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Where to stay and what to do in LA

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Singapore, Singapore
posts: 5
Where to stay and what to do in LA

Hi Guys

My bestfriend and I, along with my 7 year old daughter, are planning an 11 day trip to LA. We are planning to spend 4 days in LA, 3 in Vegas and 4 in Frisco and then back home to Singapore. I read somewhere that Anaheim is probably the safest place. So we plan to spend 1 day at Disneyland and I day at Universal studios. Would really appreciate it if someone could suggest how best we could spend the other 2 days and if Anaheim is the best place to stay. If it helps, we plan to rent a car.

Muskegon, Michigan
posts: 6,853
reviews: 39
1. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

Welcome to Trip Advisor, Sonia .

Please do bear in mind first , geography wise, that Anaheim , Las Vegas , san Francisco and Los Angeles are far away from each other...lumping it all into "L.A" for your 11 day plan would be an unwise thing to do .

Muskegon, Michigan
posts: 6,853
reviews: 39
2. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

OK....now for the ideas and logistics part of the trip....

- Having a rental car for the Anaheim/ Los Angeles area would be a good idea to do, as it will save you time and money to get around to the attractions. Having a car for the vegas and san fran part of the trip would help too. Just remember that Los Angeles is about 45-55 minutes away from Anaheim by car, and Hollywood area is about a bit longer than that.

- Basing yourself in Anaheim for the Southern California part of the trip is a good idea, especially with a car. It's not unsafe to stay in L.A proper, per se, but the metropolitan area of L.A is so big.

- As for what to do on days not visiting Disneyland and Universal Studios, well, it depends on what you plan to see in those other two days. If you still want to visit another theme park, there is Knott's Berry Farm,the first theme park in the nation, in Buena Park, about 15 minutes or so away drive from Disneyland itself. There's the whole Hollywood touristy places of the Hollywood Blvd. walk of fame, Chinese Theatre, Kodak Theatre, El Capitan, etc. things to see there. You could also visit beachesand its surrounding towns in both Orange County (Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, etc) and Los Angeles County (Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, etc) . There's museums, sporting events, zoos, shopping, great eats, etc...plenty for you to do out there. It would help if you could tell us some of the things outside of the theme parks you'd like to visit during the Southern California part of your trip.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
posts: 19,931
reviews: 21
3. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

Anaheim is an hour from Los Angeles and only convenient when visiting Disneyland. I don't know where you heard it's the only safe area when visiting LA, as it isn't true. What is your budget per night for a hotel? Will you have a rental car?

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
4. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

One thing that the Anaheim Resort District and nearby Garden Grove International West does is take part of the Hotel Taxes collected and directly use it for additional police officers to watch over the Tourism areas. The cities do know that making the areas safe is important.

That doesn't make any other area of the Greater Los Angeles Area less safe. But the area is quite large, and some areas are better than others. But the main tourist location, such as the area near the intersection of Hollywood and Highland are also watched over a bit more than normal.

So with 4 days in the Southern California area, the Anaheim area is a good central location.

Here is a link to the tourism site for the Anaheim and surrounding area.


San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 20,520
reviews: 114
5. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

>>>So with 4 days in the Southern California area, the Anaheim area is a good central location.

Here we go again. I think the first thing to do is to plan and decide what you want to do and see and then decide where to stay based on that. You mention one day in Disneyland. One in Universal? What about the other 2 days. what do you want to do and see ? Please do some research and then you can decide. If you are planning just one day in Anaheim, it is not a good central location. It is a great location to walk to Disneyland but it is boring and far location to visit Universal and Santa Monica, and Griffith Park and Hollywood and the LA downtown museums.

Also which Frisco are you visiting ? Frisco, Colorado or Frisco Texas. If you mean San Francisco, it would be preferable to call it SF or San Francisco.

Edited: 11:23 am, April 30, 2013
Singapore, Singapore
posts: 5
6. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

Thanks guys for all the comments. I think we will skip the beach areas; we have plenty of those on our side ie. Bali, Langkawi, etc.and so we will focus on the touristy stuff like the Hollywood sign, Kodak theatre and musuems. BTW, what is considered the 'central' area in LA should we not wish to stay in Anaheim? Budget for hotels is abt US$150 - 200 per day.

Edited: 6:58 pm, April 30, 2013
Singapore, Singapore
posts: 5
7. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

Darkbeer - was very intrigued by the part that policing ie. safety is correlated with the amount of taxes collect from a certain area. I suppose in a huge country like the US, that would be the fairest way to distribute limited resources.

