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Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

North Yorkshire
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Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

We will be arriving in L.A. (very soon) for 7 nights as my 40th Birthday Trip (husband, 10 year old son and myself). Since booking our BA flights, we decided that we would like to visit Vegas for a couple of nights, why not as the flights were cheap enough and friends recommended that we experience Vegas while we were in LA. I have been on this forum nearly every day since booking our flights last October so here goes!!!!!!

Day 1 - We arrive at LAX at 18.00 and have booked into a hotel near airport as we will be leaving for our flight to Vegas early next day. Any recommendations for a good place to eat (preferably not fast food) is greatly appreciated. Happy to get a taxi but hopefully not too far away.

Day 2&3 in Vegas. I have not prebooked any trips etc as friends advised us to just go with the flow along the strip. Just plan to stroll along and pack in as much as we can.

Day 4 - Flight back to LA arrives midday and taxi to Hotel, Holiday Inn Express Hollywood Walk of Fame. Check in and then explore Hollywood behind the scenes tour, Dolby Theatre, Hollywood Sign etc

Day 5 (husband's birthday). - Madame Tussaud's am then HOHO red route tour to Beverley Hills and then The Grove. Need to find somewhere to eat in the evening (few drinks in a bar and either a nice bar meal or restaurant).

Day 6 - Metro to Universal Studios/city walk for the day.

Day 7 - plan to catch a local bus to Santa Monica to do Pier and rent bikes to visit Venice Beach and canals.

Day 8 - Leave LA

Any recommendation or advice is greatly appreciated

Santa Monica, CA
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1. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

Night one - go to Manhattan Beach. It's a lovely California beach town with restaurants and shops, too. Only 3 miles from the airport making the cab ride quick and inexpensive.

Your itinerary looks well planned.

What types of food are you interested in? That will help with suggestions.

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

I would improve upon your itinerary, if possible. (It might not be possible -- we would have loved to see this itinerary before you booked everything -- but here goes):

1. If you arrive at LAX at 6 pm, you should be out of Immigration, etc by 7:30 or so. If it were me, I would have taken an onward flight to LV straight away. The flights run hourly on southwest.com (the Easyjet of the U.S.) and they take only an hour. LV's airport is only 5 to 10 minutes from most hotels on the LV Strip. At this late hour, you might not be able to cancel your LAX hotel booking or even get an inexpensive flight to LV.

2. If you can't change your plans, please tell us where you're staying near LAX and we can make dinner recs.

Vegas is meant to be done in an impromptu way. FYI, if you don't hire a car (I never do when I go there but lots of people do), there is something called the DEUCE bus which runs along the Strip. You can buy a single ride or an 'all day' ride. FYI, after 3 pm (until 8 pm or later), the Strip gets packed with traffic so, in general, I would start your days FAR from your hotel and work your way back in the afternoon. This way, your traffic-ridden rides will be shorter.

For your return flight to L.A., I get the impression that you're flying into LAX (sad face). The better option is southwest.com info BUR (smaller airport -- think 'Stansted' -- with better public transit into Hollywood -- the Metro 222 bus from BUR will take you to central Hollywood in 30 minutes for $1.50). Even a taxi would be less expensive.

I would Madame Tussaud's on Day 4, if possible since you'll want a whole day on the HoHo. (You van always squeeze in the Hollywood attractions in your free time). Tell us what kind of food you'll like and we can recommend restaurants for you. At the Grove, you could eat at Morel's (a French Bistro next to the central fountain). In the adjacent neighborhood which stretches a little over a mile to the Beverly Center Mall to the west of the Grove, there are dozens of places to eat/drink. Some of these, in no particular order are:

Sofi (Greek)

The Little Door (French)

The Churchill (American gastropub in the Orlando Hotel)

Sushi Roku (Japanese/Sushi and great filet mignons!)

AOC (small plates and large plates -- wine bar),

etc, etc, etc

On day 6, you could fit Madame Tussaud's. I wouldn't go to citywalk -- it's a shopping mall. You can do much better eating elsewhere.

Day 7 will be a full day. You might look into a one-way bicycle rental (Perry's has several locations on the boardwalk/strand so you can pick up the bike in, say, Santa Monica and drop it in Venice). This way, you can take a bus back to your hotel without having to go back to Santa Monica.

