Getting to the Hollywood Bowl from Downtown LA

If you're staying with us in the Downtown LA area and will be attending an event at the Hollywood Bowl, well lucky you!  The Hollywood Bowl is one of our favorite music venues, so you're in for a treat if it's your first time there.

Fortunately, getting there from the Downtown LA area is simple.


Rose Parade: Getting to Pasadena on New Year's Day

Every year, we have guests stay with us who will be attending the Rose Parade in Pasadena. For those international guests unfamiliar with the Rose Parade, it is a popular parade that has been running annually on January 1st for more than 125 years. It travels a 5 1/2 mile stretch of spectators, showcasing floats made out of - you guessed it - ROSES, as well as marching bands, cultural dance performances and more.

Options For Watching the Parade in Person:

1) Purchase official grandstand seats at Sharp Seating.

2) Watch curbside for free. Just note this will require waking up very, very early if you want secure a good viewing location.  Keep in mind some locals even camp out the previous night!

Getting There

1) Drive and park at one of the public lots.  Just get there very early because they will fill up.

2) Drive and purchase parking in advance at Sharp Seating.

3) Take public transportation by following these steps from our hotel:

  • Catch Bus #16/316 right across the street from our location at 3rd St and Lucas Ave. 
  • Get off at 6th St. and Hill St., which leaves you right in front of the Pershing Square Metro Station.
  • From Pershing Square, catch the Metro Red or Purple line train toward Union Station.
  • Get off at Union Station.
  • From Union Station, catch the Metro Gold Line train toward Sierra Madre Villa Station.
  • Get off at the Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake or Allen stops.  
Trains begin running at 5am on January 1st, with extra trains on the Gold Line toward Pasadena. This is an excellent option if you want to avoid driving and being stuck in traffic in the Pasadena area.

Enjoy the parade!


Street Food Finds: Chopped Fresh Fruit With Chili Powder

Around the Downtown LA and surrounding areas, you will see Latin American fruit carts loaded with watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, jicama, cucumber and other seasonal fruits.  You get to customize your fruit selection and get only the fruits you want.  What makes these fruit carts special is that you can top your fruit with chili powder and/or lime.  We personally always get both because there is something really great about that sweet-meets-sour bite.


Downtown Eats: Langer's Deli

If you are a pastrami fan, you cannot visit Los Angeles without eating at the historic Langer's Deli.  Open since 1947, this deli offers the BEST pastrami sandwich you will ever eat in your life. Guaranteed.

We recommend you try The Original #19 Pastrami Sandwich, which includes hot pastrami, Russian dressing, cole slaw and swiss cheese on double baked rye bread.  Trust us when we say it's A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.


Getting to the Fashion District By Bus

The Los Angeles Fashion District is great for business travelers (buyers, designers, wholesalers), as well as leisure shoppers. Most transactions are wholesale but there are plenty of retail opportunities for every shopper.

There is an abundance of affordable clothing, shoes, perfume, knock off designer purses, toys, trinkets and more.  Looking for Gucci?  You won't find it here but you may find "Guchi."

The famed Santee Alley is reminiscent of weekend markets in Paris and South East Asian night markets. Need textiles, hair accessories or evening gowns?  No problem.  You can check out this website to see a detailed map of the Fashion District.  There's even an app you can download and use as a guide.


GO CARD Los Angeles: Is It Worth Buying?

Several of our guests invest in the GO CARD Los Angeles in order to save on sightseeing. It works great as long as you do some pre-planning and determine exactly what you want to see and do.  Just make sure you don't try to do too much in one day.  Since Los Angeles is huge and spread out, cramming too many activities into one day can rush you too much and ruin the experience.

These are the two most popular types of GO CARD's:


Van Shuttle From LAX - Choose Prime Time Shuttle

Many of our guests have been choosing to take a shared van shuttle from LAX to our hotel.  This is a great option if you are looking to save some money and don't mind sharing a ride with other travelers.
We always recommend our guests use Prime Time Shuttle instead of Super Shuttle because it costs less.  Sample pricing as of December 2014 is below.


Prime Time Shuttle
1 Person - $16
2 Persons - $32

Super Shuttle
1 Person - $28
2 Persons - $37

Be sure to book with Prime Time Shuttle if you want to save money on a shared van shuttle.  You can also take a look at our other blog posts on options for getting here from LAX.


Getting a SIM Card in the US

Getting a US SIM card for your smartphone while in the US will make your travels much easier by accessing the internet on the go and using Google Maps.  Car rental companies offer navigation systems, but they can get costly - especially for longer trips since they charge you per day.  A better option is to purchase a SIM card for your unlocked GSM smartphone.  Be sure to check if your phone is unlocked with your provider back home first.  If you do not own a GSM phone, you can always purchase an inexpensive phone here along with your SIM card.

Two carriers provide service for unlocked GSM phones here in the US - T-Mobile and AT&T.  You can purchase a SIM card directly from either carrier at a nearby retail location listed below, or stores like Target, Walmart or Best Buy.  One of the most affordable (but slower) options is purchasing a Straight Talk SIM card at Walmart starting at just $30.  Just note that Walmart's are located in the suburbs, so if you do not have a car, it will be best to visit one of the nearby T-Mobile stores downtown.


