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Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

starsparkles
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Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

Sorry for the crytpic title, but what would you recommend we do if we are arriving to LAX, want to spend the weekend in Catalina, then need to get to Irvine for work that week.

We are trying to decide if we should:

A. Take a taxi (2 of us) from LAX to the ferry and then back to LAX to get the car after the weekend. How do we find out the cost of a taxi? Do they charge pp or per trip?

B. Take some kind of shuttle bus from LAX to Long Beach. Do we risk missing a ferry if others are on board?

C. S*ck it up and "buy" a rental car to leave in paid parking for 2 nights?

Thanks. We need to decide this soon for a spontaneous mid-April trip.

San Diego...
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1. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

For convenience, I would probably rent a car the whole time i.e. your choice C. Sometimes they have cheaper weekly rates for car rental, so I'm not even sure that you would save with A. or B. and I think any savings would be cancelled out by inconvenience. Do check out the ferry website however: www.catalinaexpress.com and note that San Pedro is probably the closest port to LAX.

Edited: 14 March 2010, 01:26
Manhattan Beach...
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2. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

The San Pedro terminal is the closest from LAX. Anyway, until April 15th the Long Beach Landing is closed due to dredging operations in LB, so you would use SP.

The way I would do it is rent your car and park is in the paid parking for two nights, so that you don't loose time and money getting back to LA. When you return from Catalina, your car will be there and you can be on your way. Locals use the paid parking, it's safe.

Moorpark, California
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3. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

Yep, your plan "C" is the most convienent. You would waste a lot of time and frustration heading back up to LAX after your trip to the island just to rent a car. And aweekly rental is usually cheaper. We we have left our car at both the Long Beach and San Pedro Catalina Express terminals with no problems. (I was not aware of the dredging of operations in Long Beach, thanks for that tip CANative). Besides, San Pedro is closer to LAX.

Los Angeles
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4. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

Is there any chance you can fly to John Wayne Airport (airport code SNA) instead of LAX? Its a short cab ride from there to Newport Beach, and from there you can get a ferry to Catalina.

Even if you can't fly to SNA and have to fly to LAX, you can still take the ferry from Catalina back to Newport instead of back to Long Beach. You can get a cab ride from Newport harbor to a local rental car lot (Enterprise at 3300 Jamboree Road, for example). Irvine is not far away from there at all. And if you have to fly to LAX, you can take a taxi to Marina Del Rey (much closer and thus cheaper cab ride from LAX vs. to Long Beach) which also has ferry boats to Catalina.

What I wouldn't do is rent a car for two nights + pay to park it somewhere, especially if you're going to rent it from an airport location (where taxes and fees can make it significantly more expensive than renting from the same company at an off airport location) . I also would not take a taxi back to one of the airports to rent a car from an airport location. There are car rental locations all over the place, and you can often return the car to an airport location even if you didn't rent it from the airport location, for no charge, or a small charge.

FYI, taxi's are basically $2.85 to start the trip, $2.70 per mile after that, and $0.50 per minute spent waiting at red lights or stuck in traffic.

Edited: 14 March 2010, 06:37
Mission Viejo...
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5. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

Another option- Drive down to Balboa (Newport Beach) and take the Catalina Flyer to Avalon. There's a large municipal lot a few blocks from the CF terminal....I don't recall the parking fee, look on the City of Newport Beach website for parking at the Balboa Pier. By the way it's a large open parking lot in a beach area, so reasonably secure but I wouldn't leave valuables in the car. From Balboa it's 15-25 minutes to Irvine, depending on what part of the city.

Last comment, have you checked fares into John Wayne/Orange County Airport (SNA)? Sometimes they are similar to LAX, saving you a lot of driving. A cab or shuttle from SNA to Balboa shouldn't be too expensive, about 10 miles each way.

Oops, I see Mach 3 beat me to the Balboa / SNA options.

Edited: 14 March 2010, 06:54
Manhattan Beach...
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6. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

I live closer to Marina del Rey, but the reason I use Catalina Express from San Pedro, is that there are more scheduled trips daily for my convience, and the cost is only $66 rather than $83 to Avalon. MDR leaves just once or twice a day and on Tu&W there is no service to Catalina.

The cost of a taxi averages about $80 LAX to SP according to some on the cruise boards.

Moorpark, California
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7. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

The boat ride from Newport Beach to Avalon is much longer! The closest point from the mainland to Avalon is Long Beach and San Pedro is the 2nd closest. Traveling across the water is much slower than across land. Take the boat out of San Pedro if Long Beach is not available.

starsparkles
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8. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

Wow thanks to all of you for all of that detail.

We can absolutely fly into John Wayne and it was only because of the car thing (less pricey rentals and the corporate bean counters will be watching)that we had chosen LAX.

I am a total landlubber so the shortest time on the big scary ocean the better IMHO, but for convenience sake I will look into the Newport beach option...certainly less trafficky and so much easier on the back end.

Thank you all again.

9. Re: Arriving to LAX, then Catalina, then Irvine. Car How to?

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