We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

Which Los Angeles hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Chicago, Illinois
7 posts
I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

We land in LAX Wed night before Easter, and are staying until April 1st. That gives us 4 full days excluding travel days. There are 6 of us including 3 kids ages 11-15. We are really into movies/TV, so we want to include a studio tour. The kids also want beach time. We are going to Universal studios, but not Disneyland. What are your suggestions for the MUST SEE's? Also, any ideas for Easter? I was thinking of taking a day to drive to San Diego, or would it be a better trip to spend time in orange county? We have a rental van. We are staying at a Marriott in El Segundo due to the room size we needed, is that hotel ok/area good? I don't want to regret missing something. PS - The kids are pop culture junkies, hoping to get some star sightings in as well, any suggestions? What is the weather like end of March? Thx!!

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,965 posts
27 reviews
1. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

LA is very spread out ... so you will be doing lots of driving.

Everyone wants to see stars .. so here's a website which may help.


I would forget San Diego ... too much to see in the LA area ... what about a day drive up to Malibu and have lunch at the Country Mart -- lots of stars go there too.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
Level Contributor
16,386 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

Yes, the Marriott in El Segundo is good, if you are looking at taking the kids to the beach area, and well priced. Are you staying at the Residence Inn, where you can all be in one unit together? They offer a nice hot breakfast.

You'll be a couple miles from Manhattan Beach Pier where you can rent bikes, blades, watch surfers, and volleyball players, walk on the Strand (boardwalk) and there are dozens of shops and restaurants.

You'll be close to the 105 and 405 freeways to take you to the sites, and Universal is about 45 minutes away. Check out Venice beach too.


Chicago, Illinois
7 posts
3. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

Thanks a lot for the link! That is great!!

Chicago, Illinois
7 posts
4. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

I know San Diego is not ideal, but we may never get a chance to do a trip like this again and my husband really wants to go. I was working up an itinerary. Can you tell me if it is possible, or if we are wasting time on anything? I thought it might give us best of both worlds, but not sure if it is realistic...

Wed Night

Arrive LAX

Pickup Rental Car

Check into Hotel - El Segundo

Sightsee? Whatever?

Thursday 8AM - 10PM

Breakfast Buffet

Hollywood - Tourist Stops

Beverly Hills

Venice Beach

Afternoon - Warner Bros Tour

Grove Shopping

Boardwalk, sunset

Dinner in Santa Monica


Universal Studios, 9AM - 10PM


Breakfast - Drive to San Diego

Afternoon at San Diego Zoo

Shop for eggs, snacks

San Diego Hotel - Color Eggs, Relax




Drive through and check out Laguna Beach

Manhattan Beach - Hotel - Relax


5:00AM - Leave for Airport!

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
15,164 posts
58 reviews
5. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

I think you've got too much planned for Thursday, and in any case you'll want to change the order because the way you've got it listed, you'll be doing a lot of back and forth driving. I suggest using maps.google.com to plan this out. It probably makes more sense to do something like Venice, Beverly Hills, The Grove, Hollywood, Warner Bros. then back to Santa Monica for dinner and then finally back to El Segundo. If you don't want to necessarily eat dinner in Santa Monica, Santa Monica is better during the day, in which case it would slot in right after Venice. In any case, you might want to consider doing some of this on Friday - Universal usually does not require a whole day.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
Level Contributor
22,752 posts
26 reviews
6. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

Thusday makes no sense at all, and you won't be able to do all the things on your list. You'll have to drop something. Frankly, I would drop San Diego and get to the places you have on your list on Thursday.

Warners Tour is much of the morning, and is near Hollywood. Santa Monica/Venice is a full day. Beverly HIlls and the Grove can be a full day.

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,965 posts
27 reviews
7. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

I agree with the others about Thursday.

Is there a special,reason you want to go to San Diego?

Chicago, Illinois
7 posts
8. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

Well my husband always had it in his head that it was where he wants to live someday and we were able to get an awesome deal reserved with a full kitchen so Saturday night we can color eggs and wake up Easter morning like a traditional Easter at home, then the drive back through Laguna would be pretty. But, if we find we need more time North, I can always cancel and stay where we were. I heard San Diego was beautiful? I will rearrange Thirsday, it is true that the order probably didn't make sense, more of a list of places we want to hit. Glad Universal wont take all day, is it worth going? Kids did Disney last year, is it a must see though? I know there is so much to see and we need a plan or it will lead to chaos with 6 people! Thx for help!

Chicago, Illinois
7 posts
9. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

Thank you for the feedback!

Edited: 12:01 pm, March 04, 2013
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,965 posts
27 reviews
10. Re: I need your advice - From Chicago to LA

San Diego us beautiful... Don't muss driving around Mission Bay.

Actually it reminds me of my home town here.