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LA Vacation in June - Where to stay

Hello, everyone. My wife and I are visiting LA for five full days/nights plus one evening/night in late June. I’ve come here for sage advice regarding our stay.

We know we’ll stay in Santa Monica for one evening/night, plus one full day/night. We are then heading down to Malibu for a half-day, then over to the final destination for the remaining four days/nights. Where should that be? We’ll rent a car so we can drive to restaurants and sites during the day, but I’m really more concerned about the evenings when we’ll imbibe. I thought Hollywood might be within a good striking distance to surrounding neighborhoods with nightlife. Is there a better option? I’m basically looking for a neighborhood that is within a reasonable cab ride (or even walking distance) to the most restaurants and bars possible. And, I’d appreciate any suggestions for exact locations/streets within a particular neighborhood where there’s a good bar scene.

For some background information on the bar aspect, we’d like places that have fantastic outdoor spaces or have great views of the surroundings or make fancy cocktails or have craft beer or have a can’t miss happy hour or are quintessential LA experiences or are really interesting and unique - whether it’s a hole in the wall all the way up to a nicer atmosphere. My wife and I are in our mid-thirties, if that makes a difference.

There’s some great information on here already. I plan to heavily research establishments so I’m more educated. I’ll then probably come back and ask questions about specific cuisines, restaurants, and bars. In the meantime, the burning question is where to stay so we have access to said restaurants and bars. Thanks!

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  1. How old are you? If you are young, Hollywood. If a little older, West Hollywood. If retired, Beverly Hills.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mc michael

      Or the new Ace Hotel Downtown LA if you are between young and a little older. Than you can go to Langer's Deli and a Dodger's game.

      1. re: mc michael

        <If retired, Beverly HIlls>

        :-). Beg your pardon? Beverly Hills, like any other place in LA has its own redeeming qualities.
        I'd say it depends on what the OP wants/needs and where their interests lie.
        If you're into pro baseball then definitely stay downtown and eat at restaurants in that area.
        If the arts are where you're coming from the new Annenberg Theatre has just opened in Beverly HIlls and, of course, everyone knows some great food can be found in the area.
        If the ocean is where you'd like to be then Santa Monica is definitely the place to stay and there are outstanding restaurants available.
        It depends on your interests.

      2. There is no "one" best neighborhood to stay in. You have to be prepared to drive if you are looking to experience the breadth and depth of what the greater LA area has to offer in terms of food and drink. You might stay in the San Gabriel Valley if you are interested in the many types of Chinese food offered there or downtown for some of the newer hot spots along with great drinking and close access to Silver Lake, East Hollywood and Thai town and Korea town or West Hollywood or in Santa Monica or Venice for all those areas offer (Tar & Roses or Tacos Punta Cabras or Gjelina or Superba Snack Bar or Willie Jane or Rustic Canyon or Shunji or Sushi Mori or?). Do your research, but be prepared to drive for the good stuff.

        I would not stay out in Malibu unless the beach scene is what you are looking for because it is really isolated from the rest of LA, but rather drive out one night to Nobu or what have you.

        1 Reply
        1. W hotel on Hollywood Blvd, and can take in a show at the Pantages Theater

          1. Consider downloading the Uber app. Using Uber will give you the freedom to dine and drink and stay anywhere without concerns about drinking and driving.

            1. Why move around? Find one place and stay there.

              BTW from Santa Monica to Malibu is "up" not "down". So you head "up" to Malibu.

              1 Reply
              1. re: PeterL

                I agree. Any way you slice it, you're going to have to drive from neighborhood to neighborhood to see anything, and once you're mobile, it doesn't really then require you to spend overnight in other neighborhoods to get a feel for them.

                I would try some place fairly central - Mid-Wilshire, West Hollywood - and then plan your sight seeing and eating itnerary. Yes, LA is very spread out but not so much that you need to relocate regularly during a week long visit.