Los Angeles

Discussion in 'West, Alaska and Hawaii' started by WhoozOn1st, Nov 25, 2013.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Nov 25, 2013 #1

    WhoozOn1st

    WhoozOn1st

    WhoozOn1st

    Conductor Honored Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,281
    Location:
    Southern California
    First, it's difficult to believe that in the 2+ years of this subforum nobody's yet begun an L.A. topic.

    Here's a Los Angeles Times guide to Union Station and its neighborhood. There's a story, a brief video, a timeline of the station's history, and probably most helpful for new arrivals an interactive map of places to eat and things to do near Union Station. Most are walking distance or one stop away by light rail; at most a short cab ride (taxis are always right out front). Clicking on listed places yields short descriptions, photos, telephone numbers, and directions as well as pinpointing locations on the map.

    Postcards From the West: Union Station -- http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-postcards-from-the-west-union-station-20131121-dto,0,87377.htmlstory#axzz2lbxNPajC

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  2. Nov 25, 2013 #2

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    17,755
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    :hi: Good Job Patrick! I'm Shocked also that No-one had done LA!!!! :eek:
     
  3. Nov 27, 2013 #3

    Gary

    G

    Gary

    Guest

    Long ago, and far away, I purchased tickets at the concourse when it was still operated by Amtrak. They have spruced the station up some. Phillipe's the Original is very close and a must see in LA. The pie is very good.
     
  4. Dec 18, 2013 #4

    Guest

    G

    Guest

    Guest

    The LAX Flywaway Bus provides non-stop service from Union Station to all airport terinals 24/7. Service operates every 20-60 minutes. Travel time is 30-40 min. using the express lanes on the freeways.
     
  5. May 18, 2014 #5
    This is sort of a trip report, but I want to contribute on how you can can get around in LA.

    I am here in LA on a trip, but I found a free day to explore. I always wanted to get as much metro "rail" in, in a day, so that's what I did (and putting in an Amtrak segment along the way). Notice that I've quoted "rail" because silver and orange lines ain't rail. I'm staying near LAX (the airport), so my "home" station is green line LAX station. Here it goes

    Leg 1 - Green Line

    Green line from LAX to Harbor Freeway station. To transfer to Silver line.

    Leg 2- Silver Line

    Silver line is a bus (like Boston, come to think of it). It's fast when no traffic, but costs more than usual rail fare, and not too comfortable (and cannot really have luggage as this is basically a city bus). I wanted to transfer to Red line. I had an option of transferring at the 7th St Metro Center or Union Station. I opted for the 7th St. Transfer was super easy (the Metro Center station right at the Silver bus stop).

    Leg 3 - Red Line

    Boarded at the 7th. Went all the way to North Hollywood. Intended to transfer to Orange line. Again, the transfer at North Hollywood was super easy. Many people on the train, most got off at Hollywood stops and Universal Studio (tourist-y places).

    Leg 4 - Orange Line

    Another bus. Wanted to go to Chatsworth. Bus lane all the way, so no traffic. Wondered why they didn't convert it to light rail, or trolley. Train ride is so much better.

    Leg 5 - Amtrak Pac Surf Liner

    Now an Amtrak! I actually was ticketed for later time the same day, but the conductor accepted it without a blink of an eye. So if I can contribute anything, here it goes: yes, you can buy an unreserved ticket for a later time and use it on an earlier train the same day. Got off at LAX (union station).

    Leg 6 - Red/Purple Line

    On the way back, I wanted to go with a different route. Specifically Blue to Green transfer. But to do so, you must first take the Red line or the bus to 7th St Metro Center. So I just hopped on the first train to the 7th St.

    Leg 7 - Blue Line

    Boarded at the 7th St. Went to Willowbrook station to transfer to Green line. The rumors are true that people are always trying to sell you stuff :D . It's actually not too bad, but it does have a bad rep.

    Leg 8 - Green Line

    Willowbrook to LAX. Final leg.

    There you have it. The cost: $13.50 AAA Amtrak fare CWT-LAX, plus just $5 Metro day pass. That's it!! :cool: Could have been lower if I wanted to take Metro bus/rail instead of Amtrak, or just take the Metrolink, but I wanted to get some rail points for my trouble (and cash in on Double Days).

    Of course, during my stop at the Union Station, I went to Philippe.

    Another place you can get to with Metro Rail: Langer's Deli. Red line to MacArthur Park. Not the greatest neighborhood, but I like the food. Some called it better than even NY delis (them's a fighting words, I know).

