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Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

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London, United...
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Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

We are visiting L.A in Easter, will be staying in Hollywood and this is our itinerary so far, using public transport as far as possible

Arrive 7th April

8th April - Hollywood, and catching the L.A Lakers match @ Staples Center that evening

9th April - Warner Brothers studio tour (commuting largely by cab, this day)

Griffiths Observatory

Watts Tower

10th April - 13th April - Grand Canyon (car hire and driving)

14th April - Downtown L.A

15th April - Santa Monica beach (not mountains), Venice Beach and Canals

16th April - Open

17th April - Mrs wants to burn a hole in the credit card

18th - return

16th April - we are tentatively thinking of going to Catalina Island via Catalina Express and will prefer to use public transport. Should we catch the Express from San Pedro or Long Beach, from a time/convenience POV?

thks in advance

Anaheim, California
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1. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

OK, good luck with the Lakers game, they just lost by 48 points to the LA Clippers.... ;)

As for the Catalina Trip, I love the Catalina Flyer out of Newport Beach, a Catamaran, so faster and smoother than the Catalina Express from Long Beach.

http://www.catalinainfo.com/

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

8th April - you should have time to do more that day - Hollywood only takes a couple of hours - you may want to take bus 217 or 780 from Hollywood over to The Grove / Farmer's Market area or to "museum row" at Wilshire blvd. and Fairfax Ave. which has the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Petersen Automotive museum , the La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum.

Anaheim, California
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3. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

As for April 8th, plenty of Museums and other things like tours to fill up a day in the Hollywood area.

www.latourist.com/index.php…

Some "locals" don't look at the area the same as tourists, since it is a "tourist" area.

But I like the idea of a day in Hollywood and then taking the LA Metro Subway to the Staples Center.

Los Angeles
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4. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

Another alternative would be to do one of the loops of the Hop-On/Hop-Off tour which stages from Hollywood, or one of the various other tours - www.starlinetours.com.

In any case, I would just be prepared to end up bored of Hollywood after a few hours - many tourists have reported back similar experiences, and to at least have a backup plan for the remainder of that day.

London, United...
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5. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

Thanks DB, MT.

Wife also wants to take a hike around Griffith observatory, if we do that! is it ok to do late evening and catch the sunset and see the city in the night? I mean, can we order a cab at night and will it be safe?

Anaheim, California
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6. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

To get tot he Griffith Observatory by public transit, it is Saturdays and Sundays during the day...

ladottransit.com/other/observatoryshuttle/ob…

I love the view, and would be happy to pay the taxi fees, not sure where you are coming from, but if close, you are still paying $20 or so each way due to the roads to the top.

The Observatory itself is not open every day, so check on the hours (aka Google Search).

As for safe, yes, of course, use some common sense and not have $100 bills hanging out of your pockets ;)

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7. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

I find I only need an hour or 2 in Hollywood, but I I'm also not interested in the museums they have there. I really enjoyed the Farmer's market & the Grove last trip, but you could include them on your shopping day. You will, however, find lots of opportunities to shop while sightseeing, so you may not need to plan a full day for it.

As you are planning to go to the Staples Centre, you could look at sightseeing in Downtown. It's been on my list to visit on my last few trips, but haven't made it there yet.

As you are renting a car to drive to the Grand Canyon, can you pick it up a day earlier so you have it to get to Warner Bros & Griffith Park Observatory? I find driving in LA to be fine, as long as I know where I'm going. It's the one place where GPS is very helpful.

I've found the Lonely Planet Pocket Guide for LA really helpful with finding new places to visit. It's covers different area's, so it makes it easier to group the places you want to visit. It gives a good overview of what you can do & see as well.

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8. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

>>>9th April - Warner Brothers studio tour (commuting largely by cab, this day), Griffiths Observatory, Watts Tower.

10th April - 13th April - Grand Canyon (car hire and driving)<<<

Do yourself a favor and hire the car one day earlier. It will be cheaper, even if your hotel charges overnight parking, than trying to cab to those three locations, especially Watts Tower, and that is assuming a cab company has no problem taking you to Watts Towers.

There is a great Target just about one mile from the Hollywood & Highland Center. I would stop there before you leave for AZ and stock up on water, lots of water, for the trip and buy a good flashlight (torch) for the Grand Canyon.

Do you have your hotels for the 14th (15th?) set? If the DW wants to burn a hole in your wallet, I'd stop over in Las Vegas on your way back from the Grand Canyon in Las Vegas. You have two great outlet malls in town, one on the road back to LA at the border and a couple of great malls right on The Strip. Being a Monday & Tuesday, rooms in Vegas would be much cheaper than LA. The lower sales tax rate in NV would make a slightly smaller hole in your wallet.

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9. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

The ride to the watts towers will take a while and the fare will be expensive. I was underwhelmed when I saw it; you might feel differently but I wouldn't pay $100 return to see them.

Here is a better option:

By public transit, take the red line metro rail from Hollywood to the 7th St/Metro Center Station in downtown L.A. (15 minutes) and transfer to the blue line metro rail to the 103rd St/Watts Tower Station (22 minutes).

Here's a map of the 14 minute walk from the station to the towers: http://mapq.st/1lQ1SrC

The fare would be $1.50 per person per train (or $3 each way for each of you) = $12 return for the two of you. Instead of paying separate fares, buy a $5 DAY PASS (plus a $1 TAP CARD if you don't already have it. You'll need the card so that you can 'load' the pass onto it).

For your visit to Warner Bros, take the #222 metro bus from central hollywood (several stops in Hollywood) to the corner of Riverside Drive & Hollywood Way (30 minutes / $1.50). walk 2 blocks east on Riverside to the tour center at 3400 Riverside Drive. Walk around to the rear of the building and enter there.

If you plan to hike up to the Observatory, the only public transit option available mid-week will be as follows:

a. Red LIne metro rail to SunsetVermont Station

b. Metro #180 or Metro #181 bus north on Vermont Av to the corner of Vermont Av & Los feliz Bl.

Continue walking north up Vermont into the Park and then up to the Observatory. Here's a map. Note: it's a walk of about 45 minutes ALL UP HILL. (Bring water, wear sunscreen and wear a light-colored cap to repel the heat of the sun on your head).

You can, of course, take a taxi instead (either from the hotel or from the metro rail station) or you could take a bus eastbound on Hollywood Bl to the corner of Vermont and take a taxi north on Vermont Av from there. (Note: you'll need to call for a taxi from most locations).

London, United...
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10. Re: Los Angeles,and surroundings - suggestions?

thanks ladies & guys, you are wonderful. if i've got genders wrong, apologies.

i do think we'll l finish the Hollywood thing rather quickly. better half and I are not big on this but the 13 yr old wants bragging rights at school and hence they're a must do.

EW - yes we are spending a whole day in Downtown L.A. i am fascinated by the shapes of buildings and their rationale (if any!) and i can spend hours just walking and watching.. i think Downtown L.A has enough to occupy us for the day.

will consider taking the car earlier a day.

DB - we will be staying on Highland Avenue.

SCA - yes we've got hotels sorted out on 14/15th, and for all nites. when in L.A, we'll be staying on N Highland Avenue and when in GC, we'll be staying one night in Flagstaff and two nights in the GC National Park at one of the lodges.

a few question for all of you:

for the trip to GC - we are driving from L.A to GC on the 10th and staying in Flagstaff that night.

how early should we leave LA so as to reach GC before it gets dark?

i am an experienced driver in the UK, this will be the first time driving in US. how long does it take to leave the city, starting from Highland Avenue?

secondly, are there any places we can see enroute to GC?