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The Lowdown on Downtown L.A.

In a city as glamorous as Los Angeles, it’s easy to stick to the regular hot spots such as Hollywood and Santa Monica. This leads to great places that get seriously neglected by travelers and locals alike. One in particular? Downtown.
People under the impression that Downtown L.A. is strictly a business district probably haven’t dropped by in the past year -- or haven’t checked out the right spots.
The main attraction is undoubtedly L.A. Live. The entertainment and food complex is anchored by the NOKIA Theater, which hosts events such as Lady Antebellum concerts and the 2010 American Music Awards. Staples Center, home of the Lakers and upcoming Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber concerts (Aug. 13 and Oct. 25 respectively), is there as well. People can find an assortment of upscale dining here too -- everything from trendy Katsuya to the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.  You can even stay on the L.A. Live property’s new JW Marriott for $179 per night on weekends with this Travelzoo offer, $100 off the regular price.
The latest and best feature on the block is the all-stadium seating Regal Cinemas, a movie theater that can finally compete with the quality of The Grove complex. For a little fun, try out Lucky Strike -- an alley that has actually made bowling stylish. Just your luck, Travelzoo has a coupon for a free game here on Saturday, Aug. 4, for National Bowling Day.
The next best reason to stop by downtown is for happy hour, a lively buzz that can linger late into the night. The Rooftop bar at the Standard Hotel boasts a 360-degree view of the city, a pool and waterbeds to lounge on with drinks, while the Edison has an old-L.A. vaudeville vibe with great Wednesday specials.
And of course, what would L.A. be without our sports teams? You’ll be hard-pressed to find any bargains for tickets to see Kobe, but Travelzoo often runs deals that are hard to beat for the Dodgers ($25 bleacher seats) and half-price tickets for the Sparks.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Los Angeles
Friday, August 6, 2010
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Alex Abels