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Cheap, fun things to do for two days, plus public transit ?

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Grapevine, Texas
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Cheap, fun things to do for two days, plus public transit ?

Me and the fiance will be in Los Angeles next week for two days (yes I know it's not very long), what are the top must-do, must-see things to do?

To be more specific:

We're staying at Sunset Blvd at West Hollywood. We're thinking about walking down the Sunset Strip and walking down Hollywood's Walk of Fame, not sure what else.

We're into museums, unique places to visit, local cuisine/culture, and outdoorsy/scenic places. We prefer cheap/free things to do. We're not really into the "movie star" thing (although we're going to the walk of fame just because it's nearby) and not into amusement parks.

Also, we won't have a car, so how is the public transit there to go to places?


West Hollywood...
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1. Re: Cheap, fun things to do for two days, plus public transit ?

There are those that will chastise you for not renting a car. I am not one of them.

Your location is fairly central so that's a good thing.

Look at our FAQs section at the top of the TOPIC LIST. There are 10 topics discussed. Look at ITINERARY IDEAS (which offers 3 days of touring -- including a day at an amusement park which you can ignore -- using either a car or public transit.

In my opinion, walking down the Sunset Strip is probably not worth your time. Instead, admire it from the #2 Sunset Bl bus which runs often there.

For museums/unique places to visit, you have several choices:

1. Griffith Observatory -- This is a museum and planetarium and, in addition, offers spectacular views of the city as well as the option of hiking up the hillside above the mussem for even more spectacular views. There are 2 ways to go to the museum (no buses, taxis or private cars are permitted to drive to it, btw). Info at griffithobservatory.org).

a. Take the free shuttle bus from the parking lot adjacent to the L.A. Zoo in Griffith Park. This would not be a convenient option for you unless, for example, you were visiting the zoo since it would be 2 bus rides (in succession) and over 90 minutes in transit to get to this starting point from your hotel.

b. Hike up the hillside to the Observatory. This would be a unique experience for you. The directions follow but I wanted to warn you that the trail from the Fern Dell area of Griffith Park (where you will start) up to the Observatory is well-marked and easy to walk up but it is STEEP in places. You don't need to be a professional rock climber but, trust me, it's a workout especially if it's a hot day. Take water with you; wear sunglasses and a light-colored baseball cap is helpful to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your head.

Still, it will be a fun and different experience. Ok, here are the directions:

You need to get to the corner of Fern Dell Drive and Los Felix Bl. To do that, do the following:

i. Take the #2 bus on Sunset Bl eastbound to the corner of Sunset Bl & Vermont Av. Fare is $1.25 or buy a $5 DAY PASS for unlimited rides on the metro buses (excluding the DASH bus below) for the day.

ii. Transfer to the 25-cent HOLLYWOOD DASH bus northbound to Franklin Av & Western Av.

The 2 rides should take about 45 minutes including waiting time between the buses. You can visit the Walk of Fame either before or after this trip to Fern Dell by understanding that there is a red line metro rail station at the corner of Sunset Bl & Vermont where you change from the #2 to the DASH, That red line train goes to the corner of Hollywood Bl & Vine St (the eastern end of the WALK OF FAME) and to the corner of Hollywood Bl & Highland (the western end of the Walk of Fame). The stops are 1 and 2 stops, respectively, from Sunset & Vermont.

Here's a map of the HOLLYWOOD DASH route -- in blue -- (along with the red line -- in red):


(If the LEGEND is blocking the map, you can minimize it by clicking on its left corner. Slide the button to the right of the map to zoom in. You can move the map by clicking and dragging.

Ok, so you're off the DASH bus and are at the corner of Franklin Ave and Western. Continue walking up Western one block (up hill) to Los Feliz Bl, turn right -- you won't have a choice -- and then make a quick left onto Fern Dell Drive. Just ahead on the left, you'll see a gated area caled FERN DELL. This is an assembly of thousands of Ferns of every description. Walk through this area -- it will take about 5 or 10 minutes depending on how fast you walk. When you pass under a bridge and turn left, you'll be in a picnic area in Griffith Park. Walk straight ahead and you'll see a trail going off to the right. Follow it up the hill to the Observatory. The climb will take 20 to 30 minutes. It zig zags up the hill. If you want to go off the trail and climb at a steeper angle, that's your choice.

