Hollywood Hotspots For Tourists
Things to Do In View of the Hollywood Sign
Mick Fleetwood and Marla Maples at the Laserium premier event.
By Los Angeles Local The Bar Blogger
In many ways, it was Hollywood that first put Los Angeles on the worldwide stage.
It was the weather that attracted the movie makers and the resulting exposure portrayed Los Angeles as a place of idyllic surroundings. Hollywood has brought us movie stars, made us laugh, made us cry and given us endless hours of joyful entertainment.
The Guinness World Record on Hollywood Blvd.
Celebrities have their hand and footprints at the Chinese Theater.
A good place to see the Hollywood sign is from Hollywood & Highland.
There's a new Hollywood these days, and it's got all the glitter one would expect from the Entertainment Capitol of the World. The centerpiece is Hollywood and Highland, a massive complex with retail outlets, restaurants, movie houses and the fabulous Kodak Theater . It is home of the Academy Awards, and yes, it's possible to "attend" the Oscars as an outside spectator. Here's our Viewing Guide. to the Academy Awars.
Hollywood and Highland also presents a great view of the Hollywood sign, a picture-perfect location for that perfect vacation picture.
[MAP for Hollywood & Highland]
Hollywood Sightseeing and Activities
Welcome to Hollywood!
The Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater are tourist highlights on world-famous Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood history is contained within its sidewalks at the world-famous Walk of Fame. Located up and down Hollywood Blvd., it contains stars embedded into the sidewalk acknowledging influential figures in cinema, television, radio and entertainment.
Hollywood combines fantasy and fun (Holly Beavon as Marilyn Monroe).
Photo: Jim Whirlow
Many Hollywood legends are quite deserving of this great honor. John Wayne. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Judy Garland. Certainly Hugh Hefner. But then there are ones that have tourists shaking their heads. Christie Alley? Maury Amsterdam? Well, just about anybody with a name and $15,000 can get a star, or at least be nominated. But only about 20 of 200 nominated annually receive the honor, which comes with a public ceremony.
Diversions along the Walk of Fame include the Hollywood Wax Museum and the Guinness World of Records Museum and TCL (formerly both Grauman's and Mann's) Chinese Theater, where tourists place their hands and feet in the cemented molds of movie legends.
One of the better places is the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. It has great interactive displays of Hollywood history, props, the bridge of the starship Enterprise and the actual bar of "Cheers" which, by the way, is open for business duirng Monday Night Football games in the fall. In the basement of Galaxy Theater complex is .don't miss stop – the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. It's a look at the history of motion pictures and has the actual bar used in Cheers!, the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and other really cool stuff.
View the Hollywood sign, but don't go visit it; this bothers the neighbors.
And for a touch of LA's history relocated to Hollywood, the Laserium is now on Hollywood Blvd. For years, this was a big part of Griffith Park's attractions, laser shows to the sounds of Pink Floyd and other artits. Now. it has a new home in the Vine Theater (6321 Hollywood Blvd.).
Hollywood Blvd, itself is a mix of low-end t-shirt shops, exotic clothing stores and PubClub's favorite place, the International Love Boutique.
When it's time for a break, the art-deco Roosevelt Hotel (directly across from Mann's) provides the perfect escape. With a rum runner under palm leaves it's hard to imagine that the bustle of Hollywood Blvd., is just half a block away. While in the Roosevelt, go see the actual mirror from Marilyn Monroe's room by the elevators on the bottom floor, where it is rumored maids saw the ghost of the starlet one day while cleaning.
At night (before the pubs and clubs, of course), the El Capitan Theater acts out Disney cartoons in a live stage act. The Pantages Theater (323-468-1770; Vine and Argyle) L.A.'s premier theater, which hosted Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King.
Walking can be a bit taxing after a while– especially on a warm day – so a shuttle bus called DASH runs along Hollywood Blvd., and from Franklin to Santa Monica Blvd. (25 cents, 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday). Los Angeles isn't much for public transportation but there is a Metro Rail Red Line that goes to Universal Studios and downtown. One stop is particularly convenient – right at Hollywood and Highland.
Dining and Restaurants
One of the best-kept local secrets in all of Los Angeles is Yamashio Restaurant (1999 N. Sycamore). It's a Japanese restaurant on the top of a lush hill. The food is excellent and is equally good for just drinks and appetizers. And just try and top this city view.
The El Adobe on Beverly (one mile east of LaBrea off Hollywood Blvd., on the right) has sensational Mexican fare and tasty margaritas. It's been around 50+ years, so it must be doing something right.
One of the more interesting places is The Raffalas (Hollywood Blvd. at La Brea). It might have LA's best pizza and certainly the coldest beers in the area. Sit by the window to watch the interesting characters on Hollywood Blvd.
For real, old-fashioned Italian in an authentic atmosphere, Machelli's (Las Palmas and Hollywood Blvd.) is the place to go. Here, the waiters sing, wine bottles hang from the ceiling and it's like walking into Italy. The food is good and the prices more than reasonable, about $15 an entree.
For traditional Hollywood, Musso & Frank Grill (Hollywood Blvd. @ Cherokee), is a classic. It has been around since 1909 and it seems the waiters have been there since the opening. They know the menu like the Fredrick's people know lace. The dishes are bathes in sauces. It's not cheap – up to $50 a person – but is as classical in Hollywood as Casablanca.
Television Show Tapings
To see Hollywood in action on the small screen, here are places to get tickets to TV show tapings. Another spot to get tickets is on Venice Beach, where people hand out invitations. Be prepared to wait and spend a few hours in line and in the audience.
Some of the best sources of tickets include:
• Audiences Unlimited: (818) 506-0043 or www.tvtickets.com Write to: 100 Universal City Plaza Bldg. 153, Universal City, CA 91608 Include a return stamped envelope. Over 40 sitcoms, game and talk show tickets available.
• CBS (213) 852-2458 7800 Beverly Blvd. Tickets for game and talk shows, and sitcom tapings
• Paramount Pictures (323) 956-5575 860 N. Gower St. Tickets available at Visitors Center up to five days in advance of tapings of Paramount's sitcoms and talk shows at the studio and other production facilities.