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Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

Birmingham, United...
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Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

Hello guys,

We am going to stay in LA at Hollywood Hotel - The hotel of hollywood (http://www.hollywoodhotel.net/) for 5 nights. We are a couple in mid 20s.

I was wondering if we need a rental car during our stay as we heard that the public transportation is limited in LA eg some buses stop operating at 7pm. This hotel seems walking distance to metro.

The things we wanted to see in LA

Universal Studios

Downtown

Walt Disney hall

Some top tourist attractions within LA

Edited: 02 September 2012, 14:25
Anaheim, California
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1. Re: Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

The Vermont/Sunset LA Metro Red Line station is just two long blocks away from your hotel, so walkable.

The LA Metro Rail lines run to midnight during the week, and to 2 AM on Friday and Saturday nights. So you can stay out late and still get back to your Hotel.

Check out the tourist attraction at the Hollywood/Highland station, including the Hollywood sign, Grauman's Chinese Theater and much more.

Universal City Red Line station gets you to Universal Studios. (Just cross the street and catch the free tram up the hill to the Main Park Entrance and CityWalk.

Here are a couple of LA Metro publications that talk about Tourist locations with easy access using Metro, and then a guide listing discounts offered to Metro riders.

www.metro.net/riding/destination-guides/

http://www.metro.net/service/discounts/

Birmingham, United...
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2. Re: Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

Thanks Darkbeer, for us the maximm late we would be staying outside would be 10pm, after that it's only at the hotel.

Would I be right in saying that to see most of LA attractions, I should be ok travelling by metro rail / buses and I don't need a car. For a day we may go to Anaheim but if it's very far we would leave early in the morning and try to catch that area with local buses and leave well on time to get back to central LA.

Anaheim, California
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3. Re: Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

The other option to get to Anaheim is to take the train system. Take the LA Metro Red Line to Union Station, and then catch either the Amtrak or Metrolink service. Since Amtrak runs later at night, I would get a round trip ticket to the Fullerton Station, and then take the OCTA Route 43 bus south to Disneyland. The bus stop is right across the street from the Train Station (Actually it is a Transit Center where multiple buses stop, so make sure and read the signs so you are catching the 43 Southbound bus.).

Depending on the time of year, and day of week, Disneyland Hours can be anything from 10 AM to 8 PM (slow day), or 8 AM to 11 PM (busy day). The one thing to be careful of is the last train back. The Disneyland Resort offers special evening entertainment many days of the week, Fireworks, Fantasmic! and World of Color. They are some of the best shows that Disneyland offers, but you will be cutting time close. You might want to opt for a Taxi back to Fullerton (about $15 plus tip), the Taxi stand is near the ESPN Zone and Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney.

Birmingham, United...
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4. Re: Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

Excellent info Darkbeer. One final question - The hotel is located on 1160 North Vermont Avenue, would you think this is a safe area? The hotel has a 3.5 rating on Tripadvisor which means the hotel is decent but I can't seem to find any info on area wise.

West Hollywood...
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for Los Angeles
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5. Re: Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

The area is perfectly safe. There is not much in the immediate area of interest to tourists as it is a neighborhood of hospitals. You can walk north about 10 minutes to the Los Feliz neighborhood which is quite walkable and has dozens of restaurants of all types and some small shops.

Re: 'seeing major attractions of Los Angeles', be aware that our metro area is immense. While the red line will take you into downtown (which is at the extreme eastern end of our sprawling city) and through Hollywood to Universal, the metro RAIL system covers just a tiny sliver of our city. The majority of attractions in L.A. and adjacent areas can only be reached by bus (or in some cases, by car only).

L.A. is not like the typical city. You can't simply walk out of your hotel and start 'walking around' (in some neighborhoods you can do this but even in those areas, you are limited to the attractions in just those areas). Bottom line: everything is very spread out.

