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Old 03-21-2016, 10:16 AM
 
316 posts, read 800,932 times
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Hi! We are coming from the other side of the country (Jersey) and have never been to LA yet. So I am looking for some advice! We are planning a short vacation around attending a TV show pilot in Studio City. It looks like that is in North LA not far from Hollywood. We want to make a trip out of it and check out Hollywood and have some fun. First - where to stay? (without breaking the bank). Any hotel recommendations? We will be in town only 3 to 4 days and really want to make the most of it. We are in our mid 30's. Would like to be close to "Action" and things to do - nightlife, etc. Maybe check out Hollywood and where the stars hang (why not, lol). I always wanted to check out some of the bars from the movie Swingers! Also looking for some bar and restaurant recommendations. I assume we will need to rent a car, based on what I have heard about the city lay out. I have been to San Diego and San Fran before but I have heard that LA is much more spread out. If we have time maybe we will check out Santa Monica too. I don't know if it makes sense to even stay there near the beach. Any tips or advice is much appreciated. As you can see we are starting from scratch! thanks!
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:34 PM
 
Location: NJ
45 posts, read 116,139 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieguns View Post
Hi! We are coming from the other side of the country (Jersey) and have never been to LA yet. So I am looking for some advice! We are planning a short vacation around attending a TV show pilot in Studio City. It looks like that is in North LA not far from Hollywood. We want to make a trip out of it and check out Hollywood and have some fun. First - where to stay? (without breaking the bank). Any hotel recommendations? We will be in town only 3 to 4 days and really want to make the most of it. We are in our mid 30's. Would like to be close to "Action" and things to do - nightlife, etc. Maybe check out Hollywood and where the stars hang (why not, lol). I always wanted to check out some of the bars from the movie Swingers! Also looking for some bar and restaurant recommendations. I assume we will need to rent a car, based on what I have heard about the city lay out. I have been to San Diego and San Fran before but I have heard that LA is much more spread out. If we have time maybe we will check out Santa Monica too. I don't know if it makes sense to even stay there near the beach. Any tips or advice is much appreciated. As you can see we are starting from scratch! thanks!
I'm from New Jersey too but I'm looking to move to LA and never return to NJ again. How much would it cost to ride with you out to Los Angeles and then have you just kick me out of the car?
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:41 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,414,084 times
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re: swingers bars... the derby is gone, but the dresden room is still around. as for getting around, renting a car is a good idea, but make sure you have an uber account for getting around at night. you certainly don't want to be drinking and driving or getting lost. and it's really reasonably priced.
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:53 PM
 
4,498 posts, read 2,763,433 times
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Dresden Room is fun. It's in Los Feliz which is kind of laid back for nightlife so maybe not "action" your looking for. But it's a good taste of real LA. More likely to see struggling actors (such as characters in Swingers) as opposed to stars. Last time I was there the lounge singing duo from the movie where still performing
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 12,914,194 times
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Stars don't hang out in Hollywood. You are far more likely to see stars in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood in and around Sunset. Or the place where you are going for the TV pilot if people film there and someone you recognize might be working. There are a lot of nice boutique hotels in the West Hollywood and Melrose neighborhoods that are sometimes available at the last minute on the aggregate sites like hotels.com for a good deal.

The last time I spent a week in LA I got a great price on a hotel called Le Reve on Cynthia St. that was between those two neighborhoods. There was a rap group that shall remain nameless on my floor so it wasn't the quietest place in the world but our suite was very luxurious for a decent price. I know some guys who like a place called the Sportsman's Lodge Hotel in Studio City. They raved about the breakfast. At both places you can park your own car and don't have to use the valet (which will save you money). If you are splurging on a hotel, I'd stay at the Sunset Marquis or The Mondrian. If you really do want to say you stayed in "Hollywood" and be near the stars names on the sidewalks, etc., go for the Roosevelt Hotel. It's historic Hollywood. Remember to tip Spiderman if you get your photo taken with him or any of the other superheros running around.

Rent a car at the airport and spend a little extra for a convertible. You're in LA! If you can't be driving a Bentley at least drive a convertible. Make sure you tour around Santa Monica and Venice, so you get a hit of oceanside LA. Unless you're there for a whole week you won't have time to go to Malibu because it's a long drive. But you can get the ocean vibe in Santa Monica.

