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Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

Parma, OH
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Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

Hi all - My daughter and I are heading to L.A. for the first time this Thursday through Monday night. We're beyond excited! Our flight arrives at 10:24am on Thursday and we leave at 11:30pm on Monday. So far this is what we have going on:

Flight arrives on Thursday at 10:24am

Get rental car at LAX

Try for an early check in at hotel (if not, lunch somewhere)

Tickets to Jimmy Kimmel

Staying at Hilton downtown, LA

We are set to stay in Santa Monica from Friday through Monday

The things on our list of "to do's" are:

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Rodeo Drive

Santa Monica Pier

Venice Beach

Sur restaurant

The Ivy restaurant

Beso restaurant

Get a map to see some celebrity homes

Possible Warner bros tour

Farmers Market (is it worth it?)

Few things:

-Can you advise on the rental car agencies at LAX? Is one better than the other or some that we should avoid? The names are unfamiliar to me.

- Can you guide us on a daily schedule? So we're making the most use out of our time?

- We're hoping to run into/see celebrities. Where are those spots?

- What should we pack in terms of clothes/shoes for 5 days? Sweaters? T-shirts? sandals? boots? Completely unsure on that.

- Also, are we forgetting anything that we should be seeing that we just don't know about perhaps? We will have a rental car so we're open to driving wherever.

I'm 39 and she's 19 and we're open to doing all kinds of fun stuff! Again, it's our first time so we're wanting to get as much in as possible. Hoping to run into and see some celebrities as well :D

Thanks again for all of your input!

We're so excited!!

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Los Angeles
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1. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

LAX car rental - stick with the big national chains - Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Thifty, Alamo, or Budget. Avoid Fox, Midway and other small ones that are a lot cheaper than the major national chains - when it comes to car rentals, you get what you pay for.

Seeing celebrities - you've already done the best thing that you can possibly do - book a TV show taping - Jimmy Kimmel is sure to have a celebrity guest or two, so that's a guaranteed 'sighting'. As for other places, its really more of a hit and miss type of thing. Lunch at The Ivy used to be a good way to try and see some, but that's morphed over the years into a lot of people paying hefty prices to eat lunch at the Ivy with little to no chance of seeing a celebrity.

Clothes to pack - suggest packing light clothes that can be layered. Weather has been a bit warm for this time of year lately, but next week looks to be mostly daytime highs of mid-60's to low 70's.


Good restaurant list - Beso is quite good. Ivy is good but pricey. If you want to eat at Sur since it belongs to Lisa Vanderpump, I'd opt instead for her other restaurant, Villa Blanca - I've dined at both and found Villa Blanca to be clearly better. Plus, its right next to Rodeo Drive so it would fit in to your schedule very easily that day - and her daughter Pandora actually does work there so you might even run in to her. Kyle's boutique is close by too.

As for a schedule - do the Walk of Fame and all the Hollywood sights the morning that you're going to see Jimmy Kimmel, then do Jimmy's show (it tapes right at that location in Hollywood) and then head over to Beso for dinner which is not far. Might be able to squeeze in Warner Bros. that day but I'm not sure what time you need to arrive for Kimmel's show etc. Santa Monica pier and Venice you can easily do the same day - rent bikes in Santa Monica and take the bike path that runs along the beach south to Venice - perhaps a 20 minute ride. Rodeo Drive and then perhaps Warner Bros. tour on another day. Since sounds like you are in to the celebrity thing, some things you might want to do are the Grammy Museum at the LA Live complex in downtown LA, not far from the Hilton. The Paley Center for Media is in Beverly Hills near Rodeo Drive.

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

While staying at Santa Monica is a beautiful experience, most of your itinerary is inland (away from the coast) so you're going to be doing a lot of driving back and forth (up to you). If it were me, I'd stay somewhere more central and then drive ONCE to Santa Monica to enjoy the beach.

