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Los Angeles only or Los Angeles & San Diego for spring break?

Los Angeles only or Los Angeles & San Diego for spring break?

Old Jan 13th, 2011, 03:18 PM
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Los Angeles only or Los Angeles & San Diego for spring break?

I am planning a week-long trip to Southern California with my 19 y.o. and 22 y.o sons. One loves theater, tv, and film; and the other music. I am trying to decide whether we should spend the whole week in LA or spend 4 days touring in LA and 3 days relaxing in San Diego. We are interesting in going to Hollywood and, if possible, going to a TV taping. We also are interested in opera. We are not big shoppers, so we do not care about Rodeo Drive I am thinking of staying in Beverly Hills for our time in LA -is this a good choice? Are the other areas of LA we should consider?
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 09:36 PM
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Your son who loves theater might like to visit the Old Globe and the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego.

http://www.theoldglobe.org/index.aspx

http://www.lajollaplayhouse.org/
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 11:29 PM
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I would think that your children might prefer Santa Monica over Beverly Hills.
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Old Jan 14th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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Plenty to do in LA and surrounding areas. There are several playhouses worth checking out - Pasadena Playhouse, the Ahmanson, Geffen, Mark Taper Forum. You could split your stay 1) 4 days in Santa Monica for all the westside activities - beach strolls, Getty, Malibu, TV taping and studio tours (Fox and Sony are more westside, Paramount is in the middle, and Disney, Universal and WB are in the valley - Burbank), TV museum in BH, Santa Monica farmer's market and 2) 3 days in Pasadena for some eastside/downtown fun - hikes in the foothills including Mount Hollywood, Pasadena Playhouse, Hollywood Bowl, Universal Studios, Hollywood (walk of fame, and take in a movie at a classic movie theater Graumman's, the Egyption or El Capitan), LA Farmer's Market, art museums and gardens (Huntington Gardens in Pasadena is quite nice and it sometimes has evening classical concerts outdoors), Disney Music Hall (downtown). See what is playing at the major playhouses and downtown music centers and arrange your trip around a few shows/performances. Another suggestion in Pasadena is seeing a movie at Gold Class Cinemas in old town Pasadena, one of the new breed of movie theaters that brings your food and drinks to your assigned comfy leather chair, while you watch the latest new release. If you still want to stretch your legs a bit further afield you could day trip to Anaheim/Orange County, or the beach communities of Long Beach/Newport Beach/Balboa Island, or head north to Santa Barbara.
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Old Jan 14th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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I second POIson's suggestion of spending a few days at one of LAs nearby beach communities rather than trek all the way to San Diego. Redondo, Manhattan, Laguna and Newport each have great hotels with fine pools and beach access.

SoCal has so many activity options that you need to enforce some down time. Also, careful that you don't plan a week of sitting on the freeways. Every hour is rush hour in LA and you can easily underestimate and overdo your transportation time to where it's not a vacation at all.
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Old Jan 14th, 2011, 08:58 AM
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I think Beverly Hills may be a bit of a bore. If you don't mind changing hotels I thing a combination of either West Hollywood, Hollywood, or Downtown and a beach location such as Santa Monica, Venice/Marina del Rey or Manhattan Beach would be ideal.
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Old Jan 14th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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If it fits your budget, the Hollywood Rennaisance is a great place, in walking distance to a lot of destinations with plenty of great restaurants in the neighborhood. Fantastic pool and fitness facility. Because Hollywood is in the middle of the action, the idea of splitting a week with a beach escape becomes an even better idea.
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Old Jan 14th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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I love the idea of splitting the week with a nearby beach escape instead of going to San Diego -- thanks so much to all who recommended it! I have long wanted to tour the architecture in Pasadena, so maybe we will add that to the mix.
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Old Jan 15th, 2011, 08:07 AM
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In that case I think Downtown LA makes even more sense, since you can take the Gold Line metro to downtown. If you are an architecture buff I think you'd enjoy staying at the Millenium Biltmore downtown, or the Hollywood Roosevelt in Hollywood.
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Old Jan 15th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Links
http://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels...ore-hotel.aspx

