Published: March, 2022
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College Tour: Los Angeles

Check tour times and plan ahead. Map out your route ahead of time!
— Courtney Leary
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Family, Beach, City
  • Activity level: moderate
  • Ideal length of trip: 48 hours

to & from

Fly into LAX and out of John Wayne airports.

Rent a car at LAX and return it at John Wayne. Allow plenty of time at LAX to deal with car rental — you need to take a bus to the lot and busses were passing us up when we were waiting because they were full.

Where to Stay

We stayed at Loews in Santa Monica which was easy and a great location. Request a view room. They have a great little little coffee bar by the pool with breakfast pastries to grab on your way out the door in the morning.

For other Santa Monica recs check out this guide or this one.

Where to Eat and Drink

  • For dinner,Calabra in Santa Monica is super chic (Kelly Wearstler decor,) delicious and just fancy enough.
  • Lunch at Bruxie, fried chicken and waffles was great for both of us and really felt like college fare.
  • For more recommendations check out our other Los Angeles guides here, here and here (note Newport is close to Chapman and John Wayne Airport).

What to Do

Tour colleges!

Recommended route: Start with Loyola Marymount which is 6 minutes from LAX, the 10am tour will allow you to make a tour at UCLA at 2:45. After UCLA, head to Santa Monica for a few minutes on the beach before dinner.  The next morning, pack up and head south to Chapman. Chapman has two tours, one for the main campus and one for the Dodge School of Film and Media Arts. I recommend doing both tours with lunch in between if Dodge is of interest to your applicant. Since it was for us, I felt the Dodge tour was more important and impressive the the tour of Chapman. After the two tours at Chapman head to John Wayne airport and fly home.

inside scoop

  • Sign up for tours well in advance and take them, you will learn a lot and get to know a couple of the students as they are usually student led.
  • Make sure you allow for plenty of time to park and get to tours
  • Try and find a student at the school one of you may know, even if just a little. Sometimes school counselors or college counselors can help with this. Let your potential student have a few minutes to walk around campus with this person (without you!) at very least.

What to Pack

  • great walking shoes, e.g., tennis shoes/ running shoes
  • sun hat and sun screen
  • bathing suit for a dip
  • puffy coat for evening chill

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