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Laguna Beach and nearby (and ONE day/night in LA)

Laguna Beach and nearby (and ONE day/night in LA)

Old Jun 14th, 2021, 12:34 PM
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Laguna Beach and nearby (and ONE day/night in LA)

Good afternoon everyone

I am plotting a trip to Laguna Beach soon. One thing I would like to look up while I am there, either Laguna Beach or LA - a good, and small, live music venue. Indoors or outdoors. Any tips on that, including where to look for that sort of entertainment ideas?

I am staying with a friend in LB and I will have a car. It's just 6 nights in LB, and very likely low key - a little hiking, going out for dinner, wandering around art galleries. No real plans yet but once I kick that into gear that could change.

The last day and a half of my trip I'm heading to LA to catch up with another friend, see some (downtown?) sights, hopefully visit one museum (LACMA or Getty?) and then spend early evening at the beach.

I haven't chosen a hotel for my last night but it should be within an easy drive of the airport as my flight home is 1230 PM. I recall one trip staying in Manhattan Beach which was good for evening beach access/dinner, and not hard to get to the airport.

Would Venice Beach be OK for hotels and airport access?

Thank you for any thoughts to get me started!
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 12:55 PM
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Just say "No" to Venice, right now the boardwalk is filled with homeless and their tents and there have been fights and it is a big political issue. Just Google Homeless in Venice, CA or similar and see the pics and decide for yourself.
Manhattan Beach is still a nice place to stay, check out the Sea View Inn.
There are 2 Getty museums, the Getty Center in Brentwood (closed Mondays) and the Getty Villa (closed Tuesdays). You need parking reservations in advance for the Villa.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 12:57 PM
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^^^ Was just going to post the same thing. Ditto jamie99's post. Stay away from Venice Beach for sure.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 01:06 PM
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Thank you, this is great advice and back to MB it will be. That part was easy, thanks!

This would be a Saturday and I will have to research which museum contains things I am most interested in, so, TBD.

My friend who lives in greater LA asked me if I wanted to use the day to wander around Downtown and I haven't researched that yet. I know I will be essentially picking one location, maybe two, tops, for the whole day. Would an evening drive around Laurel Canyon be impossible given what I am thinking of, for the daytime? Yes, I know, I have exactly one evening location to choose from, given the distances. Sigh.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 01:24 PM
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How about the Belamar? Sea View is full/three nights minimum...
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 03:41 PM
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We had a nice lunch at the Cliff Restaurant just off the Coast Highway in Laguna. Good food and that view!!!
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 08:03 PM
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The Belamar has been recently renovated and is now a Hilton property. I'm not surprised the Sea View is full. If you know your dates, nail something down NOW because it's looking to be a crazy-crowded summer in Manhattan Beach. Check the rates at Shade and Westdrift. Shade is right downtown and can feel uncomfortably crowded on weekends what with masks beginning to disappear. The Westdrift is east of the downtown action (or madness, depending on your POV).

I've never been a fan of Venice and the current homeless situation is out of control.

The return of traffic on the freeways to pre-pandemic levels would make the slog to downtown L.A. and back unappealing to me... BUT BUT BUT if you could get tickets to the Hollywood Bowl (opening July 3rd), that would be worth it for me. I miss the Bowl! The Greek Theater has announced some events starting Aug. 1st. The Music Center has been offering some free concerts on its plaza, but I think that ends June 30th. The Forum has started to reschedule cancelled events, but there's nothing on their calendar until Aug. 19th.

Currently, you need timed-entry reservations for both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. The Broad Museum downtown is open and has always required timed-entry reservations. The Hammer Museum in Westwood is open with tickets required but walk-ups accommodated if possible. For the time being, LACMA is also requiring tickets which are only released in 2-week blocks. I haven't been in the LACMA area recently, but the museum is undergoing a near-total rebuild and there is also subway construction happening in the area.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 11:10 PM
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Welcome to the OC, flygirl!

Some live music possibilities:
https://enjoyorangecounty.com/summer-concert-series/
https://www.scfta.org/events/calenda...e=list&event=0
Summer Concert Series

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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 04:31 AM
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My suggestions for the Laguna area -

Dinner at the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove.
https://thebeachcombercafe.com/
If you have to wait for a table, walk south on the beach a bit to see the house from the movie Beaches.

The Orange Inn for lunch or a snack -
https://www.cafelagunabeachca.com/

I love wandering around the little shopping area but especially love Tuvalu -
http://www.tuvaluhome.com/

I was out visiting a friend who lived in Irvine at the time. Another friend was a minister at a church there with an amazing view. Laguna is gorgeous.

Re the night before your flight - stay CLOSE to the airport
I drove down the coast from SF (after GTGs), stopping to visit friends on the way down. It took FOREVER to drive between Malibu and Irvine. As in, every hour or so I'd call to report how little progress I had made. Based on that, I would stay as close to the airport as possible. Have no idea if you are interested, but I really enjoyed flying out of the Burbank airport last year. I was working in Pasadena and really liked being "up" in that area vs closer to the coast. The Getty is almost equidistant between the two airports. I much prefer the much smaller Burbank airport. If you were ending your trip at Laguna, John Wayne airport would work. That traffic around Santa Monica, Venice, LAX was brutal. Maybe I just hit it on a very bad day.

