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Need advice on things to do and restaurants in Santa Monica

Need advice on things to do and restaurants in Santa Monica

Jun 6th, 2005, 08:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 223
Need advice on things to do and restaurants in Santa Monica

Hello, My husband and I are taking our daughter to Santa Monica for 4 nights the middle of June. She is turing 13 while we are there. We are staying at the Georgian and have reserved the room with breakfast included because of reccomendations on this board. We are hoping not to rent a car.

I need help with restaurants close by or on an easy bus ride. Also the don't miss things in the area. She does want to see the Hollywood sign and go to Rodeo Dr. (typical tourist stuff, we are from the east coast).
Is there any tour company groups that have day trips to Hollywood,etc from Santa Monica?
How much would a taxi be to Rodeo Dr? Would it be any easy bus ride?

Of course we will spend time at Venice Beach and go the pier.

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. She wanted to turn 13 in So.California so we have planned this trip for her birthday. She is very into shopping, as most girls her age are. She also enjoys good restaurants, she is not into pizza and burgers.

One other thing, she would like to get a surfing lesson. Is this available in Santa Monica? If not where would the closest place be that would have good surfing instructors?

Thanks in advance for any and all info and tips.

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AprilA is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 08:29 AM
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One other thing I shold have mentioned is althoug I would prefer not to rent a car, I am not totally opposed to it. Just not sure about the traffic of LA and finding our way around. I went to graduate school in Atlanta and go back there often so I am used to quite a bit of traffic but am not at all familiar with LA and surrounding areas.

Thanks, AprilA
AprilA is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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I would not be too terrified of LA traffic, as long as you miss rush hour(s) on the freeways.

Tha said, there are some thing close to you that would be fun. 3d st. Mall is quite nice and very close.

A bus to rodeo Dr. woud not be too hard--just take a bus East on Wilshire Blvd (a main E/W street) and get off at Rodeo. The Hoolywood sign woud be more challenging without a car. I would encourage you to rent a car, at least part of the time--drive out the pacific coast highway to malibu at sunset, for example, adn eat dinner out there. Hollywood for many is a big disappointment. Now West Hollywood is more fun--Melrose Ave etc. Again a car would help.
youngtom2910 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 09:51 AM
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You are at the epicenter of Santa Monica restaurants at the Georgian. I can think of a number of good places in the vicinity of your hotel:

-- Ocean Ave. Seafood
-- I. Cugini
-- Ivy at the Shore
-- The Lobster (for the views, less for the food, which is unmemorably good)
-- Il Fornaio della Spiaggia
-- Michael's (with Chez Panisse in Berkeley, the place where Cal Cuisine began)
-- Capo
-- Mélisse
-- Border Grill (of "Two Hot Tamales" fame)
-- Locanda del Lago
-- La Serenata di Garibaldi
-- Bravo Cucina
-- Chains like Houston's, California Pizza Kitchen, PF Change, Fatburger, Johnny Rocket (go to the ORIGINAL on Melrose Ave. in LA), etc., etc., etc.

Shopping? If you like mall stuff-- Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place, right around the corner from your hotel. For an upscale, genteel shopping day, Montana Ave. is the ticket. Have a Ladies Who Lunch break at Marmalade Café. For edgier boutiques, Main Street south of Pico. Dinner at Chinois on Main (a Wolfgang Puck offshoot run by his ex-wife) would be in order.

Although one CAN get around the greater LA area without driving, it's not advisable for a short trip. Mass transit tends to take up a lot of your time. However, there are several tour companies running between Santa Monica and the tourist stuff in the greater LA area.

I find it amusing that outsiders find the LA area hard to navigate. Other than a few perverse star intersections in Beverly Hills and the wild spiderweb streets in the mountains and canyon neighborhoods, our streets are laid out in grids and well-marked. Highways are equally well-marked, although they are huge and almost always full of cars. My observation is that the problems are caused by people on their cell phones (locals), or people trying to read their Mapquest printouts while driving (locals and visitors), or people just unused to driving on the "right" side of the road (believe me, I can tell). If you've ever driving in Atlanta or Florida (locals know what I mean!), you can drive happily in this area.

A cab ride to Rodeo Drive would be a little expensive simply due to the distance involved-- some seven miles. If you can get a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus or an LA MTA bus going on Wilshire toward downtown LA, you can hop that to get there. We're talking at least a half-hour ride.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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My family sent to S.F. and Santa Monica last summer. We had a nice time. The weather was cool in August in Santa Monica-not what we had been use to in our travels to VA beach or Fla. Comfortable weather for sightseeing. A little chilly for swimming. Restaurants at the 3rd Street Prom will not be a problem and that is close walk from most hotels and motels.
I would find a tour company to take you around and I do not think you will have trouble finding one. Contact your hotel for a phone number. Consider a car so you can get out and see California. Nothing like driving to get a feel and having flexability to move around. I would ask you to check out Universal Studios and or Warner Bros studios for a tour. Hollywood is a disappointment but you have to see it to understand. Beverly Hills is something to see also. I never knew the yards were so tiny in the older section. Good Luck!
TOMZ is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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Thanks for all the tips and advice. I wish I had time for all the restaurant reccomendations!! I may rent a car for a couple of days.

Thanks again, April

AprilA is offline  
Jun 8th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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The Lowes hotel has car rental. Not sure which company they represent but give them a call.
TOMZ is offline  
Jun 9th, 2005, 01:46 PM
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rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
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