Short Time in LA

Old Mar 12th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Short Time in LA

I will be arriving in LA early on a Sunday afternoon in July and need to be back at LAX the next day, Monday evening, at about 6pm. It's a very short period of time, but we're focused on only doing one or two things and we need help in determining location, transportation and driving times.

First and foremost, we want to do the WB studio tour. Knowing that it's closed most weekends, we thought that we would get up early on Monday morning to head over to Burbank for this. This way, we can do some shopping (a mall is fine), see the Walk of Fame and other Hollywood stuff when we arrive on Sunday.

My first concern is getting to our places of interest. We've thought about renting a car at the airport, but I have no idea what to expect with LA driving. Our Sunday itinerary isn't so time-sensitive, but I'd like to know how much time to plan driving to Burbank on a Monday morning, and getting from Burbank to LAX on an afternoon rushhour. I know I can look up approximate driving times online, but I don't have a sense of what traffic's like. Or would it be just easier to take public transportation?

This also relates to my second concern with which area to choose our hotel. Given our plans, which area would you think would be most convenient to get to and from where we need to be -- Hollywood? Burbank? Downtown?

I'd appreciate any advice you can give! Thanks in advance.
travellator is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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Rent a car if you can. Greater Los Angeles is a car town. You can use public transportation in some areas but it will generally take significantly longer.

Downtown Los Angeles freeways will be packed. Most of the locals know all the short cuts through Hollywood and Burbank. Look at a map. From LAX to Hollywood is actually shorter going I-405 (San Diego FWY) to I-10 (Santa Monica FWY) then on surface streets to Hollywood than taking the freeways via downtown Los Angeles. Avoid downtown Los Angeles during rush hour if you can.

Think about a hotel at Los Angeles Airport. There is a large selection of hotels near LAX. Prices are reasonable. And they are all just a short distance to the freeway. That and you can usually find a room.
Travel4Ever is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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To me it makes more sense to stay in Burbank since you will have less trouble getting to your Monday morning tour. Sunday would be a good day to see the Hollywood stuff. Getting from Burbank to LAX, I can only guess, I'd allow 1 1/2 hours at least because you need time to return the car. I think you'll need the car to get to Burbank. Traffic on the westside (405) is horrible, I avoid that one like the plague. I would rather take "the" 5 Freeway go through downtown and take "the" 101 Harbor Freeway to "the" 105 Century Freeway to get back to the airport, but I do know how to avoid the bad spots leading into downtown in a jam.

(This involves cutting through Griffith Park or taking the exit of the 2 Freeway south, taking Glendale/ Alvarado and getting onto the Harbor Freeway around 3rd Street. It's tricky unless you are intimately familiar with when to change lanes.)
mlgb is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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I'll vote for mlgb's suggestion of making your way to an overnight stay in Burbank Sunday night. The trip back to LAX the next day will be very busy, and you MUST plan to be on the road by 4:30 PM to ensure getting back to LAX in time (5 PM would really be cutting it too close). The route mlgb suggests is the easiest (and the best IMHO), although a number is transposed; It's I-5 south to CA/I-110 S to I-605 W. Get off at Sepúlveda Blvd Northbound, carefully follow the signs to Rental Returns.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Yes rjw is right about the "110" Harbor. But the Century is the "105" not the "605".
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Whoops!!! Thanks for catching that-- I guess I got confused (when I take the 105 home, I go to its end-- the 605)!!

One more time: I-5 S to CA/I-110 S to I-105 W to Sepúlveda North to Rental Returns. IF the 105 gets balled up just after the I-405 interchange, get off at Nash Street. Make a right at the end of the off-ramp onto Imperial Highway (you'll be heading west), then turn right onto Sepúlveda. Again, carefully follow the signs to get to Rental Returns.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Maybe I'm the one who is confused here, but travellator said 6pm is the deadline for being back at LAX.

I wouldn't dream of leaving Burbank any later than 3pm, especially if I didn't know LA and wasn't an aggressive LA driver.

Actually, I'd make that 2:30pm.

Is everybody factoring in here the time it takes to drop off a rental?

How long is this Warner Bros tour?

nessundorma is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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nessundorma: We're only talking a distance of some 30 miles, more or less. On the freeways mlgb is suggesting, even given a busy afternoon, it's maybe a 60-70 minute drive. Ninety, if there's an accident.

Rental return should be relatively quick-- it's basically an all-electronic checkout transaction, and some companies can do it in the parking lot as you wait for the tram to the terminal.

However, just to be safe, let's say that 4 PM is the latest to drive to LAX, return the rental and get to the terminal. Getting to a plane departing at 6 PM? That's another matter altogether, isn't it?
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 09:47 PM
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Thanks so much for everyone's advice, i'll take it all into consideration!

As for my return to LAX, my flight doesn't depart till 930pm and since it's an international flight, I want to ensure i'm in queue for the check-in counter by 630pm at the absolute latest.

I'll look at a city map to see if the route recommended by rjw and mlgb is doable for me or if I should stick to a simpler, albeit more time-consuming route. I'm used to being stuck in rushhour traffic so I don't mind either way.
travellator is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 10:28 PM
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I would also suggest staying in Burbank,but only if you have a car, and only if the hotel you stay at has air conditioning. I cannot stress enough how hot Burbank is in July. I have relatives that live there, and you'd think that the 30 minute drive from my home on the Westside to their place in Burbank, you'd changed weather zones or seasons. It is shockingly hot over there! On the other hand, if you were to go to a Jay Leno taping (also in Burbank), once inside, you need to dress like you're visiting Alaska in winter.
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