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Old 03-25-2015, 11:35 PM   #1
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The Official Things To Do/Places To Stay & Eat in SoCal Thread

Let's make a thread about our favorite things to do, places to stay, places to eat in Southern California. If this is a good idea, maybe NorCal fanatics want to start one, too.

This is both for CA residents that want to get to know our state better, and also for folks that are going to visit CA and post threads in OT asking for advice. Instead of typing this stuff over and over again, they can just be referred to this thread.

Because out-of-staters might be browsing, if you post something up, I suggest you include a link and include some info in your post about where/how accessible the place is. For example, for an out-of-stater, driving from LA to Huntington Beach may seem like a quick trip, but us locals know different.

The Getty Center. NW part of LA. Huge facility, the buildings and grounds alone are worth the trip. Their standing exhibits are just outstanding, check the website for temporary/traveling exhibits. Admission is free. Parking is $15 or $10 depending on time. Or take the bus. You can spend several days and still not see everything. The facility is kid-friendly, but younger kids may get sick of looking at paintings and sculptures.



The Getty Villa. In Malibu, which is along the coast NW of LA. Not as big as the Center, but this is the original facility Getty built to house all the items he collected. It's really spectacular. Admission is free, but a reservation is required. You "buy" your ticket in advance for a specific entry time. Parking is $15 or $10 depending on time. As with the Center, there are standing exhibits and temp/traveling exhibits. If you get there early and keep moving, it's possible to see the whole thing in one day. The facility is kid-friendly, but younger kids may get sick of looking at paintings and sculptures.



California Science Center. A few minutes SW of downtown LA, just south of the USC campus. Accessible by Metro train or bus. Very kid-friendly, lots of interactive stuff. But also has enough mature exhibits to be interesting to adults on their own. Space shuttle Endeavour is there, and of of this post, she's still in the pavilion on posts which allows visitors to walk right under her and see the tiles up close. Eventually, she's going to be displayed standing on her tail as if she's ready for launch. Also has an IMAX theater. CA Science Center is right next to Exposition Park, in the same macro complex as the LA Memorial Coliseum, Natural History Museum of LA County and CA African American Museum.



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Old 03-28-2015, 09:44 PM   #2
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Well, this has certainly taken off. LOL


Other things to do:

USS Iowa (battleship museum). On the waterfront in San Pedro, south of LA and west of Long Beach. Spend a couple hours to all day touring the ship. Cost $16 to $18 for admission, parking is $2/hr. They're working to open more and more of the ship to tours. If you're into military or maritime history, this is a great experience.



Similarly..

USS Midway (aircraft carrier museum). On the waterfront right in downtown San Diego. Can be a few hours or all day. Pro tip: get there right when the ship opens, and go straight to the bridge tour. Most tourists start on the hangar deck and work their way up. Bypass the herd and you'll visit the bridge when it's mostly empty, then you can go back and stroll around the flight deck and hangar deck at your leisure. Cost is $18 to $20, parking is $5 to $10, but lots of public transportation is available, too. Great military history, and terrific views of San Diego Bay from the end of the flight deck.

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Old 03-31-2015, 02:24 AM   #3
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Aquarium of the Pacific is in Long Beach, south of LA. $29 for general admission. Parking across the street is $8 with validation. Great facility for anyone that's interested in ocean and ocean animals. Educational, but also have many interactive exhibits and touch pools where guests can touch sharks, rays and other animals. Plan on 1/2 to full day. Very kid friendly. Options include going on a behind the scenes tour, an after hours event (some are members-only, check the website), or going on a whale watching or harbor tour from the pier right next to the Aquarium.







Right across from the Aquarium is the Queen Mary. She's a floating hotel and museum. Has some standing tours and also hosts visiting exhibits. Tours are $30 to $50ish depending on how many you do. Some of their stuff is a little hokie, built around the stories of the vessel being haunted. But I think for people that are into that kind of stuff, it might be kinda fun. Also worth a visit is the Scorpion, a Foxtrot-class Soviet attack sub from the 1970s.





The Long Beach Transit Passport bus is a free shuttle that runs around the LB waterfront and gives access to most of the attractions in the area.
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Old 04-02-2015, 04:31 PM   #4
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Nice thread brotha...
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:18 PM   #5
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Thats a great idea. I love the Getty Villa (Roman type artifacts), Queen Mary (drinks in the first class bar!), and shuttle Endevour exhibit/ Science Center (brought a tear to my eye)

There is a cool (small) air museum at John Wayne Airport. Lyon Air Museum. WW2 type planes and some really cool/interesting old cars. One vehicle that made me have a few moments of quiet reflection was a big tank of a Mercedes that you-know-who rode in.

Disneyland, of course.

There is a Titanic exhibit in Buena Park but I have yet to go to it.

