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Old 10-01-2014, 02:13 PM
jw2
 
2,028 posts, read 2,486,908 times
Reputation: 3345

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Save downtown for your next trip where there will be two sky-high observation decks, the US Bank Tower and Korean Airlines building.

Find a way to get a bicycle and head to Santa Monica beach.

Add Griffith Park Observatory to your list.

Rodeo Dr if you like to shop

Exposition Center has several museums. The previously mentioned Getty and Huntington are must-dos.

ETA: If you are going this weekend, I would concentrate more toward the coast. The forecast is for a very hot LA

Last edited by jw2; 10-01-2014 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
752 posts, read 595,321 times
Reputation: 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
Food: China town or the San Gabriel Valley for sure; The other eatery I would not miss is Philippi's French dip place, just a few blocks from China Town and just as you are entering downtown Los Angeles. They were the original French dip sandwich shop.

Sights: while you are at Philippi's you might want to wander over to Olvera Street which is the original Mexican street in Los Angeles. It is a fun place, you can spend an hour or a 1/2 day there, but don't get your Mexican food there, it is touristy and not the best.

<trimmed>

Of course no trip to Los Angeles would be complete with out seeing the Hollywood sign and driving down Hollywood Blvd. You might also want to drive to Santa Monica beach as well. Just don't get all caught up in doing nothing but the touristy things. it is easy to do.
Quick amendment to food: Skip Chinatown and just go straight to the San Gabriel Valley. Better food in general and it will also be an experience in what Asianized-American suburban hybrid neighborhoods look like, for better or worse.

Look into visiting "Din Tai Fung Dumpling House" which has 3 LA locations to pick from. They're an international chain but are authentic and will get you bragging rights even in several Asian countries.

Brief note about the Hollywood sign: There's been some conflict with local residents over tourists wandering their neighborhoods to get a closer look at the sign. However there are many viewing points and many trails that lead directly to the sign. I don't follow events very closely but you might want to prepare a couple of viewing points or locations, just in case access to some are blocked.

Other suggestions:
Not sure how far you want to drive but the President Regan Library is out in Simi Valley: Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library | Home

Similar vein, the Nixon Library is to the south in Yorba Linda, Orange County: Richard Nixon Foundation - Dedicated to the life and legacy of the 37th President.

If you enjoy architecture and happen to go to Philippe's, walk a couple of blocks down to LA's Union Station. It's a pretty good example of Californian style Spanish inspired architecture and the interior has been used in a number of films. Japan-Town is just south of this location, decent food here. The Arts District is east and south-east of J-Town. The Southern California Institute of Architecture (ie. SCI-Arc), where Eric Owen Moss is the current director, is here in the Arts District. Don't go straight south from J-town, that will land you in Skid Row.

While in downtown, check out Grand Central Market for a quick bite. It was recently renovated and there's a lot of buzz around many of the new food stalls there. If you come here, then also go out the SE exit onto Broadway St. and step into the Bradbury Building across the street for another historical architectural building. The lobby area with the staircase appears in a number of movies, including Bladerunner.

Last edited by DriveNotCommute; 10-01-2014 at 03:10 PM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
555 posts, read 571,405 times
Reputation: 1169
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
I will be going to LA in November. The company is paying for 5 days stay (Thur-Mon), but I will be busy only few hours each workday. This is my first visit to LA, and probably a last, and I want to see as much as I can.
I will have rental car, so reasonable distances are not a problem.
While it seems that I have many days for planning, I want to start making a list, coordinate routes, find out visiting hours if applicable, etc. I am determined to use my time there to the max - see the most interesting things, eat, drink and take lots of pictures
I would hate to discover later on, that I missed something I really should see. It happened in the past
I am OK with moving around by myself, and I don't mind visiting places that are less safe, as long they are worth it.
Interested in spots for good aerial pictures of LA, (skyscapers with public access, even multi-level parking garage with a great view will do). Places to see the mountains, the ocean, sunsets, interesting landscape, landmarks, historical buildings/neighborhoods etc....
Where to go to eat good food, or places famous for local specialty, location or architecture.
Please help me make my stay memorable.
Keep this thread going - I appreciate any input.
Thank you!!!
Griffith Observatory offers nice views, and the observatory offers some interesting architecture, among other things.

