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Old 03-24-2013, 10:46 PM   #1
sk!mom
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Los Angeles help, please!

We are celebrating my DH's restored health with a trip to Hawaii. We will arrive in LA early on a Monday and fly on to Hawaii late on a Tuesday. DD16 wants to use the time to see Hollywood- Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive.

Questions-
Where to stay? A nice hotel in Hollywood?
Transportation from LAX to hotel- rent a car? Taxi?

Our return trip will be a short over night so we want a hotel that is at or very convenient to LAX. Suggestions?

Thanks! Sorry for the off topic but everyone here always has the best answers.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:57 PM   #2
Lisa71
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I live near LA and while the city is interesting it is a traffic nightmare. I avoid it. That being said there is a nice Marriott right at LAX almost and I would rent a car. Hollywood is very congested and I do not have a favorite hotel there. The lax marriott I have had many friends and family use and it is nice and shuttles to the airport. Have fun!
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:04 PM   #3
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It has been years since I was at LAX but that marriot sounds right!!! traffic was a nightmare then good luck and have fun!!
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
sk!mom
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Anyone else?
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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Please. It's not a "traffic nightmare." That is a gross overstatement by people who don't live in Los Angeles. I live here - traffic is heavy, but very much in line with any other major city.

Stay at the Rennaissance in Hollywood which is in the middle of Hollywood and convienent to the train, across the street from the El Capitan (which plays first run Disney movies and rotates old Disney movies as well. For example, Peter Pan had a two week engagement in February) and next door to Grauman's Chinese.

I'd suggest spending late Monday at Universal Studios and doing the studio tour, which alone is worth the price admission (don't think of Universal Studios as a theme park - think of it as a movie studio tour with a bunch of rides as extras). Find the pamphelts around your hotel, they usually have coupons for $10-$18 off admission in them. You can take the subway to Universal Studios, it is the next stop from Hollywood Highland and takes a grand total of 4 minutes. $1.50/person, no traffic, no parking expense. Then that night you can grab dinner at Citywalk or in Hollywood itself; I would suggest Umami Burger (walking distance from the hotel, high quality food at good prices and an LA burger institution) if you want somewhere trendy, or venture to nearby Thai Town in East Hollywood (you can take the subway, but for a non-local it can appear to be a little sketchy, so I'd take a cab) and have the best Thai food outside of Thailand. Also in Hollywood, lot's of touristy museums like the Hollywood Wax Museum that are open very late, even on weekdays, so plenty to do at night.

Then Tuesday go and explore Hollywood walking around your hotel, seeing Grauman's etc. Grab one of the van tours - they are everywhere on Hollywood Blvd. and take you around Hollywood, Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills. Usually around 2-3 hours long, and remember, the price is almost always negotiable. Another great spot if Griffith Observatory - it's free, beautiful and awesome, and right next to Hollywood. It's best at night, but unfortunately closed on Mondays.

You can just take a cab to/from Hollywood, but if you prefer going the budget way, take the Flyaway from LAX to Union Station ($7/person; approximately 25 minutes in light traffic, 45 minutes in heavy traffic as it takes a fairly uncongested route) and then connect to the subway system, which is 20 minute ride from Union to Hollywood/Highland (the Rennaissance is attached to the station).

Last edited by MAH4546; 03-25-2013 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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FYI - the Renaissance Hollywood was sold and is now the Lowes Hollywood. Great place to stay with your limited time.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
sk!mom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAH4546 View Post
Please. It's not a "traffic nightmare." That is a gross overstatement by people who don't live in Los Angeles. I live here - traffic is heavy, but very much in line with any other major city.

Stay at the Rennaissance in Hollywood which is in the middle of Hollywood and convienent to the train, across the street from the El Capitan (which plays first run Disney movies and rotates old Disney movies as well. For example, Peter Pan had a two week engagement in February) and next door to Grauman's Chinese.

I'd suggest spending late Monday at Universal Studios and doing the studio tour, which alone is worth the price admission (don't think of Universal Studios as a theme park - think of it as a movie studio tour with a bunch of rides as extras). Find the pamphelts around your hotel, they usually have coupons for $10-$18 off admission in them. You can take the subway to Universal Studios, it is the next stop from Hollywood Highland and takes a grand total of 4 minutes. $1.50/person, no traffic, no parking expense. Then that night you can grab dinner at Citywalk or in Hollywood itself; I would suggest Umami Burger (walking distance from the hotel, high quality food at good prices and an LA burger institution) if you want somewhere trendy, or venture to nearby Thai Town in East Hollywood (you can take the subway, but for a non-local it can appear to be a little sketchy, so I'd take a cab) and have the best Thai food outside of Thailand. Also in Hollywood, lot's of touristy museums like the Hollywood Wax Museum that are open very late, even on weekdays, so plenty to do at night.

