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Visiting Los Angeles (Things to do on the cheap)


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#1 of 37 Nathan*W

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Posted February 23 2006 - 04:48 AM

Okay, Southern Californians, my wife and I will be in Carlsbad, CA the week of May 20-27, 2006 and we want to plan some day trips around the region. I'm especially interested in things to do or see in LA while we're there. While we will have some spending money, I can't afford to blow thousands of bucks on the trip. Any recommendations of things to do that are on the cheap side? We will have a car, so getting around won't be a problem.

Some things we've looked into are sitcom tapings, or maybe Price is Right. Also, I've heard the Warner Bros. tour is the best studio tour to do. What about seeing a film in one of the classic area theaters?

Can any natives give me some tips or tricks??
 

#2 of 37 Lew Crippen

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Posted February 23 2006 - 10:30 AM

Sounds like a fun trip Nathan. I definitely suggest catching a screening at one ‘classic’ theaters.

Personally I think trip to the Getty is well worth while—of course there is also basketball—perhaps Kobe will drop in 50 (though tickets via the scalper route might be expensive).

Driving down Sunset Blvd to Santa Monica, up the coast a ways and back along Mulholland Drive should satisfy any movie buff.
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#3 of 37 Brent_H

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Posted February 23 2006 - 10:50 AM

I was going to mention the Getty also...FREE. Parking is $8 tho I think. You probably want to do Grauman's Chinese Theater too and see all the foot/handprints. That's free.

Santa Monica Pier (The WORLD FAMOUS!) is also pretty fun just to say you've been there.

Anyone know when Venice Beach starts to get all weird? Or, most weird? lol

And be sure to hit up In & Out everyday!

#4 of 37 EugeneR

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Posted February 23 2006 - 12:18 PM

Quote:
We will have a car, so getting around won't be a problem.
You've obviously never been to L.A. before.


I'll second the Getty.

#5 of 37 Nathan*W

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Posted February 24 2006 - 03:47 AM

Quote:
You've obviously never been to L.A. before.
Posted Image Posted Image Alright, smarty - (you're probably right; I should've worded that better.)

Getty? As in the Getty Museum overlooking Brentwood? Hmm, I've heard good things about that place. I will definitely look into it more closely.

Santa Monica Pier is on the list, as is In-N-Out.
 

#6 of 37 Jack Briggs

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Posted February 24 2006 - 04:05 AM

I still don't see why people are so crazy about In-N-Out's burgers. Back when I last ate hamburgers (more than four years ago), I liked the No. 12 (but without the red sauce) at Johnnie Rockets.

As for checking out this city, ever think about just doing something cool, like hanging for an afternoon at Melrose Avenue? Forget the touristy stuff; Melrose isn't what it used to be, but it's still something of a street scene.

#7 of 37 Shane Martin

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Posted February 24 2006 - 04:30 AM

Jack,
I started a thread about IN and out a while back. They make things fresh which is a positive and they are good for fast food but compared to the other burger joints I've been to, they are ok. We have a surplus of good burger joints in the midwest. The west coast was a different story(the last time I visited).

Be sure to check out the secret menu!

Driving up Highway 1 is probably something I'd do when I revisit LA again. Dodger games aren't that expensive but you may or may not be a baseball fan. Still I think Chavez Ravine is gorgeous. The stadium is still first rate.

#8 of 37 Dennis*G

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Posted February 24 2006 - 04:53 AM

Don't live there, but visited once. Trip along hwy 1 definitly for as long as you want to go. Head north and check out Santa Barbara. Hollywood / sunset Blvd is a short drive away.

#9 of 37 Carlo Medina

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Posted February 24 2006 - 04:54 AM

Personally, I really like In-N-Out but I think you really have to compare them to fast food places like McDs and BK, not against boutique burger places which are obviously better. You can get a #1 combo at In-N-Out for $5 whereas a regular burger at Johnnie Rockets is already over $4, and my personal fave non-restaurant burger of The Apple Pan is $5. Second place going to Fatburger, and theirs are $4.60 for the burger only.

As for places, I'll third the Getty - it's a beautiful museum in a beautiful setting and it's free (well okay, you pay for parking which was $5 last time I was there). And it doesn't overlook just Brentwood, it overlooks most of the L.A. basin and the view is breathtaking.

If you're into small-club music, check out The Largo on Fairfax between Melrose and Beverly Blvds. The regular Friday night attraction is Jon Brion who is fantastic, but the line to get in will be long (get there by 7pm, doors open around 8-8:30). Cover will be $15, 2 drink minimum that is very loosely enforced.

Obviously being an HTF member, you have to see some or all o f these theaters:

1. Mann Chinese in Hollywood
2. Mann Village in Westwood (I live in walking distance to this one)
3. Cineramadome in Hollywood

Huntington Beach Library and Gardens in Pasadena is also something that is beautiful and only costs $10 to get in. The mansion and grounds are unbelievable--now that's Old World Money at its finest.

And if you're in Westwood seeing the Mann Village, walk around the campus of UCLA (heck, drop me a PM and I'll play tour guide, as I live in Westwood) if that's your cup of tea. Don't bother with the University of South Central Posted Image

Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica is great for shopping and beach proximity. Orange County also has some great shopping malls and tourist stuff, but I'm not sure if you plan on going there.

