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suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

Toronto, Canada
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suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

I'm looking for some ideas please. My husband and I are going to be in California for a couple of weeks(mid February). We are staying in Santa Barbara for 3 days then we move on to Malibu for 3 days and last but not least, we are going to be in Santa Monica for a little over a week. We were wondering if anyone could suggest any day trips for us while we are in Santa Monica? We've been to Long Beach and Huntington Beach on previous trips. We don't like to shop unless it's something unique-we're from Toronto and have pretty much the same shops as you have in Ca. We like the outdoors(walks, photography and drives), beaches (water activities and chilling out), gallery's and museums too. Last year we went on the unique and macabra Dearly Departed Tour. Very cool! Any other suggestions?

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1. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

My favorite day trips are to Laguna Beach and to Santa Barbara (do this while staying in Malibu). But, given that LA from one end to the other would constitute a day trip, I would definitely suggest spending each day exploring LA itself.

Take a day in Pasadena, go to the Huntington and visit the Norton Simon. That's a great day!

Spend a day downtown, visiting Olvera Street as well as the Museum of Science and Industry.

How about a day of horseback riding at Will Rogers State park? Followed by a hike in the Santa Monica mountains.

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Fremont, California
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2. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

Drive out to Pasadena. Huntington Library is an amazing place to see galleries, museums, outdoors (photogrphy, walk and is worth a visit. There are Japanese, cactus, sculptor, and other gardens. There is also a mansion to wander through with gorgeous art pieces.

http://www.huntington.org/

If you want to make a day of it, you can easily do this:

1) Start at Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia. This is close to the Huntington Library. It opens at 9:00 which makes it a good morning activity.

http://www.arboretum.org/

2) Then go to Huntington Library. You can have lunch there.

www.huntington.org/Information/tearoom.html

You will end up staying there till closing which is at 4:30 p.m. There is enough to see.

3) Then wander over to Old Town Pasadena and have dinner. This is a nice area to walk around in.

http://www.pasadenacal.com/oldpas.htm

This is also the area where the yearly New Years Rose Parade takes place - Colorado Boulevard. Many different restaurants there - 2 are Cheesecae Factory and annother Il Fornaio. But there are lots and lots of good restaurants.

4) Afterward stop for an afternoon tea or drink at the Langham (formerly the Ritz Carlto) - Pasadena. This is a gorgeous old style hotel with a beautiful library room.

http://pasadena.langhamhotels.com/en/

Then return to Santa Monica.

Other museums to be sure to see while in the area on another day is the

Autry Museum of Heritage - by the Los Angeles Zoo and Griffith Park.

http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/

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Little Sutton...
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3. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

You could try a trip to Catalina,we've done it a few times,it is a beautiful place.

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Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

I'm so glad you suggested Catalina Island! We wanted to go there last year but just didn't have enough time. I totaly forgot! What did you like about the island? Did you stay for a few days or do a day trip?

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Fremont, California
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5. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

You can easily enjoy catalina in a day trip. We rented golf carts and toured the island, had lunch, shopped, and took the Catalina Express to and from. People do spend overnight...as its a nice get away from the LA area. Unless you are into water sports (deep sea diving, etc.), I would probably opt for a day trip.

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6. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

Feb is way tooo cold for a Catalina trip, with probably rough waters. Feb can be rainy and cold, certainly not boat trip weather.

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7. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

I have been to Catalina many times, and although they have some very nice places to stay, it is definitely a place that can be enjoyed in one day. There isn't really even enough to do for more than one day. lol. So that would be my suggestion as well. Great place to spend a day.

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8. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

If you like modern art and architecture:

Go to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Downtown Los Angeles; See a concert at Disney Hall across the street that evening. Disney Hall is the amazing sculptural building by Frank Gehry, great to photograph, and the inside of the concert hall is spectacular too.

In Pasadena: Norton Simon Museum is a small gem with great collections. If you like early 20th century architecture (craftsman style), the nearby Gamble House, designed by Greene and Greene, is really beautiful, and you can take a docent-led tour. (Check hours for the tours online.) Also the Huntington Gardens.

Both Getty Museums are must-sees and great places for photography. The Getty Center is in Brentwood, and the Getty Villa, with the ancient art collection, is in Malibu. The Malibu location requires a pre-arranged ticket. I believe you can get tickets for the Getty Villa from the information desk at the Getty Center (also on line).

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9. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

I think you'd enjoy a day trip to Catalina Island,from your week in Santa Monica. You can take the ferry from Marina del Rey on the Flyer, rather than drive down to Long Beach to catch it.

www.catalinaferries.com/…

Be sure and rent a golf cart while on island, and you can get some good views of the harbor from Mt. Ada.

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Little Sutton...
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10. Re: suggestions for day trips from Los Angeles

Despite a dislike of Seacats we actually enjoyed the journey,we paid extra for Commodore class,we've done a day trip there 3 times now & being early going out & it's been pretty cold on the outward leg & so full that people were having to sit outside,the Commodore crew had their hands full throwing them out of the near empty lounge!

On our first trip we took the Inland tour which took most of our day there,on our second trip we did the Skyline tour around Avalon & on our third visit we just relaxed in Avalon,ending up(all three times) in a bayside bar sipping cocktails watching the world go by,magical!

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Avalon
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