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Couple of questions about LA

Melbourne, Australia
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Couple of questions about LA

Hello there,

We are a family coming for a holiday-2 adults plus boy 14 and girl 10.after LA we will be driving down to SD then to vegas/ Grand Canyon ,Zion,Bryce, Yosemite, SF then back to LA.

My question is does the following seem logical?

We plan to go to anaheim for 3 nights ( recover from flight and disneyland) since we won't need a car while at Disney do you think it makes sense to go from airport to Anaheim (? By shuttle) spend time there then pick up rental car and come back to LA for 3 nights?

We are also tossing up where to stay- we would like to take the kids to universal, see Hollywood walk, Griffith observatory(would like to see show/ look through telescopes etc), La Brea tar pits,

Perhaps Getty centre and see Santa Monica.. Would you recommend staying santa monica( looking at travelodge) or perhaps magic castle or Hollywood b&b.

I would appreciate any comments, insights, information

We arrive at LAX September 6th an 8.30 am

Cheers!

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: Couple of questions about LA

I agree. It is pointless to rent a car while you are visiting the Disneyland complex. After you're done, pick up a car and drive to LA. (Stay off the 5 going north.)

You seem to have some good ideas for your itinerary. I'd point out Hollywood won't take long. Read the reviews particularly the lousy ones to set expectations. Combine it with Universal and Griffith Observatory. Don't feel obligated to go into the Obsevatory. Most people simply go to take in the views. The Getty and Santa Monica make for a nice day. La Brea Tar Pits will take an hour at most.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d10…

I'd suggest you consider visiting the Natural History Museum and California Science Center. Your family will likely enjoy them.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d10…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d10…

Where to stay is really about your budget? What is it? There's not much reason to stay in Hollywood, since it isn't the nicest neighborhood and with a car you have many options.

HTH

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Couple of questions about LA

Hi, thanks for the info.

Would you say the planaterium is not worth a visit then in Griffith. I love science so thought this would be great.

As for budget, I'd like to stay under$250 a night if possible which I know puts most of Santa Monica out of range....... But the travelodhe doesn't look too bad. I'm eager for suggestions of other places/ areas to stay.

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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3. Re: Couple of questions about LA

Travelodge isn't in downtown Santa Monica, so isn't really where you want to stay. It's technically in SM, but not really. Take a look at the Ambrose, it should be within your budget.

Santa Monica, CA
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4. Re: Couple of questions about LA

For a budget hotel, and with a car, the TravelLodge can be a fine choice. It is freeway close, has a Trader Joe's grocery store in walking distance, as well as coffee shops and a nice Mexican restaurant, Lare's. You will be a mile from the beach, a tad further to the 3rd St. Promenade. I live in the adjoining single-family neighborhood and it is very family friendly.

I would say if you can get a similarly priced hotel in downtown Santa Monica, choose it instead!

If you like science (my family does too) there's a lot to do and see in LA. Griffith Observatory, Natural History Museum (very, very good dinosaur exhibit), the space shuttle Endeavor is located at the California Science Center, which is right next to the NHM. There is also an excellent rose garden there to stroll - great fountains for a nice pic of the family!

Tidepooling can be had at Leo Carillo State Beach in Malibu, a wonderful day trip. Near the beach is a large sand dune that people like to run down. Malibu has gorgeous scenery, wild beaches or tame ones, and great hiking opportunities in the Santa Monica mountains.

Happy planning!

Anaheim, California
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5. Re: Couple of questions about LA

I would rather stay at the Magic Castle or the Hollywood Orchid Suites, both are rated here at TA in the top 10 of over 300 hotels/motels in the city of Los Angeles, great central location, and the are has plenty of things to see/do within walking distance.

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g32655-Los_Angeles_Ca…

www.latourist.com/index.php…

To me, Hollywood is a full day (including a couple of hours on a tour bus), and Santa Monica is a half day at most. I also think the Tar Pits is worth more than a hour, both inside the museum building, and walking around the outside area, where the tar pits are.

Santa Monica...
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6. Re: Couple of questions about LA

They have a car ... so there is no reason to stay in Hollywood.

Anaheim, California
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7. Re: Couple of questions about LA

Hollywood IMHO is a very nice place to stay, and if I had to pick, I would much rather stay at the Magic Castle or Orchid Suites, which are more like apartments with kitchens and nice grounds (Magic Castle is a bit nicer than the Orchid Suites), than a TravelLodge. There are reasons why Magic Castle is rated #1 in LA at TA, and Orchid Suites is #7.

Corona del Mar, CA
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8. Re: Couple of questions about LA

Hollywood is not a very nice place to stay, it is a convenient place to stay when you don't have a car.

Magic Castle is NOT the #1 "rated" hotel in LA on TripAdvisor, it is the #1 RANKED hotel and those are two, very different things. The highest RATED hotels will be places like the Peninsula Hotel, Hotel Bel Air, Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, etc. The rankings measure a guest's satisfaction with the hotel, not the quality of the hotel. Someone staying in the 3* Magic Castle or 2* Orchid Suites has very different expectations than the Four Seasons guest.

The Magic Castle is a very ordinary, 3* hotel that is immensely popular with Australians and UK visitors because it is a convenient location because it is low cost and near a subway stop. With a budget of up to $250 and a car, I'd never stay in Hollywood, I'd be looking in West Hollywood and the area of the Beverly Center Shopping Center. The areas are vastly nicer than Hollywood, especially for walking around and especially at night; better shopping and restaurants too.

Hollywood to see takes maybe two hours, it is not an all day event.

Nice hotels to look at in the West Hollywood/Bev Center area are The Sofitel, Best Westen Plus Sunset Plaza, Petit Ermitage, Le Montrose Suite Hotel, The Orlando, The Elan, Le Parc Suite Hotel, The Chamberlain, Hotel Grafton and The Hotel Wilshire.

Edited: 14 April 2014, 17:15
Los Angeles
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9. Re: Couple of questions about LA

There are probably not very many people, who, being familiar with both areas, would elect to stay in Hollywood rather than Santa Monica, at least not if cost is not a factor. Then again, there aren't many people who think Hollywood is anything more than a 2-3 hour affair.

Hollywood is on the eastern edge of the area where most tourist attractions are, while Santa Monica is at the western edge of the same area. so in terms of centrality, one is not really better than the other. On the other hand, in terms of how nice your surroundings are in either area, there's no contest, Santa Monica wins, hands down. We're talking about the difference between an inland area that is quite a mixture of new development and a lot of old, run down areas (Hollywood), vs. an area that is on a beautiful beach, generally has much newer and nicer development, etc.

In any case, with a budget of $250 or less, and with a car, if you want to be somewhere reasonably central I would look at places like the Beverly Hilton if its available for that budget on your dates (it may not be), the Kimpton Palomar hotel in Westwood, the Sofitel in the Beverly Grove area, or the hotel Angelino in Brentwood perhaps. Bottom line, Santa Monica is probably going to be pricier than $250 to get somewhere nicer than a Travelodge, and for the same money, you could be more central and get a pretty nice hotel - its just a matter of if you are willing to spend more to get the same level of accomodation closer to the ocean, or spend the same to get a lesser level of accomodation closer to the ocean, or stay somewhere further from the ocean but more central overall.

Edited: 14 April 2014, 18:50
Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Couple of questions about LA

Wow guys, thanks for all the info.