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A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

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Adelaide, Australia
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A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

We have 2 full days in LA (staying in Santa Monica) in mid September. We have a list of things we'd like to do but would like some help in planning what days to do what. The days are a Friday and a Saturday. Originally I planned to do a 2 hour studio tour of Paramount or WB But after recent reflection, I'm wondering, as we have 2 Tweens, if universal might be a better option. Im thinking now that this will take most of the day (groan) and will cut into our time doing other LA things. Other things we wanted to do are;

- hire bikes in SM and ride to Venice, eat and explore here a little

- SM pier, was going to do pacific park, but not sure how suitable it will be for my kids, the rides there either seem full on or babyish, anyway, that was instead of a theme park but now that universal is in the cards, it seems unnecessary.

- Griffths Observtory for sunset and show

- Hollywood landmarks such as handprints, walk of fame, Hollywood sign

- farmers Grove markets, silly question here, if we buy fresh produce from here can we take it with us interstate? We are flying on the Sunday to Las Vegas and getting a car and driving straight to Grand Canyon. that night I thought it might be nice to have a picnic somewhere along the rim of the canyon and watch the sunset. In Australia, you are not allowed to bring fresh produce to another state.

- drive up the coast to Malibu

Anyway, they are the main things I wanted to do while in LA, do you think these things are still doable with only 2 full days? We arrive from Australia on the Thursday around 10.30am , so have a half day that day too, but as we would have been travelling for quite some time, didn't think it would be the best idea to try and do too much that afternoon.

If we go to universal, I would be prepared to pay extra for the front of line pass (is that necessary at that time of year?) just to move things along a little quicker and maybe not have it take all day. I just thought a studio tour is uniquely hollywood and would be interesting to see. Maybe universal is a compromise for adults and kids? Which things are better to which day, I'm guessing Saturday is a busy day for most things touristy, would like to avoid massive crowds if possible

Thanks in advance for any help provided

Cheers

Linda :)

Santa Monica...
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1. Re: A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

Universal is a theme park, so it's rides and such. It's a shame you have to devote one of your two days to do this, as you will have to decide what to see. Santa Monica Pier, Promenade, and biking is a full day.

The Hollywood things and the Griffith Observatory you can do on the day you arrive. You can perhaps squeeze in the Grove and Farmers Market on the night of visiting Santa Monica, or the morning on the way to the airport.

Yes you can take food/produce you buy on the road, but not necessarily through the airport.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

We have visited Los Angeles many times, only once did we go to Universal Studios (with then 8 year old) and then only rode a few rides, did the studio tour and left by after lunch. It will be hot, lots of people and not sure if that is what you really want to do for a full day/night.

Loved Santa Monica beach and pier and also drove up through Malibu to Leo Carillo Beach, stopping at Neptunes Net for lunch. The kid loves the beach so much more than theme parks so we are lucky in a sense.

I was disappointed with the fresh fruit and vegetables at the Farmer's Market. Most of what we saw were little shops, and cafes. Local grocery stores have better produce!!! I haven't seen Arizona stopping people on the route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon to check for fruit etc.

Santa Monica, CA
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3. Re: A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

I've not spent an entire day at Universal, either. Go first thing in the AM, do a few rides (pick them out first - make sure the kids agree!), then do the back lot tram ride. Don't eat there - park food is usually expensive and not very good.

After Universal, go to Hollywood, then the Grove/Farmers Market. The farmer's market is a historic place here, not a modern-day farm market. It consists of permanent booths with food vendors - lots of them! French, Italian, New Orleans, seafood, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, you name it, there's a booth for it. You order the food you want and sit in a central area to eat. Then, visit the Grove - a fun shopping center that's nice to stroll, see a movie, shop (look for celebrities there, too!). I don't like the produce at the historic Farmers Market.

For farm fresh produce, in Santa Monica, visit the market on Saturday in the downtown area, or visit the one on Main St. on Sunday, as it's like a street festival with lots of prepared foods and some gift items, along with the excellent produce. You can take produce to other states from California, it's only coming into CA that you may be stopped.

Here's an article on taking fruit from state to state:

ehow.com/info_12153840_restrictions-taking-f…

You are staying in Santa Monica, so that affords you more time to rent bikes than folks who have to drive here for the day. Don't overlook the north beaches (opposite direction from Venice Beach), it's a great contrast between there and Venice. You might like to spend some time at the Annenberg Beach House, which is north of the pier, too.

http://beachhouse.smgov.net/

Edited: 04 June 2014, 00:39
Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

Thankyou everyone, as always,ever helpful and good to know that we won't necessarily need to spend an entire day at Universal, should I bother with the front of line pass? it will work out to be quite an expensive day if we pay for front of line and only stay for a few hours, if you know what I mean? Still tossing up on WB/paramount tour vs Universal...ah decisions lol. Should add here that we are also spending a week in orlando, so really wanted to stay clear of theme parks here, but also want kids to be happy...happy kids, happy parents lol.

Great to hear your feedback on the fresh produce and as we will likely do our SM portion of the trip on the Saturday, so this works well for us. Unfortunately we leave quite early Sunday morning so no time at all that day.

Again thanking you

Cheers

Linda :)

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

If you're going to Orlando, then you must absolutely skip Universal!!

With only two days here, spend it seeing the city. Save the theme parks (and Universal) for Orlando.

Yes, do get to the farmer's market in Santa Monica (not the same as Farmers Market at the Grove), a real farmer's market.

Rancho Santa...
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6. Re: A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

I second the notion of skipping Universal entirely because you are headed to Orlando. The very first moment you are in LA, head to the Getty Center. Have a meal on the patio. It is one of LA's quintessential experiences. I suspect you are completely unaware of the place. You and your tweens don't have to stay long. But, you will all be very impressed and remember it for a very long time.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d14…

HTH

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

Yea, you know what, change of mind again, we're skipping universal, will do the WB tour instead. Thanks everyone, you put things in perspective for me, so hard to fit everything in but I think the kids will be just so excited at that point to actually be there, it won't matter to them...and what they don't know....lol

Cheers

Linda :)

8. Re: A Friday and Saturday in LA - final itinerary

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