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Lodging near public transit, Santa Monica, and Los Angeles Union Station

Lodging near public transit, Santa Monica, and Los Angeles Union Station

Old Mar 29th, 2021, 08:03 PM
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Lodging near public transit, Santa Monica, and Los Angeles Union Station

Looking for lodging recommendations. Friends are dropping me off at Santa Monica Pier after a Route 66 trip, and two days later, I leave via Amtrak train out of Los Angeles Union Station. Prefer lodging within walking distance to public transportation transit stop. Budget under $200 per night.

I am currently considering lodging near Union Station, for example Doubletree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown, Metro Plaza Hotel, or Best Western Plus Golden Gate Inn, Kawada Hotel. Wonder how safe the Union Station neighborhood is.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 09:27 AM
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Of the hotels you mention, I'd probably choose the Doubletree (close to Little Tokyo restaurants) or the Kawada (near Grand Central Market).

But before you book, check the rate at the Omni for your dates. On the Grand Avenue side of the Omni, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, there is a bus stop for the Union Station shuttle. Also on the Grand Avenue side of the hotel, there is a wide variety of dining options and, depending on the day of the week, usually a couple of food trucks. All but the food trucks are noted if you search the Omni Hotel on maps.google.com.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 09:32 AM
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Which train are you getting on two days later? Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief or the Sunset Limited? If you are going north on the Coast Starlight, I would try to find a way to get up the coast to Santa Barbara and get on there. If you are leaving from Union Station in the evening, on the SWC or the Sunset, try finding lodging in Burbank and take a Pacific Surfliner into Union station from Burbank on the day you leave instead of staying near the station. There is a great restaurant within walking distance of LAUS (Phillipe's) where you can get a great dipped beef sandwich. Plan on being back inside the station not long after dark. There is a good ice cream shop inside Union Station.
The Burbank Amtrak/Metro station is directly across the street from the entrance of the Burbank (Bob Hope) airport.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 09:33 AM
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Thank you!
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by oak_tree View Post
Thank you!
Which train? I've ridden them all.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 09:46 AM
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tomfuller, I am taking the Coast Starlight north. It leaves in the late morning. Heading to Santa Barbara is a thought. A dipped beef sandwich at Phillipe's sounds wonderful. Wonder if the light rail public transit in LA dependable and frequent.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 10:44 AM
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Jean, thank you.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by oak_tree View Post
tomfuller, I am taking the Coast Starlight north. It leaves in the late morning. Heading to Santa Barbara is a thought. A dipped beef sandwich at Phillipe's sounds wonderful. Wonder if the light rail public transit in LA dependable and frequent.
Take the "Big Blue Bus" on Route 10 to get from Santa Monica to Union Station (end of the line). If you don't like the area around Union Station you can always take a Pacific Surfliner north to Burbank or Santa Barbara. It is strange to see the Coast Starlight running 3 days a week instead of the 7 day schedule of 2019.
A few miles south of Santa Barbara you have a great view of the ocean with no roads between the tracks and the beach.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 12:37 PM
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I'd take an Uber or taxi from SaMo to Union Station.The schedule for the Big Blue Bus shows it taking 1hr 14minutes from the Santa Monica Pier to Union Station at 1:30pm on a Tuesday. Masks are required on the bus and while waiting for the bus.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 01:02 PM
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jamie99 , tomfuller: Thank you. I am having trouble reading the schedule of the big blue bus. I see there are a bunch of different routes. Wondering which route goes from Santa Monica Pier to Union Station. Do they run more that once a day?
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by oak_tree View Post
jamie99 , tomfuller: Thank you. I am having trouble reading the schedule of the big blue bus. I see there are a bunch of different routes. Wondering which route goes from Santa Monica Pier to Union Station. Do they run more that once a day?
Very limited schedule. Weekdays only at 6,7, and 8AM from the corner of 4th St. on Eastbound Santa Monica Blvd next to REI sporting goods. Rapid 10 is the one you want to get from Santa Monica to Union Station.
If northbound anyway, try to get to Burbank or Santa Barbara to catch the Coast Starlight.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 06:28 PM
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Thanks. Is the Blue Bus limited schedule due to Covid?

