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Old 10-30-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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As the title says, where visiting LA (from Australia) in mid Nov and are looking to book a place in downtown LA near McArthur Park on Wilshire Blvd.

Firstly, is this a good area for tourists - i.e. is it safe?
Secondly, would it be easy to get to most places within LA by transit?

Thanks
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:59 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
39,024 posts, read 22,155,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travisboutsis View Post
As the title says, where visiting LA (from Australia) in mid Nov and are looking to book a place in downtown LA near McArthur Park on Wilshire Blvd.

Firstly, is this a good area for tourists - i.e. is it safe?
Secondly, would it be easy to get to most places within LA by transit?

Thanks
Although I am not too familiar with places to stay near Downtown LA, I would avoid the MacArthur Park area as it is notoriously a rough section of town. Hopefully other posters could give you better suggestions.
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:10 PM
 
2,583 posts, read 8,293,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travisboutsis View Post
As the title says, where visiting LA (from Australia) in mid Nov and are looking to book a place in downtown LA near McArthur Park on Wilshire Blvd.

Firstly, is this a good area for tourists - i.e. is it safe?
Secondly, would it be easy to get to most places within LA by transit?

Thanks
WTF would you want to stay near mcarthur park? why not just cut out the middle-man, and sleep on the sidewalk on skid row?
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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I think it is fine during the day, but a little isolated at night. Don't walk parks at night. IF there are people around on the streets, you are rather safe. There are areas near the hotels that might be OK, but my husband and I walked South from the Biltmore to come north again to visit Cicada, and there was a scary person there, and no one else.

The center of LA is not downtown. That's only the center for businesses during the day. But you coudl stay at the Biltmore, Bonneventure, any of them. I know there is a metro station at 7th and Wilshire (I think its wilshire). Lots of shops around there. There are Red line stops by the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.

Check metro.net. The subways are red, blue, green. There are express busways called Orange. There are also national trains on Amtrack.org, and Metrolink websites. Metrolink runs commuter trains to/from Orange County to the south and east to Riverside. Metrolink and Amtrack run on the same tracks. I know its a lot of info....

I would stay at a hotel by an area you can walk around, and yet still have access to a line to downtown to walk around there, but see local sights too. There are many all over the city. I would recommend Santa Monica by 3rd St Promenade (but expensive), Farmers Market (Fairfax and Melrose- that's really fun, but not very close to subway, might be a bus to other Red line stations), downtown Burbank (Close to Red Line (has direct bus to it), on Metrolink and Amtrack lines, nice downtown for families, though not lots of bars nor dance clubs), Sherman Oaks (nice walking area on Ventura Blvd just E of Woodman, on Red Line express bus, more upscale), Studio City (same line as Sherman Oaks, also upscale, great window shopping and restaurants), close to UCLA in Westwood (lots of restaurants around the college, on Red line express bus on Wilshire). Other things to see along the Red line subway - Koreatown, esp. on Wilshire West of Vermont or about 5 blocks west of there and 2 blocks norht on 6th - lots of restaurants. Also rec area by the old Wiltern Theatre, right across from a redline. Mostly downtown area, but the theatre is cool if you can get a tour; in downtown - Disney concert hall, Biltmore hotel (don't miss the pool underground, nor tea at the back lower level), library (yes, I'm a geek; 3 blocks from red line subway), stairs just uphill from library on pedestrian walkway, Bradbury building (Bladerunner - arrrange a tour****, old theatres around there, Grand Central Market (not right on the subway - rather long walk or bus maybe), City Hall (seen in dragnet), Wilshire & 7th area, Chinatown (2 blocks from Union Station and Red Line and close to blue line subways, also Metrolink stop), Olivera street (not a lot there).

The Gold line subway goes to Old Town Pasadena (4 blocks of restaurants, bars, bookstore, and large chain stores), and I think a stop in Glendale at the Southwestern museum. (The subway website will have more info)

Red line goes to Hollywood and Highland - there's a large mall there, fun shops, stars on the pavement, the Egyptian and Mann's Chinese theatres, Pantages (with Wicked showing), and a lot more than there used to be. It also stops at Universal City & City walk, a mall with large decor and restaurants and Universal Studios. In fact, there's a Sheridan or Hilton there. A little stuff in Noho south of the station.

