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Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

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Milwaukee, WI
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Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

We have a full day (Monday) to spend in LA...from morning until 11 p.m. Have visited a number of times and do find that Mondays can be challenging for museums, etc. We like to be active and hike or bike (would need to rent bikes) but we also like culture, cooking/food markets, architecture, etc. Not sure we would want to spend the dollars for a Studio Tour but are open to your insights on Walk of Fame (would a tour be good), Norton Simon Museum or Huntington, La Brea tarpits, etc. or any unknown but interesting spots beyond the Sunset Blvd. and Venice beach areas. We will be driving in from Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez area so any suggestions along that way would be great as well. One full day can get very long for us active, non-shopping types!

Los Angeles
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1. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

What about the Getty Villa in Malibu? Its open on Mondays. www.getty.edu Note parking reservations are required.

Santa Monica, CA
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2. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

When you drive from Santa Barbara, you could take the Heritage Valley Highway Route 126, which goes through lush farm areas. Here's a link to my "day trip report.'

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32655-i61-k485092…

A day in Pasadena including the lovely Norton Simon Museum and the Huntington Library and Gardens would be a great idea, too. Descanso Gardens is in that vicinity and personally, I prefer it over the Huntington's gardens.

I'm not well versed, but Pasadena also has some beautiful architecture.

visitpasadena.com/things-to-do/architectural…

Have a great time. Let us know what you did and how you enjoyed it.

Cuenca, Ecuador
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3. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

Hello kabahr, and welcome to the Los Angeles forum.

Some lesser known places come to mind: the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum in Simi Valley is one. See two parts of the Berlin Wall *and* walk inside the length of Air Force One! Restaurant onsite including Jelly Bellies for take home. Bookstore, gift shop, and view the final resting place of our 40th President. Excellent for 2 to 4 hours tour. http://www.reaganfoundation.org/

I'd mention the Nethercutt Museum, but they are closed Mondays. http://www.nethercuttcollection.org/

I like the Huntington Museum and gardens in San Marino, just south of Pasadena. Great place to spend as many hours as you wish indoors or outdoors in the gardens. . . even the whole day! Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena is a good art museum which I've visited in the past. We have recently gone to the Getty Museum in Brentwood/Los Angeles and were very impressed. Worth half a day at minimum, if not the whole day. The Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia just east of Pasadena has many beautiful plants, and is home to the island where the televison series "Fantasy Island" was set. You see the island in the opening sequence of this 1980's vintage show. You can do lots of walking there.

For active types, however, I recommend hiking and picnicing at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area County Park in Agua Dulce. This is a well known film shoot location within the TMZ (the movie zone) where the studios don't have to pay for travel expenses due to the relative closeness to Hollywood. TONS of hiking and rock climbing galore! Don't count on your GPS bailing you out. . . hike with a buddy so you don't get lost in the red sandstone rock formations. Here's the link: parks.lacounty.gov/Parkinfo.asp… Bring your own food and water, of course.

Since you are US Stateside folks, my approach is to simply walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame from the vicinity of Hollywood and Highland, or Hollywood and Vine. . . you get the idea. Pick a spot and walk along the sidewalk and see what names are there. You could easily spend days seeing every name there is. . . I don't think that's the point. I haven't done that, and I live in the area.

Those are some of the choices that you could take. Can't do all of them, of course. . . got to pick and choose. Hope this helps you to have a great time here while visiting us.

Edited: 07 March 2012, 03:32
Berkeley, Ca.
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4. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

Let's start with museums that are open on Monday and travel around them:

Los Angeles Counrty Museum of Art (LACMA), Wilshire Blvd. near Fairfax Ave.--The biggest and, IMHO, best art museum in the Los Angeles area. The Farmers Market, which has some actual produce stands and a lot of good stalls preparing food (e.g. Loteria Grill) is about 1/2 mile away at 3rd & Fairfax.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Two branches in Downtown LA, a world leader in post-1950 art. Visit Grand Central Market, a downtown, strongly Latino public market and eating area on Hill St. between 3rd & 4th. Take Angels Flight, "the world's shortest railway" down from the Bunker Hill branch of MOCA--it will set you back 25c. And check out the Angels Walk self-guided historic walk on and around Bunker Hill--http://www.angelswalkla.org/walks_bunkerhill.html

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena--Good South Asian collection, Degas dancers, often interesting changing exhibits. Old Pasadena a few blocks east on Colorado Blvd. is on the beaten path (still interesting). But other architecturally significant neighborhoods of Pasadena are much quieter--check out the Arroyo Seco in Explore Pasadena Architecture. visitpasadena.com/PDF/Explore_Pasadena_Archi…

Then go have a fabulous pastry and coffee at either branch of Europane.

Huntington Library, San Ramon--To me, more interesting for the botanical gardens than for the museum proper. There's no commercial district near the museum, but it's a short drive over to South Lake Avenue in Pasadena.

