Post # 1
Hey everyone!! I need some help!! Fiance and I are going to Tahiti for our honeymoon, but will first spend a couple days in LA, to help with the transition in time change (coming from Toronto area!) and have NO IDEA where to stay, or what area would best serve us for what we want… We are also curious if we should get a rental car, or just try public transit/cabs (and what would be cheaper!!) So if there are any California girls around here, I would appreciate any support, ideas that would make this as simple as possible! We have both done a LOT of travelling, and want to enjoy ourselves on our honeymoon!
so… we arrive in LA Sunday at 11:30pm, then leave again Wednesday at 1pm… (need to be at airport by 10am!)
We would like to spend some time doing a studio tour at Universal Studios, as well as see the regular Hollywood walk of fame type stuff. Keep in mind, we really have only 2 days there…
1. where would be best to stay? Hollywood area, or LAX area (to avoid rush hour trying to get to the airport for our flight on Wednesday) We are okay with public transit to get to sites! Any hotel suggestions?
2. should we rent a car, or is it better/cheaper to use public transit to get everywhere we want to go, as well as to and from the airport?
Post # 3
I would stay by the beach in Santa Monica or Venice. Westwood (where UCLA is) has a W hotel which is also somewhat close to the beach. Some parts of Hollywood are nice (since they built the Kodak and Hollywood and Vine) but others are not so nice.
There are a lot of hotels in Burbank, near Universal Studios but I wouldn’t personally stay there.
Another choice is Pasadena. It’s pretty close to downtown and Burbank and has lots of cute areas with restaurants and shopping.
You will definitely need a car in LA. It’s a driving city. There is public transit, but it doesn’t go everywhere you will want to.
For sites, I would go to Santa Monica Pier, the Getty Museum, Universal Studios, maybe Rodeo Drive…
Post # 4
I live near Pasadena and have for my whole life so I’ll give you my .02…
– I would not suggest staying close to the airport. LAX is yuck and the only hotels around there are really more for business travelers, I think.
– You really need to rent a car. Public transit out here is also super yuck and inconvenient. There really is no choice on this one in my mind.
– LAX is closer to the West side of LA which is nice and fun and close(ish) to the beach, depending on which city you’re in. You might want to stay over there in Westwood, Century City, Santa Monica or other such city depending on how much $$ you want to spend. It can be pricey.
– Hollywood has some up and coming areas to stay but really isn’t all that nice overall. Nice to visit on a day trip but I wouldn’t recommend staying there for your hotel. Kind of like a tourist trap. The places that aren’t too touristy are sort of too trendy for my taste. But, might be fun for you is that’s what you’re in to. Try the Roosevelt in Hollywood to get an idea of what’s in Hollywood, it’d also be fun to go have drinks there one night.
– LA is a seriously huge city that can take 2-3 hours to drive through depending on where you’re going at what time. Consider that when you make your sightseeing and hotel choices. Attractions can be super far away from each other.
– Things I would suggest seeing are the Getty Museum, Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Hollywood and Highland, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Universal Studios/ CityWalk, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Drinks at the bar at the top of the Bonaventure Hotel (it rotates 360 degrees!), Venice Beach Boardwalk and the Petersen Auto Museum.
– Have a great trip!!
Post # 5
The bases are already covered, but I would just emphasize that Santa Monica is a lovely place to stay, and that there is no avoiding traffic in LA. It is just a fact of life there. So rent a car and plan to drive longer than you think.
Post # 6
Here are my .02 too.
Definately do not stay by the airport.
Rent a car because there is NO public transportation in LA
Many people have recommended to go north towards LA which is a great idea but just 2 small cities to the south of the airport is Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. 3 great beach neighborhoods with lots of fabulous restraunts and a lot of beach.
Good luck whatever you decide to do.
Post # 7
I live in Torrance which is 20 minutes down South PCH from LAX (and right next to Hermosa and Redondo). If you are looking to do the touristy thing I would suggest NOT staying down here. Not that it isn’t a FABULOUS place to live, but the things you would like to do require hopping on the 405/10 (read:Traffic) and trying to make your way into the valley.
Hollywood itself is a little shady, depending on the area you are going into. I would suggest visiting for a couple hours and then making your way back to a hotel in the Santa Monica/Westwood area.
Things to visit: 3rd Street/Venice Beach is my favorite place to visit. Skip Rodeo Drive, it is really small and not much to look at.
Post # 8
I’m just gonna put it out there again…DO NOT stay near LAX! its ghetto and crime-ridden. Nothing fun is out there in that area unless you want to see some gangs and drive bys and strip clubs. The other girls did say the nice places to stay… somewhere near the beach in Santa MOnica, Venice, Hermosa Bch, Manhattan Bch, Redondo Beach. Lots of things to do in those cities too. Their close enough to LAX that its not too much traffic unlike Hollywood or Pasadena.
If you do end up staying in Hollywood, please make sure to just “live it up” and get a nice hotel. Do not try to get a cheap hotel in downtown LA or HOllywood you will regret it!
And yes, you definitely need a car. And some extra money for parking. Parking in LA gets expensive and lots of places only accept cash.
Post # 9
Taxis are expensive in LA – rent a car. Don’t stay in a ghetto area (LAX and even parts of Hollywood area). So, I agree with everyone else.
Post # 10
It might be worth it to stay at a LAX hotel the night before your trip and return your car that night so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
Post # 11
I definitely vote for staying in the Santa Monica area (not just because I live there!). It’s close enough to LAX that you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting to/from the airport, especially if you avoid the freeways (any good online map program can give you non-freeway directions) or feel free to PM me and I can give you some of the routes the locals use to get around.
And definitely rent a car. You will hate traffic in LA, but you really need one to get around since it’s a sprawling city.
Post # 12
@gusismypup – agreed. Before I moved to LA I used to stay at the Radison hotel that is near but not AT the airport, I believe there is a shuttle though I always rented a car. That particular hotel is walking distance to the Howard Hughes promenade of shops, restaurants and movie theatres and has a few other things within walking distance, so for the last night in town it could be perfect.
Post # 13
I’m also voting for Santa Monica (and, yes, I live here too 🙂 ). You could possibly get around renting a car by taking a cab or shuttle from the airport to Santa Monica. You can walk to the beach, pier, etc. from your SM hotel. There is a tourism company on 2nd street, so you could book a tour to Universal Studios. I’m not sure how you feel about those types of activities, but it’s an option if you don’t want to drive 🙂
Post # 14
I went to a conference at UCLA a couple of years ago and that was a fun area – I don’t know what it’s called. Check tripadvisor for the best hotels in LA. I hate renting a car in big unfamiliar cities, so I would vote for cabs.
Post # 15
Thanks everyone for the GREAT ideas!! i will run them past the mister when he gets home from work tonight 🙂 I’m thinking Santa Monica looks like a great choice, especially when I look up the hotels etc! Thanks so much, I never would have thought to look there!