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4 Nights in LA: What does our itinerary say about where we should stay?

4 Nights in LA: What does our itinerary say about where we should stay?

Feb 1st, 2015, 09:16 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 8
4 Nights in LA: What does our itinerary say about where we should stay?

Hello all!

In May, my husband and I are kicking off a 12 day trip to Southern California by starting in Los Angeles. The impetus for the trip is that my husband is graduating from his masters program at USC. It was all online, so we thought attending graduation and seeing the campus for the first time would be a fun(ny) way to celebrate the end of 5 years of schooling.

We've roughed out what we want to do, but are undecided about where to stay. We are leaning heavily towards airbnb, and have identified possible places in Brentwood, West Los Angeles, Century City, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood.

The jury is still out about renting a car for the LA part of our trip. If it can be avoided, that's our preference.

Day 1: Land at LAX 6:22pm
Day 2: Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory, Dodgers Game (4:50pm)
Day 3: Getty Center, Santa Monica Beach/Pier
Day 4: Graduation, California Science Center, Celebratory Dinner (restaurant, TBD)
Day 5: Rent car, drive to Palm Springs/Joshua Tree

Given our rough itinerary, where would you recommend staying?

THANKS!
jwizzall is offline  
Feb 1st, 2015, 10:33 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9,167
Rent a car on arrival - you'll need it.

Any of those Airbnb locations will be fine so pick your favorite, keeping availability of parking in mind.
MmePerdu is offline  
Feb 1st, 2015, 11:08 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,653
We were in LA a couple of weeks ago with our car. We were driving from the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena to Griffith Observatory. I commented to my DH about the threads on Fodors that suggest you can do Los Angeles via public transportation. Then I looked up how long it would take. Sure it's doable if you want to spend half your time "getting there". I agree completely with Mme Perdu.
sf7307 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2015, 12:35 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,060
For what you want to see/do you almost must rent a car. Possible by public transport -- but not easy/efficient

You probably know this -- but PS and Joshua Tree will be very HOT the end of May
janisj is offline  
Feb 1st, 2015, 01:21 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Yes you need a car, you can only get to Griffith Park and the Observatory by public transit on the weekends. Getty Center is also difficult without a car. Check which day they are closed, I think it is Monday. Most of those locations would be fine although I might rule out Century City, not a lot to walk to and gets kind of deserted after offices close.
jamie99 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2015, 02:08 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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West Hollywood.
Def not Century city or Brentwood
clarkgriswold is offline  
Feb 1st, 2015, 07:32 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Griffith Observatory and the Getty Center are closed Mondays; hopefully that won't affect your plans.

Congratulations to you and your husband!

Lee ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2015, 08:16 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,379
Hey, who knew AirBnB was legal in LA...?!

OP: For your purposes, the Beverly Hills or WeHo locations will be best. You MUST have a rental car for the entire trip-- sorry.

You have time to finalize the celebration dinner plans, but for that I'd plan on posting at Chowhound; the LA board is one of their most active, and you can count on any suggestions you get being up-to-date and spot-on accurate.

And congratulate your husband on getting the degree!
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2015, 09:01 AM
  #9  
 
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I'd consider The Biltmore in downtown. Walking distance to Disney Hall, Little Tokyo, The Bradbury and short subway ride to Chinatown and Olvera Street.
The area is urban but undergoing broad gentrification. The restaurant scene downtown is exceptional and innovative. You would also be close to the newly renovated Grand Central Market and Metro station.
Close to Dodger Stadium but a normaly slow trek on the 10 to Santa Monica and The Getty Center.
You will need a car
logandog is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2015, 03:28 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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I agree that for your short stay and the places you want to go you need a car!

Is there a reason you've pick Palm Springs / Joshua Tree? Are you used to outdoor activities in the heat?

http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate...tates/usca0828

If there's not a specific reason why you're going to PS, you might want to consider visiting somewhere down the coast for a cooler climate. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach in Orange County. In San Diego County Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla. The coastal drive is lovely.
elizzie4000 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2015, 03:44 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Congrats on the reason for your trip. Yes, you need to rent a car from LAX. Presume you are planning on seeing the Getty Center in Brentwood, not the villa in Malibu. By all means, do include Santa Monica on your travels. Palm Springs (the old city) is very interesting; Palm Desert & Joshua Tree not so much, the former being essentially large golf resorts. That would be one very long day from LA. But Gray May and June Gloom are notorious on the coast. While we are always in San Diego throughout the year, and this past May was lovely, the cold ocean temp sits on the coast (Pacific Coast Hwy 101 is the fun route to take down) fogging it in along that route. Figure on 2 hrs min. down to La Jolla, using the 5 most of the way, if you went PCH it could take half a day. If the weather is cool and gloomy that week, opt for Palm Springs, if gorgeous, head south. Keep it loose.
aliced is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2015, 04:58 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Just some gentle clarification to add to aliced's post (some good info in there): The coastal route out of LA is CA-1, which through LA County and some of Orange County is Pacific Coast Highway (in south OC it's more often called Coast Highway). CA-1 ends at its merge with I-5 in Dana Point. However, you CAN pick up US-101 in north San Diego County and take it into San Diego; that stretch is also known as Pacific Coast Highway. It's a bit convoluted, but in any case, the coastal views are quite nice.

