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Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

Westcoast_Girl
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Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

Hello! I am a late 30's female who will be attending a weekend seminar at the Westin LAX in June. I will also be staying at the LAX Westin the entire weekend for ease.

I have the option to fly in early Thursday morning and spend that entire day out exploring somewhere before the seminar starts Friday am. I won't have a car and will just use the shuttle from LAX to the hotel both ways.

I have read that Manhattan Beach is close by via a bus from the hotel. Is it worth me doing that? I know LA is best experienced with a vehicle, so would that bus ride be ok for me to take alone?

Any other recommendations for filling that day as to where I could travel to fairly easily? If it proves too difficult I will just fly in Thursday evening.

Thanks so much!

Santa Monica...
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1. Re: Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

Manhattan Beach is indeed nearby, and you will probably enjoy it. Another place to consider is Santa Monica, 7 miles north of LAX, a beach city (larger than MB). There are some Starline tour option that leave from Santa Monica and there is a lot to do and see here as well.

You might want to check out this tour, other visitors really like it:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d20…

Here's the link to the Starline tours you can take from Santa Monica:

https:/…santa-monica-tours.asp

The HOHO ones are good if you know where you want to get off and explore.

If you want more details about Manhattan Beach, visit their forum page. More on Santa Monica, visit that forum page. On the top of every forum page, in the green bar, is a tab Things to do that is really helpful.

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

Well, the airport area is pretty boring: hotels, parking structures, office buildings, a Denny's (the only one in the U.S. with a bar), a 'nudie bar'. That's about it. Manhattan Beach is actually a city, separate from the massive city of Los Angeles. It's a fine place to spend some time but it won't involve seeing any L.A. tourist attractions. It's a lovely 'beach town' of a sorts -- narrow streets, houses within inches of one another, surfers carrying surfboards in the street, little shops and restaurants.

Ideally, I would stay somewhere else (although I understand the notion of being close to the convention). Are you getting a special rate on a room there? Have you already booked it? Can you cancel? I ask this because, there are other hotel options in the airport area that are a little bit more fun and better located as far as public transit is concerned. One is the Custom Hotel on Lincoln Bl, just south of Manchester Av. This is a pleasant residential area with a few restaurants within walking distance, a supermarket with 'take out' food and a bus (the #3 Santa Monica bus) that heads to the popular beach areas (Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica).

If you stayed at the Custom, you'd be about 3.5 miles from the Westin (a 6 or 8 minute taxi ride at a cost of about $16 including tip, each way). Alternatively, you could take the Santa Monica R(Rapid) 3 or the regular #3 bus (which picks up in front of the hotel) to the corner of Century Bl and Aviation Bl -- a 13 minute bus ride leaving you a short walk from the Westin (here's a 'walking map'): http://mapq.st/1EqdqrP

The Custom Hotel is a boutique style hotel with a great pool/bar area and the R3 and 3 buses also head north (bus stop is across the street from the hotel) to the popular beaches I mentioned above.

If you can't change hotels, you could take the bus to Manhattan Beach. The one that you're referring to is the Ocean Express. Here's some info about it:

gatewaytola.org/GWT/…29.pdf

I am, personally, not a big fan of this bus. It's not especially cheap ($5 round trip), runs only once an hour and goes in kind of a circular path, stopping at a number of hotels and malls before reaching Manhattan Beach. The ROUND TRIP transfer from any part of the route takes an hour since it follows a circle rather than simply returning on the route you took to get to the beach. Add to that, the last bus that makes the complete circle (returning to the hotels from the Pier) leaves the pier at 7:30 pm so you're not getting to spend much time there in the evening if that is your intent.

As far as ideas for what to do during the first day, you've put some constraints on yourself by:

1. Staying at the airport

2. Needing to drop you luggage before you tour

3. Not having a car.

So, there are hundreds of attractions in the L.A. metro area but it really depends on how much effort (by public transit) or expense (by taxi) you want to put into the transfers. Have you looked at our LA FAQs area (the first link in the 'list of topics'). There are tons of 'what to do' recs there including this link to 400+ attractions in the city (link and SCROLL DOWN for the list):

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g32655-Activitie…

Do any of these interest you?