Petersen Auto Museum (opening back up in December)


If I can think of any others Ill post.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:54 AM   #6
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Thank you for this
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Old 05-15-2015, 02:32 AM   #7
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Bumpity...very cool thread, thanks! Might check that house out in Malibu and will report back with pics. I guess those 2 food places MachRC suggested (Dino's Burgers and Chicken plus Langer's Deli) should also get mentioned.

How are those Agoura hills? Any fun driving there?
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Old 05-15-2015, 02:36 AM   #8
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Malibu Creek State Park is in the Santa Monica Mountains, along Las Virgenes Rd/Malibu Cyn Rd. It's a really nice place to hike. Lots and lots of TV shows and movies have been filmed in the area over the years including MASH and Planet of the Apes. Stop at the Visitor Center to see displays of the animals and plants in the park, and also catch a looping film that shows footage from some of the shows/movies. Then hike out to the site where MASH was filmed for many years.

http://www.malibucreekstatepark.org/ParkInfo.html



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Old 05-15-2015, 02:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by fayraree View Post
Bumpity...very cool thread, thanks! Might check that house out in Malibu and will report back with pics. I guess those 2 food places MachRC suggested (Dino's Burgers and Chicken plus Langer's Deli) should also get mentioned.

How are those Agoura hills? Any fun driving there?
I'm not a big foodie or nightlife guy, so I was hoping other CA denizens would chime in with restaurants, bars, clubs and so on.

Given what you said in the other thread about the direction you're headed, make a right off PCH onto either Topanga Canyon Rd or Malibu Canyon Rd and get your canyon driving fix on the way up to 101.

The iconic LA drive is Mulholland Drive between 101 and 405. However, it's a bit out of your way if you're going from LAX towards Malibu along the coast.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:46 PM   #10
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Thx so much, man! I'll be driving from downtown LA to Malibu on Thursday, so I was thinking of something fun to do to kill some time before traffic from downtown to Malibu dies down, around 7:30ish. So that strip you described on Mulholland is exactly where I'll go! Thanks again.

That path you showed in your pic above is gorgeous, but clearly hiking. Not a fan of hiking so much, unless I'm with a group of friends going for a picnic...I'll stick to the roads to maximize driving pleasure in the rental!
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Old 01-27-2016, 03:35 AM   #11
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You should add The Broad museum. It's free entry, but gotta make reservations a month or two in advance.
http://www.thebroad.org/
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Old 01-29-2016, 05:37 PM   #12
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Great thread, I moved to LA 1.5 years ago and some of these places i still have to go to!

Thanks
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:08 AM   #13
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You should add The Broad museum. It's free entry, but gotta make reservations a month or two in advance.
http://www.thebroad.org/
The point of the thread is for peeps to add whatever their recommendations are, which you just did, so thanks for contributing.

If you've been to the Broad already, how much time would you suggest someone plan to spend there?
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:39 AM   #14
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http://annenbergphotospace.org

The Annenberg Space for Photography is located in Century City, between downtown LA and Santa Monica. It's a display space for photography and typically devotes the entire space to a single temporary exhibit. At the moment, they're featuring "Life", a collection of photos by Frans Lanting that highlight certain aspects of how life evolved on Earth, which is very cool. The exhibits change, so watch the website for current/upcoming events. They also host lectures and put some content online. Skylight Studios is right next door, they also have rotating exhibits, so watch the website for info.

It's not very big, so a quick visit can be gratifying, but if they have videos going and you read every placard, you could be there for a few hours. Currently closed on Mon/Tues, check the website.

Admission is free, parking is cheap with validation. There's a small gift shop and I think you can make a donation if you wish. I've only been on weekends and parking has been totally easy. During the week, parking might be more crowded. Pretty easy to get to with public transportation, too.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:29 AM   #15
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Cheers for adding to the thread, we are 7 months till we go!


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Old 01-31-2016, 10:41 AM   #16
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http://www.saintrocke.com is a live music bar in Hermosa Beach, which is about 20 minutes south of LAX. It's kind of a mix of a dive bar, mini concert venue, restaurant, sports bar, dance club.

I started going there for Geeks Who Drink trivia nights, which they don't do any more. But their main offering is live music on their small stage. They host an eclectic mix (calendar: http://www.saintrocke.com/calendar/) of local or unknown musicians. And they frequently have theme and cover bands (The Spazmatics, for example do a whole Revenge of the Nerds schtick and play 80s hits and I've seen Erotic City, a Prince tribute). And then they get some big name acts that used to play arenas back in the day. I've seen Don Dokken, Jack Russell (Great White), Y&T, Eric Gales, Kings X, Pat Travers, Tony MacApline and probably a few others I can't think of at the moment there. It's always cool to see those kinds of bands in a small venue where you're right next to them, and often the band hangs around after the show to bs and sign autographs and such.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:57 AM   #17
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Sticky'd .... Great thread. Will add to it as well. Can't believe I missed this before.
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