    Also, you can hit all of Chinatown, Little Tokyo and Koreatown, all within the reach of Metro Rail. Chinatown (old original one) is practically next to Union Station. Little Tokyo is one stop away from LAUPT (red/purple line). Koreatown is along the Purple line (any stop with "Wilshire" on its name). Some of the most excellent foods in all locations!

    Oh, I guess I could have also used LAX Flyaway as above poster mentioned, but then where the fun? :p
     
  6. May 18, 2014 #6
    Almost forgot. Another gem not far from the Union Station is the Grand Central Market. Right across the street from Angel's Flight. Two stops from Union Station (Pershing Sq). If nothing else, the restaurants form this place are cheap! I find the quality to be pretty good as well.
     
  7. Sep 11, 2014 #7

    joolsstone

    j

    joolsstone

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Hi, that's a good find, thanks! Hope it's ok to ask a few quick Qs here?

    We get into LA on the Sunset at 6am. First time visitors. Want to avoid an extra hotel night if poss. Any suggestions for where to go / what to do at that time of day when prob still waking up?

    We are not much bothered about ticking off all the sights and realise it's a big, spread out city that's not the best place to discover on foot and we don't drive. Is there a good bus tour that takes in Hollywood / Santa Monica etc?

    Also we plan to stay downtown, as we've only got 1 night in LA, so any suggestions for reasonable hotels that are at least convenient for Union Station (affordable taxi or simple bus journey away etc) and in reliably safe areas? Have heard that areas in donwtown can vary a lot.

    I was thinking of the Mexican market area near Olvera, are there any decent hotels round there, or Little Tokyo / Chiantown maybe? Or are we better sticking to the historical core / financial district?

    Sorry for the bombard, and thanks! :)

    Jools
     
  8. Sep 11, 2014 #8

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    17,755
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Boy are you in luck! Just across the street from Union Station is the Metro Plaza, a clean, reasonable, friendly hotel well liked by rail fans! Google it up and if you like it book it!

    Just a couple of blocks away I'd the Famous "Pilippe,the Original" Wonderful breakfasts, inventor of French dip sandwiches ( the Lamb is outstanding!) and Deli food! Google this one up too, you'll like it!

    Olvera Street and Chinatown surround Union Station !( Chinatown was moved to build Union Station in the 1930s!)

    As for Hollywood, the Red Line Subway runs from Union Station to Hollywood and Vine St. It also makes stops Downtown @ Pershing Square on the way, definitely worth a look around! ( in the daylight is best,lots of strange night life out in the dark!)

    Union Station itself is Beautiful and the New Metro Lounge is available to Sleeping Car and Business Class passengers as an Oasis and Luggage storage place for those ticketed that are coming and going on Amtrak!
     
  9. Sep 11, 2014 #9

    calwatch

    c

    calwatch

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    427
    Chinatown has a Best Western and higher end hotels are in Little Tokyo. Use Tripadvisor or Yelp to get general perspectives of quality; however Metro Plaza Hotel is general considered a good value, but not on the level of a big chain hotel.
     
  10. Sep 12, 2014 #10

    leemell

    leemell

    leemell

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,503
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    One minor nit --- the official name for the station is Los Angeles Union Station --- LAUS. The owners changed the name to match what every one called it a several years ago.
     
  11. Sep 12, 2014 #11

    NW cannonball

    NW cannonball

    NW cannonball

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,534
    Location:
    Minnesota
    The Station -- LAUS -- totally what train station (and bus, and metro and and airport (Flyaway bus)

    The courtyard alone is worth a rave or two. And Phillipes nearby.

    Been there twice from old mid-america --

    It's not Grand Central - no oysters - but -- this station is really really classic, and really really a place to lay over if you want to.
     
  12. Sep 12, 2014 #12

    FrensicPic

    FrensicPic

    FrensicPic

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    CWT
    Long-term parking is available at the "East Portal" of the station by the Patsaouras Transit Plaza ...underground and relatively secure for $6 per day.

    Pretty hard to better than that! We use it for our long-distance trips.
     
  13. Sep 15, 2014 #13

    OlympianHiawatha

    O

    OlympianHiawatha

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    4,219
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    And just a short walk away from Union Station is the famous City Hall that everyone knows from movies and right by there is Parker Center which served as LAPD HQ from 1954 until 2009. If you watched more than a couple episodes of Dragnet you know that place as well!
     
  14. Sep 15, 2014 #14

    joolsstone

    j

    joolsstone

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Thanks everyone! I love this forum, everyone's so helpful! :) I'll def check out Philippe's and the Metro Lounge.
     
