Los Angeles area 8 nights

Old Sep 9th, 2022, 12:08 PM
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Los Angeles area 8 nights

(unless my flights are changed), my plane arrives in Burbank on the afternoon of December 24th. My flights back to Detroit leave From Burbank on January 1st. I already reserved a space in a hostel in Hollywood for those 8 nights. (Even though I am 39. But I am a single man traveling alone. I was trying to keep the total cost under a reasonable $2,500-$2,800). I hope I am not giving myself too many nights. I hope the environment in the hostel won't be so loud or chaotic on New's year's eve that I don't sleep well because otherwise I would be too tired to drive the rental car back to the airport. I reserved a rental car. I am skipping the Parade of Roses in Pasadena. It looks like all the museums require advance timed tickets or reservations. I didn't buy or reserve museum tickets yet.

My main reason for traveling to Los Angeles is for the Getty museum and to avoid having to see my family when my work is closed from December 24th-January 1st. I am not a foodie; if possibly I will try buying what i can from local good grocery stores or markets. I never got much into sports or movies. I watch a maximum of two movies a year on average when with my family.

rough approximate supposed itinerary:
December 24th: Flights from Detroit to Burbank. Pick up rental car. If time, Dockweiler Beach. Find a good grocery store. 1st night
Sunday, 25th: Hike to somewhere the Hollywood sign is easily visible from (Griffith Park or nearby reservoir); possibly start at Griffith observatory. 2nd night
Monday, 26th: Getty Villa museum. 3rd night
Tuesday, 27th: Getty Center, the other Getty location. 4th night
Wednesday, 28th: Natural History museum. 5th night
Thursday, 29th: Huntington museum and gardens in San Marino next to Pasadena. 6th night
Friday, 30th: La Brea tar pits museum? Los Angeles county museum of Art. 7th night
Saturday, 31st: Drive out to a park with hiking trails and a waterfall?, or one of the California Missions?? But how do I know which one?? Or are they all approximately the same? 8th night
Sunday, New Year’s day: Flights back to Detroit.

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Old Sep 9th, 2022, 09:18 PM
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Yes to everything you listed. Griffith Park and La Brea Tar Pits for sure. That is a good beginning. No idea about staying in a hostel in Hollywood. If you are worried about New Years Eve, which I think is a legitimate concern, maybe get a hotel for that one last night, for privacy and a good night's sleep?

Chinatown, Olvera Street, the original Farmers Market/the Grove are all central and interesting areas to visit. Don't you want to see Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu (the beaches) one day since you have a car?

As far as which mission, do you want to do a day trip somewhere outside the city, how far do you want to drive, or you are looking for the closest one?
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 11:07 AM
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Skip Dockweiler, it is a crappy beach, no idea why you picked it, just a mile or two south of there is Manhattan Beach, there is some paid parking at the Pier, or park in the garage at Metlox Pottery on MB Blvd and walk 3 blocks downhill.

You have your Getty museums lined up perfectly (Villa is closed Tuesdays for example) just make sure you have your reservations. You can drive a bit north into Malibu when you visit the Villa if you like (it is on the border between Pacific Palisades and Malibu).

The two California missions in LA County are not very worthwhile, Mission San Fernando and Mission San Gabriel, if you want to visit a mission, the two closest and worth while would be Old Mission Santa Barbara aka the "Queen of the Missions" or Mission San Luis Rey a bit inland from Oceanside, down in San Diego County.

Chinatown is not worth a special visit, except for a few dim sum places the best Chinese is mainly in the San Gabriel Valley area.

For good tacos, check laeater or for more hipster, LA Taco, https://www.lataco.com/everything/
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 12:08 PM
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Re giving dining recommendations, from other posts I believe the OP never eats in restaurants. Really only eats fruit and things he prepares himself.

San Juan Capistrano mission isn't in LA County but is good if you want to see some of Orange County like Laguna Beach - its near the southern Orange County coast. Its not as interesting/large as say Santa Barbara.
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 12:20 PM
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Ditto skipping Dockweiler. There's nothing to see or do, and it's in the wrong direction on your arrival day.
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The missions are all quite different, both in size and state of preservation. I wouldn't necessarily recommend driving a long distance just to see one, but I like the one in San Juan Capistrano. There is enough of the complex remaining to understand mission life, and the surrounding SJC neighborhood is worth a stroll. Lots of dining options nearby, but days/hours could be reduced that week. You could combine SJC with a drive along the coast to Laguna Beach before heading back to L.A. Driving would be faster, but it would be possible to round-trip to SJC by train... light rail (Red Line) from Hollywood to Union Station and Amtrak to SJC. Station is a couple of blocks from the mission. Just me, but I wouldn't do this excursion by car or train on NYE. Maybe the Huntington that day... but avoid Pasadena, and instead drive through downtown L.A. and South Pasadena to San Marino.