#10 of 37 Nathan*W

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Posted February 24 2006 - 05:30 AM

Quote:
Originally posted byJack Briggs

As for checking out this city, ever think about just doing something cool, like hanging for an afternoon at Melrose Avenue? Forget the touristy stuff; Melrose isn't what it used to be, but it's still something of a street scene.
I appreciate your opinion, Jack, and I can completely understand why you, as a resident, would find such touristy activities passe.

But you have to understand the whole reason I'm going on this trip is for the touristy stuff.

I'm probably going to visit California less than 5 times in my entire life. I'm probably not going to get the opportunity to get back out there and see the fun touristy things ever again (like the Hollywood sign, etc.).

I want to do the hokey/touristy stuff this time around. I want to be one of the mindless masses that looks at all the hand and footprints in the concrete, and takes pictures of the sights.

It's like going to the amusement park and not riding the roller coasters.

I want to ride the roller coasters, Jack. Posted Image

Let me ride the coasters... Posted Image Posted Image
 

#11 of 37 David Williams

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Posted February 24 2006 - 06:22 AM

I've never been to LA, but one of the the things I would want to see is the famous Griffth Park Observatory, which I just looked up to find it's closed for renovations.
"Only two things are infinite––the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe." ––Albert Einstein

#12 of 37 Mort Corey

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Posted February 24 2006 - 06:46 AM

Since you'll be based in Carlsbad, there's always Legoland Posted Image The drive from there down the coast to San Diego is a lot less intense. World class Zoo, fish farm and the GasLamp quarter of San Diego are worth the drive.....heck, they might even have a carrier group in port and you could see your tax dollars at work. Hotel Del Coranado in kinda neat too.

Mort (who only travels into the LA basin to stay at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Sheraton Hotel from time to time these days)

#13 of 37 Nathan*W

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Posted February 24 2006 - 07:34 AM

Ah, yes. Thanks, Mort. San Diego things to do are appreciated as well. Posted Image
 

#14 of 37 Jack Briggs

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Posted February 24 2006 - 09:19 AM

If you're into small-club music, check out The Largo on Fairfax between Melrose and Beverly Blvds.

And, best of all, you'd be within three blocks of where I live. Posted Image

Yes, David, Griffith Park Observatory has been closed for years for those renovations.

Nathan, it's your trip. Ride the roller coasters. Me? I'll hang out on Melrose. Just a block from me, see.

#15 of 37 Hunter P

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Posted February 24 2006 - 09:52 AM

Regarding the In-n-Out issue, my boy Ted Lee swears by the Tommy Burger(link). Unfortunately I keep forgetting to make a pit stop there whenever I'm down in So Cal. In-n-Out is pretty decent (definitely the best of all the drive thru burger joints) but it's definitely over-hyped too. Dammit people it's just a burgerPosted Image [/endrant]Posted Image

If you're hitting the beaches then only go to Venice if you want to people watch or find the guy with a turban on rollerblades (is he still there?) The good looking beaches are outside of town.

And if you are going to try to hit one spot after another then commit a lot of commute time. It's rush hour traffic 24/7 there. 3am traffic in LA is worse than rush hour traffic here in Sacto.
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#16 of 37 Jan H

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Posted February 24 2006 - 10:00 AM

In & Out and Fatburgers are great for fast food, but don't forget another staple in the So-Cal burger pantheon: Tommy's Chili Burgers kick much ass, but you'll need an EKG after you eat one. The Apple Pan is a great burger, too, and their pies are addictive.

I agree with the theaters Carlo mentioned, and I'll just add a couple more that are LA legends: The Egyptian and the El Capitan.

I'm sure you've already considered this, but if you're interested in the 'touristy' stuff, what could be more touristy than Disneyland?

Have fun.

#17 of 37 Carlo Medina

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Posted February 24 2006 - 10:06 AM

Oh man, if you go to the Apple Pan - get either the apple, pecan or chocolate cream pie a la mode! Posted Image Posted Image

And actually, you should start looking stuff up online to see where groups of activities are close together (geographically) to cut down on your travel time. Trust me, be on the 405, 10, 110, 101 & 5 at the wrong times and you're talking a 10 mile stretch in one hour. If you're lucky and there's no accident. Posted Image

For example:

Getty + UCLA + Mann Village + Apple Pan + 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica & Santa Monica Pier are all in the "westside" and can easily be traversed without getting on the dreaded 405.

Make Hollywood one stop for a day, too, where you can do the Hollywood sign, Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Mann Chinese, CineramaDome and a nightcap at The Largo.

Pasadena you can do: Old Town Pasadena, Rose Bowl, Huntington Library & Gardens.

If you plan your trip like this, you'll spend more time "doing things" and less time "getting to places".

#18 of 37 Ken Chan

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Posted February 24 2006 - 12:15 PM

Quote:
It's rush hour traffic 24/7 there
Not true. There may be more people than you might think at 3am, but everyone's going 90, so there's no problem Posted Image

Go to Pink's Hot Dogs and see the pictures of famous people. Nice snappy dog, too.

#19 of 37 Carlo Medina

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Posted February 24 2006 - 03:42 PM

Haha, too true, Ken.

Of course, I will say that I have on *several* occasions been caught in gridlock between the hours of 1-3AM. Most often it's because of freeway construction...but sometimes not. But this is by far the exception and not the norm.

#20 of 37 Hunter P

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Posted February 24 2006 - 07:56 PM

Ya, construction or one accident late at night and those 90's become 0-15 mph. I remember trying to be smart and drive home late at night from Anaheim but it took me 3 hours to get through LA.Posted Image
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