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Two days in LA what would be your must dos

(30 Posts)
ginforall Fri 30-Aug-19 10:33:24

I've been to LA before and didn't love it, but we're flying into there in Oct before a mini Southern California road trip and it makes sense to spend a couple of nights there. We'll have an 11 yr old and 6 yr old, any must do things or things that I can do to make me fall in love with the place?

OP’s posts: |
lboogy Fri 30-Aug-19 10:34:32

Universal studios tour
The zoo isn't too far so you can fit that in
The aquarium

Plasebeafleabite Fri 30-Aug-19 10:36:07

Venice beach and the Santa Monica funfair

We did a fun homes of the stars open top jeep trip

ginforall Fri 30-Aug-19 10:43:04

Thank you both.

Would you go for the full day at Universal Studios Iboogy? I have looked at it and I'm tempted but it is pricey and wondered if it would be worth it, especially for the 6 yr old. We're heading to San Diego so will most likely go to the zoo there.

Santa Monica pier was one of the only things I liked last time so will most likely spend a morning there. Did you get to see many homes or was it just driving past lots of gates Please?

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haggisaggis Fri 30-Aug-19 11:05:20

We had 3 days in LA in July. We spent 2 days doing a hop on and off bus tour which enabled us to see Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier which were fun. We also stopped at Rodeo Drive (but probably a bit boring for your kids - mine are older teens and into labels!) and Hollywood Boulevard which is really tacky but you can see the handprints at the fron of the Chinese Theatre & a view of the Hollywood sign from the shopping mall at Hollywood & Highland. The tour also took us past the La Brea Tar Pits and that looked quite interesting but we didn't have time to stop. There were also a few museums in that area which could be fun.
We had around 4 hours at Universal. The studio tour was very good, but probably because it was mid summer the place was mobbed and the queues horrendous. We did not think the other rides were worth the queues but might be OK in October. The Harry Potter themed bit was good and may appeal to your dc.

Plasebeafleabite Fri 30-Aug-19 11:07:05

Mainly gates and security of the biggest stars

Saw Justin Timberlakes bins grin

Saw homes though of the old studio stars and you do get great views of Bel Air and good commentary -I would still recommend it

lboogy Fri 30-Aug-19 11:25:23

You don't have to do all day at universal studios. We did half a day. You can then go for a quick tour around LA zoo. We got a go Los angles card which entitled you to entry for loads of things for about £60. It's normally 72 per person. You can get discounts on the face price by scouting round. You can also do the tour bus of the stars and the tour of the stars homes. It's a great one stop shop tourist card.

lboogy Fri 30-Aug-19 11:27:02

And yes all you see is the gates of the stars homes. Bit disappointing but they deserve privacy too.

Be aware that the tour guides are shameless in asking for tips so factor that in as part of your costs.

chrismartinsfuturewife Fri 30-Aug-19 11:44:26

Griffith Observatory - park at the bottom in the Greek theatre car park - lovely walk up to the Observatory. Amazing views of L.A and you will see the Hollywood sign from a distance.

Santa Monica then a drive up to Malibu

Enjoy California 😀

ginforall Fri 30-Aug-19 17:03:06

Thanks all, will be doing some googling and checking out all your suggestions. I just can't seem to get excited about the LA section of our trip so all your suggestions are very much appreciated.

chrismartinsfuturewife I do like the idea of driving up to Malibu but not sure how good the weather will be end of Oct, are the beaches there worth the drive?

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gegs73 Fri 30-Aug-19 17:10:09

If you decide to visit Hollywood Boulevard, your children might also like to go to Dave and Busters which is a huge amusement arcade. From memory, there are certain times when you can pay a set price for 1 hour on all the games.

ginforall Fri 30-Aug-19 17:17:56

thanks gegs73 that sounds like the type of thing they (and my DH) would love. Will look it up.

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Jimjam68 Fri 30-Aug-19 21:22:37

Try this LA in a day tour - you see all the main sights. Really good day - www.adayinlatours.com/

BubblesBuddy Fri 30-Aug-19 22:53:18

I think you could find something of interest at The Getty Centre. Great views and the best building in LA. Go to Santa Monica and go to the Getty Villa at Malibu.

