LA work visit with some free time built in
February 24, 2016 12:21 PM   Subscribe

A work trip to LACMA looks like it's happening, so I'm asking for help planning as an LA newbie.

It looks like I'll be in LA in mid-March, and am hoping to figure out the best way to get around, where to stay, etc. I'll mostly need easy access to LACMA, but since this is my first trip to the city since I was 12, I'd like to maximize my few days there. Are there fun things to do in walking distance of the museum?

A friend stayed at the Farmers Daughter, and loved it - it looks great and the location is perfect, but it's a tiny bit spendy for me. If I can figure out something cheaper, that would be great.

I'm ok with getting a car if I have to, although I'll have to remember how to drive in more aggressive traffic (been away from the East Coast for a few years at this point but hopefully I haven't lost my edge.) I've never used Uber but am willing to try it out.

My hopes are to see the Getty and/or the Getty Villa, get some good cheap eats (and maybe visit a Jollibee for nostalgia's sake!), and do a little shopping of the cheap and funky and fun kind, not upscale and pricy. I would love to go see a podcast taping or something but that may not be possible since I don't have all that much time.
posted by PussKillian to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The Farmer's Market at the Grove is a fun/funky place to shop. It's more of a structured indoor/outdoor shopping center than a farmer's market. It had food and produce vendors, and lots of very specific shops. One place sells only hot sauce (great souvenirs!). I looove the sticker store. There's a dog bakery too!
posted by radioamy at 12:45 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


You may want to think about an AirBnB. Hotels around the area are either pretty spendy or really crappy. Uber is probably your best bet for most things, especially if you won't be in town long. Around LACMA, there are definitely fun things to do. The Grove, as radioamy mentioned, which is actually directly across the street from the Farmer's Daughter but also, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, the La Brea Tar Pits and the Petersen Automotive Museum are all right next door to each other! You'll have a great time and if you're here when I'm in town and you want to hit a Jollibee, I'd be happy to drive you!
posted by Sophie1 at 1:05 PM on February 24, 2016


I stayed at the Farmer's Daughter for a long solo weekend and didn't have a car. Among the things I did: crossed the street to the Farmer's Market and hung out for a while, walked to Scent Bar and shopped for perfume, walked to Katz's deli for breakfast, walked to Wilshire and grabbed a bus to LACMA, and took UberX to and from the airport. I also took the bus to Koreatown and had some delicious kalbi. There's a nice food truck court a couple blocks down and across the street from LACMA. Next time I go, I'm going to hit Koreatown again and find a place where I can buy some $2 facial sheet masks (Reddit's r/asianbeauty has a list of shops where you can buy Asian beauty products if you're into that kind of thing). I didn't find walking and taking the bus creepy at all - lots of seemingly normal-looking people do it.
posted by matildaben at 1:08 PM on February 24, 2016


Is there a Katz's deli in LA? Cantor's perhaps?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:58 PM on February 24, 2016


1) Definitely the Tar Pits, which are right next to LACMA.

2) Either Getty calls for having a car, although you could probably hack the new Getty on public transportation (sort of). The Villa, though, is quite some distance away.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:06 PM on February 24, 2016


You can get to the Villa on the bus easier than the new Getty, but it's not quick. Wilshire Rapid bus to Santa Monica, then PCH bus to the Villa.

But if you're okay with renting a car, do it. And find a hotel with parking because street parking in Mid-Wilshire is atrocious.
posted by hwyengr at 2:32 PM on February 24, 2016


Canter's is the deli on Fairfax.
posted by brujita at 3:20 PM on February 24, 2016


Yes, Canter's, sorry for the error.
posted by matildaben at 4:28 PM on February 24, 2016