Bradbury Building. If you can go up in the elevator -- most ideal. (a Blade Runner location) Architecture and history of the building is interesting.

Union Station for the architecture, history, and to access LA's train system, which can take you to a lot of places without the hassle of traffic. It is also the original site of LA's Chinatown before the city forced everyone to move to make way for Union Station construction.

Phillipe's for French Dip Sandwich, salads, pie, coffee, beer, etc. Then go to Cole's for the other French Dip Sandwich. But honestly, there is so much great food in LA -- it just depends on what you're looking for. The more specific the better -- e.g. the San Gabriel Valley is home to the best and broadest collection of Chinese restaurants in the U.S. (no joke), but if you don't have an idea of what you want (Shanxi style knife cut noodles? Muslim Chinese food? Cantonese dim sum -- and traditional or innovative? Soup dumplings? Taiwanese military mess hall grub? Taiwanese milk tea?), then it will be overwhelming. That's just one kind of cuisine, which actually comprises many different regional cuisines. If, for example, you want top of the line Mexican food (and hopefully your company is paying ;-) ), consider Babita's, also in the SGV. If you want more casual (and cheaper) fare and want to watch talented women hand-patting tortillas (not an easy task to do well), visit La Azteca Tortilleria early in the morning, and maybe order something made to order as well. For Polish food, Polka. Vietnamese food: Golden Deli or it's sister restaurant kitty corner, also in SGV. But get your banh mi either at Banh Mi Me Tho (greater emphasis on filling) or Ba Le (greater emphasis on bread texture), both in Alhambra (SGV). Porto's for "three milks cake," bread, etc. If you want an interesting old LA scene, check out Grand Central Market (though it's been rapidly changing).

Little Tokyo -- Little Tokyo Historic District (look for the side of First Street with the Far East Cafe.) This gives you a taste of what LA used to be like. The other side of the street is not historic, though, interestingly, it more fits our view of what "Japanese" is supposed to look like. Look at the sidewalk of the historic side. It will tell you what businesses were there before the current ones. The black mark indicates the internment of Japanese Americans. They were forcibly removed from this and other areas, forever changing the neighborhood. While you're there, stop by the Far East Cafe. Have a drink in the historic interior (referenced in I can't remember which Raymond Chandler book...Farewell, My Lovely, I think), or better yet, enter through the side outside the building and hang out at the outdoor Far Bar. This place has historic significance besides the Chandler book, but I'll save you the history lesson.

Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena - beautiful view

The view from the dorms of UCLA toward the main part of the campus -- nice.

La Brea Tar Pits. A blast from the past right in the heart of the city.

Rose Garden across the street from USC.

Watts Towers in Watts.

This is only a tiny sample of what's available in the LA area. LA is a hard place for tourists to love. You need time to explore to really appreciate the place. If possible, I would suggest compiling a list of all that interests you, figuring out where most of them lie, and then focusing your time on doing a complete exploration of those neighborhoods. I bet you could do 2, maybe 3 neighborhoods a day. One of the worst mistakes tourists make -- they go from site to site to site and in the process, they miss out on really getting a neighborhood feel, a sense of time and place. Also, they end up stuck in traffic too long when they should've just driven somewhere, parked their car, and gotten out and walked around.

Enjoy! Have fun.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:01 PM
 
2,024 posts, read 2,888,643 times
Reputation: 1555
Venice Beach
Santa Monica
Griffith Observatory (great views and free)
Walk Hollywood Blvd, a lot of interesting characters there
Check out Downtown
If you like the show Sports Nation on ESPN you can sit in for free if you have ticket (free)
Universal Studios is nice, I didn't do the theme park but the area next to it where restaurants and such are is really beautiful.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:05 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,590 posts, read 51,807,704 times
Reputation: 83040
You guys are AWESOME!!! Thank you!!!
Started my list and printed a map - I am getting really excited!

