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Beach Holiday in LA

Stoke-on-Trent...
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Beach Holiday in LA

Hello,

Off to LA this summer. We want to visit the sites of LA (Hollywood etc) but would like to base ourselves close to some nice beaches. Basically want a relaxing holiday, with some day trips to the city thrown in (will be hiring a car for this).

What areas would you recommend which are close to the beaches but not too far from the city and not too expensive? I have had a brief look into Santa Monica but it seems a bit pricey, have a budget of around £100 per night for a room.

Santa Monica...
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1. Re: Beach Holiday in LA

Santa Monica is your option (you will need to have a car), but your budget is too low. You could see if there's availability at Sea View Hotel, Bayside Hotel, Embassy Apartment Hotel, Sea Shore Motel. Add 15% tax to room rates you see (and parking). You could look in Venice, too. I have heard of fantastic deals in Venice and the Marina on AirBnB.com, look there, too.

Manhattan and REdondo Beach is another option, although that places you too far from LA, I think.

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: Beach Holiday in LA

Welcome to the Forum, Jon. You'll find that you'll get the best advise if you're as specific as you can be in your questions. Here are my recommendations in this case:

1. How close is "close to the beach" (5 minute drive, 15 minute drive, etc?)

2. It's helpful if you can express 'not too expensive" in U.S. dollars.

3. What are your specific travel dates? Hotel rates differ between weekends and weekdays and discounts are sometimes offered for stays of 3 or more nights.

4. How many of you are traveling? How many beds do you need? What size beds?

I'll say this much re: the transfer from the beach areas to the city: Santa Monica is the closest beach area to L.A. and it's about a 25 minute drive to central L.A. (keep in mind that 'central L.A.' is the area around the Beverly Center Mall (just east of Beverly Hills). Hollywood is about 10 minutes beyond that and our downtown area (which is near the eastern end of our massive city) is about a 15 or 20 minute drive from central L.A.

So, for example, you could stay in the Westwood neighborhood (which is about halfway between Santa Monica and central L.A) leaving you about 15 minutes from each.

Re: hotel rooms, Santa Monica is an expensive neighborhood (along with Beverly Hills, for example). Westwood and Central L.A. are more moderately priced and Hollywood is inexpensive, relatively-speaking. For any hotel room, you'll need to add:

1. 'room tax' which is about 15.3% of the 'room rate' (this tax will be displayed and included in your total when you checkout of any online travel reservation service)

2. Parking (this can range from free -- which is rare -- to as much as $30 or $40 per night). Hollywood has some properties with free parking or you could park in the Hollywood & Highland Center Mall for any 24 hour period for $10. This parking does not include 'in an out' privieges. So, if you parked at 8 PM and took the car out at 8 AM. that would cost $10. If you returned at 4 PM to 'freshen up' before heading out for the evening (by car), you'd have to pay for parking for that short period (the mall car park charges a flat rate of $2 for the first 2 hours -- assuming you have your parking ticket stamped in the mall by one of the merchants. This stamp will require that you make a purchase from the merchant such as a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone.

3. Breakfast -- some hotels include it; others don't. If it's not included, a 'fast food' breakfast is available for $5 or so; a 'sit down' restaurant breakfast costs $10 or $12.

4. Wi-Fi -- some hotels include it; other do not.

Lastly, please be aware that while Hollywood is an important part of our city, there are literally hundreds of attractions in Los Angeles. Our TOP QUESTIONS box at the right side of this page has a link 'what to do' that's worth exploring. You might also want to get a copy of the British travel Guide DK Eyewitness Guide to Los Angeles (google it for a preview of the top 10 sites to visit in L.A.).

If our TOP QUESTIONS box is not visible at the right side of the page, here's a shortcut to our FAQs which has the same content: (link and SCROLL DOWN for the content in the center column):

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32655-i61-k506308…

Here are some random hotels worth investigating:

In Hollywood:

a. The Orchid Suites Hotel -- 2-stars

b. Hollywood Celebrity Hotel- 2-stars

c. Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel (on Franklin Av)-- 3-stars

d. The Hollywood Hills Hotel (on Sycamore Av)- 2-srtars. Great Views overlooking the city.

