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Suggestions for our California trip!

We're heading to California for approx 10 days in June 2010 and would love some suggestions to our itinerary!
9 years ago, February 23rd 2010 No: 1 Msg: #104691  
N Posts: 7
Hi all!

My German g/f and I (Aussie) are heading to California in June for about 10 days to attend a friends wedding. Having never been to the West Coast before we're trying to work out what we should be seeing and where we should spend our time. We'd like a relaxing break, whilst making sure we see some of the highlights.

Having done my own research, I am leaning towards staying in Santa Monica rather than Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Downtown LA. Does this sound sensible? Any suggestions for accomodation in Santa Monica that won't break the budget (don't wanna really pay more than $150pn). We'll have a hire car, so location shouldn't be a problem.

Looking forward to Vegas. Recommend any "must stay at" hotels? Should we do the chopper flight to the Grand Canyon? Boat trip too?

You can see our rough itinerary below. Any suggestions what to do on the final Sun-Tue would be grateful.

Thanks to you all for any suggestions!

Safe travels!


Pick up hire car. Chill out in Santa Monica.
Accom in Santa Monica.

Arrive in LA, chillin Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach.
Accom in Santa Monica.

Day @ Disneyland!
Accom near Disneyland.

Drive to Vegas / Chill
Accom in Vegas.

Chopper flight to Grand Canyon. Brians stag party Wed night.
Accom in Vegas.

Recovery / Chill in Vegas
Accom in Vegas.

Drive to Ojai, Californa for wedding rehersal dinner etc.
Accom in Ojai *Booked*

Sat 26 : Day in Ojai and the Wedding of course!
Accom in Ojai *Booked*

Sun 27
Brunch/Recovery in Ojai! Where should we go/visit?!

Mon 28
Day @ Universal Studios?

Tue 29
Shopping in L.A.?
Flight at 8pm from LAX.
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9 years ago, February 23rd 2010 No: 2 Msg: #104748  
Santa Monica is a great choice, i liked santa Monica the most when i was there in August. Walking the beach and the hanging out at the pier. I loved the walk to Venice and checking out the market stalls. Check out Room Saver for an idea of Hotel Rooms. It helped me a lot as i traveled California. Room saver is a coupon book filled with deals for motels across the country. http://www.roomsaver.com/
Sounds like you have done some good research. Reply to this

9 years ago, February 24th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #104815  
N Posts: 1
I have seen your post and came to know that you are heading to Califonia for 10 days. I would suggest you to go to idyllwild Inn where the facilities and the services are very good. If you need to find more information visit
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9 years ago, February 24th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #104889  
Sounds pretty good Matt!

Santa Monica is a fun place to see. There are so many great beaches north and south, but since you won't have the time it's a good pick.

I don't have any good suggestions for hotels (I lived there and never had the need), but one recommendation I make is to see the city from the bar on top of the Standard hotel in downtown L.A. (there is one in Hollywood too, but definitely not worth it if you're going for the view and surroundings). The view is amazing at night and the place is just so quintessentially "L.A." I always like to take out of town-ers there, even though it is a little pricey (then we head to some other places nearby)... If you don't mind walking a few blocks there will be street parking around. That might work out for you on Sunday or Monday? L.A. has a whole bunch of random fun things - from Japanese electronic bathroom galleries (WestHollywood), to specialty perfume importers (Beverly Hills), to the Museum of Neon Art (downtown) which has a bunch of other mechanical installations. You'll be busy if you want to be, or you can always relax at the beach or in the mountains! There will be lots of free concerts around town on Sunday - classical at LACMA for sure - you'll have to check listings through yelp or the newspapers to see what else is going on - there's always something.

~Anna Reply to this

9 years ago, March 5th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #105767  
Universal Studios in Los Angeles! Do not miss it:-) Reply to this

9 years ago, March 5th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #105794  
N Posts: 7

Wow thank you so much for your many hints, tips, ideas and suggestions! Very much appreciated!

We're still narrowing down where we will stay (think we're certain it shall be in Santa Monica).

I have one more question, that being the subject of Transport!

A friend of mine has suggested we tackle LA using the public bus & train system. I'm leaning towards the same idea as I don't think we'll really need a car if we are commuting from Santa MOnica into town for the day and back, and then getting to Universal Studios for a day. I'll hire a car and drive out to Disney though, continuing to Las Vegas.


Thanks a million! Matt
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9 years ago, March 5th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #105825  
It's not easy to get around L.A. by public transit... you will have to plan your trips around the bus and train lines, allow for LOTS of extra time, and don't stay out late (taxis are expensive and are not usually much of an option unless you're not going far). My reccomendation is to try the LA metro trip planner online and see how well it will work out for you before you make your decision, and to avoid trying to take a bus at rush hour because they will pass right by you if they're full and some lines don't run frequently. Trains are a lot better if they are near the places you want to be, but you'll need to take a bus to get out of Santa Monica. You may also check to see if your hotel has any shuttle services. In my experience, most visitors and locals alike find L.A. without a car to be a frustrating place. Reply to this

9 years ago, July 1st 2010 No: 8 Msg: #114558  
N Posts: 7
Hi all,

Just a big thank you to you all on suggestions for our trip! We just got back from California and had such a wonderful time!

We stayed 3 nights in Santa Monica and visited Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, and did a fantastic food tour with Melting Pot Tours in downtown LA - check em out! Then spent a day at Disneyland, followed by a road trip to Vegas. Spent 3 nights in Vegas @ the Palazzo (amazing) and then a long drive via LA, up to Ojai for a wedding. Ojai is such a cute quaint town. The Ojai Country Club Inn was just bliss! Our final night was spent in Santa Barbara - can't recommend it more highly!

Anyways, I am about to post again about BC, Canada and get some ideas for our 3 week trip!

Take care, keep travelling and thanks again for your feedback!

Matt & Mel.
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