I did the Universal tour on my off day and had a blast!
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 10:57 AM
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Outdoor music is going to be tough since California just officially opened up today.
I checked and the first concert at the Hollywood Bowl (iconic) is July 3-5 with Kool and the Gang.
In Manhattan Beach, the traditional Concerts in the Park is "On Hold" per the website.
Maybe see if the Dodgers are playing a home game during your stay.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 11:20 AM
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So now I've done some poking around and I am fairly certain my one day in LA will be some urban hiking. Perhaps Downtown. I see there is Grand Central Market, there are Art Deco buildings, and apparently some funky stairs to take photos of. I also read that is near the "Arts District" which might be nice for wandering.

While I did make a Rez at the Belamar in Manhattan Beach (for easy access to LAX Sunday morning) someone on TA pointed out that I should just stay near where I think I'll be spending most of the day and just leave earlier on Sunday morning. I think that is a great idea but for the unknown of how bad it is to drive to LAX - I will have to drop the car and won't have the luxury of just getting in a cab and be dropped off in front. Not to mention I don't yet know where I want to spend most of my day in LA (though I am narrowing it down).

I still haven't given up on the Getty idea yet, although since you have to make reservations I don't want to have to adhere to a schedule. If I am only going to go for the views, surely there are other high up places for good views.

Apparently the Broad Museum is near Downtown, which would mean a lot less driving on my one day in town.

I looked at the Hollywood Bowl schedule, thank you!

I wonder how nerdy it would be to look up places where "Once upon a time in Hollywood" was filmed, to see what may be within striking distance.

Thank you for the Laguna tips and the music links! That is most of my trip, but since I will be staying with a friend I am not focusing on it as much yet. I will be poking around for my week there for sure..

Last edited by flygirl; Jun 15th, 2021 at 11:30 AM.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 11:49 AM
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Downtown LA is not a pretty sight right now . . .

Me personally -- I'd stick to the idea of Manhattan Beach.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 12:44 PM
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Two of our favorite local experiences to share with out-of-town visitors are the Crystal Cove Historic District/Beachcomber Café that starrs mentioned and the little ferry between Balboa Island and the Balboa Peninsula,
BALBOA ISLAND FERRY - Home. Walking possibilities include the perimeter of Balboa Island or the boardwalk on the Peninsula, https://www.traillink.com/trail/oceanfront-boardwalk.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 01:08 PM
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"Apparently the Broad Museum is near Downtown, which would mean a lot less driving on my one day in town."

Advance tickets (free) online. Can get them starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday PDT online. We're going Sunday.

Try Nick's in Long Beach for dinner. Deviled eggs (the best and warm butter cake for dessert a must).

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/nic...guna-beach-ca/

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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bon_voyage View Post
Two of our favorite local experiences to share with out-of-town visitors are the Crystal Cove Historic District/Beachcomber Café that starrs mentioned and the little ferry between Balboa Island and the Balboa Peninsula,
BALBOA ISLAND FERRY - Home. Walking possibilities include the perimeter of Balboa Island or the boardwalk on the Peninsula, https://www.traillink.com/trail/oceanfront-boardwalk.
And there's usually music at the Beachcomber!
The ferry sounds like fun!

Here's a map of the Once Upon a Time locations -
https://la.curbed.com/maps/once-upon...-hollywood-map
I really think you'd enjoy being up in the hills, but I'll drop the Burbank airport idea.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Downtown LA is not a pretty sight right now . . .

Me personally -- I'd stick to the idea of Manhattan Beach.
We were in the Arts District a few months before the pandemic. The homeless situation was extreme even then. Post-pandemic, I definitely wouldn't find it a pleasant area to be strolling around, even in the middle of the day. I don't think most people outside of L.A. realize how widespread and severe the homeless crisis is.

If you're wedded to the idea of going downtown, you could take the metro light rail from Manhattan Beach into DTLA. There is a station a few blocks from the Belamar, one change at Rosa Parks Station, arriving 7th & Figueroa. You can walk to most things from there or take the DASH buses around DTLA.... I'm curious, where/what are the "funky stairs" that are good for a photo op?

metro.net

ladottransit.com/dash/
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 02:24 PM
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We also love the Beachcomber. They take limited reservations, but they also take walk-ups, too.
Great place for breakfast. I love their beignets more than the ones in New Orleans. Light and fluffy. Oh, and the Lemon Blackberry G&T is perfect for breakfast.
You can walk off breakfast on your walk back to the parking area across PCH (walk under the tunnel ... there is also a tram).

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/the...port-coast-ca/







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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 03:59 PM
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tom, that's a gorgeous photo.
I don't know where my photos are from the Beachcomber but it was just so much fun! I've been twice. Would love to return.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 09:47 AM
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We also love the Beach comber. In february stayed at the nearby Marriott Newport Coast Villas and got up super early and had breakfast there. On our most recent visits we've been staying at the Hyatt Huntington Beach and it just doesn't compare. A little more convenient for our needs but I still love Crystal Cove.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 12:57 PM
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MORNING G&T? oh my. It sure is pretty, though.

Thank you for the suggestions, and the Beachcomber looks great! Too much to see and not enough time alas.
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