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Half day tour in LA

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Hong Kong, China
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Half day tour in LA

I'll be travelling to Los Angeles on mid June.

As my arrival is at the morning around 9, and I only have my half day in Los Angeles.

My reserved hotel is in San Gabriel Hilton, and I would like to spend my next half day with tour around the LA City.

I would like to ask:

How can I get a ride from LAX to my hotel, and

If there is a LA city tour could pick me up from my hotel.

Thank you.

United States
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1. Re: Half day tour in LA

San Gabriel is too far from Los Angeles if you only have a half day. Can you change your hotel or is it pre-paid?

Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: Half day tour in LA

It's already booked, that's why I know I won't have too much time.

Southern California
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3. Re: Half day tour in LA

That is a not a good location to stay in without a rental car. Maybe look into staying in another Hilton if you can - there is a nice one in downtown LA.

West Hollywood...
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4. Re: Half day tour in LA

It might make sense to do the following:

1. Transfer from LAX to downtown L.A.'s Union (rail) station via the Union Station Flyaway Bus.

2. Store your luggage at Union Station (I believe you will need to show a rail ticket in order to do this). If that is the case, buy an amtrak ticket for Glendale (station code: GDL) which will only cost a few dollars.

3. Take a tour of L.A. commencing from Union Station. You could take Starline's Hop On, Hop Off (HoHo) tour. There is a pick-up point for the tour across the street from the station. Or, you could walk to a nearby hotel and take an escorted tour from there.

4. At the end of your touring, return to Union Station, retrieve your luggage walk to the bus plaza to the south of the station (next to the freeway/motorway).

From there, do the following:



To: VALLEY BLVD/ABBOT AV NE corner Ar: (15 minutes)

Pay $2.20 (Exact money will be needed for the bus. No change is provided).

The bus stop is in front of the hotel. The buses run only once per hour. Do you know how to look up bus routes?

Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: Half day tour in LA

Wow, thank you for your advising.

But I really don't know how to take the buses in LA, and it seems like it's dark when I take the bus.

I really would like to drop off my luggage in hotel first, then have my half day in tour.

Is there any tour will pick me up from my hotel?

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6. Re: Half day tour in LA

There are some companies that do tours that depart and return to LAX. After a quick Google search, this is what I came up with http://lainsidertours.com/lax-layover-tour/ You could go to your hotel from LAX once you finish the tour. The major downside is that the tours seem very expensive. Maybe someone will be able to recommend a cheaper company. With regards to getting to your hotel, you might want to try Super Shuttle https://m.supershuttle.com/default.aspx

Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: Half day tour in LA

Thank you for advising.

For the super shuttle is really cool, I probably would take that to my hotel.

But for the tours, it's way too expensive for me.

But anyway, how about doing this: what are the recommend places I need to visit in LA only for half day before sunset?

I could try to go by my own with transits. =)

Any recommendations? Probably not too crowd places~~

PS: What is the best recommend restaurant in around San Gabriel? I would like to try some specialties~

Edited: 18 April 2014, 19:02
Hong Kong, China
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8. Re: Half day tour in LA

And what should I watch out when travelling around? It seems like kind of dangerous in downtown area...

West Hollywood...
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9. Re: Half day tour in LA

The parts of downtown that you'll be visiting are not dangerous!

I do not believe that transferring to your hotel is a wise idea. If you do, you'll miss any possibility of taking an escorted tour and you'll be cutting short your 'tour time'.

Let's look at this step by step...

1. If you land at 9:00, you should be out of the terminal and on your way by 10:30.

2. The Flyaway ($8) will get you to Union Station by 11:30, the latest.

3. You have 2 major tour options:

a. Take the HoHo tour (which pulls up adjacent to Union Station). Pay the driver and you'll be on your way. The HoHo tour consists of 7 intersecting bus routes but you won't have the time (or interest) to ride all of these. Your goal is to return to Union Station and any bus driver can explain to you how to do that. When you join the tour in downtown L.A., you'll be on the Purple Route of the tour. If you ride it without transferring to other tour loops, it will make a circle (after passing through downtown and part of Hollywood) and return to Union Station. If you want to keep the tour simple, you could ride it into Hollywood, get off at the Chinese Theater, have a look around Hollywood and then rejoin the purple loop and head back to downtown. Of course, you can get off and on the tour as often as you please to explore the various attractions. Once you rejoin the tour, you'll be on your way back to Union Station since the tour goes in a circle.

