California-Los Angeles

Honeymooning in LA - rent a car, or cab?

Hi Ladies -  I'm getting married this Sunday, and before heading out on our cruise, we will be spending 3 days in Los Angeles.  Our hotel is right at LAX, but we want to go to the Santa Monica Beach and down into LA.  Do you suggest just getting cabs or rent a car? How is parking in all those areas? Will we easily get lost?

I figured I'd post this here because the locals always know best!

Also, if you have any "must see" places I'd love to hear about them!

Thank you so much!

Re: Honeymooning in LA - rent a car, or cab?

  • BeeBee22BeeBee22 member
    edited December 2011

    I used to live in LA and now travel there a lot. Definitely rent a car. Cabs have to be called and are often gross, and things are far apart in LA (--> high fares). Also, your rental may have GPS, which will help you get around. Request GPS if you can.

    If you have a blackberry/iphone, etc., you can pull up google maps on that. If not, see if your hotel has a business center and print out maps/directions to exactly where you're going. The freeway system is actually very well designed, but can be confusing for visitors. 

    To get to Santa Monica from the airport area is easy. Just take Lincoln Blvd north. Lincoln is one of the roads that leads directly into the airport, so your hotel desk should be able to tell you how to get to it. Lincoln takes you right up into Santa Monica, and would be 8th street if it had a number (8 blocks from the beach). If you go left at Colorado or Arizona and then right onto Fourth Street, there are three or four big lots up and down Fourth with 2-3 hours free parking.  You can park there and walk to the Promenade (open air shopping) on 3rd Street, or to the beach (you'll be able to see it and walk down steps that take you across the road to the beach).  You can go out on the Santa Monica Pier, but it's a little skanky. [remember which lot you're in - they look the same, and I once thought I lost my car because I was in the wrong lot :)]

    Parking varies across the city. It's expensive to pay for, but there is also a fair amount of 2-3 hour free parking. As far as getting lost, it's a big place. You might see whether you can get a city map at the airport or the hotel so you keep a sense of the big picture. 

    If I were you, I'd look up listings for internet cafes around town so you can look up maps there if you get lost. In my experience, many people in LA only know their little part of town, and won't be much help with directions.

    Because things are spread out, it's probably best to decide what you're interested in seeing...sports stuff? Disney Music Center? [Downtown] Movie studio tours? [the Valley]. Big-a** houses you can see from the street and scary plastic people? [Beverly Hills].. etc.

    Have fun!
    {edited for clarity)

  • edited December 2011
    I live in LA. and have been to new york... in LA you definately need to rent a car. Cabs??? yeah... your lucky if you even get to see one.

    Congratulations!!!! Have a great time!
  • edited December 2011
    ok... sorry. i have more for you. I would not recommend going into downtown LA. quite frankly, you will be dissapointed. maybe with the exception of the staples center and Nkia LIVE... everything else is boring and not much to do. If you do go to the Nokia LIVE you'll have fun. But dont plan it being a whole day thing.

    Santa Monica is great.I recommend going into 3rd street promenade for shopping and eating. great place. theres lots of entertainment on that little strip. Good choice.

    Other places that are a must see for my OOT guests are Pasadena. Hollywood especially the touristy parts. The Griffith Park Observatory is nice. I would recommend Rodeo Drive.

    Good luck again!!
  • edited December 2011
    Congratulations!!  I would also definitely recommend renting a car with GPS - that would be the best way to get around.
    Places to see: 3rd Street Promenade / Santa Monica; also going to City Walk - Hollywood - you don't have to go to Universal Studios - they have restaurants and shops too; also LA Live/Nokia - you will have a great time.
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  • edited December 2011
    I have to disagree about downtown. I LOVE it. The restaurants are great and that's where there's a lot of LA history. It isn't like a typical downtown though - know what you want to see before you get there. Other than the fab restaurants, the downtown Library, the Music Center and Angel's Flight are all really interesting.

    Cabs to downtown from the airport have a flat rate of about $50. Just so you know how far/pricey cab rides are.

    If you're staying near the green line (subway line) it makes it easier to get into downtown and Hollywood, but it will take a long time. And there's no Subway to Santa Monica.

    Parking in Santa Monica is fairly easy. There are city owned parking garages that are pretty cheap (about $5). Paring downtown can be harder and more expensive, depending on when you go. It's not bad on the weekends. During the week when the courts are open and people are working down there, you'll probably pay $10-$15 to park at a lot. Another thing to do would be to find a "park and ride" subway lot and take the train into downtown.

    You can flag down cabs in Hollywood and downtown, but... I wouldn't bother.
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with everyone, definitely rent a car. 
    Parking at the Santa Monica pier is very easy, $6 on weekends, or there are about 8 lots around the 3rd Street Promenade and those are usually 2 hours free or $3 on weekends. 

    LA is a car town so anywhere you go you will find parking easily, and it's usually not very expensive. 

    And definitely use google maps...especially for traffic info. 

  • soniabogoniasoniabogonia member
    edited December 2011
    Rent a car.

    If you like seafood you should go to  San Pedro Fish Market. I love it there. It's outdoors, family oriented, and the food is delicious!
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