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LA with no plans

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1. Posted by Ricardo (Budding Member 79 posts) 8y

Hey guys, just after a bit of advice. We fly into LA next week for the last week of our 1 year trip. As its the last week we have done little homework about LA and the things you should see there. We have also heard some bad stories about the place.
I just wanted to know what people think are the must sees in LA and also was after a few do's and dont's. Any help would be massively appreciated

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

My opinion - head south (take the train to San Diego). San Diego has a better beach, lower prices, access to Mexico via Tijuana Trolley.

LA is one big maze of freeways - impossible to navigate without a car. Nothing but shopping malls and housing tracts repeated 1,000 times!

3. Posted by pranavc (Respected Member 316 posts) 8y

OK. Here is a list of some of the "not to be missed" highlights in the LA area:

1) Universal Studios - give yourself a day for this
2) Live taping of the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno". I attended one of these last year and it was awesome.
3) Venice Beach
4) Manhattan Beach
5) Beverly Hills

If possible, try and stay at one of the beach towns (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Venice Beach, Santa Monica) as opposed to the city itself. The city isn't all that great but the beach towns epitomize the romanticized image that most people have in their minds when it comes to LA. I hope this helps.


4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 8y

As a 30-year resident of the LA resident (although I now live in northern California), here is my list of the "must-see" things to do and see in the LA area:

(1) Huntington Library and Gardens (in San Marino) on the east side of LA
(2) Disneyland/Knotts Berry Farm in the Anaheim/Buena Park areas (not very far from each other, so I listed them as one thing)
(3) Venice Beach/Santa Monica cliffs--once again, these are very close to each other, so I listed these as one thing to do
(4) Driving PCH (Pacific Coast Highway--Highway 1) from Sunset Beach down to Laguna Beach (experience the real California experience in one short drive); and
(5) Take a day trip to one of the following places: Palm Springs, with its aerial tramway and lots of swimming pools in the desert; Santa Barbara--visiting the mission and state street and the beach with its many open air markets; or San Diego, with its Mission Bay, Gaslight District, Old San Diego, La Jolla, Del Mar Horserace Track--and nearby Mexico available.


5. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 8y

[quote=Calcruzer](2) Disneyland/Knotts Berry Farm in the Anaheim/Buena Park areas (not very far from each other, so I listed them as one thing)



I am just wondering if this is worth doing, my girlfriend and I are due to be in LA in about 5 weeks and she is adamant that she wants to go to DisneyLand, i am not as 'keen' as I get the impression it is gonna be mega this correct? Do you know how much it would be?

This is on top of San Diego Zoo and Sea world, are they all worth doing?


6. Posted by emilybrit (Budding Member 61 posts) 8y

If your a thrill seeker get yourself to the Six Flags theme park just outside of LA... it is without a doubt the best theme park I've ever been too in terms of crazy rides.. ammmmmazing!!

You can get cheap deals thru your hostel.. its well worth a visit, enjoy :)

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 8y

Here are the Disneyland prices--including special deals if you decide to go for multiple days:

If you have family or friends in Southern California, you can sometimes get about 15% off the basic ticket price for a single day visit by using a Disney Pass card that is available to anyone that works at a large company in the local (southern California) area. (Also, sometimes you can get these from travel agents or the Automobile Association of Southern California just by visiting an office before going to the park).


8. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 8y

Here is the Sea World site:

and here is the deal on the San Diego Zoo:

Disneyland, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo are the big three to go to along with Universal Studios (near Hollywood)and the Seven Flags resort (which is way north of town in Valencia--like 40 miles away from downtown and 70 miles from Anaheim where Disneyland is.

What to do depends upon how much time and money you have. Disneyland is the most costly, but is the best as long as the lines aren't too long. Nowadays you can pay extra to "cut to the front of the lines", but I find the best deal is to just get to the parks early, early, early when they first open (before the little kiddies and their parents swamp the place). It's one price to go see everything, so go to the most popular rides early in the day--and then again right at lunchtime (when everyone else is eating), then again at dinner (when everyone else is eating), and at night (when the little kids and their parents have gone home). Just work your eating schedule to eat at the unusual times of the day and go to the most popular rides (the so-called E ticket rides, like the Submarine Ride, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Carribean, Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Jungle Safari, Runaway Mine Train and the Enchanted Tiki Room first and skip the rides you find at the front of the park right where you enter (including just going right past main street to the popular ones I've mentioned).

P.S. I haven't been to Disneyland for about 7 years (probably because I used to go about 9 times every summer when I only lived 10 miles away), so I'm not the one who can tell you what's most popular (and what the new rides are)--hopefully someone else can help you out with that.

As far as Sea World and the San Diego Zoo, I really enjoy them both--but then I also enjoy riding waverunners or sailing on Mission Bay, so there are lots of fun things to do. I think the San Diego Zoo is much better than the Wild Animal Park (which is also 35 miles north of town), so definitely choose the Zoo or Sea World over that park.


9. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 8y

Oh, one other thing--one "ride" you can do at Disneyland even when it is swamped with people that is a lot of fun is going over to the Tom Sawyer Island. It may not sound like much fun, but getting lost in all the caves, and going across the rope bridges and barrel bridges is a blast and will bring out the "kid" in you and your girlfriend--and generally, there are no "lines" once you get over on the island.

Enjoy yourselves