Downtown Eats: TASTE at FIGat7th

Downtown LA is a great place to find tasty food, regardless of your budget.  You will find everything from high end five star restaurants to affordable hole in the wall eateries.  Here at Jerry's Motel, we are big fans of gourmet fast food - food that is inexpensive yet high quality.

The recently remodeled FIG at 7th shopping complex on Figueroa and 7th St. is the home of TASTE, a gourmet food court with great food options at affordable prices.  This is not your typical mall food court.  These options include high quality ingredients.  For about $7-$12 per person you can take your pick from several options that include:

George's Greek Grill
Indus by Saffron (Indian)
Loteria Grill (Mexican)
Mendocino Farms (sandwiches)
New Moon Cafe (contemporary Chinese)
Oleego by Park's BBQ (Korean BBQ)
The Melt (all kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches)
Torta Company (Mexican sandwiches)
And More!


Downtown Eats: Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar has just opened a new location in Downtown Los Angeles!  Just a few short blocks away from Jerry's Motel, Plan Check is a popular gastropub offering amazingly juicy and unique gourmet burgers alongside craft beers, creative speciality cocktails and more!  This is our new go-to spot for a delicious hamburger in Downtown LA.  Plan Check is also a great spot for sports enthusiasts to watch a game and have a drink.  Burgers are priced at about $12-14.

Tempting menu options include:

  • PCB (Plan Check Burger) -  americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles and a delicious crunch bun. 
  • Chefs Favorite Burger - cheese two ways, bacon two ways, ketchup leather, fried egg and hot sauce.
  • K-BBQ Burger - grilled pork belly, kimcheese, sprouting onion, gochujang bbq sauce, sesame salt and fried onions.
  • Southern Fry Sandwich - smokey fried jidori chicken, spicy green pimento cheese, duck breast ham and pickles. 


LA Driving Tips

Right Turn On Red Light

One of the most common questions we get from our international visitors is, "can I make a right hand turn at a red light?"  The answer is yes, EXCEPT when there is a sign that says "NO TURN ON RED."  Most intersections do not have this sign, but always check before turning right.  If you do not see this sign, you must first make a complete stop, check for pedestrians crossing the street, and then cautiously turn right.

Rush Hour

Another common question is, "what time is rush hour"?  Rush hour is typically Monday through Friday, from 7am-10am and in the afternoon from approximately 4pm-7pm.  BUT more often than not, you will still run into traffic at any time of the day.  It is just a part of the Los Angeles experience and at one point or another you will have to sit in traffic.  The best thing to do is not get stressed or upset about it.  You can try your best to plan around it, but do not delay the start of your day or shorten the amount of time you spend sightseeing a certain location just to avoid traffic.

Drive safely!  


Closest Metro Stations to Jerry's Motel

Jerry's Motel is conveniently located within 1 mile of 2 Metro light rail stations.  We provide maps of the Downtown LA area at check in, so all of these locations will be easy to locate on a map.

7th Street/Metro Center Station is located just 1 mile away from us, and can be reached by either a 15-20 minute walk, or you can catch bus #16/316 (toward Downtown LA) across the street on 3rd Street and get off at the 6th St/Hope Street stop.  From there, you walk just 3 short blocks to 5th St and Flower St., or 5th and Figueroa.  The 7th St/Metro Center stop is a hub that connects the red, purple and blue lines.


An Evening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown LA was designed by the great architect Frank Gehry and is home to the LA Philharmonic Orchestra.  The venue feels small and intimate, and the acoustics are hailed as one of the best in the world.

The iconic building is both great to just see, tour, or attend a musical event.  Events include classical, jazz, world music and other chamber music.  You can have an evening with Beethoven and Mozart, or chamber music with strings only, or perhaps watch a classic Halloween movie like Nosferatu with a live organ!  All of the different types of events provide a very unique LA experience.


Street Food Finds: Tacos Al Pastor

Driving through Los Angeles anytime between the early evening to the wee hours of the morning, there will be no shortage of Mexican street food.  You can find tacos and burritos sold out of food trucks and makeshift food stalls set up in vacant parking lots or even just a side walk.

One of our personal favorite street dishes is tacos and burritos "AL PASTOR".  "Al pastor" is spit-grilled pork meat marinated with dried chilies, an array of spices and to add a pinch of sweetness, pineapple!  It is very similar to shawarma, Turkish doner kebab and Greek gyros.  This delicious meat style originated in central Mexico, where it was adopted from Lebanese immigrants.

It is tender.  It is juicy.  It should be something you try at least once.


Free Guided Walking Tours of Downtown Los Angeles

Free LA Tour provides free walking tours of Downtown Los Angeles.  They currently provide 2 different tours (Historic Core and Union Station to Pershing Square).  Each tour provides a great introduction to the downtown areas history, cool architecture and public art displays.

Each tour requires about 2 miles of walking and lasts approximately 2 hours.  Both tours are available every day of the week, except some holidays (check their website).  Tours start at 10:00am and 3:30pm.  If you do both tours you will get a really great feel for Downtown LA.

PLEASE note that although the tours are free, you should ALWAYS donate a minimum tip/contribution of $10 per person.  This allows these great folks to continue to provide such a great service.  Trust us, even with this small tip, these tours are an amazing bargain.