Notices

A week solo in Santa Monica

Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 01:19 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A week solo in Santa Monica

Hi all, i have found myself with a week solo in santa Monica (for a small day surgery). I have booked the combined warner brothers and celebrity house tour but what else would be a highlight. This will be August 24 for a wekk

i dont typically like doing big touristy things. I prefer to seek out cute coffee shops in quaint areas/ unique shops...nice walks/maybe theatre/interesting walking tours/ nice neighbourhood parks for a stroll. But also open to some more classic tourist things although not keen on walking the hall of fame or going to get good view of hollywood sign etc

Any nice bars with good views etc?/cute cinemas etc

ive had a day there before which was nice..went to the pier a nice restaurant etc.

Coming from London so any ideas to help me plan would be great

Many thanks
HG001London is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 08:58 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 4,701
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
LA is a glorious melting pot urban sprawl, with the ugly and gorgeous all mixed together. Meaning that I did not see any quaint neighborhoods. If you get a chance to daytrip to Santa Barbara, that's closer to what you are looking for.

I did love Santa Monica, though. Lots of places on the water front with great views. Lots of great restaurant patios. Any interest in museums? The ones in LA definitely have a unique flavor. You could bike from Santa Monica to Venice beach to people watch. My favorite thing in LA was the public market. Little Tokyo is fun to walk around as well. I did not make it to Griffith Park, but I think that would be top of my list if I go back. Maybe a concert at Hollywood Bowl would interest you? Have fun!
marvelousmouse is online now  
Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 09:26 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,008
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think LA is too new to be called quaint exactly as you might call something in Europe. There are certainly some nicer older areas with some interesting architecture, such as in Pasadena. Maybe Silver Lake or Los Feliz would be what you are thinking of, or West Adams. Those aren't exactly quaint but more neighborhoods you could walk around and find something interesting.

I lived in Santa Monica about 15 years and back in the day (1960s-70s) it (and Venice) might have been called quaint in an LA kind of way, but not now, that's for sure.
Christina is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 09:44 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,379
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Celebrity house tours are becoming a waste of time and money. The vintage Old Hollywood homes have become victim to horrible Tuscan wedding-cake style McMansions shoe-horned onto too-small lots (rich people with absolutely abominable taste have invaded Beverly Hills). Architecturally notable gems have been scraped into oblivion, including lovely works by Paul R. Williams, a trailblazing African-American architect. Current stars' homes tend to be architecturally boring but BIG (exhibit A: Aaron Spelling's old compound) and/or hidden behind huge walls so you can't see anything. Diane Keaton had been buying (and selling) some grand old places (she sold Hedy Lamarr's mansion to Madonna many years ago) back in the day, but I don't know if she still has her hand in that. I think you can find better ways to spend a day in southern California.

Bars with views in SM? The bar at the top of the Shangri-La Hotel has great views, for one. As does the Penthouse Restaurant's bar, in the Huntley Hotel. The bar at the Lobster, at the base of the Santa Monica Pier, has wonderful views. You'll do fine in that area.

Take the Expo Line over to Bergamot Station when you get a chance. It's a wonderfully vibrant collection of galleries, museums and theatre spaces:

http://bergamotstation.com/

For that matter, you can take the Expo Line into downtown LA and explore.

I love Griffith Park-- and the world-famous observatory therein. If you can arrange your time, GO.

Greater LA is home to some of the world's best (and most unique) museums, believe it or not. Not just LACMA, but the Norton Simon, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Broad, MOCA,.... The Getty Center is a bit spottier as a museum (the permanent collection is random and rather "meh" IMHO), but gets incredible visiting exhibitions, and the grounds are well worth the trip. Getty Villa is lovely but quite a bit harder to get to.

Many tourists don't know that Gainsborough's Blue Boy is here, along with a wide-ranging collection of fine art, at the lovely Huntington Library in San Marino. It's a haul, but worth the time:

http://www.huntington.org/

If you're interested in attending a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, start working on getting tickets NOW:

http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/

Culture Club will be performing August 26 and 27-- that is VERY tempting...! Whatever you might see, the Bowl is an absolute institution, a one-of-a-kind LA happening, and it's a bit different every time you go (Diana Krall-- swellegant and swank and cool-- and by the way, she's a LOT better live!; Heart-- fun and loose with actual 70s refugees lighting up joints in our section-- and by the way, the Wilson sisters are STILL brilliant!).

Actually, there's too much going on in the area to list. The greater LA area is the whole world in one place AND a place completely unlike any other in the whole world. It's exciting and maddening and exhilarating and frustrating and wonderful and awful all at once; I love getting out of the rat race here, but clamor to get back. I may need professional help...!

