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.

Week in LA with baby

Which Los Angeles hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
New York City, New...
5 posts
Save Topic
Week in LA with baby

My husband and I are going to be in LA for a week starting January 18, and we are bringing our 6 month-old baby. We are planning to rent an apartment through Airbnb, and we are wondering which area to stay in. We like good eats, nice cafes, shopping and pretty areas, parks and beaches where we can stroll around with our toddler. We will have a car, so we will be going around town some days anyway, but most evenings will be spent in the apartment because of the baby. Our first choice is Venice, but I also think Silver Lake looks fun. Is SL just for young hipsters, or is it a nice place for a young family to stroll around as well? And Venice: Is it worth staying there even though we cant go to the beach (which I´m guessing the weather won´t allow in Jan)? Do you have other suggestions for us? Thanks!

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
15,783 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Week in LA with baby

Well, there's beach weather, and there's beach weather. In January its not especially warm, but if its not raining, then there's no reason not to walk along the beach. But it won't usually be warm enough to lay out on the beach, sunbathe, and for sure the water will not be warm enough for anything more than toe-dipping without a wet suit.

Granted, your child is going to be too young to know the difference, but if it were me I'd probably avoid Venice, which IMHO is not especially family oriented. Among its other aspects is a lot of tattoo and drug culture. About 10 years ago while visiting NYC, I walked along Canal St. and thought to myself "Hey, this is just like Venice Beach without the beach!" - I don't know what Canal St. is like these days but I thought it was a good comparisson at the time. In any case I like many aspects of Venice, but I don't find it to be family oriented.

I think where to stay really depends on how central you want to be and what sort of itinerary you have in mind. If you want to just stay and walk around in whatever neighborhood you choose most of the time, then how central you are is less important. If that's the case, I'd probably look and see what you can find on AirBnB in Pasadena - somewhere near Memorial Park would be ideal. Pasadena is not very central but is a great area.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
Level Contributor
26,947 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Week in LA with baby

Venice is fine - it depends where you are looking at places, though.

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
15,803 posts
238 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Week in LA with baby

It would help to have a nightly accommodation budget.

I would focus on Culver City (the downtown area only). Westwood, Brentwood, Mar Vista, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and West Hollywood. Santa Monica is very strict about vacation rentals, which are not allowed for less than 30 days. You will find AirBnB ads for them because the websites do not care if your rental is illegal. It's one of the things I very much dislike about them.

Sadly, I don't know anything about Silver Lake other than it's a trendy area. I'm sure there are plenty of young families there, too.

I am not a fan of Venice for families with young children.

New York City, New...
5 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Week in LA with baby

I´d say our nightly budget is up to $130 per night, and we do want to go around the city to see the major sights (I´ve been to LA before, but my husband hasn´t), but we´d like to stay in a nice, stroller-friendly neighborhood, so that we can also choose to just hang out without having to drive across town. The place we are considering in Venice is close to Abbot Kinney blvd, where I´ve been previously and really liked. But staying near the beach is not that important when it is not warm enough to spend time there. Is it usually warmer in the inner city areas than out by the beaches? And how long would you say the drive from say Silver Lake to Venice with traffic?

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
30,220 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Week in LA with baby

I'd look in the "Central Los Angeles" neighborhood sometimes referred to as "Beverly Grove". The area is marked by the Farmers Market and 'the Grove" at the eastern end and the Beverly Center and Beverly Connection Malls at the western end. Here's a cartoon map to help you get oriented:

…flickr.com/2695/4304287666_3f60e03695_o.jpg

"Central L.A." is in the very center of the map so it's a very central location. Here are some features of the neighborhood that might appeal to you:

a. The Farmers Market (an L.A. institution) is a 'meeting place' of a sort -- think "Union Square" but with lots and lots of 'ready to eat' restaurants ('fast food' but a little bit better and more interesting). It's attached to the Grove shopping center by a street car (bell and all) -- the ride takes less than a minute but you and your child might enjoy it. The Grove, itself, is set up to look like a little town with a 'town square' with a clock tower, big movie theater with a rotating column of neon, little grassy area in which toddlers like to play, a fountain and a number of restaurants with outdoor seating as well as shops, of course.

