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1 (extremely busy) day in LA???(19 Posts)
We're going to be in LA for about 36 hours and want to fit everything we possibly can into those hours.
We've never been before so want to see what we can, and aren't bothered about how utterly knackering it may be. Does this sound remotely possible:
Land at LAX about 2pm on a Wednesday afternoon, taxi is picking us up and taking us to the apartment on Venice Beach.
We are going to be quite chilled, and wander up to Santa Monica Pier (might hire bikes but it's about 3 miles so we don't mind walking there and back over the course of the afternoon/evening).
The Thursday is where I'm wondering if I'm planning too much. We have a hire car that I've scheduled to pick up at 10am, so plan to get breakfast before we collect it. So from 10ish, I was thinking:
Drive to Griffiths Observatory
Via Bel Air, I want to see the Fresh Prince!
Do Warner Bros or Paramount tour
Get pic at the Hollywood sign
Park up and walk around Hollywood, walk of fame etc.
Drive along sunset strip, West Hollywood, Rodeo Drive etc.
Go to The Broad
I have used Google maps to tell me the distance/time between each thing, but obviously I have no idea how accurate the timings will be, how bad the traffic is in LA?
Does this sound doable? Is there anything you think I've missed that is a 'must see' in LA. I assume we'll go back at some point.
can't type much now but driving in LA takes about 10000 x longer than any traffic you have ever driven in
Right....think I need to make a plan B...I won't even get started on the fact that we've never driven abroad and am bloody terrified. Hence why we're getting the car the next day rather than from the airport after a long flight!
You probably will not arrive at your apartment much before 5.00pm.
I would not try LA to drive in particularly if you've never driven abroad before. It will be a baptism of fire!. I would seriously consider using Uber to get around (and then you won't have to park the car either).
You're making the mistake of trying to do far too much in one day; cut this right back. One studio tour alone will take a few hours and you need to book those in advance.
You can get a view of the Hollywood sign at the rear of the Kodak theatre on Hollywood Blvd. Parking in Hollywood is also limited and Hollywood and Vine itself is a bit seedy as an area.
LA us not the place to drive if you're worried. Use Uber or other public transport.
We're going to a festival in California (about an hour east of LA) so we need the car for that. We'll be setting off first thing on the Friday morning. As much as I said I'm terrified, it'll be ok. DH and I are a laid back calm pair and we'll be fine
So do you think whatever time google maps tells me something will take to get somewhere I should double it?
Yes - maybe 1.5hrs to get to the observatory. We drive to Santa Monica from Sherman Oaks and it took well over and hour- the freeways can be a carpark.
My favourite place in LA is the Getty Centre and a day there is my absolute perfect day, but I've been a fair bit ( but never to the Griffin lol ) so can understand wanting to do the more tourist stuff ( but prepare yourself) - seedy bits like the walk of fame. If you are heading East you might be able stop at the Holywood sign viewing area out by Burbank way on the way out.
We took a bus tour in LA that covered a lot of places, and ended up at Universal Studios (the proper studios, not a theme park). I think it was Gray Line.
There was no way we were going to do that lot in a car.
Walk of fame is dreadful. You will wonder why you bothered. Second the Getty Centre as superb. We drove along Mulholland Drive. Fantastic views and then you can descend into Bel Air and go to Paramount. You cannot get much of a flavour of LA in the time you have. We drove quite happily from Santa Monica. Sunset Blvd all the way into town avoids the freeway. You cannot do everything so just a few things in a car is fine. Rodeo Drive is pretty boring too except for a few nice cars cruising along it. Mulholland Drive gives you a far better appreciation of the city and the Hollywood sign!
I've read everywhere that the walk of fame is awful, but I just can't not see it!
Thanks for the tip about Mulholland drive, I assumed the freeway would be quicker but would rather a nicer scenic view.
We've just got back from LA, I would suggest picking your car up earlier as you will be awake very early. Heard lots of reports of not being able to get parked at Griffith (we didn't do it this trip). You'll get a great view of the Hollywood sign from Lake Hollywood Park, 3160 N. Canyon Drive. I agree with the previous posters about using Uber - we had a car but still used Uber as it was much easier and not having to find parking was very helpful!
Moralminority - Thanks for your reply.
I did actually email the car company and ask if we could collect the car just half an hour earlier at 9:30am but I have been told how horrendous the rush hour traffic is so I wondered whether it was worth getting it any earlier or if we do are we going to just sit in traffic jams?
The car place is open from 7am so we could get it really early.
Hope you had a great time x
Use Uber - it's really easy and they are quick to pick up. Traffic is awful yes so that will take up a lot of time. Hollywood Bl is a total tourist trap, I probably wouldn't bother unless you're really keen. From Griffith Observatory, you can see the Hollywood sign pretty well so you could kill two bird with one stone there. Original farmers market is great for somewhere to eat/shop. There's loads to see - we were there 5 days and didn't manage to see all we wanted. Despite traffic, it's a very laid back city with a relaxed vibe - the weather helps too...
I'd be tempted to pick it up at 7 tbh as you'll be up very early anyway. We had a brilliant time thanks, so much to see and do! You'll have an amazing time!
Could you pick up at 7am the following day (when you are leaving LA) and just use Uber on you LA day and not have to bother sorting out the car?
We did the walk of fame at 0600 one morning after we arrived in LA and the jet lag had kicked in. No one else there and we took our time, having got an uber there. It was surreal but by 0700 we had had enough. You can see the Hollywood hills and sign from a shopping centre and take some pics which look like you are underneath it on a clear day. However it was a disappointment.
Did Venice Beach and didn't like it too much, went to Manhattan Beach which was lovely in contrast. The observatory was great to walk round but got busy. Driving in LA was terrible even during the day, outside rush hour.
Don't go to Hollywood Blvd. It's ghastly. I have been to CA several times and it's my favourite place to go. The first time I went to Hollywood Blvd I was so disappointed. The second time my friend wanted to go; I prewarned her but she insisted. When she went she was also disappointed. It's grimy and a bit like walking into a brothel. Love Venice beach though and love universal studios.
I think you used to be able to do a virtual tour of Hollywood Blvd so perhaps check that out first?
Disney is close by if that's your thing. I love balboa island if you're looking for somewhere special to go but I'm not sure how far out that is.
I spent a slightly shorter time period than you in LA on a flight layover. We had visited Cali before so were happy to take things easy but all we actually managed to do was Uber to Marina del Rey (nicer than Santa Monica imo), lovely walk along the beach, Cheesecake Factory and a nap before we had to head back to the airport.
I found driving there fine (and am normally a nervous nelly). I would honestly double any estimates of driving time though
and then add 20% because the traffic is bloody terrible!
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