SANTA MONICA OR MARINA DEL REY

Aug 2nd, 2002, 10:04 AM
  #1  
GAIL L
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SANTA MONICA OR MARINA DEL REY

2 FAMILIES WITH 11,15 & 16 Y/O NEED TO CHOOSE A HOTEL IN EITHER SANTA MONICA OR MARINA DEL REY FOR A FEW NIGHTS END OF AUGUST. RESERVATIONS AT DOUBLETREE IN SANTA MONICA , BUT 2 FRIENDS RECENTLY SAID SANTA MONICA WAS VERY CROWDED AND WITH SOME UNSAVORY CHARACTERS WALKING THE NEIGHBORHOOD. ARE WE SAFE THERE OR BETTER OFF A LITTLE FURTHER SOUTH ??? WE ARE TRAVELLING TO LAGUNA NIGUEL AFTERWARDS AND WANTED A PLACE CLOSER TO HOLLYWOOD, UNIVERSAL ETC. THANKS
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 03:41 PM
  #2  
Mr.R
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Stay in Santa Monica. There are some homeless in the area, but there's no reason to fear them. Much more to do in the area then the Marina, which is nice, but not as interesting. Plus, if you are going to Laguna afterwards, you'll have more then enough of a plesant area. From your hotel it is very easy to get everywhere in LA, including Hollywood. You are right by the 10 freeway which will take you anywhere you'd like to be. Have fun.
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 04:26 PM
  #3  
mare
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I recommend Holiday Inn Bel Air, about 10 minutes north of Santa Monica just off the 405 freeway. Great location for visits to Universal, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and not far from Malibu Beach (just take a right turn out of the hotel onto Sunset Boulevard and go west about 12 minutes).

Very close to UCLA and the teenagers can visit the campus and nearby Westwood. Also close to Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Center/Hard Rock Cafe.
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 04:38 PM
  #4  
GAIL
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THANKS MR. X AND MARE FOR THE INFO. I WILL LOOK INTO BOTH-
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 05:46 PM
  #5  
L.A.
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Neither are very convenient to Hollywood or Universal Studios (Santa Monica is marginally closer, but you'll soon find out why everything in L.A. is "30 minutes" away, and you'll learn to hate both the 10 and 405 freeways). Both are crowded, although the Marina has less tourists.

Marina del Rey offers easier beach access, and a more relaxed feel (Venice Beach, home of many colorful characters, is also within walking distance). Santa Monica has more shopping and dining options (at and around the Third Street promenade). Both can have unsavory characters (Santa Monica has more bums because of the greater number of tourists, while Marina del Rey has more gang members due to its proximity to Venice and points inland). Neither one is much of a threat, especially during the day.

It depends what you want. I would say that Santa Monica is more "commercial" and "closer to the action," while the Marina more "local" and "laid back," although I am splitting hairs here. Have fun.
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 10:31 PM
  #6  
Doug
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Gail, I would skip BOTH! Santa Monica does have way too many homeless people and Marina del Rey isn't really all that great. Besides, the beauty of the entire Laguna area (even including Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, etc.) puts them both to shame anyway! Why not just stay at the Universal Hilton which is a beautiful hillside hotel (with GREAT views) right at Universal Studios? You will also have access to the Universal City Walk next door (sort of like a very mini-Las Vegas with lots of neon which is geared more for your kids and they will really like it). The Hollywood Freeway South (101) is right there which will take you to the San Diego Freeway (405) and right into the Laguna area!
 
Aug 3rd, 2002, 08:58 AM
  #7  
why
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Why would any family choose Laguna Niguel for a family vacation? There's absolutely nothing there except for tract homes and strip retail centers! Laguna Beach is beautiful, but totally different than a middle class neighborhood as you will find in LN.
 
Aug 3rd, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #8  
jen
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Recently went to Santa Monica. The town is just alright and the Pier, very overrated, very dirty. I would research areas that would be more satisfying all around.
 
Aug 4th, 2002, 11:42 AM
  #9  
GAIL
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WE'RE VISITING FAMILY IN LAGUNA NIGUEL AND CORONA. PERHAPS GOING TO SAN DIEGO FROM THERE
 
Aug 4th, 2002, 02:00 PM
  #10  
whisper
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Gail - Please stop SHOUTING at us. It's rude to type in all upper case - it implies shouting.

Personally I would rather stay home than spend my vacation in Corona or Laguna Niguel. From Corona you could take the kids to Raging Waters in San Dimas or Disneyland. Then spend some nights down in San Diego.
 
Aug 7th, 2002, 12:37 AM
  #11  
Ted
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Gail, don't listen to "why" or "whisper." The ENTIRE Laguna area -- including Laguna Niguel -- is very beautiful!
 
Aug 7th, 2002, 01:37 PM
  #12  
mike
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Gail--
Go to Santa Monica. The people who get on this board and talk about how "unsafe" places are must live in a Norman Rockwell painting. I just got back from four days in Santa Monica and had a great time. There are homeless people but where aren't there? The pier really isn't any big deal but your kids will have a good time at the Promenade and the beach. And if you don't want to get on the freeways, I always prefer to drive out SM Blvd or Sunset to get to W. Hollywood and Universal.
 
Aug 7th, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #13  
auntbea
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whisper: it's also rude to tell somebody to "stop shouting!" when they didn't even know they were shouting.

a simple explanation would have sufficed.
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 05:07 PM
  #14  
GAIL
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THANKS FOR ALL OF THE INFO RE: SANTA MONICA. I LIVE IN THE SUBURBS OF NY BUT WORK IN BIG BAD MANHATTAN, SO YES I SEE HOMELESS PEOPLE AND I'M NOT AFRAID. AS FOR SHOUTING-- I TYPE IN CAPS FOR SPEED NOT TO SHOUT AT ANYONE ! DON'T BE SO SENSITIVE-- AND IT WAS NOT NECESSARY TO BE SO NASTY TO EXPLAIN THAT YOU ASSUMED I WAS SHOUTING ! AND THEY SAY NEW YORKERS ARE RUDE !
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 07:29 PM
  #15  
jim
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GAIL is the reason why people dislike New Yorkers. If you don't have the time to be polite and not shout at us, then why should we take the time out of our busy days to help you.
I feel for your family or friends who have to put up with you for a week.
 
Aug 10th, 2002, 08:55 PM
  #16  
sully
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Gail,
I'd suggest the Doubletree in Santa Monica. I know the hotel, and it is in a fine area of town, stone's throw from the freeway, and you will have no worries with any unsavory characters there. Not to mention that if you have free days, the entertainment area of SM (3rd street promenade) is very accessible from there.

Marina del Rey is nice, but nothing unique or extraordinary.

If you are coming into town mostly to visit your friends in Laguna, then I might suggest something closer to them because Laguna is quite a haul from SM, and it is a very busy freeway during rush hour. During busy times, it might take you over an hour to make that drive. If you want to avoid the commute you might contemplate getting a room in Laguna Niguel? Or you could split the difference and stay somewhere in the middle, say, Seal Beach if you want small and quaint... or perhaps Long Beach if you want some more family-oriented things to do nearby the hotel while still remaining near the beach.

Cheers!
 
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