Cocktails in an arcade downtown

Los Angeles

Alternative things to do in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may be home to the rich and famous, but there’s an alternative side to the city that’s setting a new pace. Downtown LA is a vibrant hub for modern art, craft beer, international cuisine and quirky shopping. Follow this two-day itinerary to discover more to the City of Angels than red carpet glitz and glamour.

Day one

Start your day with a 30-minute drive from The Beverly Hills Hotel or a 35-minute drive from Hotel Bel-Air to the Arts District on the eastern side of Downtown LA.
Downtown Los Angeles

Arts District

Once an industrial hub, the Arts District is now the creative heart of Los Angeles. A meander through its colourful, graffiti-scrawled streets unveils a range of hip coffeehouses, trendy boutiques, art galleries and micro-breweries. In the north of the district lies Little Tokyo, a quaint neighbourhood filled with eclectic shops and Japanese eateries, dishing up some of the best ramen and mochi in the city.

Next, take a five-minute drive or a 25-minute walk to The Broad.

Graffiti in the Arts District
Wall of art in The Broad museum
T: +1 213-232-6200 | 221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Broad

Contemporary art museum, The Broad offers a dynamic collection of works dating from the 1950s to the present day. Visit to explore over 2,000 pieces by some of the most exciting names in contemporary art – Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cindy Sherman, among others – and a regular rotation of temporary exhibitions.

Stop for lunch at Grand Central Market, located just three minutes by car or a seven-minute walk from The Broad.

T: +1 213-624-2378 | 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market might have been a Downtown staple for over a century, but the myriad gourmet food and drinks trucks are a more recent addition. Seven days a week, hungry visitors can choose from a colourful display of international delicacies, ranging from Mexican tacos and Japanese sushi to Italian wood-fired pizzas and German currywurst.

After lunch, take a seven-minute stroll to The Last Bookstore.

Food stalls at Grand Central Market
Cases of books at The Last Bookstore
T: +1 213-488-0599 | 453 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore is one of the largest independent bookstores in California. Determined not to be outdone by online retailers, owner Josh Spencer keeps the traditional bookshop atmosphere alive with a multi-level space packed with vast displays of books, graphic novels and vinyl records. The store also hosts an exciting programme of regular literary and music events.

Take a 10-minute drive from The Last Bookstore to the final stop of the day, Mohawk Bend.

T: +1 213-483-2337 | 2141 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Mohawk Bend

An alternative tour of Los Angeles wouldn’t be complete without a pint of craft beer. Mohawk Bend in Echo Park is a bar and restaurant specialising in locally sourced food and drink. The venue has over 70 craft beer taps, the huge drinks menu paying homage to small-scale breweries across California and the United States.

Soak up the bright lights of LA at night on the 25-minute drive back to the hotel

Spacious airy seating at Mohawk Bend LA

Day two

Begin your last alternative LA tour with coffee and breakfast at Alfred on Melrose Place, located 15 minutes by car from the hotel.
Exterior of popular Alfred Coffee Melrose Place
T: +1 323-944-0811 | 8428 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Alfred Coffee Melrose Place

Get your day off to a great start the LA way with a caffeine hit and a bite to eat at Alfred Coffee. The outpost on fashionable Melrose Place is the original Alfred, and still one of its best-loved locations. Its iconic mantra ‘But first, coffee’, stencilled across the café wall, is one to live by – especially when it’s from the supreme Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Take a 20-minute drive to the next stop of the day, Blind Barber.

T: +1 310-841-6679 | 10797 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232

Blind Barber

Part barbershop, part speakeasy, Blind Barber brings shop and social space together. Gentlemen can enjoy a shave or a haircut at a traditional barber station, before slipping through a door to the backroom cocktail lounge – all leather booths and low lighting – for beer, cocktails and hot snacks.

Next, take a 25-minute drive to EightyTwo.

Man with beard getting haircut at the Blind Barber
Cocktails on the bar with arcade games i background at EightyTwo
T: +1 213-626-8200 | 707 E. 4th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Enjoy a blast from the past at EightyTwo, a classic arcade and bar in Downtown LA. With a rotating collection of 50 nostalgia-inducing retro arcade games and pinball machines, there’s plenty to keep visitors entertained. The comprehensive menu of craft beers is just the icing on the cake.
T: +1 323-466-5125 | 1999 N. Sycamore Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Yamashiro Hollywood

This palatial private-estate-turned-restaurant offers guests delicious Asian fusion cuisine in a unique location. Beyond the landscaped gardens, complete with a 600-year-old Japanese pagoda, the city sprawls into the distance. Beautifully-plated dishes range from sushi and sashimi to grilled meat and fish.

The hotels are just a 20-minute drive from Yamashiro Hollywood.

Fish entrée at Yamashiro restaurant in Hollywood

All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.


Heading out to explore? Download our itineraries for all the ideas you need to make the most of your visit to the city.

Hotel Bel-Air

The Beverly Hills Hotel