Vegas to LA side trip - one night worth it?

Old Oct 2nd, 2013, 08:55 AM
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Vegas to LA side trip - one night worth it?

I am travelling to Vegas from Ireland for a few nights from 26 February – 3 March (as part of a bigger trip) and am thinking of possibly flying to LA for one night.

I have been to Vegas previously and really enjoyed it. We have the time to spare so are thinking of either LA or a day trip to the Grand Canyon. We went to the Grand Canyon on the last trip but arrived late so spent very little time there.

Is it realistic to do LA in 2 days? – we would leave early on the first morning and arrive back late on the second day. If so, is it worth a visit? (we are not into theme parks).

Any advice much appreciated!

Thank you.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Is there something in LA (only in LA) that you always wanted to see? There are plenty of things in the Las Vegas area that I like to see better than anything in LA.
If you must go to LA, why not rent a car in Las Vegas (cheap) and drive to LA and back the next day/night?
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Old Oct 2nd, 2013, 09:34 AM
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It depends on what you enjoy doing. If you've seen the Grand Canyon but would prefer to spend more time there, then do that. Keep in mind that it's still winter so your activities could be limited if there's a snowstorm (not likely but possible). Also, if you drive there and back in one day that's about 10 hours of driving, leaving little time to enjoy the sights. It is far better to spend a night and relax.

But if you aren't big hikers and have never been to LA, then that is probably a better option assuming you can get an early flight there and a late one back. You'll have to plan wisely and pick just one area to explore each day so you don't waste half your day driving.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2013, 09:37 AM
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You could do either. Given that I am more into nature and beauty, I would spend the time at Grand Canyon, it's much more wonderful IMHO.

We did, however visit friends in Chatsworth, just north of LA, from Vegas. We left early in the morning, drove to Chatsworth by early afternoon, drove down Tapanga Canyon road with our friend, then along the coast to Malibu then back for the night. The next morning we went to Griffith Park, Hollywood Bowl, and the walk of fame, each for a short look around. Then spent a couple of hours at la Brea Tar Pits before heading back to Vegas. That was plenty of LA for us, so yes you can do some of LA from Vegas over one night (two days), and people do go from LA to Vegas for one night all the time.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Simple answer: NO.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 02:07 AM
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If you want to see LA, then go for it. If you feel comfortable driving on the right, I would rent a car though, not fly. This would give you access to a car in LA, which would make it easier to see the sites in your limited timeframe.

Leave Vegas early and you should be in LA in about four-and-half-hours or so.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 04:58 AM
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People do one-nighters TO Vegas from Los Angeles all the time so I suppose it's doable but you'll be rushed. Sat morning to Sunday night is probably best because traffic is much lighter on the weekends in Los Angeles. Fly into Burbank airport, easier and quicker than the monstrous LAX airport. Earliest flight leaves Vegas 845am on Saturday and latest return is unfortunately 6:45pm on Sunday.

Hollywood is an easy drive or bus ride or taxi ride from BUR, try
Make certain that the hotel will allow you to just drop off your baggage (if you don't have a rental car) in the morning and return to the hotel to check-in in the evening. Nearby is the Hollywood Info booth where you can get tickets for an all day Hop On Hop Off Bus tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. On Sunday you could take another tour or just visit the nearby Wax Museum , Walk of Fame etc.

On Sunday, there's a 4:35pm bus to Burbank airport that arrives airport at 5:10pm, plenty of time to catch your flight at this small airport. Catch the bus (bus #222) at McDonalds restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. Or, you can take a cab (about $45) . Air tickets are at

Note that this is "Oscar Weekend" in Hollywood so you will see all the preparations being done for the Oscars right there on Hollywood Blvd, the street will be closed off and getting to the bus or getting in and out with a taxi may be a little more complicated than usual. Book your room soon. And if you like to watch the Oscars on TV, my plan is not a good one because you would be flying back to Las Vegas whilst the Oscars are on maybe adjust your travel day to Sunday-Monday. If you are there on Oscar night, there is tight security and the boulevard is blocked you won't be able to see much other than limousines riding around everywhere...but that might be fun too, though you'll probably just find yourselves watching it all on your hotel television set.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 05:33 AM
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Hey - just added a comment on Cabo timeshare presentations and while in here (mainly hang out in Facebook now during online stuff) - thought I would add my two cents.

