Heading over to Chinatown to visit the galleries, eat some great food, and just look around is one of my favorite things to do in LA. Most of the galleries are open from around 12-6, Wed-Sat and some of them take some searching to find. But once you find them, they're a really great and unique way to spend the day. If you've had your fill of independent contemporary art, stop into one of the local restaurants or better yet, the grocery stores. They have all kinds of things you're not going to find at your local Ralphs, and often at very good prices. If you want to do even more wandering, the little shops around Chung King Rd. and the surrounding streets have fun, cheap toys and trinkets to buy, along with the additional illegal baby red-eared sliders. It's certainly not San Francisco or New York, and at times, it's hard to ignore the oddities like abandoned storefronts, empty pedestrian streets, and frequently defunct lanterns hanging overhead, but it's all part of the charm in this neighborhood that's like nowhere else in L.A.
Pros: Unique atmosphere, free contemporary art viewing, and great Chinese food
Cons: Sometimes it's a little too quiet