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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 09:36 PM
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Sea Shore Motel in Santa Monica

For the train you'll take Metro bus 733 (or Blue Bus #10) from the Pier (5 min walk from the motel) to Union Station, it takes an hour. What time does your train leave? (for bus schedule go to trips.metro.net and put in Santa Monica Pier as your starting point and Union Station as your destination)

Last edited by clarkgriswold; Mar 30th, 2021 at 09:39 PM.
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Old Mar 31st, 2021, 07:41 AM
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Thank you, clarkgriswold. My train leaves at 10:10.
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Old Mar 31st, 2021, 10:08 AM
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When are you traveling?

From Santa Monica, do NOT take the bus! Take the Expo line from 4th & Colorado (3 blocks from the SM Pier). Take it all the way to the end of the line (7th & Fig). Then transfer by going down the stairs and get on the Red or Purple line to Union Station. It's all interconnected . . . has been for 7 years now, and they are working to continue Expo to Union Station (I believe).

We've been taking the Expo line from WLA to SM or to Union Station ever since it first opened. To go to Dodger Stadium (Union Station has the free shuttle bus), or to take the train at Union Station down to San Diego, or go to the Staples Center or Microsoft Theatre. Rail along this route is frequent . . . was every 6-10 minutes at rush hour pre-COVID and 20 minutes non-rush hour. Still runs about every 20 minutes. Takes approximately 40 minutes from Santa Monica to Union Station.

If you're planning this trip soon, I wouldn't recommend staying downtown right now. Too much has been closed down and the homeless encampments have pretty much taken over. Same issue in Venice along the Boardwalk. Prominent in other areas, including Santa Monica, but not horrendously so. If it were me, I'd stay in Santa Monica, as SM has really started to open up in the last month, and lots of outdoor cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops now open.
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Old Mar 31st, 2021, 12:11 PM
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Thank you Surfergirl. Traveling in late September.
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Old Apr 1st, 2021, 07:12 PM
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OK late September, leaving 10:10 on Coast Starlight -- wonderful train, even though the services have changed a bit in the last 20 years. If you stay in Santa Monica, and there's plenty of places in your budget, I'd take the train at 830 a.m. just to give you a cushion.

As to places to stay, while prices are still relatively low, I'd book now with a cancellation policy for the best prices. I say this, because I recently (about 3 weeks ago) booked a room in Catalina, getting a room we'd NEVER get at this time of year booking for 4th of July, and had plenty of options. As of today, because things are opening up, the hotel is now booked solid over the holiday weekend. So all I'm saying is, whether you book in SM or downtown, book now for the best rates.

For downtown, Jean mentioned the Omni, and I agree with her, that's a great option. It's a block from Museums, and a block from the red line that goes directly to Union Station. Actually, if you like to walk, it's even walkable to Union Station (albeit past numerous homeless encampments).
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Old Apr 2nd, 2021, 03:21 PM
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By late September the Coast Starlight COULD be running on a 7 day a week schedule. How far north are you going? If you were going only as far as Martinez or Sacramento, you do have an option to get that far north every day by riding the Amtrak bus from Union Station to Bakersfield and a San Joaquin train to Martinez or the last San Joaquin of the day to Sacramento.
Last February the Sunset Limited was running late and I and many other people missed the connection to the Coast Starlight. With the bus to Bakersfield and riding the San Joaquin all the way to Martinez, we were in MTZ at least 2 hours ahead of the Coast Starlight that we had missed.
There is never a need to take an earlier train out of Union Station than the Coast Starlight. It leaves at 10:10 or later if a train is coming in up to an hour late. If the train is departing on time, You will be able to board at about 9:45. Currently coaches are limited to 50% capacity with everyone riding in a window seat with masks on.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2021, 12:55 PM
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The expo rail connection to Union Station takes an hour, just as long as the rapid buses. Rail may have a little more space for you baggage but you will have to carry it when transferring at 7th st and your 2nd train might be crowded. With the bus you're onboard one and done, and it won't be a full bus since you're boarding at the beginning of the line.
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Old Apr 5th, 2021, 10:18 AM
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The 733 takes 92 minutes with 38 stops, not including rush hour traffic. Not even at non-rush hour will the 733 beat the Expo Line, even with the quick transfer.
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