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  1. #21
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    I've worked as an Orange County/LA tour guide for nearly 20 years. All of the above suggestions are pretty much in there. My bit of input about Universal Studios is if you like another theme park with rides and lines, then fine. If you want more of an experience on how movies and TV shows are made then go to Warner Brothers Studios. It's far more interesting. Best piece of advice from above is don't spread yourself all over Orange and LA Counties. The traffic is nuts. Aside from Disney, the Orange County experiences that people really like are Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach, and Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari out of the Dana Point harbor. The gray whale season has pretty much finished up, but the blue whales should be coming in. If you get in a dolphin megapod, he opens up the hatches on the catamaran's twin hulls (they're clear), and you go down in them, lie on your belly, and watch the dolphins play with the boat just beneath the surface of the water. It's very fun!

  2. #22
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    I grew up in L.A. and visited Disneyland a lot, although not in recent years. One major thing that's different about Disneyland than Disney World is the Matterhorn bobsled ride, so do that early in the day. It gets very crowded. If you stay until closing, there is the Electric Light Parade down main street.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    I grew up in L.A. and visited Disneyland a lot, although not in recent years. One major thing that's different about Disneyland than Disney World is the Matterhorn bobsled ride, so do that early in the day. It gets very crowded.
    We were there in March, and got tapped for some Disney "Magic" -- a cast member stopped us as we were walking and asked if we'd like to go straight on to the Matternhorn -- and about a minute and a half later, we were strapped in and off we went. It was pretty cool.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    The Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax Aves. is a historic site and has fabulous food.
    This is probably the only Farmer's Market that you have to pay to get into.

    The one on Main Street in Santa Monica is healthier and free.

    It's more like a flea market, and I don't think the poster is going to take a shabby chic dresser or African statue home.

    You really can get great ethnic food anywhere in Los Angeles -- tell me what you like and I'll give you recommendations.

  5. #25
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    These are all great the state park looks amazing. I have a car rental but now in thinking I might ditch the car....I like the tour ideas from my hotel...for some reason the hilton was a better price than the closer 2,3 star hotels and we don't mind a bit of a walk. I found a beach tour and a warner studio tour that will pick us up at the hotel that might save me from driving.

  6. #26

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    Just a FYI, public transportation is about nil in Southern CA so you may find it very difficult to get around without a car.

  7. #27
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    I was thinking- keep the car while in Long beach- do some stuff there (sunday might be a good day to check out that state park- Monday night check in hotel in Anaheim which is walking distance (although a good walk) to Disney- get rid of car- do Disney Tues, wed, thursday. Friday do a studio bus tour, Sat do a beach bus tour- sunday get the LAX disney shuttle.

    I am finding the pulic trnasit thing so strange when you are used to Toronto, Chicago and NYC

    Does anyone know of a good LAX limo shuttle- my DD is 15 and is flying in alone- I want a very trust worthy limo sevice to pick her up and deliver her to Cal state?

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by all_empty View Post
    This is probably the only Farmer's Market that you have to pay to get into.

    The one on Main Street in Santa Monica is healthier and free.

    It's more like a flea market, and I don't think the poster is going to take a shabby chic dresser or African statue home.

    You really can get great ethnic food anywhere in Los Angeles -- tell me what you like and I'll give you recommendations.
    I never paid to get into the Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax, and there's 2 hours free parking with validation. Don't know what you mean there. It IS massively crowded on the weekends. The reason lots of folks like to go to the Farmer's Market is because the Grove shopping center is next door. And, it's a pretty amazing shopping center.

    http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

    http://www.thegrovela.com/

    O-
    ETA: Links

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mackiecat View Post
    I was thinking- keep the car while in Long beach- do some stuff there (sunday might be a good day to check out that state park- Monday night check in hotel in Anaheim which is walking distance (although a good walk) to Disney- get rid of car- do Disney Tues, wed, thursday. Friday do a studio bus tour, Sat do a beach bus tour- sunday get the LAX disney shuttle.

    I am finding the pulic trnasit thing so strange when you are used to Toronto, Chicago and NYC

    Does anyone know of a good LAX limo shuttle- my DD is 15 and is flying in alone- I want a very trust worthy limo sevice to pick her up and deliver her to Cal state?
    If you have a credit card, do Uber! No exchange of money, no tip service, and extremely cheap!

    https://www.uber.com/cities/los-angeles
    https://www.uber.com/cities/orange-county

    O-

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    I never paid to get into the Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax, and there's 2 hours free parking with validation. Don't know what you mean there. It IS massively crowded on the weekends. The reason lots of folks like to go to the Farmer's Market is because the Grove shopping center is next door. And, it's a pretty amazing shopping center.

    http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

    http://www.thegrovela.com/
    Oh sorry I was talking about the one on Melrose and Fairfax a few blocks up.

