Hi all, Alright, so with my college reading break approaching (feb 17 - 26) Im planning a whirlwind tour for the 10 days. Im flying to New Jersey to visit my girlfriend...then we will fly out to the west coast together. Basically I will be going to....New Jersey, New York, Philly, Atlantic City.......then over to the West coast....LA, San Diego, Catalina Island, and Tijuana Mexico.
1) What to do in NY (remember its february) im thinking...Ground Zero, UN, Central Park, Guggenheim . Anything else?
2)Philly and Atlantic City, anything special to visit? Where did Rocky go runnin up those steps?
3)LA. So far only planned to drive around Malibu, Santa Monica, Walk around Hollywood, day cruise off the coast to Catalina Island, catch a Lakers game. What else?
4)San Diego. Going to sea world (discounted tix info?), anything else to see around San Diego?
5)Tijuana. Just spending an afternoon there. Never been, dunno what to do, other than not drinking the water.
Anyone got suggestions for hotels?
Dont want to do amusement parks other than sea world.
Any suggestions welcome.
I have a few tips for you. Santa Monica's great, but you'll have the most fun at Venice Beach, just south of Santa Monica. It really should be seen on a weekend when all the locals come out to play, or if you can't do that, at least shoot for a Friday or holiday (such as presidents day, feb 20). It's also home to the famous "muscle beach" Gold's Gym where everyone stops to watch the body builders in action. There are all kinds of performers doing street acts which draw big crowds. It's the best spot for people watching, too.
Also, believe it or not, the J. Paul Getty museum is worth a visit just for the incredible 360 degree views you'll get of the city. It's free except for parking. And if you like art, you can wander into one of the galleries, but the view is to die for. If you don't mind crowds and have a spare day, you might like downtown L.A. where you can start at the main Central Market, which feels like Mexico. The main streets in that area are great for shopping, and discount clothing is popular in the downtown area called "the garment district". From there, you're right near Chinatown, which is small but interesting.
I stayed at the Motel 6 (cheap for California, but clean) last time I was there, in Hollywood, which was convenient for that area & downtown, but a bit far to the beach. Everything is very spread out there, so wherever you stay will not be convenient for EVERYTHING. There's another Motel 6 near the airport & I stayed there a few nights, too. It was fine, and closer to the beach. The trains are good, though & buses aren't bad.
As for Tijuana, there is a main area where all the tourists go, and I'm sure you'll just stumble upon it by accident. They usually recommmend parking at the border and taking a bus or taxi into town, unless you buy the extra insurance. Actually, from San Diego, you can probably arrange for a cheap tour or at least bus ride to the border. It can be fun, but obviously, use the basic precautions that you would in any poor area and watch your belongings (purses especially). Most of the people there are really very friendly and wonderful, but it only takes one to ruin your day.
Have a great trip & feel free to drop me a note if I can help further. Cheers, Deb
Basically, the california portion of the trip is from a wednesday morning to sunday morning. Will do san diego wed, and thurs morning. LA is saved from thursday afternoon till sunday. everyone says to do santa monica on saturday, as it would most packed. do u recommend driving to santa monica or takin a cab. Is there lots to do around santa monica/venice beach (ie. can you spend a whole day there, and end off at a nice dinner restaurant) The museum and other places to get a great view are where? driving better or cab?
Thanks for the info.
The Getty Center Los Angeles is a must do.http://www.getty.edu/visit/
West Hollywood has lots of swanky bars and restuarants and close to the Getty. The Ramada Culver City is nice and very to Venice, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood using the 405 freeway. Obviously Hollywood is near West Hollywood.
Hire a car -- user a rental car. Los Angeles is very spread out and cab would be probably 5 times the cost of a daily car rental. Be prepared for traffic as you drive -- allow time for traffic. I would also use your car rental to take an adventurous drive on Mulholland (just type it into yahoo maps).
10 days is a very short period of time. If you can add more days to your west coast trip, I would recommend that as the east coast will be in winter season); if not, spend more time in NYC.
Here is what I would do...
NYC? The MOMA... (modern art museum...) great stuff. Also the Metropolitan Museum in Central Park is good. Pass on the UN....
Southern Cal? Hmmm... Go to Vegas instead. Actually... San Diego is very nice.
Thanks for the tips guys.
The getty looks amazing. The parking fee is very reasonable considering the free entrance. What other places are good places to get great views. I already have a car rental ready. Its a convertible, would that be recommended in the middle of feb? (keep in mind that i am from Calgary, Canada and 32F and under would be the only time wehre i would not drive topless)
We have the Met on our list, which is better, moma or met?
In la we are just gonna get a cheap ($60-$80) hotel cuz we plan on having a VERY busy schedule. In San Diego we have an entire evening just to relax, so would like a room with a view for under $150/night, suggestions?
To answer your question about how much time can you spend in Santa Monica, well, I spent 4 years there, hehe. But seriously, once you walk to the end of the short pier, unless you like the arcade games, you're done in 20 minutes. Just up from the beach is a pedestrian street (no cars allowed) which is fun for another 1/2 hour of window shopping, or a place for a nice meal. That's why you need to go to Venice next! You can actually walk there from Santa Monica if you enjoy it; walk along the beach sidewalk, south, for about 20 minutes and you're there. Or just jump in the car and find another lot... but things get crowded so if you're parked already, you might want to stroll, or this would be your one spot where a cab would be worth it since it's a short distance. Venice is pretty much for the daytime only, from what I recall, so it might be best to start your day there, then wander up toward Santa Monica toward the later part of the day, where you can definitely find good restaurants and some nightlife. Enjoy! Deb