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Have just 1 day near LA - suggestions?

Phila., PA
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327 posts
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Have just 1 day near LA - suggestions?

I will have just a single day to myself after a business trip north of LA in Santa Clarita, and am looking for suggestions on where to go? Single day makes the choice hard! Thought of a number of things:

1. Head to Hollywood & Highland, and take the on-off again bus tour. One of the stops are Paramount studio - stop and take a studio tour. I'm not a huge movie fan, but seems to be the thing to do, and is close enough to my hotel.

2. Rent a car and head to Santa Barbara.

3. Rent a care and visit Sequoia NP or Forest to the south. Problem may be snow.

4. Head to Palm Springs and the desert.

May be able to drive a bit the night before my day, so can extend my range. Any suggestions most welcomed.

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West Hollywood...
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1. Re: Have just 1 day near LA - suggestions?

What are your dates of travel? This will help us determine whether the desert or the coast are viable options for you.

Where is your hotel? If you tell us, we'll be able to determine the distance from your hotel to your three options.

I'll assume that your hotel is near Santa Clarita and that you will be traveling in January:

1. Distance to Santa Barbara (80 miles, 1-1/2 hours EACH WAY).

2. Distance to Palm Sprints (140 miles, 2-1/2 hours EACH WAY).

In general, I would say that spending 5 hours to Palm Springs and back for a one-day visit there isn't going to be much fun. (If you're traveling on a weekday, you are bound to hit "rush hour" on the way to or from P.S. which will make your drive even longer).

The weather in P.S. will be in the 60s during the day and colder in the evening. Santa Barbara will be a little cooler (high 50s during the day). Neither of these areas will be "warm".

To check temps for different months, go to weather.com, enter the city of your choice and, on the next page, click on the link that says: "averages and records".

Sequoia National Forest is 200 miles NORTH of Santa Clarita (4 hour drive EACH WAY).

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what kinds of places you like to visit.

While the Hop On, Hop Off tour is a decent way to see the Hollywood area, in general, Warner Brothers gets the best reviews as far as studio tours go. WB is in Burbank which is very close to Santa Clarita.

Phila., PA
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327 posts
105 reviews
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2. Re: Have just 1 day near LA - suggestions?

Thanks mch for the comments! You are correct, I am staying late January at the Hyatt Velncia/Santa Clarita. I am not adverse to driving (put 400+ on my rental in October in two days before another business trip), and prefer scenic rather than city. Trying to round off things I didn't do on a road trip in CA last year with the family, where I did Disney, Yosemite, Monterey, and SF. Because of a traffic jam trying to leave LA to Yosemite, I basically missed Sequoia NP. I love the national parks and the desert (I would love to visit death valley realizing this is too far for a day trip!), but realize with my time and the fact that it is January I may not be able to see anything scenic. My concern is I am leaving LAX on a red eye Friday, and am concerned about traffic. I did miss Hollywood, so I thought that may be my best choice because of logistics.

Newbury Park...
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3. Re: Have just 1 day near LA - suggestions?

A nice drive with some beautiful scenery that won't be to bad would be to take the 126 from your hotel to the 150 and stop in Ojai (@1 hour) - nice small artsy type town.

Continue onwards on the 150 past Lake Casistas to Santa Barbara. 45 minutes or you can cut off Ojai and take the 126 to the 101 to Santa Barbara only an hour drive.

If you want to see more scenery and maybe stop by a couple of nice wineries to pick up a bottle or two - head up the 154 past Lake Cachuma and have lunch in Los Olivas. 45 minutes

Continue on the 154 to the 101 and head south. You can stop in Solvang (touristy Danish Town - doesn't do much for me but a lot of people like it). 10 minutes.

Then continue down the coast (some nice views) through Santa Barbara (stop if you have time). 50 minutes

From there continue on the 101 to Hwy 1 to the coast through Oxnard) and continue down the coast to Santa Monica. under 2 hours

You can hop on the 10 from there and either exit Lincoln to the airport or take the 405 to the airport. 20 minutes

It's a lot of driving - but lots of place to stop and explore and if you are running out of time you can turn around at any point.

Santa Clarita...
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4. Re: Have just 1 day near LA - suggestions?

Since you will be here during whale-watching season (late December - March), perhaps you would like to take a boat trip out of Ventura. Island Packers is highly recommended.


5. Re: Have just 1 day near LA - suggestions?

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