  15. Sep 15, 2014 #15

    shelzp

    s

    shelzp

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    345
    I haven't taken bus tours of the city since I live here but I do see different ones picking people up in Hollywood at Graumann's Theater which is super easy to get to from LAUS. You take the LA Redline Subway which originates at LAUS and get off at the Hollywood/Highland stop and you're right there. I think there are Grayline tours and Hop On Hop Off types among others. (I am letting you know that getting to Hollywood is easy!!) :)
     
  16. Sep 15, 2014 #16

    City of Miami

    City of Miami

    City of Miami

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Charlottesville VA
    Don't overlook the Dash buses that scoot around downtown - 50 cents last time I was there. http://www.ladottransit.com/dash/ At least 1 line stops at Union Station.

    I have gotten the Miyako in Japantown a couple of times on Priceline under $100 - quite a few cuts above the Metroplaza or whatever it's called.

    The RBT on Wiltshire whisks you to Santa Monica and Venice Beach. A ride on the gold line to Pasadena is fun.

    Experiencela.com has been very helpful to me - check it out!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2014
  17. Sep 16, 2014 #17

    JayPea

    JayPea

    JayPea

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,735
    Location:
    Colfax, WA (CFX)
    I and my uncle took a tour last year through LA City tours and they picked us up and dropped us off at our hotel. We stayed at the Metro Plaza.
     
  18. Sep 17, 2014 #18

    NorthShore

    NorthShore

    NorthShore

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    958
    Location:
    Chicago
    For food (lunch especially), visit St. Vincent's Court in the historic downtown area.
     
  19. Sep 18, 2014 #19

    tp49

    t

    tp49

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,734
    I like the Grand Central Market downtown near Pershing Square on the Red Line and at the base of the Angel's Flight as a place to get lunch. Good number of food stalls with a number of cuisine types represented. My particular favorite is the papusas stand.
     
  20. Sep 18, 2014 #20

    joolsstone

    j

    joolsstone

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Thanks y'all! We went with the Omni in the end. A bit above our budget, but hey. They run a shuttle and it does look very lovely. Not read a abd review yet. Keep those tips a-coming guys!

    Anyone know if there's a tour bus that takes you to Warners Studio from / near downtown? My good lady really wants to see the Giomore Girls set, and no I'm not joking! lol
     
  21. Oct 9, 2014 #21

    cirdan

    cirdan

    cirdan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,256
    Is there anything especially worth seeing or doing in the immediate vicinity of LAX? What's the area like? Or should one head straight for the destinations mentioned upthread?
     
  22. Oct 9, 2014 #22

    Alice

    A

    Alice

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    California
    Yes, kind of, on the same side of LA but not immediate vicinity, look at a map. The Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo takes the cars out and gives people rides every Sunday afternoon. They operate like a normal car museum the rest of the week. The guy who started it likes Packards and he or his son is often around for a fun talk. Even when they are not having a special event, other Packard owners will often bring their project cars by to talk cars with anyone they can snag. They are very near a Metro stop. The museum is in a commercial area that is pretty abandoned on weekends, the reason that is a good time to take out the cars.

    If you do any wandering around, the old section of El Segundo (near the refinery) is pretty interesting and has some good places to eat/drink. Old Town Music Hall shows old movies and has concerts, especially ragtime. The owner retired from the film industry a long time ago and still plays the organ, although he doesn't have the stamina he used to so no more silent double features. The newer section of El Segundo is blocks and blocks of boring chains and subdivisions. All of it is safe to walk, at least I've never felt uncomfortable.
     
  23. Oct 9, 2014 #23

    trainman74

    trainman74

    trainman74

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,458
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
  24. Nov 29, 2014 #24

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7,342
    Location:
    Inland Streamliner, Reno, NV
    I'm going to be in Los Angeles in December. Don't know how many days I'll be staying yet. I'm not a beach person but I like some good scenery. I'm strictly running no-car so I have to be able to access it by transit.

    I thought maybe one option would be going to Pacific Palisades on the 2 and then to Malibu on the 534. Or maybe I should go south to Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Long Beach, etc. Or maybe ride the Gold Line to Pasadena. Or Metrolink Antelope Valley Line? Or 761 Sepulveda? Or Venice Canals? 90/91 Foothill?

    I'm very confused. So many options! And suggestions? Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2014
  25. Dec 20, 2014 #25

    Alice

    A

    Alice

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    California

Share This Page



arrow_white