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Going to LA. What to see in 1 day?

bigpandabigpanda Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm going to meet up with some friends on the 20th and see what I can in LA before I fly out around 10 PM. Any recommendations.

Stuff I'd probably be interested in include going to the beach and seeing the Pacific. I'm interested in movies and their production including writing, editing, directing, etc. etc. I like older architecture. Lastly I hear you can get some good fish tacos down there too (yes, actual fish tacos. get your mind out of the gutter).

Guess that's it.

Thanks in advance,

BP

bigpanda on

Posts

  • bigpandabigpanda Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Should mention that I've never been there before so part of being down there is to see if I'd ever want to live there.

    BP

    bigpanda on
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    LA is gigantic and sprawling and it's very hard to tell where one bit of it ends and the next begins. If you're interested in seeing the Pacific and the beach, you probably want to head down to the Santa Monica Pier, which is on the western edge of LA. If you're going on a weekend (and it seems you are), a possibly more fun alternative would be to head a little bit further down to Venice Beach, where there are street vendors, sidewalk shows, and crazy people to occupy your time.

    If you're interested in seeing the movie business, the studios are located inland around places like Culver City. A lot of the "business" is distributed around the city in boring buildings, though, and so it's hard to get a sense. You may investigate whether one of the working studios has a tour you can do. There is always the Universal Studios theme park and backlot tour, but that of course is a little touristy.

    Downtown LA isn't a great place to visit as it's almost entirely a financial and business center and dies after 5PM and on the weekends.

    LA is not a place to see old architecture (unless you consider the 1940s "old") as the city did most of its expansion in the postwar boom.

    Different areas have vastly different personalities. The West Side is very different from South Central, Downtown, East LA, the Valley, and so on. Deciding whether you want to live here only visiting for a day is going to be difficult since you're only going to see a small fraction of the city.

    DrFrylock on
  • pacbowlpacbowl Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Heh, a friend came out from SC a while ago and we couldn't fit in everything in 4 days.

    You're probably going to want to stick to the west side of LA. South and East LA don't have a lot going on unless there's someplace specific you want to go. Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Universal City and Hollywood are all within an hour of each other (on a good traffic day) and can easily be visited in a day. There's nothing really interesting in the valley, where I live, except some of the studios in Burbank (WB, Disney, NBC) which do have tours.

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  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    It's not the best fodder for seeing if you want to live in LA, but the Museum of Jurassic Technology (http://www.mjt.org/) is full of win.

    Imagine a museum that's an incredibly subtle satire of museums. It's brilliant.

    Also, it's right down the street from an In-N-Out Burger. If you're not from the west coast, you NEED to go to an In-N-Out.

    DeathPrawn on
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  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    LA is too big to do all of that in one day. You'll spend a fair bit of time travelling. I would second the Santa Monica Pier combined with the Third Street Promenade. There's a nice restaurant on the end of the pier. On Wilshire just east of the Third Street Promenade is Wahoo's, which is a step above fast food but is supposed to have good fish tacos. There's also other restaurants on the Promenade. I don't know if there would be anything filming on the Pier or the Promenade, but they sometimes do on the weekend.

    If you really want to just do the filming thing, you could try Universal Studios, although you won't get much of the filming thing there. There's also Universal City Walk there.

    It's going to going to be one or the other as there's too much to do at each location and too much distance to cover between them.

    EDIT: Yes, you should definitely try an In-N-Out burger if you haven't. If you're flying out of LAX, there's an In-N-Out off of Lincoln Blvd. on Washington in Culver City/Venice, on the way to LAX from Santa Monica. Even better is the Tommy's Chiliburger, of which there is on on Lincoln Blvd. and Pico Blvd., also on the way to LAX.

    Dalboz on
  • pacbowlpacbowl Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    If you're not from the west coast, you NEED to go to an In-N-Out.
    Even better is the Tommy's Chiliburger

    THIS

    Just don't let Tommys get cold.

    pacbowl on
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  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I would think that a westside day is the most practical. you can check out the santa monica pier and the promenade, and go funkier in venice. go get reservations now for the getty villa - i think it's a lovely museum. it's a re-created roman villa with pieces of roman antiquities arranged as they would be in the actual building. It's on a beautiful hillside in malibu.

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  • jackisrealjackisreal Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Beach: Matador, a little bit north of Zuma. Amazing.
    Museum: the Getty. or the Getty Villa, if you like older things. Regardless of what they have in there, the place itself is awesome.
    Food: In N' Out, The Apple Pan. California knows a good hamburger. Tito's Tacos are great too. There's a great Chinese/Japanese district where Sawtelle meets Pico, too.
    Walking around: Beverly Hills, or the third street promenade

    jackisreal on
  • bigpandabigpanda Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Just found out that I'm going to be in Santa Monica and should be just a few blocks from the pier. I'll probably wander down there after our conference. I'll try and make it to Venice beach and maybe the Getty stuff.

