1. #1
    SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Mar 1999
    St Paul, MN

    Default Heading to Los Angeles

    The lady and I are heading out to LA for a long weekend. Not knowing the well, I am looking for some pointers and tips.
    I could use a couple of decent beaches to visit, and decent areas to get hotel rooms. And areas to completely avoid.....
    We will have a rental, so a little traveling is expected. If anything else is wort mentioning, please do!

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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    You definitely want to take in Venice Beach. An I would head on over to Hollywood as well.

    I was there once. Was there for the opening of Sibling Rivalry, saw Kirstie Alley. Talked to a fellow for about 10 minutes after the show let out. Some guy by the name of Rob Reiner.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2009


    Wow... only a long weekend? Lots to see, but traffic really limits the ability to do much more than a couple things in a day. Lived there for about 30 years and still kept finding things. Don't know where exactly you'll be or what you like to do, so I'll give you a variety of things.

    Venice is a freak show beach with a flea market on the strand (boardwalk type thing). Fun place to walk around during to the day. Don't get far off the strand after dark. Not a *bad* area, but it is LA. I would suggest going there in the late afternoon or early evening and then eating dinner at C&O Trattoria (on Washington, 100 yards from the sand). http://www.cotrattoria.com/ It's worth the wait. Try to be there around 8 pm and the whole restaurant sings That's Amore. You could probably do Santa Monica Pier (15-20 minutes north of Venice) with the huge ferris wheel in the morning. Third Street Promenade is fun with street performers on the weekends. After dark it's quite the place to hang out with lots of restaurants, bars and clubs.

    If you've never been, go to Universal Studios and make sure to take in the Backlot Tour. Neat to see how the magic is made. They also have a fun place outside the gates called City Walk. Lots of fun stores and restaurants. If you don't want to drive up to Universal City, try taking in Sony Studios in Culver City. I think they still have a tour certain days of the week. If not, Paramount is in Hollywood and has a decent tour.

    Take in the Hollywood Walk of Stars. It's in the area of Hollywood and Vine. Lots of theatres and clubs up there. Again, on the actual boulevard it's pretty safe, but don't wander off the street after dark. The Roosevelt Hotel (http://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels...wood-roosevelt) is supposedly haunted and lots of famous people have stayed there. Personally, unless you're star-struck I wouldn't waste your money on the map to the star's homes. Usually they are so far off the street behind gates, it's not really that exciting. And with the traffic it's not usually enjoyable.

    In Los Angeles County, Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beaches are all next to each other. Another beach to consider would be in Orange County (about an hour south of LA with traffic) at Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. Huntington is pretty much the stereotypical "surf city" of California. Great beach, usually something going on at the pier and you can go in the water along with the other thousands of people. Newport is more upscale (it has a Ferrari dealership) and it has a neat little "island" called Balboa. Fun boardwalk environment.

    If you're into military history, check out Ft. MacArthur (http://www.ftmac.org/) in San Pedro, near Long Beach. The Friendship Bell (http://www.sanpedro.com/sp_point/korenbel.htm) is near there also and you see it in lots of movies. Also, right in that area is the Frank Lloyd Wright Glass Chapel, Wayfarer's Chapel (http://www.wayfarerschapel.org/).

    If you're up in the Hollywood area, go to the Famous Pink's Hot Dogs (http://www.pinkshollywood.com/). Johnnie's Pastrami (http://losangeles.citysearch.com/pro...estaurant.html) in Culver City is the best Pastrami I've ever had. Of course, there's Beverly Hills, but it's not that exciting and just a bunch of expensive shops and homes. Make sure to have a meal at In-and-Out Burgers, the best Hamburgers in the World. Sunset Blvd is another great area with a lot of *THE* restaurants and bars in Los Angeles. You'll usually see famous people while you're dining. Also, Sunset Blvd has some of the best views of the Hollywood sign and Los Angeles at night. If you enjoy coffee shops, the best coffee shop is the Coffee Bean (http://coffeebean.com/). You must stop at the world famous Randy's Donuts (http://randys-donuts.com/) right off the 405 & Manchester (but get back on the freeway). Philippe's (http://www.philippes.com/) is home of the original French Dip. Definitely a lunch time thing.

    If you have time, of course there's always the LA County Fire Museum (http://www.lacountyfiremuseum.com/) and you can see Station 51 (actually, Station 127 in Carson) from Emergency (http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/Hometow...otos/FS127.jpg and http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/Hometow...sp#Battalion07).

    As far as lodging, it depends on how much you want to spend and where you really want to be. If you are going to be sightseeing a lot, get a hotel near the freeway. You can probably get a decent rate in El Segundo, near LAX. It's a nice area and close to a lot of things. If you plan on spending a lot of time at the beaches, I'd spend the extra money and stay on the beach, probably in Santa Monica. If you want to find a few places and give me names and cities, I'll give you an idea if it's a good area or not. So many places to choose from.

    Things I would NOT do:
    - Leave the LA area. As awesome as San Diego, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs are, the traffic blows and it consumes too much of your trip. Save that for another time.
    - Go to Disneyland, Knott's or Magic Mountain (Six Flags). It's expensive and crowded.
    - Leave the coastal cities or Los Angeles unless you have a purpose. Not really a lot to see there and traffic would suck up a lot of your day.
    - Waste your time at the museums (except for the Getty - incredible views). Same stuff as most cities.
    - Eat at a chain restaurant, except In-and-Out and perhaps Fatburger.
    - Eat at Jerry's Deli. People will say it's where the famous people eat, but it's really a tourist trap.

    Let me know if you're looking for something more specific and I'll throw out a couple more ideas.

  4. #4
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    gunnyv's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
    SE MI


    A quick second on In N Out Burger-best fast food burger out there.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2003
    Canuck Expat May be anywhere


    Been about 15 years or more since I was there, but in Pueblo Los Angeles there is a restaurant called Senor Picos or Pico Picos I think. Absolutely the best butterflied giant shrimp I have ever tried.

  6. #6
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    FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    Apr 2008


    If you're in Hollywood, and like burgers, then the Hamburger Hamlet is the place to go to. Been there 30, 20, and 7 years ago. Always a great place to eat.

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