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Is this even possible?

Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
3 posts
18 reviews
Is this even possible?

I am attending a conference in Pasadena in late January. I have never been to LA and would like to visit some of the attractions there (Hollywood, walk of fame, Grauman's, Beverly Hills, beaches, etc) I will have most of Sunday (until around 4:00 pm) and Tuesday (after 10:00) to do this site seeing. What is my best bet? Should I rent a car or is the Metro/bus a better option?


11 replies to this topic
Corona del Mar...
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
59,282 posts
435 reviews
1. Re: Is this even possible?

Jennifer M, welcome to the forums.

Renting a car for the day will make your life ten times easier.

You might want to rent it Saturday as late as you can. Some rental places in Pasadena may not be open Sunday or open late. The night before would give you the chance to leave first thing in the morning.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
Level Contributor
31,447 posts
45 reviews
2. Re: Is this even possible?

It can be done. Using Uber will give you more time because you won't have to search for parking at each place.

Visit Santa Monica on your last day, before your flight out, as it's near LAX.

Mexicali, Mexico
Level Contributor
433 posts
113 reviews
3. Re: Is this even possible?

The Metro can take you right to the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater but is not so convenient for the beaches. Santa Monica is, indeed, close to LAX but, if you have luggage, then you'd need a rental car to do this between checking out of your hotel and going to the airport.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
1,752 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Is this even possible?

It doesnt seem like youll be using the car for the week you plan to be at the conference except for the times you listed.. Youll be paying rental, gas, hotel parking fees, and parking fees at attractions. If money is not an issue, then a car would be ok and faster obviously.

Alternatively,I feel combination of Metro rail/bus and rideshare like Lyft and Uber would work out ok if that is ok. Not everyone in LA likes or has ever taken public transport in LA. So LA is stuck is major traffic jams.

There are 6 Metro Gold Line stops in Pasadena and will get you to Downtown Union Station which is 7 miles away and takes 20-30 minutes. depending on the station.

At Union Station you can catch Metro Red Line to Hollywood and other attractions. The 7 mile ride takes 20-23 minutes to go Hollywood Vine or Hollywood Highland Station where the walk of fame is located. A rideshare to Beverly Hills would be faster than the bus since there is no MEtro rail. But if you do the bus, it is best to take 217 bus in front of Metro stations to Miracle Mile museums like LACMA, Tar Pits, Petersen Auto on Fairfax/Wilshire intersection (25 minutes) and then 720 bus west to Beverly Blvd Stop (15 minutes ride) which is one street next to Rodeo Drive.

The 3rd stop of the Red Line from Union Station si 7th Street Metro transfer hub. Here you can catch the Metro Expo Line to Downtown Santa Monica. The 17 mile ride will take 50 minutes from 7th Street Metro station.

A car trip from Pasadena to Hollywood is maybe 30 minutes with little traffic using freeways 110S to 101N

A car trip from Pasadena to Santa Monica is maybe 45 minutes with little traffic using 110S to 10W.

In moderate traffic add, 20 minutes and heavy traffic add 1 hour.

Hollywood to Beverly Hills is a 10-15 minute drive on local streets with little traffic.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
22,197 posts
262 reviews
5. Re: Is this even possible?

#4 would be my recommendation. Metro hubs are downtown LA, Hollywood and Santa Monica, so getting to any from Pasadena will not be an ordeal.

I use Google Maps to plot my trips on mass transit, car, bike or walk.

To learn more about our Metro system, check this link. There is a trip planner within:


How were you planning to get to LAX? I'm in agreement with Elle, visit Santa Monica on your final day, before departure, only 7 miles from LAX.

Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
3 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: Is this even possible?

Thanks for all the reply's. I am actually flying in and out of Burbank, so no need for LAX

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
7,048 posts
50 reviews
7. Re: Is this even possible?

Beaches are great to look at and walk on, but be aware January is not really beach weather most of the time.

Hollywood destinations can be easily reached by public transit, either a bus (#780, which I have not used), or Metro Gold Line to Metro Red Line (which I have).

Here is the timetable for the Metro #780 bus from Pasadena to Hollywood. This bus also continues to Farmers Market/The Grove and to within a few blocks of Museum Row (LACMA, Petersen) if you finish with Hollywood in an hour or so (a common experience) and want to explore a bit further.