Check the calendar at the Getty for events so your visit is well-timed. There is weekend beach traffic to contend with, but you may want to drive a little, as the shore is lovely, and the mountains are just east of you, a scenic route. I had a conference at Pepperdine and dropped off my family while I ventured slightly farther up the coast. We stayed in Santa Monica, and Airbnb has some truly fun options near the Getty. A lemon farm and a yurt come to mind. One highlight for LA is the Griffith Observatory (busy) which has great Art Deco in addition to the view.
posted by childofTethys at 6:03 PM on February 24, 2016


Ace Gallery For walking distance from LACMA, Ace might be interesting to you. Also, there's a bank of hip galleries at 6150 Wilshire, right across from LACMA. I would personally choose to head downtown to the new Broad Contemporary, across from the Disney Center--check out the beautiful rose fountain mosaic; the interior of the Disney is also rosewood; REDCAT has avant-garde performances at the site.

Food trucks are the big deal these days; there will be lots of choices parked at curbside during lunch hours. I also second the Farmer's Market; it's charmingly retro---this is the Food Court and not The Grove which is a modern open air lux mall.

I recommend independent transportation for the two Getty's since they are both difficult site locations; they have knockout lectures at both locations. I would go to Malibu first and end in Westwood, where you can watch the Los Angeles commute, sip a glass of wine, and attend the lecture, and drive through empty streets at the end of the evening.
posted by effluvia at 8:39 PM on February 24, 2016


Lifetime LA resident.

The Getty is wonderful but keep in mind you need a reservation to visit the Getty Villa. It's free but you need to call in advance.

Any hotel in the city proper is going to be pricey. There's no real way around that. A good idea is to find a hotel near a transit station for the subway. It'll be a bit cheaper, the trade off being a short commute.

Uber/Lyft is a possibility but it's going to be expensive if you're driving far or going in traffic. Public transit is going to be your best bet unless you rent a car. The public transit situation has improved in the last ten years, you'll need to get a TAP card for certain buses and the metro.

As for cheap food, head down to Chinatown. It's a few blocks from Union Station and there's a lot of great places. I highly recommend Hop Woo.

It's kind of cliche but Venice Beach is still a lot of fun, despite how cynical some Angelenos are about it. Food there isn't super cheap so I recommend a picnic.

Also keep in mind if you want to do something like the Hollywood Sign you can't just walk up to it anymore nor can you drive there.
posted by Socinus at 1:26 AM on February 25, 2016


Thanks so much for the responses here and the Memail - I really appreciate it. Sadly the Farmer's Daughter doesn't have rooms available for my timeperiod, so I'm looking around for other ideas, including the Hotel Normandie LA which seems to be within a reasonable commuting zone on the 720 bus. I'm still willing to look at Air BNBs but thinking more and more that I shouldn't spend the money on renting a car at the moment, which rules out the Villa but wouldn't rule out the Getty. It also seems like there are a lot of things in the area I could explore on foot. FYI, my work day will be the 18th of March, and I think I would leave the 20th.
posted by PussKillian at 9:25 AM on February 25, 2016


Instead of Canter's I'd take the Metro 720 bus east on Wilshire to Langer's. Get off at the Alvarado stop. The #19 is the L.A. classic but I'm also a fan of the plain old pastrami of wNdering sandwich.

I'm car- free in L.A. It's totally doable if you're not wandering too far off the beaten path. Feel free to MeMail me If you have questions; I ride the 720 from the beach to nearly DTLA all the time. Also, you can connect to the Metro Red line from Wilshire/Vermont and the Red and Purple lines from Wishire/Western to increase your travel range.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:15 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


A fun free thing to do is to visit the Oscar costume exhibit at FIDM. It's open 10 - 5, Tuesday through Saturday.
posted by jvilter at 10:37 PM on February 29, 2016


Wanted to say thank you to everybody that helped make my visit great, particularly jetlagaddict, who was my first official Metafilter meetup. I had a fabulous time, loved the farmers market, was able to get to both Gettys, had a really great first Air B N B experience and had ramen so good it made me mad. I'm already wondering how to get back for another trip.
posted by PussKillian at 7:18 PM on March 26, 2016


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