Travel

California in April is usually sunny and very comfortable (i.e., room temperature). Near the ocean (such as around the hotel) it is sometimes overcast in the mornings. Sweaters are almost always necessary in Los Angeles once the sun does down because the air is dry, like the desert, and does not retain moisture or heat. It seldom rains. Bring Sunscreen, Sunglasses, and Sweaters!

Air travel to/from Los Angeles

The frequency of flights into Los Angeles means that workshop participants who might be delayed by weather or mechanical problems in transit will have abundant re-scheduling options. In general, it is always best to find a non-stop flight to/from Los Angeles. Because of clement weather, these flight are generally ontime. Other routes might include flying through San Francisco or Las Vegas. Denver sometimes has inclement weather in April. Chicago has many delays with connecting flights. New York has in the air backups, sometimes causing flights to circle for long periods and connections to be missed. Washington/Dulles connecting flights are generally reliable. Las Vegas sometimes has discounted air travel rates. Hotel / air packages will not be reimbursed.

 

Local attractions (walking distance from hotel)

Kayaking in the harbors- to see seals, sea lions, pelicans, coumorants, and luxury yachts. No equipment necessary. No skill necessary. Quite safe for adults and older children. Paddle boats are also available for families. Just bring some cash and photo identification (you may have to leave it as a deposit for the kayak). This is not a problem. Cost: about $15/hour. Reservations are not usually necessary. Water is very calm most days.
Glassbottom boat rides: at Redondo Harbor. Walk south out of hotel for 5 minutes.
Cycling, along a special concrete bike path that continues for miles in either direction. The path is accessible just across the street from the hotel. Also across the street is a bike rental shop that is very reasonable.
Rollerblading: Same rental shop across the street. Rollerblading path extends for miles.
Horseback riding: Talk with hotel concierge about arranging a ride at Palo Verdes stables. Get brochure.
Surfing: Rental shop is one block from hotel. Getting back to the waves is another matter. Surfers are also territorial and don't like newcomers. Discuss at rental shop. One surfing area at Hermosa Beach is about 15 minutes walk from hotel.
Sunbathing - fine white sand beaches 10 minutes wlaking, either north or south.
Walking, along the ocean, for miles. No hills. Many things to see along the way. Always breezy.
Sailing: sailboats for rent in Harbor (walk south). Lessons available. Check at hotel.
Deep sea fishing - 6 am and midday departures. No equipment or experience necessary. From Polly's pier, 5 minutes from hotel.

The hotel has discount tickets for many of these attractions- (310) 318-7711.

 

Dining

Within 10-20 minutes walking distance, there are at least 20 decent restaurants, of many ethnic types (Brazilian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, American, Italian, Peruvian). For breakfast, try Polly's on the Pier, or Ruby's, across the street. Before entering any restaurant, check the city's rating for cleanliness that is posted on the front door or window; an A is best. Tipping is usually about 15% of the bill. If you go with a group over 6, the tip may already be included. Just ask.

 

Transportation

There is little public transportation in Los Angeles. The hotel has a van for dropoffs at shopping sites and nearby attractions, up and down the beach. You may need a taxi to return. Ask.

A car is not necessary for attending the workshop. Renting a car is very easy and not costly; however, travelling the Freeways can be frustrating if you don't know the traffic patterns. Traffic during rush hours often comes to a standstill and driving times are hard to even estimate. During less busy times of day, places to see around Los Angeles are:

Bird sanctuary in Palos Verdes (about 20 minutes driving)
UCLA campus (40 minutes)
Getty Museum (40 minutes) (near UCLA campus)
Page Museum (La Brea Tarpits). Fascinating for all ages. Takes about one hour to see (40 minutes driving)
Disneyworld (1 hour)
Universal Studios (1 hour)
Dodger Stadium-baseball game (1 hour)
Palos Verdes coast line drive (1 hour of exquisite natural beauty and luxury homes)
Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum (1 hour)
Huntington Library (really more like a very large arboretum). Driving time: 90 minutes

There is a covered parking garage adjacent to the hotel; however, parking fees will not be reimbursed except for Invited/hosted local participants. Request validation of parking receipt at the organizers desk).

This is also a good season for travelling around the dry southwest. Some common destinations are:

Santa Barbara (2 hours)
Sequoia National Forest (5 hours)
Las Vegas (5 hours by car; 1 hour by air)
San Francisco (6 hours by car; 1 hour by air)
Grand Canyon (8 hours by car)
Zion and Bryce National Parks (3-4 day trip)

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