LA and the OC in 3 Days

May 18th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12
LA and the OC in 3 Days

Hello all. I need some constructive criticism for seeing LA and a few Southern California beaches in just 3 days. We are flying into Burbank airport on a Tuesday in July about 1:15pm. Iím thinking I would like a limo or some other chaueffer driven car to pick us up at the airport - two adults and two teenage girls. From this car we could drive to Beverly Hills and LA and see all the most typical spots like the Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, movie star homes, etc. This way I donít have to park and we can simply jump out of the car, see a few things, take photos and jump back in the car to the next stop. Any suggestions on a chaueffer driven car would be wonderful !! After driving around in the LA area (would like suggestions for Ďdonít missí spots), Iím not sure what to do next. Not sure about traffic and distance limitations. Any chance we have time after all that to see a bit of Santa Monica and then head over to Hermosa Beach? We have a reservation at the Beach House on Hermosa Beach. The second day I thought weíd drive down to the OC, Newport, etc. For this weíll rent a car. The objective is to see Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach areas next. My daughters have been hooked on the TV shows that were located in these places. Anything we shouldnít miss on the drive? What would be the best route to take? How early should we head out to avoid traffic? I have all of the second day to explore the OC and then head back to the Beach House in the evening. The third day, we have to be at LAX by 5pm. What should we do on this last day? Maybe drive through Santa Monica if we donít get there the first day? Please comment and let me know any suggestions you may have. I also want to know if you think using Hermosa Beach as our base is better than staying in Laguna Beach.
Thanks for all your input.
lulys is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 02:59 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 651
If your girls were hooked on the TV show "The OC" then staying in Hermosa you will be right in the middle of where it is mainly filmed. The studio is in Manhattan Beach. They use the Torrance Beach parking lot as a staging area for many of the beach shots. The Palos Verdes Peninsula looking south and the Redondo and Manhattan Piers looking north are the backdrop of many scenes. There is a closed round building on the Redondo Pier that doubles for a resturant or bar in many episodes. The Glass Church used in a wedding is on the Peninsula, and an apartment building accross the street from the Torrance Bch. parking lot regularly appeared in the series. Like it or not the "OC" is really the "SB" (South Bay).
Barblab is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 04:47 AM
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Thanks for all the info. I'm sure my girls will want to see everything you mentioned and take pictures at these places. It will be loads of fun. Still will want to drive down to Laguna Beach. Any suggestions along the way? Luly
lulys is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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OK, I'll help if you promise to NEVER call Orange County "the OC" ever again. It is SO grating-- like nails on a chalkboard....

All right, I'm fine now.

As Barblab noted, the Orange County of "The OC" was about 100% a fictional construct. So here's a drive to see the REAL Orange County before it all gets absorbed into Irvine (eeewwwww).

From Hermosa Beach you will get to the 405 heading south (the drive on PCH between HB and the Orange County line is frankly ugly in parts). You will take the Seal Beach Blvd. exit, turn right onto SB Blvd. and follow to PCH. If you'd like to see the tiny but charming "Main Street", turn right on PCH and follow up to Main; turn left and follow to the beach. Otherwise, to head to Laguna, turn left on PCH.

You will pass through Huntington Beach (Surf City USA) and Newport Beach (luxury and swank) on the way. If you had a longer time (frankly, 3 days for an area larger than many countries is a bit laughable), I'd say drive into Newport Center and have a shopping break at Fashion Island (we locals call it "Fascist Island"). But you don't have time. Continue on to Laguna.

Once in Laguna, again your actions will be limited by time. You COULD stop and park somewhere around Main Beach and walk around that downtown area, taking in galleries, shops, eateries, etc. Or walk on the little boardwalk by the beach and watch the volleyball players, the surfers off in the distance, etc., etc.

Or you could drive through and head farther down the coast, through south Laguna Beach (the Montage Resort and Spa is spectacular), Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano (you could stop and check out the world-famous Misión San Juan Capistrano-- but you don't have time), continuing to San Clemente, a tiny artist's community. There you will need to catch the freeway again (5 north to the 405), as Coast Highway pretty much ends there.

For your third day-- yeah, head into Santa Monica. Get there by 10, park on Second Street and walk around downtown (the area bordered on the north by Wilshire, the south by Pico and the east by Lincoln Blvd.), concentrating on the Third Street Promenade (a walking street with lots of shops-- nothing too unique, but the atmosphere is fun). NOTE: The no-freeway routes to LAX are now badly gummed up by badly-thought-out road construction at Sepúlveda and Lincoln; if you take any of these routes, add 20 minutes.

Limos are fun but get expensive after only a few hours. Still-- Google "Hollywood limo tours" and you should have a lot of hits. Avoid Hummer tours-- the windows are so small that you can't see anything at all.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 11:54 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 651
I think you may all enjoy the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna if it is open at the time you are going. Do an internet search for info. Also, I don't know where you are coming from but think you also may enjoy renting bikes at Venice Beach and riding north to Santa Monica Pier and beyond. You can also enjoy the same bike trail right in front of your hotel, but think Venice is a funky fun people watching place with cheap stuff for the girls to buy.
Barblab is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,051
Agree with all the driving advice you have been given, but don't waste your time staying at the Beach House in Hermosa Beach as a base. It is a wonderful destination in itself in July, and you won't be there to enjoy it, and it's long drive to and from the freeway. Better to get a hotel near the 405 Fwy in Manhattan Beach (Marriott) as you sound like you are traveling every spare minute. If you did have any down time, then the area at the base of the MB Pier is attractive for teens. You can rent bikes, walk out on the pier, watch the surfers, go window shopping and enjoy many outdoor restaurants.
MBnancy is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Okay, it is Orange County. Sorry. Yes, we are pressed for time but we are flying in from Florida on our way to Hawaii. California is a pit stop that I squeezed in. Yet, I think it is good enough to take in a few really wonderful places and leave us wanting to come back again. I figure we can get back to California easier than Hawaii. The responses here have been really great and very enlightening. I'm rethinking things. Maybe it would be best not to drive down to Laguna and instead spend the second day around the Beach House, the areas around Manhattan Beach and Venice- people watch, ride bikes, etc. and check out Santa Monica the third day. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to reply. If you've got any more advice, I'll be listening and if I can help with anything around Tampa let me know.
lulys is offline  

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