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Can we do all this in 1 day........

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Suwanee, Georgia
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Can we do all this in 1 day........

Just got to LA and man the traffic here is intense, how do people even drive here? That being said we now need the LA experts help and we need it quick, We plan to do what we can Wednesday. First can someone point out to us the best beach in the LA area if you just want to swim in the Pacific, we just need a little dip in the ocean and we will have kids with us so no nude action. Most importantly though we need to know if all of these locales can be visited in one day. The Getty Museum, the Hollywood Sign, Venice Beach, Rodeo Drive(Beverly Hills), Santa Monica Pier (maybe swim there), and if we can fit them in, maybe cruise around Bel-Air and see Mulholland Drive. I know this is alot of things we are trying to fit into one day but that is why I'm asking the experts. We have a car and just need some direction as to where we should go first, second, so on and so forth and end up back in Hollywood where we are based. If you also have a magical way of avoiding at least some traffic that would be appreciated also. All suggestions welcome. Thank you all in advance. P.S. To avoid confusion we do not need to swim on Wednesday, we will probably do that on Thursday.

SoCal
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1. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

Many people do not believe Venice beach is appropriate for children so consider skipping that. Why don't you do you swim in the Pacific in Santa Monica on Thursday and combine that with the Santa Monica Pier. That takes 2 things off the list so you can probably fit the rest in Wednesday. I don't know how old the kids are but do you think the Getty is something that will go well with them? You can see the Hollywood sign at the Hollywood and Highland shopping center from the bridge on the third and fourth floors. You don't mention it but the Chinese theater and Walk of Fame are right there too. If you want to get closer to the sign, we followed the directions on the map of the stars homes and got closer (my cousins wanted to see how close we could get).

Suwanee, Georgia
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2. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

Thanks for the help Jennifer. Do you believe Venice is safe for a 16 and 13 yr old? We are probably restrictive parents when it comes to exposing our kids to weird places and people, so If you don't think it's a good idea to take them there we may not. Also, we already did the Kodak, Manns Theater, and walk of fame this afternoon/evening and it was great. Also ate at In N Out for the first time and it was very good. We will probably swim in Santa Monica so that takes care of that. Do you have maybe any driving directions for the other items as far as time saving tips and traffic avoiding routes? Also do you think of any other places we should visit? Thanks again for the help.

SoCal
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3. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

I don't think it is really a matter of safety, it is about what is going on there and exposure to certain things. If you do a search of what it is like I don't think it is where you want your kids if you are restrictive/protective. Many people post that Venice Beach is not for kids on Trip Advisor.

Your kids may like the Getty if they like museums or at least tolerate them! Some other ideas are The Grove and Farmers Market, La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum, Natural History Museum, Olvera Street, CA Science Center, Grammy Museum, Griffith Observatory.

Ontario
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4. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

For part of your itinerary you could go to go to Rodeo Drive in the morning (Santa Monica Blvd would be the most direct route - don't know traffic-wise. In our experience, even with planning, LA traffic can be hit or miss).

After seeing Rodeo Drive shops go north on Rodeo Drive to Sunset Blvd then head west. It will take you past the Bel Air Country Club and UCLA campus.

When you reach the 405 it is a quick jaunt up to the Getty Center

After the Getty Center head back down the 405 to Sunset Blvd on the other side of the highway to continue your route towards the coast which will take you through Brentwood and Pacific Pallisades (more beautiful multi-million dollar homes).

Lastly head south to Santa Monica. You can take the Pacific Coast Highway though it can be quite congested or you can try to take some side roads that run parallel to it which go through residential neighborhoods (lots of stop signs and low speed limit). You probably won't have time to swim at this point but you could go to the pier and walk on the beach and familiarize yourselves with the area. You could bring your swim stuff just in case though. You might find the water a little cold compared to southern east coast beaches.

Just a note: Venice beach is just one town over from Santa Monica but the vibes of the two are very, very different. Santa Monica is more upscale and manicured. Venice Beach is more laid back (wayyyy back,like almost anything goes, if you know what I mean) - beachy, skater, grunge. You may or may not want to take your kids there depending on how conservative you are and how much you are willing to explain (the thing is you never know what you are going to see). I have to say that it is quite entertaining to watch the skateboarders at the skateboard park and there are a lot of tourists who go to Venice Beach (though they probably don't stay too long).

Berkeley, Ca.
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5. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

Staying in Venice recently, the main untoward thing I saw was solicitation for sale of marijuana (oh and drunken twentysomethings at my "upscale" hotel). I don't know that you have to keep your kids away, I think my teenager wouldn't like it. On the other hand, in a whirlwind tour day like you're proposing, you probably should only visit one beach--Santa Monica or Venice. Apart the skateboarders and the outdoor weightlifters, there's nothing that would really draw me to Venice, except maybe Small World Books, an excellent bookstore in the incongruous setting of the Ocean Front Walk.

Suwanee, Georgia
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6. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

Thanks all for the info. We will just skip Venice Beach due to the reviews. So from our base in Hollywood we will head first to Beverly Hills (rodeo Drive), then down Sunset Blvd to the 405. Is there anything on Sunset Blvd to check out? From the Getty center to Santa Monica and the pier. Got it. Now is there a way to fit the getting closer to the Hollywood sign during this route as well as maybe checking out Mulholland dr or fitting in a trip to the Grove? We won't swim today unless we get to the Pier really early.

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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7. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

The traffic you're experiencing is because of E3. I haven't seen traffic like this in a long, long, time but this convention causes a real nightmare. It's all this week.

SoCal
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8. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

You can do The Grove at the end of your day and have dinner at the Farmer's Market stalls.

Oregon
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9. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

If you have time, you might want to consider walking around the Venice Canals, rather than going to Venice Beach. We visited the Canal neighborhoods last year and really enjoyed the area. It's a bit of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle

http://www.westland.net/venice/canals.htm

www.yelp.com/biz/venice-canals-venice-2

Edited: 08 June 2011, 20:14
Rancho Santa...
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10. Re: Can we do all this in 1 day........

I definitely look foward to you trip report!

Next time, give us a little more time to respond and help you plan.