Biltmore Pool
http://www.millenniumhotels.com/mill...ual_tours.html

LA Conservancy Downtown tours
http://www.laconservancy.org/tours/downtown/index.php4
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Old Jan 15th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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We live 45 min outside LA but decided we wanted an LA weekend, We stayed at the Omni: http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel...rniaPlaza.aspx which was a fun location near LALive Fashion District & accessible to great food, theater & music. Check out YELP for some of these things too.
Also, if you want to break it up have you considered going North instead? Santa Barbara is very relaxing & more "outdoorsy" in my opinion. I am just partial.
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Old Jan 15th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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We live 45 min outside LA but decided we wanted an LA weekend, We stayed at the Omni: http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel...rniaPlaza.aspx which was a fun location near LALive Fashion District & accessible to great food, theater & music. Check out YELP for some of these things too.
Also, if you want to break it up have you considered going North instead? Santa Barbara is very relaxing & more "outdoorsy" in my opinion. I am just partial.
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Old Jan 15th, 2011, 04:22 PM
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Hi, brachl. Well,I thought your idea of 4 days in LA and 3 in SD was a pretty good one. But since you've decided on the full 7 days in LA, here are my thoughts on that option.

First, take a look at this guide. It's a pretty good overall view of what there is to see and do in the LA area.
http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/l...city-guide.htm

And a tip of the hat to POlson for his/her list of things. (I believe the Hollywood Bowl season doesn't start until early June, however.)

Threads about LA inevitably attract negative comments about traffic. Here are some positive suggestions. My wife and I are retired but travel into or through LA fairly frequently. When we can, we pick our travel time to avoid the peak traffic hours. Before leaving, we check traffic conditions here:
http://www.sigalert.com/Map.asp?lat=...-118.22335&z=2
Sometimes we alter our route to avoid unusual congestion such as that due to an accident or special event. And we keep our radio tuned to KNX 1070 which gives traffic conditions every 10 minutes.
It's an exaggeration to say that all day is rush hour.

Witnessing a TV taping can be harder work for the audience then you might think. I'll cover that separately.

You're making us guess when you are coming and from where. During March is when most colleges here are on spring break and it's different weeks for different schools. So I'll guess you're here in March, during which the LA opera will present Rossini's "Il Turco in Italia", and Britten's "The Turn of the Screw". We have tickets for both. If you are coming from a town or small city that doesn't show the Met HD simulcasts, then you might want to take in Lucia di Lammermoor at one of the many LA area theaters that carry the simulcasts. It's on March 19.

I don't know this from personal experience, but I would be very cautious about booking a room in any of the beach hotels during the spring break, unless you want to cavort with the drunken coeds in the swimming pool and be kept awake most of the night by the partying in the adjacent rooms. All this may be my exposure over the years to media reports, of course. But check it out as much as you can. Maybe one of the Fodorites who live in some of the beach cities can help out on this.
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Old Jan 15th, 2011, 07:33 PM
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Thanks to all for the great suggestions and links. We're in North Carolina, and we do get the Met HD simulcasts. We also go to NYC most years and go the Met then. We will be in LA in late March, so we could see Turn of the Screw. I will check with my opera-lowing son to see if he wants to go. We have been to TV tapings in New York, so we have a sense of what they are like. I think I now need to pin down where in LA we want to stay and which beach. I am thinking it's best to do the beach first, since we will arrive on the weekend, and then go into the city on Tuesday or so. Thanks for all the great suggestions! Off to read about some of the options.
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Old Jan 16th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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If you like art and architecture, the Getty Center and the Getty Villa are worth seeing. Both are free, except for parking, and you reserve on-line. Both are in beautiful settings above the Pacific.

I think you are on the right track, to stay in the L.A. area.
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Old Jan 16th, 2011, 09:22 AM
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I don't think the cavorting coeds hang out in LA, they head off for Cancun etc.
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