Southern California Day Trips

Joel Bloom Square DTLA

It is no secret that Downtown Los Angeles is now the most hip and happening part of Southern California, and one of the most happening spots in DTLA is a “square”, Joel Bloom Square in the Arts District of DTLA.

Joel Bloom Square Sign

Joel Bloom Square consists primarily of the area between East 3rd Street and Traction and East 4th Place and is adjacent to Little Tokyo in DTLA. This area is named for Joel Bloom, who was a community activist that helped shape the DTLA arts district.

Getting There:

Like most parts of DTLA, the Arts District (and the Square) is easily accessible via the LA Metro. The closest station is the Little Tokyo/Arts District station of the LA Metro Gold Line about quarter-mile walking distance on Alameda. Union Station is also only a half mile from the Square further north on Alameda. The Gold LinePurple LineRed LineMetrolinkAmtrak and numerous buses have lines that end at/pass through Union Station, so this is a Walkable/Public-Transit-Friendly Day Trip. For those that prefer to drive, take the 101 Freeway South or North and exit Alameda and head south until you hit 3rd Street.

Things to Do/Food Suggestions:

JB Square SkylineThings to do around Joel Bloom Square DTLA primarily consist of eating, drinking, playing video games and enjoying the sites like the Downtown Skyline or the numerous street art displays (see thumbnails of some other street art at the end of this post). This is primarily an adult day trip, though you will see several people with kids in strollers. For enjoying the Square on its own, set aside approximately 3 to four hours depending on how much time you want to dedicate at the below suggestions.

WurstkucheSince enjoying adult beverages is a significant part of this day trip, starting the day trip with a large meal is prudent. And what better way to start off a day trip then with gourmet, artisan sausages and craft beers at Wurstküche at 800 East 3rd Street and Traction. In the mood for a standard but very tasty bratwurst? Wurstküche has it. Ever wondered what rattlesnake and rabbit would taste like in a bun? Wurstküche has Sausagesit. In the mood for Belgian fries and a wide selection of dipping sauces? Wurstküche has it. Wurstküche also usually has a very large line when ordering since it does not take reservations except for extremely large parties. However, your patience will pay off when you finally get to enjoy your sausage and beer in the beerhall-like communal tables in the back.

After a tasty meal wander a tad north of the Square to Angel City Brewery at 216 Alameda and 3rd Street. In The Public House at the Brewery you can enjoy many craft beers in the spacious communal area, as well as play a game of darts or cornhole. Make sure to try the Social IPA, which is a flavorful IPA that is at a shockingly low ABV of 4.4% considering how great it tastes. If you are still hungry after Wurstküche, there are usually taco or other foodtrucks in the Brewery’s parking lot.

After the Brewery, head south on Alameda to East 4th Place and briefly head east. At 707 East82 4th Place is a cross between a time machine and a bar that is the best barcade in all of Southern California, 82. 82 is somewhat split in half: on the left side of the bar is the bar and a remarkable, well-preserved collection of some of the best video games ever made in the 1980s and early 1990s, including Discs of Tron, Burgertime, Street Fighter II, Frogger, Centipede, Space Invaders and Dig Dug and numerous others. On the right side of the bar is a separate pinball room that includes classics and recently released pinball machines. The vast majority of video games are only a quarter, while the pinball machines are fifty cents.The bar also has numerous craft beers on tap, a wide selection of spirits, a live deejay and an outside area to sit. 82 frequently has taco and food trucks as well for you to re-energize yourself.

After a few hours enjoying memory lane and working up a sweat via joysticks and trash talking your friends or loved ones, reward yourself with some pie and coffee at The Pie Hole at 714 Traction Avenue directly across the street from Wurstküche. At The Pie Hole you can also get some of the best chicken pot pies and Quiche as well.

For an early nightcap (before closing hours of 10 pm), make a stop at Bourbon at 734 East Third Street and enjoy a mixology cocktail and some bar food.

Additional Street Art Pics:

Urban Scavenger Hunt:

You can also turn a trip to Downtown DTLA into a giant game board with an Urban Scavenger Hunt.  Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour tour. Guided from any smart phone, you and your partners can make your way among well-known gems of DTLA, including the LA Public Library, LA Live and the Original Pantry Cafe, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history.

The Scavenger Hunts are available 365 days a year, sunrise to sunset.  Start when you want and play at your pace.  Save 20% off with out promo code: normally $49, with our code your adventure is only $39.20 for a team of 2-5 people after using the following Promotion Code: DTSOCAL. You can easily sign up online at right on your smart phone and don’t forget to use the Promotion Code: DTSOCAL.

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