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LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

by TravelWFam Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

We have never been to Los Angeles before. We want to show our kids (ages 6 and 8) the beach, Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, and Disneyland. Also my wife really wants to see Brad Pitt's star on the sidewalk. We are going to be there March 27 - April 3rd. It's so overwhelming looking at the hotel websites. We have budgeted about $150/night for one room for all of us. thanks for the help!!

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Re: LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

    by jumpingnorman Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Well, when I read your post and the ages of your kids, I thought about this nice hotel we stayed at near Disney for which I think we paid only $125 per night (?) - I still have my review on it at Woodfin Hotel Cypress / Anaheim: "Affordable,spacious, near Disney, great breakf - Anaheim Hotel Tip by jumpingnorman Woodfin Hotel in Anaheim

    Hope you find a great place to stay at :)

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  • DueSer's Profile Photo

    Re: LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

    by DueSer Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    You need to realize that the beach is a long ways from Universal Studios, which is a long ways from the Hollywood sign, which is a long ways from Disneyland. You need to decide if you're going to get just one hotel for your entire stay or if you're going to get a hotel in LA and then get another one down by Disneyland. Either will work out, it just depends on how comfortable you are driving. If you get just one hotel for the entire stay, you'll be doing a lot of driving. Your best bet for the beach would most likely be Santa Monica. It has a nice beach as well as the pier with lots of fun stuff for the kids and just a few blocks away is the 3rd Street Promenade with lots of shopping and restaurants. If you want to get up close to the Hollywood sign, you're going to need to go up into the hills to Griffith Park Observatory - you can get very close there. If you hike the trail the starts at the back of the Obsv's parking lot you can get even closer. However, if you just want to see the sign, you can do that from Hollywood and Highland - lots of shops and restauants and also the stars on the walk of fame. The website for finding a specific star on the Walk of Fame (www.walkoffame/starfinder) has no results for Brad Pitt. Are you sure he has a star? At any rate, there are lots of hotels in this area of Hollywood Blvd and Santa Monica has a lot of hotels as well although those are going to be much pricier. Universal Studios is quite a ways from everything else so it would be a drive every day to get to the other locations but there is a hotel in Universal City, altho it's more than $125 (more like $189 or so). Burbank has a lot of reasonably priced hotels and it's near Universal City but it's even further from everything else you want to see. Disneyland of course is going to have the most hotels, some of which are very reasonably priced, but you'll be down in Orange County then, about 20 minutes or so (depending on the time of day you go) down the 5 freeway from LA and Hollywood, even farther to get to Santa Monica. If you wanted to go to a nice beach town that's closer to Disneyland, try Huntington Beach. You can drive down Harbor Blvd and be at the beach in a reasonable amount of time (and much closer than trying to get to Santa Monica or Malibu or any of those west-facing beaches from Anaheim.

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  • July2's Profile Photo

    Re: LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

    by July2 Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Another vote for Santa Monica and the hotel (recommended by another VTer) we usually stay at because it is very near the beach/amusements/shops/restaurants - anything else can be done via a tour of Los Angeles. We did a tour on our first trip taking in the downtown area/the stars on the sidewalk/5 hours at Universal Studios.

    http://www.hisantamonicahotel.com/ (The Holiday Inn At The Pier, Santa Monica) ... I believe we paid around $225 range.

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

    by xymmot Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Sounds like a tourist thing and you want to save money so what I usually do if I am not staying at a friends house there is get a room by the airport. They are comfy and I use them for my home base...just to sleep naturally, but they have many restaurants in the area and easy excess to the highways. Choose a name brand like Raddison or Wingate, they are usually under one hundred dollars and save the money to go on excursions and to buy gas. Most airport hotels have free parking also....a plus, plus and you can pick up your rental car the day you are ready for it by taking a free shuttle bus to the airport or a rental agency might be just outside of the hotel area. Anyway, another plus is when you go home, you are at the airport already and can sent your rental car home a day early as well and use the free shuttle. It works for me as a home base, cheap and excess to everywhere. Have a great time in LA and thanks for the tips.

    cheers tommy x

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

    by Dabs Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    You might split up your stay and stay by Disney for a couple of the days (how many days are you planning on going there? Maybe the day before so you can hit the ground running and the night(s) after) and find somewhere else for the remainder of your stay. Anaheim is a hike from the rest of what you list so I don't think you want to spend your whole stay there.

    You might be going during spring break in which case the hotels might be higher down near Disney, I found a good deal on Mousesavers.com for a hotel right across the street from the park, a lot less than the official Disney hotels. I've also stayed at the Howard Johnson just up the street from Disneyland and that location is also good.

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  • Jamesr3939's Profile Photo

    Re: LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

    by Jamesr3939 Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    There is a Embassy Suites just down the street from D/Land I just booked for March for $185 per night. If you figure that includes a full cook breakfast and a free cocktail reception in the PM it might save you some money. Plus the rooms are two room suites with a kitchenette that might save you money and give you more room.

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  • July2's Profile Photo

    Re: LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

    by July2 Online Now Feb 22, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    I would recommend avoiding this hotel - at least for next little while!

    dailymail.co.uk/news/article...

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  • DueSer's Profile Photo

    Re: LA for the first time with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!

    by DueSer Online Now Feb 22, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    This hotel is down in Skid Row - the WORST & most dangerous part of the city. Why people continue to book hotels down there is beyond me. Definitely NOT a place to stay with children.

    There are a lot of hostels in this area so I guess the rooms are cheap but I really don't think it's worth it. This poor Canadian woman who died, hopefully her death will at least help future tourists realize that no matter how good a deal you're getting on the room, it just is not a good place to stay in Los Angeles. I've been trying to tell people this for a long time! "Skid Row" - Unsafe Areas Tip by DueSer

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