Football season is heating up and will be gone before you know it. There are still plenty of big games ahead, but you better get on it: Downtown Los Angeles is the place to camp. On our latest visit we chose the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown.
Staying downtown puts you close to great football this season. The L.A. Coliseum, home to the USC Trojans, is about 10 minutes to the south. After a shaky start, the Trojans are on a roll now and look to contend for the Pac 12 South title. The Coliseum is also home this season to the NFL with the return of the L.A. Rams. Even the Rose Bowl is no more than 25 minutes away for UCLA Bruin fans who are always in the looking for another title. With the addition of LA Live, downtown L.A. has now become the home base for both teams in the Rose Bowl Game each year.
The Trojans still have two home games with Oregon on November 5 and Notre Dame on November 26. The USC-UCLA game will be at the Rose Bowl this year on November 19. The Bruins also have Oregon State at home on November 12.
The L.A. Rams have many home games left to choose from. The Carolina Panthers come to town on November 6 and the Miami Dolphins on November 20. After that they play the Atlanta Falcons on December 11, San Francisco 49ers on December 24, and finish the regular season with the Arizona Cardinals on January 1.
Football games can take up half a day, especially if you tailgate before, so having a hotel like the Sheraton close by is advisable. The L.A. landmark enjoys a dynamic location and 360-degree views of the city from the upper floors. The hotel has just finished a major $75 million renovation, making it now one of elite options downtown.
The rooms have been recently upgraded with five-star comforts that make for a very peaceful night sleep. Business travelers will find all the modern electronic upgrades as well as down pillows and bedding. The unique elevator system takes you right to your room without stopping at other floors. The Sheraton Club service is also available here, and I would suggest choosing it. Guests are treated to several servings a day, including a sumptuous breakfast. The Sheraton Club is located on the top floor overlooking downtown and the mountains beyond.
The Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown is located at 7th and Hope in the heart of town. This means you can walk easily to the L.A. Music Center theaters or the Disney Amphitheatre. Restaurant choices abound here, but don’t forget District on the Bloc on the lower plaza level. Visit SheratonLosAngelesDowntown.com for complete details.
The Ahmanson Theatre will be running Amelie, a musical play this holiday season. The Disney Concert Hall has a variety of events, including Joan Baez on November 5. The small and intimate Mark Taper Forum is my favorite venue and will feature The Beauty Queen of Leenane. These are all first-class theater houses and make for an elegant evening. And, don't forget, theater experiences can make a life-lasting impression on the youngsters in your group.
Dining After the Game
L.A. Live has many restaurant choices but I would strongly consider Rock n Fish. The atmosphere is fairly casual but can capture the intensity of a game night. We chose the salmon salad and blackened tuna entrées, which were just right, as was the Cajun corn side. The service was excellent. Guests can dine inside or out, and there are plenty of elevated TVs to keep you updated on all sports. This might also be a good stop for just a drink and light snack at the large bar area near the entryway.
Take the Train
Those looking for a more relaxing trip might consider taking Amtrak from Santa Barbara to Union Station in L.A. The ride hugs the coast down to Ventura and takes about two hours. Pay a little extra and upgrade to the Business Class service with large comfortable seats. It is just a short cab ride from Union Station to the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown and L.A. Live.