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The consolidated "What to do on a layover at LAX" thread

The consolidated "What to do on a layover at LAX" thread

Old Mar 27, 2007, 2:20 am
  #196  
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http://www.thomasguidebooks.com/
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by number_6
Another alternative is the restaurant/bar in the spider (former control tower building, now in the middle of the airport garages). Excellent food (best of any of the LAX area hotels) and cool decor, plus the same view of the airport as the traffic controllers used to have. http://www.encounterlax.com/
The Encounter restaurant is closed for awhile as they are having trouble with falling concrete.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 10:01 pm
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Originally Posted by kef0913
actually, as long as you are awake at that hour, driving around LA in the wee hours is much easier because there is a relatively small amount of traffic on the road. As long as you know where you are going or have a Thomas guide you will be fine. And LA is not nearly as scary a place to drive around as some would have you believe. If you have ever driven in NY then LA won't be bad at all.
Thinking that Thomas Bros. would be a bit much for a visitor. Just a good map and some googled directions might be more practical. I was blown away by how expensive Thomas Bros. has gotten.
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 9:41 pm
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If you've got a few hours, exploring Manhattan Beach would be great. It's very close to the airport so a cab would be cheap. It's a classic Southern California beach town with a wonderful beach and nice "downtown". If you can do it on a nice summer day, even better.
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Old Mar 29, 2007, 3:47 am
  #200  
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Originally Posted by cmvinsk
If you've got a few hours, exploring Manhattan Beach would be great. It's very close to the airport so a cab would be cheap. It's a classic Southern California beach town with a wonderful beach and nice "downtown". If you can do it on a nice summer day, even better.
This is a great suggestion...and one can even drop down a mile further south to visit the Hermosa Pier. Both are 15-20 minute cab rides (max) to LAX.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 12:04 pm
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Question 14 hour layover at LAX need help!

Hi all,
I have a 14 hour layover at LAX this summer and could use your help as I've never been to LA. I arrive just after 7AM on a Wednesday in August and my departing flight does not leave until 9pm (same day). Since I have 14 hours I figure I'll explore.

My current options as I see them are:
1) Beach! But what beach is best to go too?
2) Drive to Long Beach and go to the Aquarium of the Pacific
3) Getty Museum

But I know nothing about LA traffic, so please feel free to give me recommendations and/or comments.

My other question is about rental cars. I am #1 Gold with hertz which is nice because I get to skip the lines, but even with my CDP Hertz is more expensive than Enterprise (by $20), and Thrifty/Dollar (by $30). Is there any reason not to rent from one of those three companies at LAX? Will I have to wait in line for hours for getting my car?

Thanks for any help!
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 12:11 pm
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The discounts from southwest (available on this board hint hint) are often ludicrous. Even if you don't fly WN, the savings may be worth it. Just get yourself a free account, book through WNs site, earn the 0.5 or 1 credit, and take your money!

Traffic is ugly, in my 2 experiences. Getty was amazing.

Go animal style. Fries were so so, shakes good.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 12:24 pm
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Of the three options I would have to recommend:

1. Getty - It's a short drive North of the airport & has a fantastic collection. $7 to park and free admission. Wonderful collection of European paintings and the architecture is amazing.

2. Venice beach - A non-stop circus sideshow! Couple of miles up is the Santa Monica pier area which sometimes is good for restaurant celebrity sightings.

3. Aquarium of the Pacific is nice, but not world class.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 12:33 pm
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[QUOTE=ludocdoc;7633263]The discounts from southwest (available on this board hint hint) are often ludicrous. Even if you don't fly WN, the savings may be worth it. Just get yourself a free account, book through WNs site, earn the 0.5 or 1 credit, and take your money!
QUOTE]

I went looking for the amazing discounts through WN's site, but they were not to be found, at least for my dates for a week near the end of May.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 12:43 pm
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I would go to venice beach & then head over to hollywood walk around have an early dinner and make it back to lax
try price line for a good deal on a rental car
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 1:37 pm
  #206  
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Don't bother w/ Hollywood. Given the amount of time you've got you can do both the beach & the Getty. Have fun! Cheers.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 1:43 pm
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Good choices all, dcstudent!

It's useful to note that you'll be here on a weekday. Traffic on I-405 (excuse me, the 405 -- I don't yet speak southern Californian ) is horrendous; it's the main artery over on the West Side. But, you've got a whole 14 hours; the traffic shouldn't ruin your visit.

You might try by starting out at the Getty, depending upon how early it opens and how soon you can get there. You can spend a while there. I think it's worth the visit even if you never see any art; the setting of the museum and the architecture of its buildings is fantastic.

Once you're done there I'd suggest that you either hit Venice or Santa Monica, California, for the beach. Use a parking lot or structure; it's probably not worth the headache to find street parking, particularly in Venice. You can find decent restaurants for dinner (I'm thinking of the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica) in either place and they're right on the beach. So, after the Getty, hit the beach and hang out, then head for dinner and back down to LAX. Or, something like that.

Then there was this hilarious account of this guy who spent a good while at the Whaler in Venice eating and drinking and, eventually, doing body shots with the natives!
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 2:20 pm
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I have to second, or thrd, not bothering with Hollywood. Your original choices are completely doable and are some nice things to do within a reasonable drive from LAX.

Traffic on the 405 is bad between roughly 7-10 am and 3:30-7:30 (or later) pm. These are rough approximations and it is sometimes bad earlier and later than that. And amazingly wasn't too bad this Monday at 7:30 am when I was headed to the airport. But I digress...

There is a brief window in the middle of the day when it isn't too bad. But don't for a minute think that it will be light. One thing I have noticed is that L.A. residents refer to how bad the traffic is by how fast you can go, whereas residents of many other areas refer to how bad the traffic is by how many cars are on the road. In L.A. there is almost always traffic, but you can also often go 65 mph in it.

A safe rule of thumb for a visit of less than 24 hours is to stick to the Westside (Hollywood and downtown are not on the Westside) and surrounding areas. Unless there is something specific that you are aching to do outside that area basically anything west of the 405 (or close to that), as far south as the South Bay and as far north as Sunset Blvd and Malibu (ok, maybe thats a bit far) could be reasonably achieved and will give you a good taste of L.A. You can of course do more and go farther afield, depending on how tired/stressed you want to be and how energetic/ambitious you are.

Hope you have a great time!
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 2:52 pm
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From a timeline point you will get in the car at about 8:00am and need to drop the car at 7:30pm (especially if international).

At 8:00am the traffic will suck! At 4:00pm on, the traffic will suck. Therefore, Long Beach is out.

If it was me - and I live here - I would go to Venice beach. Once there rent a bike. Go up to the Santa Monica Pier. Putt back to Venice then south to Marina Del Rey. You can go all the way to the Redondo Pier (10 miles approx) if you want. The LA South Bay beaches are fantastic in August - excellent people watching. Also, you are close to the airport and will not waste time in traffic.

I would do only this.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by MIKEM

I would do only this.
I was going to go to Pasadena the other day, but then I saw a billboard of the Marina with "MIKEM would do only this," written on it. I turned around and went to the Marina.

On a serious note, MIKEM has proposed a good itinerary (though I am partial to the Getty, too). I think he is being generous on the time in and out of LAX, though. If you land at 7 am you will be lucky to have your luggage by 8 yet alone getting to the car rental shuttle and in your car. I would figure more like 9. Traffic will stuck.
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