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Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

ely cambridgeshire
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Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

Hi

I would be grateful for suggestions to help us on our trip. We are visiting Anaheim 3 nights , Hollywood 3 nights end of December.

We will need to get from the Hilton Hollywood Universal Hotel to the Homewood Suites, Liberty Bay, San Diego for our stay there for 8 nights.

We will then need to get from Homewood Suites to LAX on the 10th January for our flight home.

We have never driven in the US before and understand the LA is difficult due to traffic issues so think we will avoid hiring a car.

We will have 3 or possibly 4 large suitcases, 2 adults and an autistic 12 year old who is not good with crowds to get from a to b.

Recommendations for the best options would be so welcome, we would be happy to consider a car with driver if anyone knew of any good companies or we have looked at the train but we are not sure how easy that will be do with luggage and if it will be crowded. Budget is really secondary to getting the transfers completed in the best way possible.

Any suggestions will be very much appreciated.

Liz

San Diego...
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1. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

You can take an Amtrak train from Anaheim to downtown San Diego. The train ride is about 2 hours and there are 10 or 12 trains per day I think. The Anaheim station is in the parking lot of the large Anaheim Stadium (or Edison Field or whatever it's called now). You should be able to take an Anaheim Resort Transit bus from your hotel in Anaheim to the Amtrak station, then ride the Amtrak train to San Diego, and then just take a taxi from the San Diego station to Homewood Suites, which is in the Liberty Station area of San Diego.

Then do the opposite to get back up to LA, taking the Amtrak train all the say from San Diego to Los Angeles, about a 3-hour train ride. The Amtrak station is in downtown Los Angeles, so you would then need to find another method to get from there to LAX. I would start a thread in the Los Angeles forum about that.

All the local travel would be a lot easier if you just rented a car. It doesn't seem like you would be spending much time in Los Angeles so I would not worry too much about the L.A. traffic.

8 nights may be too long for a visit to San Diego. Do you have a list of things you want to see and do here?

San Diego
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2. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

Homewood Suites Liberty Station is not a good location withOUT a car!

8 days is not too long but how have you planned to get around to your activities?

Especially with an autistic child wouldn't having your own car be more comfortable?

Then you would be on your own schedule and wouldn't have to deal with other people or waiting around for transit . The child would get used to that space and be able to handle the trip better!

You can rent the car in San Diego if you don't want to drive from Anaheim.

You can of course hire a driver from a variety of companies to get you TO San Diego but then you still need to get to activities/sights.

What time is your flight home? I ask because driving from San Diego to LAX can take a while depending on traffic.

I don't know companies that operate in LA so maybe ask on that forum but I do know that the ride will cost several hundred dollars as it can take several hours depending on traffic.

Los Angeles
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3. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

LA can have traffic, no doubt, but driving in LA may be easier than you are thinking. Lots of people who come from countries where they drive on the other side of the road share your concern, but many come over and find that they quickly get used to driving on the other side. Beyond that, streets in LA mostly follow an easy-to-navigate grid pattern, streets are well signed, lanes are wide and so it may be easier than you think. And with an autistic child who doesn't like crowds, I'd think this would be much better for you. The alternatives are going to be crowded trains and buses, expensive taxis or very expensive private car services between the three cities.

In any case, excepting for crowds the train is a good option to get between the three cities. The train has luggage service so you won't need to carry your luggage into the passenger compartment of the train. In LA, you can take the red line subway between the Sheraton and Union Station in downtown LA. Union Station is where the Amtrak train leaves from to head to Anaheim and San Diego. Unfortunately the Red Line does not have a separate luggage compartment so you would need to bring suitcases with you onto the subway, but if you go at a less busy time (basically no earlier than 9:30 AM and no later than 4PM on a weekday) the subway should not be that crowded. For the return to LAX, take the Amtrak train from San Diego back to Union Station. There is a bus service between Union Station and LAX called the FlyAway bus ($7 per person), and this bus does have a separate luggage compartment. A taxi from Union Station to LAX would be about $50.

Edited: 28 August 2013, 14:52
San Diego...
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4. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

I agree with Riff M. The Homewood Suites Liberty Station isn't the best choice to stay without a car. Unless you have a very large budget for taxis to get around then that's a different story. The Bus doesn't pass close to it so you'd have to walk a few blocks to a bus stop.

The #28 runs on Rosecrans and will take you to Old Town where you can change to another bus or the Trolley. Expect it to take approx 30 to 45 mins (maybe even 1 hr ish if timing is off) to get Downtown. You have to get to the bus stop on Rosecrans

…sdmts.com/sdmtsapp/mtscr/TimeTable.aspx…

Also a bus stop on Rosecrans is the #923 bus

…sdmts.com/sdmtsapp/mtscr/TimeTable.aspx…

You can also take a taxi to the Airport and take the #992 bus to Downtown

…sdmts.com/sdmtsapp/mtscr/TimeTable.aspx…

All that being said, I would recommend you find a hotel that is better served for public transportation. Maybe Old Town or Little Italy or the Embassy Suites or Residence Inn (on Pacific Hwy) Downtown.

