I just realized that, after almost two years in LA, I still haven’t written a word about Hollywood. I guess I’ve been so adamant to prove that there’s more to LA than “Tinseltown,” I forgot Hollywood is part of the local culture and, as such, it should be part of Discovering LA.
Hollywood is no doubt the most touristy district of LA. The commercial and entertainment streets of Hollywood are pretty crowded and a bit tacky, with lots of cheap souvenir shops, unsophisticated tourists, and celebrity look-alikes who’ll pose for a picture with you for a couple of bucks. It’s not a pretty place but anyone visiting LA must go there.
Take a tour of the Dolby (formerly Kodak) Theater, home of the Oscars; or walk around the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theater, where the stars’ footprints, handprints and autographs are immortalized in cement. Visit Madam Tussauds Wax Museum, and stroll along the iconic “Walk of Fame,” which comprises over 2,400 stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street. And you can eat and shop at the Hollywood & Highland Center, a large complex of restaurants, shops and boutiques.
Since most of the movie studios have long moved out of Hollywood, there’s very little chance you might see any real celebrities there, unless you manage to get tickets to the Oscars Red Carpet!
I don’t mind going to Hollywood when we have family or friends visiting. We usually start with a nice drive through Mulholland Drive, with a scenic stop to see the famous Hollywood Hill with its iconic sign, and a view of the surrounding hills. It’s a beautiful drive, where one can see fabulous houses and stunning scenery. Very different from the frenzy of the streets of Hollywood!