How to get out and about in: New York, San Francisco,L.A and Vegas?
Replies: 24 - Last Post: Jan 6, 2013 8:09 AM Last Post By: sashac001
Nov 30, 2012 7:30 AM
15Well, it is good that you will have lots of time and patience, as you will need it. I recently got out of jury duty since from where I live to downtown LA, I would have had to change buses 3 times and get up at 4am! If you stay somewhere transit friendly like Hollywood, to get to Santa Monica by bus for example will take up to two hours each way and require a change of buses.
Look at rates on carhire3000, gets good reviews from UK travelers over on Trip Advisor. Have a good trip.
Nov 30, 2012 8:00 AM
16What people think of LA is actually a bunch of separate cities in LA county. It is a huge sprawling area and the "sights" are not concentrated in one or two transit friendly areas. I could get from my house 35 miles away to work downtown on a train and two subways in around an hour, but it would have taken me two more hours to get to Santa Monica and God knows how many buses. Once you are beyond the reach of the subway and light rail, buses are your option and the buses suck. Unless you plan to limit your time in LA to downtown, Hollywood Bl, and Universal Studios you will either spend a lot of time waiting for buses or a fortune on cabs.
Rental cars are cheap. Time is precious. Rent a car or have miserable time in LA.
San Francisco is the only western city that you can really get by on public transportation and that is because it is so small geographically.
Nov 30, 2012 10:33 AM
17Here's what Simon has in mind for his visit in his Nov. 26 post from "How to Get About in New York, LA etc"
"We'd like to do many of the run of the mill things while in LA like Mann's Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive,
Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame- stuff like that"
He's already said he's staying in Universal City which is one MetroRail stop away from Mann's Chinese
Theater and the Walk of Fame. Rodeo Drive is just a few miles away, and he clearly has the budget to
take a taxi to if the bus is too horrific to consider. Sure, he could drive all over LA County with a car rental.
Just don't forget whose trip this is.
Nov 30, 2012 10:39 AM
Nov 30, 2012 5:14 PM
19Agree with #1. For NYC: the Subway will get you to most tourist destinations. Walking is an option if you have the time. The ferry between Stanton Island and Manhattan is free.
For Las Vegas: Walking the City is an experience not to be missed, the man made structures are 'exciting'. After that a bus to get you from hotel to venues for shows, meals and a bit of gambling.
San Francisco, I bought a City Pass which came with a days worth of travel on trams, which was great ie useful and touristy! I continued with trams and trains thereafter. Walking is hard in SFO ie up and down like the what the Grand Old Duke of York did to his Army.
In LA you may need a car here to get between the must sees ie Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Hollywood, Universal Studios, Disneyland, Hollywood, Downtown, etc. I found the bus service nit use friendly but I found DASH buses in some parts of LA quite useful. The underground (subway) system is OK.
So what is it light to travel in buses:
In LA. City buses used mainly by the 'working class' may not be a pleasant lot late in the night, very few tourists sighted. On DASH buses I see a lot of Orientals in Downtown/Chinatown area, office workers and tourists.
In LV and SFO, tourists on buses and trams.
In NYC just like London.
Dec 1, 2012 1:17 PM
20I think a lot of the LA public transit haters are poor planners and have no idea how to use it efficiently. You can get to Santa Monica from downtown LA via bus in about an hour (the Santa Monica #10 is the fastest and Expo Line and then Venice express bus is also a quick way).
I've seen tourists on the bus, obviously clustered on the Westside but also in Hollywood. Yes, the system is focused on getting locals to work in the morning and around their communities, not on tourists.
Of course if OP can afford can take cabs, that's the way to go. There are taxi stands at malls, high end hotels and tourist areas (like Hollywood or Rodeo Drive).
Dec 1, 2012 1:26 PM
Dec 1, 2012 1:55 PM
22While living in Orange County, we always drove to LA when visiting. Always. Except one time when
I took the Amtrak to Union Station and then spent a glorious, stress-free day on the MetroRail to
Wilshire Blvd, onto Hollywood returning to Union Station, from where I walked to Olvera Street, Chinatown
and around downtown Los Angeles. It was SO MUCH FUN BEING FREE OF THE CAR! I didn't have to
find parking, didn't have to watch out for the other crazy drivers (and there are a lot on the freeways)
I've also driven on the left side of the road in Great Britain. It's no easy thing to switch to driving on the
side you're not used to. So, if someone from the UK wants to enjoy LA without a car, I know it can be
done. The song "Walking in LA, walking in LA- Nobody walks in LA" notwithstanding.
Jan 5, 2013 4:03 PM
23Seems a shame to come to California and not drive at least part of the Pacific Coast Highway.
Jan 6, 2013 8:09 AM
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