The downtown area of Los Angeles traces its roots back to the year 1789, so this neighborhood has much more history and character than many would think.  The city began to grow rapidly at the end of the 19th century, and by 1920 it had become one of America's most modern cities.  Locally referred to as “DTLA”, Downtown Los Angeles didn't suffer the same urban decline and blight as other places, but until fairly recently, the options for dining, shopping, and living had been somewhat limited. 

Over the past ten to fifteen years, however, all that has changed as developers moved in to take advantage of the area's densely-developed core and prime location at the intersection of many major freeways and transit lines (and contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles has an efficient commuter rail network extending to major suburbs such as Orange County).  Today, Downtown LA's appeal and popularity are well-established, with vibrant walkable streets and a wealth of culture and entertainment, and the area attracts everyone from young professionals to empty nesters. 

DTLA has a few distinct areas: the Historic Core lies to the north, the Arts District is located to the east, and the Fashion District lies to the south.  The Historic Core is the busiest area, and it features a number of small urban parks, hip bars and restaurants, and excellent shopping and amenities.  The Museum of Contemporary Art is located in the Historic Core, as is the Disney Concert Hall.  The less busy Arts District is home to many galleries and other creative spaces.

The Convention Center and the Staples Center are also located in DTLA, and within a short distance you'll also find Chinatown, Echo Park, Dodger Stadium, and USC.  There are a few schools in the neighborhood, most notably the Ramon Cortines School of Visual and Performing Art.  With towering skyscrapers and landmark buildings (many converted to gorgeous historic lofts), Downtown LA has a creative and eclectic character, one that makes for a unique urban experience and an amazing place to live.