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First time in LA, where to stay? What to do?

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Greensboro, North...
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First time in LA, where to stay? What to do?

So I'll be in LA for my birthday from 7/10-7/15, flying into LAX. I'm thinking about getting a rental car so I don't have to use a taxi the whole time, but I'm not sure where to stay. I'm looking at 4 different hotels, can anybody tell me which one would be best, in the best neighborhood? I'm looking at The Line, Elan Hotel, Hampton Inn Los Angeles/Sherman Oaks, & The Brentwood Inn. I'm also possibly looking into staying at a vacation rental its in the Hollywood Hills or as it states "The guest unit is nestled in the hills of Hollywood just west of the 101 at the top of the hill looking down on the whole city.". I'm not sure where to stay. I'm not wanting to spend a lot but I want to stay in a safe neighborhood and semi-close to tourist places. Can anybody help me out? As for places I'm hoping to go:

La Brea Tar Pits

Rodeo Drive

Hollywood Walk of Fame

I'm going to a taping of a show at CBS

Griffith Observatory

Runyon Canyon Park

The Grove

Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade

Venice Boardwalk

What other places should I definitely check out?

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: First time in LA, where to stay? What to do?

You'll need to rent a car. The Élan is the best of the bunch. Skip the rental just west of the 101.

However, you're putting the cart before the horse. Figure out your itinerary. Most of the places on your list are very dated. Research what to see and do first. What exactly is your nightly budget? With this information, then you can figure out where to stay.


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2. Re: First time in LA, where to stay? What to do?

Of those, the Elan would be the best choice, I think. Maybe Brentwood Inn as its a decent (but residential) location. If you were to plot out on a map where all the attractions are that you mentioned, first, you'd see that Elan and Brentwood Inn would be in the middle of that area. Hampton Inn Sherman Oaks would be outside of it, and The Line would also be slightly outside of that area but in terms of neighborhood, it wouldn't be my first choice. Second, you'd see that its a fairly large area - there's no one spot near everything.

Rent a car for sure. Taxis in LA can get expensive. Public transit can work for most things but generally takes a bit longer to get places. Hollywood hills is not really where you'd want to stay without a car, or even with one - potentially great views but with a lot of winding, narrow one-lane-in-each-direction roads, it can take a fair amount of time just to get out of the hills.

As for what else to do, depends on your interests. Studio tour - Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony. Some other museums - near the Grove and La Brea Tar Pits are LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) and the Petersen Automotive Museum. The Getty Center is in Brentwood, and the Getty Villa is in Pacific Palisades. There's also the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, near Rodeo Drive.

3. Re: First time in LA, where to stay? What to do?

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