I'm definitely in the team that when you're travelling, you kind of want to experience a place like the people that live there do and it's fun to go to mostly lesser known places or even find new places completely on your own, however sometimes all the touristy goodness has just got to be done. We decided to do a 'whistle stop tour' of Hollywood and hit up all the spots you've got to see if you're in LA. When I was researching before we set off I found some great places to see some of the landmarks that were maybe slightly less 'touristy' so we packed up for the day, fuelled up the car and headed straight for Hollywood first thing.
We started off the day at Hollywood's most iconic landmark, the Hollywood Sign. I know it's been made notoriously difficult to get to so we wanted a pretty spot to get a good look at it and of course the mandatory album of pictures. I came across the Travelettes blog when I was looking up lots of tips and they suggested an amazing, easy place to view the sign so that's exactly where we went, Lake Hollywood. It's a private residential area so security is tight and if they spot any sightseeing tours they are pretty quick to move them along, but if you park in an ok spot, you should be fine, it's free and a lot less crowded, it also has a beautiful, beautiful park if you have a little bit more time to chill. The views not just of the sign, of the Hollywood hills, the Lake and the gorgeous homes are stunning and it is boiling hot up there, which is why a vintage ice cream truck is a welcome addition. In fact it was so hot, we wore most of our popsicles on our arms but it was worth being sticky for the rest of the day.
Next it was time to hit up Hollywood Blvd and the Walk of Fame. There is so much to see here and it is dense in tourism so it can be a bit overwhelming, but it's all about embracing it. Seeing your favourite stars and movie legends hand prints in front of the Chinese Theatre is definitely worth it and the craziness around is was makes this part of Hollywood awesome. Walk the strip to spot people you know, have pictures with the characters, see the El Capitan Theatre and The Roosevelt Hotel and grab some lunch at a questionable Hollywood bar, it's part of the experience. We headed to Rusty Mullet on the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Nrth Las Palmas Ave and would recommend for drinks or a bite during the day.
On leaving Hollywood Blvd we grabbed a star map and decided we'd head to Beverly Hills and do it alone, this is the much, much cheaper option and you can stay as long or as short as you want at each spot, however there are certain places you can only get on the tour buses. We saw Michael Jackson's Neverland, The Playboy Mansion and lots of old Hollywood names home as well as the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel before driving up Sunset to see The Viper Room. We headed back via Rodeo Dr and Wiltshire looking on at the dreamy shops, in which I hope to one day have the 'Pretty Woman' guts just to stroll into.
Finally, we went to Dodger Stadium, it was closed for the day but was fun to see anyway and hopefully we will go back for a game one day. Before it was time to go home and get ready to go out to eat, we had to watch the sunset at the beach and show our friends who hadn't yet been to Venice the beautiful canals.
It was such a busy day and anyone will know getting that much LA in, in one day is an achievement but it was an amazing, amazing day. It didn't feel rushed and I'm so glad we managed to tick everything off the list whilst having so much fun.
Have you done the tourist stuff in Hollywood before? Do you think the Hollywood Sign is worth the trek?