A Sports Fan’s Guide to Los Angeles
When it comes to entertainment, Los Angeles is the epicenter of the West Coast, packed with top-notch restaurants, attractions, bars and — naturally — sporting events to attend. The NBA‘s Lakers and the Clippers both call L.A. home. The Chargers and the Rams recently brought NFL football back into town, and the Dodgers are one of baseball’s classic teams. USC Trojans football and L.A. Kings hockey are mainstays, and LAFC recently joined the Galaxy in the city’s major-league soccer ranks. This metropolis is massive, and the stadium and arena landscape has really grown, so we’ve created a guide to the best spots to hit up around these incredible venues.
Things to Do Near LA Memorial Coliseum and Banc of California Stadium
If you’re going to a Rams or USC Trojans football game at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, or an LAFC match at Banc of California Stadium, there are a few spots you should definitely hit around the venues.
- Both the California Science Center (700 Exposition Park Dr.) and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (900 W Exposition Blvd.) are in the same complex as the coliseum. Make a full day out of it and spend a couple hours learning about space shuttles or archaeology before heading to the game.
- A five-minute walk from the 7th St. Metro station, Cassell’s Hamburgers (421 W. 8th) grind their own chuck and make one of the best patty melts in town.
- For a margarita and Mexican food in a sports-bar setting, Banditos Tacos & Tequilas (900 W Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) is both the best and closest option.
Things To Do Near Staples Center
Staples Center has become the heartbeat of downtown Los Angeles, and if you’re heading to catch the Kings, Lakers, Clippers or Sparks, there are nearby gems and stops worth taking a short walk for.
- Built around the Staples Center, the L.A. Live (800 Olympic Blvd.) entertainment complex has so much to offer: Bowl a couple games and grab a burger and a beer at the spruced-up Lucky Strike Bowling Lounge, explore the annals of the music industry at the GRAMMY Museum, sample some of L.A.’s finest sushi at Katsuya — and even ice-skate in the winter.
- Take a stroll into downtown L.A. and head to Broken Shaker, the rooftop cocktail bar at the Freehand Hotel (416 W 8th St.). With tiki-style outdoor decor, the bar is perfect for a daytime mai tai by the pool, or an evening cocktail with a view of the skyline.
- A few blocks from STAPLES, The Original Pantry Cafe (877 S Figueroa St.) has been serving traditional diner fare in L.A since 1924. And conveniently, it’s open 24 hours a day.
Things to Do Near Rose Bowl Stadium
Every New Year’s, all eyes are on Pasadena’s Rose Bowl stadium, host of the longest-running college football bowl game, aka “The Granddaddy of Them All.” The UCLA Bruins also call this National Historic Landmark home, and fans can find some great spots nearby to enjoy all that the City of Roses has to offer.
- Old Town Pasadena is just a quick five-minute drive from the stadium and is filled with classic California architecture and a number of upscale restaurants and charming cafes. Kings Row Gastropub (20 E Colorado Blvd.) serves up an impressive selection of craft beer from small local breweries, alongside pub favorites like fish and chips and one of L.A.’s most decadent desserts: funnel cake fries made with whiskey caramel and bacon.
- If hot dogs are your pre-game fuel of choice, head to Dog Haus Biergarten Old Pasadena (93 E Green St.) for stuffed beef dogs, as well as sausages and burgers served on King’s Hawaiian rolls.
- For slightly lighter fare, Cafe Santorini (64 W Union St.) offers fresh Mediterranean specialties, including an array of mezze, salads, pastas and surf-and-turf options.
- If you have kids in tow, the neighboring Kidspace Children’s Museum (480 N Arroyo Blvd.) is a must for some educational and outdoor fun. The museum includes a rope bridge, outdoor climbing and the Galvin Physics Forest filled with interactive exhibits.
Things to Do Near Dignity Health Sports Park
The current home of the L.A. Chargers, the five-time MLS Cup Champions L.A. Galaxy and other international soccer games, Dignity Health Sports Park is directly south of Downtown L.A. in Carson, with a fine selection of places to go close by.
- The Carson area craft beer scene is nothing short of world-class. A three-minute drive from the stadium, Phantom Carriage (4611, 18525 S Main St.) makes excellent sour and barrel-aged beers in a horror-film-themed taproom. If cider is more your style, The Honest Abe Cider House & Meadery (17800 S Main St. #105,) is just up the road from Phantom Carriage. And if it’s IPAs or bust for you, Monkish Brewing Co (20311 S Western Ave.) is just 10 minutes away in Torrance.
- The city of Long Beach is a 20-minute drive, and the journey is more than worth it to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way). Its gorgeous sea-life exhibits make it a great stop for families — or anyone who likes the alien world beneath the sea.
Things to Do Near Dodger Stadium
Nestled within Elysian Park’s Chavez Ravine, palm tree-lined Dodger Stadium is a relic of the early days of baseball in California. Budget some time before and after your visit to check out some of these local spots.
- In neighboring Silver Lake, The Red Lion Tavern (2366 Glendale Blvd.) offers up sausages and loads of suds in an authentic German beer-hall atmosphere. Come for happy hour in the outdoor beer garden, or take advantage of their late-night kitchen hours after the game.
- Overlooking Dodger Stadium, Chavez Ridge Disc Golf Course (Solano Canyon Dr. & Park Row Dr.) is the perfect spot for pre-game disc-golf action under the sunny sky. As you hike up the ridge through the course’s 18 holes, you’ll get a stunning bird’s-eye view of the stadium in between tosses.
- Sunset Boulevard is everything you’ve heard it is — the spirit of Los Angeles can be felt at any point along the road. Pop over to Guisados (1261 W Sunset Blvd.) for L.A.’s finest braised tacos on homemade tortillas and a can’t-miss quesadilla, or grab a pint from a wide selection of local craft beer and take a bottle home from Sunset Beer Company (1498 Sunset Blvd., #3). If you’ve still got a little more time to kill, scope out the comic-book selection next door at Alternate Universe (1498 Sunset Blvd., #1)
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