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HELP!! LOS ANGELES with a 20 and a 17 YEAR OLD!

HELP!! LOS ANGELES with a 20 and a 17 YEAR OLD!

Old Mar 8th, 2011, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25
HELP!! LOS ANGELES with a 20 and a 17 YEAR OLD!

Will be spending next week in LA (first timers) with hubby and kids. Any advice re "best tours"--there are so many and can't believe that some aren't better than others. Any and all suggestions for cool things to do/palces to visit that Mom and dad might enjoy too? (We're going to a Dr. Phil taping one day so that should fun!)
margola is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 561
You might need to give us some idea of your interests and the area where you will be staying. Will you have a car? It is recommended as LA is really big and public transportation does not extend throughout the area.

A few ideas:

A day at the beach - Santa Monica, Hermosa, Venice - maybe rent bikes.
Hike Mt. Hollywood or other local hiking
Visit a museum or two that correspond with your interests - TV/film (Paley Center for Media), cars (Peterson Automotive Museum), natural history (La Brea Tar Pits or Natural History Museum), art (LACMA, MOMA, Getty, Huntington), music (Grammy Museum at LA Live)
Go downtown - LA Live, Olvera Street, Union Station, Disney Music Center
Magic Castle - enjoy an evening out with magicians, you need to know someone to get invited but if you can it is an entertaining night out
Go to a game - looks like the Lakers are in town next week
Theme Parks - Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, Disneyland/California Adventure
Shopping - Rodeo, Montana Avenue, 3rd Street, Melrose (depending on price range and style)
LA Farmer's Market
Tour a studio, see a taping - sounds like you are already looking into that one
So many great places to eat - I'd recommend at least one nice dinner out as LA has so many great dining options (We recently enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Craft - Tom Colicchio's LA restaurant). There are lots of hip, funky, fine, fun restaurants and probably worth a separate thread or perusing chowhound for the most current info.
Go whale watching (I think we are in the right season), deep sea fishing, kayaking or other water sport.
Go to Catalina Island or other further afield daytrip depending on your interests and budget

I am also going to borrow liberally from a prior post on LA and provide the following additional advice:

I think LA is more fun if you are not criss-crossing town in traffic so consider what you most want to do and then arrange activities for the day in that area.

For example, you could arrange one day as a beach/westside day and explore Santa Monica Pier, Getty (the villa in Malibu or the center off the 405), explore Beverly Hills.

You could do another day in Hollywood, studio tours, hiking in the Hollywood Hills - Mt Hollywood or Freyman Canyon, see a show at the Hollywood Bowl or the Greek (depending on who is performing), ride horses in Griffith Park (they used to have a sunset ride) or visit the LA Zoo and Gene Autry Western Museum, go to the LA Farmer's Market and enjoy shopping/lunch at the Grove, visit La Brea Tar Pits and LACMA.

You could do a day in the Pasadena area (often overlooked as a destination but it has lots of activities) - Huntington Library and Gardens, Gold Class Cinemas in old town (great theater with leather seats, food delivered to your seat), and museums (Norton Simon, Asia Pacific) and cool architecture (tour Gamble House). It is also within 30 minutes of the studios in the valley, Griffith Park and downtown.

Another day you could explore downtown, in addition to museums, downtown LA also has Union Station (great architecture), Olvera Street (a Mexican style plaza), Chinatown, explore downtown museums (Science Center, Natural History, LA Live), MOMA (modern art).

have a great trip.
POlson is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 09:29 PM
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POlson has just about covered it all. There's more to see than you can get to in a week, so you need to create your itinerary based on your interests. And I agree it would be helpful to know where you're staying.
Jean is online now  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 11:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,057
I took my 17 year old to Los Angeles, and he really liked Santa Monica, and The Grove.
The farmers market is next to the Grove, and we all enjoyed this.
We only had a few days, but we found the hop on hop off bus to be very good. We got out at all the major stops and enjoyed lunch in Beverly Hills.
millie2112 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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POison-What a great list. I lived in the LA area for 17 years and now go there (from San Diego) all the time for work. There's some things on your list I haven't seen yet especially some of the musuems. I like the way you grouped things together. Thanks for the feedback on Tom Colicchio's restaurant. My daughters and I love him on Top Chef and were talking about going to Craft.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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You've been very kind with all your advice--thanks SO much! BTW, we home in staying in a private townhome in the Hollywood Hills- got it through VRBO.Walking distance to Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood & Highland, Tours of the Stars Homes, Kodak Theatre etc. The excitement is really starting to build now!
margola is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 05:42 PM
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Has the vrbo owner provided the address of the "townhome in the Hollywood Hills"? Just FYI, although things are slowly improving, Hollywood is still a little rough around the edges, and there are areas away from the major streets where I wouldn't go walking around after dark. Frankly, I wouldn't pick Hollywood unless that's the focus of your visit.
Jean is online now  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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margola - I agree with Jean that Hollywood can be kinda sketchy in parts but the Hollywood Hills are well situated for exploring LA as it is rather central to many activities.

From Hollywood, you can go up and over Cahuenga to get to Burbank and the studios, including Universal Studios. You can head south and west to go to the Farmer's Market and the Grove, Melrose Avenue, museums, and some pretty terrific restaurants (Angelini Osteria, Pizza Mozza, Luques, AOC to name a few). Take the 101 downtown. Go to nearby Los Feliz/Silverlake area for some funky shopping and lunch. You can head over the hills and to the east to visit Pasadena. And you can head west (take Fountain to La Cienega) to visit Beverly Hills/Century City. While in Hollywood consider a movie at one of the historic theaters, go bowling at Lucky Strike, and get a great view of the Hollywood Sign from the bridge at Hollywood and Highland. It is a bit of a hike to the beach or to Orange County but just plan driving times for off hours (I like really early on weekends, otherwise after 10a, and late - after 8p) and plan to spend the day there to stretch out time between freeway sitting.

Paula1470 - thank you for the generous compliment. Los Angeles has so much to offer but not all of it is obvious and I'll admit getting around can be tough. Though it may be uncool to say, I love LA.
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Old Mar 10th, 2011, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I love LA, too. I probably have the best of both worlds. I often work in LA, my daughters live in the LA area but I can go home to San Diego County. My house is in a country area so I can get a little break from the LA traffic then I'm ready to go again!!
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Old Mar 10th, 2011, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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We took our teens on a Grayline tour that stops at multiple sites to get an overview and taste of LA... it was well worth the money and allowed us to choose the sites we would go back to during our stay... AAA offers great discounts on the tours...
garyt22 is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Jean: For a number of reasons, we feel very confident about where we're staying but I've done enough reading to know that there are sections where one must be very "prudent" --as is true in any big city.

POIson: Wow!! Your suggestions are amazing! And while we'll be renting a car, we know that LA freeway traffic is legendary so your tips about how to best avoid the worst times will certainly be taken to heart!! Thanks again.

garyt22: Thanks for your Grayline suggestion. That strategy has worked for us in the past in NYC and Chicago too. You can get a sense of "must go back to" spots and see some of the tourist-y sites
margola is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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Just wanted to be sure you were aware, margola. Some people have a somewhat inaccurate vision of Hollywood.
Jean is online now  
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