If you have never been to the 2nd largest city in the US - DEFINITELY GO IF ONLY FOR A DAY.

You can see and do plenty - and then decide if you want to come back for a more in depth tip. If you do return - definitely also come down here to San Diego for a few days - where it's easier to get around and less crowded.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 03:49 PM
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agree...simple answer no, no, no. you could potentially (if you run into traffic jams) spend more time in your car then on "the land". if you want to get out of vegas for a night or two...what about death valley, zion, bryce, or even palm springs
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 05:07 AM
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Love it or hate it, there's no place like LA. Definitely would do it.

So much in LA is world-famous: Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach boardwalk, just to name a few. In Santa Monica, there's also Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place,which are only about 3 blocks from the beach.

You won't be able to see everything in 2 days, but you can see a lot. LA is very spread out, and public transportation to tourist sites can take forever. You can check out the Big Blue Bus, which has service from LAX and is pretty good for getting around the Westside(Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Century City, etc)

What you want to see should determine where you stay. If you are interested in beaches, I would choose Santa Monica. Interested in Hollywood or Beverly Hills, then stay near there.

Driving in LA can be quite daunting, so I would probably fly. Check out Southwest Airlines for cheap fares. Las Vegas airport is small, and you could be in LA much quicker than if you fly, even with check-in times. Here's a shuttle you can take from LA airport:

Once you get to LA, you could pick up a tour from your hotel. There are tons of them.

One final thought. 6 nights in Vegas is a long time unless you are a big gambler. Even then, it's a long time because gambling for 6 nights could leave you flat broke. Have you considered staying 2 nights in LA instead of just one?
skyking is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2013, 05:52 AM
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Thanks a lot for the really helpful responses – I really appreciate the advice.

I think we might go with the trip to LA. Any tips on where to stay? We would like to get somewhere for approx $150 a night. It seems to be difficult to get anywhere in Santa Monica for that price (where someone recommended that we stay). I see a lot of places (eg. Omni) that are rated highly on tripadvisor but seem to be downtown that are available for this budget. Would it be a mistake to stay downtown? If so, what area would be best?

Skyking – there isn’t any one thing in particular that we want to see. We really want to get a feel for the LA and I think a Hop On Hop Off type tour will probably be best for this. My own thinking is that most of the time will be spent on a bus tour so that once we are in a good (safe) location to catch that and get to and from the airport we should be fine. We travel quite a bit and given the limited time, would just like to see the main sights and get a feel for the city. We have five nights in Vegas, but have a lot planned (and have been to Vegas before and loved it!) so I think that two days is all we can really spare. We want to spend a day at the Vegas outlets also.
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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Santa Monica is my favorite area, but yeah, it's pricey. Didn't know your budget. It's not a mistake to stay downtown. I've done it. Only problem is that it is not that convenient for sightseeing, at least not the places I was interested in. I've stayed out by LA airport, too, which is even cheaper.

Don't know if you are flying or driving, but if I were flying in for just one day, I would choose a hotel near LA airport over one downtown. More convenient, and most have free shuttles to and from the airport.

One place in the city I like is The Farmer's Daughter Hotel. Quirky and pretty basic, and not everybody's cup of tea (you can see traveler's photos on tripadvisor). However, I like the location. It's on the Westside, near West Hollywood, across the street from The Grove and the Farmer's Market and close to the Beverly Center. Slightly more than your budget, around $180/night, but you are paying for the location.

Hop On-Hop Off tour not a bad idea given the short amount of time you have. It basically loops between Hollywood and Santa Monica. It will pick you up from most major hotels, including downtown, airport, West Hollywood, etc., but I think you have to make your own way back. Not sure about that. They give a list of hotel pick-ups on their website.

Hope you decide to take the trip. I'm one of those that loves LA.
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Old Oct 5th, 2013, 04:27 AM
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Yes, downtown would be a mistake if you only have one night in Los Angeles.
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