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LA Holiday Advice  
User currently offlineLGW340 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 315 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1287 times:

Hiya,

Planning to go to Los Angeles in April with my girlfriend but just looking for a bit of advice.

We are 19 so can't hire a car so how easy it it to get around to places like Universal Studios, downtown LA, the coast etc through public transport? I was in Atlanta last year and it was incredibly easy to get round the city on the Metro and stuff but I haven't been to California since 2006 and can't remember. Boston last year was pretty easy too.

Any help would be fantastic!

Thanks


Live life from the window seat...
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25429 posts, RR: 49
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1266 times:

Well I have good news and bad news.

Good news is, Los Angeles County technically has the nations largest public bus network so there is plenty of potential routes.

Bad news is that the areas you mention are a bit apart from each other, and not really directly connected by mass transit.
Keep in mind Los Angeles basin is home to almost 18 mil people and is incredibly spread out (some 8,000+ square miles), where you can literally drive for hours and still be in LA County.

For public transit, something like 90% of riders of public transit are economically marginal folks, and public transit has built a network that in essence brings these folks from their neighborhoods into areas of work in the morning, and back at night, not perse connecting random affluent areas or tourism locales.

Not having a car will definitely be a challenge. Yes you should be able to get around, however might require a few changes of rail/bus lines along the way in less desirable parts of town while eating up precious time.

There are some other options if you plan to stay more in the Westside/Beverly Hills/Hollywood/Downtown areas. Starline Tours offers London style double decker buses which allow unlimited hop-on-hop-off ridership for 24hrs on several fixed routes. Its about $30/day.
http://www.starlinetours.com/los-angeles-tour-1H1.asp

To get up to Universal (Universal City) you can take the Red Line subway from one of the Starline Hollywood stops.


Anyhow - enjoy your visit.   



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2117 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1248 times:

There's public transit in LA?  

First off, there's not much in downtown LA. There's really no reason to go there unless you want to go to the Jewelry District (you don't) or see the Kings, Lakers or Clippers play or see high-rise office buildings.

Not to scare you, but the metro that goes from LAX to downtown (that doesn't actually stop anywhere near the airport) goes through some really interesting parts of town along the 105 freeway. A friend of mine rode it once for some reason and a guy with a knife stuck in him came on and sat down leaking blood.

She got off at the next stop (Normandie) and took a train back to El Segundo.

If you want to go to California and use public transit, head up to San Francisco. BART is very, very good around The City and there's far more to do in downtown San Francisco than downtown LA.


User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1242 times:

Depends entirely on where you are planning to stay. As mentioned above, there is nothing to do around downtown really so if you can avoid staying there, do so. You can visit the place for a day to see the highrises and there are some good bars and restaurants but nothing that you cannot see within a couple of hours.

Try to stay towards the west side if you are planning to spend most of your time on the beach side. I would suggest either Hollywood which is very touristy (but also a bit shady at night) or anywhere west of La Brea - Miracle Mile area but don't wander too south. There are buses that can take you anywhere you want, I frequently take them when I want to go out drinking. I have never used the underground here but it is useful for trips between downtown and Hollywood. There is a stop called Universal City but I do not know how close to the studios it is.

Hit me up for a drink soda if you have time.


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5712 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1211 times:

Why don't you go to San Francisco or San Diego instead? Both have much better public transit system and.... unlike LA.... a genius loci.

User currently offlineflykev From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 1382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1202 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

I went LA last year without a car for 10 days and it was an absolute blast! (I was 22 then, 23 now so I'd say I'm close enough to your age)

Top tips would be to stay in the Hollywood area (there's plenty of hotels), it is connected to the LA Metro system, which will take you downtown as well as to Universal city and as it is a major tourist area there are plenty of good food choices for any budget and plenty of people around all the time so it feels quite safe.

Be sure to get a TAP pass, and load it up with a weekly pass / however long you plan to stay for and keep hold of it, because boy is it useful.

The bus network can take you most places, but you really do have to plan in advance - this isnt too hard to do so long as you have access to the internet and I found necessary - a notepad to jot down what buses went where.

Places such as Santa Monica, Beverley Hills, La Brea Tar Pits are all relativity easy to access via the bus system and it isn't unreasonable to say they can be reached within an hour so long as you avoid rush hour.

Downtown has some interesting stuff to check out too, there's Little Tokyo, Chinatown and Olvera Street, and definably check out city hall as it is free to go to the top of (OK its only 22 stories but it offers a good view).

I was once like you last year wondering if I could cope in LA without a car, and I am pleased to say that with a bit of ahead thinking, some patience LA can certainly be done without a car.

If you have anything you want to ask me further please do IM me on here; I'm sure I can help.

Kev.



The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39887 posts, RR: 74
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1168 times:

I used to live in SoCal for 11 years.
It would be a nightmare trying to visit that city without a car.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 2):
Not to scare you, but the metro that goes from LAX to downtown (that doesn't actually stop anywhere near the airport) goes through some really interesting parts of town along the 105 freeway. A friend of mine rode it once for some reason and a guy with a knife stuck in him came on and sat down leaking blood.

Interesting is putting it mildly. The route that goes near the airport goes through the roughest part of Los Angeles. Then the transfer at the Harbor freeway is between Watts and South Central Los Angeles, between two rivaling gang territories.

