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First time visit and no car! Please help!

London, United...
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First time visit and no car! Please help!

My boyfriend and I will be visiting Los Angeles next year in April/May time. For the first week we are staying at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in Hollywood. The next week we are staying at the hotel Maya, a Double Tree in Long Beach.

Can anyone give us some advice on travelling in LA?

What's the best way to travel without a car in these areas?

What sort of places are there to eat and drink in these areas?

What's the best way to travel to Six Flags from Hollywood?

Is it safe to travel around at night?

I am a worrier and like to plan everything down to the last detail, so any help would be great!

Thanks!

Santa Monica...
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1. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

The first piece of advice is to change your hotels, both of them. How did you come to choose those? They are near very little and you must have a car if you are staying at both.

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

Start worrying.

I'm with Elle. The Beverly Garland is not in Hollywood; it's in North Hollywood (a different neighborhood from Hollywood that is 'over the hill' from central Los Angeles in the massive northern suburban area known as the San Fernando Valley). There is virtually nothing of interest to tourists in the San Fernando Valley and little in the way of shopping/dining within walking distance of the hotel which is in a residential neighborhood alongside the 101 freeway/motorway.

The Hotel Maya isn't even within the giant city of Los Angeles; it's in the city of Long Beach -- and in an inconvenient part of Long Beach, near the Port. Again, virtually nothing to walk to.

Can you cancel these reservations?

What SPECIFIC list of attractions (or, at the least, what specific list of neighborhoods) will you be visiting during your vacation/holiday? Do you plan to visit Disneyland? If so, you should stay in the city of Anaheim during your visit to the Park. Please tell us more about your specific plans.

BTW, it helps if you include your city/country of origin with your screen name so we can give you the best possible responses to your questions. To add this info, please click on 'your tripadvisor' at the top of the screen and edit your profile.

Anaheim, California
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3. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

OK, if your hotels are locked in, you can see/do a lot.

The Beverly Garland, a highloy rated at TA Hotel offers a free Shuttle service to Universal Studios and the nearby Universal City Metro Stop, so you can use that a lot, or even walk it or take a taxi if needed. The LA Metro Red Line will take you to a lot of places.

www.metro.net

www.citypass.com/hollywood

To get to Six Flags Magic Mountain, I would use Starline Tours and its transportation. You get it at the Hollywood and Highland Center, or they will pick you up at the Hotel.

www.starlinetours.com

As for the Hotel Maya, I have personally stayed there prior to a cruise, and loved it. It is next to the Queen Mary, and is part of the free Long Beach Passport system, which offers fquesnt trips to nearby tourist attractions.

www.visitlongbeach.com

Going out at night is safe, of course, use some common sense, such as being in busy areas that are well lit.

London, United...
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4. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

The travel agent I booked with gave me both these, and it took us ages to book anything because all the others that were suggested looked no good for me. I'm pretty sure she said something about if I wasn't happy with this in the end, we could sort something out. Grr, I wish I had come on here first and checked with people.

I want to visit

Santa Monica beach

A beach where we can go surfing

Six Flags

Hollywood

Universal Studios

Part of me wants to visit Disney but we're there for 14 days so I'm not sure if we will have that much time?

Can you recommend anywhere else for us to stay then?

Anaheim, California
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5. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

OK, with 2 weeks, you have plenty of time for the Disneyland Resort and more.

I would either stick with the Beverly Garland, or see if you can get closer to the Hollywood and Highland area for better public transit. Popular options include the Orchid Suites, the Magic Castle Hotel, Holiday Inn Express Walk of Fame or the Loews Hollywood.

Use this as a base to see Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, the Hollywood attractions and Santa Monica (either using Metro or a Starline tours bus).

Then switch to the Anaheim area, which is also transit friendly. Here you can visit both Theme Parks at the Disneyland Resort, and nearby Knott's Berry Farm, lots of shopping and other entertainment offerings than theme parks. You can take Amtrak/Metrolink to San Clemente, a well known and popular surfing location.

