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4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

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4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

We will be in LA for 4 nights this December and we are staying near the Grove. On our previous SFO - LA - San Diego - Yosemite - SFO trip, we have already done Universal Studios, Disneyland, Seaworld, Hollywood walk of fame, santa monica pier, beverly hills, rodeo drive shopping etc.

We are in our 30s and we are coming from Singapore.

This time, we are coming into LA on wednesday noon and we will drive to the b&b. Then we will probably nap till dinner time (thinking of having italian or mexican near the b&b) for our 1st night.

On our 2nd and 3rd days, I am thinking what we should do. We are keen on exploring more of la this time as we did most of the touristy spots the previous time. We are not into museums or architecture.

- i read about manhattan beach - is it worth going? We have a rental car so we can drive out.

- i am thinking of driving along the coast to big sur again for the scenery. I recall a great lunch spot along the coast that sold very good sandwiches and it was just perched on the cliff.. i have just googled, it is not the queenies roadhouse..that is too far up. Where do you recommend we catch lunch on this route?

We are also keen on farmers market - is there any that we can visit? We have been to the Grove and like it too.

Are there any day trips out of LA that you will recommend? We intend to drive out if we can to explore a little.

On our 4th day, we are going to 6 flags so that day is pretty much full and taken.

Thank you so much for your suggestions.


Los Angeles
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1. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

Popular day trips from LA would include Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. San Diego also works but can be a little lengthy as a day trip (the drive is about 2 1/4 hours each way if traffic is good, longer if its bad) and its really a place where you'd want to spend more than one day.

Big Sur is really not a day trip from LA. If you want to go, plan on spending at least one night before coming back to LA.

Nashville, Tennessee
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2. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

I think you would be remiss if you didn't explore Downtown LA on one of your days, if you haven't already. It's a very different experience from the rest of LA, with many amazing restaurants, pubs, bars, shops, etc. There is also Moca (museum of contemporary art) Disney Concert Hall, Grand Park, China Town, Little Tokyo, the Arts District, The Grammy Museum, LA Live, and a myriad of other things to do.

Santa Monica, CA
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3. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

I would get out to the desert for an overnight. Visit Joshua Tree National Park, then Palm Springs. Their desert zoo is good and the aerial tram up the side of a mountain is very unusual and interesting.

Manhattan Beach is a nice place for a day trip. Combine it with the South Coast Botanical Garden for a nice walk.

Day trip to Orange County beach towns: Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach.

Explore Griffith Park:


Have you visited Pasadena? It is the home to the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Years day, boasts some great archicture, museums, gardens, and a nice downtown core, Old Town Pasadena.


West Hollywood...
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4. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

Well, on your previous visit, the only attractions you visited in the MASSIVE city of Los Angeles (the second-largest city in the U.S.) was Hollywood and the Grove. (The theme parks, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica are all outside of the city of L.A.). Los Angeles City has hundreds of attractions and I would invite you to explore some of those before heading outside of the city to visit other areas (something you've already done on your first visit).

You say that you're not into Museums and architecture. What types of things are you interested in?

Have you visited our TOP QUESTIONS BOX at the right side of this page to learn about L.A.? Visited the city's tourism website, DiscoverLosAngeles.com? Looked at a travel guide for Los Angeles? I like the DK Eyewitness Guide. Google it and look at its 'top 10' sites to visit during your stay.

The more we know about the types of things that interest you, the better we can recommend attractions. You've already visited most of the 'touristy places'. Allow us to tell you about the 'real Los Angeles".

Manhattan Beach...
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5. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

Several suggestions - The Wednesday morning Farmer's Market in Santa Monica is great. If you do go up the coast, not my first choice given your limited time, the Thursday evening farmer's market in San Luis Obispo is also great, but that is an overnight trip.

Have you been to Venice Beach on a weekend afternoon?

The gardens at Huntington Library in San Marino are unusual. Nearby are mansions that you can drive past.

A studio tour like the Warner Brothers Tour is interesting and different than what you saw at Universal Studios.

I like the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. They have a lot of unique displays.

You can do a day trip to San Diego and see the zoo, the Safari Park, or walk inside an aircraft carrier.

On the way to San DIego, or as a stand-alone trip, you can go to Laguna Beach and see art galleries, and see the tide pools.

I live in Manhattan Beach and like it, but it would not come to the top of my list as a tourist spot. You could visit and walk along our Strand along the ocean, or go to the next community down, Hermosa Beach, and rent bikes and bicycle from the foot of Palos Verdes to Santa Monica, past Venice, along the bike path that runs along the ocean.

You could drive to Malibu Creek State Park and see where Planet of the Apes and MASH were filmed. The road to get there is interesting (the kind of road that they film car commercials on).

Have you seen the city lights from the Griffith Park Observatory at night?

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

I'll second the suggestions for Griffith Park - lots to see up there, especially if you like outdoorsy stuff.

Have you been to Catalina Island? That makes a nice day trip.

There are several scenic drives - the section of Mulholland between the 101 and the 405 is nice. Palos Verdes Dr along the peninsula is also very scenic, with several interesting sights (Abalone Cove, Wayfarer's Chapel, etc). If you happen to be there the second weekend of December, you can tour the Point Vicente Lighthouse.

If you want to get away of the city for a short side trip you might try Mission San Juan Capistrano. It's about an hour south of the LA area. It's a historic site but does not really have the feel of a museum (mostly outdoors).

There's also the pier in Redondo Beach and the Boardwalk in Venice Beach. VB has a Farmer's Market on Friday mornings, I think.


Fortaleza, CE
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7. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

Getty Center in Brentwood, Getty Villa in Malibu. Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Huntington Gardens and Library in San Marino, Channel Islands National Park, various museums in Exposition Park (including California Science Center, where one of the space shuttles is on permanent exhibit), Warner Brothers Studios tour, Grammy Museum, Petersen Automotive Museum.

Edited: 28 September 2013, 15:38
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8. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

The restaurant on the cliff may be Nepenthe (not as far north as Big Sur).

Santa Barbara and wine country in the Santa Ynez Valley is more of a day trip from L.A. If you're not into wine, the little town of Los Olivos has olive oil and vinegar tasting.

Near Malibu Creek State Park, there are a couple of wineries as well (and other movie ranches). Really a fun area.

Manhattan Beach...
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9. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

" i read about manhattan beach - is it worth going? We have a rental car so we can drive out"

Manhattan Beach, just south of LAX, would make a nice day trip from the Grove area. We have a local Farmer's Market on Tuesdays, but any day of the week is nice to visit our Pier and downtown village area. There are lots of boutique shops and restaurants.


Rent a bike at Fun Bunns in MB, there is a 22 mile bike path along the ocean that runs from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica.


If you'd like to take a drive after lunch, head south toward Palos Verdes and visit the Wayfarer's Chapel. It would only take a few minutes to snap some photos.


Continue on to Point Vincente Lighthouse:


If you are here the weekend of Sunday, Dec. 8th, come to the free Holiday Fireworks Festival, held at the base of the pier. Streets around are blocked to traffic. Here is last year's information:


MB Something for everyone:


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10. Re: 4 days in LA and have done all the parks....

Agree with the Catalina Island suggestion, take a high speed boat ride over, spend the day exploring and boat back. Also look at Balboa Island and/or Laguna Beach for some great beach towns about an hour away.