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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 18, 2024, 8:49 am
  #976  
 
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Originally Posted by chooms
we were thinking of grabbing an Uber Black and heading up to Santa Monica pier for a bit to stretch legs and get some fresh air between flights. Other option is In n Out.

Or do we not risk evening rush traffic and stay at the airport? Of course also depends on how late QF11 is...

Should we get out of the airport or hang around? I suspect we could kill and hour or so with showers and a meal post-QF11... any advice appreciated!
Assuming you arrive on time and clear immigration in a somewhat timely manner, I think you have more than enough time to head to Santa Monica Pier. I believe Uber Black still does curbside pickup at LAX - otherwise it is a pain heading to the ride-share lot.
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Old Mar 18, 2024, 9:07 am
  #977  
 
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Originally Posted by chooms
Hi all. We are doing SYD-LAX-MIA with QF & AA next month. We land on the re-timed QF11 at 1320 and then don't depart until 2235 on AA24.....we were thinking of grabbing an Uber Black and heading up to Santa Monica pier for a bit to stretch legs and get some fresh air between flights. Other option is In n Out.

Or do we not risk evening rush traffic and stay at the airport? Of course also depends on how late QF11 is...

Should we get out of the airport or hang around? I suspect we could kill and hour or so with showers and a meal post-QF11... any advice appreciated!
You have enough time to go to Sta Monica Pier...but why??
it is dirty, crowded, there's homeless and it is mostly junk / tourist trap eateries.
I would suggest instead Manhattan Beach Pier.
Closer, easier to get too, clean and pleasant. Many restaurants to choose from.
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Old Mar 18, 2024, 11:09 am
  #978  
 
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Originally Posted by carlosdca
You have enough time to go to Sta Monica Pier...but why??
it is dirty, crowded, there's homeless and it is mostly junk / tourist trap eateries.
I would suggest instead Manhattan Beach Pier.
Closer, easier to get too, clean and pleasant. Many restaurants to choose from.
... or Hermosa Beach Pier.
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Old Mar 18, 2024, 11:21 am
  #979  
 
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Originally Posted by AAway
... or Hermosa Beach Pier.
Definitely!
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Old Mar 18, 2024, 12:18 pm
  #980  
 
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Originally Posted by carlosdca
You have enough time to go to Sta Monica Pier...but why??
it is dirty, crowded, there's homeless and it is mostly junk / tourist trap eateries.
I would suggest instead Manhattan Beach Pier.
Closer, easier to get too, clean and pleasant. Many restaurants to choose from.
Second that! I live near Santa Monica but enjoy Manhattan Beach pier a lot more!
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Old Mar 18, 2024, 8:28 pm
  #981  
 
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Originally Posted by carlosdca
You have enough time to go to Sta Monica Pier...but why??
it is dirty, crowded, there's homeless and it is mostly junk / tourist trap eateries.
I would suggest instead Manhattan Beach Pier.
Closer, easier to get too, clean and pleasant. Many restaurants to choose from.
Originally Posted by AAway
... or Hermosa Beach Pier.
Originally Posted by sapguy
Second that! I live near Santa Monica but enjoy Manhattan Beach pier a lot more!
Awesome feedback. Will check out Manhattan Beach or Hermosa instead. We were a little unsure where to go... but just need a place that has a park for the little one to run around for a bit and maybe a bar for a drink or two. Plan is to get back to the airport around 8pm so I think we should have enough time. Thanks everyone.
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Old Apr 9, 2024, 5:00 pm
  #982  
 
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~12hr transit, rent a car or uber?

Have around a 12hr transit coming up in LAX from 9am to 9pm roughly.

Planning to hit up:
  • Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Manhattan Pier or Santa Monica Pier
  • Hollywood Boulevard
  • Griffith Observatory (maybe)

​​​​​​Is it better rent a car for the day or rely on uber?
how hard is it to find parking in LA?

thanks in advance
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Old Apr 9, 2024, 6:05 pm
  #983  
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Originally Posted by mustkill
Have around a 12hr transit coming up in LAX from 9am to 9pm roughly.
---
how hard is it to find parking in LA?
Depending on the day of the week, traffic during these hours is going to be bad. Except for the Manhattan Beach Pier, you are going to use freeways that are congested approximately 16-18 hours a day to reach your destinations.

