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Place to stay just outside LA?

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Virginia
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Place to stay just outside LA?

I am planning a family vacation for this July (3 kids aged 7, 10, 12). We are spending time in San Francisco and then driving down the coast with overnight stops in Monterey and Pismo Beach. Then we have 3 nights left.

We are interested in seeing some of the sights around LA but want to have some relaxation time too. The idea of staying in a city for our last bit of vacation wears me out. Is there somewhere to stay outside of LA that would still be reasonable for driving in for a studio tour or some other sightseeing? Someplace pretty and relaxing? Or am I asking for too much?

My other idea is to take a longer time driving down the coast and only stay one day in LA to see a tiny bit before flying out of LAX.

Thanks for any ideas!

Lisa

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

I can't think of anyplace like that. The thing is that when you finally get out of the urban area, you are WAY out there. Too far to commute in to see the sites. I was thinking maybe up in the mountains at Arrowhead or Big Bear, but the thought of driving down the mountains each day to do sightseeing sounds awful. Maybe a place near the beach in Manhattan Beach or Terranea?

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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2. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

Let's agree for a minute with the premise it is not relaxing to stay anyplace in the city of LA or the surrounding communities. Does it really sound more relaxing to drive two hours in traffic each day to stay "just outside LA"?

What kind of a budget are you looking at? We might be able to find something in a not too terrible area.

Los Angeles
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for Los Angeles
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3. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

Yes and no. I would look somewhere like Manhattan Beach, Hermosa beach, El Segundo (the part west of the 405 freeway), or maybe Pasadena. These are very much part of the big LA urban area, and are close enough to drive to things like the studio tours, but also have something of their own small town feels to them.

Otherwise, Spap is correct - by the time you really get out of the urban area, you are a long way away from the types of things you are mentioning that you want to see. Santa Barbara for instance, or Big Bear, or Palm Springs are all small and quiet, but all are 90+ minutes from LA so difficult to use as bases for seeing LA.

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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4. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

When is this trip and what is your budget for a hotel per night/per room? If it's 5 in a room, your options are limited.

Santa Monica is great with kids, if it's in your budget and there are a few all suite hotels. It's on the beach, but at the city

Virginia
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5. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

I guess I was picturing days where we could go out and do some sightseeing early in the day and then head back to our hotel mid to late afternoon for some relaxation (on a beach, at a pool, etc.). I was assuming a certain amount of travel but, no, 2 hours each way would not work. So, that answer might be that I am, in fact, asking too much.

I know it is hard to find hotels that accommodate a family of 5. We will be travelling with a small inflatable mattress so if a place is flexible we can make do. I could swing $350 a night...didn't see much in Santa Monica that would work for that.

6. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

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Rancho Santa...
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7. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

Santa Monica fits the bill perfectly for you. Your kids will love it.

Try the Hotel California. They have suites with multiple bedrooms and kitchenette. It is very southern California. The location is absolutely perfect for you. Parking is lousy. But, I've learned with the new park across the street (Tongav Park), it is easy and cheap and pleasant to park at the city lot.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g33052-d82076-R…

www.yelp.com/biz/tongva-park-santa-monica

In LA, I suggest your family visit the Getty Center one morning and have lunch. Perfect introduction to LA for everyone. Surprisingly good food. Kids will like exploring the place. Lunch on the patio is great with kids. Don't bother taking the freeway here. Just take San Vicente to Brentwood. Switch up to Sunset and then Sepulveda.

Another day, I'd suggest visiting the Natural History Museum in Expo Park just south of downtown. Dinosaur exhibit is kid-pleasing. Beautiful setting.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d14…

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d10…

HTH

M D
Irvine, California
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8. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

Personally, I find staying in a busy city like LA very relaxing. First, you get to park your car and take public transit the whole time. That eliminates the biggest headache. And then you have this huge infrastructure designed to accomodate a million people rushing around so all your amenities are going to be conveniently located. But you arent in a rush. You can just sleep in, spend 30 minutes at starbucks, walk a couple blocks just to see what's there, and hop on a subway when you feel like it all while not feeling sorry for the sad sacks rushing around to their day jobs.

Way more relaxing than commuting in from terranea.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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9. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

With a car, the Beverly Garland, soon to be just The Garland, is a nice idea.

http://www.thegarland.com/

http://www.beverlygarland.com/

The Chamberlain West Hollywood is also a nice place in a quiet neighborhood.

http://www.chamberlainwesthollywood.com/

Petit Ermitage is another nice one.

http://www.petitermitage.com/

Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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10. Re: Place to stay just outside LA?

" Someplace pretty and relaxing? "

Check out Manhattan Beach, a charming 1950's era beach town. Tree lined streets, cute little boutiques shops, outdoor restaurants and coffee shops. Places like Uncle Bill's Pancake House, The Local Yolk, Sloopys or the Kettle for meals, plus some very good "up town" chefs have located here and opened excellent restaurants for fine dining as well. Handmade ice cream at The Creamery.

http://mbcreamery.com/

Take a walk to the end of the beautiful pier, watch the surfers and boogie boarders riding the waves, or fishermen at the end of the pier. Rent a bike and ride any part of the 22 mile bike path along the beach.

manhattanbeach.patch.com/listings/funbunns

Reasonable place to stay up the block from the beach is the Sea View Inn that has 2 bedroom apartments: There are Marriotts, The Shade and other hotels depending on your budget.

www.youtube.com/watch…

At the end of the day, walk to the beach and watch the sun set.

www.youtube.com/watch…

MB is 30 to 45 minutes to most of the attractions in LA.