Fun places to walk further from public subways: Toluca Lake along Alameda between Hollywood Way and 7 blocks west from there. Bob's Big Boy is there, and there's a car show Friday nights, I think. Maybe Sat night.

The Blue subway line will take you to Long Beach and the Aquarium, and the Queen Mary. Not a ton of shops there, but enough.

Amtrack and Metrolink take you to Disneyland, and there is a bus from the station to there. You'll need to research it further or call the park to ask.

Good luck!! Enjoy your trip.
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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In downtown, I also recommend the Otani Hotel. It's in a section called Little Tokyo. There are some shops and Japanese restaurants there in the vicinity. I highly rec the Japanese restaurant called Thousand Cranes for sushi, as it looks out over a wonderful 3rd floor rooftop garden. Wonderful!! The area is a little more isolated. You could taxi or bus there from the Red line & Union Station stop, I believe.

South of there deteriorates more, with lots of homeless, unfortunately.

Downtown is changing with lots more lofts and stuff going on. New buildings. You could go to Google Maps, put in the address, and look around with Street View button.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:51 PM
 
Location: CITY OF ANGELS AND CONSTANT DANGER
5,408 posts, read 12,172,909 times
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you can stay in downtown or a bit furhter west PAST MAC PARK in Korea town. you will still have access to the purple line which gets you in to downtown easily. to the blue line to long beach. to the red line to universal. to union station. the purple line of wilshire will also connect you to the gold line to pasadena.

if you want a pedestrian feeling, a walkable place, stay closer to downtown, or in korea town. but not in Macarthur park. its not as bad as it used to be, but its not particularly nice either.
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:12 PM
 
Location: South Bay
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unless youre an architectural enthusiast or going to a sporting event at the staples center, most of downtown is not very interesting for a tourist. however, it is a decent starting point to visit many of the other areas of the city that others have mentioned. you can take the #10 blue big bus to santa monica and venice or the #720 to the miracle mile, farmer's market, and beverly hills in addition to the places the metro rail lines will take you.

i wouldn't say that it is easy to get around LA by transit, but it is doable, although time consuming.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:28 PM
 
58 posts, read 152,742 times
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Truthfully: why would you stay in downtown ?
By the sound of your questions I have the feeling you have not been to LA before ?

In LA you need a car to begin with.
This is not like New York where you can walk miles and miles and get somewhere.
So having said that: once you have a car, you can easily drive to downtown to see whatever you want to see. Getting around by transit is slightly time consuming and if possible I would avoid it.

There are things to do/see in downtown, but make no mistake: it is not a downtown as you may know in other cities.

LA is a great city, but downtown has not reached the charm yet (??) of any other big city.

Enjoy your stay !
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
7,088 posts, read 7,973,384 times
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Downtown L.A. is excellent if you know what's going on, but if you're the typical person in L.A. you haven't been to downtown in so long you think it's just full of homeless people and have no idea that downtown L.A. is poised to become one of the best downtowns in any city. It will still take more time, but living near Staples you can't beat the selection of great restaurants we have, entertainment at Staples and L.A. Live, the major events that take place here, lots of great bars, etc. It's a great place but you do need the knowledge of where to go and where not to go. It's not some paradise yet or something, it's a work in progress but a lot of fun still.

I would recommend The Biltmore, I've had a friend stay there and he loved it. I've stayed at The Standard, but if you stay there and want to sleep early (i.e. before 2 a.m.) then don't get any room on the top 3-4 floors -- you will hear the rooftop bar, even if you're 3 floors below it. You won't be able to sleep. It's a cool hotel, though, obviously it's very trendy, probably the trendiest hangout in downtown. The Standard's rooftop bar is one of the only spots downtown right now where you will see the rich and famous hanging out. I've seen one celebrity even when I went there one night.

Besides those two, I really like The Bonaventure, another friend was just staying there this past week and I've always enjoyed their rotating bar at the top, even with super expensive prices, it's worth having one drink there anyway.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:42 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
1,287 posts, read 4,877,533 times
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Why do you want to stay downtown versus the beach, for example?

If you decide to stick with downtown, I suggest the following hotels:

1. Omni
2. Biltmore
3. Bonaventure
4. Marriott

Avoid McArthur Park. There is nothig to see.
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