A day and a half in LA - where to stay?
November 20, 2019 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Headed to LA for a concert at the Forum & wondering if there is a funky, cool, diverse neighborhood to stay in? Was thinking Koreatown or Downtown but not sure how much of a pain it will be to get to the venue (will not have car, will likely Lyft to the show).

Typically, I come in, see the show, and leave the next day, so have always stayed near the airport. But I will have about a day and a half free this time & would like to explore a bit. Not especially interested in typical touristy stuff, have seen a lot of that already, but food, art, interesting people watching are all right up my alley. Accessible by public transit from the airport would be ideal but not critical. Specific hotel recommendations especially appreciated. Thanks!
posted by tinymojo to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Culver City might fit your bill, including the historic Culver Hotel which has recently been refurbished.

You'll have easy access to the train system, and you won't be too far from the Forum (you could get there via trail + bus in about 1 hour). Train access means it's easy to get downtown or into Santa Monica for a day of adventuring.

Getting to/from the hotel to LAX: about an hour via bus. Less for taxi, Uber/Lyft (though google about the brand-new transpo situation at the airport).
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:43 AM on November 20, 2019

Best answer: Damn, I was about to recommend taking the FlyAway to Westwood and then transit/rideshare from there to a final destination on the Westside, rather than trying to use the nightmare LAX-it, but they apparently shut down the Westwood route. FlyAway does run to Hollywood or Union Station, though, and you could get public transit or rideshare easily from those points to Koreatown. Which I think is probably potentially more fun than staying closer to Inglewood. There's an array of hotels in K-town, an impressive concentration given that many parts of town have few to none, but I don't have any experience with any of them.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:03 AM on November 20, 2019

Best answer: I had a nice experience at The Normandie in Koreatown
posted by Duffington at 11:29 AM on November 20, 2019

Best answer: The standard LA recommendations for "funky, cool, diverse neighborhood" are Echo Park, Silver Lake and Los Feliz (next to each other, between DTLA and Hollywood). Budget $40 each way for a Lyft to the venue for those. Non-motel hotels are thin on the ground there but do exist, e.g. the Silver Lake Pool and Inn.

DTLA is certainly a good option. There are tons of hipster hotels now (e.g. the Ace, the Standard, etc.) It's easier to get to LAX on transit (Fly Away bus to Union Station) and the Lyft to the venue will probably be a bit cheaper than from, e.g. Silver Lake. You might also look at the Arts District, which is the east side of downtown near the river. It's what it sounds like: lots of galleries, lots of gentrification, some artists clinging on, food and walkability.

I like Culver City but it's not what I would call funky, cool or diverse. Downtown CC is, however, very walkable and relatively close to LAX and the venue, so it might be a good fit if the hotel there works.

Leimert Park is a slightly less usual recommendation. It's very close to the venue and LAX. See e.g. this LA Taco guide for some background. I don't know any hotels in that area though.
posted by caek at 11:56 AM on November 20, 2019

Uber Black is still allowed to pick up curbside at the terminals, or at least those were the rules when this LAXit thing was announced. It’s worth the extra $20 if you can spare it. Another option is to hop a hotel shuttle and Uber or Lyft from there, though they may be cracking down on that rather obvious hack.

Culver City is funky in the sense of charming, and built on a walkable scale, but was re-developed when the Expo line came through so is it’s an affluent area now, just not as much as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, etc. The train makes it a good choice if you want to spend your time in Hollywood, Downtown and Santa Monica — which is a decent if conventional selection without much time on your hands. Art, in terms of all the big museums clustered downtown and mid city, and most of the various local scenes are within reach. The Culver Hotel is charming, it’s like a mini Flatiron building.

Hollywood is one perennial option for being near the cooler nightlife stuff, although it’s simultaneously touristy. Chateau Marmont (the hotel for rock stars) or the Sunset Tower (formerly the Argyle, a stunning Art Deco building) would both be memorable experiences although I’d imagine they aren’t cheap.

Another option with a lot of historic charm that’s near Silverlake and Echo Park and etc would be staying in or near Pasadena, with access to the Gold Line. There should be a wide range of hotel options there. It’s considerably further from LAX though.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:10 AM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Leimert Park is a great suggestion for a truly interesting neighbourhood with proximity to the forum. I would also suggest West Adams. These aren’t particularly touristy areas, though, so exploring may be difficult and very hit or miss, and finding a good spot to stay in a safe area may be slightly challenging.
posted by pazazygeek at 6:22 AM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Leimert Park and Adams are both interesting but probably not very walkable, and there really isn’t anywhere to stay. The closest options are probably DTLA, K-town or the USC Hotel at Expo park.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:34 AM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

There are changes for the Thanksgiving holiday — not sure what your dates or or how long these will be in effect but here are the details. Anecdata is positive.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:38 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

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