Hollywood California is a dense region of Los Angeles (LA) that is practically synonymous with the US film industry.
Centrally located between Hollywood Boulevard to the north, Melrose Avenue to the south, La Brea avenue to the west, and Western Avenue to the east, Hollywood is a historic neighborhood that lies just below the famous Hollywood Hills.
In this article, we give you a comprehensive tour of Hollywood, California, emphasizing visitors who are considering a trip to this area of the US. Within each section, we focus on a new attraction, explaining why it would appeal to potential visitors.
Experience the Walk of Fame
Travelers coming to LA simply have to experience the Walk of Fame, as a trip to the city of angels would not be complete without seeing one of your favorite celebrity’s star emblazoned in the sidewalk.
There are more than 2600 terrazzo and brass stars in 18 blocks of sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. These stars represent famous figures in the entertainment industry and will appeal to anyone who is a pop culture buff. Many people like to visit these stars to pay tribute to their artistic heroes, joining the hordes of other tourists who are attracted to the district.
Beyond spawning the popular “Walk of Shame”, the Walk of Fame is also notable for representing the flashy name-dropping that is common in the entertainment industry. As such, visiting the area can almost be tongue-in-cheek for some visitors.
Still, the Walk of Fame is one of those prototypical things that you have to experience. We recommend making this one of your first stops in Hollywood, as the area can be quite touristy and crowded. It’s usually best to just get this out of the way quickly so you can explore the less congested parts of the city.
History and Photography at the Hollywood Sign
The picture of the “Hollywood” sign is often visually associated with the city of LA.
This sign is nestled within the Hollywood Hills, which is part of the Santa Monica Mountains. This sign towers offer the Hollywood area and many visitors like to find an ideal spot to view it. This allows them to reflect on its rich history, as it was erected almost 100 years ago initially to advertise a housing development.
This sign was shortened to “Hollywood” from “Hollywoodland” in 1949. Since then, it has served as a constant reminder to many visitors of the gaudy lifestyle and disconnected nature of the many celebrities living in LA. Many famous people inhabit the hills surrounding this Hollywood Sign.
The Hollywood Sign would be an ideal location for a photograph, especially if you wanted to post on social media. Many people claim that one of the best locations for photographing the sign is at some viewing bridges near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
Take a Tour of the Area
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Taking a tour of Hollywood California is another popular activity to do in the area.
Many visitors like to tour the historic Paramount Studios. If you are an aficionado of the entertainment industry, then the VIP Tour might appeal to you, as this allows travelers to see private areas of the studio and even meet people who work there. The only downside to this comprehensive VIP tour is its costs of $178. Travelers looking for a more affordable tour can purchase a 2-hour, simpler tour of Paramount Studios for $58.
Alternatively, many people choose to do a walking tour of the city, as LA is very conducive to strolling and sightseeing. What’s great about many of these tours is that they lead visitors through Hollywood as well as other historic areas of the city. This would be a great introduction to LA, especially if you’ve never been there before.
Eat at a Local Restaurant in Hollywood
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Exploring Hollywood, California can certainly be an exhausting endeavor due to the density of landmarks. As such, visitors will need to nourish themselves throughout their time in LA. Luckily, LA has a thriving culinary scene loaded with both traditional and decidedly modern food choices.
It shouldn’t be hard to find an amenable restaurant, as Hollywood is a hotbed for many famous restaurants.
For example, Musso & Frank Grill is an old-school steakhouse on Hollywood Boulevard that has been in operation since the silent movie era. In fact, Charlie Chaplin, one of the most famous silent film actors, use to dine there all the time back in the day. Anyone interested in reveling in Hollywood’s past will cherish Musso & Frank Grill as well as the many historic restaurants in the region.
Alternatively, visitors can eat at one of the many vegan restaurants in Hollywood. This area is known as a very progressive culinary location that has been emphasizing plant-based cuisine in recent years.
For example, the restaurant Sweetgreen was opened in 2007 is a popular place for health-conscious travelers who are craving a vegan meal. Sweetgreen also features many local ingredients, making them a good place to literally get a taste of the surrounding region.
Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum
Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum is another activity in the site that attracts many visitors throughout the year.
This wax museum features replicas of many celebrities who have been associated with LA throughout the years. Opened in 2009, this museum quickly overshadowed the original Hollywood Wax Museum which has been operating since 1965.
Madame Tussauds might appeal to visitors who have a special interest in wax replicas. The Madame Tussauds brand of museums is featured throughout the world in many locations. For example, there is also a Madame Tussauds Museum in London, Berlin, Beijing, Singapore, Sydney, New York and Orlando, to name a few. Thus, some tourists have a particular fascination with this chain of museums and want to check off the Hollywood site from their bucket list.
Furthermore, many people visit Madame Tussauds in Hollywood California because of its subtle commentary on the superficiality of celebrity culture. It’s difficult not to reflect on how fake the entertainment industry is when you’re immersed in an environment of wax entertainers.
Experience the Art on Display
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Anyone who loves to create or consume art will have a feast in the Hollywood region of LA. Visitors can catch a film at the Cinerama Dome or the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, catch a concert at The Hollywood Bowl, or catch a comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade.
If those options don’t appeal to you, then there’s always the more traditional Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery which is located at Barnsdall Art Park. This gallery features art from local residents and features a number of provocative exhibitions that will appeal to anyone with a creative mindset.
Many people like to catch a film at Cinerama Dome to wind down their night. This theater was built in 1963 but has featured many renovations since then in order to keep its technology at the cutting-edge. It currently has over 800 seats and features high-end sound technology to provide audiences with an incomparable viewing experience. Visitors can also order beer, wine, and cocktails at the concessions, making Cinerama the perfect pre-game ritual before hitting the bars.
Alternatively, simply walking around the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex can be akin to an artistic experience. There’s so much going on in this complex that visitors could spend hours soaking in all of the potential material for art. People-watching is big here as is shopping, dining, and attending the occasional Jazz concert, which are held 7-9pm on Tuesday. This complex would appeal to anyone who loves to be around large groups of people, as this is one of the most crowded areas in Hollywood.
Our Final Thoughts on Hollywood California
We think Hollywood, California is a must-see location, as it contains some of the most famous landmarks not only in LA but in the entire world.
Visitors flock from many countries to witness the legendary Walk of Fame and Hollywood Sign. Furthermore, the restaurants, art, and architecture on display is truly stunning. Many visitors claim that being in Hollywood California is akin to living on another planet, or at the very least, living on a massive studio lot.
We think the area will continue to be popular in the coming years due to its portal on history. Eventually, however, we think the region will take on a new identity. We hope the superficiality that Hollywood emphasizes will be replaced by a more genuine artistry in the future.
Instead of touring wax museums and paying exorbitant prices for studio tours, we think future tourists will be able to cut their teeth on a plethora of art galleries in Hollywood. Yet, we don’t think these art galleries will only feature traditional paintings but rather a new kind of art rooted in whatever future technology is prevalent.
In this sense, we think Hollywood in the future will still be fixated on the arts, but on a deeper level rather than on such a superficial level.
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