I would start by making a plan, such as one day for Universal, one Day for SFMM, 3 days for the Disneyland Resort and a day at Knott's Berry Farm, since it sound like you enjoy Theme/Amusement parks. Then maybe a day trip from Anaheim to San Diego (once again the Amtrak train), a day at San Clemente for surfing, a day for shopping, a day in Hollywood doing the CityPass package, a day in Santa Monica/Venice Beach.

So that is 12 days, and you have 2 to go. Maybe 8 nights in the Anaheim area, and there are plenty of great choices in Hotels to choose from, due to its popularity as a Tourist location (and why there is a lot of public/mass transit options in the area). And 6 nights in the Hollywood area.

Santa Monica, CA
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6. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

Perhaps do a split that gets you to more parts of Southern California. You might consider San Diego, then Los Angeles afterward. San Diego is a fine beach city (be aware, our waters are very cold in spring months, so be sure to rent a wetsuit for surfing). Lots of reasonably priced accommodations, but you will need to ask on their forum how easy public transit will be.

After a week in San Diego, come on up to LA and stay in Hollywood, where you have better transit options. About the only difficult place to get to will be Six Flags.

Is there a reason you aren't renting a car? If you can rent one just for the days you intend to visit Six Flags and Disneyland, you will make the most out of your days there.

Los Angeles and all of the places most visitors wish to visit are spread far apart, there is no central area that would be good to stay and visit all.

For transit options between cities, consider Amtrak. The Pacific Surfliner will get you to many coastal communities:

http://www.amtrak.com/pacific-surfliner-train

Think about your options, then ask on the correct forums about hotels (if you include nightly budget, that would help greatly). After we "chat" about the various options, go back to your travel agent armed with local perspective!

Happy planning.

London, United...
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7. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

When we were going to book Anaheim, the person she was speaking to on the phone said we shouldn't stay there for more than a few days because there was not a lot to do in the surrounding areas or easy access to get to places. I am definitely no good at booking holidays, I always end up booking the wrong thing!

Also the travel agents were saying that they wouldn't stay at San Diego. I'm getting mixed messages! I think I'll pop in there tomorrow and see a different person and see what they can do for me.

Thanks for the help!

San Francisco...
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8. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

>>>When we were going to book Anaheim, the person she was speaking to on the phone said we shouldn't stay there for more than a few days because there was not a lot to do in the surrounding areas

Most of the TA regulars on this forum would agree with that assessment. Anaheim is very convenient to get to Disneyland and DCA and to Knotts and perhaps to an event at the Honda center or to watch a baseball game. Other than that I don't think any regular or local on the LA forum or DE would recommend staying in Anaheim.

Since you just want to Disneyland, stay in Anaheim to see that park (within walking distance) and then stay in the cities you want to visit.

Anaheim, California
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9. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

Amazing, the top two places folks visit in California based on attendance figures are Anaheim and San Diego. Both have lots of things to see and do, and good public transit. I think that many Travel Agents are overrated, and that they are more interested in commissions for sales to specific locations/companies. You might want to shop around and find someone who has actually visited California multiple times.

In post #5 I have given a list of things that would make a Theme/Amusement Park fan a good two weeks, and of course, you can adjust it to your preferences. (I am a Theme/Amusement Park fan).

San Francisco...
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10. Re: First time visit and no car! Please help!

Is there a reason you want to use a Travel Agent to book hotels. What advantage in this day with self-service booking sites would you get from booking hotels with a travel agent.

Websites such as Trip Advisor, hotels.com booking.com, expedia, travelocity, orbitz and kayak are sites where one can read reviews, and book your own hotels after reading reviews.

You thread says " Part of me wants to visit Disney but we're there for 14 days so I'm not sure if we will have that much time?"

Perhaps that is why your agent did not suggest Anaheim. The main reason people stay in Anaheim is to visit the disney parks. It is the most popular attraction in Ca and therefore Anaheim has most visitors