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help! traveling to los Angeles in Sept. where should I stay?

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Woodbury, Minnesota
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help! traveling to los Angeles in Sept. where should I stay?

We are going on a cruise in September leaving from long beach. We are going into lax 2 days before the cruise and staying two days after the cruise. I am overwhelmed with how big LA is and can't decide what areas we should find a hotel in! We are renting and returning a car from the airport and taking a shuttle from LAX to the cruise port. Some of the places I want to visit in los Angeles are: Hollywood, santa Monica pier,Venice beach, Beverly hills and possibly go to universal studios. Thinking about staying at a hotel near the airport and just driving to the areas we want to visit but not sure if that's best. Any ideas or suggestions would be helpful. Any advice on this vacation would be appreciated!

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: help! traveling to los Angeles in Sept. where should I stay?

What is your nightly hotel budget?

Staying at an LAX hotel is a very poor idea unless you have an early morning flight to catch. It is an unattractive area.

Woodbury, Minnesota
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2. Re: help! traveling to los Angeles in Sept. where should I stay?

$150 a night. We don't have a early flight.

Santa Monica, CA
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for Santa Monica
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3. Re: help! traveling to los Angeles in Sept. where should I stay?

It's best to keep a car for sightseeing in LA; as you are already aware, it's a big place! You can do way better than the airport area. For the most central location, look at Hollywood. From there, you can easily get "over the hill" to Universal. In fact, for most adults, you can see the Hollywood Boulevard sights (hand/foot prints, stars, etc.) and Universal (roughly 5 hours for a couple of adults) in one day without any real effort. The downside with Hollywood is that it's very touristy; the upside - touristy areas are where all the tours start.

Other places to check at your budget (again, I'm assuming you are keeping the rental car):

Marina del Rey (between the airport and Santa Monica; it is a marina - not a lot of beachfront, but is close to Venice). You absolutely need a rental car to stay here!

Santa Monica's budget hotels: Sea Shore Motel, Comfort Inn, TravelLodge, Best Western Gateway. Of this list, the only great location is Sea Shore on Main; the others are more eastern, away from the beaches, yet with good transit to get you there and to the 3rd St. Promenade.

Other good areas to consider will be in Westwood, Century City, West Hollywood, but I'm not sure your budget is sufficient.

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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4. Re: help! traveling to los Angeles in Sept. where should I stay?

I would do the first two days in Hollywood and the final two days in Santa Monica/beach area. You can find in your budget in Hollywood (you'll have to raise it to include tax and parking), but Santa Monica is expensive. Look in Venice, where rates are lower.

5. Re: help! traveling to los Angeles in Sept. where should I stay?

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