Whatever you do, use sunscreen, stay out of alleyways after dark, and have lots and lots of fun!
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 09:55 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 4,701
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rjw_lgb_ca- I absolutely love your description of LA. I went into the city last summer fully expecting to dislike it, but LA is fabulous in its contrasts and so very unique.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 10:29 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,379
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, and there are a couple of strolling areas away from the too-popular Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. If you're more inclined to have a Ladies Who Lunch experience, head to Montana Avenue:

http://www.santamonica.com/santa-mon...ontana-avenue/

Or, if you're a bit funkier, Main Street:

http://www.santamonica.com/santa-mon...s/main-street/

There is live theatre all over the greater LA area, and the talent level is unsurprisingly on average VERY high. There are a few companies in the SM area, but you can head east and north and south and find a treasure trove of exciting performing arts. If you can get to Topanga, one of the area's most unique theatre experiences is found at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum:

http://theatricum.com/

And the Groundlings over in Hollywood are always worth a visit:

http://www.groundlings.com/
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 11:40 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh wow just logged back on

Thank you all so much. Yep I knew quaint was the wrong world lol. I've actually been to santa monica and santa babar before. Loved santa babar but I don't want to be leaving LA this trip for a few reasons or would def have gone back to SB. I've also been to laguna beach area and I'd say bits of that were quaint but gain I need to stay in LA

I'm going to go google the Hollywood bowl thing now.

Is it relatively safe to taxi it to and from SM. Is public transport a no go at that time of night.

I confess to being a bit of a trashy celeb reality TV fan (yep think KUWTK trash...I know it's bad I know lol) do I think I'll enjoy the bus tour somewhat.

I also got tickets for the filming of a couple of shows but it's not guaranteed (first come first serve) and in studio city so will prob give miss as too tricky to gt to. I don't drive so can't rent a car and Uber looks very pricy to get there.
HG001London is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 01:50 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,075
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nice theater, shows mostly indie and foreign films:
laemmle santa monica
Hollywood Bowl is great, you can take the Park and Ride as long as it is not a vendor event.
Lot of shows on hiatus until after Labor Day in early September (Ellen for example).
jamie99 is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2016, 09:01 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,028
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think Larchmont Village qualifies as "quaint," but I don't know how you'd get there without a car.

Main Street and Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Santa Monica/Venice may not be "quaint," but I think they're nice for strolling.

The Nuart Theater on Santa Monica Blvd. is well-known for showings of indie and art house films. The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood offers a variety of screenings on weekends. The Wilder is showing three Kirk Douglas classics the weekend you're in town.

https://www.landmarktheatres.com/los...eatre#upcoming

https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/calendar
Jean is online now  
Old Aug 13th, 2016, 03:39 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A few comments about public transportation in LA.

1. Instead of solo one week in Santa Monica, you should plan on one day in Santa Monica and 6 days in greater Los Angeles. Otherwise you will have a daily commute of about one hour each way to the various attractions.in LA.

2. Purchase the Fodors Guide to Los Angeles.

https://www.amazon.com/Fodors-Los-An...ouseinc8608-20

3. Get friendly with https://www.metro.net

4. Study the following map for a while. Note that all routes ultimately lead to LA Downtown, specifically Union Station. The subway is the red line. It’s the longest in the western U.S.

http://media.metro.net/riding_metro/...s/rail_map.pdf The map is a schematic and not to scale.
dbdurand is online now  
Old Aug 13th, 2016, 04:51 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,028
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I assumed the OP picked Santa Monica for reasons related to the minor surgery he/she is undergoing.



"The subway is the red line. It’s the longest in the western U.S."

Just to clarify... The subway between Santa Monica and DTLA is the Expo Line which doesn't have a color designation although it's shown in aqua on LA Metro maps. The Red Line operates between Union Station and North Hollywood, and the Blue Line (Long Beach to DTLA) is the longest subway line in the LA Metro system.
Jean is online now  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 07:59 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 94,285
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well a few days can easily be spent in Venice and Santa Monica just poking around, right? I'd want to experience the Venice boardwalk at least once.

And assuming you're feeling up to it, maybe go downtown LA for a day. I like some of the Los Angeles "classics" (touristy) spots like Chinatown, Olvera Street, Walk of the Stars, La Brea Tar Pits, Griffith Park, etc.
suze is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 01:17 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Venice boardwalk is not at all like it used to be. It used to be colorful, interesting, shops, cafes to eat outside, vendors, performers...now it is honestly basically a homeless colony. Many homeless persons who look like they are using alcohol and drugs are sleeping right on the boardwalk under umbrellas, in make-shift encampments. I walk down to Venice on the oceanfront walk from Santa Monica a few wks ago and it was completely different than it used to be. I would not go back.
emd3 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 04:00 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,940
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bookmarking...need to spend some real time in LA.
jayne1973 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 04:32 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,028
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I haven't understood the appeal of Ocean Front Walk in Venice for many, many years. The homeless and/or druggie problems have only gotten much worse, and I definitely wouldn't walk there after dusk. I also wouldn't take visitors there unless they specifically asked to see it.
Jean is online now  
Old Aug 15th, 2016, 08:41 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 94,285
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Interesting update. Thank you.
suze is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
readytotraveltoo
United States
33
Aug 7th, 2014 12:50 PM
carylspall
United States
9
Jul 16th, 2006 11:41 AM
nyla
United States
21
Oct 22nd, 2004 05:28 PM
Jimbo
United States
24
May 21st, 2003 04:12 AM
TommyH4242
United States
13
Mar 26th, 2003 04:45 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information