I think you should expect all of the museums to be busy. Pre-Covid, I met up with a friend at Getty Center one day between the holidays. The parking lot reached capacity in the morning, and cars were backed up outside the entrance. I don't know what adjustments/changes might have been made in the last two years, but I'd expect lots of visitors.




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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 07:09 PM
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Thanks for your input. What advantage is there to moving the Huntington to December 31st and avoiding driving too far that day? I don't see an advantage but I don't see a disadvantage either.

As for December 31st or whichever day make the day I don't have a major museum that would occupy me for hours: It looks like, from the hostel: Mission San Fernando Rey de España is 16.1 miles from the hostel; if I was going to go to a mission why not this one versus over 60 miles to San Juan Capistrano? Millard Falls is a 21.6 mile drive to a parking lot and then the trail to the falls; Escondito Falls is possibly appealing if I would see the ocean there too although it is a sort of far drive at a 38.7 to 39.7 miles and I don't see a parking lot on the map. If I do more research I might or might not find somewhere else to go. Or should I just go to Griffith observatory and then Griffith park again or near the resevoir?

I am afraid a lot of restaurant food is not that healthy. Most restaurant food is made with oils, sugar, and/or salt. I probably will look for a good grocery store that sells some of the following: whole wheat matzo, plan shredded wheat, plain rolled oats, dates, fruit, pre-washed cut lettuce, caned sardines or tune preferably without salt, maybe something else... I guess my avoiding restaurant food while traveling is weird but nobody will be too bothered by it because I am actually traveling alone.
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 07:21 PM
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The only reason I listed Dockweiler beach is because i was fishing around for a place to go in case I have enough extra time after leaving the airport and after finding a grocery store and before sunset. I am not committed to Dockweiler if there is a more appealing place or it there is no time to go anywhere by the time I leave the airport. My plane arrives at 12:21pm. I won't try guessing what time it will be when I get in my rental car.
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 10:48 PM
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I am afraid a lot of restaurant food is not that healthy.

Not really Remember you are in southern California! There is plenty of healthy food you can get in restaurants, if you wanted to. Or eat from the grocery store like you said, but do you have a refrigerator available since you are staying at a hostel?

San Juan Capistrano is one of the most famous missions. But of course you can go to one that is closer, again if you wanted to.
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Old Sep 11th, 2022, 11:00 AM
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You'll have plenty of time after landing and be in your car by 1:30 or 2pm unless your plane is late.
I already suggested Manhattan Beach in my previous post, I lived in MB and worked in El Segundo (where the airport is located) for almost 20 years and the two towns are adjacent. Dockweiler is not that good of a beach plus it is almost next door to the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant. The Pier in MB often has decent surfing plus watching the volleyball players but suit yourself.

For whole grains and decent product, try Sprout's or Whole Foods (also called "Whole Paycheck" by many of us).
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Old Sep 11th, 2022, 07:55 PM
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Thanks for your input. You are probably right about Manhattan Beach. Is it worth going to any of the piers that might function like tourist attractions? For example it looks like there is a Santa Monica Pier that has the Pacific Wheel ferris wheel that costs $10, and a sign showing the end of route 66. I have no use for most rides - yeah I know maybe some rides are for kids but that is moot - but I would ride a ferris wheel for the view and the motion is not severe compared to most rides. I went on 2 ferris wheels in Belgium in 2019.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jamie99 View Post
You'll have plenty of time after landing and be in your car by 1:30 or 2pm unless your plane is late.
I already suggested Manhattan Beach in my previous post, I lived in MB and worked in El Segundo (where the airport is located) for almost 20 years and the two towns are adjacent. Dockweiler is not that good of a beach plus it is almost next door to the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant. The Pier in MB often has decent surfing plus watching the volleyball players but suit yourself.
Except the OP is flying into BURBANK. The drive from the Burbank Airport to Manhattan Beach the afternoon of Christmas Eve might induce suicide. And then the OP has to drive across L.A. again to get to the lodging in Hollywood. I'm an L.A. native, live in Manhattan Beach and drive similar routes often, and I think this plan is ill-advised to say the least.

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michael, if you just want to visit a mission, any mission, there are two about equidistant from Hollywood.... Mission San Fernando Rey and Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. San Gabriel was the 4th mission in California, and its chapel is the oldest standing building in California. The mission was nearly destroyed by an arson fire in 2020 and is expected to re-open in December.

https://roadtrippingcalifornia.com/california-missions/

https://www.dailynews.com/2022/09/09...n-opportunity/
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 12:18 PM
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Good point Jean although I checked and this year Dec 24 is on a Saturday so traffic might not be quite as bad with people not leaving work to go to lunch and not returning.
I was going to suggest, based on your post about Burbank, that OP visit the Huntington that day, but they appear to be closed that day and Christmas Day as well.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jamie99 View Post
You'll have plenty of time after landing and be in your car by 1:30 or 2pm unless your plane is late.
I already suggested Manhattan Beach in my previous post, I lived in MB and worked in El Segundo (where the airport is located) for almost 20 years and the two towns are adjacent. Dockweiler is not that good of a beach plus it is almost next door to the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant. The Pier in MB often has decent surfing plus watching the volleyball players but suit yourself.

