Notices

Driving tour of downtown LA

Reply

Sep 21st, 2012, 11:05 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Driving tour of downtown LA

We are going to be flying into LAX and driving to Santa Barbara (midday on a Thursday). Since my husband has never been to LA, I want to give him a brief tour, driving by (and maybe making a quick stop at) some of the hotspots (Hollywood Blvd, Rodeo Drive, Sunset, Wilshire). Does anyone have a suggested route from the airport to the above areas (or any other places you think we should cover) and then back to PCH? Thanks!
Mazzy185 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2012, 04:33 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 860
OK. Here are my thoughts. Get a good detailed map.

Go north on I-405 from the airport. Exit and head east on Wilshire Blvd and go about 4 miles to where it intersects Santa Monica Blvd. Go left on Sta. Monica blvd. to Rodeo Dr. (about 5 blocks). Then it's all yours. Do what you want to do, then get back on Wilshire and head east again. If you think you might want to stop for awhile at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or the La Brea Tar Pits/Page Museum, then turn left on Fairfax and then east on 6th. The underground parking for LACMA is on the south side of 6th. Obviously you don't have time for a tour of either museum, but you may want to see "Levitated Mass" which is free and I believe is on the grassy area on the north side of LACMA. See:

http://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/levitated-mass

Get back on Wilshire and go east to Figueroa in downtown LA. Turn left and go north on Figueroa to 4th, then right to Grand and left (north) on Grand. Continue north on Grand past MOCA, Disney Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels. Get in the left hand lane just after you cross Temple, to be positioned to make a left onto the Hollywood Freeway on ramp. Take the freeway to the Hollywood Blvd. exit, go west to Highland and park at the Hollywood and Highland Center.

http://www.hollywoodandhighland.com/...b-of-hollywood

From there you can access the Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theater, and get a shot of the Hollywood Sign, with the person of your choice standing in front of it.

Then take any street south to Sunset and head west a long ways until it dead ends at PCH (rt. 1). Trivia: 8524 Sunset Blvd is the actual address of the fictional "77 Sunset Strip".
dbdurand is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2012, 07:09 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
You obviously do not want to do dbdurand's excellent route at peak traffic hours, particularly not on the freeway.

Personally, I think you will find the La Brea Tarpits more interesting than LACMA (even though I'm a member of LACMA).

But a better way to spend a part of that short trip is (skip La Brea and LACMA) - after you have toured the downtown and Rodeo Drive and as you are heading out west on Sunset - is to stop at the Getty Museum, which will be just north of Sunset Blvd where it intersects with the I-405 freeway (check a map). It closes at 5:30pm on Thursdays, but if you can get up there and just tour the buildings without having to visit the actual inside of the Museum, it'll still be worthwhile. Spectacular views of LA. Then get back down and get on Wilshire Blvd which will take you straight to Santa Monica, just in time for dinner. Park the car and walk around the Promenade, lots of restaurants around there. Walk on the beach, if you have the time.

At this point you want to miss the peak traffic hours in LA, so spending some time dining in Santa Monica would be good. Then head up to Santa Barbara. If you stop in Santa Monica, you'll also miss the horrendous peak traffic hours between Ventura and Santa Barbara.
easytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2012, 06:42 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Thank you both very much!
Mazzy185 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2012, 07:36 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
The problem w/ taking a driving tour of LA in the afternoon . . . even if you just take a couple of hours, you will end up in hellacious afternoon commute traffic when you try to leave town.

I'd personally get outta Dodge while the going is good, and leave the LA sightseeing for another time. Or at least limit your stops to the west side/beaches.
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2012, 07:40 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,970
When do you plan to do this?

With the Wilshire on and off ramps on the 405 being closed in some directions at the moment, and the 405 closed entirely next weekend going over the pass to the Valley, any use of the 405 in the next few months is not a really great idea.
Surfergirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2012, 09:48 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,696
I'll ask this of Surfergirl and the others who live there now:

If the 405 is under a lot of construction, couldn't they just end their driving tour by going up Laurel Canyon to the 101? Doesn't Laurel Canyon start a few blocks Grauman's Chinese Theatre? Then they'd never get on the 405.

