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Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

Piracicaba, SP
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Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

Hi everyone!

I'm planning a family trip(including a toddler) to LA next Feb. and just can't decide where to stay. I've read many posts and narrowed it down to West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Beverly Grove(Central LA). We're focused on major sightseeing and shopping in the city and those three areas seem to be located in the middle of everything.

Which area would you recommend in terms of traffic and easiness to get around with a car? I'm concerned about the traffic after hearing so much about it. Also, I would prefer a family friendly area where we can walk around safely.(This is why I left Hollywood out of my choice.)

Thanks a lot for any input.

West Hollywood...
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1. Re: Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

Hollywood is not dangerous and it's family-friendly. In fact, Disney's premier movie theater, the El Capitan is in the center of Hollywood as is the Hollywood and Highland Center Mall in front of which you'll find celebrity impersonators, e.g. Spiderman, Superman, posing for pictures to the delight of children and adults alike.

It is, however, an older part of Los Angeles and it's not as glamorous or upmarket as one would imagine -- and it's packed with tourists, day and night. If this doesn't appeal to you, I understand but I would have no hesitation recommending Hollywood as a place to stay for a family with a toddler.

That said, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Grove and Beverly Hills are all next to one another. Here's a map showing the center of each neighborhood. Keep in mind that once you're in the center of each area, you won't need to keep driving to other parts of the neighborhood since much of it can be explored on foot or via local public transit.


A=Beverly Hills

B=Beverly Grove

C=West Hollywood


As you can see by the reviewing the information in the column to the left of the map (use the scroll bars, if need be), the 'drive time' from Beverly Hills to Hollywood is only 15 minutes WITHOUT TRAFFIC. In heavy traffic, that could increase to as much as 30 minutes but, these two destinations are the furthest extremes of the 4 areas on the map. Said another way, if you stayed in West Hollywood or Beverly Grove, the drives would be shorter since they're more centrally-located.

Let's look at each area, individually...

Beverly Hills' downtown (city centre) is quite compact. You could explore most of it in a few hours. The area, not surprisingly is packed with upmarket shops and expensive hotels and restaurants. It is certainly a beautiful place but it's not an ideal place for a child since there are few casual restaurants and unless you have a big budget for shopping, there won't be much in your price range. In the evenings, the neighborhood gets very quiet since the shops close and there is very little nightlife except for some bars within the hotels.

West Hollywood's major 'hotel zone' is along the "Sunset Strip" -- a stretch of Sunset Bl with lots of highrise hotels and office buildings, upmarket boutiques and restaurants, bars, lounges and live music venues. This area is designed for adult nightlife. I can't imagine what a child would do there. Again, this is a beautiful neighborhood in the metro area but with high-priced boutiques and 'fancy restaurants'. I wouldn't consider it family-friendly.

There are some hotels in other parts of West Hollywood that might be more suitable. One that comes to mind is Le Parc Suite which has suites with small kitchens and living rooms as well as a small balcony. It's not far from the corner of Melrose Av & La Cienega Bl which is a good public transit hub that has some local dining. It's a 10-12 minute walk or a 2-minute bus ride to Beverly Grove from this hotel.

Beverly Grove is a non-touristy part of Los Angeles with Beverly Hills (10 minute bus ride) to the west, West Hollywood (10 minutes bus ride) to the north and Hollywood (20 minute bus ride) to the northeast. Lots of nice local shopping and dining as well as three malls (Beverly Center -- upmarket; Beverly Connection -- Outlet/Discount; the Grove -- Mid-Range). There's also the Original Farmers Market in this neighborhood. Just south of the FM/the Grove (12 minute walk/2 minute bus ride) is LACMA (county art museum), the La Brea Tar Pits, Petrersen Automotive Museum and the Page Museum. The Park between these attractions (Hancock Park) is a great place for a family to visit.

I've already talked about Hollywood, above. Hollywood has the easiest access to Universal Studio and downtown L.A. (the latter of which is to the southeast of Hollywood). There are also several tour companies that launch from Hollywood.

You've said that you're focusing on major sightseeing but sightseeing is spread throughout Los Angeles. Where you stay should coincide with what you plan to see and do. Beverly Hills is the westernmost neighborhood in the list, putting it closest to the west side of our city and its attractions which include the Getty Museums and the beach areas. Hollywood is the furthest east of the four areas, putting it closest to our downtown area.

Piracicaba, SP
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2. Re: Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

Wow, thank you so much for your reply HopSkipJump! Thanks to you, I narrowed it down to Hollywood and Beverly Grove. You're such an asset to this forum.

Santa Monica...
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3. Re: Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

I highly recommend hiring a car, especially with a toddler. Your concern about traffic is overblown and pales in comparison to the discomfort and inconvenience of public transport, not to mention the time involved in trying to get around without a car.

I highly recommend the hotels in West Hollywood and the Grove area.

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4. Re: Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

Traffic is more about the time-of-day than the area. Basically no matter where you stay you are going to want to avoid the general horror hours of 7:30 to 9:30am and 4:30 to 7:30pm. The further away you are from those hours the better off you are, usually, and Saturday and Sunday mornings are the best times for "drives".

Skip Hollywood if your main goal is shopping. Beverly Grove, Glendale or Santa Monica. Without a car, probably Santa Monica. And use the Hop-on-Hop-off bus for what you call "major sightseeing".

Piracicaba, SP
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5. Re: Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

Thanks a lot, ElleBeinLA and HaroldnMaude!

I'll definitely hire a car as everyone recommends. I was wondering if there are traffic-all-day area so that I can avoid those. So it's more about the time. I'll keep that in mind.

Guess I'll search for a suitable hotel in Beverly Grove.


Rancho Santa...
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6. Re: Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

There are no traffic all-day areas. I very much liked the Farmer's Daughter last summer. It is across the street from the Farmer's Market/The Grove.

By the by, if you're planning on heading downtown from Beverly Grove, take surface streets (i.e. Beverly, 3rd or Olympic).


7. Re: Where to say trafficwise? WeHo, Beverly Hills, Central LA?

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