Spring for at least one really expensive dinner while you're there. Talk to the concierge at your hotel and s/he can recommend someplace your group might like and make the reservation for you. I'd hit up one of the many glam rooftop bars in LA if I were on my first visit. Views for days and be among among the so-called beautiful people hanging out. The best ones are the rooftop lounge at the Standard Hotel in West Hollywood (there's one downtown, too, with a rooftop pool) and SkyBar at the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset. They're both expensive, but you'll definitely feel like you're in L.A. There might be a cover charge if you're not a hotel guest. If you want to see the sun set over the ocean, you can have a drink at High, the rooftop lounge at the Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach.

Some restaurants I'd recommend:

Boneyard Bistro on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks for meat and beer.
Casa Vega, also on Ventura has good music and Mexican food.
Barney's Beanery, Craig's, and BOA Steakhouse, all in West Hollywood, are places for star sightings.
Dominick's on Beverly in West Hollywood has good Italian and is old-school rat pack Hollywood.
Spago and The Grill in the Alley are pricey but good places to eat in Beverly Hills and pretend you're a millionaire.

People will tell you to go to The Ivy but it's incredibly expensive and I've never known anyone who saw anyone famous there. Maybe producers eat there. The advice above is good if you're going to do a bunch of bars at night. Don't drink and drive.

Have a great time.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:25 PM
 
29 posts, read 18,993 times
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Santa Monica and Venice are lots of fun and worth the trip, but do your best to avoid commuter traffic. It can be very challenging to go from the West Side to the East Side. But, everybody's very happy because the sun is shining all the time.....I love LA (but I digress haha)
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:09 PM
 
2,015 posts, read 2,885,254 times
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Check out airnbnb.com for some good places to stay without breaking the bank.

I recommend Venice Beach & Santa Monica. Griffith Observatory is something nice to do that is free and offers great views. You might want to check out the metro lines and see if the lines take you anywhere you might wanna see to avoid traffic.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,422 posts, read 1,325,253 times
Reputation: 2718
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieguns View Post
First - where to stay? (without breaking the bank). Any hotel recommendations? We will be in town only 3 to 4 days and really want to make the most of it. We are in our mid 30's. Would like to be close to "Action" and things to do - nightlife, etc. Maybe check out Hollywood and where the stars hang (why not, lol). I always wanted to check out some of the bars from the movie Swingers! Also looking for some bar and restaurant recommendations. I assume we will need to rent a car, based on what I have heard about the city lay out. I have been to San Diego and San Fran before but I have heard that LA is much more spread out. If we have time maybe we will check out Santa Monica too. I don't know if it makes sense to even stay there near the beach. Any tips or advice is much appreciated. As you can see we are starting from scratch! thanks!
As another poster mentioned, the stars don't hang out in Hollywood. Well, they do in the Hollywood Hills but that is behind gated mansions. Hollywood was a glamorous area with stars from about 1920 to 1950. Hollywood suffered decades of decline from the mid-1950's until about the late 90's when it started to slowly turn around.

When is your trip? The new Expo Line Phase II will open in May 2016 which will enhance the rail options available. But you are probably are better off renting a car.

3 or 4 days in LA, I'd suggest seeing the following areas in no particular order:

1. Santa Monica/Venice
2. Hollywood/Los Feliz (Swingers area)/Griffith Observatory
3. West Hollywood/Beverly Hills
4. Downtown LA/Koreatown

The best nightlife options are Downtown LA and/or Hollywood/West Hollywood.

Give us a budget for your nightly stay and people can recommend a place/area. Hotel occupancies and rates are through the roof right now. AirBnB is definitely worth a look.

If you do rent a car trying driving Sunset Blvd. or Wilshire Blvd. from Downtown LA to Santa Monica/Pacific Ocean or vice versa. Both routes will take you through many iconic and interesting parts of LA.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:45 PM
 
9 posts, read 8,559 times
Reputation: 19
find a korean friend and hit up ktown at night... you will not be dissapointed.. one hint, look up Doomi Karaoke bars
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Old 03-23-2016, 02:48 PM
 
316 posts, read 800,932 times
Reputation: 62
Thanks so much for the tips! I will definitely take this into consideration as I begin my hotel search. We are looking for something ideally in the $200 or so range, per night. At quick glance these were a few I saw: Best Western Hollywood Plaza 2011 Highland Ave, Hollywood or the Hilton Garden Inn is on the same road as well as Holiday Inn Express. Or Mama Shelter: 6500 Selma Ave and Best Western Plus in Hollywood Hills. Any of these in good, safe, fun locations? thanks again!
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