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Help for first time visitors to LA, please

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Sydney, Australia
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Help for first time visitors to LA, please

My wife and I will be spending a week in LA next Jan. The main reason for the trip is to catch up with our daughter who’s been travelling through the US since June.

This will be our first trip to the US.

Could someone please advise where we should stay in LA?

We are mature aged travellers in our mid 50s. We prefer to be as close as possible to the main attractions to limit the amount of travelling time within the city. We will not have a car so will be relying on pub transport and taxis. We prefer cultural activities, such as museums, historical sites, theatres and galleries; rather than the sporty, adventure or theme park park-type stuff.

We will be travelling from Sydney, and after LA will be heading for San Francisco for a few days. So I guess somewhere that isn’t too far from the airport would also be an advantage.

Our budget is USD 150 per night for the two of us.

Ditto San Francisco if anyone here has any ideas or should I post that on the SF forum?

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

You definitely need to up your budget. $150 is really the bottom for a decent hotel in a decent area. Fortunately, with a little luck you can find a good discount rate. In January, this should be possible. A couple of weeks ago, I got a room for less than $200 night at the Marriott at LA Live.

Given your interest in cultural activities, downtown seems the place for you. Lots of museums, live theater, opera, LA Phil, etc. I'd suggest the Omni Hotel on Bunker Hill. The Music Center is a block away. Little Tokyo is a short taxi ride of a few blocks; LA Live, too. Same with Olvera Street/Union Station. You can get to the museums at Expo Park via the Expo Line.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g32655-d77804-R…

Take a look at Little Tokyo. There are a couple of good hotels here. This compact neighborhood in downtown has a wide range of restaurants.

Also, from downtown, you can get to Pasadena and its museums via the Gold Line.

Another more economical option is this B&B in Culver City. It is cheaper and very nice. The Expo Line to downtown terminates here. So you'd spend more time on public transit. Not sure that 's ideal for you. Downtown Culver City is quite lively. Also, getting to the Getty Centrr would be practical, too.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g32272-d1784957…

HTH

Santa Monica, CA
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for Santa Monica
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2. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

Definitely post your San Francisco question on their happy and helpful forum!

I like the idea of downtown, but perhaps the area around the Grove might be worth looking into:

tripadvisor.com/HotelsNear-g32655-d547175-Th…

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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3. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

You really will want and need a car. If it's raining, you won't want to be going all over the city to the galleries and museums, which are spread throughout LA. It's an enormous city with fabulous museums and galleries, but not all are easy to reach by bus.

Also, there's no way to be near sights, be near museums and be near the airport. You'll want to consult a map. I like the idea of the area around the Grove for you, because it puts you close to a couple great museums. Look into Farmer's Daughter Motel or the Orlando Hotel.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

I'm glad that I put this post up because from my initial research, I was thinking along the lines of Hollywood, West Hollywood or Bev Hills!

Yes, I realise that $150 per night was a bit on the light side so we'll have to up that to $180 per night (its just that coming from Australia we need to factor in an approx. 10% currency diff against us)

I'm not a great one for B&B: I prefer the anonymity and flexibility of the bigger hotels (last yr we travelled around England and stayed at a few B&Bs. It was always a hassle to co-ordinate arrival time to ensure someone was there to meet us, esp problematic if we arrived late at night and they'd all gone to bed!)

Re Downtown: Is this safe to walk around esp at night?

Re Transport: I hardly drive around here in my hometown, so unfortunately renting a car in a place like LA is not an option for us. Hence being within easy access to pub transport is essential. Over here we use taxis a lot, I'm happy to do that in LA too, if it means saving time and hassle getting from place to place

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

Taxis are extremely expensive, so it's not an option, not really.

I don't like the idea of downtown for you, stick to West Hollywood and the Grove area.

You'll find it very inexpensive here, my Aussie friend is in town going nuts, especially shoe shopping.

Mi Wuk Village...
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6. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

Best to center your hotel near your attractions. You don't want to hassle going the distance to LAX each day. Taxis might rip the budget You don't want to drive...you pay the price. Look at the metro site. Lot of buses. The subway is getting there. But much is not designed for tourists. It's still in many places a get the po folks to where de rich folks need cleaning.

West Hollywood...
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7. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

You might want to have a look at the TOP QUESTIONS BOX at the right side of this page. Do you see it? Here's a shortcut to similar content if you don't:

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

Take a look at the content regarding neighborhoods and 'itinerary ideas' to get a feel for our massive metro area. Beverly Hills is the most central neighborhood (it's actually a city, distinct from the city of L.A.) and the Grove area is just to the east of that so it's very centrally-located.

I wouldn't consider any of the hotels depicted in the previous link that are priced under $100. Only consider hotels like:

2-star: The Park Plaza Lodge and the Wilshire Crest

3.-star: The Farmer's Daughter Hotel, Orlando Hotel and Elan Hotel

The star-ratings are not a measure of how good a hotel is -- just a measure of how many amenities (pool, restaurants, room service, etc) that the property has. All of the hotels I've mentioned have good reviews.

Do you know how to look up reviews for hotels here on tripadvisor?

Sydney, Australia
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442 posts
75 reviews
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8. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

Yes, I've had a look at that thanks. I know how to look up reviews, yes.

Just wondering though:

Why are people NOT in favour of Downtown? Is it unsafe?

What exactly is "The Grove"?

Just to clarify about ourselves:

We aren't exactly "adventure tourists". We like to relax in coffee shops and restaurants and watch the passing parade AFTER we've done an hr or three of museums and galleries.

My wife tho LOVES to shop: so being in an area with lots of those would help. We also love eating out so I guess what we're looking for is a place where we can just walk out the front door and be in the hub of things!

I'm not great with long bus rides or train rides so where poss we prefer to walk to attractions

thanks again for all yr suggestions and ideas

Los Angeles...
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9. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

Here's a link to The Grove:

http://www.thegrovela.com/

and reviews:

www.yelp.com/biz/the-grove-los-angeles-2

Redondo Beach...
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10. Re: Help for first time visitors to LA, please

We lived 35 years on Edinburgh St near the Farmers market adjacent to the grove. If you stay at the Farmers Daughter Motel ( on Fairfax across from the Grove "and" the Farmers Market) you will not go wrong. Also on Laurel ( 2 blocks West of Fairfax) at Beverly there is a motel ( forgot the name) which has an attached restaurant with what I remember as great food. If you really want good food go West on Beverly Blvd ( on the S. Side of Beverly) Just before La Cienega is a great eating place (forgot the name) run by the same bunch of folks for eons. The owners are so nice - so pleasant.

Barry Solomon, R.Ph M.Ed

Edited: 11 September 2013, 19:57