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LA in Jan/Feb

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A girlfriend and I are panning to go to LA in the Jan/Feb time frame. We were wondering what the safest and most fun area would be to stay as far as proximity to nightlife. Also, we have 5 days so we kind of want a mixed bag experience as far as culture and fun. Any particular sights you all would recommend other than Mann's theatre, Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive, Getty Museum, etc.
Also, is a car absolutely necessary.
I appreciate all your help

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    I would stay in Santa Monica--you would be close to Third Street (shops, restaurants, bars) and close to the ocean. Try the Doubletree, Huntley Radisson, Holiday Inn for mderately priced hotels. I think you can go to smo.com to price hotels.

    You most definately need a car. The transportation system is terrible and you will spend HOURS getting from place to place. I have found that National rent-a-car is one of the more low-cost rental agencies--ask for a weekly rate--it may be cheaper than a 5 day rental.

    Sights: Try the LA County Museum of Art, some nice collections. It is also right next to the Peterson's Automotive Museum, the Natural Histoy Museum, and the La Brea Tar Pits. You can wander around for the morning or afternoon. Do not miss the LA Farmers Market, located near the museums on Fairfax and Third. It is a great place with all kinds of food stalls (try the crepes or the cajun food or the apple fritters....ymmmm!). Great mix of natives and tourists, young and old. Really fun.

    If you tell me some of the things you are interested in--I can help you more.

    Have fun and welcome to LA!

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