I've booked a Hostel for my first 5 day in California (of 6 weeks)
I've booked the Hollywood Youth Hostel which is 100% for the location, opposite the kodak Theatre.
After reading a lot of reviews though there are a few comments on this area being 'dodgy', any body got any info on this area/hostel?
Also after this we will be heading for 2 days at the beach - probably Santa Monica, any recommendations on hostels?
You don't want Hollywood - dodgy it is!!! Santa Monica is only 30 minutes west of Hollywood - suggest you book all your time at the beach. I like Manhattan Beach - Hermosa - Redondo areas much better than Santa Monica (south of LAX). All of these LA beaches are connected by a 17 mile long bike path.
Hollywood really isn't that bad! We stayed there with our 5 month old daughter in 2006 and I certainly didn't feel unsafe. I was also there last November and felt the same. I do understand why one might consider it dodgy, but a lot of parts of LA kind of had that same feel to them. The only thing I'd say though is that 5 days might be a long time for that part of town. You can walk down Sunset (it's quite a walk), do some shopping and site seeing (the Hollywood sign is easily spotted from one of the 'balconies' in front of the Kodak theatre), but there's not much more really to see. I think I'd get quite bored just staying in that area more than 2 days. But it's a decent base to explore other parts of LA from as there's a metro right there, so some public transport.
I'm not intricately familiar with the hostels, but my experience at budget hotels in that area is that they are slightly worn, but perfectly acceptable for some days!
Thanks for your responses.
The reason I booked the 5 days in Hollywood was for it's location really as we're going to be spending about 2 and a half weeks out of our 6 in L.A so we have the time to explore all different areas.
The other reason why I booked the 5 days is because we arrive on the Tuesday as it is Independance Day on the Saturday, so needed somewhere guaranteed as places for this weekend seemed to be booking up fast.
We're thinking of booking 2 days at the beach after our first 5 days and then we will be heading up to Santa Barbara and then onto San Francisco.
Do you think we will be OK there as we are 2 girls on our own, suppose I should have seeked advice on here before booking really! I just thought it was a great location for our first few days for sight seeing, public transport etc.
My best advice to you is to cancel that reservation - 5 days in Hollywood would be hell! I used to live there - if you don't mind the red light district then I guess you'd be right at home. LA is huge and has many many many places to stay. How are you getting around - as I say it's a huge area, and public transportation is not the way to go (you waste too much time waiting). Rent a car or scooter, but walking any distance would be very hot in the heat of July. Again, I recommend the beach areas, but the South Bay beaches near Manhattan/Hermosa/Redondo are much more middle class and far nicer, friendlier, less crowded. Actually, most Angelinos will be leaving town for the 4th - most head to the desert, down to San Diego, or to Vegas on holidays. That 17 mile bikepath is a wonderful place to hang out - in Santa Monica/Venice it's very counter culture - most people there bike or on rollerblades, but not the best beach for swimming. When you go north be sure to stop at Big Sur and Carmel/Monterey - considerably nicer than LA!!!
I'm much more a fan of Northern California - also lived in San Francisco for 25 years. Now that's a nice town!
Is it really that bad? Haha I'm worried now!
I stayed in Hollywood for 3 weeks at the Super 8, which is about a 10 minute walk from the Kodak. I never had any problems in the area and found it to be a great home base. The public transit system is very easy to use whether you want to take the bus to Santa Monica or the subway to go to the Universal Citywalk. Also, being right infront of the Kodak gives you access to the Starline Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour, which I would recommend if you want to see some great tourist attractions in the area. They offer 24 and 48 hour packages I believe and offer some great destinations including the Beverly Center, The Grove and The Farmers Market. The studio tours in the area are great, I liked Warner Bros the best and check out a concert at the Hollywood Bowl if there is a band playing during your time there that you are into, as it is a great venue to check out (I saw Dave Matthews and it was amazing). Hope this was somewhat helpful and I hope you have a great trip.
Thanks for that feel much better about it now, started to get worried with all the negative comments!!
No Problem! I had a great time and didn't run into any problems. Also, one more place to check out if you want to go for a hike and get a great view of the city, is griffith park. If anything else comes to mind I'll be sure to post.