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CARBIZ

GOING TO VEGAS & L.A. NEXT MONTH

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Hey guys, I am going to Vegas in 4 weeks for a 4 day fling, then I'm off to sunny (I hope) L.A. I've never been to either. Do any of you guys have any ideas of a) where to stay in the L.A. area - or, equally importantly where to AVOID; and b) what sights should I see?

I plan to rent a car in Vegas and drive to L.A. with my 'other half.' Neither of us has been that far south or west in the States. (Actually, he has only been to Buffalo once - not the center of culture and beauty in the States :unsure: )

I've been up and down the East Coast , been to Florida and driven across the upper States (N. Dakota, Minnesota, etc.) but never been to SoCal

So, those of you who brag so much about how great SoCal is, where should we go?

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L.A.'s a pretty big place. Do you have any particular things you want to see? Beaches, museums, Hollywood, shopping, a little bit of everything? Traffic during rush hour is bad, and rush hour is almost all day long, so you will want to stay near your destinations. You mentioned four days in Vegas, but how many in L.A.?

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Do you want to look at rich people or poor people?

Really LA is so diverse you can do/see/learn/experience whatever you want, anything from a fricassee of English snails with artichoke veloute to free-trade wild salmon on organic free-range poached eggs to 3-minute carne asadas at the local taco truck...

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L.A.'s a pretty big place. Do you have any particular things you want to see? Beaches, museums, Hollywood, shopping, a little bit of everything? Traffic during rush hour is bad, and rush hour is almost all day long, so you will want to stay near your destinations. You mentioned four days in Vegas, but how many in L.A.?

Personally I'd spend more time in L.A. than Vegas. The buffets take an afternoon, the Strip takes an evening, the show takes a night, and pretty much you're done, unless you want to gamble or party more.

1-2 nights at the Bellagio or Wynn > 4 nights at some crappy hotel

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If you're into driving you gotta head up my way...Santa Monica Mountains (best canyon roads in the world) and of course the beautiful PCH.

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The Vegas part is free. Probably at the Bellagio or something like that. Three nights. Frankly, if it wasn't FREE, I wouldn't go. We will rent a car on the Sunday (and it had better be a Mustang or Sebring convertible - if they give me a Solara, there will be Hell to pay :nono: ), then drive to L.A. I want to see the Hoover Dam (I've seen it so many times on A&E, that I am bound to be disappointed), drive through the desert and then see LA.

I am not afraid of traffic: remember the 401 highway in Toronto is the busiest in North America, nor am I afraid of pollution (just Wednesday of this week, the hot, humid stink from Ohio could be smelled quite clearly all over Toronto). I want to see museums, of course. I want to see car museums in particular, although the BF will probably want to kill himself. A guy at my gym recommended the bus tour of the stars homes, but I am dubious about that one - sounds too touristy and tacky.

Would a motel on the outskirts of the city be better, or is there something decent closer into the city? I've seen LA on TV a lot, but I've never been, so I really have no clue what to see or do. I could just base my tour on re-runs of Earthquake, Adam 12 and Emergency. :lol:

Oh, and Reg, the BF is with me, so NOTHING in Vegas is going to STAY in Vegas - he will be there to see firsthand what I am up to!

Edited by CARBIZ
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All your whining about the highways and traffic in Toronto will be put into perspective.

I doubt it. Last night, 10 pm, the DVP is closed. I don't remember reading about that. (I do remember reading that the Gardiner Expressway was closed Sunday, but not the DVP - as well!), so try and get off at Don Mills northbound, but wait - that arterial road is closed, too. Twenty minutes to gain about 6 miles.

On a Sunday night. <_<

I am sure L.A.'s traffic is legendary, but you have to understand that Toronto (5 million) does not have ANY roads that criss cross the lower half of the city that are more than single lane most of the time. Add to that street cars that lurch along and force all lanes to stop each time they pick up passengers and you have a formula for disaster.

LA may have choked freeways, but at least it has them. The only two highways out of Toronto's downtown core are 3 lanes in each direction. THREE LANES. No alternate routes. That is why the 401 (16 lanes in some places) has surpassed the Santa Monica Freeway as the busiest in North America. Now there is something to be proud of.

