Where to stay in LA? Do I need a rental car?

Old May 10th, 2013, 09:20 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 36
Where to stay in LA? Do I need a rental car?

We are planning to spend 5 nights in Los Angeles in June.

We are planning to get the Go Card and these are the things that we are planning to do:

Universal Studios
Star Homes Tour
Sony Studio Tour
Warner Brothers Tour
See a movie at El Capitan (do i need to book in advance?)

Where would you recommend we stay? And what is the best way to get to all these places? We were hoping not to rent a car, but not sure if thats practical considering our itinerary.
mouseeeee is offline  
Old May 10th, 2013, 09:51 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
How many are "we"?

Usually it's easier to get around LA by car.

Public transportation exists to some extent, but you lose a lot of time using public transportation.

Universal Studios is in Universal City
Warner Brothers is in Burbank
Sony studios is in Culver City

These three studios are not all bunched together but scattered over a pretty wide area of LA.

You could possibly plan some kind of trip(s) via public transportation, but be aware that these bus/metro rides will take up quite a bit of your time in LA.

Here's the LA Metro system:
http://www.metro.net/
easytraveler is offline  
Old May 10th, 2013, 09:58 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12,437
With that itinerary a car is not necessary. Take the Flyaway Coach from your airport terminal to Union Station, and then the metro subway up to Hollywood @ Highland. Depending on budget, hotel choices include Loew's Hollywood, Hollywood Roosevelt, Hotel Celebrity, Orchard Suites or the Magic Castle. There is also a half-decent Motel 6 in the neighborhood.
Take metro subway to Universal and city bus 222 to Warner Brothers. El Capitan and the Tour bus pickup is right there within a couple blocks of any of those hotels. There is a tourist booth right outside the Loew's Hotel that can give you bus schedules etc.

Check the Hollywood Bowl schedule that week, it's a short walk and a fun night, even in the cheap bleacher seats up top. Take a picnic and wine.
clarkgriswold is online now  
Old May 11th, 2013, 07:46 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
It may be possible to get to all those places without a car, but it would use up a lot of your time and it would not be much fun. Of the cities that are possible to enjoy without a car, Los Angeles isn't one of them.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 08:35 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12,437
How exactly does the metro use up more time than a car? And a bus that rides an express lane from the airport is actually faster than going through car rental pickup. The city bus to Warner Brothers takes 20 minutes, have you forgotten that driving and parking takes 15?
With 5 days and such a light itinerary, they'll be just fine without sticking another car on the Los Angeles freeways.
clarkgriswold is online now  
Old May 11th, 2013, 08:51 AM
  #6  
SAB
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,615
While I agree that actual travel time by public transportation may not be long, waiting for public transportation is the time consuming aspect. You cannot just decide to leave and get a bus. Buses follow a schedule, miss one and you have to wait to take that 20 minute ride: sometimes longer than the ride.
SAB is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 08:53 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,541
Makes most sense to stay in Hollywood.

If you don't want to use the Flyaway bus between LAX and the hotel there are also taxis and Supershuttle (door to door but likely will be stops for other passengers unless you book a private transfer).

You can see how easy or difficult using the public transportation system will be using Google maps (use directions when clicking on the bus icon). (I think it works more easily than the official www.metro.net website). Universal Studios will be a snap, just take the Red Line from Hollywood. Warner Brothers as mentioned above is a 30 minute bus ride on line 222 from Hollywood. The only one that involves at transfer is getting to Sony, and I might consider using a taxi for that visit since it will save you about half an hour each way.
mlgb is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 08:55 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,541
SAB, I gather you never use public transportation in LA or you would know about Nextrip.

http://www.metro.net/service/nextrip/
mlgb is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 10:26 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,159
If you are doing this with your family of 4, it would make sense to rent a car and not rely on public transportation. Trust me, it may not be cheaper, but will be less time consuming. For public transport, you now have to get a "tap" card and load it -- the card itself is $1.00 and sold at any metro station. You can buy the day pass for $5.00 (no deals for kids), but trying to figure out how to load the card is next to impossible and has caused our LA ridership a LOT of frustration in the last year. It is so not user-friendly! We actually had two neighborhood council meeting on how to use, and still ended up confused!

Another thing you need to be aware of is that there are age restrictions for the studio tours, and while your 8 year old will be able to do the Universal and Warner tours, I do not think he/she will be allowed to take the Sony tour.

Consider the Magic Castle hotel on Franklin next to the Magic Castle, unless you can afford the Renaissance or Roosevelt.
Surfergirl is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 11:57 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
The city bus to Warner Brothers takes 20 minutes.

I am reminded of a friend who told me it took 20 minutes to get from Grand Central Station to his home in Queens. He left out the time it took to get to the right subway platform in Grand Central Station and to walk from the Queens subway station to his house.

I rely on public transportation in cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City but not in cities such as Las Vegas, Dallas, San Diego, and Los Angles. I like to enjoy myself when I'm on vacation.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 12:04 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12,437
Los Angeles hosts nearly a million tourists every WEEK. Let's tell them all that they need to rent a car.

(And then we can all have a GTG and whine about the traffic)
clarkgriswold is online now  
Old May 11th, 2013, 12:06 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,027
I'm with HTTY, rent the car and make your life easier. You can actually get out of jury duty in LA if you have to change buses more than twice.
jamie99 is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 12:18 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Los Angeles hosts nearly a million tourists every WEEK.

In 2011, 26.9 million people visited LA. That works out 517,308 per week. No doubt some of them pass through town on their way to cruise ships or stay long enough only to take a city tour.

I do not work for any car rental agency, and I am frugal. However, after a long flight I take a taxi to my hotel rather than search out the cheapest transportation and when I visit a sprawling city with less-that-great public transportation, I rent a car.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 01:03 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,541
I guess you also like hunting for parking, waiting for valets, and if you are from Australia or other places, driving on the other side of the road after a 12 hour flight?
mlgb is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 01:07 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,541
happy, do you really equate finding a platform at Grand Central to waiting on the sidewalk for a direct bus?

And btw way, wouldn't most NYC residents recommend using the subway rather than renting a car?

Talk about a non sequitur. But I mean that in the nicest way.
mlgb is offline  
Old May 11th, 2013, 01:42 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12,437
"2012 – Los Angeles is on pace for a record-breaking tourism year, with 41.3 million visitors..."

Hmmm...that's almost a 40 percent increase in just one year and puts 2013 on track for maybe 55 million visitors? Since some of them, especially foreign tourists stay for more than one week,maybe I should amend my previous posting....

Los Angeles is host to almost 1.5 million tourists every week. Should we tell all of them to rent a car?
clarkgriswold is online now  
Old May 11th, 2013, 01:44 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12,437
"You can actually get out of jury duty in LA if you have to change buses more than twice."

I don't know of any address in the whole county where you'd have to change buses 3 times to get to the courthouse. But good luck with that excuse.
clarkgriswold is online now  
Old May 11th, 2013, 03:09 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,541
Yeah nice try. Especially since they usually assign you to a courthouse near your home.
mlgb is offline  
Old May 12th, 2013, 12:13 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,027
Well last time I got out of jury duty on a legitimate medical excuse. And I have done 9 jury duty stints so have certainly spent my time doing my civic duty. Hope the OP lets us know what they decide.
jamie99 is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2015, 07:39 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,571
Please stop advertising Martin. 3 or more old threads.
tomfuller is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO