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Southern California Dreamin’

The Los Angeles area is a great choice for your next vacation.

Getting there

From Eugene, we have daily non-stop flights to LAX on United and Alaska Airlines. Allegiant flies to LAX twice a week, and new service just started on Avelo Airlines from Eugene to Burbank/Hollywood airport. You can take connecting flights to the Los Angeles area on new Southwest flights, as well as Delta and American Airlines. A rental car and navigation app is a good idea for exploring this exciting area.

Big attractions with small costs

Some of the best activities in Los Angeles are free! If you plan ahead and get tickets you can see a live taping of a TV show. Game shows, sitcoms, late-night shows and special events offer opportunities to be in the studio audience. Note that there are age restrictions for each show, and you have to arrive early and stay for a few hours.

The Getty Center is an architectural wonder located on a hilltop in Brentwood overlooking the city. It cost over $1 billion to create this complex of museums and gardens but you can see it for free. Parking is $20, and you take a tram ride up to explore the amazing galleries and sculpture gardens. They have activities for children as well as concerts and special events.

The beaches of Southern California are legendary and visiting them is free. Santa Monica is only four miles from LAX and has so much to offer. The boardwalk with the big ferris wheel and roller coaster are iconic symbols of California. The beach scene is active with volleyball, playgrounds and people practicing all sorts of acrobatic feats. You can rent a bike or skates to explore Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa and Redondo.

If you have never made a pilgrimage to see the sights of Hollywood, you need to add it to your next trip to L.A. It’s free to walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and see the hand and footprints at TCL/Grauman’s Chinese Theatre along with an “interesting” array of street performers. This area is experiencing a renaissance, although some surrounding neighborhoods are sketchy.

You can drive around Beverly Hills, ogle the beautiful homes and then window shop on Rodeo Drive. If you want to go beyond the free sightseeing, you can take a Starline Tours Open-Top Double Decker Bus that stops at The Grove/Farmers Market, Kodak Theatre, Route 66, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Center, Melrose Ave., Sunset Strip, La Brea Tar Pits and much more. The hop-on/ hop-off tour allows you to stay as long as you like at each stop and catch the next bus, or stay onboard for the whole two-hour tour.

Where to stay

For a visit to Hollywood, the Loews Hollywood Hotel is the ideal location. It’s part of the Hollywood & Highland Center which is home to the Academy Awards and numerous movie premiers. The hotel features an outdoor pool, spa, fitness center and views of the Hollywood Hills.

The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is a great choice for an amazing beach vacation. Their sophisticated pool area is not huge, but it is very nice with food and beverage service, a hot tub and fire pits with views of the beach, the ocean and the boardwalk. For a treat you can visit their spa and gourmet restaurants. The beach at Santa Monica is huge and clean with lots of activities. You can rent a bike and ride to Venice Beach for a fun day.

A great vacation for everyone

The Los Angeles area is great for families with attractions that will keep all ages happy. If you’re looking for a romantic get-a-way, stay in a sophisticated hotel and enjoy wonderful restaurants and walks on the beach. Grab your girlfriends and have fun shopping, sightseeing, visiting a spa and checking out the nightlife. There really is something for everyone in LA, and now it is easier than ever to get there.


Meet Vacation MOM

Donnita Bassinger has been a travel agent for three decades and enjoys sending families on vacations around the world. She lives in Oregon with her husband and three boys, is the owner of VIP Vacations and is an active volunteer with local organizations.

Contact Donnita at 541-913-5272 or on facebook @VacationMOM


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