I'm not sure about parking in Manhattan Beach; my recollection is that it is mostly street parking. Depending on the time of year, you will be competing with beachgoers. Santa Monica is essentially the same, although there may be a few rather small surface lots nearby. There is also a shopping mall with an attached parking structure within walking distance.

Parking on Hollywood Boulevard is mostly street parking. Ovation Hollywood, at the corner of Hollywood and Highland, has a large subterranean parking facility.

Parking at the Griffith Observatory is plentiful; however, it may be problematic on weekends.

The Petersen Automotive Museum had a large attached parking structure.

If you are coming off a longhaul red-eye flight and have not previously driven in Los Angeles, I'd recommend against renting a car and driving.
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Old Apr 9, 2024, 11:38 pm
  #984  
 
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Originally Posted by TWA884
Depending on the day of the week, traffic during these hours is going to be bad. Except for the Manhattan Beach Pier, you are going to use freeways that are congested approximately 16-18 hours a day to reach your destinations.

I'm not sure about parking in Manhattan Beach; my recollection is that it is mostly street parking. Depending on the time of year, you will be competing with beachgoers. Santa Monica is essentially the same, although there may be a few rather small surface lots nearby. There is also a shopping mall with an attached parking structure within walking distance.

Parking on Hollywood Boulevard is mostly street parking. Ovation Hollywood, at the corner of Hollywood and Highland, has a large subterranean parking facility.

Parking at the Griffith Observatory is plentiful; however, it may be problematic on weekends.

The Petersen Automotive Museum had a large attached parking structure.

If you are coming off a longhaul red-eye flight and have not previously driven in Los Angeles, I'd recommend against renting a car and driving.

Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback. Have no concerns with actually driving in LA.

I guess I'm just trying to get around as efficiently as possible without wasting too much time - either waiting around for ubers or picking up a rental car etc.

Which method do you tthink is the most effiicient?

Heard uber availability and pricing is not good in LA?
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Old Apr 10, 2024, 10:23 am
  #985  
 
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Both Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach have multi-story parking structures. Hermosa's is a bit closer and at the same elevation as the pier/restaurants/bars. Manhattan has one lot that is adjacent to the pier, but is often full. Hermosa has metered parking with a maximum of 2 hours (I think). All parking near the ocean is paid parking. If you don't mind walking down and up a hill, there is free, but time limited, parking in the residential neighborhoods. Caution--->Both cities have very effective parking enforcement.

Originally Posted by mustkill
Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback. Have no concerns with actually driving in LA.

I guess I'm just trying to get around as efficiently as possible without wasting too much time - either waiting around for ubers or picking up a rental car etc.

Which method do you tthink is the most effiicient?

Heard uber availability and pricing is not good in LA?
Uber/Lyft or taxi are the most efficient. Rental cars require a longer ride to the rental company and the potential delays waiting in line to complete paperwork. LAX does not have a consolidated rental car facility, so each company runs its own shuttle bus.

Last edited by TWA884; Apr 10, 2024 at 10:52 am Reason: Merge consecutive posts by the same member; please use the multi-quote function. Thank you.
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Old Apr 10, 2024, 10:55 am
  #986  
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Originally Posted by dlaue
LAX does not have a consolidated rental car facility, so each company runs its own shuttle bus.
Well, not yet. It's under construction and almost finished but won't be used until the APM is operational, probably not before 2025.
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Old Apr 10, 2024, 10:59 am
  #987  
 
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I would just uber for day visit. Rental car only makes sense if you have multi-day use case in LA.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 12:50 am
  #988  
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Originally Posted by mustkill
Have around a 12hr transit coming up in LAX from 9am to 9pm roughly.

