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Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

Hunter Valley...
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Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

We have 9 weeks in USA so wanting to keep costs down.

I see that hotels at LAX are half the cost of staying in LA itself, or Santa Monica.

Those that know LA, my question is.... do you think it silly staying at a hotel such as Hilton at LAX and doing day trips to Santa Monica, Universal Studios, etc? (we are there for 3 nights)

Edited: 18 January 2012, 11:19
Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

They maybe cheaper not convenient for what you have planned.Try Orchid Suites sure that wouldn't twice the price of Hilton

We stayed there in March very handy to shopping,Metro station right there

2. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

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Cuenca, Ecuador
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3. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

Hello robinyoung, and welcome to the Los Angeles forum.

The LAX/Westchester area, Downtown LA, and Hollywood typically are your more reasonable and less expensive locations in the *City* of Los Angeles itself (not to be confused with the larger land area known as the *County* of Los Angeles, which has 88 incorporated cities in and around the LA metro area). For three nights in LA metro, I would first check out Hollywood lodgings, then Downtown LA lodgings. My reasoning has to do with the easier access to mass transit, and in the case of Hollywood, tourist attractions such as Universal Studios and the Kodak Theater.

LAX area hotels are typically recommended here on TripAdvisor (TA) for day of arrival, and/or day of departure from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) itself. Using them makes for a quicker bed and sleep time once here, and a restful preparatory night of sleep before a flight with a quick, typically complimentary shuttle to LAX by your hotel. These hotels are also used for meetings and conventions quite a bit.

You could use an LAX area hotel, but the transit availability is not near as good as Hollywood or Downtown LA. I'd start looking in Hollywood area first. What is your budget for lodging while here in the Los Angeles area? Once we know how much you are able to afford, we may more specifically provide lodgings we may recommend. How many people are in your party? I ask that because for larger groups, rooms are harder to obtain than for smaller groups or for individuals.

---------------------

Just a tip for helping you with your nine week tour of the United States: here on TripAdvisor, each state has its own forum. Each city within the state has its own forum. In the case of a well known tourist area or National Park, the name of the area or National Park is the name for the forum. Hence, in California you have the California forum which is here: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28926-i29-Califor… , the Los Angeles forum which you already know about, and the Santa Monica forum which is here: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g33052-i158-Santa_… as the City of Santa Monica is not politically governed by the City of Los Angeles and shares a common border with it. As I mentioned, National Parks have their own forum, including Death Valley National Park, which may be found here: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g143021-i2027-Deat…

Ditto for Colorado, whose state forum is here: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28927-i252-Colora… Colorado Springs, a beautiful city 65 miles south of Denver is here: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g33364-i296-Colora… and Rocky Mountain National Park is here: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g143048-i3489-Rock…

Road Trips, trips across several states have their own special forum here: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri… This might be a great place to post your overall travel plans and questions. You'll find some very knowledgable folks there able to help.

You get the drift on the way forums are organized, I hope. (smile) Any questions or comments, please do post again with them. There's a vibrant community here, especially at the California state forum, and much helpful advice to be had.

Los Angeles
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4. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

The other issue with staying at the airport is that it is a dull, dull area. There's nothing around but a few fast food restaurants and other hotels. There's absolutely nothing else in walking distance so eating options at night, for instance, are limited to fast food and overpriced, unremarkable hotel restaurants.

Also, in terms of public transit, the LAX-area hotels do not make a very good base. If you want to take guided tours, there's no problem getting picked up at these hotels, but if you want to explore on your own its not very convenient without a car.

I'd echo the suggestion above to look in Hollywood - Orchid Suites, Hollywood Celebrity Hotel, Hollywood Heights Hotel, Holiday Inn Express Walk of Fame, Magic Castle Hotel are some reasonably priced options in Hollywood. Public transportation access in Hollywood is much better than at LAX and there are no isses with getting guided tours there either. And although transportation between Hollywood and LAX is not free, you can do it reasonably quickly for as little as $8.50 per person each way.

