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Author winterkjm
#16 | Posted: 16 Jul 2013 14:18 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Perhaps this is what has put me off in the past. Walking around a city is the thing I love most and part of the reason I love European old towns so much

Seriously, next time you come to LA ask me again for some places to visit. I will gladly point you in the right direction to places you will enjoy. For the coffee/tea lovers Urth Caffe is a must in downtown LA,

Pasadena (20 min drive from LA) is very walker friendly. (also reachable by metro rail) The old downtown is very pleasant with art museums, great restaurants, coffee shops, and a whole street full of houses designed by Green & Greene (including the iconic Gamble House URL) The Gamble House was mentioned as a potential nomination to the US tentative list. Hollyhock House, designed by FLW is in the Hollywood/Los Feliz area and is part of the current US nomination "Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings". Both houses are available for tours, and are free if you just want to enjoy the grounds. Hollyhock House actually hosts beer and wine tastings through much of the year, as well as movies in the park. Highly recommended.

Author meltwaterfalls
#17 | Posted: 16 Jul 2013 16:09 
Will certainly take you up on the recommendations should our plans come together.
Pasadena (20 min drive from LA) is very walker friendly

Ah great it can work in my other lists as well (stadiums of World Cup finals) and the Colosseum can add to my Olympic stadia as well.

I saw the Hollyhock House is closed at the moment which is a little disappointing, so perhaps Gamble House will be a good alternative.

Author winterkjm
#18 | Posted: 16 Jul 2013 16:45 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Hollyhock House is closed at the moment

Hollyhock house is located in Barnsdale Park which is always open (farmer markets are held here now and again as well). So if you just want to enjoy a nice view of LA on a hill and stroll around the historic house, it is still worth visiting. There is a bit of scaffolding in one area, but most of the exterior is easily viewed (little to no obstructions). The tour has been closed for a while now, there are ongoing restorations of the house.

Yelp - Reviews of Barnsdale Park (nice pictures)

Author meltwaterfalls
#19 | Posted: 20 Aug 2013 05:56 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
It is looking like some time in LA is a goer now.

We are just looking into the basics of a trip across the border to see El Pinacate, it seems we may be able to do it, but logistics may get in the way. However if you have any information/ advice then it would be very much welcomed.

Also if you have any other ideas for things to do in Southern California we would be keen to hear a local's point of view.

Author winterkjm
#20 | Posted: 20 Aug 2013 14:51 
If you want to drive to El Pinacate the best route is through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona. Here is the mapquest link.


You will probably want to stay in Puerto Penasco 1 or 2 nights. There is a brand new visitor center, this is the best place to start your journey exploring the park. Remember, that you will need to purchase Mexican car insurance for any driving in Mexico. You can usually do this through your car rental, not as complicated as it sounds.

Organ Pipe Cactus should be worthy of a couple stops as well, as you will be driving through the monument.

Author winterkjm
#21 | Posted: 20 Aug 2013 15:11 | Edited by: winterkjm 
By the way for LA consider a couple key places:

Norton Simon Museum of Art
*Gamble House (Greene & Greene masterwork, Tour if you want to go inside)
Arroyo Terrace (Greene & Greene Neighborhood)
Huntington Library & Gardens
Hollywood & West Hollywood
*Barnsdale Park (Hollyhock House)
*Griffith Park & Observatory (Free, park at the top)
Schindler House
Santa Monica
Eames House (Tour only)
Temescal Canyon
3rd Street Promenade
Mid-Wilshire, Miracle Mile
La Brea Tar Pits
The Grove
LA Downtown
Bradbury Building (Free)
Angel's Flight
Little Tokyo
Olvera Street
USC Colliseum/Exposition Park (Research an event to visit the stadium properly)
Urth Cafe
Standard Hotel Roof Top Lounge/Bar
Malibu Country Market (Lunch)
*Point Dume State Beach (Best Beach in LA region)
*Getty Villa (Reservation required)
Watts Towers (Tour only)
Ranchos Palos Verdes
Point Vicente Coastal Park (Great coastal walk)
Castle BBQ ($10 all you can eat)
Soowon Galbi BBQ (Pricier, but high quality)

Author meltwaterfalls
#22 | Posted: 21 Aug 2013 10:03 
Brilliant, thanks for the advice.

We are trying to pick apart the info on rental cars going to Mexico.

Some sources suggest it is fine but you have to pay extra insurance. But some others seem to suggest it isn't possible if you aren't a US resident. Guess I will have to trawl through some T&Cs when we get down to it.

