Posted 23rd Dec 2022
Been thinking of places to go away in February for my family of 6 and I was interested to find out the prices to go to LA was just £2,500 for the flights which considering its half term I thought was pretty good. Has anyone been to LA with kids? Most of mine are over 12 apart from our 6 year old. Is there much to do if we hire a car?
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    It's easy enough to get around by public transport, or walking if you're up for it.

    Downtown is pretty non-descript. Iconic skyline from a distance, but there's not much there in my opinion. Most of LA is generic looking streets with not a lot there and other than some traffic, deserted streets.

    As mentioned, Santa Monica / Venice are nice for a day trip. Easy to get to by bus or Metro, and if you're heading from the downtown direction, easy to stop off on the Metro at the Colleseum / Natural History/ Space museums (about 50 mins on the Metro from Expo, nr downtown, to Santa Monica).
    Not cheap to stay at Santa Monica though.

    Rodeo Drive, Farmers Market, La Brea tar pits are on some bus route from Santa Monica. Think there's a Metro station across the street from the Tar Pits?

    The Hollywood Walk of fame is just touristy rubbish. Nice to see once, but run down once you head a couple of blocks past Capital Records.
    In N Out burger on Orange?, down a side street from the Chinese Theatre etc.

    Car wise, easy enough to park, although not cheap in places. Still far cheaper than San Francisco.
    Could always drive out to places like Vasquez Rocks (from Star Trek, Bill & Ted, Big Bang Theory etc.)

    I did drive up to the observatory and do a bit of hiking to see the Hollywood sign etc. Also walked it. Not easy though and possibly harder with children.

    The theme parks are opposite sides of the LA area.
    SIX Flags is somewhere to the north (drove past it from San Fran - lots of farmland and almond, pecan etc. growing up that way). Universal not too hard to get to by car if the Freeways aren't too crowded.
    DIsney and Knott are south, towards Santa Ana. (edited)
    "Far cheaper than San Francisco" - that's due to cars not being broken into in LA compared to SF!
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    You've got 4 main theme parks -

    - Six Flags Magic Mountain
    - Disneyland
    - Universal Studios
    - Knotts Berry Farm
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    I can't advise on going with kids,but we didn't think much of L.A.

    Definitely go to Santa Monica & Venice beach if you can,we split our Holiday between L.A and Santa Monica and preferred the second part a lot more.

    Universal Studios is pretty much a "Virtual" theme park rather than proper rollercoasters if you'd be looking to take kids to a theme park,I wish we had gone to 6 flags instead.
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    For car hire in US ignore all the extra sales stuff, you don’t need it. None of it.
    Each time I hired in the US I booked in advance with the only company I could find that offered zero excess cover insurance upfront, with a stated price. There only ever seems to be one in each region, the others are all ducking and diving.

    You do not want to be in the middle of a legal wrangle over excess charges or another parties damages claim in the country with the highest density of lawyers in the world. And I certainly wouldn't trust one of those UK based car hire excess insurance companies (agents) to protect me in any way should the going get tough.
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    If you want to experience it before you go, play Grand Theft Auto V. It’s based on LA and felt uncomfortably familiar when I went there.
    Haha that's kind of why I'm drawn to it after playing that game over the last 10 years! (edited)
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    I recommend a visit to the Griffith Observatory
    I've already been there on GTA 5, I keep getting bazooka'd at the top. Is this normal life for Americans? Must be hard...
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    The Getty museum is good, although kids may ot be interested.
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    Downtown is an absolute dump, stay in Beverly Hills!
    The Observatory is brilliant!
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    make sure you go to compton... on the corner of brazil and wilmington
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