b. Just to the east of the Grove is Pan Pacific Park which is a great place to stroll with a baby. This is the site of a former reservoir and the 'bowl shape' of the place is still there. They've landscaped the whole thing and included pathways that go in various directions. There are always people there, barbequing, sunbathing, playing with their dogs, playing soccer, etc.

c. The central portion of Beverly Grove runs along 2 parallel Streets (3rd St & Beverly Bl) which link the Farmers Market/the Grove with the Beverly Center/Beverly Connection. The distance is about a mile along which are lots of nice shops and tons of restaurants of all types and in all price ranges. Some that come to mind include:

i. Joan's on Third -- a European-style deli that has a small grocery but features take out or eat-in dining (sandwiches, salads, etc). They have something like 100 cheese available by the pound.

ii. The Magnolia Bakery -- if it sounds familiar, that's because it's the same one that started in NYC. The banana pudding is 'to die for' (and comes in a baby-size portion as well as larger ones for grownups).

iii. Chipoltle -- 'better' Mexican fast food.

iv. Kings Road Cafe -- Breakfast, pizza. paninis, COFFEE and more. Outdoor seating for people watching.

v. Sofi -- wonderful Greek food in a lovely interior court (some outside dining and some inside dining). Break a plate, shout "Oupah" and listen to the Greek music.

vi. The Little Door French Cafe

vii. Doughboys -- great sandwiches and salads,

etc, etc, etc, etc

d. The western end of Beverly Grove has the Beverly Center which is a massive, upscale shopping mall that has a large Macy's that will give you 10% off your purchases since you live more than 250 miles from their store (this includes 'sale items'). Across the street from the Beverly Center is the Beverly Connection Mall which has discount and outlet stores like Nordstrom's Rack, Old Navy, Ross Dress for Less, Target City, etc. There's also an 'all you can eat' soup and salad place called Souplantation, and other child-friendly eating places.

e. Just to the south of the Beverly Center is a large Loehmann's Outlet (yes, the one originally started in NY in the 60s).

f. Within a short drive (10 minutes) or bus ride are the following attractions:

i. Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive

ii. LACMA (County Art Museum)/Page Museum/La Brea Tar Pits/Hancock Park -- the park behind the museum, not the neighborhood of the same name), the Petersen Automotive Museum

iii. Boutique shopping along Melrose Av (upscale -- the stretch to the west of Fairfax Av; mid-range -- the stretch to the east of Fairfax Av).

iv. Hancock Park (the neighborhood) -- some of the oldest and finest homes in L.A. It's fun to drive through the area or even take a stroll. Larchmont Bl is the 'secret' shopping street that serves Hancock Park and the neighboring Windsor Square neighborhood. This single block of shopping has a nice variety of local shops and restaurants (some with outdoor dining). Head to the northern end of Larchmont Bl (just south of Melrose Av) and have lunch at Lemonade -- a wonderful soup, salad, casserole place where you can mix and match items and accompany then with a number of homemade flavored lemonades and lemon-themed (and other) desserts. I particularly like the pistachio macaroons.

It's a 20 minute ride to Hollywood by car or by bus (the 217 and 780 pull up in front of the Farmers market frequently).

I like Venice but I don't think it's what you think it is. It's an old 'city beach' area and some of it is a little bit gritty. The area along Abbot Kinney Bl has been rejuvenated with lots of upscale shops and restaurants but if I were on vacation, I would visit it for the day, not stay there. In your particular case, I wouldn't stay there because the neighborhood isn't very central and the beach, while nice, is going to be a little chilly -- much warmer than NY, of course, but still breezy and cool.

By similar measure, Silverlake is also not terribly central. The area has a nice 'neighborhood feel' but, it too, is a little gritty in places. If you do visit the area, head a little bit further east and spend some time at Echo Park Lake which has just had a major facelift.

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
30,220 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Week in LA with baby

I'd look at this rental in the Beverly Grove area:

tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g32655-…

7. Re: Week in LA with baby

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:18 am, December 04, 2014