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Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

Cleveland, Ohio
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63 posts
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Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

I will be arriving in LA in August with my son and husband. We are going to rent a car and drive the coast and then fly out of San Francisco.

My hope is to spend a day in LA to see the city and Venice Beach before heading to San Diego to begin the drive up to San Francisco.

My questions are:

1. Any recommendations as to a base area for stay in LA which would be easily accessible for studio tour (Paramount or drive to Warner), Venice Beach, and then head out to San Diego?

2. Would you rec doing the studio tour and then heading to San Diego and visiting Venice Beach on the way back up the coast?

3. If you were looking for good beginner surfing spot would you head further south or just stay in LA?

4. Any advice on rental car deals - I know it is expensive to pick up and drop off cars at different destinations.

Thanks!

United States
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1. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

How many days do you have total? And what are you doing/seeing in San Diego other than maybe the surfing? Also people are probably going to ask about your hotel budget. $150, $250, $350?

Culver City...
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2. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

The only place that comes to mind for me is Culver City. You are minutes away from the beach, but halfway to Hollywood (you could also tour Sony Studios in Culver City), and freeway ready for San Diego. CC is just minutes from LAX. The historic Culver Hotel is very well-located for restaurants and nightlife.

I think a surf lesson would be in order for a beginner, and you can get those in Venice or Santa Monica (www.learntosurfla.com). Probably in San Diego, too.

Venice Beach can be a great spot to stop for lunch and people watch, or an all day affair if you want to walk around and then rent bicycles to cruise the bike path. When in your trip you go to Venice Beach will depend on how much time you have to devote to it.

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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3. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

I think you should fly into San Diego and start your trip there. You're back tracking quite a bit - how much time do you have for the entire trip? LA needs at least 3 days, especially for what you want to do.

Rancho Santa...
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4. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

What is your nightly budget for hotel? How old is your son? Are you aware SD is about three hours south of LA? How long do you intend to stay in LA? Have you read the reviews for Venice Beach Boardwalk?

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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5. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

If you can't fly into San Diego I would drive there directly after landing at LAX rather than staying in LA, driving SOUTH 2-3 hours before turning around and heading back north a few days later. I'd start in San Diego and work my way north from there.

Besides budget, it would be good to have an overview of the trip, like how many total nights, approximate agenda, etc.

As to surfing lessons, San Diego might be better than the LA area, or Newport Beach by the Newport Pier. San Diego at the Pacific Beach Pier or South Mission Beach has waves that are easy to learn in, ditto for the area south of the Newport Pier.

The Venice Beach boardwalk is a mixed bag. In August it is probably more gawking tourists than locals and it still has a gritty element to it.

If your budget is right, stay at the beach in August, Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach. There is no reason to stay inland other than budget. If you do stay inland start with the West Hollywood/Beverly Center area.

West Hollywood...
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for Los Angeles
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6. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

FYI, L.A. has hundreds of attractions -- big and small, well-known and not so well-known. You can't see much of L.A. in a day especially if you plan to include a 'studio tour' (2 to 2-1/2 hours) and a visit to Venice Beach (an hour if you just plan to explore the beach, more, if you plan to visit the Canals, the Abbot Kinney Bl area, etc) -- plus the time to drive to these places -- What about Santa Monica? Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills? The California Science Center (home to the space shuttle Endeavour)?, Griffith Park (one of the largest urban parks in the U.S.) which has a dozen attractions including the Observatory (which has stunning views of our city and the "Hollywood sign").

What about Hollywood? Hiking in Runyon Canyon? Visiting one of the Getty Museums? Exploring our ethnic neighborhoods? etc, etc.

Here's a link to 300+ 'things to do' in Los Angeles (click on the name of the attraction for a brief description of that attraction):

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g32655-Activitie…

Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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7. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

" If you were looking for good beginner surfing spot would you head further south or just stay in LA?"

A great place for beginning surfing is in north Manhattan Beach, just south of LAX. Stay at the Sea View Inn, on Highland Ave. It's just up from the beach and has 5 buildings from motel units to 2 bedroom apartments. Free parking and free use of beach chairs, boogie boards and bikes.

http://www.theseaviewinn.com/index.htm

One of the best places to learn to surf is a few blocks away at Rosecrans Ave. in the El Porto area of Manhattan Beach. All lessons include surfboards and Body Glove wetsuits. They are located at the south end of the parking lot at 38th Street.

www.campsurf.com/…

campsurf.com/directions/…

You could get a private or group surfing lesson.

campsurf.com/los-angeles-surf-lessons/…

This is shows the small waves which are great for beginner surfers. It's where my kids learned to surf.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKTfgSmN-JY

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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8. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

"....We are going to rent a car and drive the coast and then fly out of San Francisco."....

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I hope you've allotted at least 2 overnight stops for the drive. San Diego to SF via the coastal route is well over a 12 hour drive WITHOUT stops!

I would plan a stop in Pismo Beach and another in Monterey.

Cleveland, Ohio
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9. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

Great thank you!

10. Re: Base in LA for studio tour, surf beach, Coast

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