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Things to do in L.A

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London, United...
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Things to do in L.A

Hi,

In middle of August 2008 we will be staying in Buena Park for a week. The area where we are we will probably only go to Knotts Berry Park and the water park. That will only take about 1 of the days up so we are hoping to go into the main downtown of L.A and do the normal touristy things such as see the walk of fame, go to universal studios, and also visit Long Beach or Newport Beach.

Considering that we will have to use public transport, would all of this be accessible? We don't really mind how much it would cost to get to all these places but we are just not too sure how we are going to get there yet and also how long it takes to get to each place. We'd really just like to visit the usual hot-spots of L.A so if anyone has any suggestions of places we may like to visit please suggest some.

Thanks in advance.

Topanga, California
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1. Re: Things to do in L.A

If you're capable of driving, rent a car.

If you're not, be prepared to spend a lot of your vacation on public transportation, which is not how the locals prefer to get around.

For the automobile-impaired, Southern California is not an ideal destination.

London, United...
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2. Re: Things to do in L.A

Well we were going to rent a car as I've my full UK driving license but apparently you have to be 21 in the USA to rent a car so that idea went out the window. A free car hire was included in our package holiday with Virgin but they said i would not get insured as you have to be over 21.

Hopefully my bf will be driving by the time we are over there as he will be 21 then and he will have to drive us around instead.

For the people who do use public transport, are there buses at all to the places we'd like to go to?

Nashville, Tennessee
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3. Re: Things to do in L.A

You are staying in Buena Park the entire time? Buena Park is not in Los Angeles, nor is it even in Los Angeles county. It is not going to be easy to get to Los Angeles from there. And downtown L.A. is not the tourisy spot of L.A. Everything that you would probably want to do is even further away than downtown from Buena Park.

Newport Beach is also in Orange County. Not L.A. And everything that you mentioned you want to see is quite spread out. I would seriously think about renting a car, or possibly switching to a hotel more centrally located to things you want to do. Otherwise, you will spend most of your trip traveling from place to place.

London, United...
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4. Re: Things to do in L.A

Yes that's right, Buena Park for the whole week we are in California. When booking the holiday we specifically stated we wanted to be right in the middle of the main places in L.A., and were led to believe that the hotel the travel agent booked us into was in a good place, I'm quite annoyed actually that shes put us so far away, but considering its all booked and paid for now i just want to try and make the most of the holiday. If anyone could be helpful and let me know if there are buses into L.A that would be great.

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Things to do in L.A

LA is a car city and you will need one. Beyond the usual tourist stuff, if you have time go to the Getty Museum, it is awesome and maybe take time time for a stroll along the beach at Santa Monica. I usually head out to tourist heavy areas like the above in the morning. Works for me. Have a wonderful time!

London, United...
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6. Re: Things to do in L.A

Hopefully some of the car rental businesses lets us rent a car then, if not we shall still try and make the most of our time there, and money isn't an issue so if its costly with cabs/buses that's no bother. Please could you give more info on the Getty Museum and where abouts in L.A. it is located? After our week in Cali we fly to South Beach Miami for a week there and we are hoping that will be more of a lazy and lounge around on the beach all day sort of holiday so we don't mind doing a good bit of travelling in Cali if it means seeing atleast a few of the places we would like to.

If anyone does know of any car rental places in Los Angele's/Buena Park area that do allow under 21's to rent a car please let me know ,that would be great, as at the moment they all seem to want you to be 21 and over.

Thanks

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Things to do in L.A

You need to fire your travel agent. Yes, you will not be able to rent a car if you're under 21. And you will also not be able to see LA without a car if you're staying in Buena Park. Driving from Buena Park will take about an hour to most sights in LA. Public transportation, if you can figure it out, will probably take 2-3 hours one way with at least 3 connections. If I were you, I would argue with your travel agent so that they change your stay to somewhere in Hollywood because they basically lied to you. From Hollywood, you can take a tour bus to Knott's if you want to go there (not sure why. Universal and Disneyland are better). From Hollywood, you'll be able to commute around LA by car - not most convenient, but at least a lot more doable than from Buena Park which isn't in LA at all. Make sure to pick something right around Hollywood and Highland area (Orchid Suites, Celebrity Hotel, private room at USA Hostels etc)

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Things to do in L.A

I've heard of a few no-name companies that rent older vehicles to those under 21. Can't think of the name right now though. You may want to Google for that info.

West Hollywood...
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9. Re: Things to do in L.A

I'll try to address all of your questions but I will preface my remarks by saying that you were mislead by your travel agent and you should approach her and have her remedy it.

