a VirtualTourist member from Canterbury
We are renting a little studio in Eagle Rock for 3 nights in June at the start of a 3 wk long road trip. We have only been to LA once before and found getting around more difficult than expected due to the size of the city so didn't get to see everything we wanted in our short visit.
I wondered if anyone can tell me if the metro runs anywhere near Eagle Rock? We will have a car but driving in LA is a bit stressful for foreign visitors and I understand parking is very expensive although I accept we will probably have to drive to get around to see what we want to.
As we only have the two full days, I would like to spend one day exploring Venice canals/boardwalk and walk along the beach front to Santa Monica, have lunch, do a bit of shopping and then spend rest of day at the Getty Center. One the other day I'd like to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame/Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Griffith Park Observatory and Hollywood sign. Any thoughts or suggestions - negative or positive on this sights? i know some are a bit touristy but we only have the 2 full days and I just want to see some of the iconic locations associated with LA and Hollywood.
Many thanks, Sam
There are some very helpful LA folks that will surely chime in but until then...
Someone who lives in LA can help you with the Eagle Rock location but if you can find a metro station where you can park and ride then you can easily get to the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the metro, there's a stop right in front of it. From there you can get a nice view of the Hollywood sign from the catwalks at the shopping mall. The rest of your list though looks like it might be better accessed by car. Of the places on your list, that is the most stressful in terms of traffic and parking.
Santa Monica is very easy to park and drive at, there are garages and lots all over the place. Look at Griffith Park's website about parking, we only were there for photos so we parked, shot the photos and left but I think there are some restrictions on parking. Hollywood Forever, parking is available. Getty Center, there is a parking charge but you can get there by public transport. But if you are combining with other things that need a car, then you might as well park and drive.
You might also have a look at the Getty Villa, I personally enjoyed that more than the Getty Center. Reservations are required for the Villa.
LA can be a bit of a pain for driving but it's no worse than central London (and I recally having problems finding parking in Cantebury). The metro web site discoverlosangeles.com/blog/... can help with your planning however.
As stated, Santa Monica has parking structures. The one at the end of the 3rd Street Promenade may be the easiest to be close to the downtown area and the beach.
Hollywood on the other hand is a bit of a challenge. My daughter used to live just under the sign so I'm very familiar with it. The "Walk of Fame" is not really much other than the stars in the cement and it's VERY touristy but parking is available on Highland Street next to the Kodak Theater at the corner of Highland and Hollywood. Close walking to the tourist attractions.
Griffith Park is a short drive from the Kodak. Just head down Hollywood, Sunset or Franklin (easiest) and follow the signs. A left on Beachwood will get you to the bottom of the sign for a hike into that area and Vermont will get you to the park area.
Speaking of cemetaries, Forest Lawn near the LA Zoo has some very scenic and historic monuments (one from my home town of Methuen with links of the chain George Washington used in the Delaware River during our Revolutionary War).
To see some of the places you wish a car is required. The attached map from the LA Metro site (metro.net/riding_metro/maps/... provides the Pasadena metro access. While there is a Metro Rapid Line (bus) that goes along Colorado Blve in Eagle Rock to Pasadena where you can pick up the metro, it is a relatively easy drive to Pasadena from Eagle Rock. There you can pick up the Gold Line Metro to the Red Line to get to the Hollywood area. From Hollywood there are buses that go straight down Santa Monica Blvd to the beach area in Santa Monica. Then you can switch to the Blue Bus in Santa Monica to head to Venice. Another alternative would be take the Gold Line downtown, then there is a direct bus to LAX. From LAX you can take the Blue Bus to Venice basically down Lincoln. As you noted LA is spread out and it takes a long time via care or bus. Since you are so close to Pasadena, check out the Norton Simon Museum. I will try and get back to this thread later. Karl
Yes, you have a lot to do in the few days you have. I love the Getty Center and the views are amazing on a clear day. You will definitely have to drive there. I haven't been in a while so you should check to see if reservations need to be made in advance to visit. That may be the same for the Griffith Observatory. Check their website. Parking is limited up at the Observatory. You may have to park at the area of the Hollywood Walk of Fame - Hollywood Blvd & Vine. The website will have that instruction and a shuttle will take you up to the Observatory. You should definitely check out Pasadena in the evenings. Great restaurants there. I have a lot posted on my Los Angeles and Pasadena travel pages. To hike up to the Hollywood sign, tip is posted on my Hollywood travel page. Our metro system is limited. There are stations in Pasadena you can catch. As for buses, I'm not sure I would be comfortable taking the bus. If you can manage to drive, that would be best in getting around town. Google maps will help you alot. I use it alot when I'm on travel. Really like the street view feature to give me idea what I may encounter. Hope you enjoy LA. I love it!