Once at the Planetarium, don't enter it from the front door. Follow the downward stairs on the right side of the building to the lower level and enter it there. Be sure to buy your tickets to the Planetarium show as soon as you enter. There is a vending machine by the lower entrance to do that with a credit card. If you only have cash, enter through the main entrance in front and buy the ticket from the cashier to the left. Don;t forget to buy this ticket! Admission to the Observatory is free but the Planetarium is not! There is a place to grab a snack and a cold drink near the downstairs entrance or take drinks and snacks with you.

After your visit, you can exit the main door, walk straight across the empty parking lot and up the hill to the right if you want to explore the park some more or you can return via the trail that got you there.

2. Another Unique place to visit is the area adjacent to the corner of Fairfax Ave & Wilshire Bl. Visit:

a. LACMA (L.A. Cty Museum of Art)

b. La Brea Tar Pits

c. Pace Museum

d. Petersen Automotive Museum (ignored by most but a great museum even for people who aren't into cars since it stresses the car as a symbol of Southern California culture).

Since you haven't stated where your hotel is on the Sunset Strip, it's hard to direct you to the best bus route but you can take the same #2 Sunset Bus eastbound to the corner of Fairfax Av and then transfer to he #780 or #217 southbound to Fairfax & Wilshire. (about 30 minutes total). On the #217 or #780, you'll pass the CBS Studios on your left and immediately following it is the Farmers Market and adjacent "the Grove" -- well worth a visit.

Use MTA.NET to find bus routes. In the upper right corner of their home page, follow the EXAMPLE for entering starting and ending points.

3. The Getty Center -- Art + Views

Take the #2 bus WESTBOUND to Le Conte Av & Westwood Bl and transfer to the 761 to the Museum (45 minutes/ $2.50 each way or buy a $5 DAY PASS). Once there, take the free train "up the hill" to the site. The museum is free.

Topanga, California
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2. Re: Cheap, fun things to do for two days, plus public transit ?

Here's the deal...the more you want to do, the more you'll need a car.

If you have only one destination a day, then plan on walking around, a car isn't necessary...in the day. However, riding the buses at night is not a vacation; it's an ordeal.

The Valley, L.A...
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3. Re: Cheap, fun things to do for two days, plus public transit ?

Hi hope you guys enjoy LA. It's hard to get around with out a car if your not familiar with the area but if you guys will be seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame you catch the subway which is located on Hollywood and Highland (to NORTH HOLLWOOD) and take the Universal City Exit. Walk across the street and catch the free tram up to City Walk you guys can walk around and window shop and there's plenty of restaurants when you get hungry. By the way Universal Studios is also located there and there doing they're Halloween Haunt and I've never been there for that but people say it's pretty cool.

City Walk is free but to get into Universal Studios you will have to purchase tickets.

Bus and Subway info at www.mta.net

Los Angeles
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4. Re: Cheap, fun things to do for two days, plus public transit ?

If you are staying on Sunset Blvd, you can take the #2 Sunset Bus all the way to the Ocean and have a nice sunset dinner at Gladstones 4 Fish(right by the ocean). Make sure to get the # 2 timetable at www.metro.net so you will know what time your bus arrives for your return trip

You can also walk down the hill to Santa Monica Blvd and take the # 704 from either La Cienega or San Vicente to Santa Monica and spent a day there, strolling around third street promenade, the beach and pier and maybe even walk along the beach to Venice Beach. All very duable from your location via the bus

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Cheap, fun things to do for two days, plus public transit ?

Since you wanted cheap/free things and don't have a car, it's a bit harder, but here's what's convenient by bus in the 2 days that you have:

- Take a bus to Hollywood Walk of Fame (bus down Sunset to Highland and walk up 2 blocks to Hollywood Blvd and Highland). Walking around will take 1 hour.

- Take the metro from there to Universal CityWalk and spend an hour or two walking around there

- Take the metro back and take bus #217 west that goes down Fairfax. Get off by the Grove and walk around there and have a meal at Farmer's Market

- If you still have time, you can walk up to Melrose Ave and walk around there and shop

The other options include

- Hike up Runyon Canyon (Hollywood Blvd and Fuller) - so you have to take the bus to Sunset abd Fuller and walk up 5 blocks (it's a walking hike up a paved path with good views)

- Come back to Sunset and take the b#2 us all the way to the beach (it'll be a 45-60 min ride or so)

6. Re: Cheap, fun things to do for two days, plus public transit ?

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