Toronto's traffic is worse than any American city I have driven in yet. (Chicaco, Atlanta, Minneapolis and others) I look forward to the challenge of L.A. :lol:

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RE: Vegas, if you get tired of its cheesiness, head out to red rock canyon for a break, its only about an hour away.

RE: Los Angeles, if you get rid of its cheesiness, head out to San Diego for a break, its only about 2 hours away.

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OK ---

Las Vegas:

The Strip at night, mostly between LV Boulevard/Spring Mountain down to LV Boulevard/Tropicana - above that, it gets skanky and below that, there's not much pedestrian activity. A good buffet is at The Mirage, it's in the low $ 20s. You might day trip it to Hoover Dam (about 20 miles). Just pick one show. Do not go too far east of the strip (not east of Paradise and definitely don't hang around UNLV or Maryland Parkway, it's gross). Your weather ought to be good in about 1 month.

Los Angeles:

If you see this city wrong, you may write it off.

The Westside: Sunset Boulevard from Hollywood and West Hollywood through Beverly Hills and out to the Beach, from there you can turn north to Malibu and then return to Santa Monica. Cheesy sights include the Chinese Theater and the Studios. This area is where LA's "people in the spotlight" live.

The South Bay is a great spot and includes Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach...at astonishing prices for cracker boxes. This is where people who are successful but prefer a laid-back lifestyle, but don't want to be too visible, live. Most tourists don't go here, but it is considered a great spot by those of us who grew up here. And you can see my high school as your plane lifts off from LAX...I always look for it and can see it. :lol:

Do you have 1 day for a day trip? Try Santa Barbara (95 miles or 150 km north, along the coast) OR Laguna Beach/Newport Beach (60 miles or 100 km south), but both are NOT doable in such a short span.

Enjoy and PM me with any questions or need for details.

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I doubt it. Last night, 10 pm, the DVP is closed. I don't remember reading about that. (I do remember reading that the Gardiner Expressway was closed Sunday, but not the DVP - as well!), so try and get off at Don Mills northbound, but wait - that arterial road is closed, too. Twenty minutes to gain about 6 miles.

On a Sunday night. <_<

I am sure L.A.'s traffic is legendary, but you have to understand that Toronto (5 million) does not have ANY roads that criss cross the lower half of the city that are more than single lane most of the time. Add to that street cars that lurch along and force all lanes to stop each time they pick up passengers and you have a formula for disaster.

LA may have choked freeways, but at least it has them. The only two highways out of Toronto's downtown core are 3 lanes in each direction. THREE LANES. No alternate routes. That is why the 401 (16 lanes in some places) has surpassed the Santa Monica Freeway as the busiest in North America. Now there is something to be proud of.

Toronto's traffic is worse than any American city I have driven in yet. (Chicaco, Atlanta, Minneapolis and others) I look forward to the challenge of L.A. :lol:

LA traffic really isn't that bad, unless you're moving from one end of the county to the other, several times a day. Just stick to one city/area/neighborhood per day, which by itself has lots to do, and you'll be fine.

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this is a clean and inexpensive motel in Santa Monica a few blocks from the beach and convenient to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Nick's cherished Decker Canyon. Sea Shore Motel

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L.A.'s a pretty big place. Do you have any particular things you want to see? Beaches, museums, Hollywood, shopping, a little bit of everything? Traffic during rush hour is bad, and rush hour is almost all day long, so you will want to stay near your destinations. You mentioned four days in Vegas, but how many in L.A.?

A special caveat is the ultra-critical 405 (San Diego Freeway) which makes a sweep slightly inland around the westside/coastal part of LA. At any time of the day, it seems to be gridlocked between the airport and the Westside of LA. They are tearing it up and adding several lanes on each side and better ramps, but it is definitely jammed up. The Ventura Freeway 101 across the bottom part of the Valley also suffers, but typically during rush hour. Can't vouch for other main thoroughfares since I didn't use them much when I lived there.
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Most of the freeways in L.A. have carpool lanes needing only the driver and one passenger. They help, but on a lot of the freeways the carpool lane is not much faster than the mixed flow lanes.

Not getting too much into the specifics yet, you may want to consider spending one day in the westside (Malibu, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, West Hollywood), one day in the central L.A. area (downtown, Hollywood, Burbank, and Pasadena), and another day in Orange County (Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and maybe visit The O.C.).

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