Los Angeles in Nov (First time too)

Sep 25th, 2007, 05:54 AM
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Los Angeles in Nov (First time too)

I have read with interest the thread "First Time in Los Angeles". My husband and I will be in LA for a week in early Nov. - Sunday to Sunday. We are from Ottawa, Canada and it will be our first time there too.

We have family in Torrance and would like to spend a few days on the beach nearby. We are looking at Hermosa Beach or possibly another beach nearby. We would like to actually be on the beach, not just have a view of it.

We plan to spend the remaining days at a downtown LA hotel.

We can afford to stay in luxury hotels as we have worked very hard for a long time and have been (luckily) well-compensated.

Any suggestions on luxury hotels in those areas?

We are also planning to take a segway tour (they're such fun) and are trying to decide on downtown LA and/or the beaches of Santa Monica & Venice. Any suggestions there?

We plan to see The Getty and the Disney Theatre for sure. Also rent bikes and bike along the beach boardwalks.

Are there better and worse days to be there?

We are thinking of driving down to the San Diego Zoo for the day. Having read the other thread, I wonder if the traffic will make the trip too difficult and tiring.

This is the first time I have visited this forum. I have been amazed at how much thought and time some people have put into their responses.

This is obviously a very valuable place to find information not available from tourist info and I'm grateful it exists.
IdaC is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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What does your family in Torrance think about staying in downtown L.A? Is there a reason you chose it over Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Westwood or Hollywood?
tracys2cents is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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My husband and I decided that as there are a number of things we might want to see in downtown L.A.
IdaC is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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Welcome to Fodor's IdaC.

If you want on-the-beach luxury, then there is only one way to go in Hermosa. www.beach-house.com They might have bikes for use for their guests. If not, right across 14th St. from the Beach House, Jeffers rents bikes, skates, etc.

Check out the Comedy & Magic Club to see who is playing while you are here. www.comedyandmagicclub.com Jay Leno appears every Sunday night to try out his material for the week. It is within walking distance of the Beach House. There are lots of good restaurants within walking distance, also. Your relatives in Torrance probably have their favorites, but let us know if you need any recommendations.

You shouldn't have problems with crowds at any of the tourist attractions in November. Weather will probably be cool and dry, in the 60's.

For your downtown L.A. hotel, you can probably score a great deal on a 4* on Priceline.com. The Westin Bonaventure has a rotating cocktail lounge with great views of the city.

I can't help you on Segway tours, as I don't know anyone who has taken one. I'd love to hear about your experience when you return, though.

Have a great trip.
lvk is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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If you are sure you want to stay downtown: try the historic Millenium Biltmore, the Westin Bonaventure, or the Standard.
cheryllj is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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How fast do those Segways go? I don't think I'd want to be riding around on one of them as a tourist in downtown L.A. One wrong turn and you'll be wishing you'd stayed in Ottawa.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 11:51 AM
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Well, lvk beat me to it. The Beach House in Hermosa Beach is the best and only place to stay right on the beach, near your family in Torrance.
You will be in restaurant heaven, as the neighboring towns of Manhattan and Redondo have many to choose from, as well as Hermosa. Be sure to walk, skate or ride a bike on the Bike Path or Strand.

Have fun!
MBnancy is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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I would select the Omni for a downtown LA hotel. Great central location and very upscale. I do love the lobby in the Biltmore, though, be sure to walk through or eat there if you have a chance.

I've heard mixed reviews of the Standard, I think it appeals to a younger audience and it has a "happening" rooftop bar.

mlgb is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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First of all, the temps in November are usually warmer than the 60s. If we get Santa Anas during that time (likely), it can be in the 90s. I WISH it were in the 60s....

Is this your one and only time in LA? If it is, then driving to SD isnt recommended. Traffic can be an issue depending on when you go. Even if you dont hit traffic, youre probably talking about 4 hour drive roundtrip from downtown LA. Theres enough to do and see in LA....why go to a whole new city like SD that deserves its own vacation?
Johnnyman7 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 03:38 AM
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I must have done something wrong as my reply last night does not show here.
Thank you all for your suggestions.

To: Tracy2cents
I spoke with my husband and he said that he meant Beverly Hills when he said downtown L.A. (as opposed to other beaches).

To: lvk and MBNancy
Thanks for the suggestion of the Beach House. We will definitely look into that.

To: lvk and clarkgriswold
We took the Segway tour in San Antonio and loved it. They start you at a max of 4 mph and when you get used to them, they increase the max to 8 mph.

You can cover ground at a very comfortable speed. We sent my Dad (84 and VERY fit) on a Segway tour of the Venice beach when he was in L.A. last year and he didn't want to give up his Segway at the end of 2 hours. I highly recommend Segway tours. There are lots in L.A. - www.segwow.com

To: Johnnyman7
Thanks for your suggestion. My husband had guessed that it was only a 1 hour drive to San Diego (according to the map?) and we love zoos. Given info on this forum, I doubt we'll go only for the day if we go. Maybe overnight at the Laguna Ritz? Or stay in L.A. for the week.
IdaC is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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I live in Long Beach (about 20 miles south of Torrance) and I'm actually driving with my fiance tomorrow to San Diego. I'm planning on it taking about 2 hours. If we hit traffic, it may be more.

