Posted September 4th, 2017, 07:14 PM
We are taking a California Coastal Cruise leaving from San Pedro. We will be flying in from Newark, NJ. We have about three days pre cruise. From what I have read, the area surrounding the port is not that nice. What would be our best option, fly into LA then travel to Long Beach to spend our three days? What is the best way to get from LA to Long Beach and then back to LA the morning of the cruise. It seems easier to get a flight into LA rather then into Long Beach. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! This will be our first time in California.
First time here, there are a lot of variables to consider...
1) By three days, do you mean three FULL days...or is it, for example, flying in Thursday afternoon and embarking a ship on Saturday? If it's the former, I'd go somewhere other than the harbor area...if the latter, you are likely only looking at one day of sightseeing...
2) Being that it's your first visit, what do you want to see/do? The standard tourist spots --Hollywood Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Hollywood Sign, Rodeo Drive? Amusement Parks? Movie/TV studios? Museums? Or will you be satisfied just hanging out in the Harbor area and seeing the sights there? (Aquarium of the Pacific, Queen Mary, USS Iowa)...
3) Will you rent a car...or be dependent on tours/public transportation/walking and taxis/Uber?
4) What sort of hotel budget do you have? More desirable parts of town and nice hotels can come with a hefty price tag. Cheaper hotels might mean some very undesirable neighborhoods and/or bad hotels.
Personally, if I had a friend visiting LA for the first time, I would highly recommend staying in Santa Monica and only getting a shuttle, town car or Uber down to San Pedro the morning of the cruise. With multiple days, I'd recommend taking a tour to Hollywood and the tourist sights on one day (most tour companies do pick-ups in the main Santa Monica hotels)...and spending the rest of the time, enjoying the Santa Monica area--beach, Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, Palisades Park, Venice Beach Boardwalk...maybe, if time, a trip to the Getty Villa or Getty Center Museum...most of it reasonably walkable or short Uber rides...
That plan would give you the most complete LA experience (less amusement parks and studio tours) and take away the need to rent a car.
Of course, one downside for some is that nice hotels in Santa Monica can be a bit pricey...but, IMHO, it is well worth it...especially for a first visit...
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