Getty Villa, Malibu--I find the replica of a Roman villa, which is what Getty Villa is, strange, but some folks like it. You need to get a time-specific entry ticket in advance. The "big" Getty--Getty Center is closed Monday. Admission free, parking $15. From the Getty I'd proceed into downtown Santa Monica for numerous choices of food and drink, and a stop at the beautiful Hennessey & Ingalls art and architecture bookstore (214 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica).

Edited: 07 March 2012, 08:22
Berkeley, Ca.
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5. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

Brain slip--Huntington Library is in San Marino, not San Ramon.

Milwaukee, WI
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6. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

Wow...great suggestions and these should help other visitors who are in LA on Monday/Tuesday when many attractions are closed. We did the Reagan Library on our last trip...a great stop and also enjoyed both Getty venues in the past. Now in any of those areas do you have lunch suggestions for some great food...Mexican or other ethnic would be first choice, but we love all cuisines.

Berkeley, Ca.
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7. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

Food: Loteria Grill in the Farmers Market near LACMA (many other choices available there);

Xyta at 6th & Central (short drive)--more upscale Mexican near MOCA. The Geffen Contemporary branch is adjacent to Little Tokyo

Norton Simon--Marston's (great breajkfasts) on Walnut if you're there early

Huntington Library--No eats within walking distance, except at the museum itself Pie & Burger on California Blvd.--Short drive to a classic Pasadena "dive." or Zankou Chicken--1296 E. Colorado, fabulous rotisserie chicken with garlic sauce. You can also drive to these two from the Norton Simon

Rancho Santa...
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8. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

Here's my suggestion/plan.

1) Enter L.A. via the 101. As the 101 passes through Hollywood, exit at Western. Take Western north to Los Feliz. You'll find the entrance to Griffith Park here on the left. Park right here at what is called the Fern Dell. This is a series of streams from the park. There's some nice paths. Take them north to the playground. At the playground, head inland to the right (i.e. towards the Observatory). Hike up to the Observatory. From here you can take in the famous view. Grab a drink at the snack shop.

2) Hike back down to your car. Retrace your route back to Western. Before the freeway, turn left on Hollywood (i.e. east). Drive about a mile on Hollywood. On your right, you'll see the entrance to Barnsdale Park. This is a small park with a famous house. There's a Lloyd Wright house here and a small art gallery. Both should take long to visit. If you're hungry, skip it.

3) As you exit Barnsdale, turn right/east on Hollywood Blvd. At the intersection, follow the road to the right which merges onto Sunset. Take Sunset through Silverlake and Echo Park. Take it all the way to Alameda near Union Station/Olvera Street and Chinatown. Turn left/north on Alameda. A couple blocks further on is Philippe's. This is L.A.'s oldest restaurant (100 years now). Have a casual lunch here of sandwiches and chili/soup. Wine or beer is optional. Once I finish this post, I'm heading there for dinner.

4) After you've eaten, you have a couple of options. You can walk a couple blocks north on Alamead to the Chinatown Gold Line station. There's a park here called The Cornfields. Nothing fancy. But, a good place for a walk. Or you could walk south on Alameda back to Olvera Street and Union Station. Both are worth exploring.

5) Get back in your car. Drive south on Alameda over the 101 freeway. Turn right on First Street into Little Tokyo. Park and you can explore this compact neighborhood. There's the excellent Japanese-American Museum and the branch of MOCA next door. First and Second Streets are lively. If you're inclined, walk up First Street to check out the Caltrans Building, the new LAPD HQ and City Hall. The observation deck at City Hall is on the 28th floor.

6) Get back in your car and take First Street up to Grand Avenue. It is not far and conceivably you could walk it. Your call. Turn right on Grand Note Disney Hall on your left.) and drive a block over to the Cathedral on Temple. Turn right on Temple. (Down the block is the entrance to the Cathedral's parking. Enter here and park. Explore the public plaza and the Cathedral itself. Even if you're not Catholic, it is impressive. There's a cafe here to get a snack or a drink.

7) Afterwards, walk back to Grand and Disney Hall. Explore and be sure to check out the park on the roof. At this point, we are going to skip the Central Library, Angels Flight, Grand Central Market and the Bradbury Building.

8) Get back to your car and get back on First Street heading back to Little Tokyo. Keep going past Alameda. You'll see the Gold Line on your left. Take First over the L.A. River and under the 101 freeway. When you get to Boyle at the top of the hill, find a parking spot. There is valet parking in front of La Serenata de Garibaldi. Enter here for dinner. Eat, drink and be merry.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Obviously, you can pick and choose.

Milwaukee, WI
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9. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

Thanks for all your help and I have filed these suggestions for future trips. Because the weather was sunny and warm, we elected to hike trails around the Griffith Observatory (also closed on Mondays). There were wonderful hikes which we also continued close to the Hollywood sign. Afterwards we wandered over to the Walk of Fame and played tourists in that area. We ended the day with an early dinner at Osteria Mozza (great, unique food--I had my first sea urchin dish) and wandered around the neighborhood looking at homes and speculating on prices. Returned back to sunny and warm Milwaukee....only to discover it is warmer here!!! We'll be bike riding this weekend with upper 70 temps.

10. Re: Los Angeles 1 Day--off the beaten path?

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