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

It's cheaper because you don't want to stay there.

Hunter Valley...
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6. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

Thank you for all the wonderful advise... I have already learnt so much *smile*

I think I will take advise and stay elsewhere other than the LAX area. Although I was thinking we will be there only to sleep before heading out for day, I understand what you mean by being a "dull" area with not much.

I have a tempory booking at Holiday Inn Express Walk of Fame and think I may confirm it, at least I know the area is full of life!

Another question then...... I have a 16 and 18 year old with me. Remembering we have only 3 nights in LA, would we be better staying at say, Santa Monica than in LA itself. The things we want to see are 1) santa monica 2) universal studios 3) Hollywood area and generally get over jet lag before we start our 9 week trip

Hunter Valley...
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7. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

or should we stay Holiday Inn Express Walk of Fame and do santa monica as a day out trip?

Basically, I am trying to figure out where to base myself.

Los Angeles
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8. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

Santa Monica is a nicer, but more expensive area. Bus service between Hollywood and Santa Monica is generally good as long as you're willing to do a bit of walking on either end - 1/4 or 1/2 mile say. Bus service is also generally good in Santa Monica to the rest of the city.

Really, you could do Universal Studios and the touristy part of Hollywood in one day. The touristy part of Hollywood is around the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. (where the Holiday Inn Express Walk of Fame is) - nearby are the walk of fame, Chinese Theater, Kodak Theater, Madam Toussad's and others. Universal studios is one stop away from this intersection on the subway, and generally takes 5 or 6 hours to do. Hollywood itself can take anywhere from an hour or two to a full day, it just depends on what you want to do there - tour the theaters, just walk around, etc.

Santa Monica is also basically a day, but you could certainly spend longer there as well. So with 3 nights you'd certainly have time to do all you wanted - you could even visit some other sights.

West Hollywood...
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9. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

Whether to stay "in town" (Hollywood) or 'at the beach' (Santa Monica) is a question most visitors face. It depends upon several factors:

1. What SPECIFIC sites you'll be visiting during your visit. L.A. is extremely spread out so you can't just 'walk around' and bump into tourist attractions. Bottom line: if you plan to be on the west side of L.A. for most of your visit, consider staying in Santa Monica; if you plan to spend most of your time in central L.A. or downtown L.A. (the latter is at the EASTERN end of our city, not in the center of it), Hollywood would be the better choice.

2. Santa Monica is beautiful (it's the beach!) and expensive (it's the beach!).

There are other neighborhoods you could consider (have you read out 'Top Questions' section in the upper right column of this page? The neighborhoods are listed with their description.

Here's a couple of neighborhoods to consider:

1. Westwood (on the west side but more 'inland'). Public transit is excellent here: express buses to Santa Monica's downtown/beach -- 20 minutes; Beverly Hills (8 minutes); Sunset Strip (20 minutes); Hollywood (30 minutes). There is an express bus between LAX and Westwood ($10). Westwood is the 'village' adjacent to UCLA (University) so your kids might want to tour the school.

2. Beverly Grove (central L.A.) between Westwood and Hollywood -- actually, a little bit south of the two). This is a an area with a number of attractions (the Farmers Market, the Grove, CBS 'Television City' (Studios). There are 3 major shopping malls in this area including a mini-outlet mall (the Beverly Connection). It's a 20 minute ride to Hollywood, 30 minutes to Universal and about an hour to Santa Monica. Lots and lots of shops, and restaurants (in all price ranges and styles) in the area.

Rancho Santa...
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10. Re: Staying at LAX and day tipping around....wise?

If you've never been to L.A. and you can afford it, Santa Monica is a much better location than Hollywood. The setting is beautiful and the area is lively.

For sure, do NOT stay at LAX.

HTH

Edited: 18 January 2012, 20:35