    I figured not much would be going on with the studios on a Sunday but figured it was worth a shot.

    Good point on the In and Out Burger. Gonna have to get one.

    bigpanda on
  • thanimationsthanimations Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    bigpanda wrote: »
    Just found out that I'm going to be in Santa Monica and should be just a few blocks from the pier. I'll probably wander down there after our conference. I'll try and make it to Venice beach and maybe the Getty stuff.

    I figured not much would be going on with the studios on a Sunday but figured it was worth a shot.

    Good point on the In and Out Burger. Gonna have to get one.

    If you're going to be in Santa Monica, then you're probably not going to have time to hit much of Hollywood. You should just check out Venice or head north a bit on Highway 1.

    thanimations on
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    jackisreal wrote: »
    Beach: Matador, a little bit north of Zuma. Amazing.
    Museum: the Getty. or the Getty Villa, if you like older things. Regardless of what they have in there, the place itself is awesome.
    Food: In N' Out, The Apple Pan. California knows a good hamburger. Tito's Tacos are great too. There's a great Chinese/Japanese district where Sawtelle meets Pico, too.
    Walking around: Beverly Hills, or the third street promenade

    What he said. The Getty Villa is awesome. In N' Out ain't what it used to be.

    themightypuck on
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  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    jackisreal wrote: »
    Beach: Matador, a little bit north of Zuma. Amazing.
    Museum: the Getty. or the Getty Villa, if you like older things. Regardless of what they have in there, the place itself is awesome.
    Food: In N' Out, The Apple Pan. California knows a good hamburger. Tito's Tacos are great too. There's a great Chinese/Japanese district where Sawtelle meets Pico, too.
    Walking around: Beverly Hills, or the third street promenade

    What he said. The Getty Villa is awesome. In N' Out ain't what it used to be.

    No, it's still pretty good.

    I'd stick around Santa Monica/Malibu/Venice if you are already going to be there. You could try to hit Westwood. Damon & Pythias is really good restaurant. I had a really good strawberry and steak salad there not too long ago. But I wouldn't try to hit Hollywood if you've got the one day, as you can get more in the Santa Monica area with spending half the day in traffic.

    I haven't been to the new Getty that was built up near Sunset, but I hear it's pretty nice. I went the Getty Villa in Malibu a long time ago. I don't quite recall, but I seem to remember that the Getty Villa isn't just a recreation of a Roman city but is actually of Pompeii itself. My memory may be lacking, though.

    And on the Tommy's chiliburger subject, if you are in Santa Monica, only go the Tommy's on Lincoln and Pico. That's an authentic Tommy's. There's a lot of Tommy's knock-offs that are really nasty, usually showing up in mall food courts and such (there's a knock-off further down Lincoln, too).

    Dalboz on
  • krapst78krapst78 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Another vote for checking out the Tommy's at Lincoln and Pico. Seriously, don't let the chili get cold. After lunch just go north a few blocks and spend the day at 3rd Street Promenade shopping and checking out the street performers. End the day by walking over to the Santa Monica Pier and grabbing some seafood from Rusty's on the beach. You can preview these spots using Google Map's street view to see if it is something that would interest you.

    LA has a bunch of great places to check out, and if you were there for more than a day I'd recommend you checking out some of the cool shopping districts like Melrose or Beverly Center (if you like seeing celebrities). Unfortunately, getting from LAX to anywhere outside of West LA is just asking for massive traffic headaches so sticking to Santa Monica is probably the safest bet.

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  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    krapst78 wrote: »
    Another vote for checking out the Tommy's at Lincoln and Pico. Seriously, don't let the chili get cold.

    I don't know. I kind of like when the chili congeals a little. The chilicheese fries are pretty awesome, too.

    According to the website, they're catering now. LOL. I know what I'm ordering for my wedding... ;-)

    Dalboz on
  • SoggychickenSoggychicken Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I wonder if the writer's strike will affect any tours you plan to take at the studios.

    Soggychicken on
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    pacbowl wrote: »
    If you're not from the west coast, you NEED to go to an In-N-Out.
    Even better is the Tommy's Chiliburger

    THIS

    Just don't let Tommys get cold.

    In-N-Out is mediocre at best. I don't understand why people like it.

    Fatburger is the shit however. (Fat as in size, not actual fat)

    My favorite restaurant in LA is Sushi Mac, followed by Noodle Planet/Boba World

    Chili My Soul is pretty awesome too, if you like spicy food.

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  • rchourchou Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I wonder if the writer's strike will affect any tours you plan to take at the studios.

    Well, you'll have to cross picket lines. Other than that, the tours are just a general drive down the backlot to see a lot of the old sets while a tour guide tells the history of the place. Pretty entertaining, but I wouldn't recommend doing it if you have only one day in LA.