If the Max Factor factory museum of Hollywood costumes is still there, go and have a look. Go to Paramount Studios. Visit nearby Bel Air. Drive along Mulholland Drive and finish with a view of the Hollywood sign. Stroll along Venice beach.

Keep away from tacky grubby central areas. Stars with gum all over them were horrible. Judy Garland’s was outside McDonalds. We walked away. Waste of time when there are great things to see.

twingygirl Sat 31-Aug-19 00:03:51

For those ages, the California Science Center is perfect. It's free, too! The space shuttle is there, plus tons of interactive exhibits. The Museum of Natural History is on the same campus. Pacific Park on the Santa Monica pier is fun, and you can rent bikes nearby and bike up and down the beaches for miles. If it's a warm day, drive up to Malibu and eat and swim at Paradise Cove (https://www.paradisecovemalibu.com/). Don't go to the beach there....the parking is insane if you don't get validated by the restaurant. I second Griffith Observatory. If you're there on Sunday, try LA Live Steamers nearby. (http://lalsrm.org/) Get some dinner at one of the many Korean Barbeque restaurants in Korea Town. Grill your meat at your table--kids love cutting it with the big scissors. Road to Seoul is a good one, but there are dozens in that neighborhood.

tryingtobebetterallthetime Sat 31-Aug-19 01:25:03

We did a tour of Hollywood and frankly it was underwhelming. Kind of grubby and seedy. I was surprised.

LillianGish Sat 31-Aug-19 01:31:37

Don’t go to Hollywood Boulevard - completely underwhelming. I’d second Griffith Observatory and Santa Monica/Venice Beach.

ginforall Sat 31-Aug-19 17:19:03

Thanks so much everyone, you are actually getting me excited about a city I don't love - went to the Hollywood Boulevard area last time and was not impressed, so wasn't planning it this time, unless DH is mega keen on going.

Thinking of day one Griffith Observatory in the morning and then Santa Monica/ Venice Beach in the afternoon. Then we're most likely going to go for Universal Studios on day two, looking into it I think my oldest would love the Harry Potter area and there is enough rides that we can all go on together, though it's very expensive (not helped by rubbish exchange rate). Liking the sound of the California Science Centre twingygirl will check out where it is and see if we can squeeze it in. Korean food sounds awesome too.

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squashyhat Sat 31-Aug-19 17:27:52

Go to San Francisco instead [helpful]

ginforall Sat 31-Aug-19 17:31:37

That'll have to wait for another trip squashyhat. Cheap flights were to LAX and we're spending most the time in San Diego which I'm looking forward to. We're only going for just over a week so San Fran is just too far in the time frame.

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Bouledeneige Sat 31-Aug-19 19:59:06

We went to the Griffiths observatory and took in a show at the planetarium. We loved universal studios and did a lot - particularly loved the studio tour and the Harry Potter ride was good. We only did 4 hours it was just right though we could have done longer. And we went to Santa Monica and Venice beach. We did the stars home tour but it's not really worth it - just looking at peoples gates and bins.

LillianGish Sat 31-Aug-19 23:45:59

Universal,is great - I loved the tour and some of the shows, especially the Animal,Actors one. Not so bothered about queuing for the rides, but the kids loved the Jurassic Park one.

BubblesBuddy Sat 31-Aug-19 23:56:54

I really didn’t think much of San Diego. We stayed in La Jolla which was pleasant but the various headline tourist attractions in San Diego didn’t impress us. Too touristy and underwhelming. The beaches are good though!

thetwoshow Sun 01-Sep-19 19:51:33

Just back I agree there's not that much to do other than Santa Monica Griffith obs
Farmers market is nice, we also went to a dodgers game which was fun my son wanted to see trendy West Hollywood but he's older than your kids. In and our burger is fun . We did universal and the youth did Disney as well they preferred universal but they are older.
If we were going again I'd definitely stay in Huntington Beach rather than in L A really lovely beach town.

Soontobe60 Sun 01-Sep-19 19:57:00

Malibu is a long drive away! In October it's will possibly be cold there, not really beach weather.

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