    Yeah the Farmer's Market at The Grove is cool.

    The Grove has some good stores -- Vince and a very well-stocked Nordstrom and Crate and Barrel.

    Uber is very reliable in L.A. but if your daughter is a teen you might want to go with a limo service.

    I like this company: http://aeworldwidelimo.com/

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by all_empty View Post
    This is probably the only Farmer's Market that you have to pay to get into.
    There is definitely no charge to go to the Farmer's Market. It has a bunch of open air food stands and prepared food venues. You eat whatever you get at outdoor tables. Lots of people do grocery shopping for produce, deli, and baked goods there. I have been going there for 60 years (!) and visit twice a week when I'm on vacation at my mom's house. My favorite lunch is a corned beef sandwich from Magee's. Other favorites are toffee from Littlejohn's and pies/pastries from Dupar's. Tusquella's has great meats and seafood if you are going to cook for yourself. There are some souvenir shops as well with touristy stuff. Go before 11:30am if you want to get a parking spot in their lot without a hassle - you may have to wait a few minutes for someone to vacate a spot.

    Re: visiting Beverly Hills, only go there if you want to be awed by expensive homes and glamorous shopping on Rodeo Drive. There are no destination attractions there.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by all_empty View Post
    This is probably the only Farmer's Market that you have to pay to get into.

    The one on Main Street in Santa Monica is healthier and free.

    It's more like a flea market, and I don't think the poster is going to take a shabby chic dresser or African statue home.

    You really can get great ethnic food anywhere in Los Angeles -- tell me what you like and I'll give you recommendations.
    The Farmers Market on Fairfax is open. I can't imagine there is a charge. It is also on the West end of a rather fab shopping center. The shopping center is on American Idol all the time when the interview people.

    And, great idea about the Warner Bros tour.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post
    The Farmers Market on Fairfax is open. I can't imagine there is a charge. It is also on the West end of a rather fab shopping center. The shopping center is on American Idol all the time when the interview people.

    And, great idea about the Warner Bros tour.
    The prior post was probably about the weekly farmer's market, which has food and crafts for sale to the public. It's at Fairfax and Melrose. It is not the Farmer's Market historical site/Grove shopping center, which is at Fairfax and Beverly.

    Someone mentioned Grand Central Market. It has been bought and upscaled. A lot of the old ethnic stalls have been replaced with somewhat upscale eateries. It's still a great place to go, but it is little different than previous.

    Downtown LA actually has changed so much that it would make for a great walking tour. You can start at the jewelry district, walk to the Bradbury Building (an amazing art deco landmark also known as the place where they filmed the finale of Blade Runner), check out the park at Pershing Square or go into Little Tokyo, head up to Disney Hall (another architectural masterpiece), and then cross the bridge to Olvera Street and Chinatown. Or you can take the DASH bus or subway between locations and check out the Coliseum, Cal Science Center and USC south of downtown.

  14. #34
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    I absolutely loved Laguna Beach - and if you're there at the right time, check and see if the 'Pageant of the Masters' is on. It's living art and is incredible - I'd never seen anything like it. there's also a great craft market there - I can't remember the name, maybe Sawdust (or something like that). We did a self directed walking tour of downtown LA and I highly recommend it. We got a free brochure and hit the highlights including the Bradbury, Olevera St, and the Disney concert hall/fountain. We basically walked all day long until we were ready to drop. We met some great people along the way that day when asking for directions or just getting some shade. It was July and stinking hot but still a great day.

    We stayed with family so had access to a car - I'm from the Vancouver area but traffic in LA made Vancouver seem like the country. We ran into traffic everywhere - it took a long time to get anywhere. Transit was not very convenient though, so I can see why everyone chooses to drive. If there's anything interesting on, go to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It's a cool outdoor venue, and you can take a picnic and your wine. Lovely spot to spend an evening.

    The Getty Center and the Getty Villa are also great if you're into art. And there's a lot of outdoor space so kids can run around if they get bored with the indoor stuff.