Planning to hit up:
  • Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Manhattan Pier or Santa Monica Pier
  • Hollywood Boulevard
  • Griffith Observatory (maybe)

​​​​​​Is it better rent a car for the day or rely on uber?
how hard is it to find parking in LA?

thanks in advance
Those are all great places to visit when you come to LA but not all in one day!
It is very simple to hop in an uber and go to MB. Manhattan is about a 15 min drive and uber will be $20-25 to downtown MB. There are lots of restaurants, bars, shops in DT Manhattan Beach...and of course the beach. The beach can be very entertaining if you like watching hard bodies playing some very good volleyball. Walking along the strand in MB with the ocean & sand on one side and multi-multi million homes on your otherside. Lots of dog walkers out, skateboarders, bike riders. There are some benches so you can also just sit and stare at the waves. When you get tired of the beauty of the beach, maybe pick one more thing on your list. I would probably pick the Peterson museum. it will be about 35-40 minutes from MB in an uber. Very close to the Peterson are some great tourist spots...LA County museum is excellent and also the LaBrea Tar Pits. There is also this https://www.academymuseum.org/endirectly across the street.
I would think you will be done with the sightseeing after all that but if not, go to Hollywood Blvd after the Peterson. Hollywood blvd won't take long...I am sure you know to lower your expectations as it is seedy.
No way should driving be an option.
ETA: I happened to be up by SM pier yesterday...it is a longer ride from the airport but it is a totally different experience from the MB pier...it has a ferris wheel & roller coaster etc while MB is more hometown feel. But I noticed Hop on/Hop off tour buses in the area if you want to go that route. https://starlinetours.com/en
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Last edited by corky; Apr 12, 2024 at 1:18 pm
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Old Apr 14, 2024, 12:54 am
  #989  
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It's actually kind of a nice loop, in the middle of the night.

It's not that different than my drive home from Economy parking when there's construction south of Century.

Head up La Cienega to Fairfax and the Peterson Museum. Continue up Fairfax, stop at Canter's and be disappointed that the bakery isn't as good as pre-pandemic (and closes at midnight). Continue up Fairfax to Hollywood and take Hollywood all the way to Western, with a stop near the chinese theater to be completely underwhelmed and be reminded of Niagara Falls, Ontario (not the one on the 10). Take Western to Los Feliz, then up to Griffith Park, check out the observatory, which does actually have some cool stuff. Enjoy the view, which really is spectacular on a clear day. Leaving the observatory, head down toward the east and take the 5 to the 2 and get off on Glendale and take Alvarado to Hoover to avoid DTLA on the way back south. I'd probably take the 110 back the 105 to get to Manhattan Beach, because no good ever comes from getting on the 405, only tears. I've always been blessed to find street parking in MB on weekdays (usually just for the farmers market on Tuesdays), or parked in the library/city hall lot. Hang at the beach, send pictures to people in places where it's still cold and snowing. Then head back to LAX.

I don't think I'd want to try it on a Thursday before 10pm, ever. And it's kind of a lot of driving if you get stuck in drive time traffic, with a lot of it best done on surface streets because the destinations are mostly far enough from freeways that you're going to spend a lot of time on surface streets anyway.

The northbound section up to GP is only about 30 minutes of driving after 11 pm, but could easily be a couple hours in the car during the day. The southbound part from GP to MB is probably anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes during the day, depending on what's going on on the roads. And that assumes you don't get lost or stuck behind an accident. Add to that the time getting a car and returning it and you could easily be cutting things close.

The first thing I would drop is Hollywood Blvd. I (and I think everybody else does, too) tell people not to bother, they do anyway and then report that it was kind of dumpy. I'm not that into cars, so I'd skip the Peterson museum, too, but if if you hit that first, then take Beverly to Western it's probably the lightest traffic route you'll get, and keep an eye on the time. Figure Manhattan Beach will take 2.5 hours, plus the time to get back to LAX and get through the U, which can take another 40 minutes (to go a whole mile!) from just outside the U and be prepared to skip it entirely. If you take an Uber or Lyft it eliminates the car dropoff step. If you're flying out of a terminal on the south side, the rideshare can take the shortcuts across, but if you're on a shuttle you're stuck going through the whole U.

(ETA: and I'll second the Tar Pits. The Tar Pits/Page Museum/Hancock Park are one of the coolest things in LA and tend not to be crowded. The museum is small and you can see most of it in an hour without feeling rushed. The park is well laid out and pleasant, with big mastodons in the pond and oil spots bubbling up where you don't expect.)
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Last edited by chrisl137; Apr 14, 2024 at 1:12 am
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Old Apr 14, 2024, 6:03 am
  #990  
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From an article in the Los Angeles Times lat week:

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