There isn't a metro yet to Santa Monica or Venice. That is a few years off, so you will need to drive there. I live in Venice so if you need recommendations on where to park, eat, etc. I am happy to help you out. In Venice, if you don't mind walking a bit, you can always find street parking in the the neighborhood (although it gets a little tougher during the weekend). If you're willing to walk 6 blocks or so you can even find it on the weekend. Santa Monica you can park in the structures for not a lot of money but they fill up on the weekends. Then, which Getty do you want to visit? The Villa or the Getty Center? Both have parking but the Villa requires reservations. Let me know what I can do to help.
Eagle Rock is a great neihborhood but not convenient to many tourist sites and unfortunately, none of the sights you referenced are connected with a subway. You have chosen some fun things to see and do. Check out the movie sceenings at Hollywood Forever Cinema and plan on spending an evening watching a movie on the grounds next to the crypts! I'm including an earlier response I gave to another VT member. It might help you plan your visit.
Above all else, please keep in mind logistics--many visitors leave L.A. with a negative opinion due to their frustration with travel. It sounds like you've got seperate hotels lined up for both Disneyland and L.A. This is a good idea since I've spent up to 2 hours traveling from L.A. to Anaheim. I believe you can enter the park an hour early if you stay at a DL hotel. Plan for a full and long day to do as much as you can. Adjacent to DL is Downtown Disney which is free and a nice place to have a meal on your first night of arrival. While at the parks, plan on attending one of the night shows; either Fantasmic at DL or the new light show at California adventure. My favorite is Fantasmic--the new show at California Adventure seemed to be too all encompassing and an overdone plug for all things Disney. But plan to stake out a seat at least an hour before the show begins. (Tip: seriously make use of the 'fast past' options for popular rides).
As for L.A., your options are endless depending on your interests. Do you want to hit the tourist highlights? Or, do you want to discover the gems of L.A.? I would start one day in Hollywood at the intersection of Hollywood & Highland. Nearby, you will find: The Kodak Theatre (Home of the Academy Awards), Hollywood Walk of Fame, Wax Museum, Mann's Chinese Theatre (with star's foot and hand prints). If you have time and interest, look into the starline shuttlebus tours at Mann's Theatre and let them drive you around Beverly Hills and give you a tour of homes of the stars (starlinetours.com/los-angele... ). Note: from Hollywood & Highland, you can take a 5 minute subway ride directly to Universal Studios which could fill a 1/2 day or more of fun! Upon arrival at the Universal City station, just take the shuttle up the hill to the entrance (or walk). Dining option: Katsuya (yelp.com/biz/katsuya-los-ang...
On a seperate day, plan to take the Sunset Blvd. drive to Malibu in time for an early seafood lunch at Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market(yelp.com/biz/malibu-seafood-.... On your return, visit the Getty Museum in Brentwood and don't miss their beautiful gardens. ( For hours, and parking: http://www.getty.edu/visit/hours/). If time permits, plan a stop at Rodeo drive for some shopping and dinner(if you want to wait out traffice). My favorite local Italian Restaurant is Da Pasquale, it is family run and is not at all snooty (yelp.com/biz/da-pasquale-res....
Note: Your enjoyment will rely heavily on your logistical planning. Make sure you know where you are going and have specific driving directions. Also, plan around heavy traffic times when sightseeing. For instance, plan on getting on the Road from the Getty Museum by 4pm.
Let me know if you have any specific interests you'd like me to address. And have a great visit!