As a result, you could end up taking the red line followed by a bus or the red line followed by 2 buses in order to get to an attraction. For example, the Getty Center (a popular hilltop art museum with spectacular views of our city and the ocean) would require the following public transit route from your hotel:

Starting at 1160 N VERMONT AV...

Ride Metro Rail Red Line [NORTH HOLLYWOOD STATION] heading north from: VERMONT/SANTA MONICA STATION Lv: 09:11AM

To: UNIVERSAL CITY STATION Ar: 09:24AM

Pay $1.50,

Transfer to:

Metro Rapid Line 750 [WARNER CTR TRANSIT HUB] heading west

From: UNIVERSAL CITY STATION/BUS BAY 3 Lv: 09:35AM

To: VENTURA BLVD/VAN NUYS BLVD NW corner Ar: 09:55AM

Pay $1.50,

Transfer to:

Metro Rapid Line 761 [WESTWOOD/U C L A] heading west

From: VENTURA BLVD/VAN NUYS BLVD NW corner Lv: 10:03AM

To: SEPULVEDA BLVD/GETTY CENTER DR SW corner Ar: 10:23AM

Pay $1.50,

Transfer to:

Free inclined shuttle train

Ending at GETTY CENTER

The entire transfer would take about 90 minutes.

I tell you this not to discourage you nor to suggest that you should hire a car (I'm a firm believer in public transit) but to alert you to the fact that, like London, our city is vast but unlike London, our public transit is weak. We have:

1. ONE rail station

2. FOUR underground lines

3. The rest of our transit consists of buses.

Our TOP QUESTIONS box at the right side of this page has a section called "Itinerary Ideas' which you might find helpful. There are itineraries utilizing public transit as well as itineraries utilizing a car. There is also step-by-step transfer instructions to the theme parks, e.g. Disneyland in the TOP QUESTIONS box. There is also an overview of our public transit system including an explanation of how to purchase DAY PASSES for $5 which will allow unlimited rides on the metro rail and the metro buses for the day.

If the TOP QUESTIONS box is not visible on the right side of this page, then you must be using a smart phone or tablet. To display the TOP QUESTIONS, scroll to the bottom of the http://www.tripadvisor.com/ home page and click 'full site'. Alternatively, here's a link to our FAQs section (which has the same content as our TOP QUESTIONS box -- the content is in the center column:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32655-i61-k506308…

Bottom line, you'll need to do some careful planning to decide which SPECIFIC sites you'll want to visit. While Hollywood, Universal and Disneyland are popular attractions, they represent a tiny slice of our metro area. If you limit your visit to these attractions, it would be like visiting London and seeing Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and Hampton Court and then heading for the airport. You would see some popular attractions but you'd miss out on a lot. Do some research and broaden your exposure a little. You needn't see only popular attractions. For example, have dinner in "Thai Town' not far from your hotel.

Another option is to take a tour. Starline has numerous tours including 'escorted tours' and their Hop On, Hop On, (HoHo) tour which has 4 intersecting tour bus routes which you can ride unlimitedly. The Hoho covers dozens of attractions in downtown L.A., Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the westside fo Los Angeles and the beach areas. Even if you take the HoHo, you'll need to decide which attractions you'll be visiting as you'll need to transfer from one route to another in order to reach them.

Good luck!

Berkeley, Ca.
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6. Re: Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

To me, the takeaway from HSJ's message is that you need to be willing to use the bus system if you want to see LA using the transit system. Where you're staying has really good bus service. The Santa Monica Boulevard buses (lines 4 & Rapid 704) go out to West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and eventually to Santa Monica, though that's a long ride. The bus on Sunset (2) goes west to Hollywood and West Hollywood, and east to the trendy neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Echo Park. The bus on Vermont (204, 754) goes down to Koreatown (much good food) and the museums in Exposition Park. All of these lines run frequently. If you combine bus and rail you'll be able to get to lots of destinations.

7. Re: Staying at Hollywood Hotel - Do I need a rental car?

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