There isn't a very convenient place to stay since your sites are quite spread out, and without a car, it's going to be a long ride no matter where you stay.
If you hire a car, you could put your luggage in the trunk (boot) and drive from LAX to Santa Monica (15/20 minutes), enjoy the day at the beach, drive (30-40 minutes) to Hollywood (check into your hotel) and then, in the morning, it's a 10-minute drive to Universal. After Universal, you can hop onto the nearby 101 freeway (motorway) and you're off to Anaheim.
Now, let's look at that itinerary using public transit...
From LAX, you wouldn't be able to go directly to Santa Monica since you'd have your luggage. If you stayed in Hollywood, the transfer from LAX would be 90 minutes by public transit (including waiting time) to get to your hotel, an hour more to get to Santa Monica, then another hour to get back to the hotel. The transfers between Hollywood and Santa Monica would require 2 buses (in succession) or you could walk to Santa Monica Bl (in Hollywood -- a 15 minute walk from the hotel zone) and take one bus to Santa Monica. So, on your first jet-lagged day, after 16 hours of flying, and 60 to 90 minutes in baggage reclaim, customs and immigration, you'll need to spend 3-1/2 hours on buses/vans.
Trust me. Rent a car.
tks. i will stay in hollywood. im not comfortable hiring a car immediately so will get a cab to hollywood accomodation, leave our luggage there and then make our way to santa monica.
How much is cab from lax to hollywood or are their shuttles? how easy is public transport to santa monica and approx how long does it take?
I stayed in Beverly hills on Wiltshire Blvd. We rented a car as we drove in from San Fran, but you can use public transport to get to Venice, Santa Monica and Hollywood from Beverly Hills. The rental car was useful though when we did Disney and Universal and would highly recommend this as it would have been impossible getting there any other way really. The buses are very easy to use if you want to explore the main tourist ares like Hollywood and Santa Monica as parking is very restrictive in these areas.
Well like many people told you, rent a car, if you want a better rate dont rent at Lax, maybe the taxi will be 20 dollars, but you will save more.
Great for kids, many things there, you will like it very much.
Its in the the middle of both, maybe there you can have the elegance of B.h. and the fun of Hollywood.
And the prices are lower.
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