This entertainment center is home of the Kodak Theater where many live events including American Idol are taped. It also includes many restaurants, shops and movie theaters. Don't miss the great view of the Hollywood sign from the back upper levels
We only went to Hollywood on our 10th day in Los Angeles. As a matter of fact, it wasn't really a must-see for us, but I'm still glad we did it and I might go back next time to have a more relaxed look around (we would've been late for dance classes in North Hollywood had we stayed any longer).
Following the Walk of Fame of got to Hollywood Boulevard with the Hollywood & Highland Center. Unfortunately, they were working on El Capitan Theater, but we did get a glance of Graumann’s Chinese Theatre. It's a real touristy place, with lots of people taking pictures and locals trying to sell you stuff.
Here's a more detailed report on our trip to Hollywood:
There are many attractions along Hollywood Blvd. One of America's most visited destinations. Along this stretch of road where the Walk of Fame sits is home to one of these attractions, The Guiness World Records Museum. I vaguely remember my visit, if it weren't for the pictures that I took. You can buy a pass that allows entry into 3 attractions, including this one. I bought that and went in. My friends in LA were busy this day, and I wanted something to do, and to go to Hollywood and see it for myself. I decided to purchase the ticket and venture on in.
I didn't have any expectations, which is good. Because in places like this, it's good not to. These attractions cater to the tourists, of which I was one. It's a huge place that exhibits, as you guessed, records set by various people, animals, etc from all over the world. Examples of this include a model of the world's most tattooed lady, heaviest living things, and a huge statue of Mario from the Mario Bros. games. It was worth a visit, for ONE time. I wouldn't go back again next time I go to Los Angeles. It's great for what it is. It's got many things to keep your eyes glued and lots of vibrant colors and sculptures. It's a museum that's different than your typical one, which is refreshing. But unlike the Louvre, you probably wouldn't wanna make a second trip unless you really liked the exhibits that much.
Amazing Record Store! 1 billion albums for sale and CHEAP. Also I caught an instore appearence by ozzy osbourne some time ago and will definitely be going back for the Belle Brigade on the 13th. Read more bout it here: http://tinyurl.com/3bp2fyd
Fairly new to Hollywood, as the city tries to spruce up their image and attract more tourists. This huge complex offers everything from shopping, eating to nightlife.
Lucky Strike Lanes - upscale bowling alley where stars are known to hang out.
The Highlands Nightclub - a multilevel restaurant / dance club offering great views of LA from the balcony. Several dance rooms. I've only been here for a special ocassion..you need to dress up and fight the long lines to get in (so get there early). Not really my scene but definitely part of what they call Hollywood night life. It's an experience for sure.
Shopping Galore! Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Aveda, Victoria's Secrets, MAC, Sephora...need I say more?
Kodak Theatre - venue for American Idol, the Oscars and other huge award events.
Definitely an ideal spot for people watching.
Driving there can be tough but if you can use the Metro station, it will save you alot of hassle. Apparently the metro connects you to Universal, Vine and downtown. (Sweet!)
I normally don't venture to this area unless for a very good reason...way too crowded for me and I hate driving through it!
The entertainment centre was built as a catalyst for the revitalization of the Hollywood, & to restore the area to its former golden days. Anyways, the area is still very run down, but this centre has a lot of high end stores & the adjacent Kodak Theatre, where most of the Oscars were given out in the 1990s. There is a very huge open square there that is used to host open concerts & large scale events .
If you leave your cellphone on, or bring a crying baby to this theater, you will get lynched while stoned to death then resurrected just to get gasoline poured on you and burned alive by the mob. People here are serious about movies. You can reserve seating online, grab a bite at the bar before hand, and they have a decent gift shop. The seats are comfy, If you are lucky, you'll be able to grab a seat inside the Dome. No commercials, only previews. Sometimes they have actual props in the lobby or outside that's from the hottest movie at the moment. It was cool to see the Bat-Pod parked outside, or the IronMan suit. You pay more for a ticket ($15), but it's worth it for a really enjoyable movie experience.
While there are wax museums all over the country it's always interesting to me to see how the museum itself is displayed to the outside world. I found the Hollywood display to be very entertaining. Check out my photo.
I absolutely loved the Hollywood and Highland center. It is located along Hollywood Boulevard and is the center of attention. Although it houses restaurants and retail shops, I see it as much more than your average mall. It is an open air complex which I really like. The retail shops and restaurants surround the main complex from the plaza area up to the second and third floors which you can visit by taking either the stairs or escalator on the far sides of the center.
The plaza area is complete with some small retail kiosks and a small fountain to cool you during those Summer months. What really fascinated me about this center is all of the intricate artwork as you can see detailed in the photos I have uploaded. The artwork and sculptures are amazing. I walked around for about an hour just snapping shots of the creative artistry. I don't know the history but when you walk up the entrance stairs you feel as if you are walking into a movie set and a grand movie set at that. The columns and structure are gallant and regal. It is an exceptional piece of architecture.
There are many events and concerts hosted within this complex. The Jimmy Kimmel Live talk show hosts many of their outdoor concerts here. While I didn't shop or eat here, I thoroughly enjoyed the complex. It is an absolute must see when in the Hollywood area.
I do not see it as a tourist trap at all. I see it as an open air complex with fantastic and creative architecture.