BTW, our downtown neighborhood is not in the center of our city -- it's at the eastern edge of it (Santa Monica is at the western edge of our city). Here's a map that might be helpful which shows all of the neighborhoods and some attractions:


Santa Monica...
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3. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

Nobu in Malibu always has celebrity patrons.

Rancho Santa...
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4. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

When downtown, put the Grammy Museum on your list of things to do. Consider a drive-by of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It will just take a couple of minutes.



When in Venice, consider checking out Abbot Kinney Blvd. Great shops and restaurants. Very affluent neighborhood.


One of my standard recommendations to visitors who ask about what to see/do is the Getty Center. I'm not sure it is up your alley. At minimum, lunch on the patio is one of the city's quintessential experiences. Take a look at the reviews. Maybe you could stop here one morning and then have lunch.


I think you'll enjoy Santa Monica plenty. I would have suggested something in West Hollywood. I think you'll enjoy the Farmer's Market/The Grove complex. Again, at minimum, it is a great place to have an inexpensive meal.

Be sure to stay off the roads during rush hour.

Winter seems to be wrapping up. We can't predict what the weather will be like. Rain seems unlikely. Days should be warm and evenings cool.


Parma, OH
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5. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

Thanks all for the input!

Unfortunately, we're stuck with out hotel in Santa Monica so we'll be driving back and forth. With that said:

- what hours are rush hour and the hours to avoid?

- we would like to take a drive over to Malibu, is that far?

- we would like to take a drive on the pacific coast highway. is that doable?

- Laguna beach? Possible?

Thanks again!

Santa Monica, CA
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6. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

No worries about staying in Santa Monica. If you avoid rush hours, it should only add about 20 minutes to any travel. Rush hours are 6-9 am and 4-7 pm.

Malibu, from Santa Monica, is a great drive - straight up PCH. You can go to the Malibu Country Mart where the celebs who live there are often found.

Laguna Beach, while very lovely, is over an hour's drive from here. While I would recommend a visit - especially an overnight - I think it's a bit too far, especially if you plan on spending time visiting Malibu. Laguna Beach beachfront is somewhat similar to Malibu, too. Lots of kelp, wild and rugged look to it, very picturesque, so I feel for this trip, you're closer to Malibu and the experience will be somewhat similar.

The Ivy is a place where you may see celebs. Glad you are going to see Jimmy Kimmel - that's another! We've seen celebs at The Grove, and Santa Monica's 3rd St. Promenade. There is a link, on the right side of this page, Where can I see celebrities - you have a lot of those ideas, but you might find more.

Have fun!

Los Angeles
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7. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

LA rush hour is ALL DAY! Make sure you download a GPS app to get around traffic and find alternate routes. It can take 1.5 hours to drive 15 miles between Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles sometimes

Corona del Mar, CA
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8. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

At any of the restaurants mentioned I would check the hours and eat lunch well after the conventional lunch hours, like 2PM or 2:30PM at The Ivy for example. That is when you are more likely to see a celebrity. They avoid the main times because they can.

Nobu Malibu is also a good call.

I don't get the attraction to Lisa Vanderpump restaurants. In Texas they would say they are "all hat but no cattle. They are very stylish, but the food is rather average in taste and creativity. LA & BH have many better places.

Parma, OH
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9. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

Thanks everyone! We're here and did Hollywood stars and Getty yesterday. It's our 2nd day, early morning and were trying to nap this out of how to spend the next four days. Were in downtown, la now and check into Santa Monica hotel today. We still need to do the following:

Hollywood homes drive (well get out own map

Rodeo drive


The ivy

Sunset blvd

Dash store

Paley center

Santa Monica 3rd street promenade

The grove



Pacific coast highway drive

Venice beach

Santa Monica pier

We have no clue how to "schedule" this out and what would work best.

Can you help us map this out with what we have left to do? This would help tremendously.

You all have been beyond great!!

Edited: 21 February 2014, 15:16
10. Re: Yay! We're coming on Thursday! Itinerary help please :)

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