I am planning a trip to LA in August for about 7-8 families. We would like to go to Universal Studios Hollywood, as well as a nice beach and some of the other touristy things in Los Angeles. Would someone please recommend some nice family friendly hotels or vacation rentals in the area?
How long are you planning on staying? For a large family with a longer stay, I would definitely look at renting through AirBnB. Some rentals negotiate a weekly price and that way you have a "home base" to have some meals. Also, if you use AirBnB, you could split your stay in more than one location. You won't get a weekly rate, but Los Angeles is so large and traffic is so bad that it might be worth it.
As for locations, Los Angeles covers so much ground that it is difficult to pinpoint a place. Burbank (California). Burbank is close to Universal Studios and Griffith Park if you want to go to the observatory, zoo or hiking. Burbank is also pretty close to Hollywood, too. You can stay close at the Hilton Garden Inn or SpringHill Suites Marriott and it is walking distance to Downtown Burbank. That's a nice place to grab dinner and a drink.
If you want to go to the beach, you will have to pick one, but I suggest staying around Century City. That way you can hit North Rodeo Drive and the beach. A lot of music videos and movies use Muscle Beach Venice or Santa Monica Beach.
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I recommend you check out the lower end properties in the Marriott Brand, like the Fairfield Inn and Suites or the Residence Inn. Or you can check the lower end Hilton properties, like the Hampton Inn. Their sites will allow you to map the locations. With these brands you get quality and consistency. They have lots of properties in the LA Area. Downtown LA Olvera St or Pasadena are both walkable. As long as the hotel has a pool kids can have fun. I think checking out VRBO is an excellent idea. When I visit LA I don't stay in Santa Monica or Hollywood because these areas are a lot more expensive. Downtown is really emerging as a happening part of LA. There is a great new train straight to Santa Monica beach. So much to do in LA; great museums and the whole entertainment scene. I am sure you will have a great vacation there.
I think Airbnb would be your best bet. If not, i know The Garland in Studio City is family friendly and they have a shuttle that goes to Universal Studios every hour I think.
Try VRBO - the hotels by Universal Studios Hollywoodcan be pricey. You might also want to check out a hotel near Magic Mountain, I hear the Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando International Drive/Convention Center there is nice and they are cheaper in that area, (about 35 mins from Universal). Also, great deals on Air BnBs.
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