Given the crowds and news coverage, it may seem like the only springtime activity in Southern California worth checking out is the super bloom. But there’s plenty happening in Los Angeles this season that has nothing to do with wildflowers. From checking in to a new hotel repurposed from a firehouse to exploring all of the events and restaurant openings at ROW DTLA, downtown L.A. and its growing Arts District are the places to be this season.
Dine at Alameda Supper Club at The Manufactory L.A.
The transformation of the historic L.A. Terminal Market from a wholesale produce market along the Southern Pacific Railroad into a restaurant, shopping, and art hub has taken more than a year. Dubbed ROW DTLA, the destination is worth visiting, especially with the opening of Tartine’s The Manufactory L.A. earlier in January.
With nearly 40,000 square feet of space, the project from the teams behind San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery and Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco includes a market, an ice cream and coffee window for to-go orders, and two different restaurants. While the casual all-day restaurant, Tartine Bianco, has been open for several months now, Alameda Supper Club finally opened in late March. Here, the Tartine team offers a more elevated experience than the other spots at The Manufactory, and the focus is on shared plates made with meticulously sourced ingredients. 757 Alameda St., tartinebakery.com Attend the Month of Photography Los Angeles
Since 2009, April has been dedicated to celebrating all things photography in L.A. through a variety of events and exhibitions. On April 6, Wanderlust: A Silent Auction Benefit will be held at the House of Lucie at ROW DTLA featuring framed work from travel photographers, including Lucy Laucht and Frédéric Lagrange (both are also AFAR contributors). The money raised will be donated to the Natural Resources Defense Council. 777 S. Alameda St., biddingforgood.com
Check in to the Firehouse Hotel
In mid-April, The Engine Co. No 17 on the corner of Seventh and Santa Fe in the Arts District is slated to reopen as the nine-room Firehouse Hotel. The last time the 1927 building functioned as a fire station was in 1980, but details like the exposed wood-truss beams and the firefighters’ handball court remain. In addition to the rooms, the property will also have a bar, restaurant, café, and boutique on site. 710 S. Santa Fe Ave., firehousela.com Go shopping at the Dover Street Market
The U.K.’s Dover Street Market made its West Coast debut in late 2018 in the Arts District, selling everything from Gucci and Commes des Garçons to streetwear brands like Supreme and Nike. Even if you’re not looking to shop, the 15,000-square-foot warehouse space is worth visiting for its art-installation-like displays and a light lunch on the outdoor patio at Rose Bakery. 606-608 Imperial St., losangeles.doverstreetmarket.com
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Order a cocktail at The Wolves
Back in the heart of downtown, The Wolves opened last October in the historic Alexandria Hotel building. Styled after an early 1900s Parisian salon with punched tin and stained glass details, this craft cocktail bar features liqueurs, amari, vermouth, and bitters all made in-house using seasonal produce. If you want to take your cocktail experience to the next level both literally and figuratively, head upstairs to Le Néant for its omakase-style drinks menu and live music. 519 S. Spring St., thewolvesdtla.com
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Lyndsey Matthews Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.