LA Ideas??

Old Feb 15th, 2005, 05:06 PM
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LA Ideas??

I am going to LA on March 11-15, and staying probably at the Seaview Motel in Santa MOnica. Has anyone had an experience there or heard anything about it? Also, what kind of fun things can we do, we're in our lower 20's and never been to LA and want to make the most out of it? How about whale watching tours? What about celebrity/Univ Studios tours/LA city tours? ANy ideas would be great! Thanks!
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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 07:30 PM
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Will you have a car, or are you relying on the bus system?
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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The Seaview, huh?

I drive by this place every weekday on my way to my office. Honestly, it looks like a complete dump (it doesn't help that it's down the street from a Loew's and a JW Marriott), seedy and run-down. I would not stay there under any circumstances.

My standard recommendation for Santa Monica on a budget is the Georgian. Historic property, beautifully maintained, right on Ocean Ave. The problem is, people have discovered it, and getting great rates is getting harder. If you're really desperate to stay in this part of Santa Monica, and you can deal with a somewhat tired (but very clean) place, the Shangri-La can be had pretty cheaply. As you must have ascertained, Santa Monica is an expensive lodging town (a separate city from Los Angeles).

tracy's question is key to recommendations. If you don't have a car, it will be a little more challenging to get around. OK, a LOT more. Whale watching in March is still a possibility, with boats leaving from nearby Marina del Rey. Celebrity-watching? I get my biggest "hit" ratio walking around in Beverly Hills/West Hollywood (once literally-- I almost got run over crossing Rodeo Drive by a car with Mary Tyler Moore in the passenger seat). But don't count on it (and note: On the street, they're private citizens).

Universal Studios is over 20 miles from this part of Santa Monica, FYI, and it's not the best tour. Warner Brothers has a much better movie studio tour. Wherever you end up staying, they can help you find an area tour. Those annoying vans ply the streets of the LA area constantly; the most popular ones are marked "Star Tours", so you should at least get a spin through the "stars' homes" sections of the area (Brentwood, Beverly Hills, etc.).

It's hard to make concrete recommendations. You'll find a lot to do in the Santa Monica area-- and let's be clear, it IS a city, not some quaint neighborhood of LA. In fact, the area you want to stay in is its "downtown", highly-developed and commercially-oriented. I always tell first-time people an important statistic: The LA metro area minimally encompasses two counties, over 100 separate cities and 4,800 square miles. It's huge. I've lived here almost 20 years and I'm still discovering new things (and for the record, it's a great place to live as far as I'm concerned).
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 07:37 AM
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Just went there yesterday for a few hours! After you get your bags from baggage claim, go to a desk called "travel aid"--it will be next to the money exchange. Ask the person behind the desk for a map of Santa Monica. That thing really helped me!

Couple things you may enjoy are the Santa Monica Place (mall), the Promenade (shops & eating) and the activities in Venice & Muscle Beach. My young friend and I enjoyed lunch at Border Grill (on 4th st.) of "Two Hot Tamales" fame. Those are just a couple of ideas, the map from the airport will have a few more.
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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Thanks for your help everyone! WEll now I called the Seaview for resv's and the lady could barely speak english and needed only for a first name and I said no way and now it's official, we are staying at the Furama Hotel so I'm nervous it's gonna be bad but for a college student's budget it was good. How is it?? Basically we have no car but are relying on public bus trans which there is one right across the street from our hotel. ALso we are going whale watching, found one for $15 from Long Beach, how are the ones from Marina de Ray? We were thinking of the Star tour/LA tour/Universal STudio tour combo, would that be worth it or to skip Universal adn do the Warner Bro's tour instead? What about cheap good places to eat in the Furama/beach area? Thanks!!!
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 11:31 PM
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The Furama Hotel on Lincoln Blvd. is near LAX, and a few blocks to Loyola Marymount University, located in a good area. There are inexpensive bars and restaurants in walking distance of your hotel that the college students go to. There is a lot of night life in the cities of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach 5 miles south of the hotel for your age group. You might be able to find a whale watching trip out of Redondo Harbor, which is much closer than Long Beach. Do a search. Marina del Rey is north of your hotel.
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 03:26 AM
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I second the recommedation to go on the Warner Brothers Studio tour. It's one of the top three things my family and I did when we were out there. The other two being Universal Sudios (the theme park not the studio) and Disneyland.
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