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Old 05-04-2011, 03:28 PM
 
Location: A gym in Miami
83 posts, read 78,619 times
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I have been to LA several times on business trips, but never got a chance to leave the city limits to explore the metro. For the first time I'm going for pleasure this summer and want to see things outside of the city limits, but still within the metro area. Give me some ideas of "must see" things to do in the Los Angeles CSA Metro not within the city limits possibly around not farther than a 45 minutes drive from LA city limits.

So far I have Santa Monica and Venice Beach on my lists. What should I add???

Last edited by anp80; 05-04-2011 at 04:57 PM..
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:47 PM
 
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there are lots of things you could see and do. some of these might be more than 45 minutes away (especially in traffic) but most are still reasonably close to central LA.

off the top of my head, and in no particular order:

-drive up the pacific coast highway (PCH) along the malibu coast or navigate malibu's winding, scenic mountain/canyon roads (piuma rd, stunt rd, mulholland highway, topanga canyon, etc)
-hike in the santa monica mountains of malibu
-drive and/or hike in mount wilson (san gabriel mountains)
-drive along mulholland drive, which is lined with huge mansions and has great views of the city and the san fernando valley
-eat in the suburban ethnic enclaves such as the san gabriel valley (chinese/taiwanese), glendale (armenian), torrance/gardena (japanese), little saigon in garden grove/westminster/orange county (vietnamese), cambodia town in long beach (cambodian), and so forth.
-wat thai buudhist temple in the north hollywood district of the san fernando valley (technically within the city limits of LA), which has a bunch of food vendors serving cheap, authentic thai food on weekends
-check out the beaches of orange county, which are generally better than the ones in LA county IMO. south OC's beaches are especially nice - laguna beach, dana point, san clemente, etc.
-if OC is too far for you, at least stop by the beaches of the south bay: manhattan beach, hermosa beach, redondo beach, torrance beach. much more relaxed and less touristy than santa monica/venice and with scenic views of the palos verdes peninsula.
-drive up to the palos verdes peninsula for amazing ocean and city views or to hike, bike, whale watch, or visit the point vicente lighthouse
-angels baseball game in anaheim
-disneyland in anaheim, magic mountain in valencia, or universal studios if you're into amusement parks
-old town pasadena, which is a lively downtown area with plenty of shops and restaurants. other parts of pasadena have attractions worth checking out, too: norton simon museum, rose bowl, cal tech campus, various art galleries, stately mansions, etc.
-helms bakery district in culver city if you're more artistic
-ventura boulevard in the san fernando valley (studio city, sherman oaks, encino, etc) - these areas are actually within the city limits of LA.
-huntington library and botanical gardens in san marino (right next to pasadena)
-belmont shore in long beach
-if you're willing to explore beyond your current radius, check out joshua tree national park out in the desert (really awesome IMO)
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:52 PM
 
Location: La La Land
1,616 posts, read 2,270,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbergen View Post
there are lots of things you could see and do. some of these might be more than 45 minutes away (especially in traffic) but most are still reasonably close to central LA.

off the top of my head, and in no particular order:

-drive up the pacific coast highway (PCH) along the malibu coast or navigate malibu's winding, scenic mountain/canyon roads (piuma rd, stunt rd, mulholland highway, topanga canyon, etc)
-hike in the santa monica mountains of malibu
-drive and/or hike in mount wilson (san gabriel mountains)
-drive along mulholland drive, which is lined with huge mansions and has great views of the city and the san fernando valley
-eat in the suburban ethnic enclaves such as the san gabriel valley (chinese/taiwanese), glendale (armenian), torrance/gardena (japanese), little saigon in garden grove/westminster/orange county (vietnamese), cambodia town in long beach (cambodian), and so forth.
-wat thai buudhist temple in the north hollywood district of the san fernando valley (technically within the city limits of LA), which has a bunch of food vendors serving cheap, authentic thai food on weekends
-check out the beaches of orange county, which are generally better than the ones in LA county IMO. south OC's beaches are especially nice - laguna beach, dana point, san clemente, etc.
-if OC is too far for you, at least stop by the beaches of the south bay: manhattan beach, hermosa beach, redondo beach, torrance beach. much more relaxed and less touristy than santa monica/venice and with scenic views of the palos verdes peninsula.
-drive up to the palos verdes peninsula for amazing ocean and city views or to hike, bike, whale watch, or visit the point vicente lighthouse
-angels baseball game in anaheim
-disneyland in anaheim, magic mountain in valencia, or universal studios if you're into amusement parks
-old town pasadena, which is a lively downtown area with plenty of shops and restaurants. other parts of pasadena have attractions worth checking out, too: norton simon museum, rose bowl, cal tech campus, various art galleries, stately mansions, etc.
-helms bakery district in culver city if you're more artistic
-ventura boulevard in the san fernando valley (studio city, sherman oaks, encino, etc) - these areas are actually within the city limits of LA.
-huntington library and botanical gardens in san marino (right next to pasadena)
-belmont shore in long beach
-if you're willing to explore beyond your current radius, check out joshua tree national park out in the desert (really awesome IMO)
This will be our second summer in LA, and the above list is excellent!! We've done about half the things on it.

Would like to add:

-Check out Manhattan Beach and watch the early morning surfers

- Drive up the PCH and have lunch at Paradise Cove (of Rockford Files fame)

- Day trip up to Santa Barbara
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:35 AM
 
102 posts, read 160,273 times
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Go to both Getty Museums. The garden at the newer site is really nice and if you can hit it on a good sunset, it is spectacular.

When you drive up PCH if you like seafood try Reel Inn just past Topanga Canyon Rd. When you get to the Ventura County line there's Neptune's Net, a fried fish and motorcycle hangout that's fun for local color.

The tide pools by Malibu Lagoon are great if you happen to be there at low tide.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:35 AM
 
Location: A gym in Miami
83 posts, read 78,619 times
Reputation: 23
What about Venice Beach and Santa Monica? Are they must see places? I have them on my list.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:27 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anp80 View Post
What about Venice Beach and Santa Monica? Are they must see places? I have them on my list.
Absolutely! When you'll get back, your friends will tell you: "Heyaa, you've been in Los Angeles, wow! Tell us about Santa Monica!" What are you going to do then?

There are also a lot of things to see in the city, you may want to take some professionally made tour like this one Ultimate Los Angeles City Tour L.A. City, Santa Monica & Venice beaches and Stars Homes Combined
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:52 PM
 
1,542 posts, read 5,677,932 times
Reputation: 1691
Quote:
Originally Posted by anp80 View Post
What about Venice Beach and Santa Monica? Are they must see places? I have them on my list.
i think every visitor to LA should check out venice and santa monica at least once. you may find them to be too touristy for your taste (especially along the venice beach boardwalk, 3rd street promenade, and santa monica pier) but they're quintessential LA destinations.

while in santa monica, stop by father's office for great burgers and an excellent beer selection. just make sure to go there during off-hours (early or very late), otherwise the wait for a table will be horrendous.

not sure if this is your sort of thing, but you might want to check out a tv show taping while you're in town. to be honest, i don't know how many shows will be filming over the summer, but it's worth a look. personally, i always enjoyed catching the "late night with conan o'brien" show when he was still based in nyc; i haven't been to a taping of his show since it moved to burbank, but i'd imagine that it would be a similarly entertaining experience.

also, i know you're looking for suggestions outside of los angeles proper, but just wanted to mention that you absolutely should not miss out on getting authentic mexican food while in town. if you can only go to one place, i'd recommend ricky's fish tacos, which is an ensenadan-style fish taco cart on the los feliz/east hollywood border. it's cheap, delicious, filling, and authentic, and is one of my favorite eateries in the entire city, regardless of cuisine or price.

finally, you should take a look at this la times series of articles detailing mini-itineraries for the greater los angeles area:

San Fernando Valley -- Travel - Vacations, Guides, Reviews & Deals - latimes.com

the articles are divided by the various subsections of the region - downtown, san fernando valley, griffith park, and so forth - so it's quick and easy to read.
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