My husband used to enjoy driving all those curvy roads through the canyon, but I don't know what the roads are like these days.
5alive is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2012, 10:45 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
My hunch is the 405 work will have a trickle down effect and most of the routes in the area will be impacted. Just a guess at this time though.
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2012, 11:07 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,760
Mid-day on a thursday is the time to high-tail it up to Santa Barbara. The 101 northbound is a mess from 4:30 to 7:45 every night, so if you want to see some of Los Angeles, I'd have dinner or go up and visit the Griffith Observatory or something, and I wouldn't head north until after 8pm.

There is some good info on various L.A. neighborhoods, including downtown, here:

www.discoverlosangeles.com
tracys2cents is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2012, 01:37 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Thanks everyone. Yikes, I didn't know about the 405 construction. We arrive LAX around 12:30pm next Thursday. Do you think we could do the drive around LA in a couple of hours if we don't stop anywhere?

We do have the option to spend the night in LA (we don't have to be in SB until around 11am on Friday), but if we do that I'd think I'd probably want to stay in Santa Monica. Any ideas for hotels there? Don't want to spend TOO much but would like it to at least be a 3* hotel. I usually like to use Priceline when I can but if I bid on Santa Monica there's a risk of getting MDR and I don't really want to stay there.

Will the traffic getting out of LA be really bad Thursday afternoon if we take the PCH? I want to do the whole drive on the coast anyway (and not after dark) and I wouldn't think that commuters would be going that way. I was also thinking of spending the night in Ventura if we do head north that afternoon so at least we'd miss the Ventura to SB traffic.

I'm so confused!
Mazzy185 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2012, 01:38 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,970
janisj is correct. For this coming weekend, at least, the ONLY way to get "over the hill" from the Westside would be Laurel Canyon or Beverly Glen (or Benedict Canyon, but then it dumps you onto Mulholland at Beverly Glen). Forget Sepulveda at all this weekend.

Otherwise, afternoon rush hour consists of people using these small mountain passes from Century City or West Hollywood, going home from work.

I still get a high driving Beverly Glen in a convertible at midnight in summer -- not many cars, wind whistling through the hair, road weaving back and forth, such a rush!
Surfergirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2012, 02:53 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
"We arrive LAX around 12:30pm next Thursday. Do you think we could do the drive around LA in a couple of hours if we don't stop anywhere?"

Look at it this way . . . You land at 12:30. So you probably won't be in your rental car until around 2:00PM. All the rentals are off-airport and you have to take a shuttle. They are not very far away, but you do have to wait for the shuttles and tour around the various terminals as they pickup other customers.

So - in car by 2PM. The heavy traffic starts early -- even 3:30 in some areas. So, no, personally I would not tool around gawping at sites while the traffic builds. I'd get on the road north as soon as I got the car.

Now, staying over night in LA is a totally different story. That is doable. "Don't want to spend TOO much . . .

That could mean almost anything, what is your actual budget?
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2012, 05:33 AM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Re the hotel, I'd definitely like to keep it under $200, but I'd probably be able to get a decent hotel for under $100 on Priceline. What area would you recommend staying in? I said Santa Monica because it would be nice to be at the beach, but I'm flexible. Also, if I spend the night in the LA area and have to be in Santa Barbara by 11:00am the next day, what time would I need to leave?
Mazzy185 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2012, 12:11 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,729
Try Sea View Inn in Manhattan Beach, just 15 minute drive south of the airport.
jamie99 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2012, 12:37 PM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Thank you jamie99, but based on all the input here I'll think I've decided to forego LA this time and head on up to Santa Barbara (or maybe spend the night in Ojai since that's another place I'd like to show my husband).
Mazzy185 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
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



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:47 PM.