Rancho Santa...
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3. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

With a ten-year old, you should definitely spend a day at the Natural History Museum and California Science Center. He will love it. It is easy to get to from Hollywood. Take the Red Line downtown; transfer to the Expo Line; exit at USC.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d10…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d10…

I'm surprised you have no downtown destinations on your itinerary. The Grammy Museum at LA Live certainly fits the bill for entertainment glitz. Again, just take the subway to 7th & Metro; walk down Figueroa to Olympic. Olvera Street is a gentle place for kids. I like Philippe's nearby. Both showcase historic LA. To get there, just take the Red Line all the way to Union Station. Olvera Street is across the street.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d17…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d20…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g32655-d3647…

I'm always surprised when visitors don't plan to stop at the Getty Center. Perhaps, you're not aware of the place? Great for kids. Lunch on the patio is a quintessential experience. Not sure how you'd get here without a car. Use Uber to get here.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d14…

HTH

california
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4. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

If you are staying in Hollywood, on the weekend you can take the shuttle bus up to the Griffith Park Observatory, they are open quite late (til 10pm)

www.griffithobs.org/vplanyourvisit.html

Anaheim, California
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5. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

When are you arriving, the Getty Museum is basically an Art Museum, and many kids get easily bored going there, it is out of the way, and a major Freeway closure is coming up in a couple of weeks, called Jamzilla.

latimes.com/local/…axzz2sxw9N9Bc

If you like music, the Grammy Museum is nice, but if you are more into movies, the Hollywood and Highland area is a great place to check out.

www.latourist.com/index.php…

If you are coming in February, here is a good set of discounts. (Alas, the program is ending in Hollywood).

http://www.citypass.com/hollywood

I like your plan (so long as Santa Monica is not part of the Jamzilla weekend), sounds like you are move buffs, and I would split the Hollywood days, and do the Madame Tussards Wax Museum on your HB's BD.

As for Universal, I would plan a full day and evening there. Universal CityWalk is much more than a "shopping mall", with lots of entertainment and dining options, it is a popular tourist attraction for a reason.

http://www.citywalkhollywood.com/

Alas, some locals don't like popular "tourist" locations, maybe because they have "been there, done that", but you haven't been there yet, and it is worth a few hours. Many times they offer free entertainment in the 6 Towers Entertainment Plaza.

california
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6. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

The worst part of Jamzilla is February 14-18, ie President's Day weekend, don't attempt to go to the Getty during this period.

latimes.com/local/…3681457.story

West Hollywood...
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7. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

Citywalk is a shopping mall with restaurants (ho hum) with a stage with free, awful entertainment. It is packed with teenagers and young families with strollers looking for a place to 'hang out' without having to spend anything. The first time I went there, it was enough, although, sadly, I've had several occasions to return there.

With such limited time to spend in L.A., you can find much better dining options in an atmosphere that isn't so frenzied. Stay at Universal for as long as you like. If you're 'done' by 3 pm, move along -- that's what lots of people do. I see the cars exiting the Park from 2 pm onward.

North Yorkshire
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8. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all for your comments and advice . Forgot to mention that we had tickets to The Natural History Museum too. We did look into using Burbank airport to fly to Vegas and not quite sure why we decided on LAX. We decided not to fly straight to Vegas after arriving at LAX as we were not sure how our son would feel after an 11 hour flight from the UK plus I did not want to worry about missing Vegas flight if we were delayed coming into LAX for any reason. So just decided on the La Quinta Inn and Suites for a one night stay over.

We just want to find somewhere near LAX that we can relax with a couple of drinks and has a good bar menu.

Thanks for the Vegas tips and advice on the DEUCE. We will definitely be using this.

Los Angeles
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9. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

Just wanted to point out that the suggestion from PlumeriaD about taking a taxi to Manhattan Beach (or Santa Monica) is the only thing I can think of. There's not a single eatery within a mile or two of LAX that I would personally recommend. It's an issue for us all the time and since we stopped eating fast food years ago, I can't think of a better treat than going to Manhattan Beach or Santa Monica. You will find the taxi fare more than worth it to get out of the immediate airport area. Otherwise, the bar and restaurant at La Quinta is going to be about as representative as what you'll find in that area as anything else. I agree you'll emerge from the airport itself around 7:30, and while La Quinta says "minutes" to their hotel - you will stand with everyone else and wait for your shuttle - allow 20-30 minutes to actually be unloaded at La Quinta and 10-15 for check-in - so you'd be jumping in a taxi at 8 pm or later. Both MB and SM are a short taxi ride though. So you could have 8:30 reservations, I'd think and be fine.

california
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10. Re: Our Itinerary..... comments greatly appreciated.

There is a Daily Grill at the Westin a block from your hotel. That should do and save you $40 to $50 in cab fares.