Advice on getting around L.A!

Jan 15th, 2007, 06:17 AM
  #1  
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Advice on getting around L.A!

Hi
Im staying in Beverly Hills so want to know if most major places (e.g Santa Monica, downtown L.A, Hollywood) are within walking distance?
I have been told you can get around by walking/bus/taxi as dont want to hire a car. Also been told taxis are quite expensive, hopfully not over expensive though!

Also how far is LAX to Beverly hills by car?

Thank you!
tinamonkeybee is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:12 AM
  #2  
 
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"Santa Monica, downtown L.A, Hollywood . . .are within walking distance?"

Who ever you are talking to doesn't know what they are talking about - to say the least.

None of those places are w/i walking distance (virtually none of the areas in LA are w/i walking distance of anything else.)

Buses will get you some places. Taxis will get you anywhere - but you will pay a LOT if you rely on them for transportation. Walking will get you almost nowhere. (Now, once you are IN Santa Monica, etc. - walking around is fine.)

How long will you be in LA? What sorts of things do you want to see?
janisj is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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Walking distance ??? Some one was kidding you, or else they are totally insane (or both) I lived in LA for 25 years -- it is not a city you walk much in, very very spread out with many miles inbetween areas. You can walk around BH (Rodeo Drive for example) but you will need transportation to get other places. You can walk around in Santa Monica but I can't imagine walking from SM to Hollywood (unless you are a marathon walker). Taxis are expensive.

I'd re-think renting a car. I assume from your use of "hire" rather then "rent" you are either from the UK or Australia or New Zealand. You can drive in the U.S. (just take it easy the first day or so until you adjust) and you will have much more freedom to come and go. A car rental has to be cheaper then taxi rides.

It's about 12 miles (more or less, depending on where you are going) from LAX to BH. Traffic can be terrible tho. I have no idea what a taxi would cost, but I would imagine about $40. Perhaps someone who has actually done it can tell you. There are buses and a subway in LA, to be honest I've never used them because when I lived there we used the car to get everyplace so again, perhaps someone who actually uses them can clue you in. The subway does not go everywhere (it's not like the London Tube for example) and buses are subject to traffic.
Lori is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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You will be able to walk around Beverly Hills. But let's go over some distances so you can get a reality check:

BH to Santa Monica: roughly 10 miles/16 km.

BH to the LA neighborhood of Hollywood: a bit over 6 miles, or 10 km.

BH to downtown Los Angeles: 10 miles/16 km.

You can walk them-- but they're LONG walks. REALLY LONG walks.

Getting around by bus is not impossible, but it does take a long time. And because of the large number of transit authorities in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area (which consists of nearly 100 separate cities), it can get complicated. Cabs are indeed not cheap, because of the large distances between points of interest.

LAX to BH: 15 miles/24 km.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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I cant imagine touring the LA area without a rental car. If you are dead-set against renting a car you should have a very big budget earmarked for cabs.
vivi is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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You don't need to take a taxi to Beverly Hills from LAX. You can take a Supershuttle or Prime Time Shuttle. Go out to the curb where it is marked "shared van service" and they will get one for you. About half the price of the taxi and you will get taken to your hotel.

A lot of places on the west side are connected by rapid bus service. Invest in a map (or use maps.yahoo.com) to look up the places you might want to visit. You can check http://mta.net which is the public transit trip planner. Most posters here on fodors are not personally familiar with LA's public transit system.
mlgb is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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mlgb is right-- there are some limited-stop Rapid Buses running all over the Westside, run by both LA MTA and Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus. The trick is knowing how to connect to them, and where. The mta.net website coordinates all of the LA County transit authorities, so you can find your way to anywhere in the area.

On standard bus routes, those short trips can indeed take a long time. Even a straight shot trip-- say, Santa Monica to downtown LA on Wilshire Blvd-- could take upwards of an hour, factoring in stops and traffic lights. The website will give you an idea of travel times.

