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Santa Monica to Downtown LA?

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Calgary, Canada
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Santa Monica to Downtown LA?

Still trying to decide which neighbourhood to stay. The size of this area boggles my mind. SM seems like a very nice spot to be based for 4 days, and since we will have a car, we can still see a lot of the sights. One problem I see would be getting to and from Staples Centre for the one evening we will have game tickets for (a Friday or a Sunday). I gather that there is no train (metro?) line out to SM ? Are there any "park and ride" areas in LA so you can park your car closer to the city, and then take the metro to and from Staples ?

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Santa Monica to Downtown LA?

If you drive, downtown is a straight shot east on the 10 Freeway from Santa Monica... this freeway is notoriously clogged with traffic though (especially on a Friday) and parking downtown is a nightmare when there is something at the Staples Center. Try this alternative... In the late morning or early afternoon, drive from Santa Monica to Hollywood & Highland... park at the shopping complex there and spend a few hours walking around that area (Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame etc..) then take the subway (there is a station adjacent to the Hollywood & Highland complex) downtown to 7th/Metro station. It will take about 20 minutes to get there and it's about a five block walk to the Staples Center from there. Depending on how late the game is, this should be a good option but the subway does stop running at midnight so be mindful of that.

Rancho Santa...
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2. Re: Santa Monica to Downtown LA?

I'm not aware of any such park and ride services.

There is the #10 bus which runs from downtown to Santa Monica. However, looking at the schedule, there are limits to when it runs in the late evening. Might work for an afternoon game. Check the SM transit agency's website: www.bigbluebus.com

Another option would be the 720 bus which the MTA runs. It goes from Santa Monica to downtown and then further east. Basically, it runs along Wilshire Boulevard. If you take this bus, I'd recommend transferring to the Red Line at Western to avoid some congestion. Just walk down from 7th Street along Figueroa to the Staples Center. Check the schedules at www.MTA.net

Unless your heart is set on it, it is probably best to drive. Unfortunately, you'll probably encounter a lot of traffic. Much of it is avoidable around the arena. However, I won't confuse you trying to explain how to avoid it.

If you have any concerns about safety parking near the Staples Center, don't. There will be 20,000 people and plenty of security. I've never heard anyone reporting safety issues.

You might want to consider making your trip downtown a day trip. That way you could take the 10 downtown after rush-hour in the morning. Then you could spend the day exploring. There is much to see and do: shopping, museums, cultural sites, restaurants. Just plan ahead. Downtown like L.A. is quite spreadout, too.


West Hollywood...
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3. Re: Santa Monica to Downtown LA?

I agree with the prior posters: Either spend the day in downtown or start in Hollywood and then take the metro rail (subway) into downtown later. One note about the metro rail:

It is true that the 7th St/Metro Center stop on the red line is the closest red line stop to Staples Center (only about 4 or 5 blocks away) but those streets are totally deserted in the late evening. So, for safety's sake (at least on the return trip), I'd pick up the blue line metro at Pico Bl (1 block east of Staples Center), take it one stop north to 7th Street/Metro Center and then transfer back to the red line.

There are no free transfers so each ride is $1.25 (even the 1-minute ride on the blue line). Instead, buy a $3 DAY PASS from the vending machine at the metro rail station and ride unlimitedly on the metro rail and metro buses for the day. (This is especially valuable if you plan to visit Chinatown, the Music Center, the Civic Center, etc during your tour of downtown).

Here's a metro rail map:


The other option is to leave the car home and take the Santa Monica (Big Blue Bus) #10 into downtown (pick it up on 2nd & Colorado in Santa Monica) and the Metro Bus #33 back (pick it up on the northeast corner of Venice Bl & Figueroa Street (1 block south of the Staples Center)

To/from Staples Center, the #10 takes about 45 minutes; the #33, just under an hour.

If you get off at the last stop of the #10, you'll be at Cesar Chavez Av & Alameda Street which is across the street from the entrance to Olvera Street (the oldest street in the city), 2 blocks east of Chinatown and in front of Union (rail) station, which, in addition to being interesting, architecturally-speaking, has the very last (first?) metro rail stop on the red line. So, after exploring this neighborhood, you can jump on the metro rail to the Civic Center stop to explore the Music Center (including the Disney Concert Hall), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles (Catholic Archdiocese), etc.

Of course, you can reach these same stops by parking in Hollywood and taking the red line from there.

Good luck.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Santa Monica to Downtown LA?

If you have a car, you should definitely drive to Staples Center. There should be no problem, but of course, allow plenty of time: See www.staplescenter.com

Southern California
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5. Re: Santa Monica to Downtown LA?

RobAlleman's idea is a good one.

But if do want to drive to the Staples Center, go for the Sunday game. Nowadays, there's even traffic on the weekends, but it should be better than on a Fri.

6. Re: Santa Monica to Downtown LA?

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