How do I find out about what shows we can see while we're out there, such as the Ellen show and Price is Right? What hotels are reasonable and safe to stay at? We want to visit LA and Hollywood in January.
Go online and look up the shows you want to see. Tapings are free. The schedules are a little erratic, so that is a factor. Some shows will be taping in January and some will not. You can usually reserve tickets online. You will need to pick the area where you want to stay regarding hotels. LA is very spread out. Except for places like Beverly Hills (although there may be some deals there) most areas have a range of hotels in terms of pricing. Hollywood is largely overpriced and can be a little seedy. However, West Hollywood has some nice areas. Also some of the areas around Hollywood-- including in the valley areas like Burbank will have some good deals. Santa Monica is beautiful and by the ocean, but beware that traffic in that area has gotten very congested. Culver City and Mid- Wilshire might also be appealing depending on where you want to go. Culver City is home to Sony Studio which has a nice tour and also has some shows taping on the lot like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune (not sure which others are taping there now).
We booked the James Corden show through 1iota. That site also books other TV shows. We stayed in an apartment on Sunset and Hayworth which was fab and very convenient for Hollywood Beverly Hills Santa Monica and Venice Beach and Boardwalk There was a 24 hour concierge and we always felt safe walking in the area even late at night. Having an apartment allowed us a lot of freedom that we might not have in a hotel and it was good value, had a communal pool, gym and roof-top lounge area.
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I think Pasadena is a great place to stay while visiting LA. Unlike many other parts of the city, downtown Pasadena is walkable with lots of shopping and restaurants. The architecture is fantastic, really beautiful. There are several great museums nearby.
Downtown LA has become very trendy and Koreatown is nearby. Again it is walkable with restaurants and art museums and galleries.
LA is a huge city spreading east from the Pacific. The "west side" (near the ocean) is more expensive. Try to get your sightseeing done by 4pm so you can be off the freeways before the commute hours turn the roads into gridlock.
Beverly Hills and Hollywood are not as interesting as many other parts of LA. I hope your shows are being taped while you are in town.
For hotels I recommend you look at Best Westerns or Marriot Residence Inns or Fairfield by Marriott. You get the Marriott quality but at a lower price. These hotel brands are in many different LA locations. The hotel sites will map the locations so you understand the area you will be staying in.
When I visit LA I always try to get a hotel with a nice pool. A rooftop pool with a bar and view is my ideal.
Check out 1iota.com for free tickets to shows that are going on while you're in town.
Call ABC, NBC, CBS and other networks. Call Chamber of Commerce and Arts Council.
Call 818-295-2700 for ticketing info. Call The Convention Bureau 800-228-2452 for visitor info.