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Los Angeles - Disney and Universal, doable with no car and is public transport as rough as I've read!

(8 Posts)
YoScience Fri 09-Oct-15 09:42:05

I have been looking at maybe doing a holiday next summer to LA and doing a few days at disney, a few at Universal, a couple of beach days and some general sightseeing days.

However, I can't drive and I will be on my own with a teen. I have read that public transport isn't too bad from an accessible point of view (apart from Disney which seems practically impossible to get to?!) but that it can be quite rough and scary.

I live in a big UK city, and have travelled in London, New York and big cities on my own with my DC, so I'm hoping that it would just be comparable to that?

Really just looking for any tips from anyone that has done a similar trip and advice on where would be the best areas to be based.

(or if I would be better just doing Florida!?)

Bunbaker Fri 09-Oct-15 10:24:58

I would stay in a hotel in Anaheim that offers a free shuttle bus to Disneyland, then take a bus tour that includes entry into Universal studios.

Details of public transport can be found here

You might find useful information on the LA forum here

When we went to LA public transport wasn't great and LA was geared up for drivers, but I think things have improved since then.

bumpyboo Fri 09-Oct-15 11:58:37

I lived in LA, albeit a while ago and found that public transport is merely okay. You can get to where you want to go but distances are large and buses infrequent, it is not comparable to London or New York where public transport is excellent.
I think what you describe is do able but you would need to plan well. If I was staying in LA with a teen I would stay on Venice Beach, (loads to do and see, and by the beach) from here you could get to Universal fairly easily. Disney is another matter though.
LA is great whatever way you travel in my opinion but you could see so much more if you were able to drive and there is A LOT to see.
I know less about Florida but think actually you would be in a similar position re the driving.

Bunbaker Fri 09-Oct-15 12:14:11

I thought that was the case bumpy. I have been to the US three times and visited several cities. In my experience many US cities are simply not practical if you don't drive.

I was surprised at how large and spread out LA was. It extends for 44 miles one way and 29 the other. It is nothing like New York, Boston or San Francisco, which either have good public transport or are walkable.

Basically most places in the US are designed around the fact that most people own a car and drive.

YoScience Fri 09-Oct-15 14:43:42

Thanks both for your replies.

I am currently taking lessons and (should hopefully) have passed my test before we travel, but I don't think I would then be able to hire a car as i would only have been driving for a short while.

I will have a look at the Venice Beach area too thanks.

I have been to Florida without a car (and with one) and based in a hotel around I-drive it is manageable (not ideal tho!)

Onsera3 Sun 11-Oct-15 18:30:16

I've been to LA twice with a car and twice without. I managed ok on the buses. Last time without car was in 2010. Needed to have dollar bills for bus. Bus drivers were helpful and it was useful that the bus announces stops. There are some unusual people on the bus for sure but only ever experienced harmless interaction personally. I found hotel staff pretty clueless about bus advice as I guess not many guests use it. I stayed at Anaheim and around airport, Santa Monica and West Hollywood. Some hotels have shuttles.

The traffic in LA can be bad and we encountered that last time we were there with a car.

That time my husband had only recently got his licence and we could rent a car- but we were very limited as to what companies could use so couldn't shop around. I think we used Hertz.

You could use a combo of buses, shuttles and taxis.

homebythesea Fri 16-Oct-15 08:09:16

The LA metro goes out to Universal and as far south as Long beach - have a look here

If you stay near the metro the. I'd bet this is far quicker to get around than stuck in traffic in a bus

DeliveredByKiki Thu 22-Oct-15 05:28:08

I live here. Public transport isn't rough or scary, it's just a massive sprawling city which takes hours to get from a to b by public transport. You'd be perfectly safe though

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