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Old 04-06-2009, 12:14 AM
 
101 posts, read 337,528 times
Reputation: 41
Default Planning a week long trip to LA

Hey guys, a few friends and I are thinking of going down to LA for about a week, in late June/early July from Vancouver, BC. Have a couple of questions of how to plan this thing out. We have a budget of around $1000 CA. each. We all fall inbetween 18-20 yrs of age. Within our budget, what can we really be able to do?

Basically, we wanna be in a place around the beach or downtown. Which one would be better, since we wanna go to both. A friend said there's all-inclusive resorts out on the beach in the LA area (not including booze, I guess), not sure if it's true or not but if there is such a thing, where? If not, are there any relatively cheap, decent hotels/motels that anyone can suggest?

Only some of us can drive, so likely we'll be taking the bus around to places. Like to the beach from downtown, or vice versa. Or we can possibly rent a car out there, but if it's really pricey, we'll scrap that idea. Also, are we really confined with what we can do without a car in the LA area?

We aren't really set with what we wanna do, but we do have a couple of things in mind. Possibly 1 or 2 amusement parks, going to hollywood and taking the tour bus around the celebrity houses, etc.

Some of us want to do our own things too. I want to go and see USC, and see if I can catch anything football related. A friend of mine wants to go do a dance workshop possibly. Are these safe things to do on our own? And are they do-able from downtown or the beach?

Most of us by then would be old enough to drink in Canada, but since you have to be 21+ in LA, none of us will be old enough. Is there anything we can do at night time downtown without having to go to bars/clubbing? Or are we restricted to sight seeing?
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Burbank
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Downtown won't be much fun if you aren't 21.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
310 posts, read 690,083 times
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I vaca there once a year. It can be tough, because it is so enormous. The closer to the beach, the more $$$. We stay in Orange County and hit the freeways EARLY...like 5 am. We shopped for hotels on hotels.com and finally settled on one for about $60 a night which is dirt cheap, and it was actually nice and very clean with great service. It was the Inn&Suites in Buena Park.

Don't plan too many things or you will get worn out. Go to Manhattan Beach and rent beach bikes, then ride up and down the strand along with thousands of others and stare out towards Japan. Go to Venice Beach and people watch, then go check out the Venice Canals. Drive down Sunset at night. Other than that, just enjoy the ocean air and palm trees and fancy cars. Oh, and take me!
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: La Crescenta, CA
413 posts, read 1,113,223 times
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I don't know if you're into the alternative rock scene, but a club called The Smell is quite hip and open to all ages. For a pretty comprehensive list of goings-on, check out LA Weekly. For hotels, just search in your price range and area at hotels.com. There are some very inexpensive motels near the beach (e.g. Santa Monica Motel, Sea Shore Motel), but I don't what they're like. Or pool your money and stay at the Standard. There will be a ton of hip young people.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 7,433,941 times
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Do know that most United States hotels will not allow people under the age of 21 to check in. You need to search for hotels or motels that will alow under 21 check in. Your average Marriott or Holiday Inn often doesn't allow people under 21 to check in for example. Same for a car: Under 25 the car rental company won't let you rent or they will charge a hefty fee each day for being under 25.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
25 posts, read 60,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhome View Post
Do know that most United States hotels will not allow people under the age of 21 to check in. You need to search for hotels or motels that will alow under 21 check in. Your average Marriott or Holiday Inn often doesn't allow people under 21 to check in for example. Same for a car: Under 25 the car rental company won't let you rent or they will charge a hefty fee each day for being under 25.
That's not true about the hotels. I've booked hotels with friends all over the country, including Los Angeles and even Vegas while we were all under the age of 21.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,462 posts, read 14,036,886 times
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Downtown LA is not what you think it is. It's the kind of place where you really have to "be in the know" just to know what to do, what the trendy clubs are. Really, as a tourist you won't miss anything if you skip downtown altogether, and if you do go, you could easily see it all including Chinatown, Olvera St, Broadway, and Bunker Hill all in one big walking tour in just a few hours. And I would only go in the daylight hours.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: West LA
75 posts, read 131,487 times
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Yes I agree with Calabasasgirl about the hotels. I never had a problem checking into a hotel before I was 21. There may be some that don't allow it but I wouldn't say that's the norm.

I would suggest you stay closer to the beach than downtown. Downtown has a lot of fun sites to see but you could easily check it out in a day and just take the metro. Venice Beach is a must and 3rd Street in Santa Monica is a fun place to hang out at night, even if you're not 21.

You may have a hard time doing everything you want to do without a car, since most of those things are pretty spread out, but you could use public transportation for most of those things if you did some planning. If you stay at a nicer hotel they may be able to help set that stuff up for you.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,462 posts, read 14,036,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runningbachk View Post
I see if I can catch anything football related. A friend of mine wants to go do a dance workshop possibly. Are these safe things to do on our own? And are they do-able from downtown or the beach?
Re USC, you can get to the northern perimeter of campus from downtown by taking the "DASH Route F" circulator bus. Make sure you get the heck out of dodge though before it gets dark-- the area around USC is not safe at night (and sometimes not even during the day). It's bad during the school year and it's even worse during the summer (fewer students around). During the day you're probably okay if you just stick to the campus and maybe Exposition Park/ the Coliseum across the street. In the evenings there are also free USC shuttle busses that head from the campus to Union Station.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:38 PM
 
10,040 posts, read 14,356,895 times
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I love downtown, but suggest that you do a daytime trip if you're not old enough to do the bar thing. Walking down Broadway and through the Fashion District/Santee Alley is a lot of fun (as well as an experience that too many tourists miss) and well worth the time.

I'd suggest either staying near the beach or in Hollywood. Hollywood has a lot of hotels and is conveniently located for a lot of things- obviously to see Hollywood itself, as well as if you go to Universal Studios. You could also split your time with part of your stay near the beach and part of your time in Hollywood - that way you'd save some time getting back and forth the city.

I've never heard of all-inclusive resorts on the beaches of LA, but even if you could find one I don't know why you want to go to one; LA has such great food options (including cheap food) and you'd really miss out. If you want an all-inclusive beach resort save it for another trip somewhere else.

I'm in my 30s now, but I traveled while under 21 and never once had a problem with a hotel. Renting a car under 25 will be an issue, though; you can do it some places, but it will cost you an arm and a leg (there are surcharges based on age). You're better off sticking to places you can go via public transportation. For the most part it sounds like the things you want to see are easily accessible, and with a little preplanning of itinerary (which you'd want to do with a car, anyway, as even short distances can take a long time to travel due to traffic) it shouldn't be a big deal.
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