    We got really good at taking picnic lunches everywhere - saved on money, we could eat when and where we wanted and had healthier choices. We only had one day where we couldn't find a nice spot to eat and had a 'trunk picnic' - otherwise it was never an issue to find a park somewhere.

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    Three days at Disney may be enough considering it will be summer and very, very crowded! At Disneyland, my favorite place to eat is Plaza Inn. Huge portions of pasta, fried chicken, that sort of thing, and it's good. Not good for you (there are tons of healthy options in the park), but yummy! If you will be in the Anaheim area I recommend going out to Newport Beach. Fashion Island is fun, as well as the beaches there.

    In LA, we just went to the California Science Center today. The Endeavour is something to see. There will be an exhibit about Pompeii starting on the 20th that looks like it will be great. All the museums at Expo Park are fun, but I love museums.

    How much driving around are you willing to do? It's exhausting.

  16. #36
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    For those of you are local. How convenient would be Seal Beach to Cal State long Beach.....I found a decent price at the Hampton Inn Seal a Beach...long beach hotels are expensive

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by mackiecat View Post
    For those of you are local. How convenient would be Seal Beach to Cal State long Beach.....I found a decent price at the Hampton Inn Seal a Beach...long beach hotels are expensive
    If you have a car, you should be fine. I don't know the traffic patterns in and around Long Beach, but Cal State Long Beach actually is closer to Seal Beach than downtown Long Beach. Per Google maps, you would be 3.7 miles away. I would probably take surface streets, not the 405, and give it plenty of time to make sure you can handle traffic (if any), but it looks like a good location to the campus.

    You also would not be very far from the Long Beach access to the Blue Line Metro station, which goes to downtown (and all the things I mentioned in my prior post). The Long Beach aquarium is right there as well.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackiecat View Post
    For those of you are local. How convenient would be Seal Beach to Cal State long Beach.....I found a decent price at the Hampton Inn Seal a Beach...long beach hotels are expensive
    It's really convenient; you're just a little over 3 miles away from CSULB. Do NOT go on the 405; it's totally not necessary, plus the 405 has been a mess lately with construction. Seal Beach is actually kind of a secret. It's one of the few coastal towns that hasn't changed that much. If you go down on Coast Highway, you can even catch the OCTA #1 bus for $2 and ride it all the way to San Clemente via Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Dana Point. In the other direction, it goes straight to CSULB.

    Of course public transportation in LA and Orange counties isn't that great, but it's not impossible either. I take it all the time, but you have to know what you're doing. Also, ditch the car in Anaheim; you don't need it since everything is in walking or shuttle distance and the hotels charge you to park. That said, the restaurants in the immediate vicinity of Disneyland overcharge. From outside the Hilton, there is an ART shuttle for $4 a day that will take you right to Disneyland. Another trick is to walk out of the Hilton on Convention Way, cross Harbor Blvd., and go into Disney's Toy Story parking lot from where you can catch a free shuttle.
    Last edited by Oreo; 05-17-2014 at 07:00 AM.

  19. #39

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    LA- one of my very favourite cities to visit. I hope you have a great time - I have a number of happy memories that took place there. Even just walking around seemed more fun. I have to give a plug for the Marriott Resident Inn on Clementine. It is within walking distance of Disneyland and just a wonderful place to stay with lovely kitchenettes, pool, rooms, staff. We loved it.
    pug lover

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    I was born and raised in the LA/Orange County area and went to CSULB, but that was many years ago. Anyway, traffic can be terrible during rush hour, so here is a good local traffic site. I don't know about that particular Hampton Inn, but generally speaking, Seal Beach is a relatively nice and safe area, as compared to Long Beach which used to be a dump. Rush hour, commuter traffic from Seal Beach tends to flow north-bound towards LA in the morning and south-bound in the evening. As Oreo suggested, stay off the 405 freeway during rush hour if you are going to CSULB...take surface streets instead. I would agree with what most have already mentioned...Long Beach Aquarium, Queen Mary, and Disneyland including California Adventure Park for 3 days does not seem excessive to me (it can get crowded in the summer, so you may spend most of your time waiting in line to get on the rides if their "fast pass" ride reservation system is not operating). I'm partial to San Diego since that's where I now live, and feel the zoo and sites are much nicer than LA/OC, but I think it's a little too far given your timeframe. You could easily spend a week alone in San Diego. But, if you are in to movies, stars, music, theater, etc., LA has more to offer. Hope you enjoy your stay!

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