    I fourth going down to the west side. 3rd Street is a lot of fun, and so is the beach. The pier at Santa Monica is a pretty big stinker, so skip it. Ideally, you'll want to hit up the beach during the day-- my vote goes to Venice, which is about 3 miles away from Santa Monica-- then end the evening with some nice food/ambiance and shopping, if that's what you're into.


    And yes, if you're not from Cali you need to try In N Out. Personally, I'm not a big fan Tommy's; I'd say go to Fatburger instead (if you're going to go to a second fast food joint after In N Out). If you do go to 3rd Street, don't eat there. All the places are really expensive and not that great. Hop on Wilshire or Santa Monica and head east; there are plenty of good restaurants lining the streets. Also, the Mexican food in So. Cal is superb, thanks to our proximity to the border. If you can, take a chance at a Mexican dive, or go to El Chollo (also located in Santa Monica). If you want to sample a bunch of beers/drink, Father's Office (also in Santa Monica) is a great joint with really good burgers.

    rchou on
  • rchourchou Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    edit: whoops, double post.

    rchou on
  • ChenjesuChenjesu Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    pacbowl wrote: »
    If you're not from the west coast, you NEED to go to an In-N-Out.
    Even better is the Tommy's Chiliburger

    THIS

    Just don't let Tommys get cold.

    In-N-Out is mediocre at best. I don't understand why people like it.

    Fatburger is the shit however. (Fat as in size, not actual fat)

    My favorite restaurant in LA is Sushi Mac, followed by Noodle Planet/Boba World

    Chili My Soul is pretty awesome too, if you like spicy food.

    In-N-Out are extremely good burgers. I'm in rural Virginia now, and the best burger we have is at Burger King. D: When you're in California for a while, you just don't realize how good you have it with regards to burgers.

    Fatburger is really tasty, too, but WAY too expensive. Last time I was there, it was $10+ bucks for a Kingburger meal. Go for In-N-Out.

    Chenjesu on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2008
    Lunch at the In-N-Out burger, visit Amoeba Records downtown, dinner at Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles. Everything else is just gravy, those are the three sites in LA that you really need to see.

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  • krapst78krapst78 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Fatburger is great as long as you don't eat too many of their Jalapeños. They have awesome ice cream shakes as does In-N-Out. I'd still say you should go for Tommy's if you want a true LA experience.

    Los Angeles does chicken even better than their burgers. Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles is a great experience and that combination goes down better than it sounds. If you like Cuban food, you should check out Versailles in the Palms area near Culver City on Venice & Motor. Their garlic chicken combo is top notch. Hands down the best chicken in all of LA is the "El Pollo Maniaco" from Dino's Burgers on Pico and Berendo in K-Town. Don't be fooled by the seedy area and cheap price, that chicken is God in a Styrofoam container.

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  • What's her faceWhat's her face Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    DrDizaster wrote: »
    Lunch at the In-N-Out burger, visit Amoeba Records downtown, dinner at Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles. Everything else is just gravy, those are the three sites in LA that you really need to see.

    When we have people from out of town we always give them the Venice/Santa Monica combo. It's a no-fail kinda deal

    But this is a great idea, especially for someone younger.
    All three of those location are on Sunset, probably within a mile of each other.
    I'd add Mel's Drive-In for breakfast and a show at the Laugh Factory or Comedy Store, again all these are on Sunset Blvd.

    Now with that you can also go to:

    Hollywood Blvd, which is north of Sunset, and that will allow you to see Pantages Theater, the Hollywood & Highland Complex, Hollywood Bowl and El Capitan Theater.

    Melrose Ave., which is two major streets south of Sunset, so you can check out all those shops and restaurants there. the Groundlings Theater is also on Melrose as is the insanely popular Urth Cafe and Pink's Hot Dogs.

    A few major streets south is Wilshire/ Fairfax area. There you have Canter's Deli, the Grove/Farmer's Market, LACMA, and the Tar Pits.

    This is all in ~5 mile radius west of the 101. Once you arrive to any of these location you won't have to hop on to a freeway until you call it a day.

    Whatever you choose to do remember you'll be here on a Sunday when people are out and about so places like The Grove and Venice* will be pretty congested.

    *heads up on the occasional whiffs of BO and weed.

    What's her face on
  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Oh, almost forgot because I haven't been there in years, but I'll throw a vote in for Okie Dogs. Those are absolutely awesome. On Fairfax south of Sunset, if I remember correctly.

    Dalboz on
  • rchourchou Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Man, Roscoe's is good but seriously overpriced and overrated. The key to their delicious waffles is a pound of butter in the waffle and another pound on top of it. You put that much butter into something, it has to be good. The fried chicken doesn't particularly stand out to me, either. Just tastes like good-- not great-- fried chicken.

    rchou on
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