Anaheim, California
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5. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

I have to agree with the comments above, did a Travel Agent pick these choices?

The Hilton Universal is nice, but somewhat isolated. You can access the LA Metro Red Line Subway, but it is a bit of a walk up and down a steep hill to go between the Hotel and the Subway.

And the Homewood Suites is even in a poorer location for public transit in San Diego, limited service as mentioned above. The actual location is nice, and is a good choice with someone with a rental vehicle.

Where are you staying in the Anaheim/Disneyland area?

You do understand that Hollywood is at the north end of the list, Anaheim is in the middle and San Diego is in the South, so is there a reason that it sounds like you will be starting in Anaheim?

Are you limited to Hilton owned Hotels?

With the family group you have, I would look at the Hollywood and Highland area for a place near Universal Studios, the Orchid Suites and Magic Castle Hotels both have a kitchen in the room, and fairly quiet area, which should be helpful with your artistic child.

Plenty within walking distance near Disneyland, maybe the Residence Inn Maingate for a good choice within walking distance.

For San Diego, I like the Old Town State Park area, maybe the Fairfield Inn. Since it is near the park, some nice quiet areas to explore nature.

www.oldtownsandiego.org

The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner is the best way without a rental vehicle to get around the area.

http://www.amtrak.com/pacific-surfliner-train

So can you change your Hotel reservations? And if so, what are your preferences and amount you want to spend a night. Folks here at TA will be happy to point you to options that match your needs.

San Diego...
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6. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

Even if you moved to Shelter Island the bus stop, #28, is closer walking distance. Approx 15 min ride to Old Town to make connections to other destinations.

…sdmts.com/sdmtsapp/mtscr/TimeTable.aspx…

Perth
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7. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

I have to agree that driving in LA isn't as scary as you would think. I'm from Perth in Western Australia, reasonably quiet in comparison to LA, Sydney, Melbourne etc and I found driving in LA easy. The streets are well sign posted with a lot of warning. I know some Americans disagree with me, but I found drivers in LA courteous and although the traffic moves at a steady pace there is always time to change lanes etc. Have a good GPS with you and if you're from a metric country remember that the signs are in miles, it threw me a few times. Don't try and rush your trip if you're driving as it's stressful then.

Mi Wuk Village...
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8. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

Given where you are staying and having a special needs child I really encourage you to think again about renting a car. You simplify your life a lot. 8 days isn't too long. It gives you time for a cool down day for your child. Besides the big and crowded attractions, San Diego has lots of smaller, low key things to do which it sounds like you could use. To get to those does need a car. I know it's tough learning to drive on the correct side of the road but I have had lots of relatives from England come over and manage.

ely cambridgeshire
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9. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

Thanks very much everyone for the advice.

The train sounds like a good option for us for the transfer so thanks very much for the information.

In terms of hotels we are staying at Homewood Suites in Anaheim to visit the Disney Parks. We then wanted to spend New Years Eve at City Walk which is why we chose the Hilton Universal and we will be using the hop on hop off bus to visit the Hollywood sights. We have tried to plan the trip so we get to see the Xmas decorations in all of the theme parks so have already juggled dates, hotels etc and have booked and rebooked several times .

We did want Hilton group hotels if possible as we are hilton honours members and use some points and liked the reviews for the Homewood Suites Liberty Airport. We like Homewood Suites as it includes breakfast and some evening meals and my husband uses them a lot when he travels on business.

What we can do is maybe look at hiring a car in San Diego which sounds like it would work for us - would you say that it is easier driving than in LA ?

In terms of activities in San Diego I have several friends who have stayed there and also have worked with someone who has a home there and all of them have said how much they fell in love with the area and how they wished they had more time there.

I felt we needed 8 nights to experience the area properly. On our list of excursions are 2 days at Sea world, La Jolla, Trolley Tour, Whale watching, Zoo, Coronado and the other trolley tour which goes along the coast.

Our flight on the way home is an evening flight so we will have the day to get back.

Thank you again for all the responses it is much appreciated.

Liz

Edited: 29 August 2013, 00:58
Anaheim, California
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10. Re: Travelling between San Diego and Los Angeles

OK, makes much more sense now....

As for a rental car, The San Diego Lindbergh Field Airport is close by and has plenty of Rental Car companies.

Near Liberty Station, Enterprise has an office close to the property, and would pick you up at your Hotel. Note, it does have limited hours.

www.enterprise.com/car_rental/deeplinkmap.do…

So take a Taxi from the Santa Fe Train Station to Liberty Station, and after you check in, arrange the rental car. Maybe wait for the next day to get a weekly rental rate.