27

That's Griffith Observatory! It's an astronomical observatory, planetarium and museum in the midst of Griffith Park. The land plus the money for the observatory came from Griffith J. Griffith. Besides the telescopes, planetarium and exhibits, there's a cafe, shop, and theatre and often great views of the Hollywood sign and the Los Angeles basin. It's been ...


11

It depends on how you weight fast/cheap/comfortable and how far south you'd like to go. My suggestion would be to take the FlyAway bus to Union Station ($7, ~45 min), then take Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner, which starts at $17 to Irvine (59 min) and $22 to San Clemente (88 min). The Pacific Surfliner is reliable and clean, and bypasses the 405 freeway's ...


10

I wouldn't read too much into it. First and foremost, Solvang is a big tourist trap. This "Danish" town prominently features, for example, a store famous for its collection of German cuckoo clocks and a museum of mostly British motorcycles. You'll no doubt find Delft plates for sale there for the same reason you find T-shirt shops; it's a cheap souvenir, and ...


8

They say it is a 2 hour drive, but in notorious LA traffic it will be more depending on the time of day. However it is very possible. I would recommend waking up early to drive out and you should make it in 2-3 hours. If you leave when the sun goes down you will make it back to LA in time to enjoy a good night's rest before your meeting. To be forward, snow ...


8

There are a few things about California that are simply difficult concepts for people to get their heads around. It doesn't matter whether or not you've been to the US before; even if you've lived in the eastern US your whole life, you'll still get bit by these when visiting California. Here's two of them: Public transit You can generally get from one part ...


7

Disneyland Resort in Anaheim contains two theme parks (they're located next to each other on the same property): Disneyland Park and California Adventure, plus a couple of hotels and an unticketed shopping area called Downtown Disney. Disneyland Park is the classic, iconic Disneyland, while California Adventure is a newer California-themed area. When you ...


7

I nearly closed this as what defines "quaint" is subjective and ambiguous, but I decided to give it a shot and include reviews from visitors who have described hotels there as "quaint". Result was two hotels, one being more likely than the other. The Georgian Hotel - 1415 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, is described as “Very Quaint hotel, Fabulous ...


6

The crowds in LA do not swing as wildly with the seasons as they do in, say, western Wyoming or the Caribbean. In part this is because it is a major metropolitan area (pop. 13-18 million depending on the definition), and so the tourist or special event population has a much smaller impact on the infrastructure than in places like Black Rock Desert or South ...


6

Some of the best birding in the US can be found in the San Diego area and the County has a great, detailed resource for enthusiasts. To whet your appetite: With most of California’s wetlands gone and developed, birding enthusiasts should know those wetlands remain here in the San Diego County region serve as the last refuge for many of the Western Flyway’...


6

The San Diego chapter of the Audubon Society has a handy web application here. There are also an events listing, field trips, info on the Christmas bird count, and more. I would probably add the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas (north of San Diego, near the coast). It's not a big birding location, but has a lot of different habitats.


6

Inyo Park is more than 4 hours from LA... in okay traffic. I would not say it is really a day trip. I used to live in Barstow (which is closer to it than LA) and it was quite a trip from there. As for other attractions, it depends on what you would like to do. There are the beaches, Santa Monica or Huntington being my favorite. The Getty center is a great ...


6

Besides Big Bear, another good place to see snow, which is closer to central LA, is Mount Baldy. There is a ski area there. I'll also mention San Jacinto Peak, which is especially interesting because you can reach the mountain via aerial tram (from the Palm Springs side on the east). However I don't recommend this for those who are afraid of heights. ...


6

As it happened I did not go to Anaheim from LAX but to Carlsbad. However I have just taken the reverse trip. I booked a 5:05 shuttle from the Anaheim Hilton. We pulled out about 5:15 but proceeded to go back and forth from hotel to hotel and in fact drove past the Hilton for the last time about 6pm. We pulled onto airport property at 6:40, much to the ...


