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is this itinerary feasible, or suggestions for 'tweaking"

West Michigan
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is this itinerary feasible, or suggestions for 'tweaking"

I will be traveling to LA area this sunday (1-8-06) and will have 1 full day before a confernce and this is my PLAN... does it sound feasible, and do anyone have any suggestions to 'tweak it'. my goal is sight seeing, not muesums or swimming. I want to take pictures and video as much of the sights as i can. I am flying into Santa Ana (conference is in Irving). I get in at 7 pm sunday night. I am going to rent a car and the plan is to drive to Hollywood (and should I take the coast or go the freeway thru LA?) and stay the night at the Hollywood Orchid Suites. I will get up first thing Monday morning and take a 2 hour Hollywood Star Homes tour from the Chinese Theater on the earliest tour. Get done with that and spend a 'little bit of time' walking the hollywood walk of fame. I will then check out of the hotel and drive to the coast and either take it up to Malibu (if this is something I dont want to miss..feedback please..) or just take Pacific coast highway south, stopping briefly at santa monica and checking out the pier (anything else there to see that I shouldnt miss?), then continueing down, with brief picture stops at venice, long beach, huntington beach, newport beach, laguana beach, marina del ray (not in that order of course) and eventually arriving back at Santa Ana, returning the car and getting an airport shuttle to the Hilton Irvine. I will be at a conference a couple of nights and then will have Thursday late afternoon and evening free and would like any suggestions for waht to do in that area that evening (could rent a car for the night again).. Does this seem doable? and/or is there anything else I should include or delete or any tips. THANKS IN ADVANCE!!

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: is this itinerary feasible, or suggestions for 'tweaking"

As planned, no, your itinerary is not doable. You're really not understanding the distances involved or the geography.

Your plan for Hollywood is fine and succinct. I'd only add, make sure you see the restored Egyptian Theater. There's a special short film about Hollywood usually playing every hour during the day for tourists.

However, thereafter your plan becomes very unrealistic. Assuming you get away from Hollywood by noon, there's no way you'll be able to hit Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice and the other various places south. Part of this is the distances involved and the traffic you can anticipate. The other is the geography. The Pacific Coast Highway between Santa Monica and Long Beach doesn't run along the coast. And your ability to jump on and off is not that simple. Even a local who knows their way around each of these destinations would not be able to pull it off. Also, remember, you're here in January and daylight will rapidly disappear by 5 p.m.

Given my opinion, what do I suggest? After Hollywood, head to Santa Monica via Wilshire or Santa Monica Blvd. This way you can quickly check out Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Once you hit Santa Monica proper, check out the Pier and the Third Street Promenade. If you have time (i.e. daylight), take Ocean or Main down to Venice Beach. I don't think you'll have the time to see Malibu or there's anything you can easily take in. I would plan on having dinner in Santa Monica to avoid the rush hour traffic. You can take either the 405 or the 5 south to return to Irvine. Regardless, you're in for a very long day.

I know you state you're not interested, but The Getty Center in west L.A. is worth visiting even if you're not interested in the exhibits. The building and the view on a clear day are both iconic and will give you a sense you're in L.A.

One last thing, when you head north from Santa Ana to Hollywood, take the 5 north and then the 101 north to your exit in Hollywood.

HTH. Enjoy your trip.

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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2. Re: is this itinerary feasible, or suggestions for 'tweaking"

Hitch responded more eloquently than I ever could -- but I have one thing to add:

If you want to see the beach and want some great photo ops, then I suggest heading to Malibu for dinner (after your afternoon in Santa Monica/Venice).

That time when HitchK suggests waiting out the traffic is a perfect time to head 20 minutes north (much easier than trying to get south to Newport or Laguna or Long Beach during rush hour, which would take HOURS, and there's virtually no traffic on the Highway heading north to Malibu) to a restaurant on the beach and catch the sunset. I suggest Moonshadows or Dukes patio for a great early evening...then back to Santa Ana or Irvine.

By the way, there's really nothing to do in Marina del Rey. It's pretty, but it's far out of your way.

West Michigan
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3. Re: is this itinerary feasible, or suggestions for 'tweaking"

thank you both so much,, I guess I was WAY off in my thinking! I have never experienced LA area traffic and it sounds like I am in for a REAL eye opener!

and any more tips from anyone is still appreciated!

Palm Springs, Ca
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4. Re: is this itinerary feasible, or suggestions for 'tweaking"

Since you asked about " suggestions for

tweaking"- then yes, I think if you were tweaking you could probably get all that stuff done and also visit The Grove at Farmers market, run into some celebs.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: is this itinerary feasible, or suggestions for 'tweaking"

It doesn't look like you will get started on your journey to any of the beaches until at least noon if you are going on a 2-hour tour of Hollywood star homes and a bit of walking on the walk of fame area. Since you will be arriving at Hollywood Orchid by 8-9 pm on Sunday night, you could always do your Hollywood Blvd sightseeing of the footprints and stars as soon as you arrive to save time the next day. It will be dark but it will still be fun. There will still be lots of people milling around on the street.

I just got back from California this week and had a great time scouting almost the same beaches you want to see. Santa Monica Pier and Venice are definitely good choices. I'd probably skip Long Beach and Marina Del Rey. They're nice but not that "touristy" and would take up too much time to stop off. I'd do Santa Monica, Venice and Huntington. All 3 are picturesque for your photo shooting, Santa Monica and Venice more so than Huntington. I'd skip any shopping excursions in Santa Monica Promenade or The Grove because that would take up lots of time. You can souvenir shop at all 3 of those beaches. Huntington has a nice few blocks of shops right on the main road beside the beach. Enjoy your time.