Then Tuesday go and explore Hollywood walking around your hotel, seeing Grauman's etc. Grab one of the van tours - they are everywhere on Hollywood Blvd. and take you around Hollywood, Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills. Usually around 2-3 hours long, and remember, the price is almost always negotiable. Another great spot if Griffith Observatory - it's free, beautiful and awesome, and right next to Hollywood. It's best at night, but unfortunately closed on Mondays.

You can just take a cab to/from Hollywood, but if you prefer going the budget way, take the Flyaway from LAX to Union Station ($7/person; approximately 25 minutes in light traffic, 45 minutes in heavy traffic as it takes a fairly uncongested route) and then connect to the subway system, which is 20 minute ride from Union to Hollywood/Highland (the Rennaissance is attached to the station).
Wow, THANK you! Exactly the help I was looking for. We regularly drive in Houston so I'm not afraid of traffic just want to make the best use of limited time. With that in mind which is the best...rent a car? Or do the Flyaway/subway combo?
Thanks again!

Last edited by sk!mom; 03-25-2013 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk!mom View Post
Wow, THANK you! Exactly the help I was looking for. We regularly drive in Houston so I'm not afraid of traffic just want to make the best use of limited time. With that in mind which is the best...rent a car? Or do the Flyaway/subway combo?
Thanks again!
I would not rent a car if you are going to stay in Hollywood (e.g. if you were to follow the itinary I gave you, renting a car is a total waste). You don't need it unless you want to venture far off, like the beach (but why bother with LA's ugly beaches when you are going to Hawai'i?).

It would make going to certain places like Beverly Hills (if you want to actually walk around as opposed to just taking a tour van through it), Museum District and Fairfax/Farmer's Market easier, if you were interested in one of those. But even those three aren't a terribly expensive cab ride from Hollywood ($18-30).

There's also a hop-on/hop-off tourist bus operated by Greyline.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:02 AM   #9
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OK...no car and we'll stay at the Loews for the night. Thank you!
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:54 AM   #10
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I am not an expert on LA, but when we visited two years ago, we did the Hop On/Hop Off tours and they were great! I think we paid maybe $50 for the two day family pass (DH and I, my mom, my DD and her friend). The bus driver gave us a "special deal" since we were his first customers of the day! We even went to Santa Monica Pier and the girls rode the rides there and played on the beach for a little while.

My DD really wants to go back this summer and stay in the Hollywood area. She LOVED shopping on Rodeo Drive!

Have a great trip!!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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What great info! I love to visit the DL/Hollywood area. I also don't think anything of driving in LA traffic, that being said, I live outside Atlanta but I think it scares so many away from having a great time.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:41 PM   #12
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We were there last summer. We were told by so many people that the Warner Bros tour was so much better than Universal. My dd15 is a Pretty Little Liars fan, as well as an Ellen fan, so it was the highlight of her trip. Now when we're watching any tv, there are so many exterior shots that we know where they are shooting!

Can't say its better than Universal, but we certainly enjoyed it (although it is in Burbank, but we really thought it worth the trip). A friend and her dd14 did the tour this past winter and loved it as well.

I live in the DC area, so the traffic didn't bother me. A fair warning. I brought my own GPS with me, and he liked to avoid traffic. However, that did result in riding through a few sketchy neighborhoods.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:55 PM   #13
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I go to LA all the time to visit my sister. I love staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt. I have also done a ton of those touristy tours and my favorite is a company called "dearly departed".....don't worry has nothing to do with death lol....the tour guides there are amazing. There is a great restaurant in Malibu called MoonShadows, my family has been going there for over 20 years! It is right over the ocean and is the most amazing view. Make a reservation for sunset if you go there. You won't regret it!
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:29 PM   #14
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We took an amazing California trip last year, from San Fran to San Diego. We stayed at a hotel a short walk from the Walk of Fame. Magic Castle Hotel. Such an awesome place!!! An old apt complex renovated and turned into a spacious hotel. Very affordable and included a yummy breakfast with pastries and such from a local bakery. A warm pool in the middle of the complex. Unlimited snacks and sodas from a long menu....all free with your stay. ALso free dvd rentals. My kids LOVED that hotel.
We bought the Hollywood City Pass and enjoyed all the components. It was a tour of the Dolby Theater where the Oscars are held, a driving tour of the Hollywood Hills to see celebrity homes, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and a walking tour of Hollywood area.
We really enjoyed our two days there!
Hope you have a wonderful trip.
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