I had come on here a few months back asking about hotels, car rentals and some tourist activities, so thought I'd provide a recap of our 5 day stay in LA.
Rented a car at Enterprise (easy) and we ended up staying the whole 4 nights at the Hotel Palomar in Westwood (rather than splitting up the stay into 2 nights at different locations). I thought the hotel was in a great location for us (extremely walkable to UCLA and all the restaurants and shops in Westwood Village) as well as convenient for us to travel into H'wood, downtwown, Santa Monica, Magic Mountain. The hotel was nice, but with 2 double beds it was cramped for the three of us since I haven't slept in a double bed with my husband since college! The parking fee $35 plus tax per day was also steep and there weren't other options close by. The nightly complimentary wine hour was nice.
On arrival, we headed to H'wood, Walk of Fame, In & Out Burger. It seemed quite run down and you couldn't walk a block without getting accosted by bus drivers wanting to get you on their bus-to-the-stars tour. My son wanted to do the Guiness Museum of World Records - so we did, knowing full well it would disappoint (us adults). It lived up to that expectation and the son agreed.
The next day we headed into downtown to go to the LA Kings/Anaheim Ducks Outdoor Hockey Game at Dodger Stadium. Got there early so wandered around Elysian Park before heading to the pre-game festivities. The whole day/night was incredible (even though the kings lost), but we had great seats, and enjoyed being in that one-of-a-kind atmosphere!
Next day was off to Magic Mountain as this was on my son's bucket list of theme parks. It was a Sunday in january, so the lines were not long at all and we did almost all that we wanted. Some excellent rides (X2 in particular). Overpriced food/drink - nothing unique to MM.
Next day we had our scheduled UCLA tour, so just walked from the hotel. This was great for getting my son thinking about colleges in the future, but the campus is beautiful and loved hearing about former students, filming locations and architecture. After lunch, we headed down to Santa Monica for the afternoon - walking on the beach, to the pier, 3rd street promenade. Had dinner there before heading back.
Went for a morning run around Westwood then had coffee with an old friend. Had a few hours to kill before heading to the airport so we went over to the LA Police Museum (sadly it was closed because they were filming) so went to the LA Police Academy (where they filmed the movies) and had a very good lunch in their mess hall. Headed to the LA Farmer's Market (loved it! Similar to Pike Place in Seattle) and wandered around before heading to the airport.
It was a great city and trip, people were really friendly and customer service oriented. The only things we would do different would be to better plan our meals (we had some duds) and take then next day off before heading back to work/school!