LA tours

Old May 14th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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LA tours

My mother (a very active 74 yr. old) and I are visiting L.A. for a week in August. We are planning to do a number of tours. Any comments or suggestions? We are looking at the usual city tour, movie star homes, universal studio etc. Is it worth the trip to Knott's Berry Farm? Catalina Island? Queen Mary? Tijuana?
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Old May 14th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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Immediately strike TJ off your list. It's way south of LA (two hours on a good day), and crossing the border has become more of a hassle than it's worth. TJ itself is kind of depressing IMHO.

Knott's isn't worth the 45 minute-1 hour drive to Buena Park-- unless you're traveling with kids. It's just a theme park. The Queen Mary is of historical interest, but I don't know if I'd go out of my way to get down to Long Beach (well, if I didn't already live here).

Catalina is 26 miles across the Pacific, so it's a boat ride there. It's worth the trip, if you have a spare day to fill. It's beautiful there, but there's over 20 years' worth of things to do in the greater LA area (I've lived here that long and haven't exhausted the list), so....
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Old May 14th, 2005, 04:14 PM
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rjw_lgb_ca has given you some very good information.

Our favorite tour in LA was at Warner Brothers--we actually got to walk around the back lot and sound stage sets. (The studio tour at Universal is a tired amusement park ride.)

The Getty Museum is very much worth a visit--for the collection, for the buildings, for the views.

If you are into art deco ships, you will love the Queen Mary--otherwise it's just another tourist activity.

We like to stay in Santa Monica near the Third Street Promenade.

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Old May 15th, 2005, 03:42 AM
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Thanks so much for all the excellent suggestions. Has anyone any information on the tour companies, Red Line, Star Tours, LA Tours ... there seem to be a lot of companies, is one as good as another?
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Old May 15th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Another poster on this board recommended VIP Tours and Charters - viptoursandcharters.com

They have a very comprehensive list of tours --lot's of choices and combinations.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Your first stop should be the LA Visitors Center near the Renaissance Hotel elevators in the Hollywood/Highland complex...right next to the Kodak Theatre entrance. Tons of brochures and info, and an attendant to assist you. I think they sell Universal tickets at a slight discount.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:33 AM
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Univ is a short subway ride from the Renaissance (I think that's where you're staying) and WB is a 15 min bus ride (bus 163). I would not book a "Starline Tour" to either of these as you will be paying $20 more than you need to, just to get a "ride" over the hill.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 01:47 PM
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Thanks so much for all the great advice! I'm hearing the Warner Brothers tour is very good, very different from Universal Studios which is more of a theme park, right??? So Tracy, if we hit the visitor's centre the first day then we're probably okay for tours, ie. we don't need to pre-book any???
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Old May 15th, 2005, 08:14 PM
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We did the starline movie star house tour, and it was a lot of fun. We went in a suburban, so only 10 people or so went. The guide made it a lot of fun, and he was really knowlegable Also went on a VIP tour. Didn`t like it nearly as much. More people and just not as personable. The guide was also pushy about his tip. Loved the Getty Museum, too so don`t miss it.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 10:17 PM
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Not sure if Tracy agrees but I'd say you can book all your tours same day or next day....but you might want to reserve Warner Brothers ahead so that you get the time that you want. Busses north are kinda empty from 10am to 3:30pm so you might want to try the 11am tour? 163 bus picks up in front of McDonald's diagonally across from Renaissance hotel. Take it up over the hill and when you see WB Studio, get off at the next stop after Maple Street (Hollywood Way). Walk back to the studio and they will direct you, the tour entrance is actually 3400 Riverside Drive. Bus times can be printed at www.mta.net or the visitors center has schedules, you can eat breakfast or lunch at the WB cafe.

For Universal, you might want to go in the afternoon after, say, a morning at the pool? Universal has the Citywalk area with restaurants, movie theatres & clubs...so if you go in the afternoon you can stay on into the evening to dine.

CBS Studio doesn't have a tour, but you can sometimes get tickets to a show taping at TVtickets.com The 317 bus in front of your hotel takes you right to CBS which is next to the Farmers Market (good spot for breakfast or lunch) and the new Grove Shopping Plaza. Easy trip, maybe 15-20 min bus ride.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 07:27 AM
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Joe is right on the money, calamity! I would say take your hollywood/beverly hills tour first...driving around will give you a good idea of the layout of the area and you'll be better off once you start taking the bus to get to shopping etc. The Grove is a great suggestion for an afternoon, the busses are air conditioned but be sure to always have a bottle of water with you! Not sure how late Univ is open but it is mostly outdoors, doing it late in the day maybe 3pm to 8pm is probably a good idea.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 01:57 AM
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Thanks for all the help and information. I'm so delighted I found this forum!
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