The Illustrated "What to do with a X hour transit at LAX" thread | Australian Frequent Flyer
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The Illustrated "What to do with a X hour transit at LAX" thread

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RooFlyer

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INTRODUCTION

Possibly one of the more frequently asked questions. Everyone knows LAX is a toilet, so if you have between 3 and 5 hours between flights, what can you do? I've noticed a bunch of things suggested in various threads, few of which I'd ever done, so on a recent return trip with 5 hours between flights, I decided to hire a car and check them out. And naturally I took the camera around.

So here are the things I did. I didn't do much planning, so I'm certain I missed things at the various locations, especially as the traffic was pretty bad and parking horrendous at the beaches.

If I post a place every day or so, maybe those who know these locations better can chip and add extra insights.

First to cover off on another popular question:

"How long to clear immigration and customs when arriving at LAX (from Australia)?"

Everyone arriving at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) from across the Pacific needs to clear immigration, collect their checked bags and clear customs and arrive 'land side'. The time this takes depends on many factors, but you should never budget less than an hour and if connecting to another flight and sensibly allow at least 2 hours to get land side - that is, before you go through security etc for your onwards flight.

If you arrive travelling F or J, fast walk to the immigration hall, and get a short queue that moves quickly, you can be on the kerb in 15 to 20 minutes. But never count on it.

"How long to get to my onwards flight?"

You will need to be at your gate at least 30 mins before departure. From TBIT, you'll need to get to your onwards terminal - allow 10 to 15 mins walk. Check in? 10 to 20 mins. Security? 10 to 20 mins.

Often you will do these all quicker, but you never know. So allow about 1.5 hrs from leaving TBIT.

So from arrival TBIT to your onwards departure gate, I suggest to allow 3 hours and don't figure on doing anything outside the terminal if that's all the time you have.

But if you have 4, 5 or more hours, it would be good to go far a walk, or get a taxi to several nearby (and maybe not-so-nearby) places.

A few of these follow. Here is where I went:

Map.jpg
 

RooFlyer

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IN-N-OUT BURGER
9145 S Sepulveda Blvd
10 mins drive, 30 mins walk from TBIT

In-n-out 1.jpg

Its a burger joint, close to the end of one of the LAX runways.

In-n-out 2.JPG


Pretty standard US/Canadian burger joint. Seating outside available.

In-n-out 3.JPG


Menu. Some-one recommended the fries so I tried them, although I wasn't very hungry. Not to my liking- greasy and a bit over cooked.

In-n-out 4.JPG

Conclusion: I'm not a great burger joint connoisseur, so didn't rate it highly. But it is interesting to sit out in the sun, watching the planes swoop low to land. As an easy-to-get-to destination with known food and drink about 30 mins or so on foot from TBIT, its probably a good choice to kill 1 to 2 hours.
 

RooFlyer

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Westfeld Culver City
6000 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230
About 15-25 minutes by car from TBIT

Westfield Culver 0.jpg

Its a large mall. JC Penny, Macy's and all the usual other shops.

Westfield Culver 1.JPG


Good under cover parking (and what's up above)

Westfield Culver 2.JPG


Standard stuff inside

Westfield Culver 3.JPG

I wasn't intending to, but ended up doing a bit of actual shopping here - clothes and shoes! Pretty cheap - so if you visit here, you can profitably spend an hour or so.
 

amaroo

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IN-N-OUT BURGER

Conclusion: I'm not a great burger joint connoisseur, so didn't rate it highly.
+1

We ticked this off the list earlier this year. The driver recommended the animal option (apparently a version not listed on the menu) which we ordered.....not our cup of tea.
 

phily

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FRY'S ELECTRONICS

As RooFlyer has indicated on his map, Fry's Electronics is worth a visit if you've got an interest in electronics, computers, etc. It is huge compared to any of the electronics/computer stores in Australia. Additionally, they have a lot of electronic or computer components that are not generally stocked in other stores. So given its size, one could easily enjoy 1-2 hours there. Check out their website, but it only contains a selection of their stock.

Location: 3600 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Manhattan Beach 90266.
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am to 9pm, Sat 9am to 9pm, Sun 9am to 7pm.

It's each to catch a cab from LAX to Fry's, for it's only 5-6 kms, but to get a cab back you cannot hail a cab from the kerbside outside Fry's. Just ask one of the staff at the Customer Service counter at Fry's to call a cab for you and one will be at the front door in 10 mins.
 

RooFlyer

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FRY'S ELECTRONICS

As RooFlyer has indicated on his map, Fry's Electronics is worth a visit if you've got an interest in electronics, computers, etc. It is huge compared to any of the electronics/computer stores in Australia. Additionally, they have a lot of electronic or computer components that are not generally stocked in other stores. So given its size, one could easily enjoy 1-2 hours there. Check out their website, but it only contains a selection of their stock.

Location: 3600 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Manhattan Beach 90266.
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am to 9pm, Sat 9am to 9pm, Sun 9am to 7pm.

It's each to catch a cab from LAX to Fry's, for it's only 5-6 kms, but to get a cab back you cannot hail a cab from the kerbside outside Fry's. Just ask one of the staff at the Customer Service counter at Fry's to call a cab for you and one will be at the front door in 10 mins.
Its the next detailed post :)
 

Princess Fiona

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I'm almost afraid to ask...how is it different from the regular?
More calories :eek:
Grilled onions, cheese and some sort of pink sauce.
FWIW I did actually like the regular fries here. Unlike Macca's etc they actually look and taste like they are made from freshly cut potatoes.
 

cove

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RooFlyer you missed dropping into Costco to get Flemings 20% off gift cards for a better than Rockpool steak dinner.
The In N Out prices exclude tax so it's going to cost you almost 4 dollars for the burger and fries.
Frys is a great place for the hard to find electronic bits.
The Beverley Design Centre in Beverley Hills would get you some furnishing ideas for you home makeover.
Great photos so well done. You can see the Cove in one of your shots.
 

RooFlyer

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OK, I found a pic of In-n-Out Animal Fries courtesy Google.

I'm glad I only asked for regular :)

Animal fries.jpg
 

cove

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If your health professional says it's ok I would go the thick shake which could be your whole meal. Anything that tastes so good may have one or two calories more than you need so leave a little bit in the bottom of the straw to avoid making the final slurping noise.
Never ever run over a skunk even in a hire car is a bit of good advice for driving.

Cove is a building so no I wasn't in your photo.
 

RooFlyer

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Fry's Electronics
3600 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
10 minutes by car from TBIT

Very easy to get to, straight south of the airport. Good opening hours!

Frys 1.jpg

Frys 2.JPG


OK, but what's with the Trader Vics décor? Was this formerly a Polynesian restaurant?

Frys 3.JPG


But yes, its a very large electronics place. Not a glitzy retail barn, but just rows of shelves stacked with all sorts of stuff. I see a lot of electronic components, like an old Dick Smiths store. Unfortunately, they didn't have any of the ONE thing I might have bought - a car dash-cam :(

Frys 4.JPG

Conclusion: I was a bit disappointed. Not sure what I was expecting, but I think this is more for the electronics hobbyist rather than for retail therapy.
 
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