Another caveat: Buses after dark run much less frequently in many municipalities, so you might wait longer on several routes. Cabs become a tempting alternative, and for short jaunts I'd bite the bullet and get one.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 07:39 AM
  #8  
P_M
 
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tinamonkeybee, I was in LA last week and although LA has it's traffic problems, driving is really the best way to get around. I also assumed by your use of the word "hire" that you are from Aus, NZ, or UK so you are accustomed to driving on the left. I know it seems daunting to drive on the other side of the road, but I think you will find it a lot easier than you expect. And this is not just my opinion, several foreign tourists have told me how easy it is to drive in the US, once you adapt to the right.
P_M is online now  
Jan 16th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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I agrree that its easy to adapt to driving on the right than you might think. Most rental cars will be automatic..no need to worry about changing gears. Drivers in LA don't often honk... so you won't get flustered. They usually let you in when you come onto a freeway. Traffic is VERY heavy, almost all the time, so you can't go very fast. Parking isn't that expensive, so driving would get you where you want to go, and will be cheaper in the long run. Give it a try.
kleroux is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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You can take a Town Car from LAX to BH for $40 + tip.

Do you drive? If so, rent a car. If you rent a car with GPS, it'll make it easy to get around.
TTess is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 06:23 PM
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Advice for getting around L.A.: rent a car and drive. Rental cars are relatively inexpensive here.

But check on the cost of parking the car. A night's parking rate could be as high as the rental rate. It might not be worth renting except for a couple of day trips.

You could take a taxi from the airport. Get around BH by taxi and walk. Maybe go to Hollywood by taxi. For other places, you can probably rent a car at your hotel and take it out for a day (if the rental company is not at your hotel they may come to your hotel for you with the car).

The rental rate may be higher at the hotel than if you got it at LAX. But you will save on parking. And definitely less of a hassle to take a taxi on arrival. Might actually get a better rental rate in BH on your last day if you drop off at LAX.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 12:23 AM
  #12  
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some useful comments, thanks!
tinamonkeybee is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 12:31 AM
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I suggest phoning or emailing your hotel concierge and asking for their suggestions. And don't be afraid to discuss prices!

While cars definitely beat public transport in LA, it's possible that your hotel has some type of deal with a car service. Or that they run a shuttle bus to some touristy areas.
Pomme949 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Lived in LA for a year, visit often. One of the main reasons we moved out was because there is NO way to get ANYwhere w/o getting on a freeway. I'm not bashing LA, bc in fact, I happen to be one of those people who loves LA. But it is absolutely not a public-transport- or pedestrian-friendly area!

That said, BH, SM & Westwood are relatively close to each other. I actually have walked from BH to SM -- but it's not something I'd do for any other reason than to get some exercise!

Rent a car.
LucieV is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 08:30 PM
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Hi,
I have about 8 hours in LA - want to visit The Getty Centre (Brentwood), and the LACMA (Miracle Mile), and perhaps Venice Beach - can I do these 3 trips via taxi, or is there a better way?

Are there cafes and restaurants near these 2 attractions, or are they in the middle of nowhere?
Thanks!
Grayden is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 08:31 PM
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Forgot to add - I am in transit from LAX, so I need to get to these attractions from LAX at around 3pm on a tuesday, and have to get back to LAX by about 10pm or 11pm.

Thanks.
Grayden is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 08:44 PM
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Dear Graydon... you're coming into LAX just at the beginning of Rush hour. You might be able to make the Getty...I'd call and find out their hours, and make a reservation. You could then see LACMA, and eventually Venice beach on the way back to LAX. You don't want to hassle driving. Get either a taxi or hire a car and driver..plenty of limo companies in LA.
kleroux is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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Thanks for the tip about peak hour kleroux!

Grayden is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 09:04 PM
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If this person takes the Getty from LAX what is he or she going to do about the luggage in tow? Rent a car.
TTess is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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TTess,
I'm coming from Mexico and going to Melbourne, so I can check my luggage right through..
Cheers
Grayden
Grayden is offline  

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