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Old 04-01-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
bamagirl@hrt
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LA/Hollywood/Santa Monica/Huntington Beach Itinerary Help

I have read all of the posts both here and on Trip Advisor I can find to help in my planning. I appreciate all of the time you locals have given to help first timers like me. My family of 4 (me, DH, DD15, and DS11) will be arriving at LAX about midday on a Thursday. For our first night, we have hotel reservations at The Georgian in Santa Monica. For the second night, we are staying at the Shore Break in Huntington Beach. Below are the things we are most interested in doing. My question is in what order should we do them? Should we try to do the Hollywood area in the afternoon of our arrival day? Or should we head straight up toward Malibu, back to SM and explore the beach, pier, etc.. on the first day? I can see what seems easily to be grouped together, but I'm unsure of the best time to visit in regards to traffic. HELP! please....

Must Do:
See Hollywood sign
Walk of Fame
El Capitan/soda shop
La Brea Tar Pits
Getty Center
Drive PCH at least part of way toward Malibu
Santa Monica pier

Want to do if time:
Griffith Observatory
See Rodeo Dr./Beverly Hills

We chose Huntington Beach for our second night because a series of books my daughter and I have read are set in Newport Beach, and we really want to go there. However, the accommodations look more appealing in Huntington. So I thought we'd spend the morning after our HB stay exploring Newport Beach before heading over to Disneyland.

We will spend 4 nights in DLR and then 4 nights in San Diego before coming home.

Thanks so much!
Christy
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:46 AM   #2
theluckyrabbit
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Well, the Getty Center is one of my favorite spots in L.A., so I would go there on your arrival afternoon. That would give you a flexible schedule, in case of flight delay, luggage problems, or car rental issues. The Getty Center has a good cafeteria (for a museum, it's quite good) and a nice restaurant with a lovely view. You might want to look into eating while you are there. Then you could take Sunset Blvd. toward the coast and drive up PCH while the sun sets. Have you looked at the Getty Villa in Malibu? That museum requires reservations (parking is limited), but it is a lovely place.
On the next day, you could cover the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, El Capitan/Soda Fountain, and the Dolby Theater (home of the Oscars) by stopping at Hollywood & Highland. This is a shopping & dining complex at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland. Parking is $2 for 4 hours with a validation (go to customer service or to Starbucks). There is a photo spot with the Hollywood sign in the background on the 3rd or 4th level. The El Capitan is across the street. The Walk of Fame is right out front and the Chinese Theater with the famous footprints is next door. Afterward, you can take Hollywood Blvd. a few blocks west to La Brea, go south on La Brea for a few miles, go west on Wilshire -- the Tar Pits are about a mile or so west.
When you are done there, you can continue west on Wilshire to Fairfax (about a block), go north on Fairfax to Sunset (you will pass the Grove and the Farmer's Market along the way, if you wish to stop), go west on Sunset. This will allow you to drive along the Sunset Strip, see West Hollywood, and when you get to Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills (right before the Beverly Hills Hotel), go south on Rodeo through the residential area until you get to Santa Monica Blvd. South of Santa Monica Blvd. starts all the shopping and dining.
Santa Monica Blvd. or Wilshire going west will take you to the 405 S freeway (be prepared for traffic as you near the freeway), which will take you to Huntington Beach (ask your hotel which exit you should take).
When you explore Newport Beach, you can stop at Fashion Island (outdoor mall - quite nice) for some shopping and a meal.
I know this itinerary isn't perfect, but I hope it helps. Have a great trip!
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:51 AM   #3
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Awesome!! Thank you so much! That helps a lot. I know it's a lot to do in a short time, and I needed help. If you're ever in East Tennessee, I'll gladly return the favor :-)
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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By Hollywood sign do you mean hiking to it? I would skip that and go to Griffith Observatory. The sign is right there on a hilltop across the way. You cannot hike down to the sign or touch it or anything, if that was the plan. There is a city bus that only runs on weekends from the Vermont/Sunset metro station to the observatory. You can park somewhere else on the line, since that station doesn't have parking and get there that way if it's a weekend.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #5
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No, I wasn't meaning hike to the sign. Sorry I wasn't clear. I just want to get an unobstructed view of it, if possible. I know it's a totally tourist thing to do, but it's high on my kids' must do list
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:15 AM   #6
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You can see the sign just walking down the street in many places, it stands out pretty well on the hillside.

This will give you an idea of the view from Hollywood and Highland:
http://www.hollywoodsign.org/seeing-...wood-highland/

This is what it looks like from the observatory:
http://www.hollywoodsign.org/seeing-...k-observatory/
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamagirl@hrt View Post
HELP! please.....
Well, this is the agenda I give to friends when they come visit and want to go to Hollywood. It doesn't encompass everything you mentioned, but it's a good start. This list makes for a FULL day.

Hollywood Agenda
  • Getty Museum
  • GPS: 1200 Getty Center Dr., Los Angeles, 90049
  • Parking is $15, museum admission is free. Bring your parking ticket with you so you can pay by the elevators because there is no parking attendant at the exit. A tram to transport you to the top of the hill.
  • Only visit the Getty if you can get there before Noon, otherwise it may close to capacity.
  • You won’t be able to see everything, so you might want to look at the brochures and pick a few things.
    Mel’s Drive In
  • GPS: 8585 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
  • If they are offering Valet, use the Valet; it means their lot is getting too full.
    Grauman’s Chinese Theater & Hollywood and Highland Center
  • GPS: 1755 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • Public Parking Structure entrance is next to the Loew’s Hotel, Parking is $10, or $2 with Validation (Starbucks, Aunt Annie’s, and Gifts of Hollywood are a few, but ask if you buy anything)
  • This is also a good place for pictures of the Hollywood sign if it is clear; go to the 4th floor viewing bridge in the Hollywood & Highland center.
  • Remember the characters expect you to tip if you take pictures with them.
  • The stairs and hallway leading into the Dolby Theater are where they place the Red Carpet for the Oscars.
  • Crumbs Cupcakes is just inside the Hollywood & Highland center near the Dolby Theater and Grauman’s Chinese.
    Amoeba Music
  • GPS: 6400 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • Parking is beneath or behind the store.
  • The World's Largest Independently Owned Record Store.
    Rodeo Drive
  • GPS: 132 South Rodeo Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90212
  • Parking is metered, on the street. The address is approximate, and will put you close to Rodeo Dr and Wilshire Blvd.
  • The Beverly Wilshire is where they filmed Pretty Woman
    The Grove/The Los Angeles Farmers Market
  • GPS: 145 South Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
  • Park at the Farmers Market to avoid the Parking Structure; Parking is $1 per hour for the first 3 hours, $1 per 15 minutes thereafter, shops in the Farmers Market with Validate up to 3 hours.



Quote:
We chose Huntington Beach for our second night because a series of books my daughter and I have read are set in Newport Beach, and we really want to go there. However, the accommodations look more appealing in Huntington. So I thought we'd spend the morning after our HB stay exploring Newport Beach before heading over to Disneyland.
Yay for HB! You guys will love Shorebreak. It's a great hotel right in the middle of the fun downtown. Everything is within walking distance, and there's always something going on in HB! I live there and it's nonstop fun! PM me if you have any questions.

Newport is a more residential... but you'll definitely want to check out Balboa Island, Fashion Island, and Crystal Cove.
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Last edited by Plaid Princess; 04-27-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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Thank you, Plaid Princess, for your very detailed itinerary! That is soooo helpful! It's hard to believe that we are less than 2 months away from our big trip. I may pm you with questions before then. I appreciate your help. DISers are the best!
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