Which area to stay?

Mar 10th, 2015, 07:43 AM
  #1  
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Which area to stay?

Trying to decide between the following locations: Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, and possibly Topanga Canyon.
It's for a one week stay this month. Suggestions appreciated, the good and bad. Family of 4, 2 of them are teenagers.
cocoacocoa7 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 09:18 AM
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Definitely not Venice right now, the police are having a hard time controlling the homeless population as well as all the medical-marijuana needy that flock there. Avoid until they have figured out the next move.

Malibu & Topanga probably too sleepy for the teens unless they surf or love to hike. That leaves Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach....SM probably better if you plan a lot of trips into the city/visiting universities...museums...whatever. Hard to say without knowing your plans/itinerary.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 09:39 AM
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Santa Monica
suze is online now  
Mar 10th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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I agree, SM or MB -- depending partly on your budget and what you want to see/do while there.
janisj is online now  
Mar 10th, 2015, 12:20 PM
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Fourth vote for Santa Monica or possibly Manhattan Beach.
Limited lodging in Malibu and Venice is not what it used to be, clark is right on about it.
jamie99 is online now  
Mar 10th, 2015, 12:32 PM
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5th vote in favor of Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach. Surely, there has never been this much consensus on Fodor's. Where are the naysayers?
sf7307 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 02:36 PM
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Venice Beach would be at the top of my list. It's fascinating, kids love it, it is conveniently located, and it is featured as a destination on pages 21-24 of the March 2015 edition of Sunset Magazine.

If homeless people and marijana users were a reason for avoiding a place, tourists wouldn't visit my hometown--Seattle. They wouldn't go to San Francisco either.

HTtY

PS This forum is a great place to learn of the fears some travelers have such as the NYC subway system, highways over the mountains, roads that skirt the Pacific Ocean, and Death Valley--to name a few.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 02:43 PM
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They recently passed a law allowing homeless to sleep on the sidewalks in Venice. That brought tons of "new residents" to the area. The police, at the urge of city council members, finally put together a task force. Problems that they're having in Venice right now have made the news almost nightly. Since the visit is this month, I would avoid the area. It really has nothing to do with the "fears" that some travelers have about various things like winding roads.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 03:10 PM
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HTtY: Have you been to Venice in the last 4 or 5 months? What used to be ain't any more . . .

>>PS This forum is a great place to learn of the fears some travelers have such as the NYC subway system, highways over the mountains, roads that skirt the Pacific Ocean, and Death Valley--to name a few.<<

Painting everyone as 'wimps' isn't very helpful. Especially in this case -- Venice has 'issues'
janisj is online now  
Mar 10th, 2015, 03:45 PM
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I gather you are annoyed that I dare to share my knowledge and experience. However, I reviewed what I wrote, and I find it to be exactly what I intended to say.

I said nothing about anybody being a wimp. Fears are real, and I have really learned about a lot of new ones over the ten years I have been contributing to this forum.

I Googled "avoid Venice Beach" and I didn't find the place listed on any travel advisory.

I hope the OP won't be scared off by the personal attacks.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 03:49 PM
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Happytrails , I missed your trip report of your Venice trip in the LAST MONTH. I've been there too and loved it, but somehow I'm believing the locals about a different CURRENT issue.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 04:59 PM
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Good one, NeoPat.

I've only written a couple trip reports, and they were about destinations of interest to nobody--so I stopped writing them.

HTtY

PS There are a lot of homeless people in Santa Monica, too.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 06:43 PM
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There are more homeless in Los Angeles than in Seattle, San Francisco and Las Vegas COMBINED. Tourists generally don't notice them much because Los Angeles is so vast, but when a huge percentage of them flock to one neighborhood, it becomes an issue that could impact a vacation. Or not. The OP can weigh both views presented here and make a decision as to whether or not the problem would impact her time with her family. They may not be looking for "fascinating" or "funky" this trip, we don't know. Some people look for adventure, others for relaxation. But it's not the "winding roads" issue that you suggest, sorry. You can have no "fear" of anything but still decide that a neighborhood with increased police activity and sirens is not what you are looking for this trip.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 07:11 PM
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It's not that the homeless in Venice (and Santa Monica) are sometimes violent, the Oakwood section of Venice has a very serious gang problem. You may not wander into Oakwood, but there's nothing keeping the gangs only in Oakwood.

I live in Manhattan Beach. I admit to home town bias, but I don't understand the tourist appeal of staying in Venice. Go there for a day of sightseeing on Abbott Kinney and Main Street, but stay somewhere else.
Jean is online now  
Mar 13th, 2015, 09:51 AM
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I'm booked to stay in Venice next week, at a hotel I've used many times before. I like it because it's a good location for visiting DS, and I can walk along the beach path.

I'm not a fan of the 'boardwalk' section and all the huksters, so I usually head south toward Marina del Rey, or I walk in the canal neighborhood and then start at the beach above the boardwalk area to walk north.

Where is the Oakwood section of Venice?

I'll report back.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 02:57 PM
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Oakwood is (very roughly) south of Rose, west of Lincoln, east of Main/Abbott Kinney, north of California. In other words, most of Venice and less than a mile from Speedway, but what lives in Oakwood doesn't always stay in Oakwood. There was a drive-by shooting in front of Venice H.S. a year or so ago, just as classes were ending. Rivalries with other gangs (esp. Culver City) have ebbed and flowed over the past decades, but violence has never ended. The victims are usually gang members (one anti-crime activist/journalist was assassinated), but you only have to be in the wrong place, wrong time, once.

I don't think I'd walk after dark in many places in Venice.
Jean is online now  
Mar 13th, 2015, 07:52 PM
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The thing about gang violence is that they aren't just randomly attacking people. They know their targets.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 09:16 PM
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Yeah, but they're not always good shots.
Jean is online now  
Mar 13th, 2015, 09:25 PM
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Tabernash2: >>The thing about gang violence is that they aren't just randomly attacking people. They know their targets.<<

That is just silly.

In the last year there have been several cases where totally innocent bystanders/passersby have been wounded or killed in gang cross fire. One mother was killed shielding her 3yo - she was just taking him to the barber for his first haircut and 5 gang punks decided to 'dis' each other and have a fire fight. She died w/ her 3 yo lying under her.

And here is an eerily similar situation just yesterday in Oakland

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/m...s-run-29555399

true it isn't Venice . . but to say gangs aren't a danger to 'civilians' is just plain wrong.
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