For the Beverly Hills/Santa Monica (and maybe the Getty?) day, I'd rent a car for that one day.


Edited: 16 December 2017, 23:18
Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
7,048 posts
50 reviews
8. Re: Is this even possible?

Should have mentioned...if you want to sightsee closer in, or just have a few hours one day, Pasadena has lots of great places to visit in town and very nearby.

1. Huntington Gardens, Museum and Library. One of SoCal's best attractions, but less visited due to being far from the tourism center.

2. Norton Simon Museum. Ditto.

3. Restaurants in San Gabriel Valley, nation's hub of Chinese dining.

4. Old Pasadena, a very attractive shopping and dining district.

5. Gamble House and surrounding neighborhood, for architecture fans.

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
33,416 posts
64 reviews
9. Re: Is this even possible?

It helps if you tell us where you're staying in Burbank. If it's in the 'old downtown' area next to Interstate 5, that will put you further away from the rest of L.A. than if you're staying at the western edge of Burbank (on the border of the Toluca Lake neighborhood). These two areas offer different public transit options so whereas staying at the latter location will put you on the route of the Metro 222 bus that heads to central Hollywood in about 30 minutes, staying at the eastern edge of Burbank will require that you use two consecutive public transit conveyances to transfer 'into the city'.

This later option isn't a BIG DEAL but it will slow you down a little because:

a. You'll be further from the city

b. You'll have 'waiting time' between conveyances.

You've mentioned the site you're interested in as follows:

1. Central Hollywood (which includes the walk of fame, and the TCL Chinese Theatre (Grauman's lost his claim to it a number of years ago) -- I just call it the Chinese Theatre now,

2. Beverly Hills, and beaches.

Hollywood is closest to Burbank followed by Beverly HIlls and then the beaches. You've told us that you'll have the following time available:

Sunday until 4:00 and Tuesday after 10:00

So, I'm guessing that Sunday will be a 'longer day' for touring since, apparently, you could leave your hotel at, say, 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. whereas you're departure time on Tuesday would be after 10:00 a.m.

With that in mind, make Sunday your 'beach day' since you're traveling further. As ,mentioned above, it's not 'beach weather' in January but people do come to the beach to stroll along the Boardwalk (what we call the Strand) and to breath in the ocean breezes.

That would leave Tuesday for Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

It would be helpful to know the following....

a. When, exactly, are you arriving and departing at BUR? (If you can use the rental car as a means of transferring to and from the airport, this might make renting a car a good option). I'm guessing that your Conference is just Sunday night and all day Monday. Is that the case? (Obviously, you wouldn't want to pay for a car that is sitting idle for a day).

b. What is the cost of overnight parking at your hotel? Does the conference offer any discounts for this? Again, the cost of the car rental will have several components:

i. The cost of the rental itself.

ii. The cost of gas

iii. The cost of overnight parking at your hotel.

iv The cost of parking at attractions.

It seems reasonable that having a car for the drive to the beach on Sunday would make sense as it will give you some flexibility (you can drive 'up the coast' a little and look at the views). You can even drive down the 4-block stretch of Rodeo Drive on the way to the beach and tick that off of your list.

We can estimate gas and parking but we don't know the hotel parking rates or the cost of a rental car (Enterprise is offering cars for about $55 for a pickup at BUR on Sunday morning at 10:00 and a drop-off no later than 10:00 on Monday but if you'll be at your conference on Monday morning, and it's a hassle to drop it off at BUR on Sunday evening after you're done with it, then that option won't work for you.

And, if we knew, for example, that your hotel was within a short distance to a car rental lot, that would make the pick up and drop off easier -- especially since it's a Sunday. You could always pick it up when you land (whenever that is) and drop if off when you depart but you'll have to add in the cost of overnight parking at your hotel for that whole period.

So, the more you can tell us, the better. Once again:

a. When, exactly, are you arriving and departing at BUR?

b. What are the days/hours of the conference?

c. What is the cost of overnight parking at your hotel? Does the conference offer any discounts for this?

d.What is the cost of a car rental for Sunday alone as well as for your entire visit? Which company and location are you quoting?

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
7,048 posts
50 reviews
10. Re: Is this even possible?

HSJ, i have the impression that Jennifer staying in pasadena and flying from BUR. Hence my suggestions. Did I miss something?

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