Here's info on the tour:


b. If you'd rather take an escorted tour, Starline offers their 'Grand City Tour' (5-1/2 hours). They pick up at dozens of hotels. The one closest to Union Station is the Metro Plaza Hotel. The pickup time is 11:30. Depending on how quickly you make it through Customs, etc and onto the Flyaway Bus, you might not have time to check your luggage and make the 5 minute walk to the hotel from Union Station in order to meet this bus. But, in the unlikely chance that you can't, you can meet the bus at Starline's Bus Depot in Hollywood (next to the Chinese Theater). The bus leaves the Depot to begin the tour at 12:30 so if you miss the hotel pickup (or don't wish to risk it), you can simply take a taxi from Union Station to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood (20 minutes, about $20).

If you're feeling brave, you could take the metro rail to Hollywood ($1.50 plus the one-time cost of a $1 TAP CARD -- needed to ride). The red line metro rail (no relation to the 'red loop' of the HoHo tour -- which is a BUS!) has an underground station at Union Station with trains departing every 12 minutes to North Hollywood. The trains stop at the Hollywood/Highland Station in 21 minutes. Exit the station, turn right onto the sidewalk, walk 30 seconds and you'll see the Chinese Theater Courtyard on your right. At the right, rear corner of the Courtyard is a ticket booth for Starline. They will direct you to your tour. You could depart from Union Station on the red line metro rail as late as 11:46 (arriving at Hollywood/Highland @ 12:07) and you'd still make the tour with time to spare. The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that this escorted tour is the right thing for you as it's simple and covers a lot of popular attractions. Here is info about the tour:


Remember, you would be taking the 'mid morning' tour which will depart from the Chinese Theater at 12:30 and returns to the Chinese Theater at 6 pm. From the Chinese Theater, you have a number of choices as far as returning to Union Station is concerned:

a. Take a taxi (easy but expensive. If it's a weekday, you'll be stuck in traffic which will raise the cost of the ride to, perhaps, $35 or $40 plus tip).

b. Take the red line metro rail. Easy, cheap and quick. Take the train marked "To Union Station" to the last stop on the line (Union Station) -- 21 minutes. $1.50 fare

c. Allow the tour to drop you back at the Metro Plaza Hotel. (This will, also, take some time as the bus will stop to drop off others as well as having to deal with 'rush hour' traffic).

You should be arriving back at Union Station between 6:30 and 7:00 pm. It will still be light outside. "Taking a bus" in L.A. is just like taking a bus anywhere else. You wait at the bus stop for your bus, get on, pay your fare and wait for your stop. If you take the 487 Metro bus as I recommended above from the bus plaza to the south of Union Station, there will be one pulling up at 7:28 pm which will give you plenty of time to reach it from Hollywood. Of course, if you take a taxi from Hollywood, it can drop you at the bus plaza.

Here's a map showing the bus plaza to the EAST of Union Station (where the Flyaway Bus will arrive), Union Station itself, and the bus stop for the HoHo.


Some notes about this map:

A. When you take the Flyaway Bus, it will arrive at the bus plaza to the east of Union Station. Follow the crowds (symbolized by the blue dots on the map) as they enter the rear door of the station, descend into the tunnel that passes under the tracks and emerges into the main station area. Keep walking straight ahead and you'll emerge from the front door of the station. You will then be at the point indicated by the little train icon that's marked "Union Station" on the map. As you exit the station, you'll be facing west.

B If you continue along the blue dotted line in a westerly direction, you'll arrive at the pickup point for the HoHo bus in just a few minutes.

C. If you decide to take a taxi to Hollywood to meet the Grand City Tour, there will be a taxi stand adjacent to the exit of the station.

D. If you decide to be picked up at the Metro Plaza Hotel for the Grand City Tour, here's is a map showing that route: https://goo.gl/maps/fkh3N The walk from the front door of the station to the hotel is about 5 minutes.

When you return from touring, here is a map of the route from the front door of the station to the bus plaza to the SOUTH of the station from which you'll take the 487 bus to your hotel:


It's a walk of just 2 minutes. Good luck!

Keep in mind that if you get lost, everyone will know where the Chinese Theater is and where Union Station is. Just ask anyone for help. Los Angelenos are friendly!

Have fun.

Fortaleza, CE
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10. Re: Half day tour in LA

First, I'd call the hotel and ask for the concierge desk. They may even have a tour desk. They should have info on tours. I'm sure you're not the first to ask. You should be able to get to Union Station in downtown L.A. with one or two buses, and get a tour from there, but I'd first ask what suggestions the hotel can make.

Be specific as to what you want to see. A half-day tour of L.A. will cover a fairly small area (given the enormity of Los Angeles County, in which San Gabriel is located). If you want to see Hollywood area items, there should be tours, even short ones. Downtown L.A. has some interesting sights, IMHO, and you can see those easily on your own.