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Julie from Nashville asked

Non-driver in L.A.

I’ve never driven a day in my life and I’m coming to L.A. next month. Obviously it’s too late to learn! Can someone tell me the best way to get around? I’m a single woman coming alone who just wants to see L.A.! 

Los Angeles (California)

2 Answers
answered first by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Believe it or not, there is actually a public bus system in L.A. (although it’s amazing how many residents have never set foot on it) and even a subway. I took them for years before I had a car and I can tell you that although they will get you from A to B, they are definitely not super-reliable as they are in say New York or Paris, and, quite honestly, not super-safe or even all that clean a lot of the time. I could tell you all kinds of stories! That said, I think that if you’re using them during the day, you’ll be alright, especially if you take the subway downtown or the bus on major cross streets like Santa Monica boulevard. What I would NOT do, is take them at night. So few people take the bus in particular that I’m afraid you’ll actually find yourself alone at bus stops quite a bit. Here's the link to the public transportation system here:

Ultimately, what I would say to do is take the bus and the subway while it’s light out, but be resigned to using a cab service if it’s after dark. There’s an app called “Uber Cab” where you can pre-pay and if you text them that you’re ready to go, they’ll be there in a matter of minutes. 

I’d also recommend staying in an area like Santa Monica or West Hollywood where you can walk a little and not be so dependent on cars!

Comments (1)

+1 for staying in SM or Weho. If in West Hollywood, the busses along Sunset will easily get you into Hollywood. If in Santa Monica, you'll have access to the beach, and 3rd Street as well as a short trip to Venice. You really can't go wrong either way.
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answered by
Z from Los Angeles

Consider staying in Venice Beach and renting a bike. It is the most popular tourist destination in LA for a reason - very colorful and very walkable, and agreat jumping off point. You can spend four days and stay occupied, and won't miss your car while you are there.

In addition to the beach itself, check out the Venice Canals, the Venice Beach Boardwalk, muscle beach, and the skate park.You can ride or walk around Marina Del Rey and ride beyond to South Bay. You can also ride to nearby Santa Monica, including the Santa Monica Pier and visit one of the farmer's markets: Sunday in Ocean Park and Wednesday near Third Street Promenade.

There is a commuter bus between the Marina (just a block from the south end of Venice) and Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) - this bus is nicer than the regular buses, but check schedules because it will be less frequent. In about 45 minutes you'll get to a whole host of obvious attractions on the west side of downtown like Museum of Comtemparary Art (MOCA) and Walt Disney Concert Hall Consider grabbing lunch at Grand Central Market.

From there make sure explore more grungy and truly unique places on the east part of DTLA which most tourists never see, like the The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo, The Original Los Angeles Flower Market, the toy district, Los Angeles Arts District, Santee Alley. There is an art walk downtown every month and an active bar scene, and an amazing twice-annual art walk at the nearby The Brewery Artist Lofts - the largest artist colony in the world.

From DTLA you can hop onto the subway to Hollywood and other places. Agreed that Uber is a great App to use for those harder to get to places like Getty Museum (visit around sunset for a great view!)Hope you have a great visit - enjoy!

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Venice Beach (city)
  2. Venice Canals (attraction)
  3. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
  4. Marina Del Rey (city)
  5. South Bay (attraction)
  6. Santa Monica (city)
  7. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
  8. Ocean Park (attraction)
  9. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
  10. Downtown Los Angeles (metro area)
  11. Museum of Comtemparary Art (attraction)
  12. Walt Disney Concert Hall (attraction)
  13. Grand Central Market (restaurant)
  14. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (attraction)
  15. Little Tokyo (neighborhood)
  16. The Original Los Angeles Flower Market (attraction)
  17. Los Angeles Arts District (neighborhood)
  18. Santee Alley (attraction)
  19. The Brewery Artist Lofts (attraction)
  20. Getty Museum (attraction)
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