One hour from Torrance to SD? No way! In fact, if you want to stay on the beach in Laguna, it's probably about an hour drive from Torrance to Laguna Beach. You have to remember that LA is HUGE and the distances between cities can be quite far.

Manhattan/Hermosa beaches are really great beaches. Honestly, Orange County beaches (i.e. Laguna) arent that different...except more affluent people live there than up in Manhattan. But if you want a break from LA, you can go to Laguna for a night. That whole area (San Clemente, Laguna, etc) is great....

Honestly, if you want a really great like 2-night stay somewhere, I'd drive up to Santa Barbara or something. You can go wine-tasting and stuff (although beware that the route there becomes choked with traffic on the weekends).
Johnnyman7 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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I would stay in either Hermosa or Manhattan Beach to be close to your relatives. Or if you don't mind driving a bit (you need a car for this entire week anyway), stay in Laguna which is more luxurious. However, keep in mind that November is not beach weather and it's actually about 10 degrees cooler by the beach. You won't be sunbathing or swimming. It will be maybe 60-65 degrees, 70 if you're lucky. Check weatherbase.com for past temp averages.

That being said, what exactly are you planning to see in LA? I'm not sure if you've talked to your relatives already about this, but downtown in LA is not like downtowns in other cities. It is not a major destination at all, and many tourists skip it altogether. Of course, it sounds like you want to see a couple specific things there, which is fine, but this can be and should be easily done with a trip there from any other more happening area in a few hours. Traffic around downtown is pretty bad most of the time as well, so staying there will make it difficult for you to see most destinations in LA. Most people who come here to see the city stay in either Hollywood/West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area or in Santa Monica area. Since you will be spending some time at a beach already, and not during beach weather, I would recommend staying in BH or Hollywood. Renaissance Hollywood is in a good location, Chamberlain West Hollywood is great as well or Chateau Marmont, and there is a special on Beverly Hills hotel on Travelzoo for $69/night right now (normally $200). You didn't mention your budget, which would help with recommendations.

As already mentioned, you need a car to get around. Also, read a free guidebook online such as Frommers.com to pick the things you want to do.

If you only have 4 days or so in actual LA after the beach stay with your relatives, I would spend it all in LA without side trips. If you really want to do a side trip, Santa Barbara as mentioned is 1.5 north and would be great for 1 night or a day trip. You would drive up the coast as well and can see Malibu on the way. Pretty drive. San Diego really need 3 days in itself. Leave it for another time when you come during beachtime, and I would go to the Wild Animal Park instead as it's more unique than a zoo.
smartcookie is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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Thanks to smartcookie for the weatherbase.com link. That is a very useful site.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was mistaken and we plan to stay in Beverly Hills, not "downtown" L.A. We are on a luxury budget
IdaC is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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With a luxury budget, I would do something luxury and unique to Los Angeles (great gorgeous locations) like Chateau Marmont http://www.chateaumarmont.com/ , Hotel Bel Air http://www.hotelbelair.com/, Beverly Hills Hotel http://www.thebeverlyhillshotel.com/...tes/index.html

There are also your Sofitel, Four Seasons etc
smartcookie is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 09:26 PM
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Hi IdaC. Check out the Modrian. It is in between Beverly Hills and Hollywood. The restaurant there, Asia de Cuba, is great and has good views.

To me the vibe at Modrian seems very "LA." No, I'm not from LA, but my friends who live there have taken me to the restaurant and also the club there (Sky Bar).

The price is $450 plus per night, so I think it qualifies as luxury budget.
lauraallais is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 09:26 PM
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Here is the Web site: http://www.mondrianhotel.com/
lauraallais is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 09:32 PM
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Oh, forget my mention of the Mondrian. It got terrible reviews on tripadvisor. Too bad. I've stayed at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City (also near Beverly Hills), which was nice but had more of a business travel feel.
lauraallais is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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Thanks for that segwow link. Very cool! The downtown L.A. one looks really interesting. I might just take some adventurous houseguests on that one. The Hollywood sign tour looks fun, too.

MBNancy, have you ever seen those segway tourists in Manhattan Beach?

Johnny is correct, it is at least a 2 hour drive from L.A. to S.D. I would save San Diego or Santa Barbara for a future trip. The Laguna suggestion is a good one for a day trip. Lots of neat shops and galleries.

Enjoy your trip to our state. I will be in your province next week -- for the first time!
lvk is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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After considering the comments on beach weather and San Diego on this forum we have decided (80%) to spend 3 days at the Ritz Marina Del Rey and 4 nights at the Beverly Wilshire.

Thank you all for your help. I hope we have made the right decision and would welcome any further comments.
IdaC is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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IMHO - You may be happier with a Hermosa Beach/Beverly Wilshire split.

Hermosa has great restuarnats and the comedy club as well as the beach. Marina del Rey is not the beach - its a marina with high rises and not that far from Beverly hills.

Hermosa would give you a different and lovely flavor to LA.
denise8101214 is offline  

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