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Getting around LA..

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JoKe

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Mar 1, 2012
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Hello collective wisdom...am planning to take the grandkids 11& 9 to Disney etc and for about 15 days. Planning on hiring a holiday house close to Disney. There are several for rent within walking distance. But will need to get to other places such as Universal Studios, La Brea Tar Pits, Leggoland, etc. all the usual tourist sites. plus San Diego for Sea World. Although there is a train and maybe do an over nighter for that bit. Can anybody advise on the best way to get around LA other than having to hire a car. Not sure about driving in such a big city. And maybe parking is exorbitant anyway. Maybe driving isn't that scary !!! Is public transport reliable? Or is there perhaps private drivers for hire without it costing an arm and a leg. Are taxis reliable and are they a sensible price. Any advice on this topic very much appreciated.

Thanks so much
jo
 

Homer

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Driving in LA isn't scary and the urban sprawl means it never feels very big. Downtown is just something you might drive through on the 101 rather than into. In many ways it's easier than driving in a city like Sydney as the roads are wider and they don't try to fight the car like we do here - they embrace it - and parking is cheap and plentiful compared to Australian cities.

Anaheim isn't attractive so I personally wouldn't like staying near Disney, however the advantage given your itinerary is that you'll be about halfway between LA and San Diego so you can cover the sites you list more easily. When we visit Disneyland we prefer to stay in places such as Beverly Hills or West Hollywood and the 45 minute drive out from LA is quite manageable.
 

JoKe

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Thanks Homer. Thanks for the point about staying in Anaheim. I suppose I was figuring to do that because of taking 3-4 days at Disney, so thereby being closer. And seeing the other spots are a day here and a day there...so to speak. It's a long time since I have driven in Sydney, but have driven in England and other parts of the US. Plus driving in France soon. So maybe LA won't be that outrageous. Do you have any further advice regarding visiting LA. thanks again. jo.
 

RooFlyer

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Universal Studios is great to visit and is on the above-ground red metro line . It drops you at the bottom of the hill and you take a free shuttle bus to the top (don't forget top buy your tix to Universal on line before you go).

But I'm not a fan of the LA metro in general. Its reliable, but not that convenient.

You can drive pretty easily around LA and they cater for cars. The Getty Museum also has parking at the bottom of the hill and a free monorail to the top!

Maybe bus/metro it for the first week while you get your eye in, then hire?
 

JoKe

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RooFlyer, thanks so much for those great tips! Testing the waters initially is a good idea. I had read some blogs that implied the public transport system was rubbish and took forever and therefore would waste time. I suppose a reliable GPS should help stack as well. Although have had some interesting issues with GPS usage in strange countries. Not life threatening but enough to cause small moments of panic. Thanks again
 

BAM1748

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Hate to say it as well, driving in LA is easier than Sydney and LA drivers generally much more polite. Draw your own conclusion on why :cool:

If you aren't confident driving and you have the grandkids I would probably investigate a limo service of some sort to visit the other side of town.

When driving, just plan ahead and if you miss a turn or exit accept it will take half an hour to get back to where you were. The kids will think it's great fun. :D

Matt
 

JoKe

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It is sounding like. Driving may. Be the way to go. however, It won't be me behind the wheel. That will grandad's job ha ha. I'm not crazy and I am a fabulous navigator anyway. And you're right the kids will think its fun. But I will investigate a limo for at least a day. That also sounds like fun. Thanks ;)
 

Deewhy

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If you want to get to Univesrsal or San Diego, a company like GRayline will bus you there.

I've done that a couple of times. May suit you. Full day trips offered.
 
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cove

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If you get a hire car I suggest you get a car the size you are used to rather than some oversized floater. Get a GPS in the car and then remember "short rights and long lefts".At a red light you stop and if clear you can turn right if the road is clear. You have to pay first before you buy fuel....and that is it!
We stay closer to the beach but that is our preference now. Our staff are staying at Ayres on Katella and that gives you very reasonable access to baseball at Angel Stadium and it is an easy drive to Knotts, Disney and California Adventure and then of course the freeway to Legoland , SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo down south.
There are plenty of choices of hotels and we have used Embassy Suites at 55 and Dyer, Hilton Orange and Residence Inn when we have a crowd. All were good enough to use again.
In California you drive.
 