Quoting flykev (Reply 5):
I was once like you last year wondering if I could cope in LA without a car, and I am pleased to say that with a bit of ahead thinking, some patience LA can certainly be done without a car.

Did you rely on a local friend to take you around?

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
Los Angeles County technically has the nations largest public bus network so there is plenty of potential routes.

That may be true but that is because they're counting the land area that it covers. Los Angeles County is one of the nation's largest counties geographically. I doubt LGW340 and his girlfriend want to ride the bus out to Palmdale, La Crescenta, La Puente or Glendora.
Those buses don't run very frequently either.
Many bus lines only run once and hour.

Quoting LGW340 (Thread starter):
Planning to go to Los Angeles in April with my girlfriend but just looking for a bit of advice.

My advice is to visit Vancouver. It's a smaller city that is accessible by public transportation and you can get in to bars & clubs at age 18.
In the US, you two will not be able to do that as well as not being able to rent a car.
If you're looking for inexpensive fun in the sun across the Atlantic, you're better off visiting Cuba.
You can even get a Cubana IL-96 from your home airport non-stop to Havana.
Public transportation is very old and may be a 1954 Chevrolet but it's fun, reliable and adventurous.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineflykev From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 1382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1114 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
Did you rely on a local friend to take you around?

Nope, we did the whole trip on our own. A lot of googling did help.

kev.



The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39887 posts, RR: 74
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1108 times:

Quoting flykev (Reply 7):
A lot of googling did help.
Quoting flykev (Reply 5):
you really do have to plan in advance
Quoting flykev (Reply 5):
have access to the internet and I found necessary - a notepad to jot down what buses went where.
Quoting flykev (Reply 5):
a bit of ahead thinking, some patience

Sounds like a lot of work.
I think he is looking for a vacation, not more chores.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineflykev From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 1382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1099 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting Superfly (Reply 8):
Sounds like a lot of work.
I think he is looking for a vacation, not more chores.

No one said it isn't a lot of work - but sometimes that is what you get when you plan a holiday.
Besides, some of us enjoy the anticipation and planning of a trip.

Kev.



The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1096 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 8):
Sounds like a lot of work.
I think he is looking for a vacation, not more chores.

It is not as bad. Once he knows where he is staying and has a few places in mind to visit, all he needs to look for is what bus to take. I guess it is not that different from visiting any other big city, a little research is always needed.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25429 posts, RR: 49
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1092 times:

Taking the bus in LA is not the end of the world. Its actually probably not bad if one stays focused on a specific section of the city such as the Westside cities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and such. There are buses almost every minute during the day on big avenues like Wilshire Blvd.

Also an option is taking taxis, especially at night. While they cannot be hailed on the street, often hotels, and and areas of larger business or tourism draws have taxi staging spots.

Part of the homework the OPer needs to do is focus on what he wants to see and do, and where these places are located.
Keep in mind just in Los Angeles County there are 88 independent cities - with Los Angeles being just one. Its a quite a spread out and diverse place, so a little homework can pay off and make the vacation be so much more rewarding.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinefoppishbum From Taiwan, joined Mar 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1087 times:

I live in Los Angeles and honestly think I can't survive without a car. Hollywood is North LA...meaning "over the hill" in San Fernando Valley. The area has more public transit options but if you want to visit Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu area, it'll be very time consuming to get from Hollywood to those areas on public transit (let's not talk about LA traffic here.    )

Is it at all possible to rent a cheap car so that you'll have more flexibility and save more time during your visit to Los Angeles?

P.S. What about Disneyland? 

[Edited 2012-02-14 14:44:41]


I'm a Taiwanese-American living in NYC and LA.
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1078 times:

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 12):
Hollywood is North LA

That is North Hollywood and Studio City. Hollywood and W.Hollywood are not over the hill.

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 12):
The area has more public transit options but if you want to visit Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu area, it'll be very time consuming to get from Hollywood to those areas on public transit (let's not talk about LA traffic here. )

I have done my commute multiple times by bus (Westside-Downtown) and although I couldn't do it on a daily basis, it is not as bad for a tourist who won't have to be on the road in rush hour.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39887 posts, RR: 74
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1065 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
Taking the bus in LA is not the end of the world.

True but it is a real pain in the arse when you have to rely on them to get anywhere in LA.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
Also an option is taking taxis, especially at night.

You might want to tell him how expensive it cost to take a taxi in LA.

Quoting foppishbum (Reply 12):
Is it at all possible to rent a cheap car

He is under 25. Most rental car places discriminate by age in the US.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinefoppishbum From Taiwan, joined Mar 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 997 times:

Quoting lewis (Reply 13):
That is North Hollywood and Studio City. Hollywood and W.Hollywood are not over the hill.

Okay let me rephrase, edit out "over the hills". Ha ha! For some reason, I put Hollywood, North LA, and "over the hills" together as synonyms. Maybe because Hollywood is the east entrance to the San Fernando Valley.

West Hollywood is pretty much part of West LA/Beverly Hills...that I know.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
He is under 25. Most rental car places discriminate by age in the US.

I forgot about that ever since I turned 25.   

Quoting LGW340 (Thread starter):

My best suggestion is go visit San Francisco or Seattle. Los Angeles is not a very accessible city without a car. Good luck planning! If you have any locational/geographical questions, please feel free to send me a private message.  



I'm a Taiwanese-American living in NYC and LA.
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