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swagman Sep 12th, 2017 02:05 AM

1-day in L.A. - what to do?
Hi, I am transiting in LA and have 8+ hours between flights. Have booked a day room at one of the hotels in LAX, so will be luggage free. Am thinking about heading to Santa Monica for the day, look around, have lunch etc then head back to LAX. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.


happytrailstoyou Sep 12th, 2017 07:15 AM

Will you have a car?

swagman Sep 12th, 2017 07:38 AM

no I will not have a car, sorry I forgot to mention that,,,

happytrailstoyou Sep 12th, 2017 08:01 AM

There is rapid transportation from LAX to Santa Monica.

There is plenty to do in SM: 3rd Street Promenade, the pier, and the park along Ocean Avenue.

If you haven't been to Hollywood, it is a scene that fascinates many and there are various tours you could take from there.


janisj Sep 12th, 2017 10:06 AM

Staying at a hotel will cut a LOT into your available time since you have to shuttle to the hotel, then return there, get your bags/check out and shuttle back to LAX.

Since you aren't using the room -- you could use this luggage service at LAX, and then take rapid transit to SM.

They will pick up and deliver your bag(s)

happytrailstoyou Sep 12th, 2017 10:27 AM

janisj, Do you have any experience with (or knowledge of) luggage or other service that ships suitcases, skies, golf clubs, etc."


jamie99 Sep 12th, 2017 11:48 AM

You could also take the Ocean Express to nearby Manhattan Beach for $5pp roundtrip, it picks up at many LAX hotels and takes you to either Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Village Mall or Plaza El Segundo.
I can understand wanting a room for the day not only to store luggage but also maybe shower and take a short nap.

Jean Sep 12th, 2017 01:01 PM

Is that 8 hours between landing and departing flights? Or do you have 8 free hours between when you expect to drop your luggage and when you must be back at LAX? Don't underestimate how long it takes to get in and out of the airport, get to a hotel, check in, etc.

Getting to and from Santa Monica on public transportation is time-consuming... an hour or more each way.

I'm biased (I live in Manhattan Beach), so I like jamie99's suggestion of using the Ocean Express service between LAX hotels and Manhattan Beach. Or just Lyft/Uber because we're that close to LAX, esp. if you get a day room at, say, Aloft, Hampton Inn or Travelodge on Sepulveda Boulevard in El Segundo.

Manhattan Beach has a mall, if you really want to spend your time shopping. There is also some boutique shopping in the downtown area near the pier. Our pier doesn't have a merry-go-round or a ferris wheel (thank goodness, actually), but it does have a small aquarium. We also have a very popular walking path along the beach that extends south through Hermosa Beach if you wanted a long walk. Manhattan Beach is infinitely smaller, more laid back and less crowded than Santa Monica.

janisj Sep 12th, 2017 01:07 PM

>>I can understand wanting a room for the day not only to store luggage but also maybe shower and take a short nap.<<

I can too -- but once you check in, shower, work out transport etc. you've used up nearly 30% of the free time so sort of defeats the purpose of getting to the beach or somewhere.

So -- if it was me, I'd EITHER get a day room and use it, or not get a day room and go exploring instead.

janisj Sep 12th, 2017 01:10 PM

HTty: No, I don't, sorry. I travel carry on only so have never needed to research luggage shipping. I just knew about this service at LAX because when I used to travel down there for business a co-worker used them for a long layover.

swagman Sep 12th, 2017 05:05 PM

Thank you for all your feedback.

Actually I am arriving in LAX the night prior so I will have a hotel room already, just paying a little extra to benefit from a delay check-out at 6pm - my forward flight departs at 10pm.

I will have a full 8-hours to explore, including travel time to/from LAX.


janisj Sep 12th, 2017 05:14 PM

>>Actually I am arriving in LAX the night prior so I will have a hotel room already, just paying a little extra to benefit from a delay check-out at 6pm<<

OH -- that is an entirely different situation than your OP suggested re a 'day room'. Yes - it is a no brainer.

BUT really -- there is no reason to pay for a late checkout. Just check out in the AM. The hotel will hold your bags until you return in the evening to collect them and shuttle over to LAX for your flight.

Jean Sep 12th, 2017 07:03 PM

Yes, very different.

What day of the week will this be?

marvelousmouse Sep 12th, 2017 08:36 PM

I don't think I'd go to Santa Monica. It's a lot of time on transit for little reward. I did that last time. I like SM but I found that I didn't enjoy the transit trip. If you want beach and window shopping, I'd go for Manhattan Beach.

What are your interests? Museums? Food? Shopping? Amusement parks?

I'd probably spend the day at the art museum or downtown and farmers market or Disney, the last mostly because it's an easy trip from the airport. But I will admit that I'm not a beach person.

swagman Sep 12th, 2017 09:12 PM

I'll be in LA on a Friday.

The last time I was in LA was 2001, also on transit, but had 2 days.

I thought Santa Monica was bigger and more to see. But I shall look into Manhattan Beach too as some of you kindly suggested.

I just want to have a look-see, people watch, have lunch hopefully at a place with some kind of a view and perhaps a little shopping.



Jean Sep 13th, 2017 06:28 AM

It wouldn't take 8 hours to "explore" Manhattan Beach, but I still think the MB area is a good option for a Friday. I wouldn't want to be on the other side of L.A. on a Friday afternoon, although the light rail service is reliable if you wanted to go to downtown L.A. One+ hour each way with one transfer.

MB's best oceanview restaurant (Strand House) had a fire a few weeks ago, and I believe it is still under repair. But check with the restaurant on their status for your date. Otherwise, I like the four restaurants with patio dining facing Metlox Plaza about 4 blocks east of the Pier. Petros, Nick's, Le Pain Quotidien and Zinc in the Shade Hotel. And there are multiple restaurants in the blocks nearest the Pier.

There is shopping in the MB Pier area, at the Manhattan Beach Village Mall and in both neighboring towns... the Hermosa Beach Pier area and two nearly adjacent shopping areas in El Segundo called The Point (2 blocks north of the MBV Mall) and Plaza El Segundo (2 blocks north of The Point). The downtown area of El Segundo (Main Street) has a small-town charm and feels removed from the bustle of the beach towns and LAX. We often go there for lunch or dinner.

Have you decided on your LAX area hotel yet?

swagman Sep 15th, 2017 01:04 PM

Thx Jean

Do you think it is feasible to do both Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach given the time frame I have?

It will be a Friday so I'll probably have to allow plenty of time for my return trip to LAX, probably leave by 4.30pm to get back to LAX hotel at around 5.30pm?

I don't have to see everything but thought it would be nice to get out of the airport to see a bit of LA. I will return one day for a proper visit.


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