Edited: 7:06 pm, April 30, 2013
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 22,958
reviews: 52
8. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

Hi, Sing

Welcome to the Forum. You've posted in the Anaheim Forum (for the reason you've stated) but I'll provide a map (below) that will, hopefully, help to orient you as far as "where is the center of the city of Los Angeles". Here's the map:


Here are some notes re: the map:

1. This map shows the CITY of Los Angeles. Our city is the second-largest city in the U.S. and, as you can see from the map, is quite spread out. The map shows some of the popular neighborhoods as well as some popular attractions.

2. The City of Los Angeles is unusual in a few ways:

a. Our 'downtown area' is not in the center of our city; it's near the eastern edge of it (see the map).

b. The very center of the City of Los Angeles is Beverly Hills (see map) which, btw, is not in the city of Los Angeles. Beverly Hills and its immediate eastern neighbor (West Hollywood) are INDEPENDENT CITIES that are literally surrounded by the CITY of Los Angeles.

** So, to answer your question: the center of the city of Los Angeles is Beverly Hills. But, I'll talk more about this below because the 'center' can vary depending on the SPECIFIC SITES you'll be visiting. Most visitors would say that the 'center' is the place that is in the middle of the sites that they are visiting.

3. Okay, back to the map. LAX is at the bottom left of the map and the beach areas are along the left side of the map. The Pacific Ocean isn't shown but it makes up the western edge of the map.

4. The Westside is really a clustering of many popular neighborhoods in L.A., e.g. Brentwood, Westwood, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Venice. (Some would include Santa Monica and Malbu as 'westside' but since these two areas are separate cities (like Beverly Hills and West Hollywood), it's not clear if they're on the westside or not (no worries, though).

5. To the east of Beverly Hills (the center of the city of Los Angeles) are Hollywood, "Central L.A." (which goes by many names on this Forum -- "Beverly Grove", "Beverly Center area", the "Fairfax District"), West Hollywood Including the "Sunset Strip", Griffith Park and finally, Downtown near the eastern edge of our city. (There are other neighborhoods that are simply not shown to make the map easier to read.

6. Anaheim is 'off the map' since it is outside of the city of Los Angeles as well as the county of Los Angeles in an adjacent county (Orange County) to the southeast of the city and county of Los Angeles. Anaheim is represented by the middle DARK BLUE box at the lower right corner of the map, or more specifically, by the red arrow within that box that points to Anaheim.

So, to say that Anaheim is 'good central area' is not the case if you plan to focus your attention on the CITY of Los Angeles and its attractions.

The areas depicted on the map have hundreds of attractions so it's helpful to get acquainted with some of these to help you plan. You can't simply walk out of your hotel and start touring in most places -- and even when you can, you'd only be looking at local attractions.

Visit the LOS ANGELES Forum (you and I are in the ANAHEIM FORUM at present) and once there, visit our TOP QUESTIONS BOX (at the right side of the LOS ANGELES FORUM home page or the FAQs (a link at the top of the LOS ANGELES FORUM 'List of Topics'). Here's a shortcut to the FAQs -- link and SCROLL DOWN for the content in the left-hand column:


The FAQs covers a lot of information including tips on expanding your knowledge through online and off-line resources.

For any further questions about the CITY of Los Angeles and adjacent areas, post in the LOS ANGELES FORUM.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
posts: 4,161
reviews: 12
9. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

As others have mentioned, you need to decide exactly what places you want to visit while staying the in the LA area before deciding where to stay. Please look at a map to get an idea of the distances involved. There really isn't a central area. You also need to research what to do in LA as there's a LOT of choices. I have the Lonely Planet Pocket Guidebook to LA & it's great. Everything is featured in neighbourhoods, so I can work out what my sightseeing options are for the day based on what I want to see in that area.

The only reason I would suggest staying in Anaheim is if you do 2 days at Disneyland, then 1 day in San Diego (the zoo or Sea World) & 1 day combining Universal studios with Hollywood. That's the only time it would be central.

If you are doing 1 day at Disneyland, 1 day at Universal & the other 2 days sightseeing around LA (Santa Monica, Griffith Park...) then Anaheim is not a good choice.

I usually stay in Anaheim for my Disneyland days, then transfer to Santa Monica for my LA days. It's still a drive to get to the Hollywood area, but I like staying there :) The drive from Anaheim to Hollywood is not fun.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 5
10. Re: Where to stay and what to do in LA

Hotskipjump - thank you! Finally I have a good understanding of the layout of the city and what to expect. Your reply was very thorough, comprehensive and relevant.