Santa Monica, LA & Vegas Questions!

Discussion in 'California' started by llawjm, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. llawjm

    llawjm New Member

    Hi all!

    My German g/f and I (Aussie) are heading to Calafornia in June for about 10 days to attend a friends wedding. Having never been to the West Coast before we're trying to work out what we should be seeing and where we should spend our time. We'd like a relaxing break, whilst making sure we see some of the highlights.

    Having done my own research, I am leaning towards staying in Santa Monica rather than Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Downtown LA.

    Does this sound sensible? Any suggestions for accommodation in Santa Monica that won't break the budget (don't wanna really pay more than $150pn). We'll have a hire car, so location shouldn't be a problem.

    Looking forward to Vegas. Recommend any "must stay at" hotels? Should we do the chopper flight to the Grand Canyon? Boat trip too?

    You can see our rough itinerary below. Any suggestions what to do on the final Sun-Tue would be grateful.

    Thanks to you all for any suggestions!

    Safe travels!


    Pick up hire car. Chill out in Santa Monica.
    Accom in Santa Monica.

    Arrive in LA, chillin Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach.
    Accom in Santa Monica.

    Day @ Disneyland!
    Accom near Disneyland.

    Drive to Vegas / Chill
    Accom in Vegas.

    Chopper flight to Grand Canyon. Brians stag party Wed night.
    Accom in Vegas.

    Recovery / Chill in Vegas
    Accom in Vegas.

    Drive to Ojai, Californa for wedding rehersal dinner etc.
    Accom in Ojai *Booked*

    Sat 26 : Day in Ojai and the Wedding of course!
    Accom in Ojai *Booked*

    Sun 27
    Brunch/Recovery in Ojai! Where should we go/visit?!

    Mon 28
    Day @ Universal Studios?

    Tue 29
    Shopping in L.A.?
    Flight at 8pm from LAX.
  2. VacationBuddy

    VacationBuddy Administrator

    hi there,

    I think Santa Monica is a sensible choice as there is no shortage of accommodation to suit all budgets.

    For instance, the Holiday Inn in Santa Monica is a great choice if you're looking for something that's less expensive but still in a great location.

    Regarding Las Vegas, I would suggest staying in the downtown area. For instance, the Fremont hotel is another one of the most popular hotels in Las Vegas due to the famed Fremont Street Experience, one of the top things to do in Las Vegas.

    The helicopter ride is definitely something you can do and it'll be a memorable experience seeing Las Vegas Strip from over head.

    Also, I would suggest taking the monorail in Las Vegas strip rather than walking the strip. you can get unlimited day passes which will allow you to hop on and off the monorail throughout the day.

    hope this helps
  3. llawjm

    llawjm New Member

    Wow thank you so much for your many hints, tips, ideas and suggestions! Very much appreciated!

    We're still narrowing down where we will stay (think we're certain it shall be in Santa Monica).

    I have one more question, that being the subject of Transport!

    A friend of mine has suggested we tackle LA using the public bus & train system. I'm leaning towards the same idea as I don't think we'll really need a car if we are commuting from Santa Monica into town for the day and back, and then getting to Universal Studios for a day. I'll hire a car and drive out to Disney though, continuing to Las Vegas.


    Thanks a million! Matt
  4. VacationBuddy

    VacationBuddy Administrator

    Yes, I would with agree with you that you don't need car rental between Santa Monica and LA. You can catch Bus number 4 and it would only take an hour or so.

    Have fun on your trip!
  5. alexa5

    alexa5 New Member

    On the other hand, taxis are always a costly alternative. Unless one plans to need them only two or three times in a visit and will walk everywhere else, there is no way that one can get the same use out of taxis as with a van rental, especially in a busy place like San Francisco.

    San Francisco is a great place to see in a group, but the only way to get around that way is with the right van rental. No one wants to be squashed between even their dearest friends, so it is important to always get a van that is large enough to fit everyone properly. Using one that is too small is just as bad as trying to get by with cars and taxis.
  6. llawjm

    llawjm New Member

    Hi all,

    Just a big thank you to you all on suggestions for our trip! We just got back from California and had such a wonderful time!

    We stayed 3 nights in Santa Monica and visited Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, and did a fantastic food tour with Melting Pot Tours in downtown LA - check em out! Then spent a day at Disneyland, followed by a road trip to Vegas. Spent 3 nights in Vegas @ the Palazzo (amazing) and then a long drive via LA, up to Ojai for a wedding. Ojai is such a cute quaint town. The Ojai Country Club Inn was just bliss! Our final night was spent in Santa Barbara - can't recommend it more highly!

    Anyways, I am about to post again about BC, Canada and get some ideas for our 3 week trip!

    Take care, keep travelling and thanks again for your feedback!

    Matt & Mel.

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