LA Hotel/Tour Suggestions

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#1
Normal, IL
1,699 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Arriving noon LAX 2/22/18 for 2/24/18 cruise (Carnival). First time to CA. Not planning on renting a car. Have done some searching and interested in Food Tour at Farmers Market (9:00 a.m. or Noon). Also of interest given limited time is a highlight bus tour (Maybe Starline?). We are 50s/60s (2 couples) We Like: Zoos/Aquariums, Food Tours, general tours, etc. Does not look feasible to do a Food Tour and Aquarium without a car. Willing to explore suggestions.

Questions:
  1. Where to stay - Walking friendly for some sights/eats/tours, etc. Is $150/night a reasonable budget? May or may not be able to use free nights at Intercontinental/Crown Plaza/Holiday Inn/Express. Have Hilton Membership too so that is an option as well.
  2. How to get from LAX to Hotel? Super Shuttle?
  3. How to get from Hotel to Long Beach? Super Shuttle? Will book return from Long Beach to LAX post cruise also.
  4. Any Tour Companies that are outstanding? We would not be interested in the Wax Museums that seems to be popular. Perhaps the Hop On/Hop Off Bus? Do they hit the highlights? Would not want to spend endless hours on a bus just driving. Would like stops to explore when something looks interesting.
  5. Are there other questions I should be asking?
Thank you in advance for any help/suggestions. Truly appreciate it.

_____
Karen
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#2
Michigan
1,544 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by Normal 1

Q
  1. Any Tour Companies that are outstanding? We would not be interested in the Wax Museums that seems to be popular. Perhaps the Hop On/Hop Off Bus? Do they hit the highlights? Would not want to spend endless hours on a bus just driving. Would like stops to explore when something looks interesting.

_____
Karen
Check out this company. https://sunseekertours.com/
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#3
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
21,816 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Unfortunately, LA was built for the automobile.
If you really want to do a food tour and Aquarium, you could just stay in Long Beach.
Found these folks in the web, seem to have good reviews
https://www.beachcityfoodtours.com

Many of the Long Beach hotels and Aquarium are connected to the free Passport bus.
Queen Mary
Maya
Renaissance
Hyatt (either one)
Not too sure if there's still a Hilton in Long Beach.
The closest Crown is in San Pedro, not convenient at all.

The Maya and the Queen Mary are the closest. Both within walking distance to the Dome, though the Maya is about a mile out. Sometimes they offer reduced rates.

Be very careful of cheap hotels. There's a reason they're cheap, usually dicey neighborhoods and/or clientele.





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#4
Calabasas, CA, USA
11,591 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Originally posted by SadieN
Not too sure if there's still a Hilton in Long Beach.
Hilton is still there...it's just not in as convenient a location as either of the Hyatts or the Renaissance...it's over at Ocean and Magnolia...but still walkable to the Aquarium...
And the Maya, of course, is a Doubletree--so, that is a Hilton product as well...

Sunseeker Tours is the one major local tour company I know of that makes pick-ups in Long Beach and does general LA sightseeing tours (to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, etc.).

Unfortunately, the Farmers Market is way up in the Fairfax District...about 30+ miles north of Long Beach...So, if you stay in Long Beach to be close to the pier and the Aquarium, a trip to the Grove/Farmer's Market would require some special form of transportation--ie rental car or expensive private tour...

That food tour Sadie mentioned is just a local tour in Long Beach...and looks like it is only offered on Saturday and Sunday--so it may not work for the OP...

Arriving on the 22nd and embarking on the 24th may not really allow you that much time to do much in the LA area...What time is arrival on the 22nd? If it's early enough in the day, you might consider staying in Long Beach and seeing the Aquarium that afternoon, then getting a full day tour from Sunseekers for the 23rd...

To get from LAX to a Long Beach hotel, with 4 people, it makes sense to either get an UberXL...or a car service (look into Execucar Express from SuperShuttle)...

My "A List" of Long Beach hotels are: Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric at the Pike, Renaissance, Westin...Those hotels are very nice and the locations cannot be beat--especially the two Hyatts...I'd put the Maya Doubletree and the Hilton on my "B List"--both just a little less convenient--though the Maya is walking distance from the Carnival pier (or free shuttle if you don't want the exercise)...but the Maya is less convenient for the Aquarium and most Long Beach Restaurants and shopping--since it's over the bridge, best to take the free Passport shuttle. I don't recommend the Queen Mary--unless you have some historical curiosity--it's old and musty with small rooms...and probably about to sing--really!

And, as Sadie noted, don't go looking for bargain hotels in Long Beach--many are in very undesirable parts of town or have other issues...You want to be in a nice hotel in the specific area of the Aquarium/Shoreline Village/Rainbow Harbor/The Pike...

Good luck...
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#5
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
21,816 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
The Maya is on the free Passport bus route. Easy to get to and from the Aquarium.

Agree with Steve about the Queen Mary. She's always had financial trouble and upkeep is very difficult for the old girl. Hopefully she won't sink in the near future.


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#6
Corona del Mar, CA, USA
571 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Most of the LA tours originate in Hollywood. TMZ and Starline are the two most popular. There are a lot of good hotels in your budget range in Hollywood. You can get to Hollywood easily and inexpensively on the Flyaway Bus from LAX to Hollywood.

It is easy to get to Farmers Market from Hollywood. You can use public buses or Uber. I am not sure you need a food tour there though. I think you can do as well on your own.

From Hollywood to the cruise port you can use Uber or a shuttle like Zippy or Karmel.

You can use the same three options from the cruise port back to LAX.
#7
Normal, IL
1,699 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. Right now on LMTClub, I see Long Beach Hilton for $139/night and DT Maya for $162/night. I like the idea of just heading to the Long Beach area.

We will be up early for travel and may just relax and find food on Thursday. The Aquarium says it is 4th largest in the world.... am I correct in assuming we would need more than a couple hours to take that in? If we spent say 1/2 day there on Friday, what other attractions are in the general area to explore?

Thanks again for the help!! Truly appreciate it...
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#8
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
21,816 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Can see the Aquarium in as little as two hours or you could take all day. If you can, check out some of the Behind the Scenes tours. The movies are always very good.


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#9
PA
265 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Nice !!
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