First start by telling us your hotel budget per night, and also let us know if you are planning on renting a car while here. Also, how many days/nights are you coming out for? The LA area is very spread out - Disneyland, for example, is about an hour south of downtown Los Angeles and most of the other LA sights. So in some cases it makes sense to split your stay up between Anaheim, where Disney is located, and another location in the LA area, especially if you want to spend several days at Disneyland.
What is your budget per night and will you have a car? How many days?
Thanks for quick responses! We are traveling Tuesday to Tuesday (so 7 days). Yes, we will rent a car. Our budget is somewhat flexible. Typically like the Mariotts or similar hotels. The last few family vacations have been out of the country to all inclusives.
Take a look at our FAQs section (a link at the top of the TOPIC LIST) where you'll find local maps, itinerary ideas, neighborhood descriptions, and tips on finding 'the perfect hotel' etc. Trip Advisor has a hotel listing section with reviews and offers from virtually all the hotels of the world. Unfortunately, the L.A. list is being updated right now so if you search "by neighborhood" (there's a drop-down menu for doing this), many of the hotels won't be there. Instead click on the map that you'll see on the Los Angeles Hotels page, center the map over the neighborhood you're interested in, zoom in or out as you wish, and a list of hotel in that selected area will appear below the map. (Once you decide upon an "L.A. neighorhood", tell us which one (along with your travel dates in L.A.) and we'll make recs re: hotels.
Where do your friends live?
When are you planning on doing this trip? That will determind if you can be on the beach, ride bikes, skate, etc. If your kids want the Disney experience, then stay near the property, especially if you are not familiar with CA freeways and traffic. Don't be intimidated, though. If you get good maps and study them, you can figure out how to get to anywhere without too much trouble. I like Manhattan Beach and the Marriott properties, especially the Residence Inn for all they offer. I'm sure there are properties near Disneyland too. Depending upon how much time you have, I would have your kids study Disney, Universal, Knotts, and even magic Mountain and then decide which one they may want to see. I do hope you are aware of how much these theme parks charge and all the other expenses involved like parking fees and food which is always lousy at the park. The only food that is decent is the Knott'sBerry Farm chicken. Where are your friends located? You might want to do a hotel near them unless you are staying with them. For a first time visit to Calilfornia, I would consider Manhattan Bech, since yhou can get to the beach, shopping , restaurants adn still have easy access to the freeways to see the other parks, museums, etc. Have fun. I know you won't miss our blizzard weather.
for your disneyland part of your stay, it would be best to stay in anaheim near disneyland, LA area is about an hours drive away from anaheim.
there is a nice residence inn maingate about a 10 min walk to the disneyland entrance, or you can stay directly across the street from disneyland, there are many places to stay.
there is the art shuttle service which goes from most area hotel to disneyland multiple times per day for a small fee per person
here is a map of the disneyland area, the disneyland main entrance is on harbor blvd where it says east shuttle area.
you could also post in the anaheim forum with your budget per night for a hotel ect so they can help you.
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