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Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

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Vancouver, Canada
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Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

Hello! We are currently staying in Irvine and planning our next few days. Hollywood is a must see for DD, but after our "drive" (shunt?) down I5 yesterday I'm hoping there are some better route options for getting across LA? We can time our departures for best traffic. What do you recommend, or is that just the LA traffic we've heard about and there's no avoiding it? Thanks.

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

Get out your smartphone and start monitoring traffic real-time. Just follow the green lines. The freeway grid in LA is quire dense and usually offers multiple route options. Yes, the 5 is to be avoided, particularly between the 91 and downtown. Curiously, the weekends are just as bad, if not worse.

Lastly, you have to be more specific about what you mean by LA. The city is very large and spread out. Incidentally, Hollywood is hardly worth driving to from Irvine. You'll need more to see and do.

HTH

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

If you just want to see Hollywood, you might instead just drive to the Amtrak / Metrolink train stations in Irvine or Santa Ana. Then take the Amtrak or Metrolink train to Union Station in downtown LA. From Union Station, you can take the Red Line subway straight in to Hollywood (exit at the Hollywood / Highland station to be right in the heart of Hollywood). If, however, you want to see more than just Hollywood, you should drive.

www.metrolinktrains.com

www.amtrak.com

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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3. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

Here is how I would (do) go to Hollywood (or Downtown) from Irvine.

http://goo.gl/maps/nDU07

5 to the 91 Freeway west (use car pool lanes where you can), 710 Freeway north, 60 Freeway west, back on to the 5 to the 101.

It is not nearly as complex as it sounds and it lets you avoid that awful section of the 5 from Anaheim into Downtown.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

Sorry, yes, I should have been more clear in my question. I'm looking at Hollywood, but also places like Griffiths Observatory, Rodeo Drive, la Bria Tar Pits and perhaps also Santa Monica. They all seem to be on the other side of the city from us, so just trying to figure out how best to organize ourselves and figure out if its one day or two. I do like the idea of just parking the car once and taking transit from there, but transit options between the points I've looked at are painfully long and slow. Also, when you are buying four tickets, transit is less cost effective.

Thanks very much for those freeway options. Are parking lots plentiful in those areas? Do you pay by the hour (and what do they typically charge for an hour of parking? Vancouver is typically $4-7/hr.) or is it more typically a flat rate charge for the day. Experienced The parking hell that is Balboa and Newport today (clearly a mistake to try and do that on a Sunday) so hoping to get more precise parking info before we venture to the north side of LA. Thanks again for your recommendations.

West Hollywood...
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5. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

You're not IN the city of LA at presernt. You're not even in the same county as Los Angeles. Therefore, you're not crossing to "the other side of the city"; you are, in fact, proposing to enter the L.A. Metropolitan area from a neighboring county. Of course, you're going to hit traffic.

If you want to tour the second-largest city in the U.S. from a neighboring county, my best rec would be to stay overnight in L.A.-- get a cheap room and save yourself alot of headache -- even if you end up with rooms in both cities on the same night.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

Oh dear god, seriously? Your going to get stuffy about semantics like that? I live in a different city than Vancouver, actually, there is another city between me and Vancouver. The region that most people think of as Vancouver is actually 22 different cities. I do understand the concept, but if you think I'm going to spell out all the different political entities between here and there....!

seriously, I have the arrangements I have for my own reasons. If you don't have anything helpful to add, kindly stay out of the discussion.

West Hollywood...
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7. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

Sorry, you took it the wrong way. Everything I said was accurate, though. I was trying to be helpful -- to let you know that you weren't simply crossing to the 'other side of the city'. I did make a helpful suggestion: stay overnight in the city of LA. Failing that, you'll have to drive in and out of the metro area on 2 days.

You're welcome.

SoCal
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8. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

People in Orange County go to LA for the day all the time, no need to spend the night unless it just makes life easier and you want to do 2 days worth of touring.

Don't worry about calling all of it LA, many people do. If you live here you never would, but it is understandable from a visitor.

I find the 405 freeway tends to run better than the 5. Look at traffic on your phone or on the computer at the hotel before you leave. If you leave after 9 you should miss the worst of it, after 10 you should be good unless there is an accident. You need to plan to leave LA after dinner, probably after 7 or 8.

5 South on a Saturday between Irvine and San Diego is typically heavy traffic, especially in summer. Newport Beach and Balboa on a Sunday in the summer can be pretty tough to park. You unknowingly picked 2 really bad days for those outings!

Griffith Observatory is closed on Mondays (as is the Getty).

Park at the Hollywood and Highland Center to see the Hollywood stuff. You can get validation at the center if you buy something and pay $2 or max of $13 without. Parking is easy to find, you just have to pay. At some places you may get a meter, many lots are by the hour with a daily max. The Grove and Farmers Market both validate in their respective lots.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

Thank you both. Perhaps "crossing the greater Metropolitan area". Regardless, there's a whole lot of built up area between here and there and local advice is very helpful. Will have to look at our list and figure out what will fit and go from there. Like any vacation, too much to do, not enough time!

Balboa and Newport were crazy busy, but fortunately very close by, so we will try again one evening. it was an experience! No one seems to have given much thought to what to do with all the cars-parking was very haphazard and inadequate to the volumes. This is a significant planning preoccupation in Vancouver, so it was a study in contrasts for me. balboa would be much prettier if non-local traffic was banned from the island, but we still really enjoyed it. A very charming spot.

Nashville, Tennessee
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10. Re: Crossing LA from Irvine to Hollywood

HopSkip is actually one of the, if not the, most helpful people here, who also knows a great deal more than our city than the average poster here. I would take his advice with great thanks rather than coming down on him. He is just trying to point out that there is a great deal of distance between where you are in Orange County and anything in the city of Los Angeles, so maybe spending a night in LA would be helpful to you. IMO, it was a little education on the So Cal area to help you better understand what you're dealing with since most tourists seem to think it's all one convenient area. I would have given the same advice. Where you're staying is no where near LA, especially with our traffic.

Edited: 05 August 2013, 17:11