February 8, 2018 9:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Hollywood/LA attending a gallery exhibit, with two friends ( female). Coming from NYC, what should our trip look like, given that we want to make the ABSOLUTE MOST out of our limited time there, and given that I'm in a power wheelchair?

We're in our mid 20s and there isn't really anything we wouldn't do once.
A couple things:
We've all been to California before. I myself have done Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and LA but it's been a few years.
We tend to have a small circle of friends at home and can be introverted but we like to squeeze the zest out of life. We'd totally go clubbing on the beach one time, or something else in the vein of all things "young and free".
We like:
- Good museums, art, food, scenery ( a La La Land-esque photo op at Griffith Observatory is in the works
- Cheap, trendy shopping ( not necessarily for clothes)
- Nature/ beachy locales are always a priority for me personally, but they would have to be accessible. I just need water views and sun right now.
- We want to avoid Hollywood Blvd and the environs, other than for maybe an hour or two over the course of the trip. All three of us have been and are very attune to the idea that it's the West Coast's Times Square. Gross.
- I'm gay* but very much sheltered so a gentle intro to gay nightlife could be fun?! Not important though.
- We're staying in an AirBNB in Hollywood.

Re: prices: we're definitely not made of money, so affordability is important, but we don't necessarily have to bare-bones it. Free isn't a dirty word though!

Basically, if you were in your twenties and a week to spend in LA with friends, one of whom just happens to be in a wheelchair, how would you squeeze every last drop out of your time and ensure your trip is definitively California?

It's my dream to move out west one day soon, Mefites. Help me organize a safe, fun, manageable ( logistically and financially) time on the Best Coast!
posted by marsbar77 to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: To clarify: I'm a male, my two friends are females.
posted by marsbar77 at 10:00 PM on February 8, 2018

Response by poster: Not threadsitting, promise, but advice on how to get around/navigate to all these wonderful things efficiently and with minimal expense would also be great ( but an Uber or two is fine).
posted by marsbar77 at 10:08 PM on February 8, 2018

Response by poster: 2nd Clarification: Trip dates are Feb 19-26.
posted by marsbar77 at 10:25 PM on February 8, 2018

The first thing I tell anyone to do who is visiting LA is the Getty Center. Accessibility looks pretty good. The place is beautiful, the view (if it's not too smoggy) is fab, and it's a delightful respite from the traffic in the rest of the city. Note that I'm thinking about this as an able-bodied person: there are a lot of steps but I also remember a lot of lifts.

The Santa Monica boardwalk down to Venice is a great way to see sea, sand, people, and gets you away from the gaudiness of the pier. The boardwalk should definitely be good enough for a powered wheelchair to traverse. It's long but you can drop in and out. It's my favourite place to run in LA, especially when there's a gentle breeze off the sea.

Most of the time, you're going to need a car or an Uber. There is a metro but it can be limited depending where you're going, though I believe accessibility is pretty good. LA residents will no doubt be able to chime in.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 2:41 AM on February 9, 2018

Definitely go to West Hollywood for some gay nightlife... if you go early in the evening it should be pretty gentle and chill. But I think Mickey's does drag shows and that would be super super fun!
posted by Threeve at 8:27 AM on February 9, 2018

Most* gay guys visiting Los Angeles will want to go to West Hollywood. It's boisterous and over-the-top and there are a dozen bars in a short distance. However, a much friendlier, more relaxed evening can be had at Akbar, which is on the other side of Hollywood, in Silver Lake. If you're feeling adventurous, there are a couple of fun new-ish gay bars downtown, Mattachine and Red Line.

Nature/ beachy locales are always a priority for me personally, but they would have to be accessible. I just need water views and sun right now.

I think the Santa Monica boardwalk will be your easiest way of getting that experience, but you may also want to consider a whale-watching trip. Two hours on the water, nature, sunshine, dolphins, etc. Caveat: I have no idea how wheelchairs fare on boats.

If you're in an AirBnb in Hollywood, you may be near the Metro (which as giraffeneckbattle notes, is limited, but would be a good option to get downtown). I feel like you're going to end up giving Uber a lot of money; if your accommodations offering parking, you may want to consider renting a car.

Feel free to message me if you have specific questions.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:37 AM on February 9, 2018

I love Will Rogers State Beach. Fairly straightforward access from car to promenade for friend in standard wheel chair. It's my go to when I need to escape NYC winter feel
posted by TravellingCari at 10:25 AM on February 9, 2018

I just got back from four days in LA riding public transit. LA is spread out, so it takes a long time to get places - it took me an hour and a half to get to the Getty from Hollywood (partly during morning rush hours, to get there at opening), and about two hours to get from Hollywood to the Santa Monica Pier. If there's three of you, it's probably often worth it to share an Uber vs. navigate getting/reloading transit cards (which you have to do to use transfers). If you load money on a TAP transit card online, you can't use it on buses for up to 48 hours. Not awesome for vacationers (you can use machines at Metro stations for instant crediting). I also had trouble using the Transit app, GMaps transit directions worked better for me for some reason. There's also an LA-specific transit app.
posted by momus_window at 12:21 PM on February 9, 2018

Response by poster: Great logistics suggestions, thanks all! Would love your other must-see/dos!
posted by marsbar77 at 1:50 PM on February 9, 2018

LACMA is a must-see.

Also consider taking the ferry to Catalina Island!
posted by un petit cadeau at 12:39 AM on February 10, 2018

Just to add to the excellent suggestions above.

A few restaurant recommendations, all over the place (these are memories from a few years ago):
- late nights, maybe on Fri/Sat nights only, an awesome Taco truck pulls up at this gas station at the corner of Olympic and La Brea.
- Genwa, an absolutely fantastic Korean BBQ restaurant
- this awesome "old school" burger place

- This is a list of (all?) comedy related happenings in LA. Check the Comedy Crawl calendar on the left side.

- this offbeat shop
- this "throwback" lounge

Have fun!!
posted by vert canard at 8:13 AM on February 10, 2018

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