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Easiest way to get from S.M/Venice Beach to Universal?

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Tauranga, New...
posts: 7
reviews: 3
Easiest way to get from S.M/Venice Beach to Universal?

We are staying on Rose Avenue for 5 nights at the end of April - which I believe is on the border of Santa Monica/Venice Beach.

This is our first time in L.A (and America also!) and we are not confident renting a car..

What would be the easiest/quickest way to get to both Universal Studios and Six Flags magic mountain?

In hindsight im thinking we should have stayed somewhere more central but booking cannot be changed - plus im sure we will enjoy being by the beach :)

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 15,150
reviews: 58
1. Re: Easiest way to get from S.M/Venice Beach to Universal?

Can you tell us which hotel exactly, or where on Rose Ave. if its not a hotel?

Unfortunately, Rose Ave. is a bit in public transit and tour bus "no man's land". I'd familiarize yourself with www.bigbluebus.com - your best bet would be to start from Rose Ave. by taking Big Blue Bus #3 from Lincoln Blvd. and Rose Ave., or Big Blue Bus #1 from Rose Ave. / Main St. (whichever one is closer to where you are staying) in to downtown Santa Monica.

From there, you'll have a few options...

First, you can use a tour company like www.starlinetours.com - they pick up from most of the hotels in Santa Monica and can get you to both Universal and Magic Mountain. But they don't pick up from any hotels near Rose Ave. as far as I can see - this is one reason to use one of the Big Blue Bus's to get over to downtown Santa Monica, which will put you in walking distance to one of the hotels they do pick up from.

Magic Mountain is otherwise difficult on public transportation and would be an expensive taxi ride (in excess of $100 each way) from the Rose Ave. area.

For Universal, you can also go via public transit - probably the easiest way is to get the Big Blue Bus from Rose Ave. to downtown Santa Monica, and then from there Metro Bus 704 (which runs on Santa Monica blvd.) to the Santa Monica / Vermont subway station, and then the subway to the Universal City station.

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 25,488
reviews: 51
2. Re: Easiest way to get from S.M/Venice Beach to Universal?

Staying in central L.A. would not help you to reach Six Flags since it is far from the center of L.A. The EASIEST and QUICKEST way to get to Universal and Six Flags from Rose Av is to hire a car.

While I completely understand your hesitation to drive, these 2 particular attractions are extremely easy to reach by car since the drive involves driving almost exclusively on freeways (motorways). You simply exit the freeway into the parking area of the attraction.

While driving on the freeway, you need do nothing but hold the steering wheel steady and press on the right-hand pedal. Easy!

You've complicated the transfer a little because you're staying in an area that is not next to one of our freeways but you can call an enterprise.com car hire office and they will send someone to pick up and your family and take them to their office so you can retrieve the car.

The nearest Enterprise office to Rose Av is the one at 2700 Lincoln Bl I picked a location on Rose Av that's in the center of Santa Monica. Here's a map of the route from such a location to the car hire lot:

http://mapq.st/13xr8tp

It's a 4-minute ride.

When you pick up the car, here are the basic steps you'll take to reach these attractions:

1. For both attractions, you'll head north on Lincoln Bl (the street that the Enterprise office is on). The drive will only be .9 miles / 1.4 km (a 1 to 2 minute drive). Ahead, you'll see large signs for the Santa Monica Freeway aka Interstate 10 eastbound.

2. You'll turn right at the sign which will put you on Olympic Bl and you'll then bear left off of Olympic onto the freeway,

3. Now you're going to hold the wheel steady and drive for 2.7 miles / 4.2 km -- a 2 to 3 minute drive. You'll see large signs announcing the exits for the San Diego Freeway aka Interstate 405. You'll want to get onto the 405 northbound.

4. Now, it's time to hold the wheel steady again and compliment yourself on how good a job you're doing. The motorway will slope upwards into the Canyon. You'll reach the top and then it will head downward. The San Fernando Valley (our northern suburbs) will be displayed in the distance. You'll drive this for about 10 miles / 16 km and the ride will take about 10 minutes.

5. At the bottom of the hill, you'll see huge signs for the 101 freeway aka Ventura Freeway. Here is where your drive will vary based upon your eventual destination. But first, let's look at where you've driven thus far...

Here's a map of the route. Use the scroll bars to the left of the map to look at the turn-by-turn directions.

http://mapq.st/XiqwVd

The important thing to note at this point is how long you've been driving. It's 17 minutes (could be longer if you drive in the morning 'rush hour' between 6:00 and 9:00). You're about 1/2 way there and, to be honest, if you used public transit or a tour, it would take more than twice as long -- each way!

Okay, so let's see what happens next.

a. If you're headed to Six Flags, when you reach the exit for the 101 freeway, you'll simply drive right past it and continue driving on the 405 freeway for about 10 miles / 16 km (about a 10 minute drive).

At this point, the 405 will come to an end and will merge into the 5 Freeway aka Golden State Freeway. So just keep driving. 11 miles / 17 km later (about 11 minutes of driving), you'll see the exit sign for Magic Mountain.

Let's look at this section of the route: http://mapq.st/WAkBXJ

So, that's 38 minutes, door-to-door! Fast and easy!

b. If you're heading to Universal, your route will vary from the Magic Mountain route. Starting on the 405 freeway as you approach the exit for the 101 freeway at the bottom of the hill...

Transfer onto the 101 freeway eastbound and drive the 7.4 miles / 12 km (7 minutes) to the exit for Universal Studios. Let's look at the complete route from the Enterprise office to Universal:

http://mapq.st/13xv39J

That's a 31 minute drive (more, with traffic).

Another advantage to driving is that you can come and go to the attractions on your own schedule and stop for dinner at any place you wish.

Tauranga, New...
posts: 7
reviews: 3
3. Re: Easiest way to get from S.M/Venice Beach to Universal?

Thanks for the help!

We are staying at Air on Venice Apartments - 5 Rose Avenue.

Will look into hiring a car, we thought maybe we would after a few days of familiarizing ourselves with the area so perhaps we will go to universal studios on the 2nd day and then drive to six flags on the 5th - parking may be an issue at our apartment though, is it possible to rent cars just for a day?

4. Re: Easiest way to get from S.M/Venice Beach to Universal?

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