LA/San Diego

Old Apr 6th, 2005, 04:40 AM
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LA/San Diego

Hi all

Well we've confirmed that we are off to LA in June, my husband's conference is in Downtown LA, so we have to stay there for four days. We get in on a Fri night - Sat and Sun are free, his conference is then from Mon-Thurs... and then we have Fri - Sat free.

I think (from what I have read) that it is not all that desirable to stay in downtown LA when visiting, but obviously we don't have much choice.

My question is, since I will be by myself while he is in his meeting, and since I don't want to rent a car by myself - any ideas of what I can do for 4 days in the downtown area (during the day) - I assume I could also take tours out of the downtown area.

Also we've not been to the area before, where should we stay on the days before and after the conference? Do we have time to go down to San Diego? Is it worthwhile? I love the outdoors, and SD sounds like a neat place. Though from all accounts so does LA.

Thoughts?

Thanks. I've gotten some ideas before - but now I have a much better idea of the areas which make up LA...

KD
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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ltt
 
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i love san diego so i'd definitly go down there. do that the first free weekend and then you can decide if you want to go back again. or, some other nice 2 day get aways are laguna beach or santa barbara. i pick any of these over staying in la.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Actually I like downtown LA very much. And there's lots to see IMO, but the trick will be doing it without a car.

My suggestions would include things like the old Farmers Market, Chinatown, and Olvera Street, all classic Los Angeles. Melrose Avenue for shopping and lunch.

But again, I don't know how you'll do things if you aren't willing to drive. Los Angeles is a very car-based city. Maybe there are organized tour busses that cover this area?
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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How about a bus tour of "homes of the stars"? Some kind of Hollywood thing might be fun for a day?
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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I think I will like downtown LA too, because I am a huge fan of ethnic food, and it just is a very different place than where I live (east coast Canada).

I am just interested in knowing what things I can do with the rest of the time. I am a beach person, like hiking too.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Have you checked with your hotel's concierge desk? They may have tours or transportation options available for spouses of conference attendees.

The Getty would be a worthwhile day trip, provided you could get reasonably-priced transportation. (www.getty.edu)

Right downtown is the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Music Center (www.musiccenter.org) Also close by is the Museum of Contemporary Art. (www.moca-la.org)

Just east of downtown is the Fashion District, if that interests you at all. (www.fashiondistrict.org)

You can get some beach time in on the weekends before and after the conference. San Diego, Santa Barbara, Laguna are all worthwhile trips. If you would rather stay in LA County, you could opt for the Santa Monica or Manhattan/Hermosa Beach area. Be aware, however, of the "June Gloom" cloud layer that hovers over the coast. Sometimes it clears by early afternoon, but many times it hangs around all day.

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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Is there a particular reason you don't want to get a car? Yes, there is lots of traffic in LA but it is also a very easy town to get around in. Since you like the beach, Santa Monica would be a good place to visit. With a car it's basically a straight shot from Downtown LA on Interstate 10. If you don't want to get on the freeway, you could drive down Wilshire Blvd into Beverly Hills and then on to Santa Monica. A little detour off Wilshire would put you at Farmer's Market or on Melrose Avenue for shopping. If you like to hike, you could go to Griffith Park, again an easy drive from downtown on the 101.

Without a car, you could use the Metro to go to Hollywood and Universal Studios. Don't know much about the Metro but others on this forum can fill you in on that.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Hmmm, the thought of driving in LA worries me beyond belief!

So perhaps San Diego for 2 days would be very rushed? How far is Laguna beach or Santa Barbara?
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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I think SB and SD are about equidistant from downtown LA. The drive to either place isn't that long - I think a couple hours. If you have 2 days, I would leave in the morning to either destination, hang out all day, spend the night, hang out most of the next day, and then return to LA in the evenning. That's enough time to see some things and not be rushed - as long as you don't try to see everything of course

For San Diego, if you have the budget for it, I would stay at the Hotel Del Coronado. It is really beautiful. Expensive, but beautiful.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Have a few places in LA in mind you would like to see, and check it out with the concierge. Starline Tours.com have pickups at downtown hotels. The Red Line (subway) goes to Universal City (Studios) and to the Hollywood Highland Complex, no problem from downtown.

Also, the hotel will tell you where to, and not to, walk. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is very interesting to see and walk around. They usually have an half-hour organ concert (free) 12:45 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The Amtrak train from Union Station to San Diego is very nice, and about half the trip is along the coast. Maybe the schedule will work out, as SD is very enjoyable.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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If you have an opportunity to visit the Huntington Museum don't pass it up. Lovely art, some of the most wonderful gardens and the best afternoon tea in the world.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 11:13 AM
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As mentioned you can take the metro blue line to Hollywood and Universal Studios. The gold line takes you to Pasadena-you could visit the Norton Simon Museum and visit Old Town Pasadena (one of my favorite places). The Huntington Museum is beautiful-don't think the metro goes that close to it but you could get a cab from downtown Pasadena. Here is a link to the different metro lines and where they go.
http://www.mta.net/riding_metro/rail...stinations.htm
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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Within Downtown, there are circle routes called the Dash busses. The fare is 25 cents. You can get to all the sights downtown-City Hall, Little Tokyo (the Japanese American Museum is there), Olvera Street, Union Station (there is also a red line stop there), Disney Concert Hall, new Cathedral, Bunker Hill, Library, Grand Central Market, Santee Alley/fashion district/jewelry district. You should also pick up a copy of the Downtown News.
Which Hotel are you staying in?
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 11:18 AM
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paula, a little correction: the Metro Red line(s) will take you to Hollywood and Universal. The Gold Line to Pasadena-- that's correct. And your suggestions of the Norton Simon and Old Town are great ideas!!
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 02:04 PM
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laguna beach is between la and san diego. i think you'd want to plan (in case of traffic) 1 1/2 hours to laguna beach and 2 1/2 hours to san diego. i THINK santa barbara is about 2 hours. just ask at your hotel about the best times to leave to avoid the two rush hours per day.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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rjw - Sorry about the mistake on the blue line. Actually I knew it was the red line, just wasn't paying much attention when I typed.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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I don't think downtown's that bad, not at all. Close by is great food in China Town.
I'd spend my time in LA, or go no futher south than Laguna and San Juan Capistrano and it's lovely mission. The landscape except the beach is not very scenic in San Diego & LA is much more interesting -- Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Huntington are all great suggestions.
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