Driving around LA

Jun 9th, 2006, 10:22 AM
  #1  
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Driving around LA

We are in the beginnings of planning our trip to LA for next May. Are there any hotels that offer free rides to local tourist attrations in LA? Neither one of us want to drive but I also hear that the taxis are very expensive. My husband has no patience when we get lost so I don't want to ruin our vacation by driving. Thanks.
dvg1027 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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The only one that comes to mind is the little Ambrose Hotel in east Santa Monica (by St. John's Hospital), which offers London Taxi service to downtown Santa Monica-- near the SM Pier, the Third Street Promenade and other points of interest in coastal Santa Monica. But that's about it.

Hotels and motels in Anaheim will sometimes spring for free shuttle to Disneyland/Disney California Adventure/Downtown Disney. But other attractions? No.

Bear in mind that the greater LA area is huge and consists of over 100 cities over 2 counties and 4,800 square miles. Although mass transit is an option, travel time can increase exponentially once you're trying to cover more than a few miles.

Driving is, unfortunately, the best way to cover territory in the LA area. However, roads are clearly marked and in pretty good condition. Doing some homework before you go (once you pick a hotel, use Mapquest or Yahoo! Maps to develop travel routes between places) will help. The really unpleasant thing about driving here: TRAFFIC. Avoid rush hours. Fridays, stay off freeways between 2 PM and 8 PM (trust me on that one).
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Hi D,

A vacation in southern CA without driving is nearly impossible. The only hotel I know of that provide shuttles to tourist attractions are some of the hotels around Disneyland and they would only go to Disneyland, Knott's and maybe the OC airport.

Are you staying IN Los Angeles, or what exact city? What do you want to see?
Dayle is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Another one who says that vacationing in LA is difficult without a car. As rjw said, the roads are well marked, good street signs and laid out mostly in a grid. Let us know where you are thinking of staying and what tourist sites you are interested in seeing.

I just was telling someone on another thread that depending on your destinations, you could almost avoid the freeways. Personally, I think freeway driving in So. Calif is better than many places. I am a Sales Rep who drives alot and travels to other cities using rental cars so have some experience in that area. Most drivers in the LA area are more courteous than in other cities (I think you have to be to deal with the amount of traffic).
Sorry, I digressed. But if you were staying in Santa Monica and wanted to visit Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, etc. you could see all of that just using surface streets (Lincoln for Venice Beach, Santa Monica Blvd for the rest). If you want to visit downtown LA, you could get there on surface streets although it would be a pretty long drive down Wilshire Blvd. I would think about getting a car and mapping it out with mapquest.

Let us know your interests and we can help you out more.

paula1470 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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As the others say, "LA" is a huge area. No Hotels would take you places spread all over the LA basin. You might be able to hire a driver/guide - but it would cost a fortune

What are you wanting to see?
janisj is online now  
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:58 PM
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The best thing to do about driving in L.A. is to drive between rush hours with your trips well mapped out then you'll be fine.
L84SKY is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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I have to disagree- LA streets (at least in the city) are not always well marked- especially highway entrances and exits -- i.e. you might exit a freeway and not be able to get back on at the same intersection, sometimes the 101 is marked West sometimes North within the same block, etc. It can be very frustrating to drive in the city if you're not familiar with the area.

I'd recommend staying in Santa Monica- there's a lot to do in that area that you can walk to.
lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:01 PM
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I live in the LA Area and believe I have heard on tv lately there there is now a bus between Anaheim (Disney) Area hotels and Universal Studios or vice-versa. You could possibly find out by asking at some of the Disney Area hotels. You can also take Grey Line tours from major hotels in tourist areas. I don't think a taxi is a good alternative. We do have a lot of traffic and driving during rush hours (which do stretch quite a while) isn't fun, but if you plan you driving for other hours I think you can get around the LA/Orange County Area easily. Good Luck!
Cali is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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There's no doubt that driving in LA can be difficult because there can be so much traffic. As a former out-of-towner now living in the LA area, I find LA a lot easier to get around than other places, but the heavy traffic does get you down, because even at non-peak hours there is a HUGE possibility of getting in a traffic tie-up on a local freeway. (I've sat in traffic jams at midnight). Consider getting a car with a navigation system and avoid driving the fwy on peak hours and cross your fingers. It is true that when exiting a fwy and trying to get back on in the opposite direction, it can be incredibly difficult to find the entrance back. I'm a local and I find it difficult at times. A couple suggestions if you want to forgo the car which is pretty difficult in car-centered California, or rather not forgo the car, but limit it, is to take a couple of tours to popular spots like Universal Studios, Disneyland, etc. All the hotels have numerous brochures offering a variety of tours. Another suggestion is to google the public transportation system. There are numerous bus rides offered usually during the summer to various spots for very cheap prices. For example, from downtown Long Beach (it used to be $2.00) you could travel express to the Getty, Gene Autry Museum, LA Museum of Art, etc on selected days. See what's available near where you will be staying.

Best of luck and have a good trip.
annetti is offline  
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