What area to stay in while touring L.A.

Old Sep 9th, 2004, 11:13 AM
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What area to stay in while touring L.A.

Our next big trip is to Los Angeles and for once we want to do all the touristy things like Hollywood, Burbank, Beverly Hills etc. We will not be renting a car (too much hassle with driving) and after a lot of research I'm confused about which area would be best to stay in so that we could do these things without too many logistical problems. Is this impossible to do without a car? Thank you!
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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Our public transis system is minimal, a car is actually less hassle. The trick is to avoid rush hour, if al all possible. Do you know where you might want to stay? Hollywood has some interesting hotels, Beverly Hills of course has some expensive ones. Santa Monica is a pleasant base
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 12:09 PM
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If you want a city without a car, come to New York. going without a car in LaLa Land is crazy. that's what the place is all about. stay off the freeways and stick to the surface streets and you'll be fine.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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earl30 is blunt but correct. Please take a second to consult a map of southern California and take note of the scale; the LA metro area is very spread out (including Orange County, it's about 4,800 square miles in area). There are posters who will support your no-car decision, and I do admit it is possible to "do" LA without wheels. However, mass transit options can take hours and can be very complicated (involving several cities' buses and/or trains); for me to use mass transit from my house in Long Beach to my office in Santa Monica involves three transit agencies, two buses and two trains. Taxis and tour vans are expensive options. I recommend renting a car and, as earl notes, avoiding the freeways as much as possible, especially since you may be tying them up when I'm needing to get somewhere (I'm selfish that way, and proud of it! ).

Where to stay? Beverly Hills (and some properties in West Hollywood) is actually reasonably priced for what you get-- there are deals to be found. I'm not a fan of staying in Hollywood, but others on this board differ (and it's actually fairly central to mass transit options if you must forego a car). Santa Monica is nice but quite expensive-- the cheap places are either total dumps or in bad/awkward locations.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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You will absolutely need a car. Santa Monica is very nice but you don't get the feel of L.A. much.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Thanks everyone, except maybe Earl, just kidding Earl. I am a New Yorker and don't need to visit. I'm having trouble getting my bearings in Ca. for some reason but I appreciate all your advice, yes even you Earl! Thanks so much for the help. My husband is not too keen on this trip, he would rather be hiking and camping in Lake Tahoe so I'm trying to make it as stress free as possible so he dosen't say "I told you so" as we're stuck in rush hour traffic possibly missing days of our vacation.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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I have never gotten the inherent need of Los Angelicans (is that what they're called?) insisting to be on freeways. Everyone always tells us to go out of our way to get on one. We take major streets instead and invariably pass under or over freeways where we see all the traffic jams. What's up with that? Of course I get it if you have to go 50 miles? But sometimes I think the locals will go five miles out of their way to get on a freeway to go three miles.

To answer your question, Lambert. I love the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area. But without a car, I think it's POSSIBLE to do a lot from Hollywood, particularly the Renaissance Hotel right by the subway and other public transport. Notice I said possible. I also think a car is almost necessary in LA.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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I agree. The Renaissance is an easy 5 min subway ride up to Universal (several dining options even if you don't go on the tour), and from Universal Station you can catch a 15 min bus to Warner Brothers or NBC in Burbank. To get to West Hollywood or Rodeo drive, you just walk two blocks to Sunset and hop the bus. Depending on how many days you have...if you don't have a car you might spend a few nights at the Renaissance and then move to Santa Monica for a couple of nights. One thing a car would be good for though is hiking, there's lots of good hiking in the Santa Monica mountains.

Magic Castle or Holiday Inn Highland would be two less-expensive hotels not far from the Renaissance. There is also a Comfort Suites on Highland.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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Patrick,
The term I hear used most often locally is Angelenos, which I guess is Spanish-derived as we have a large hispanic population. And yes the Renaissance is an excellent suggestion if you don't want to deal with a car.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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Patrick, good points. If one is not traveling to the hinterlands of the metro area (say, up to Valencia to hit Magic Mountain or down to the Rathole-- oops, Anaheim and Disneyland), staying off the freeways is the only way to go. And really, if one doesn't want the hassle of driving or renting, one is almost forced to stay in Hollywood or West Hollywood.

I don't really have a choice but to use freeways for at least part of my commute, but I have several alternate routes at my command at all times. By the way, I forgot to mention that my mass-transit adventure (Long Beach to downtown Santa Monica) takes over two hours each way and travels through Long Beach, Compton, unincorporated LA County, Hawthorne, Gardena, Westchester, Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica. And not always the pretty parts....
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Old Sep 10th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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Lambert,

I'm with your husband. Hands down for the Lake Tahoe area. We are talking apples and oranges between Tahoe and LA. At least in Tahoe you can breath relatively clean air (for California).

Curious
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