SoCal
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3. Re: Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

I think it is much easier to just stay at the Westin. There are also organized tours that pick up at the airport hotels. Starline Tours is one company that will pick up at the Westin. The Daily Grill is at the Westin. I have eaten at other locations and it is quite good.

Edited: 9:37 pm, February 18, 2015
Manhattan Beach...
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4. Re: Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

Staying at the LAX hotels is not optimal but makes a lot of sense if you have meetings there. The bus tours to the tourist sites are good in that they go to where you want to go and you don't have to worry about driving. They aren't that efficient from a time or cost perspective, but you're not in a rush. I've also found the drivers entertaining.

Manhattan Beach has a very nice walkway along the beach where you can watch surfers and walk next to houses that appear in architecture magazines. There are a lot of restaurants and bars and some boutiques. Manhattan Beach Blvd. is the center of the interesting places. If you are feeling affluent you can check out the bar at the Shade Hotel or the more reasonable restaurants next to it in the Metlox Plaza.

Rancho Santa...
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5. Re: Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

I agree with HSJ. I think staying at the Westin where the seminar is located is a poor idea. The last thing you want to do at the end of the day is stay at the hotel where the seminar is being held. The LAX area is dull as ditch-water and inhospitable to visitors, particularly those without a car.

Stay in Santa Monica. You'll love it. It is an affluent place with world-class restaurants and retail. The setting overlooking the Pacific is beautiful. The area is very pedestrian friendly. If you do stay at the Westin, I'd say head here. You'll find the area a wonderful introduction to greater Los Angeles.

Since you won't have a car, consider using Uber. Requesting a vehicle will be easy because the area around LAX, Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach are serviced by plenty of Uber vehicles. From the Westin to Santa Monica the fare would be $14-19. From the Westin, the fare to Manhattan Beach would be $9-$12. Uber can't pick-up from LAX. Simply take the hotel's shuttle from the airport to the hotel.

Another option to consider for your Thursday is to visit the Getty Center. An Uber ride from the Westin would be $15-$21. If you stayed in Santa Monica, the ride would cost $10-$14.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d14…

HTH

Westcoast_Girl
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6. Re: Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

Wow! So amazingly helpful. Thank you so much. Alas yes, I am already booked at the Westin, but honestly, the seminar is long days all weekend so the thought of just going back to my room in 5 minutes is appealing. The bus tours sound good if I can swing one of those via my hotel and I never even thought of Uber! We don't have Uber in Vancouver so it's never an option here.

I think either of those options is my best bet for getting a bit more out of LA on a Thursday arrival. Thanks again!

Manhattan Beach...
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7. Re: Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

As long as you need to stay at your conference hotel for the weekend, take advantage of the Ocean Express Shuttle to MB. It picks you up right in front of your hotel and is only $5 round trip, much cheaper than a taxi or uber. It makes three stops, then continues again. First is to the Manhattan Beach Pier, where there are cute shops, coffee houses and restaurants. This is where most visitors head The shuttle runs from about 9 am to 9 PM.

gatewaytola.org/index.cfm/…

The second stop is at the Manhattan Village Mall, with more restaurants, Macy's, etc. After a quick drop off, pick up, the shuttle continues to Plaza El Segundo and back to the hotels.

You'll find others at your conference heading for dinner to the beach. The shuttles have been filled recently with airport hotel guests going out and enjoying the nice weather and beautiful sunsets off the pier. You purchase your ticket from the hotel lobby.

https://www.youtube.com/watch…

If you're dining alone for dinner, you might want to go to the local favorite, The Kettle, just up from the beach. They are open 24/7, have counter or patio service and friendly staff.

http://thekettle.net/

Other places are Simmzy's for a burger and beer, the sister restaurant.

http://www.simmzys.com/home/location

Rock N'Fish

rocknfishrestaurants.com/htm/MB/home.shtml

Have fun.

8. Re: Staying at Westin LAX - things to do nearby?

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