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Santa Monica to Universal Studios/Hollywood

Santa Monica to Universal Studios/Hollywood

Old May 4, 17, 1:26 pm
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Santa Monica to Universal Studios/Hollywood

Wife and her bestie are in CA in next month for a short trip. Being the nice guy (and an obsessed FTer), I insisted on doing the travel arrangements.

Are there any paid shuttle service that they could use for getting to Universal Studios and Griffith Park area? There are some tour services but they aren't looking for guided tours. Just a shuttle to get there... something that's a compromise between a cheap-but-inconvenient public transport and expensive cab ride. Personally, I'd rent a car but neither of them drive so that option is no-go.

I assume Universal Studios is a full day thing in itself and Griffith Park/Hollywood sign/Sunset Blvd would probably need to be on another day?

Any thoughts?
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Old May 4, 17, 1:32 pm
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Assuming sane traffic, UberX is about $30 each way between Santa Monica and Universal Studios Hollywood. They may save a little bit by going with a shuttle, but they're not going to save a ton--I'd just Uber over.

I'd plan for a solid day at Universal Studios. If you only do the rides and avoid the shows it's possible to do Universal Studios in a half-day (especially if you grab the Front of Line Pass), but it can be pretty draining (especially on a hot day), and the shows are pretty decent. Having said that, Griffith Observatory is open late (10 PM) and Sunset Blvd is most popular at night, so it's possible to do a full day at USH and still get the other sights in too.
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Old May 4, 17, 2:07 pm
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Just uber or lyft if your wife is not driving. The trip should take 30 min no traffic or up to 1.5 hour in traffic.

Although public transit from Santa Monica to Universal is actually not that difficult but it does involves at least 1 transfer. Someone who regularly use public transit at his or her own city will not have issue getting there via Metro train or combination of bus and train under 1.5 hour.
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Old May 4, 17, 2:12 pm
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Thanks Sykes!

$30 is not bad. If UberPool is available in LA, it would probably the drive cost little lower!

I agree with you about Universal Studio being a full-day thing and it can exhausting enough. I doubt one would have much energy left to explore other sights after it.

What would be the best way to group the other sights (Sunset Blvd, Griffith Park etc)? Possible to cover Getty center in the morning and then head to this area or would that waste too much time in LA traffic?
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Old May 4, 17, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
What would be the best way to group the other sights (Sunset Blvd, Griffith Park etc)? Possible to cover Getty center in the morning and then head to this area or would that waste too much time in LA traffic?
Getty opens at 10 AM, so they'd avoid most of the morning rush hour if they just grab breakfast in Santa Monica before heading out. I can't think of any reason not to start there and migrate up to the others, which are grouped together pretty closely so they can mostly just hit them depending on when they want to be there. Sunset Blvd will be pretty quiet during the daytime, which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what they're looking for. Griffith Observatory is fantastic at and after sunset--it probably has the best view of LA anywhere, but there's more to do in Griffith Park during the day. I've never made it up to the Hollywood Sign so I can't provide much guidance there.
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Old May 4, 17, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
Although public transit from Santa Monica to Universal is actually not that difficult but it does involves at least 1 transfer. Someone who regularly use public transit at his or her own city will not have issue getting there via Metro train or combination of bus and train under 1.5 hour.
Lucky for OP, just one Metro transfer (Expo then Red Line), at 7th/Metro Center. If starting near the Santa Monica Expo Line Station, can take less than 1.5 hours, since there is a free shuttle at the Universal Studios Station that takes you up to the Universal Studios (Hollywood). Cost: $1.75 per person.
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Old May 5, 17, 2:41 pm
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1.5hrs each way is a whole lotta time wasted in tranasportation. Just personal 2 bits.
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Old May 6, 17, 12:52 am
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
1.5hrs each way is a whole lotta time wasted in tranasportation. Just personal 2 bits.
Unfortunately, depending on time of day and how the 10/405/101 are doing, it could very well take over an hour by car as well to get from Santa Monica to Universal Studios! :P (Unlikely, though I've had the unfortunate personal experience of being stuck on the 10 for a looong time). That said, if you want to minimize travel time, you're still probably better off doing Uber/Lyft as others have mentioned. Plus since the subway system is more of a hub & spoke model, it means you need to go all the way to Downtown then backtrack a bit on the way up to Hollywood.

(Though a plug in for the public transit - if you wanted to see things in Downtown LA or Exposition Park area, the Expo Line train from Santa Monica would be an easy way to go!)
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