That said, here'a a map of the L.A. metro area which will show you where Buena Park is compared to everything else:

visitlongbeach.com/maps/southerncalifornia.h…

Some notes about this map:

1. Buena Park is toward the southeast corner of the map (above and to the left of the red dot which denotes Disneyland).

2. Downtown L.A. is in the center of the map and is represented by the small triangle of blue lines that is above the words "Los Angeles". Even though downtown looks to be in the middle of the map, it is, in fact, at the extreme eastern end of the CITY OF LOS ANGELES. Most attractions that are of interest to tourists are to the west of downtown.

3. Therefore, Buena Park along with Anaheim (Disneyland) are outside of the city (and county) of Los Angeles.

4. There is one small error on this map. Hollywood is not positioned correctly. It should be just south of the red dot denoting Universal Studios.

Feel free to use this map to explain to your agent that the majority of L.A. area attractions -- (Malibu and Santa Monica (on the west coast), Beverly Hills and Brentwood -- not shown on the map and home to the Getty Center -- (inland from Santa Monica), Hollywood, Beverly Grove (home to the Farmer's Market, the Grove, the Beverly Center and the CBS Television Studios) as well as countess other destinations: Beaches, canyons, hills, etc are all northwest of Buena Park. In fact, there is nothing in or near Buena Park for tourists except Knotts and its water park, Disneyland and Medieval Times (don't ask!).

See if you can get them to switch your hotel (even if you have to pay more) to either downtown L.A. or Hollywood (preferred). Both of these areas have good public transit hubs.

Changing your hotel would be the IDEAL situation. Then, if you want to spend ONE DAY in Buena Park, there are a number of ways to get there.

Ok, let's talk about public transit options from Buena Park....

I'll list your choices with the most expensive options first:

1. Take a taxi from Buena Park to downtown L.A. It's 22 miles and will cost $70 to $80. From downtown, you can explore the downtown area and venture into Hollywod via the red line metro rail (15 minutes), or to Long Beach via the Blue Line (1 hour). You could also take a taxi from Buena Park to Long Beach (about the same cost: $70) and then take the blue line north into downtown L.A.(1 hour).

2. I will assume that it's just you and your bf. The next cheapest transport option is to take a "shared van" service from your hotel to Union (rail) station in downtown L.A. Go to Redvans.com for prices and reservations. NOTE: The rail station is listed as "an airport" on their site so pretend as if you are "departing from an airport", select Union Rail Station and when you get there you will not depart on a train, of course, but you can transfer to the metro rail to explore the city or just tour the downtown area.

The one way fare is $51.15 for the two of you (plus tip = $7.50) or about $59. That's a savings of $10 or $20 each way compared to the taxi but the van will take longer since others will be picked up and dropped of.

3. Take a train into downtown L.A. You'll need to transfer from your hotel to the rail station. Train fare is between $8 and $10.75 return for each of you. The ride is about 40 minutes. You'll need to take a taxi to the Buena Park rail station (10 minutes, 5 miles -- 8 km) for about $15 each way. Rail schedules are at: metrolinktrains.com (look under ORANGE COUNTY LINE for the schedule. The downtown L.A. station (Union Station) is under "U" on the drop-down menu but it is labeled "L.A. Union Station".

4. Take the #460 METRO BUS. This is a local municipal bus that stops often. It picks up at the corner of Beach Bl & La Palma Avenue -- just a little bit north of Knotts. The ride takes an hour and 15 minutes and will drop you at the corner of Figueroa St & Wilshire Bl in the center of downtown L.A. The fare is $3.70 From there, you can explore the downtown area or walk a block south on Figueroa St (in the opposite direction of traffic) and then turn left onto 7th Street, The metro rail station entrance will be immediately on your left. Take the red line metro rail train for the 12 minute trip to the Hollywood & Highland stop in the center of Hollywood.

Frankly, if you can't change your hotel and you don't mind spending a little extra money, I would move into L.A. and stay there 2 or 3 nights. You will have a much better time -- even though you will be paying for 2 hotels at the same time. You can bid on hotels on PRICELINE.COM and can often get very inexpensive prices (less than $100 per night -- sometimes as cheap as $60 or so).

I recommend starting a new topic so that you'll get some new responses.

Good luck.

(Don't let your travel agent get away with it. Even if she won't help you, you'll have the opportunity to scream at her a bit. It's worth it!).

Nashville, Tennessee
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10. Re: Things to do in L.A

I agree with Smartcooki. Fire your travel agent, but first, have them re-book you into a hotel IN the city of Los Angeles. You are way to far to do the things you want to do, especially without a car. I am sorry they did this to you.