My friend and I (both 20) are going to be traveling about california for 3 weeks. We have arranged to be in Las Vegas for 3 nights, then San Frncisco for 5 nights.
How long do you think we should spend in LA? We want to do all the big type things, although not too interested in the themeparks.
Should we choose to stay in maybe 2 different parts or shuld we just stay in the 1 and travel from there on day trips? We dont have a car so would need 2 b using public transport
How many nights do you have to spare for LA?
Being under 21, you might get bored in Vegas pretty fast. You can't legally drink, nor gamble.
Cut back on Vegas, and add days to LA. For accomodations, you could split time staying between the beaches, and then, Hollywood/Sunset Strip. But, again, not being able to bar hop(which is much of Hollywood's nighttime draw), you might as well get some beach time in, instead, and only do Hollywood on day trips.
Santa Monica is your best bet. Great beach, amusements, shopping, and people watching. Very safe as well.
From there, you can catch a Wilshire Blvd. bus through Westwood, Beverly Hills, and transfer at Fairfax to the #217 for Hollywood/Sunset Strip area. It's not a short ride, but on the "Rapid" you can cook right along, and it crosses many of LA's main tourist areas.
You'll see more with a car, so a lot of people will recommend this. That said, don't believe the naysayers who will tell you you can't see LA on mass transit. Most of them have never set foot on a bus or subway.
Hope this helps!
As Giles said, you will find Vegas boring if you are under 21. You might seriously plan on not going at all. It depends, I guess, where you are coming from. If home is someplace in North America, you can come back easily enough someday. On the other hand, if this is your only chance to see Vegas for many years, then go for a day or two.
California - with the exception of SF - is really best seen with a car. There will be under-25 surcharges to rent one, but it may well be a good use of your time. You can end up waiting a long time for connections on public transportation.
It seems a terible waste to pay for airfare to get here, then pay all the hotel bills, only to spend half your time on busses/trains or waiting for busses/trains. I recommend renting a car if you can.
Anyway, if you are not using a car, I'd recommend about 4 days in LA, then add a fifth to compensate for the delays of public transportation.
Santa Monica is a good suggestion for a place to stay.
BTW, we might be able to offer more constructive advice if you tell us where you are from and what your daily budget is.
I disagree about cutting down the days in Las Vegas. I'm 20 years old and love it! The only thing you can't do is drink/club/gamble That leaves, great shopping, world-class shows, amazing atmosphere, awesome pool areas to chill and meet people. Since you won't have a car, I would cut days in Los Angeles. It's not worth the hassle of trying to figure out the public transportation there. I would stay a couple nights in Santa Monica because there is a lot of action there and the area is very walkable. Definetly spend most of your time in San Francisco and Las Vegas. Trust me on Vegas, you won't get bored, I've been there probally over 10 times now and still find it fun and the most unique city America has to offer. Le Reve and KA are shows you cannot miss!
Thanks for the advice.
We are probably going to spend about a week in LA then go 2 san diego for a couple of days.
Thing is we can't hire a car as alot of the car companies say you have 2 be over 25 i think it is, or it would cost about1000. We are from Scotland in the UK.
We thought we could just travel between places of the greyhound busses. seen some people have given them bad reviews but are they really that bad for shorter journeys?
I honestly believe you will regret it. Think about what you want to do, then look at the distance between them, and finally think about what you will do when you get off the bus. If you can't or don't want to pay the premium because you are under 25, I wouldn't visit that area for a week. You will see how ghetto Los Angeles will seem if you rely on Greyhound and public transport. My friend is doing a study abroad from Australia in Long Beach and I warned her against it because she wouldn't have a car, but she wanted to see Hollywood and Orange County. She now wishes she chose another city.
I don't think you need to have to drink and gamble to have fun in Vegas....If you do you end up with an MT wallet, headache wondering where all your$$ went. You can have fun checking out all the lights on the strip and going inside the casino's just don't linger in the pits...if not there is always the hotel pool.
LA is challenging with a car. MTA.com as the other poster stated is a good way to start. It will be challenging and you will have to start your days early but you can have fun if you try. Santa Monica has a good pedestrian area but the hostel is not cheap. You can also try Surf City Hostel in Hermosa beach if you can get a few bunks. You can rent bikes behind the Mermaid and ride up and down the Strand from Torrance to Santa Monica. You can get a Metro day pass for a few bucks and ride it to Long Beach/Shoreline Village or head the other way to Hollywood and Pasadena. Don't be too discouraged just be prepared to work at it a bit....If you are on the bus or the metro at night be alert as you can pass through some interesting parts of the city.
Amtrak is a little more money to San Diego, but a better ride. Yes, Greyhound is nasty, and not immune to traffic, either. I love public transit, but I avoid Greyhound like the plague.
Vegas to LA: just fly it. So cheap, and a far better use of your time.
If you are still knocking around the idea of a car, try Fox Rentals. I found them cheap and reliable.
And, if you go public transit and hate it, rent a car. I've never EVER found a shortage of rental cars in LA. Never. You don't have to book ahead of time.
You have options. Relax ;)
And, if you do stay in Santa Monica, the buses to Beverly Hills, Hollywood, etc. do not go through any bad hoods....but they are infrequent at night, to be sure.