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travelling around Los Angeles

Derbyshire
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travelling around Los Angeles

We have a few days in LA at the beginning of August. Can't decide whether to stay at the Embassy Suites in Downey, Pasadena or Glendale. Pasadena is cheaper but how easy would it be to get to Hollywood etc from there? We have a rental car but we're worried about traffic as we are going during peak holiday time. It's the usual tourist stuff we will be visiting. How feasible is it to drive around and park; if we stick to public transport is that feasible from eg Pasadena?

Long Island NY
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1. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

For the most part public transportation leaves a lot to be desired in the LA area. But the good news is most of the freeways that seem to be busy all the time have car pool lanes, so you may be able to sale past a lot of the traffic.

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

It would be helpful if you told us what you mean by "the usual tourist stuff". L.A. is extremely spread out and our GREATER METRO AREA which includes the theme parks in Anaheim can take over 2 hours to drive from one end to another (without traffic!).

None of the Embassy Suites are close to central L.A. so if you plan to visit Hollywood, Beverly Hills, either of the Getty Museums, Santa Monica, etc, you'll spend hours in your car, stuck in traffic.

Why the Embassy Suites?

Berkeley, Ca.
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3. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

Of those three choices, Pasadena would definitely be preferable for transit. Specific locations of course matter, in or near downtown Pasadena is better.

Pasadena is served by the Gold Line light rail, which goes to Union Station on the edge of Downtown Los Angeles and on to East Los Angeles. Union Station is the connection point for the Red Line subway (to Hollywood) and numerous buses.

There's also a bus route (Rapid line 780, local lines 180/181) that goes from Pasadena to Hollywood directly. It takes a good hour to make the trip. but it's interesting scenically, sociologically, and culinarily--there are many good eating opportunities.

Downey is too peripheral for a transit-based traveler. Glendale is on the Pasadena-Hollywood route, and has good bus service to Downtown Los Angeles. It doesn't have frequent transit rail and it's not nearly as walkable as Pasadena, not as good a location.

Pasadena, California
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4. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

I am not aware of an Embassy Suites in Pasadena. Are you thinking of the Embassy Suites in Arcadia, on Huntington Drive, near Monrovia? If so, that is a few miles from Pasadena. It is in a pleasant suburban neighborhood, near the famous Santa Anita Racetrack. I believe there is a bus route along Huntington Drive that will take you directly to the Gold Line metro route.

That said, consider how enormous the Los Angeles metropolitan region is. Look at Google Maps or the like and try to get a grasp on it. Then, try to get a fix on the things that interest you most--- figure out where they are in the region-- and try to find a place that will be more or less convenient to them all. Rent a car if you POSSIBLY can. The region is too huge and the public transit too slow and spotty to conveniently work for many visitors. Parking is not that big an issue as we all drive all of the time, and obviously need to park our cars. So there are ample parking lots in most places.

I love the Pasadena area, and think a trip here could be quite rewarding. (There are a lot of great things to do in the Pasadena area, but they are not typically in the tourist "top ten" and are unrelated to the whole Hollywood and beach thing.) But, Pasadena (and Glendale) are very hot in the summer and not ideal tourist bases at that time. Personally, though, I think both are preferable to Downey.

As someone else said, is there a reason you are committed to these three Embassy Suites properties? If so, let me know where you want to visit, and I can give you a general idea on the length of the drive from the Arcadia Embassy Suites.

Berkeley, Ca.
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5. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

OP, we do need to hear from you.

Transit-wise, Arcadia is a quite different story from Pasadena. Though there is some bus service there, it's not a place I would recommend staying without a car.

Have you got some kind of credit from Embassy Suites, is that why you're limiting yourself to them?

Manhattan Beach...
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6. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

There is an Embassy Suites in El Segundo, next to LAX, but at the start of the 105 freeway, excellent for getting to tourist sites and other freeways for site seeing.

Do you have more than 4 per room and are looking for the sofa bed in the living room of the Embassy for a 5th person?

San Mateo...
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7. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

There's an Embassy Suites in Santa Monica for that matter ... that's the best location of them all.

Edited: 27 April 2010, 01:22
Berkeley, Ca.
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8. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

I think you may be confusing the Embassy Suites hotel chain, which doesn't have a Santa Monica property, with the independent Embassy Apartments in Santa Monica. In some ways, the Embassy Apartments are a lovely, beautifully located 1920s origin, version of something similar, but they're separate from the chain. One of these years the OP will come back and tell us what her reasoning is.

San Mateo...
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9. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

I stand corrected ... I was also mixing up the Doubletree Guest Suites in SM.

Manhattan Beach...
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10. Re: travelling around Los Angeles

I think Susan is sleeping in Derbyshire right now, and she will see these posts in the morning!