Forums - General Discussion - Going to California (LA) in May. Any suggestions?

As of right now I am going by myself to check the sights out before I leave with a group to Vietnam (Missions Trip). Now I looked at Hotel Prices and they are around 200 a night by LAX. There are hostels that cost $20, anyone opt in for a hostel? Never stayed at one. Also, what is some cool loner things to do in California? WhaleWatching, Universal, and Alcatraz seems cool. Wouldn't mind surfing either.



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Chinese food for breakfast

 

Depends. How far are you willing to travel? South of LA you have the San Diego Zoo, Lego Land, Sea World, Six Flags, San Diego aquarium, etc. As well as amazing San Diego beaches.
East of San Diego you run into Imperial Valley which is south of Death Valley and leads to the Salton Sea, a 1950’s beach paradise that turned into a ghost town when too much salt and too little water came in. So now its a mostly empty sea and even emptier town.
North takes you to the beautiful San Fransisco area (good luck living there though $$$), across the Golden Gate will take you to an old WW2 Anti-Japanese military base that watched for submarines. Down that road leads you to an elephant seal conservatory. East of San Fran will take you to Sacramento, when youre there go to old Sacramento which is set up like a 1890s town.

That’s just a couple things off the top of my head. Lived in Cali a while way back. Loved all of it except LA



roadkillers said:

As of right now I am going by myself to check the sights out before I leave with a group to Vietnam (Missions Trip). Now I looked at Hotel Prices and they are around 200 a night by LAX. There are hostels that cost $20, anyone opt in for a hostel? Never stayed at one. Also, what is some cool loner things to do in California? WhaleWatching, Universal, and Alcatraz seems cool. Wouldn't mind surfing either.

Hmm... it depends on a few factors (when exactly you'll be there, how much money you want to spend, what sorts of things you're interested in, etc.). One of the most beautiful places to go for a concert in the world is the Hollywood Bowl. In May this year they have LCD Soundsystem and Paul Simon, among some others. You can check out their calendar here. Local theater is wild in Los Angeles (especially in Hollywood and North Hollywood), due to all of the actors and actresses and other talented people. If you have an opportunity, and enjoy that sort of thing.

Universal's a fun theme park, but for me Disney is still the king. (I guess it depends in part on whether you've been to a Disney theme park before, etc.) If theme parks are your thing, the lesser known option is Knott's Berry Farm -- but that's a So-Cal classic. If you go, be sure to get the famous chicken dinner (which requires standing in its own line, so plan ahead). Or: there is Medieval Times in the same area, though that's not quite the same thing.

StarOcean mentioned the San Diego Zoo, which is brilliant, but if you don't want to travel that far while you're in Los Angeles, the city has its own zoo in the middle of Griffith Park, which is also home to Travel Town (old train engines, etc., if that kind of thing interests you), the Gene Autry Museum, and the Observatory. Those sorts of things can make for a laid back sort of day, especially if you enjoy park-type activities.

Then there are the beaches and all. Santa Monica has the famous pier, but it's a very crowded, touristy area. Still can be fun. Maybe you can get out to Venice, which is... an interesting place. Or if you want a pure beach experience, there's Malibu. (I dunno anything about surfing, personally, but that's where you can do it.)

Alcatraz is awesome, but that's in San Francisco -- which is far outside of Los Angeles, a six to seven hour drive. I mean, if you want to do trips to SF or San Diego (or Las Vegas), each of those cities has its own sites and activities. But if you want to check out L.A. while you're there, there's plenty to do. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so let me know if you have any more questions.



Magic Mountain is tons of fun and not as expensive as a lot of the other theme parks. Griffith Park Observatory is awesome if you want to check out a planetarium and get a good view of the Hollywood sign. Also, use Expedia to book your hotels. They'll get you better rates than the hotels themselves. I stayed in downtown LA for 60-70 a night in modest accommodations. Nothing you'd want to take your lady friend to for a weekend getaway, but perfectly serviceable as a place to crash for the evening.



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roadkillers said:

As of right now I am going by myself to check the sights out before I leave with a group to Vietnam (Missions Trip). Now I looked at Hotel Prices and they are around 200 a night by LAX. There are hostels that cost $20, anyone opt in for a hostel? Never stayed at one. Also, what is some cool loner things to do in California? WhaleWatching, Universal, and Alcatraz seems cool. Wouldn't mind surfing either.

Whale watching would be on the more northern/central coasts and Alcatraz is in the Bay Area. Many people assume California to be much smaller than it is.  The Bay Area is a good 6 hours from LA with plenty of traffic in between and depending on the route, some of the most boring driving you could ever imagine.



Go to an episode of Judge Judy.



Airbnb is mostly 60% cheaper than hotels, because the private owner do not have to pay taxes.



Coincidentally, my family and I are going to LA too. Next week.

So I'll keep an eye on this thread for suggestions.



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You should definitely go to Griffith Observatory and Santa Monica Pier when you're in the LA area. Rent a bike at one of the beaches and cruise around the beach towns one day. If you have a car, you should drive the PCH from Santa Monica up north through Malibu and beyond, stopping once in a while to enjoy the coast. I did some solo picnics and cigar breaks along the PCH when I was out there with a girfriend who was in training for work. Those were some of my favorite moments.

Forget about the Bay Area stuff, that's way too far away.