Suggestions for our California trip!

Feb 23rd, 2010, 06:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 7
Suggestions for our California trip!

Hi all!

My German g/f and I (Aussie) are heading to California in June for about 10 days to attend a friends wedding. Having never been to the West Coast before we're trying to work out what we should be seeing and where we should spend our time. We'd like a relaxing break, whilst making sure we see some of the highlights.

Having done my own research, I am leaning towards staying in Santa Monica rather than Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Downtown LA. Does this sound sensible? Any suggestions for accomodation in Santa Monica that won't break the budget (don't wanna really pay more than $150pn). We'll have a hire car, so location shouldn't be a problem.

Looking forward to Vegas. Recommend any "must stay at" hotels? Should we do the chopper flight to the Grand Canyon? Boat trip too?

You can see our rough itinerary below. Any suggestions what to do on the final Sun-Tue would be grateful.

Thanks to you all for any suggestions!

Safe travels!


Pick up hire car. Chill out in Santa Monica.
Accom in Santa Monica.

Arrive in LA, chillin Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach.
Accom in Santa Monica.

Day @ Disneyland!
Accom near Disneyland.

Drive to Vegas / Chill
Accom in Vegas.

Chopper flight to Grand Canyon. Brians stag party Wed night.
Accom in Vegas.

Recovery / Chill in Vegas
Accom in Vegas.

Drive to Ojai, Californa for wedding rehersal dinner etc.
Accom in Ojai *Booked*

Sat 26 : Day in Ojai and the Wedding of course!
Accom in Ojai *Booked*

Sun 27
Brunch/Recovery in Ojai! Where should we go/visit?!

Mon 28
Day @ Universal Studios?

Tue 29
Shopping in L.A.?
Flight at 8pm from LAX.
llawjm is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,811
Might be tough on your budget in Santa Monica especially on a weekend in June. Also bear in mind it's likely to be foggy on the beach. If you can go up to $250-$275 you'll have an easier time. Or you might try the Sea Shore Motel which gets quite good reviews, or look a bit inland such as the Hotel Palomar in Westwood.
mlgb is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,282
You need to check with any hotel for possible overnight parking charges before you can determine whether its nightly rate is within your budget. I agree with mlgb that Santa Monica might be too pricey.

If you want to stay in a beach town, look at this hotel in Manhattan Beach which is a few minutes south of LAX and just a block from the beach and bike path. You could ride bicycles to Santa Monica (15 miles one way).
Jean is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 12:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 7
Wow thank you so much for your many hints, tips, ideas and suggestions! Very much appreciated!

We're still narrowing down where we will stay (think we're certain it shall be in Santa Monica).

I have one more question, that being the subject of Transport!

A friend of mine has suggested we tackle LA using the public bus & train system. I'm leaning towards the same idea as I don't think we'll really need a car if we are commuting from Santa MOnica into town for the day and back, and then getting to Universal Studios for a day. I'll hire a car and drive out to Disney though, continuing to Las Vegas.


Thanks a million! Matt
llawjm is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
Missing San Francisco would be a shame. Next trip??
iamq is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,265
Honestly, for such a short time in L.A., you will be wasting a great deal of time on public transit to get to Hollywood, etc. from Santa Monica, as well as losing a great deal of flexibility. Plus, you would need to get back to LAX somehow to rent your car on day 3. Since we are only talking 2 days of savings on car rental & parking (less what you would pay for public transport/taxis), I would stick with your original plan.

In Santa Monica, check out Cal Mar Suites:
lvk is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,486
You might want to look at; it's the Hostelling International property in Santa Monica.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 03:56 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 7
Hi all,

Just a big thank you to you all on suggestions for our trip! We just got back from California and had such a wonderful time!

We stayed 3 nights in Santa Monica and visited Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, and did a fantastic food tour with Melting Pot Tours in downtown LA - check em out! Then spent a day at Disneyland, followed by a road trip to Vegas. Spent 3 nights in Vegas @ the Palazzo (amazing) and then a long drive via LA, up to Ojai for a wedding. Ojai is such a cute quaint town. The Ojai Country Club Inn was just bliss! Our final night was spent in Santa Barbara - can't recommend it more highly!

Anyways, I am about to post again about BC, Canada and get some ideas for our 3 week trip!

Take care, keep travelling and thanks again for your feedback!

Matt & Mel.
llawjm is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 584
The Ojai Country Club Inn was just bliss! Our final night was spent in Santa Barbara - can't recommend it more highly!
__________________________________________________ _____________
So glad you had a fabulous time! Even though I wasn't part of any suggestions. You hit TWO of my favorite places in California. Ojai Country Club is almost like an outdoor temple-Yes, it is that beautiful. And I agree- Santa Barbara is a must see for everyone. She's a beauty.
SOCALOC is offline  
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