I got everything written down. Bike is an option, if car wouldn't do (but car is faster, and I don't have much time). I will be busy 3-4 hrs a day on Thursday, Friday and Monday. Flex hours, so I can avoid rush hours. Have whole weekend off.

@mnita - thank you for the restaurants suggestions! Olvera Street will be checked, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Hollywood, some mountain scenic too (have to check the map). Maybe trip to Catalina.

How is Chinatown? What about other neighborhoods? OK - K-Town! Thanks @jamills21!!
Instead of Waze, I am using Trapster, but will try to stay of the freeways at rush hours. Got used to bad traffic here in Houston However, don't want to waste my time and sit in traffic.

@nightlysparrow - Venice Boardwalk and sunset - YAY!!

@jw2 - Getty and Huntington - YES!!

@DriveNotCommute - skip Chinatown, go to San Gabriel Valley? OK! "Din Tai Fung Dumpling House" - will take pix what I ate!
Thank you for the warning about Hollywood sign! Will Google and check the map. Noted the libraries.
Special thanks for the Spanish inspired architecture location, the JapanTown, and the Art District.
Will also check the Grand Central Market and the Bradbury Building!

@sydlee - Union Station, Phillipe's, Cole's and others! Wow, so many great suggestions! Love food - I will be sampling everything. Don't have any specific wishes, everything will be different than here in TX! Yes, I want good ethnic food (not for tourists!) - plenty of Mexican here, but the others sounds really exciting. Looks like I will spend some time in SGV I see you know that stuff!~ You know the history!
Is J-Town more interesting than Chinatown? I was in Chinatown in Chicago and SF. Never in J-Town. Will definitely check Little Tokyo. Hope to find it all on the map! Probably need to find a better map - map of neighborhoods.
Need to read about the history to get a better feel, and understanding.
Walking? Yes!! I need to! Otherwise I will be rolling - after sampling all the great food!

@Statz2k10 - everything noted! Heck, I need a bigger map!

Now I need to sort it, and group, to move subsequently from one area to the next.
Five days! I don't think I am going to sleep!

Thanks everyone for the great input! Post some more!
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:21 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,322 posts, read 2,167,105 times
Reputation: 1562
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
You guys are AWESOME!!! Thank you!!!
Started my list and printed a map - I am getting really excited!

I got everything written down. Bike is an option, if car wouldn't do (but car is faster, and I don't have much time). I will be busy 3-4 hrs a day on Thursday, Friday and Monday. Flex hours, so I can avoid rush hours. Have whole weekend off.

@mnita - thank you for the restaurants suggestions! Olvera Street will be checked, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Hollywood, some mountain scenic too (have to check the map). Maybe trip to Catalina.

How is Chinatown? What about other neighborhoods? OK - K-Town! Thanks @jamills21!!
Instead of Waze, I am using Trapster, but will try to stay of the freeways at rush hours. Got used to bad traffic here in Houston However, don't want to waste my time and sit in traffic.

@nightlysparrow - Venice Boardwalk and sunset - YAY!!

@jw2 - Getty and Huntington - YES!!

@DriveNotCommute - skip Chinatown, go to San Gabriel Valley? OK! "Din Tai Fung Dumpling House" - will take pix what I ate!
Thank you for the warning about Hollywood sign! Will Google and check the map. Noted the libraries.
Special thanks for the Spanish inspired architecture location, the JapanTown, and the Art District.
Will also check the Grand Central Market and the Bradbury Building!