Oh and thanks for the info on Koreatown, it has become a particular favourite cuisine of Mrs Meltwaterfalls and mine.

Author Durian
#23 | Posted: 21 Aug 2013 20:24 
LA is a great city to drive around to many places like Winterkjm's suggestion, the only thing I always has a problem is LA car rental fee, the price in internet tend to exclude many insurance and fee (sometime the total price almost double! with 3rd parties liabiliability and service fee) which really ruined my budget.

The strangest for LA car rental is even I booked a compact cheapest car, when I pick up the car, they always say I can choose any sedan car I want! and choice will be more crazier in the late evening! (one time I booked toyota compact but got chevlolet convertible!)

Author meltwaterfalls
#24 | Posted: 22 Aug 2013 05:34 
The strangest for LA car rental is even I booked a compact cheapest car, when I pick up the car, they always say I can choose any sedan car I want! and choice will be more crazier in the late evening! (one time I booked toyota compact but got chevlolet convertible!)

We had our bluff called on that last year in Salt Lake City. We hired a small budget car assuming that a 'small budget car' in the US would be about the same size as an average London flat. But we turned up and were given a Chevrolet Spark, hey ho, no problem for people used to European cars, but it did draw some looks of amusement from our american friends.

Author Euloroo
#25 | Posted: 22 Aug 2013 09:38 | Edited by: Euloroo 
We did Sequoia National Park from LA with an overnight stay but you could do it in a day trip at a push. Amazing place. Surprises me that it isn't on the t-list. Funnily enough we got our small budget car upgraded to some beast of a vehicle which the mrs struggled with on the winding roads up at Sequoia. Here's an interesting article about LA's forgotten stairways

Author winterkjm
#26 | Posted: 22 Aug 2013 16:37 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Nice post about the hidden stairways. This is classic "off the beaten path" LA. Since there are some unique stairways in Silver Lake, it reminds me that this area is a hub of Richard Neutra architecture. Circling Silver Lake, (very pleasant stroll, I take it about once a week) you will see his office, and about 3-4 other houses he built. His son lives in one of them.

For modern architectural homes, LA may be one of the best cities in the world. Some may even one day become WHS (who knows).

*Several Frank Lloyd Wright Homes

*Schindler's Home/Studio

*Eames House (Case Study #8)

*Several Richard Neutra Homes

*Several Greene & Greene Homes

I would also highly recommend taking a LA Conservancy Tour in Downtown. You can get a great view of the movie palaces or art deco treasures. Nearly all of which are impossible to visit independently.

*Great Wall of Los Angeles (Fantastic co-created street art that is over 2,500 ft in length)

Author meltwaterfalls
#27 | Posted: 23 Aug 2013 06:44 
I'm quite looking forward to LA now to be honest. I like overhauling my previous conceptions of a place.

That link to LA Conservancy Tours is great. Hopefully we can get something in, and also it receives extra Kudos for having a 500 Days of Summer self guided tour. So if in October you see someone doing a shoddy recreation of this you know it will be me.

Author meltwaterfalls
#28 | Posted: 9 Oct 2013 00:53 
Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendations for LA. My third trip is proving much more enjoyable. Just got back from some hunting out of modernist architecture and some Korean BBQ. Plenty more to keep us busy for the next few day even if other bits of our original itinerary have been culled by the t&c's on rental cars and the shut down of the national government. Hey ho it is still great fun exploring.

Author winterkjm
#29 | Posted: 9 Oct 2013 01:50 | Edited by: winterkjm 
My third trip is proving much more enjoyable

I am really happy to hear this!!!

If you still have not visited Barnsdale Park, check out the Farmer's market this Wednesday 10/9 12-6pm. Unfortunately the outdoor movie nights/wine tastings just wrapped up. The farmer market is small and locale. Pretty normal fare, it is worth a stop and a nice paring with exploring Hollyhock House.

Free Museums (At Specific Times)

MOCA on Grand is free Thursday 5-8pm. (Downtown)

Japanese American National Museum is free Thursday 5-8pm (Little Tokyo)

Were you still planning the trip to El Pinacate in Mexico?

Author meltwaterfalls
#30 | Posted: 9 Oct 2013 11:38 
Alas El Pinacate and the Colorado delta had to be dropped, we just couldn't find a rental company that would let us cross the border, and other options became too pricey.

We went to Barnsdall Park yesterday, wonderful place even if we couldn't get into the house. We also got talking to one of the carpenters working there and he let us into the former chauffeur's apartment, which was nice of him.

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