We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

San Diego...
Level Contributor
25 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

Hi everyone,

My wife and I are coming out to So Cal in mid march for 3 nights on a short vacation. We're planning a move to the area in the next couple years and will be renting a car and driving around west LA, the valley, and newport/huntington beach on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to check out different neighborhoods. We have a significant amount of latitude regarding where we'll settle as we can work from home and plan on renting a smaller apartment/home (in the $2500-$3000 range). Although I realize that a car is a necessity in So Cal, we're looking at areas that are at least fairly walkable.

My questions is although we'll be driving around all during the day, can someone recommend a particular hotel either in LA or OC that has some good walkable stuff nearby (restaurants, shopping, beach, whatever) that we can check out in the evening and at night? The areas where we're really concentrating our search are Manhattan/Redondo, Huntingtonon/Newport, and possibly some areas of the valley (studio city, North Hollywood, Burbank) so I'd prefer a hotel in one of those areas if possible. Our budget is around $200-$250/night.

Anyone else make the journey to the LA metro area and have any suggestions about what they wish they'd seen/done before moving? I've been to So cal a few times, but never for this purpose. We're planning on visiting 3-4 times before me make the move.

Thanks for your help!

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
54,683 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

$3,000 will go a lot further in Burbank than Manhattan Beach. You will give up a lot of square footage to live by the beach. Then you have to factor in the commute to where you are going to work from where you are going to live.

Here are a couple of local newspapers, the Beverly Hills Courier and the Santa Monica Argonaut, that are good for the "westside".

You can get the Courier in hard copy at the BH Chamber of Commerce on Beverly Dr. and the Argonaut at various local coffee shops in SaMo.

The Courier the ads for apartments are in the classified section and they are arranged high cost to low.

bhcourier.com/downloads/101411classified.pdf

argonautnewspaper.com/classifieds/…

You will have to search around a bit, but they are pretty good.

For the Valley/Burbank the Tolucan Times is great.

tolucantimes.info/section/…

I live not far from the beach in Newport Beach and had an apartment in Burbank for almost 8 years because of work. I never, EVER thought I would like Burbank as much as I did, given the little snobby beach kid I was. Burbank is just a great community.

In Burbank if you can stay at the Hotel Amarano, that is a great place for walking around west Burbank and Toluca Lake.

In Manhattan Beach, I'd look at the Sea View Inn.

In Corona del Mar (Newport Beach), where I live, you can stay at the Marriott in Fashion Island and walk or drive "the village of Corona del Mar". The best way to find a rental in the flowers street (main streets are named for flowers, they flow alphabetically A-P, Acacia in the north to Poppy in south) is to just drive around or walk around. Few people bother to advertise because they get snapped up quickly.

I would also post this in the Newport Beach or Huntington Beach forum in the Orange County section.

Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
25,711 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

OK, walkable is a relative term, but I think that Huntington Beach is a good option, both for Hotels, and living. The area by the pier is nice and compact, 3 major Hotels close by, and a minor transportation hub for the OCTA Bus system.

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g32513-Huntington_Bea…

www.surfcityusa.com

Edited: 18 December 2011, 12:42
San Diego...
Level Contributor
25 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

This is why I love Californians - always so helpful!

scottca075, after living in both the valley and in OC, what would be your opinion of one vs the other in terms of places to live for a late 20s couple (I know they're very different areas geographically, politically, and in terms of lifestyle - just curious what you'd think)?

The Marriott you mentioned was one that I put on our list of possible places to stay. Looks nice but wasn't sure if there'd be much to do around there that we could walk to. Sounds like there definitely is.

Thanks again for the info everyone!

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
18,676 posts
249 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

You mention in your first paragraph that you have interest in West Los Angeles, so I'll share my experience moving there 24 years ago from Connecticut. Fell in love with Santa Monica, but when I got here, learned (due to rent control and desirability factor) that I could not afford to live there. So moved to West LA, just east of Centinela Ave. Great area with lots of neighborhoods of single family homes (rentals houses are fairly plentiful, many apartments of all price ranges). Look at the area that runs from Brentwood to Mar Vista north to south and Centinela to Overland west to east, (go to westsiderentals.com and pay the $60.00 membership fee - well worth it to scope out neighborhoods even if you aren't ready to rent just yet).

My way of thinking was I did not travel 3000 miles to live in the valley. I wanted to be proximate to the beach and be able to walk to everything I needed.

When you arrive, you will know better if you want West LA, Newport Beach, Manhattan Beach, etc. They all have their own vibe and feel. For me, personally, Orange County was not the right fit; I'm more liberal-leaning and the OC is more conservative. Manhattan Beach is lovely and lots of people your age love it, I felt it was a bit isolated (but I had a strong need to get away from country/suburban environment and to a city). West LA gave me the ability to go to museums, galleries, shopping, walking, beaches, and mass transit to get to the things I could not reach in other ways.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
25 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

Thanks for the insight - and yeah, I'm also a little concerned about Orange County just because we're pretty liberal and it seems to be more conservative. However, we'll be moving from Kentucky so I'm sure it's not more conservative than here :).

I also think your point re: moving thousands of miles to live in the valley is spot on. Some areas in LA that seem to meet ALL the criteria we're looking for (and yeah, Santa Monica would be our first pick if money was not a factor) would require more sacrifice than I think we're willing to make. We do want to be close to the beach and right in the middle of everything LA has to offer, but holy cow SM is ludicrously expensive. Guess that's the price you pay to live in one of the most desirable areas in the world.

Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
25,711 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

OK, I live in Orange County, and would call myself a Fiscal Conservative (If I had to choose a party, it would be Libertarian).

But Orange County welcomes all groups, and the beach areas tend to be more "liberal" than the inland areas.

There is no need to worry about "borders" and political leanings. The most important things are the place you pick, and the "commute" to your job. You might want to look at areas near the Metrolink stations to get you to work.

http://www.metrolinktrains.com/

So. Cal
Level Contributor
1,160 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

***But Orange County welcomes all groups, and the beach areas tend to be more "liberal" than the inland areas.***

While the beach areas are more liberal, that isn't saying much. lol

And we're always in the news for voting with a Republican majority in the state of CA.

You're still young. Head to L.A. and live it up while you still can! I love living in O.C. NOW, but I sure had some GREAT times living in L.A. in my younger years.

Edited: 18 December 2011, 15:09
San Diego...
Level Contributor
25 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

Thanks for the info Darkbeer! OC people really do seem friendly, and I'm sure that you're right about welcoming all people.

Since we'll be working from home, there really isn't a work commute that we'd have to worry about. Still, we're planning on selling a car and only bringing one, so it's nice to know all I can about public transit in So Cal.

Berkeley, Ca.
Level Contributor
4,692 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

You might look in Venice--it's not cheap, but it tends to be cheaper than Santa Monica, but share some of Santa Monica's advantages. There are still a few rough spots in Venice but many fewer than there used to be. Venice is a great walking environment because it's laid out with many of the residential streets being short and narrow.

Edited: 18 December 2011, 15:22
Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
Level Contributor
28,743 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Scoping out So Cal, where can we stay that we can walk?

Actually, your budget will find you something in Santa Monica. Look in the Ocean Park area (near Centinela and Ocean Park/Pico) and you'll find homes in your budget - even homes with yards. It's a great area.

There's a Travel Lodge on Pico and 31st if you want to stay in that area.

Also look in what's called Sunset Park, which is south of Ocean Park, near Cloverfield.

Edited: 18 December 2011, 15:30