I’m an F.O.B. in LA.
March 15, 2007 1:29 AM   Subscribe

What's a n00b to do in LA and Sacramento? Spending less than two weeks on the West Coast and I want to make it count.

I’m flying for the first time to the US, will be attending to some company business in LA and Sacramento. I have a few questions:

What’s a newbie to see in LA, if pressed for time? Better yet, if pressed for time and without a car? I’m interested in books, mainly. I also want to buy this for my wife, whose birthday I will be missing because of this trip.

Once I’m in Sacramento, I expect the schedule to relax a bit. I’d like to see friends in Daly City and San Francisco. How can I get around? What are my travel options?

What cheap-but-cool stuff can I buy in LA or Sacramento, as presents for my friends back home?
posted by micketymoc to Travel & Transportation around California (5 answers total)
You might have some fun checking out spots of historical interest.

Since you won't have a car, you're best bet is going to be to stick to the downtown area if at all possible...so I'll move forward on that assumption - but there's a lot to do/see in outlying suburbs, renting a car for a day trip up to Tahoe, for instance, would be well worth it.

Touring the Capitol building is pretty cool, you could top that off with a jaunt down the K street mall, through the Downtown plaza (stop for a beer at the brewery on the far end, below the movie theaters), and under the freeway via the pedestrian tunnel to Old Town, where you could spend the whole second half of the day - shops, train museum, nice restaurant on the river. Definitely hit Evangeline's in old town Sac for cheap, unique, crazy, cool gifts. That store is a hoot. Maybe catch a baseball game across the bridge in the evening (farm league ball so that's a cheap evening all around).

Fortunately for you we've already had a thread about travel between Sac and SF, here. Daly City though would be tough w/o renting a car, as far as I know.

As far as books go, there's a good library downtown, but its been forever since I frequented any of the bookstores in that area, although there are a few.
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:55 AM on March 15, 2007

Not much in LA for books these days, esp not without a car. You can check out the Huntington, but not without a car. There are fewer and fewer bookstores, other than B&N and Borders. Downtown Public Library is very nice, but not sure if that's what you mean.
End of April is the LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA.
LA is good for outside things - beaches, people watching, personal sport.
Sacramento is 1.5 - 2 hrs from SF and Daly City - I believe there is reliable train service to Oakland, and from there BART into the City. Once you get into SF you can get around easily. Books are heavily in Berkeley (though I hear Cody's closed), but there are some interesting stores (I hope still) in the Mission and out in the avenues. I believe there have been numerous threads to that effect in the past.
posted by johngumbo at 9:01 AM on March 15, 2007

Well, you can hit the hot spots of Sacramento in a day or two. The tourist thing - train museum, State Capitol, Old Sacramento, etc. ... the Crocker Art Museum. What we're most known for lately is being the most ethnically diverse city in the US (according to the most recent census data); there are dozens of great Vietnamese, Laotian, Japanese and Korean restaurants, probably more Southeast Asian restaurants per capita than San Francisco, so if you like ethnic food and will have a car I can give you a dozen recommendations for really interesting unique places.

Email me and I'll help you plan the Sacramento portion of your trip. As far as cheap-but-cool ... You got me. There's an enormous (and I mean enormous) library sale in the middle of April - imagine entire floors of the SF public library but for sale for pennies on the dollar, a stock the size of a dozen Borders Books. But as far as things you can't get anywhere else, let me think about it.

Sacramento bookstores - there are a few. My favorite, and the city's most unique, is Richard Press' amazing semi-hidden arts bookstore on the jam-packed second floor of a Victorian house on I Street. The man knows more about art and art publishing than anyone I've ever known, and should you be interested in ANY type of visual or performance art or Judaica, you will not be disappointed by a visit. The others are nice but nothing spectacular. Richard's place, though ... Amazing.
posted by luriete at 9:08 AM on March 15, 2007

I can help you with the LA thing, but you really haven't given me enough to work with. It's a huuuge & very spread out place. I need to know whereabouts you will be staying so I can tell you about cool things in the vicinity... without a car you are limited.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:43 AM on March 15, 2007

Ok, well just in case this thread dies here, here's a hand LA neighborhood guide for you. It might help you get your bearings a little.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:41 PM on March 15, 2007

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