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L.A -short trip - i need advice!!

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1. Posted by reneehoban (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

I will be coming to LA in May and dont drive. Is this going to be a major problem? I think so! Please help - how can I get between the hotel and the beach and then to Disney and then universak studios? Would I be best to get a taxi? or are there suttle bus services??
please help!

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Renee,
Others from the LA area will offer advice, but there is a pretty extensive public transportation system in the LA area. Beside the bus system, there is a light rail option as well. Try <www.metro.net>
and see if it will serve your needs. Try to include the Getty Museums in your itinerary, both are worth a visit.

3. Posted by rex (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

I live in LA. Not driving can be a major problem in this city. If you can get a rental that would be great. If not you will be stuck taking public transportation. The metro is alright, but you will be stuck on the bus for while going from place to place. Taxi could get quite costly because LA county is very spread out and going from Disney land to to the Studios will be a heck of a drive.

In all this city really is not made for tourism.

4. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member 211 posts) 9y

Quoting rex

I live in LA. Not driving can be a major problem in this city. If you can get a rental that would be great. If not you will be stuck taking public transportation. The metro is alright, but you will be stuck on the bus for while going from place to place. Taxi could get quite costly because LA county is very spread out and going from Disney land to to the Studios will be a heck of a drive.

In all this city really is not made for tourism.

"Stuck" is a poor choice of words IMO. The transit system could be even better -- it's used primarily by commuters from the suburbs, the working poor, visitors, etc. -- but in spite of being one of the largest transit systems in the country, bus riders have often been given short shrift. Nonetheless, it's used by millions of riders (monthly if not daily) and can get you most anyplace you want to go (if not 24 hrs/day). The problem is that the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area is quite large. From Pasadena to downtown LA (light-rail) will take perhaps 25 minutes or so, but then from downtown to the coast can take up to an hour. And many people in Los Angeles, including those who provide services to travellers, are less than familiar with public transit and often do not even know where their nearest bus stop is.

Public transit gives you a chance to see more of the city IMO, and not from a glass cage on the freeway. There is a transit center downtown with maps, schedules, etc. A few caveats: allow more time for travel, don't expect the punctuality that you may be used to from other cities, and do not bring food or drink on the Metro (light rail)! Also it pays to do a little research beforehand.

Between the beach and downtown should not be a problem; you might even find an express bus (if staying in Santa Monica, you could ride in with their morning commuters); downtown to Universal Studios or the Valley is also light-rail; same for the airport, but it requires changing trains and a shuttle bus transfer to the airport (so allow time). There is also rail transit to Long Beach. Disneyland might be more difficult, but here the hotel may be able to help (there might be a special shuttle).

-Kevin
--
Kevin Pfeiffer

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 11, 2007, at 5:46 AM by pfeiffer ]

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 9y

Kevin above is trying to be kind to tourists, but as someone who lived in the area for over 30 years, LA is a nightmare town to go to if you don't rent a car. It's the largest town in terms of land area (spread out across miles and miles--over 60 miles north to south and 20 miles east to west (over 80 miles east to west if you count the metro areas) of any city in the world.

Since almost zero of the tourist attractions are in the downtown area, this means you pretty much have to either pay a cab to get to a hotel near the tourist areas (and cabs cost a fortune in LA), or else you have to spend hours on buses or light rail.

Even the so-called LA metro consists of only a 9 mile long subway system that goes from downtown up to Hollywood and then North Hollywood. Compare that with NY which is less than 1/3 the size in land area and has about 300 miles of subway.

Light rail is one of the two only real options--and this stops every few blocks--and thus averages less than 15 miles to 20 miles per hour--meaning a simple trip from downtown to the beach is about a two hour long journey one way. The other option is shuttle buses than run to specific hotels or hotel areas (such as Anaheim where Disneyland is located) from the airport. I suggest you get one of these--and then confine your visit to sites in the one area.

Just one person's perspective, you understand.

6. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member 211 posts) 9y

Quoting Calcruzer

Kevin above is trying to be kind to tourists, but as someone who lived in the area for over 30 years, LA is a nightmare town to go to if you don't rent a car.

As someone who lived for 18 years in Los Angeles (I used to commute by bus from Pasadena, which is northeast of the city, to Culver City, which is not too far from the airport), I respectfully disagree. Of course, it depends on what you want to see and how you prefer to travel.

Quoting Calcruzer

Since almost zero of the tourist attractions are in the downtown area,

Here I again disagree. There is a great deal to be seen downtown, from museums to the new concert hall, Union Station, the new cathedral, and more, including a couple fun places to eat.

The Metro will take you to Hollywood (as you point out) and a good deal of the way along Wilshire Boulevard, a most interesting street with several attractions of interest. And the Metro will take you to Universal Studios and CityWalk (assuming you are looking for more Disneylike pasteurized city experiences).

Quoting Calcruzer

Light rail is one of the two only real options

If you choose to overlook the extensive bus system. But I think that I already pointed out that one needs to allow more time for transit in Los Angeles.

It's not for everyone, but one needn't give in to the typical Los Angeles resident's assessment. Of course, you'll often get around faster by car (on that we both agree); and if you plan on renting a car (or you are only interested in Disneyland, which has nothing to do with Los Angeles) anyhow, then why not.

-Kevin
--
Kevin Pfeiffer

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 16, 2007, at 4:13 PM by pfeiffer ]