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Los Angeles Without a Car

Is it possible to get around the City of Angels without wheels? This week, I’m going to find out.

It’ll be my first trip to Los Angeles, a sprawling city so dependent on driving that it inspired the 80’s band Missing Persons to sing, “Nobody walks in L.A.”

Well, this traveler will be walking. And taking the subway. And riding a few buses too.

It’s not that I object to renting a car, especially when it’s the only way to explore a destination. But I live in the ‘burbs, and I already drive everywhere when I’m at home. So when I travel, it’s nice to get out from behind the wheel.

To make my L.A. trip work without a car, I’ve had to plan carefully. First, I’ve chosen a couple of hotels within walking distance of subway stops (one downtown, the other in Hollywood). Second, I’ve crafted my itinerary to focus on attractions that are easily accessible either via public transit or on foot from where I’m staying, like a couple of star tours out of Hollywood (which is on the Metro’s red line).

I did have to scrap a visit to the Getty Center on Sunday afternoon because the L.A. Metro trip planner told me it would take anywhere from 150 to 180 minutes to get there from downtown by bus. Oof. On to Plan B: a stop at the Museum of Contemporary Art on South Grand Avenue, which is within walking distance of my downtown hotel.

Got advice for getting around L.A. without a car? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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