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Assistance with 3 days in LA

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Melbourne, Australia
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Assistance with 3 days in LA

Hi All!

My family and I will be spending 3 days in LA from 27 - 30 March this year (we will be arriving via shuttle from Anaheim and departing early on the 30th). We are staying at the Magic Castle Hotel.

I would love some assistance with our itinerary as I want to make the most of our limited time there.

We are travelling with my 11 year old stepson, so we want to see the sights but do it in a way that keeps him interested.

I was thinking that it would be best to visit Universal Studios on the 28th (Friday).

On the 29th (Saturday) there is an ice hockey game we're interested in going to at The Staples Centre. I thought that we could combine this with a visit to The Grammy Museum, a tour of LA Live and dinner beforehand?

I know that we can walk to the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theatre, Dolby Theatre, Madame Tussauds from our hotel and see the Hollywood sign from the Hollywood and Highland Centre.

In addition we would like to visit California Science Centre, Griffith Observatory, La Brea Tar Pits and The Farmers Market. I would love to visit Rodeo Drive, but have no idea how I'd make it interesting for an 11 year old boy!

Will it be possible to visit everything that I've listed in 3 days? What would be the best way to do it? Will we need a car (it looks like we can get to most places using public transport but Griffith Observatory would require a car)?

I really appreciate your assistance - the LA portion of our holiday has been sorely neglected until now.

Thanks!

West Hollywood...
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1. Re: Assistance with 3 days in LA

It helps to be brief!! (I'll cut and paste your question into this 'response area' and condense it down and respond. Here goes....)

You said: Arrive by shuttle L.A. 27 Mar - depart early 30 March. Staying at the Magic Castle Hotel.

I say: "Which shuttle? What time will you be arriving at the Magic Castle?"

You said: travelling with 11 year old boy, so we want to see the sights but do it in a way that keeps him interested.

I say: "Tell us about the boy. What does he like? What does he dislike?

You said: I was thinking that it would be best to visit Universal Studios on the 28th (Friday).

I say: "That sounds fine."

You said: On the 29th. there is a hockey game at Staples which we'd like to combine this with a visit to The Grammy Museum, a tour of LA Live and dinner beforehand?"

I say: The game starts at 7 so you'll want to make your way to Staples by 6. You can certainly have dinner beforehand at L.A. Live which shouldn't take more than an hour and the Grammy Museum is close by but is not apt to take more than about an hour to see. All in all, you've got most of the day free. I'd include the California Science Center beforehand as it is a short, simple metro rail ride from it to Staples.

You said: we can walk to the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theatre, Dolby Theatre, Madame Tussauds and see the Hollywood sign from the Hollywood and Highland Centre.

I say: all of that isn't going to take a lot of time. The Dolby Theater is only available if you take a tour of it (which I think takes about 40 minutes. I can't imagine an 11 year old being interested in that unless he's PASSIONATE about American film -- 'passionate' in the sense that he plans to be a movie director not 'passionate' in the sense that he's seen some american movies that he likes. The Walk of Fame, if you walked the entire length (a little over a mile / 1.6 km) in both directions (2 miles / 3.2 km) -- since it's on both sides of Hollywood Bl -- would take a couple of hours to see but most people look at the portion near the Chinese Theater and call it quits. If you have celebs whose stars you're interested in seeing, do the research in advance and see where their stars are located but in general, a couple of hours in Hollywood to see the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater and Hollywood sign is plenty. If you want to add Madame Tussaud's, add another hour. That's 3 hours, so far, so you've still got plenty of time. If it were me, I'd combine your day in Hollywood (at least the portion other than Madame Tussaud's) on the same day as your Universal Studios day since the Chinese Theater, Walk of Fame and Hollywood & Highland Mall's viewing area for the Hollywood sign never close.

Get to Universal before opening, queue up and race in there with a pre-planned list of what you want to see and do. By 3 or 4 pm, you'll probably be done. (Even if it takes you until 5 or 6, you'll still have plenty of time to see Hollywood around the time you're eating dinner there). Avoid the temptation to spend the evening at Universal Citywalk -- the shopping mall next to the Studios. It's nothing special, packed with, largely, 'chain restaurants' you can find anywhere and can be crowded on the weekends since the high school kids tend to hang out there as well as young families with prams.