You may want to consider the ultra renovated Hollywood Wax Museum, where even Shiloh, (Brads & Angelina's baby), has a likeness. This is located down the street on Hollywood Blvd. Go have lunch at Musso & Franks with its endless movie history, 6667 Hollywood Blvd, where you can relive the old Hollywood days. The Kodak Theatre Complex, the home of the Oscars, is also just down the street from the Chinese Theatre, and well worth a visit.
You may also consider visiting movie locations. (websites included) , and I believe there is a website that keeps up on actual present time filming locations, where, - if lucky, you can see actual filming. Just a thought. It is also possible to catch one of the frequent filmings that take place in the early morning in Downtown L.A. For instance, you may have seen how they destroyed Downtown in the film "Transformers."
A frequent highlite for visitors is a visit to one of the many sit-coms or talkshows filmed at one of the many T.V. studios in L.A. Tickets can be easily had on-line, or - if you make it to Farmers Market, there will be tickets for free there for all the L.A. location T.V. shows that require a live audience.
I am frequently asked questions regarding what to see in Hollywood, and Beverly Hills, including tours of the stars homes, as - I personally did a number of those tours as a portion of the general L.A. tour, which was a part of the overall Californa tour. If you decide to do the Stars Homes tour in your own car, it is wise to stay in your car, as the general security in the area is high due to constant intrusions by a variery of fans. You can pick up a Stars Homes map, available all over Hollywood, including street corners, usually around the street entrances into the residential neighborhoods. Starline Tours still does the British double decker bus tour, (convertable top). if you are looking for that sort of thing, - which is an excellent choice if you are pressed for time. Their bus has made it into dozens of movies, including one of the Rush Hour movies with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. They are located right next to the Chinese Theatre, on Hollywood Blvd. - and they do a combination of Hollywood and Beverly Hills tour. You can't miss them. They have several tours each day. We are pretty blaze about those tours, but that is because we live here. For most however it is often a highlite.
Web sites to explore L.A.
The Kodak Theatre Complex on Hollywood and Highland
For movie locations:
Musso & Franks Restaurant
Hollywood Wax Museum:
I chose to see 4 things in Hollywood. The Hollywood sign, the stars on the pavement, the foot and handprints outside the Chineese Theatre and last but not least Universal Studios. In universal Studios we took the Studio tour, which was amazing. They showed us how much cheats and tricks there are in TV and film. Highly recomended to anybody!
The Guinness World of Records Museum is an exhibit of it's name-sake book. It is loaded with data and information about records of all areas of life. You'll see a statue of the world's tallest man as well as the world's smallest woman; you can weigh yourself next to the world's heaviest man (1,069 lbs), watch videos about records in nature, and read all about who's the greatest and best in sports and in the entertainment industry.
Depending on how much in detail you want to read up on things, the visit takes from 1-2 hours. There's little quizzes and computer touch screen trivia all over the place.
Entrance is $ 16.95 (student discount available) per person; the ticket is good for both Guinness World of Record as well as the Hollywood Wax Museum across the street.
A great way to "see the sights" is of course to take an organised tour. Most Hotel Receptions have leaflets describing these tours and you are picked up and brought back to and from your hotel usually in a very nice air conditioned mini-bus/coach. We took several tours booked with the Hotel and were really pleased with all of them. The guides on the bus were great, funny and interesting with lots of information, and we certainly got to see a lot of LA. As we were staying in the Hollywood Roosevelt , our guide took us to a couple of extra sights from another tour to make up for us not wanting to see the Walk of Fame or Graumans Theatre(opposite our hotel) So we were shown where Julia Roberts is claimed by Richard Gere in Pretty Woman and the firescape he climbs up to do it! Also we went down Rodeo Drive and onto the Waldorf Hotel, again featured in Pretty Woman.
You can walk down Vermont and see cool stuff. The Dresden is always worth getting a drink in there, but it's too slimy on the weekends imho. Marty & Elaine are there and they make it worthwhile. The Electric Lotus has great Indian food. The Lighthouse Bookstore is cool and next to it is "Ghetto Sushi" - a small, ugly Japanese restaurant with unbelievably low prices. Further down are some more expensive restaurants but it's cool to sit outside at the French one (I forget the name). They have a fantastic happy hour there (2 for 1, I think). The shops are very hip, of course... You can walk over to Hillhurst and up that. It has much less density than Vermont but some good places. Mexico City (towards the top @ Los Feliz Blvd.) has good clean Mex food. At the corner of LFB and Hillhurst is The Derby - the Swing dance capital of L.A. Other bands play there too. It's worth checking out. Across the street is Tangiers - a decent restaurant with a great bar and also great live music. Further down the block are some good cheap dive bars - Ye Olde Rustic Inn (very loud in there at times) and across the street... ***, I forget the name but it's a great dive bar with darts and Ms. Pacman.... much further down Hillhurst (a bit far to walk) is The Vista movie theater - a great, large single screen venue. Next doors is the Goodluck Bar (neon horseshoe) that has an interesting Southeast Asian theme in red. If you get one of the coveted couches in there, it's damn good.... turning then East on Sunset Blvd you enter Silverlake. Hip Hip Hipster central. The first place of note is the Tiki-Ti. A super tiny place on the North side of the street across from the Circuit City. The name describes itself but, my oh my, the drinks are killer. It's definitely an "L.A. experience".... further down Sunset you'll hit Sunset Junction. Lots off cool stuff there... 4100 Club is a good bar (@ Santa Monica)... Eat Well has well, good eats. So does "More" a brewpub... ***, everything there is just pretty cool.