6

South Coast cities famous for surfing and great beaches: Malibu - you must check out the regional classic point break at the Malibu Lagoon. Contests are held throughout the year and surfers are crowding for the best waves at other times. Finding affordable accommodation is tricky, but the Calabasas Good Nite Inn seems about the best cost vs distance option. ...


5

As @Newton says, you can use Google's leave/arrive options to estimate the range of times. Time to get out of LAX in your rental car is more variable depending on rental car company than at airports that have shared shuttles to a single rental car location. Google maps thinks it's going to be a bit less traffic on the way back to LAX (less than 1h50 min ...


4

During my recent trip there I didn't get to try all that many locations but my favorite ones that i did visit were definitely Tijuana Estuary and Mission Beach. The highlight was perhaps a close encounter with a fishing Osprey right by the Tijuana Estuary visitor's center. Taken from the Tijuana Estuary visitor's center: The Tijuana Estuary visitor's ...


4

There are a number of airport shuttle companies that handle transportation to and from the airport. They cost around $15 per person. Metro bus #992 The Flyer ($2.25) travels 10 minutes to the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego, where you can connect to the Coaster commuter train, the Trolley, and Amtrak to get you anywhere else. Source


4

Credits to @Dorothy for the link to kid-friendly beaches in OC and LA. Best Beaches for Kids and Families in Los Angeles & Orange County 6/3/13 - By Martha Hall > Malibu Leo Carrillo State Beach 35000 West Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA 90265 310.457.8143 A classic family beach spot, and it's no wonder. With easy parking, a "tunnel" ...


4

Los Angeles, being a major city, has many cultural highlights (as you define them). You will find a long list of museums on Wikipedia. I can particularly think of a few. The Getty Center, with a particularly interesting architecture and filled with art. The Museum of Contemporary Art, in downtown LA. And the LA County Museum of Art, a large US museum for ...


4

Super Shuttle and Prime Time Shuttle offer shared-ride vans between LAX and many cities around Los Angeles, including Irvine. The ride will probably take about an hour or so more than direct ride because of dropping people off in different parts of the city, though they usually do a good job of grouping people by location. I did a quick estimate for Super ...


3

You would probably take CA-1 from SF all the way down to Los Angeles. I'm not sure if you can just sleep on the beach, but there are towns with motels along the way. You can probably find a place to stay in Monterey, San Louis Obispo and Santa Barbara along the way. There are also camping sites in Big Sur. From Los Angeles to San Diego its all urbanized/...


2

Uber is available in Palm Springs. You therefore shouldn't have any issues getting a cab, especially when coming from the airport.


2

As others have said, it's the Griffith Observatory. It is situated in Griffith Park, which is home to many other attractions. One can reach the observatory via shuttle, driving your own car (though parking is very minimal), or hiking up one of several hiking trails in the park. The larger center dome houses the observatory's planetarium, which has several ...


1

This is entirely doable, given that it's a weekend. LAX to SB is about 2 hours with moderate traffic. In LAX all car rental places are off the airport so you have to take a shuttle and it could be up to an hour or so from landing until you sit in the car. Make sure you have a nav system available (your phone is fine): the car rental lots are in an odd ...


1

As Catalina Island is in fact known to have six unique plants and there is a place of interest, namely Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens, I find the question fits to travel. The unique species are: Catalina manzanita (Arctostaphylos catalinae) Catalina mahogany (Cercocarpus traskiae) Catalina dudleya (Dudleya hassei) St. Catherine's lace (...


1

USC - kinda. Not too many tall buildings but Mudd Hall may be accessible (South end of campus). Also some buildings in VKC (Von Kleinsmid Center) in center of campus could work. The Leavey Library too. Aside from that..Watts Towers? Isn't so tall nor towering, but is a photogenic place. South LA isn't called the flatlands for nothing ...


1

Just did it last night. Depends how many people are travelling for us it was 4 so we decided on a taxi. Bad idea it cost $110 from LAX to Anaheim, I should've taken the $18 pp in a shuttle. Hope that helps!


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