LA for 8

Old May 3rd, 2005, 04:48 PM
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jmf
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LA for 8

I need help. We are planning to be in LA for 3 full days in July after spending a week in Cabo. There will be 8 of us--mom, dad, 2-21 year olds, 2-18 year olds and 2-13 year olds. I am trying to find a hotel but I don't have a clue where to stay and obviously with having to get 2 rooms for 4 nights budget is an issue. We are hoping to use public transportation rather than rent a car because neither myself or my husband want to drive. We would like to see the standard tourist spots including 1 day doing hollywood/beverly hills tourist stuff, 1 day NBC Tour, Warner Bros. and/or Universal Studios and 1 day Venice Beach. Also would like to see the Farmers Market on Sunday. Any help anyone can give me would be really appreciated as I don't know the area at all. Thanks.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:19 PM
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I live in LA and can tell you that's it's extremely difficult to get around without a car. You can take public transportation and cabs if necessary, but I would hire a car. If you don't want to do that, book a room at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood where you will have close walking access to the metro and the bus lines. If that hotel is too much, try the Holiday Inn or Comfort Suites on Highland Avenue. Having said that, Melrose Avenue is always fun for the kids in the age ranges you say. There is Lucky Strike Lanes is at the Hollywood & Higland complex right near these hotels I mentioned and you would be able to take the metro to Universal Studios and the bus to Melrose, Beverly Hills and The Farmer's Market and The Grove. I don't know how good any other studio tours are, I would stick to Universal. Good luck.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:35 PM
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There is a nice Hilton Inn Express in El Segundo with an airport shuttle to LAX. The hotel is near a commuter rail station (I think it's the metro that Deborah is referring to).

You will need to consider taking tour buses. Maybe there is a Grey Line Tours website for L.A. or other tour bus company.

I think that the 6 of them would enjoy Hermosa Beach.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 07:23 PM
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Hmm...tall order.

First I think I would rent two cars (hard to find ONE that seats 8), besides saving $24 a day in bus passes you would save about $30 per person on round trip airport shuttles - and for where you're going...if you map it out well and stay away from peak traffic times, you should be able to navigate fairly easily...and much more convenient than bus/metro when dealing with 8 persons.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 08:42 PM
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I second the suggestion to rent 2 cars. Take it from one who has tried to get around on public transportation in L.A. (when all my friends in L.A. thought I was crazy) -- it's just not a city that makes it easy. You *can* do it but it's much more timeconsuming. If you have a car, too, you will be able to get less expensive lodging, because (in my experience, anyway), the closer you are to the attractions, the more expensive the room.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 01:46 PM
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Is it over the July 4th holiday weekend?
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Old May 4th, 2005, 01:57 PM
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No it is July 23-27.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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I have to reiterate the car(s) suggestion. You have to understand that, for your purposes, LA is not a city. It's actually a collection of cities. I haven't attempted it, but the consensus is that public transit between the major tourist attractions is pretty awful.

I don't have any ready ideas, but I've seen some threads that offer hotel suggestions in the Beverly Hills/West Hollywood area. People are often steered from Hollywood proper. I like it, but it can be rather gritty. Priceline might be an option if you're comfortable with it.

Lastly, I wonder which Farmer's Market you want to see. Your mention of Sunday makes me think you've heard of the Sunday one in Hollywood. Is that the case? This is a excellent, temporary market. But, there is a permanent market on 3rd that is commonly referred to as "The" Farmer's Market. It's neat, but has a lot of prepared food and might not be what you're thinking of. There are also farmer's markets in Santa Monica. Do you know which one you're interested in?
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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The beach would be a nice place to stay, but if they don't want to rent a car (and you're right, you need a mini-van), the location in Hollywood is better accessible than staying all the way out at the beach. The Farmers Market/Grove I mentioned is the one that I believe you want, on Fairfax.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:56 PM
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What I mean about Hollywood being a better place is only transportation wise for the things they said they wanted to do without a car. It would take ages on public transport to get to the studios on public transportation.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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One hotel suggestion is the Magic Castle Hotel. www.magiccastlehotel.com

It gets good reviews. Their rates are listed on their website and you will see that the price is for rooms with full kitchens. If you are trying to keep the expense down, being able to eat a few meals in can make this a "budget" hotel, especially with a group of 8 people.

Location seems good for Hollywood stuff, and I think there is a metro station within walking distance.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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Great suggestions--looks like I have a lot of homework to do. Anybody hear of the Best Western Sunset Plaza on Sunset Blvd. Sounds like the metro is within walking distance and they offer tours daily. What is the neighborhood like? Price is a bit high but it sounds good on the website. I will look into the hotels mentioned. Are they in safe neighborhoods?
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:54 PM
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The BW Sunset Plaza isn't anywhere NEAR the Metro Red Line (the only rail line even remotely nearby)-- in fact, it's over 6 miles from the closest Red Line Station (Wilshire/Western). Where on earth did you see that?!

The neighborhood is fine. It's a highly-regarded hotel, and it's pretty central to everything in the Beverly Hills/West Hollywood/Hollywood areas. You're only a couple of miles to the LA Farmer's Market on Fairfax.

But I'm going to beat the drum yet again-- LA is a collection of some 100-odd cities (accent on the "odd") over an area of over 4,000 square feet (4,800 sq ft including Orange County), and spending more than a couple a days without a car is sheer folly.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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I also agree the Magic Castle Hotel is a decent hotel to stay at and is also within walking distance of the metro. RJW is correct, the Best Western is in West Hollywood, nowhere near the metro station, but is right on the strip.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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I wouldn't base my choice on proximity to the Metro, because of all the things listed that you want to do, only Universal is accessible by the metro subway. Better to be close to the bus lines if you are totally against having the cars.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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The hotels in Hollywood I have mentioned are all close to the bus lines AND the metro. The smarter thing to do is rent a car.
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