Public Art Piece, Koreatown sidewalk
Now that I have tempted you by all of these things to do here, you may be wondering where you should stay when you come to L.A. Finding cheap and convenient lodging in Los Angeles can be a bit challenging. There is the room, the parking fees, all the eating out, gas getting from place to place, it can really add up quick.
Here are some helpful tips to make this a little easier:
Location, Location, Location!
Los Angeles is a huge place, larger than I think you realize. Combined with the obstacle of traffic, getting from place to place can be more car time than play time. If you can take any cues from Angelenos it is this, live where you want to spend the most amount of time. The same goes for visiting. Figure out where you want to spend the most amount of time and stay there. If you are a first time visitor and want to spend a lot of time in Hollywood, I wouldn’t suggest staying by the airport. I would not stay in Burbank if you want to spend time at the beach. Santa Monica if you want to be downtown, and so on. If you want to spend most of your time in Hollywood and other touristy areas, I would stay in Hollywood or somewhere near the Grove.
Maps are your best friend
Along with the location make sure you look at places on a map. I had someone ask me once that if they were in Anaheim for a conference could they take a cab to Hollywood? Technically you can, but cabs fares are based on miles (33) and time (43 minutes) this would cost approximately $110. Also, maps come in handy when hotels have deceptive names. For example the Seaway Hotel, once called the Surf View, has neither a view of the surf nor the sea. It is a shady motel that you can probably pay for by the hour next to the Kaiser Permanente on Venice Blvd. It is not in Venice it is on Venice and if you look on a map you will see the difference.
What I use for lodging
I don’t really know how I stumbled upon Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), but I am really so happy that I did. After getting tired of cramming into hotel rooms with multiple family members just so we can spend time together, we decided looking into other options. We first used VRBO in Las Vegas for a girls weekend in a six bedroom house nestled against the mountains with a pool, hot tub, and a gourmet kitchen. After 4 days I left only owing $150, including groceries. I went on to rent a mid-century modern house in Palm Springs for my birthday, a beach house in San Diego, a ranch style home in Ojai. I thought about using VRBO when I contemplated adding Kyoto to my Japan trip and am eyeing an apartment in Montreal for Christmas. This service is basically everywhere. These homes and apartments cost the same or less than hotel rooms, you have free parking which can run you up to $25 a day at a hotel, you can cook meals using our fabulous local produce to save money, and plenty of space for togetherness time and plan your next jaunt to a museum or pack a homemade lunch for the beach.
(btw: those beach houses on Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa lining the Strand are often rented out as beach rentals and are on sites like VRBO)
If you thought that this post was about where to stay specifically, I have homes and hotels that I loved staying in during my time here. If you want recommendations, drop me a line at:
eyemheer2 @ gmail dot com
Hopefully I have helped take some of the mystery out of places to stay. Even though some of these tips sound self-explanatory, I hope that they help to turn more of your stay in the Los Angeles area into quality as well as quantity time in.
NEXT UP…FINALLY THE BEACHES