Los Angeles: Discovering L.A. Live Downtown


LA Live USA TodayMy article about L.A. Live is on USA Today



A Pulsing Center of Downtown

This is not to be missed, with something for everyone

Los Angeles Local Expert 

L.A. LIVE is a thriving hub of sports and entertainment in Los Angeles, which surrounds the STAPLES Center and Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.

Come see the championship teams, including the Clippers, Kings, Lakers and Sparks for incredible sporting moments. Before a Kings Game, head up to the 24th floor of the Ritz Carlton at WP24 and enjoy Puck and Play, dim sum that is satisfying and fast and gets you in your seats on time.

Video: #DTLA: LA Live, Ritz Carlton Spa, WP24, The Nest

To explore L.A. Live, you can stay right here at the JW Marriott or Ritz Carlton
Photo courtesy of Lisa Ellen Niver

If you want to participate in some action yourself, then dress up to dance the night away at the Congo Room, co-owned by Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez, Paul Rodriguez, Sheila E., Amaury Nolasco, Baron Davis, Trevor Ariza and will.i.am. Fashionable attire is recommended, and the food is pan-Latin cuisine.

Meanwhile, the music moves from salsa to rock en español, as well as jazz, urban, R&B and pop/rock.

At Lucky Strikes, put on your bowling shoes in one of the most fantastic lanes on the planet. Plan your next event here, and get ready to rock and bowl.

The Plaza in front of Nokia Live
Photo courtesy of Lisa Ellen Niver

You can eat in 21 locations around L.A. LIVE, with choices from SmashBurger to Boca at The Conga Room.

If you love entertainment, make sure to see the GRAMMY museum, which explores and celebrates all forms of music, the creative process and the art and technology of the recording process, as well as the history of the GRAMMY award.

There are over 50 programs to hear, with artists like Brian Wilson, Herb Alpert, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick and Ringo Starr. Use the L.A. LIVE app to discover all the events that will be happening while you are “on set.”

Come to LA and experience star treatment at Club Nokia’s VIP room with a hosted bar and lounge seating, or rent a Cabana with bottle service.

Want prime seating at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE? Pick the The VIP Experience with front orchestra section seating, premier parking, priority checkin and hosted food and drinks on the private outdoor patio.

If you want special access during a Kings, Lakers or Clippers game, choose the San Manuel Club Premiere Lounges and Tables, with specialty food options, newly designed booths and living-room style seating.

Regal Cinemas has specials that allow you to dine and see the latest films without breaking your budget. But if you want to live it up like a Hollywood rock star, then use The Green Room at L.A. LIVE, where the movie studios set up their Hollywood movie premieres.

You can have your birthday with a hosted bar, lounge seating and high-top tables and Wolfgang Puck Catering to boot.

The Staples Center in Los Angeles, home to the Clippers, Kings and Lakers
Photo courtesy of Lisa Ellen Niver

Relax after all of your experiences in the sanctuary at the Ritz Carlton Spa. This five-star massage extravaganza will leave you feeling like you’ve just had a week’s holiday. Explore the couple’s treatment room options, especially the specials for holidays and Valentine’s Day.

Wondering how to make it through the week? Share your hump day with gLAnce Bar at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE. Enjoy Wine Down Wednesdays with complimentary tastings of a selection of wines; this weekly event’s hosted by renowned winemakers.

The relaxing lobby of JW Marriott Los Angeles, where Wine Down Wednesdays take place
Photo courtesy of Lisa Ellen Niver



Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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