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LAX: half a day, then a day in LA -- what to do?

LAX: half a day, then a day in LA -- what to do?

Sep 15th, 2004, 08:19 AM
  #1  
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LAX: half a day, then a day in LA -- what to do?

Need your input, Fodorites. We'll be stopping over briefly in LA around Thanksgiving, on our way to and from Tahiti and a cruise (we live in CT, have been to northern CA but not LA).

Outbound, we'll arrive late on a Sunday evening so will stay over at a hotel near the airport with shuttle service. Next day we fly out at 4:30 pm. How best to spend a pleasant relaxing Monday morning and still make an easy transition back to LAX, probably around 2:30 pm? Is a car essential if we have just a morning, or can we get somewhere interesting via cab/bus/whatever? Any city tours like Grayline that are worth taking to get oriented?

On our return, we have an overnight flight from Tahiti, arrive LAX about 8:30 am on a Saturday, and our flight next day back to CT is at 11 am. So we have all of Saturday open, and maybe time for nice breakfast on Sunday before our flight home. Probably worth renting a car and dropping it off at the airport. We could go a bit further afield for a hotel, but jetlag may factor in.

I know a lot of posters suggest Marina del Rey or Manhattan Beach for a near-to-airport visit -- still a good option in early December? What will the weather be like? And keep in mind, we'll be coming from the stunning beaches of French Polynesia... so maybe a museum as a nice contrast? The Getty? Explore scenery? Could even do some Christmas shopping, but DH might veto that idea! (plus we'd have to schlep it home.)

Okay, I'll try to stop obsessing now. Is there a 12-step program for forum addiction? Thanks for the input!
SB_Travlr is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 08:40 AM
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I'd be inclined to get a car both times, but pick it up in the morning on the outbound leg, then drop at the airport in the afternoon when you turn up to endure your lovely (not) overnight transpac flight - unless you're flying biz, in which case can I get a loan? Reason being, your E->W jetlag can work in your favor - 8 AM will feel like 11, so an early start isn't out of the question. I would indeed hang close to the beach Monday morning. Things will be very quiet of course (except on the freeways, hence my suggestion to stay near LAX) but you can have a lazy breakfast (Martha's 22nd in Hermosa is our fave but there are good places in MB too) and load up on oxygen and burn some calories on the beach or walking the piers, etc., before you head to the airport. I think the overnight experience of watching the sun set over the Pacific, followed by watching it rise over the Pacific, is way cool.

On the way back, I'd still probably stay near the airport because the hotels there are comfortable enough and cheap (esp. if you Priceline it).

If your bods can manage, I'd go from the airport (or hotel after bag drop) up into Beverly Hills - around half an hour from the airport on Sunday) and have a late breakfast or brunch at Nate 'n Al's on Beverly Drive (a block east of Rodeo) for possible sighting of Hollywood types over their latkes) and a great re-introduction to the US. Plenty of good shopping or museum-ing from that point on - in BH, up Wilshire to the LA County Art Museum or the La Brea Tar Pits...plenty to occupy the day until father time whacks you upside the head. Given car and checkin yoga I'd drop the car Sat. night and shuttle it to the airport the next morning - saves car rental $ and hassle before your trip home.
Gardyloo is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 12:19 PM
  #3  
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Thanks gardyloo (love the screen name!)

Actually our flight to Tahiti is late afternoon, arriving late evening in time to sleep in a real bed (one reason we picked it!) And no luxe here, we're in the back of the bus with everyone else. Though I hear Air Tahiti Nui's back-of-bus is better than most, with edible food and seatback movies. But I digress.

I like the idea of a walk on the beach before a long flight, sounds perfect! If we don't rent a car, could we taxi to MB or Hermosa? Expensive?

Our return to LA is on a Saturday, not Sunday -- still the same suggestion re BHills? I reckon that jetlag somewhat less than eastbound JFK to London, since the time change is less, so we shouldn't be too bad.

Anyone else care to weigh in?
SB_Travlr is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 12:30 PM
  #4  
 
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Yeah my mistake, Saturday 0830 in, Sunday 1100 out. I'd suggest the same plan, though.

Late afternoon in November means the sun will still be hovering over the water for your chase to begin. Have a ball.
Gardyloo is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 01:37 PM
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A cab ride from LAX to Manhattan Beach costs us about $12-15 dollars. Don't know what you'd do with your luggage, however (keep it at the hotel?). A walk on our beautiful pier, or along the Strand is a good idea. Many restaurants and coffee places to choose from.
MBnancy is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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Dollar and Alamo have cars for $20- but that Monday after Thanksgiving will bring heavy traffic to Los Angeles, and it's a crazy day at LAX. I think I'd have a light breakfast at the hotel and wait out the traffic, then maybe a 10:30 drive up to The Getty (20 min?) with lunch in their cafe and then leave for the airport around 2pm. Car return is pretty quick.
tracys2cents is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 10:16 AM
  #7  
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Thanks for the responses, they're very helpful.

(And hi, Gardyloo, saw you on FlyerTalk -- looks as if you are a forum surfer like me! )

I don't remember who suggested the FlyerTalk forum, but it was probably someone here -- it's a great resource on many topics, as is cruisecritic.
SB_Travlr is offline  
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