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First time for LA - what is a good base to see everything?

First time for LA - what is a good base to see everything?

Old Jul 11th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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First time for LA - what is a good base to see everything?

I have never been to the LA area, and I'm considering a family vacation next year.
We probably will hit Disneyland and Universal, but I'm not sure what else would be good for a couple of teenagers' interest.
I was thinking about the Embassy Suites at Buena Park and the Cal Mar Suites in Santa Monica, since it would give us more room at a reasonable price. Would these two areas be a good base camp to explore LA?
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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Forgot to mention that the trip will be early April. As much as we love the beach, I'm not sure the weather would cooperate.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 06:56 PM
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Faye - Seems like there has been a lot of discussion on this subject lately so you can do an LA hotel search to read more. I think these two locations will make good bases for your trip.

Although Buena Park is not my favorite place, it's OK and is convenient to Disneyland. If you are getting a good deal at the Embassy Suites it might be worth it.

I would definitely stay in Santa Monica for your other location.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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We always stay in Santa Monica when in LA. It's nice to be by the water and even if it's not warm enough to swim, you can still walk or rollerblade along the beach. You have to drive everywhere in LA anyway, so staying in Santa Monica is no less convenient than anywhere else.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 07:56 AM
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I second the idea of Santa Monica for your stay, especially for your teens who could actually walk around there. I'd take them to see UCLA (if you like to see college campuses this is a good one) and visit nearby Westwood for lunch.

If you're interested in seeing a show taped, it's fun and free. Your kids need to be 18 or over for many shows, though. And you need to plan in advance. We saw the Jay Leno show with our 16 year old son last spring and it was fun-- Jimmy Fallon was on, and the band Jimmy Eat World. The easiest way to get tickets is to order them in advance, by mail. You have to allow several weeks to do it, so check their website for details now. Otherwise, you need to get to the studio at 7:30 a.m. to get in line for tickets-- which my son and I did, but that's kind of a pain.

We like Newport Beach and Balboa Island for walking and gawking at beautiful homes, shopping in boutiques for California mementos. Then we love seafood at The Crab Cooker there. Very down-to-earth place with the greatest grilled lobster tails. Extremely reasonably priced.

Also go to Malibu and up to Zuma Beach. If the water is warm enough, get the kids wet suits and surf boards and let them give it a try at Zuma. Gentle waves for beginners. Helpful surf shop just across the road, too. Very inexpensive and fun for them.

If you have time for a day-trip, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake are nice mountain towns to visit. About 2 hours' drive each way, I think.

So much to do in L.A. Have fun.
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