Itinerary/hotel suggestions LA and San Diego

Old Sep 15th, 2017, 07:18 AM
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Itinerary/hotel suggestions LA and San Diego

Trying to plan a trip for DH and me. We would arrive evening December 25 or December 26 and return December 31. DH has never been. My last trip to LA was in 1993, so it's been a while. I was in SD in 2013 or 2014.
Possible itinerary: First 3 nights in LA, then 2 nights in SD, than back to LA for last night. We would not arrive in LA until midnight, so I don't think we should try to drive to SD at midnight?? Tell me if you deem this is too ambitious, or if we should reverse the arrangement. LA - we want to see usual tourist fare, such as a Studio tour, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Pier, Rose Bowl. Not interested in shopping or museums. Budget for hotel: Less than $200. per night. We are fine with Hampton Inn type hotels. I think we will have to rent a car. Suggestions for part of town in LA? In San Diego, we want to go to Coronado Island, La Jolla, maybe the zoo. Suggestions for part of town to stay in here?
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 08:19 AM
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How many days do you actually have? It sounds like 4 days, 5 nights (and the first night is abbreviated because you land at midnight). I'd pick one city or the other. If you insist on both, fly into one and out of the other to avoid having to make the drive back to L.A.

You will definitely need a car to see your far-flung sights in such a short period of time. Considering your L.A. sightseeing list, although it's not my favorite area, I'd look for lodging in Hollywood/West Hollywood. Look now because L.A. will be chock full of visitors.

Skip the Rose Bowl. I'm not sure what you think you'll see. It's a sports stadium, and you won't be allowed inside for a look-see. The city of Pasadena will be in full preparation mode for the parade and game, and you may not even be able to park close to the stadium. The Old Town area of Pasadena will be very crowded and parking there will be scarce.

Whether driving to SD at midnight is a good idea or not depends on you... which time zone your body clock is on (i.e., East Coast), how tired you'll be, whether you're comfortable driving at high speeds in the dark on unfamiliar highways, etc., and whether you're just setting yourself up to be a zombie the next day.

Allow lots of time to return to LAX. It will be crazy-crowded.
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 09:51 AM
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I found Holiday Inn Express Walk of Fame free Dec. 26 at $191 per night excluding tax (15%). Budget is a bit low for a holiday period.
Warner Bros studio tour will be operating all days except Christmas, advance reservations needed, frequent tours. Shows will be on hiatus but you can still see the sets, etc.
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 10:09 AM
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Thank you for the ideas. I had not even thought about how Pasadena would be packed for the parade. Thank you for reminding me.

We are flying from Atlanta. I would prefer to go to San Diego, but the flights to LA are a few hundred dollars less. We may realize it is worth it to pay more and see SD and not LA.

If we do decide to go to LA, which studio tour would you recommend?
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 01:29 PM
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With such a short time, I would stay in San Diego. Plus, you would aboid the crowds at LAX.
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 02:28 PM
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Honestly with the time you have, and given holiday crowds in LA, and at LAX that week, I would choose San Diego. The Rose Parade and its visitors spill out of Pasadena into all the tourist attractions in the LA area from the 26th on. Hotels are crowded with marching bands, football teams, and their excited families and alumni fans. Hotel prices are higher. We lived in the Pasadena area for over 30 years. Go to San Diego.
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Old Sep 16th, 2017, 10:14 PM
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Come to San Diego, beautiful city, easy to get around and so much to do! Much less traffic to. Drive from LAX to San Diego at night would be at least two hours with no traffic. Stay downtown and you will be close to everything. Could easily do San Diego with no car as public transportation is good and airport is right downtown. Zoo, gaslight district, Hotel Del, big ship, Extraordinary Desserts for yummy food, and Little Italy for great food, harbor cruise.
Lots of Embassy suites downtown is nice and convenient and our friends loved the tour bus.
If you have a car for one day, check out La Jolla.
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Old Sep 17th, 2017, 08:21 AM
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Have you priced flights to John Wayne/Orange County airport? We recently flew Southwest from there and it cost the same as LAX, with less hassle. You could stay in the Laguna or Newport area, or drive directly to San Diego.
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Old Sep 17th, 2017, 08:41 AM
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I just priced non-stop flights to San Diego from Atlanta on Southwest, on your dates, and it is slightly less ($40) to fly directly to San Diego.
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Old Sep 17th, 2017, 04:18 PM
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Thanks to everyone. If we go, it will be San Diego. Unfortunately,
DH found out late Friday that his me boss may require him to work that week.
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Old Sep 17th, 2017, 05:27 PM
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If you want hotel recommendations for San Diego it would depend on where you want to stay (La Jolla, Coronado, Downtown, etc). If you have a rental car you can get around town pretty easily.

It also depends on what you want to get out of your vacation. Just hanging out doing local beach type activities? Then Coronado would be a great place. You can easily take the bridge over to San Diego (it just takes a minute to drive across the bridge and you are immediately on a major freeway to where ever you want to go).

If you want La Jolla I would suggest the La Jolla Shores neighborhood.

Again if you do fly into LAX for whatever reason then get a rental car and just drive down to SD - it would only take 2 hours (approximately) depending on time of day or night.
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