@sydlee - Union Station, Phillipe's, Cole's and others! Wow, so many great suggestions! Love food - I will be sampling everything. Don't have any specific wishes, everything will be different than here in TX! Yes, I want good ethnic food (not for tourists!) - plenty of Mexican here, but the others sounds really exciting. Looks like I will spend some time in SGV I see you know that stuff!~ You know the history!
Is J-Town more interesting than Chinatown? I was in Chinatown in Chicago and SF. Never in J-Town. Will definitely check Little Tokyo. Hope to find it all on the map! Probably need to find a better map - map of neighborhoods.
Need to read about the history to get a better feel, and understanding.
Walking? Yes!! I need to! Otherwise I will be rolling - after sampling all the great food!

@Statz2k10 - everything noted! Heck, I need a bigger map!

Now I need to sort it, and group, to move subsequently from one area to the next.
Five days! I don't think I am going to sleep!

Thanks everyone for the great input! Post some more!

The hard part is grouping your activities. If you are one side of the city, i would recommend to stay on that side of the city for the day. Then the next day,check out the other side.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:02 PM
 
2,490 posts, read 4,558,970 times
Reputation: 3113
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Is J-Town more interesting than Chinatown? I was in Chinatown in Chicago and SF. Never in J-Town. Will definitely check Little Tokyo. Hope to find it all on the map! Probably need to find a better map - map of neighborhoods.
J-town is more interesting if one likes Japanese stuff. I have been to LA Chinatown many times but would say that the SF & Chicago Chinatowns have more appeal for visitors.

If I was driving downtown from Beverly Hills I would take San Vicente to Pico. Wilshire looks more direct but there is a lot of traffic on that street. Once you get downtown you can park your car and take the Dash shuttle bus for 50 cents to different locations.

http://www.ladottransit.com/dash/rou...n/downtown.pdf

DASH - Downtown - Los Angeles, CA | Yelp

Here are some other useful maps:

https://www.californiasciencecenter...._VistorMap.pdf

http://www.getty.edu/visit/gettycenter_map_2012.pdf

Good map here on page 2:

http://mmic.caltech.edu/visitors/PubTransitMap.pdf

Here is a bigger scale map with all the Dash shuttles:

http://www.ladottransit.com/map/sysmap_dash.pdf

http://www.skylinelocations.com/cont...ntownLAMap.pdf

Here is a Santa Monica map with parking locations near the beach:

http://siliconbeachfest.com.s188050....-beach-map.pdf

http://www.chinatownla.com/pdfs/ChinatownVisitorMap.pdf

http://www.angelswalkla.org/pdfs/AWL...TATION_MAP.pdf

http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/si...xplore/map.pdf

http://www.santabarbara.com/communit...tors_guide.pdf

http://www.visitmarinadelrey.com/fil...adable-map.pdf

http://file.lacounty.gov/dbh/docs/cms1_146916.pdf

http://www.smgov.net/uploadedfiles/d...df/bikemap.pdf

http://www.visitcalifornia.com/media.../LA_OC_Map.pdf
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
5,303 posts, read 7,637,472 times
Reputation: 2136
Don't forget to see Venice Beach and try the Persian food in Westwood!
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:28 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,590 posts, read 51,807,704 times
Reputation: 83040
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamills21 View Post
The hard part is grouping your activities. If you are one side of the city, i would recommend to stay on that side of the city for the day. Then the next day,check out the other side.
Yeah, that's the idea
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:08 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,590 posts, read 51,807,704 times
Reputation: 83040
Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira View Post
J-town is more interesting if one likes Japanese stuff. I have been to LA Chinatown many times but would say that the SF & Chicago Chinatowns have more appeal for visitors.

If I was driving downtown from Beverly Hills I would take San Vicente to Pico. Wilshire looks more direct but there is a lot of traffic on that street. Once you get downtown you can park your car and take the Dash shuttle bus for 50 cents to different locations.

http://www.ladottransit.com/dash/rou...n/downtown.pdf
...
Great links!!! They will keep me busy next weekend. You spent lots of time gathering them, and I appreciate it very much!!
Going to follow your advice, park the car and walk, or take the shuttle! Thanks!
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