And yes, the Palm Springs area is typically broiling hot in June. Golfers hit the links VERY early in the day to avoid that famous desert sun, then hang out by any pool with plentiful misting systems to keep cool. It is cooler at night, but not by much. Maybe, if you really want to get some golfing in, you might consider Carlsbad and its plentiful resorts (La Costa, for one)....
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2015, 06:49 PM
  #13  
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Join Date: May 2013
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Thanks everyone!

I will focus on WeHo and Beverly Hills, and aim for something with parking so we have it if we decide we need it.

So, I left off the rest of our trip in my initial post because I didn't have any direct questions about it, but since there's been a lot of talk about Palm Springs, I'll post it now.

Day 1: Land at LAX 6:22pm
Day 2: Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory, Dodgers Game (4:50pm)
Day 3: Getty Center, Santa Monica Beach/Pier
Day 4: Graduation, California Science Center, Celebratory Dinner (restaurant, TBD)
Day 5: Rent car, drive to Palm Springs/Joshua Tree
Day 6: Palm Springs/Joshua Tree
Day 7: Palm Springs/Joshua Tree
Day 8: Drive to San Diego
Day 9-11: San Diego
Day 12: Fly home

And here's the follow up... I don't know when we would make this trip again, and being from the mid-west, I'm fascinated by any landscape that I haven't seen before. So the desert/mountains of Palm Springs and Joshua Tree really appeals to me. We grew up in Cincinnati where the humidity can reach up to 100% without batting an eye. I've heard that the dry heat of the desert makes the temps more bearable. True or False?

Not interested in golf... was thinking Palm Springs Art Museum, Tram Ride, drive through Joshua Tree, maybe star gazing.
jwizzall is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2015, 07:07 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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I've heard that the dry heat of the desert makes the temps more bearable. True or False?

Within reason, yes, a dry heat is more bearable. But, 95-100F is really hot no matter what. It will be hot in PS, and the sun will be bright. Drink plenty of fluids, wear sunscreen, avoid too much outdoor exertion, and watch each other closely for signs of sunstroke.

Celebratory Dinner (restaurant, TBD)

If I may offer an idea - I absolutely loved Hatfield's and think it an excellent place for a celebration.

Agree with others that renting a car is absolutely essential, as it is for pretty much every trip to LA. WeHo would be my neighborhood of choice.
travelgourmet is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2015, 08:14 PM
  #15  
 
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I was in Palm Springs in June once years ago and it was 113 degrees! Generally speaking, if you can stay out of the sun, it's tolerable if you don't have to move too fast or too much. I don't think I'd want to be hiking in Joshua Tree in June.
sf7307 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 09:47 PM
  #16  
 
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It really isn't about lack of humidity. It's about the bright, bright sun beating down on you. It can really sting and burn. It's hard to explain if you've never been in the desert in the summer and haven't felt the sun beating down on you in a cloudless sky where temps can and do get 90 - 100's degrees. You won't be spending much time outdoors except early mornings and late evenings.

I grew up pretty close by and not quite in the heart of the desert like PS & JT and remember being in school in June with temps at around 105.

Must: Hats, LOTS of water both to carry with you and for in the car, sunscreen with a very high SPF, sunglasses and lightweight, breathable clothing.
elizzie4000 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 10:02 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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People manage to live in Palm Springs year round without passing away. Dear, life-long friends have lived fifty years in Yucca Valley, which is close to Joshua Tree Natl. Monument.
With a modern air conditioned car you will be able to enjoy the scenery. You probably won't want to do much hiking.
I'd much rather spend time in the high desert at 100 degrees than Ohio at the same temperature.
logandog is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 11:11 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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I have a cousin who lives in La Quinta. Trust me they don't leave the house in the middle of the day unless they have to in the summer other than early morning, late evening or just to get in their car in their garage and drive to an a/c grocery store, restaurants, someplace indoors. They don't spend time outside. Like I said, I lived, went to school & worked in that weather. Clearly, I didn't die because I'm writing this. But, I know what it's like and how uncomfortable it can be outdoors during the day. Humidity or not.

It's a different issue with 70 - 80 degrees in heat w/o humidity than 90 - 100 degrees outdoors in the blazing sun during the middle of the day.

The issue is someone visiting for 2 days and needs to be warned that they probably won't be spending much time outside. Unless, a freaky weather system comes in and it's uncharacteristically cool. Just be prepared with not only that knowledge but with the proper preparations like has already been advised. Knowing that a lot of your sightseeing can possibly be from inside your car looking out at the scenery and getting out and spending some time to take photos. Visiting the tourist info stops, etc.
elizzie4000 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2015, 12:15 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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>>People manage to live in Palm Springs year round without passing away. <<

Of course -- I don't live in the desert but even here in the central valley there are many days over 100F.

BUT living here we have the luxury of going from our a/c house to our a/c car to our a/c office or a/c shopping . . . and can stay home when it is just too bloody Hot.

Visitors want to see/do things and not sit inside the a/c all day.
janisj is offline  
Feb 6th, 2015, 09:32 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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It really isn't about lack of humidity

The reason humidity makes a difference is because in a hot humid climate it's no more tolerable in the shade. In "dry heat", it is MUCH MUCH better as long you're out of the direct sun.
sf7307 is offline  

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