You don’t need a rental car and you don’t need Uber – Los Angeles has become a transit-friendly city that’s easy to get around.
For a city that’s long been associated with grind-to-a-halt freeways, Los Angeles has done a remarkable job with its transit system in recent years, weaving a series of underground and over-ground lines that link far-flung areas of the city.
With six lines, visitors can stay in a downtown hotel and take easy, clean and remarkably cheap public transit to cool, emerging neighborhoods, long-time tourist spots and, indeed, all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Here are some highlights from our visit, which was accomplished entirely on foot and with public transit (other than driving in and out of town).
This was a super-easy trip to the Hollywood and Vine station; less than 20 minutes from downtown on the Metro Red Line, which runs out to Universal City. We made our way past the street performers and tourists gawking at the Walk of Fame and headed to Musso and Frank Grill, a legendary Hollywood dining spot and watering hole that’s often featured in crime or mystery novels. You’ll find dark red banquettes, and waiters with crimson tuxedo jackets, white shirts, black ties and black pants for a very retro look. When we walked back to the Metro station, a young woman with an absolutely tremendous voice was belting out pop tunes on the platform as people waited for their trains.
Getting to the beach from downtown use the Expo Line, most of it is above ground, and then there’s a bit of a hike; around 50 minutes or so.
Santa Monica, of course, is one of the treasures of southern California, an immense, deep beach with one of the world’s most famous piers. watched kids play in the surf, then walked to the end of the pier to see the fishermen and check out the amusement park and the Route 66 shop, this being the western terminus for one of America’s best-known highways.
We also checked out the small but well-done Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, where kids can touch starfish and look at all sorts of colourful sea life found in the region.
We had a fine lunch of fish tacos in the sun on the rooftop patio at Seaside on the Pier and took a spin on the Ferris Wheel, which offers views up and down the coast from Venice Beach to Malibu.