a haven for game enthusiasts, the Two Bit Circus! This place isn’t like any arcade you’ve visited before. It’s a micro-amusement park that’s been enthralling both locals and tourists alike with its unparalleled fusion of technology and entertainment.
Get ready to unleash your inner gamer as this 50,000 square-foot playground ramps up your amusement with a futuristic twist. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for you:
- Story Rooms: Imagine an escape room gone digital. In Two Bit Circus, you’ll dive into world-class immersive entertainment that engages all your senses. These interactive adventures will transport you into narratives that play out in real-time and challenge you to think creatively.
- The Arena: A “virtual reality playground” full of VR simulators that have you flying like a bird or running in fear from a haunted doll.
- Midway Games: Relive the joy and excitement of classic carnival games with a high-tech overhaul. With gesture tracking, haptics, and multiplayer fun, these aren’t your average arcade games.
- Club01: An intimate theater for interactive game shows where you become part of the performance.
- The Arcade: Yes, they have the good old arcade too! It’s packed with new age interactive games that redefine arcade gaming as we know it.
While you immerse yourself in the world of gaming, don’t forget to pair your gaming spree with inventive twists on bar food and tantalizing drinks from their robot bartender. Two Bit Circus is an evening you won’t forget – it’s where gaming, fun, and innovation intersect to create an unforgettable experience.
Grab a Warm Drink and Relax at Grand Park
As the days grow shorter and the temperatures take a gentle dip, nothing quite beats the serene experience of enjoying a warm beverage amidst the natural splendor of Grand Park. This city’s oasis, also known as “the park for everyone,” is a 12-acre wonder nestled right in the heart of DTLA, serving as a delightful haven away from the bustling city chaos.
The lush greens interspersed with aesthetically pleasing fountains and mesmerizing art installations make for a picturesque setting, perfect for a peaceful afternoon. Pack a thermos (or just visit the on-site Starbucks) and soak in a little nature.
Settle Down for a Picnic
The park offers ample picnic spots under the shade of the trees, making for an inviting setting to enjoy your warm drink. Grab a blanket and some snacks, sit back and simply bask in the beauty around you. The sight of the tall city buildings piercing the skyline in the backdrop as you relax in the calm of nature is sure to leave you spellbound.
Stroll through the Community Terrace
If you’re an avid fan of horticulture and gardens, the Community Terrace offers a variety of unique, region-specific plants. Admire them as you sip on your warm drink, embracing the tranquility that’s oh-so-rare in the cityscape. Grand Park might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about autumn in DTLA, but trust us, it’s a sight to behold and an experience not to be missed.
Get Inked at Mantle Tattoo
In the heart of DTLA and within walking distance of basically everything else on the list, you can get a tattoo that will have you remembering that beautiful fall day you spent around downtown Los Angeles.
Our team is a diverse group of visionary tattoo artists from around the world, each with their own unique ideas and unparalleled skill. From black and gray realism to vibrant neo traditional tattoos, our artists have expertise spanning a broad spectrum of tattoo styles. We have an artist perfectly suited to meet your needs. Not to mention, we take pride in offering the highest standards of hygiene and safety, ensuring your peace of mind throughout the tattooing process.
When it’s about making the most out of your autumn break in downtown Los Angeles, we can help you make the most of it. Contact our shop to schedule your tattoo while you’re downtown, we can often accomodate same day appointments.
As we wrap up, remember that DTLA is always teeming with life, and there’s never a short supply of things to do. I hope this curated list gives you a head start in planning your fall adventures. Whether getting a new tattoo at Mantle, dining in the best restaurants, or visiting an arcade, there’s truly something for everyone. Remember, the city’s vitality is constantly evolving, offering new experiences at every corner.
Bonus: General LA Fall Activities
Here’s a couple quick bonus activities you can do in LA this fall!
Get ready for an enchanting journey as you traverse a mile-long path saturated with an array of pumpkin-themed displays during the much-awaited yearly event, Descanso Gardens’ Carved.
This captivating extravaganza will span three fascinating weeks this fall (Oct 6–29). It transforms the lush loop of the botanical garden into a magical pumpkin wonderland. Witness pumpkins personifying an awe-inspiring sea monster emerging from a pond, or huddled together in dense clusters on the ground. Marvel at the creative genius where they are ingeniously assembled to form a quirky pumpkin house.
In-N-Out Burger’s 75th Anniversary
Get ready for an unforgettable day brimming with adrenaline, fun, and juicy burgers! The much-loved In-N-Out Burger will be celebrating its 75th birthday on October 22, 2023, at the renowned Pomona Dragstrip.
What’s the best way to celebrate another year of delicious burgers? With drag racing, a classic car show, exhilarating rides, and of course, delectable In-n-Out food trucks!