In Central L.A. (what locals refers to as "Beverly Grove":

a. Wilshire Crest Hotel (free parking!) -- I like this hotel 2-1/2 stars

b. Park Plaza Lodge Hotel (free parking!) -- On the eastern end of Central L.A. -- near Hollywood. 2-1/2 stars

c. Beverly Laurel Motor Hotel -- basic and cheap. 2-stars

In Westwood:

a. Royal Palace Westwood (in the 'village' within walking distance to dining and public transit (to the beach, Beverly Hills, etc, etc). 2-1/2 stars

b. Hilgard House (in the 'village' as well. 3-stars

c. BEST WESTERN PLUS Royal Palace Inn & Suites (outside of the 'village' -- a 5-minute drive to dining). 3-atars

In Santa Monica:

Yoga recommended these properties:

a. Sea View Hotel -- In your price range but sells out QUICKLY -- book NOW if you want this property. Great central location in Santa Monica.

b. Bayside Hotel -- showing rates of $300 per night for summer.

c. Embassy Apartment Hotel -- has been sold to the Palihouse chain of hotels and rates are starting at around $300 per night.

d. Sea Shore Motel -- rates should be at their highest for the year (about $160 per night plus 'room tax'). This is a well-rated, 2-star motel on Main Street in Santa Monica (6 minute walk to the beach; 25 minute walk to the Pier and the downtown malls (or take a 5 minute bus ride). This property sells out quickly. Book NOW if you want it.

e. I'll add: the Travelodge on Pico Bl. This is a simple 2-star motel, well-rated on Trip Advisor, about 1.5 miles / 2.4 km from the beach (there is a frequent bus on Pico Bl or you can drive).

Well, that should get you started.

Pasadena, California
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3. Re: Beach Holiday in LA

Manhattan Beach is farther from the 'Hollywood" sites than Santa Monica, but still in the LA area. It is perfectly reasonable if you have a car and are willing to drive. It would be a good choice for, as you say, a relaxing holiday with some city days thrown in. One of our local experts who lives in that lovely little beach town recommends the Sea View Inn, which seems very well priced.

Stoke-on-Trent...
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4. Re: Beach Holiday in LA

Thanks for your help. I'll check out the Sea View Inn and have a look at options in Venice Beach too.

Manhattan Beach...
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5. Re: Beach Holiday in LA

The Sea View Inn in Manhattan Beach, is actually close to freeways to take you around LA. Many people do this year around. They have free parking and offer use of their bikes and beach chairs. Rates start at $130 and a swimming pool is included.

http://www.theseaviewinn.com/index.htm

MB

www.youtube.com/watch…

Pasadena, California
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6. Re: Beach Holiday in LA

I'm glad CANative saw this post...really, Manhattan Beach is delightful, a bit off the international tourist track, but a huge favorite with locals (like me). I'd make that res. as soon as possible. The beach there is actually nicer than the more famous beach in Santa Monica. The community is more intimate but there is still plenty to do. And it isn't a hard drive to your basic Hollywood-etc. sites.

Pasadena, California
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7. Re: Beach Holiday in LA

And I'd avoid Venice Beach completely. It is not a relaxing area. The beach/boardwalk area is full of strange people "performing" (if you can call it that) for gawking tourists, large groups of homeless men, and cheap shops and marajuana dispensaries. Drop by for an hour if you must. How and why international visitors get the idea that Venice Beach is a good base, or even a good place to spend a day, is an enduring mystery to most locals.

There are some good restaurants on Abbot Kinney in Venice, quite a distance from the beach.

Santa Monica is lovely, interesting and vibrant, but less relaxing than Manhattan Beach and very expensive in general. Definitely a good place to spend a day. The beach, while nice, is somewhat inferior to Manhattan Beach.

8. Re: Beach Holiday in LA

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