JoKe

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Thanks Cove and Deewhy...plus everyone else who has taken the time to reply. Lots of good tips and things to investigate. We were told by a friend once to say out loud when approaching intersections "tight rights" & "lose lefts" when we were planning on driving stateside. It really helped ! I will check out your accommodation tips. I was thinking house as we will be 3 adults and 2 kids so thinking for 15 days the extra space would be good than the regular hotel family rooms. Plus the added ability to cook in and save some bucks. If anybody knows of any great holiday home rentals pass them on. Take it easy everyone and have a great day. Thanks again. Jo
 

ABC1

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I too back up an earlier post, driving in LA is easier than Sydney.. Yep every now again you'll get stuck on a freeway, and the GPS tends to want to send you on to them. If you're going to Disneyland, then I'd stay in a hotel near the park and walk. Arrive at LAX and go straight there, then pick up a high car from one of the outlets there. No fee for one way drop offs with most. San Diego is a good day out.. Straight down the 5 from Disneyland. The zoo is great. We spend a lot of our time around Redondo Beach. Was there last year with my kids (grown up) and we went to Disneyland. Took about an hour down the 91.. It also took us 30 minutes to get to Universal. Wife and daughter were back there in April.. Stayed at Sheraton Gateway LAX and had no problems getting around. We just stay off the 405 and use the main roads like Sepulveda and the PCH.. Car pool lanes are great, can get up to 140k on them.. Cops hardly go on freeways because they only slow the traffic down. So don't fear the freeway..
I should add I don't get a GPS.. I use my phone with Vodafone's $5 deal, or we sometimes get an AT&T sim. Oh and when at Disneyland, go to Downtown Disney and the RainForest Cafe.. Kids will love it.
 

Caversham04

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Nov 2, 2013
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I too back up an earlier post, driving in LA is easier than Sydney.. Yep every now again you'll get stuck on a freeway, and the GPS tends to want to send you on to them. If you're going to Disneyland, then I'd stay in a hotel near the park and walk. Arrive at LAX and go straight there, then pick up a high car from one of the outlets there. No fee for one way drop offs with most. San Diego is a good day out.. Straight down the 5 from Disneyland. The zoo is great. We spend a lot of our time around Redondo Beach. Was there last year with my kids (grown up) and we went to Disneyland. Took about an hour down the 91.. It also took us 30 minutes to get to Universal. Wife and daughter were back there in April.. Stayed at Sheraton Gateway LAX and had no problems getting around. We just stay off the 405 and use the main roads like Sepulveda and the PCH.. Car pool lanes are great, can get up to 140k on them.. Cops hardly go on freeways because they only slow the traffic down. So don't fear the freeway..
I should add I don't get a GPS.. I use my phone with Vodafone's $5 deal, or we sometimes get an AT&T sim. Oh and when at Disneyland, go to Downtown Disney and the RainForest Cafe.. Kids will love it.
Driving is definitely the easiest way of getting around and it's not too bad outside of rush hour. I hired a GPS with the car and it works fine (although as ABC1 says, they tend to try to take you on the freeways). I visited the battleship USS Iowa down in Long Beach; a great trip if you like that sort of thing.
 

cove

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Book the car and do not do an unplanned walk up to the counter. I just saw a senior get quoted 75 plus per day for a car worth about half that at Dollar Car Rental.
 
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cove

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I am in Los Angeles tonight with an Argus car trawler Dollar car rental. I bought the Garmin so should be good.....avoid East Los Angeles would be my tip.
 

BAM1748

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I am in Los Angeles tonight with an Argus car trawler Dollar car rental. I bought the Garmin so should be good.....avoid East Los Angeles would be my tip.
South Central.......Compton.

Pulled up at a set of lights there once after the Rodney King trial was over and the black Chevy next me was sprayed with holes along the front passenger side. (someone shot back from the kerb?) :cool:

Even the not so good areas as long as you keep moving all good.

Matt
 

Boris spatsky

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Oct 8, 2010
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South Central.......Compton.

Pulled up at a set of lights there once after the Rodney King trial was over and the black Chevy next me was sprayed with holes along the front passenger side. (someone shot back from the kerb?) :cool:

Even the not so good areas as long as you keep moving all good.

Matt
Yep, a recent trip from Long Beach to an outlet store via GPS took me through Compton. Never again. Be careful blindly following the GPS!
 

Caversham04

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Nov 2, 2013
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Book the car and do not do an unplanned walk up to the counter. I just saw a senior get quoted 75 plus per day for a car worth about half that at Dollar Car Rental.
Agreed; I'd suggest checking www.rentalcars.com; for a guesstimated 75% of my bookings over the last couple of years (within Australia and for trips to the UK and USA), they've been significantly cheaper than booking direct with a car hire company. Run a quick check against the cost of booking directly with Hertz / Avis etc. just to be sure, but I got a massive saving through them when booking a car for a trip to LA (an open-top Mustang :D)
 

JoKe

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Mar 1, 2012
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So many great tips and advice. Will do our best to not believe the GPS!!! And try to avoid east LA and South Compton where ever that is. Will check out the car hire site Caversham04. Thanks guys. Really appreciate all your comments. Cheers Jo
 
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