For whole grains and decent product, try Sprout's or Whole Foods (also called "Whole Paycheck" by many of us).
Hes flying into Burbank so not sure driving to the beach and then back to Hollywood is a good idea. I wouldn’t do it. Getting rental getting checked in and finding a grocery store will take up most of afternoon. FYI there’s a Trader Joe’s in Silverlake that you could go to on your way to hostel. Do you have your own room at hostel? Assuming they will not have a frig. Tons of healthy vegan restaurants in LA if you are worried about restaurant eating. It’s practically a religion in SoCal.

https://la.eater.com/maps/best-vegan...es-plant-based
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 03:57 PM
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There's a Trader Joe's market on Vine St. near Hollywood Blvd. The TJs in Silver Lake would be a detour from the airport.

IMO, heading to the Santa Monica Pier only makes sense in conjunction with Getty Villa and if you want to spend time in Santa Monica. I've never liked SM as a tourist destination, and the homeless situation is so much worse now. But different strokes for different folks....

If you decide to try a restaurant, look for an "A" Health Dept. rating on the card that must be displayed in the window. There is no shortage of L.A. restaurants serving healthy, organic food, including two that are in/near Hollywood... M Cafe on Melrose near La Brea, and Tocaya Organica on Sunset near Seward.

The amazing Santa Monica farmers' market is held Wednesday and Saturday mornings, the Hollywood farmers' market on Sunday mornings, East Hollywood late Thursday afternoons, but you should try to find if/how the holidays impact any market you might want to visit.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for your input. I guess going to a beach the day my plane arrives probably wouldn't work right. Maybe I can move the beach to the last day of the year or the day I don't schedule any museum or other place that needs reservations or advance tickets. If I have extra time after I arrive, maybe I can walk outside near the hostel. Foothill public stairs are .6 of a mile away, Allview public stairs are .8 of a mile away, Hollywood reservoir trailhead is 2.6 miles driving distance; there is Hollywood boulevard and the Capital records building is .6 of a mile away, and so on. Sunset on December 24th in Los Angeles will actually be at 4.49 pm with a "civil twilight" lasting until about 5:17.

In my adult life I used to shop at my local Wholefoods and Trader Joe's, until I gave up on thinking produce needed to be organic. So far I am still trying to be reasonably health conscious but maybe at a level less obsessive-compulsive than needing everything to be labeled organic. It looks like there is a Trader Joe's half a mile from the hostel, a Ralph's .6 of a mile in another direction, a Gelson's .7 of a mile in another direction. Those last 2 stores are not in southeast Michigan but Ralphs is owned by Kroger and I have shopped at my local Kroger. There is nothing blatantly wrong with Kroger and they have the best prices on many items but they have a lower selection of certain items compared to Meijer and fruit markets.

My hostel room is not private. Hostels exist because there are solo travelers who choose to make a sacrifice on privacy for the sake of saving money compared to the cost of normal hotel rooms. The place has a communal kitchen and refrigerator. Whether they will be clean and appealing is unknowable.

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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 02:16 PM
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I think you have a nice plan overall. Perhaps missing a few things, but everyone has their own priorities. The one thing I think you are worrying needlessly about is getting healthy food in the greater Los Angeles area. Honestly if people want a "healthy lifestyle" southern California pretty much has that going on. Might be too expensive for you but "plant based", vegan, smoothies, etc. etc. are everywhere. I would try to do the Farmers Markets (!!) as outlined for you here above. Because they would combine both the authentic local experience you are seeking AND getting healthy food to eat
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 07:16 AM
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There's nothing anywhere like Venice Beach. Graffiti artists, basketball courts, muscle beach, rollerbladers, surfers, buskers. You have entered a different world.

Hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is great. Huge area with many choices.

If you are interested in kayaking at all, Alamitos Bay is an easy and wonderful destination. You could combine that with visiting the historic site, Rancho Los Alamitos. An eye-opening experience about the founding and development of the entire Los Angeles basin. You take a guided tour, but check limited hours.
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 07:33 AM
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One of my favorite books of the past few years was The Library Book by Susan Orleans. It’s about the Los Angeles downtown public library but also a wonderful history of Los Angeles and the people who helped shape the city.
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 12:06 PM
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Kroger's (Ralph's) is fine for groceries, the other major chain is Von's (used to be owned by Safeway, now owned by Albertson's).
Gelson's is very pricey, similar to Bristol Farms.
I like TJ's but produce is not their strong suit. For example, if you want a tomato you have to buy a four pack, they don't sell them individually like a normal grocery store.
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 01:58 PM
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Interesting about the Trader Joes in California. Here in Seattle they added individual fruits and vegetables quite a few years ago. All kinds of tomatoes you can buy just one of
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