You said: we would like to visit California Science Centre, Griffith Observatory, La Brea Tar Pits and The Farmers Market. Also, Rodeo Drive, but will the 11 year old like it?

I say: "You should acquaint yourself with the public transit system so you can see how long it takes to transfer to various attractions from your hotel. Our TOP QUESTIONS BOX at the right (can you see it?) has a section on public transit that will allow you to enter starting and ending points and time of day and day of the week traveled in return for which transit routes and transfer times will be provided.

The Farmers Market is a 20-25 minute bus ride from central Hollywood. The Tar Pits are 5 minutes further on the same bus route. From the tar pits, the bus along wilshire bl will take you to rodeo drive in about 10 minutes. Will the boy like walking the 4 blocks of Rodeo Drive? I don't know but it's not going to take very long. So, that's looking like another 1/2 day of attractions.

The California Science Center and the Griffith Observatory are more difficult to reach (more than 1 bus in succession but not a big deal). The Observatory can be reached by public transit on Saturdays and Sundays only.

You said: Will it be possible to visit everything that I've listed in 3 days? Do we need a car)?

I say: "Use the instructions above to plot out public transit transfers and see if they work for you. If they don't, you can hire a car in Hollywood for one or more days.

Rancho Santa...
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2. Re: Assistance with 3 days in LA

I'd add that getting to the California Science Center from Hollywood is easy. Just take the subway downtown. At 7th & Metro, transfer to the Expo Line. (Make sure you catch the Expo Line train, not the Blue Line train!) The Expo Line stops right in front of the Science Center. I'd also point out the Natural History Museum is next to it. They have a great dinosaur exhibit and a new LA exhibit.

The Expo Line's Pico station and the subway's 7th & Metro station are both convenient to LA Live/Staples Center.

HTH

Los Angeles
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3. Re: Assistance with 3 days in LA

A few things right next to Rodeo Drive that might interest your 11-year old would include the Paley Center for Media (basically a museum dedicated to Television), the large Nike store there (for all sorts of shoes and athletic apparel) and there are some car dealerships for some exotic cars, like the Ferrari / Maseratti dealership on Wilshire Blvd.

The Griffith Observatory is reachable without a car, but only on Saturdays and Sundays, so in your case this would mean visiting on March 29th or 30th. I suggest going in the evening or right before Sunset - since it can be a nighttime activity, unlike most other things, its easy to fit it in at the end of an otherwise busy day without taking time away from anything else. In any case, to get there, you basically take the subway from Hollywood / Highland next to your hotel, over to the Sunset / Vermont subway station and from there you can take the DASH Weekend Observatory Shuttle up to the Griffith Observatory:

ladottransit.com/other/observatoryshuttle/ob…

Otherwise, you can always take a taxi there from your hotel any day you are here, probably around $15-20 each way.

Santa Monica, CA
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4. Re: Assistance with 3 days in LA

If you are here on a Sunday, Beverly Hills has a good farmer's market with kids activities. Of course, kids usually love tasting the fresh fruit, too (as do adults)! Then take a walk down Rodeo Dr. It isn't a terribly long road, so combined with a kid thing to do, the 11 year old could handle it. Tell him you are going to walk to Sprinkles cupcakes and that'll keep him motivated!

www.beverlyhills.org/exploring/farmersmarket/

sprinkles.com/cupcake-bakery-locations/…

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Assistance with 3 days in LA

Thanks for reading my essay - editing has never been my strong point :)

My stepson likes sport (any kind), science, music, food, watching movies, sneakers and general things that are gross.

I've realised that the Dodgers are having an exhibition match against the Angels on the Thursday night. He's dying to go as he's just started Little League, but this will probably rule out going to the Observatory.

Thanks for all of your advice HopSkipJump, especially the timings you've given. I'll need some time to re-look at our plans to incorporate the baseball (and some sneaker shops), but the trip planner is great!

The Nike Store, car dealerships and cupcakes sound like good motivators for Rodeo Drive. Thanks MachThree and PlumeriaD!

HTH - the Natural History Museum sounds like a great inclusion on the Saturday. Thank you!

Rancho Santa...
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6. Re: Assistance with 3 days in LA

Bear in mind, you can fit in the Griffith Observatory in the evening. Simply driving there to take in the view is an iconic L.A. experience. The view from the Observatory's roof is memorable.

7. Re: Assistance with 3 days in LA

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