The huge and ultra-modern Hollywood/Highland shopping complex is located right next to the Chinese Theater, along the famous "Walk of Fame" and offers a multitude of shopping and restaurants. You can also find night-clubs, enjoy the "Lucky Strike"-Bowling Alley; or you can just sit around watching the fountains or people walking by. If you have time, you might be able to catch a show at the famous Kodak theater. The Kodak also offers tours to get an behind-the-scenes glimpse on where the Oscar-ceremonies are held.
There is parking under the Kodak; most restaurants validate. We looked around and went for street-parking - mostly free!
Hollywood Boulevard is a long road. Its most interesting stretch is roughly bounded by Vine and Highland Streets. That's where you'll find Pantages Theatre, the Egyptian, Musso & Frank Grill, several museums, Hollywood and Highland Mall, Kodak Theatre, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and El Capitan Theatre.
In front of the Chinese Theatre, you'll find Superman, Crocodile Dundee, Wonder Woman, Frankenstein, etc. milling with the crowd. Well, this is Hollywood. The courtyard of Grauman's has the foot- and handprint of stars cast in concrete. This is a popular tourist destination. This is where many locally-taped shows recruit their audience. This is also where you can join a tour of stars' homes.
Once in a while, you'll see a publicity stunt (see picture). Only in Hollywood... You may also chance upon a movie premiere or an award show. Their red carpet is where you can see some stars. Or you may see a star getting his/her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That's how I saw Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman, and Jackie Chan in person
Most of the tourists that visit Hollywood just take some pics along the Walk of Fame and go. There are a lot of things that will keep you busy for some hours though.
First of all there are several museums around:
-Guinness World of Records Museum (6764 Hollywood Blvd). If you are curius about the tallest or the fatest people in the world you can put yourself side by side to the statues of them, read date and info about several (silly or not) other guiness world records, watch videos etc The entrance fee is $12.95 and it is open daily 10.00am-midnight
-The Hollywood Wax Museum (6767 Hollywood Blvd) is what you probably already know, a museum full of wax-figures, most of them are celebrities(old and new), we skipped it because we have already visit other wax museums elsewhere so we already had our dumb photos with wax stars :) It is open daily 10.00am-midnight and the entrance fee is $12.95 ($14.95 for a combo ticket that includes the Guiness World Record Museum)
You can also check some buildings around like the Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre (opened in 1922 at 6712 Hollywood Bld, 5 years before the chinese one, it’s home of American Cinematheque), the historic Roosevelt Hotel (pic 4, at 7000 Hollywood Bld, it hosted the 1st Academy Awards back in 1929!!). The Capitol Records Tower is just off Hollywood Blvd(at 1750 Vine Str). It was built in 1956 for Capital Records, it is still houses the offices and recording studios of the big record company. Because of its circular shape and the 13 floors is one of the landmarks in the area. If you see some aerial pics of it you will notice that it looks like a 45s vinyl packed on a turntable something very clever (yes, I’m vinyl addicted, I know). Atop the tower there is a blinking light that spells out the word Hollywood in Morse code!!
The Hollywood & Highland Center houses the Kodak Theater but also many restaurants and shops. It’s a shopping complex after all, located just next to the Chinese Theater. We had some funny moments at the weird fountain (pic 5) with the popping water coming suddenly from the ground holes, if you manage to get out dry drop me a message, we were all wet after a while :) Hopefully, our friend had his car parked right there so we didnt have to walk around like just coming out of the shower!
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!
OK - so we wouldn't necessarily make the Hollywood Wax Museum our primary reason to visit Hollywood, but if you have time to spare then check it out. You'll see wax-figures of some of the most popular celebrities of today and of yesterday, ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Angelina Jolie, from Clint Eastwood to Keanu Reeves; movies include "The Sound of Music", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "The Exorcist", and a great variety of other films. We had the greatest time posing for dumb pictures with the wax-stars.
Entrance $ 16.95 per person (ask for student discount) - this ticket is valid for both the Wax Museum and the Guinness World of Records across the street.
When you think of Hollywood, what comes to mind? Celebrities dripping in jewels and fur coats emerging from their limos? Well, that Hollywood may have existed in the days of Clark Gable and Greta Garbo but that is not the Hollywood that you will find on Hollywood Blvd.
Although some may say that Hollywood is a tourist trap, it does have some interesting history which is quite well marked on signs next to the landmarks. Sure, you should stop and see Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame but if you have a little extra time, take a walk up Hollywood Boulevard past the throngs of tourists to see the Egyptian Theater, El Capitan Theater, the Roosevelt Hotel.
The street gets a little seedy once you get past the major sights but I didn't feel uncomfortable wandering around on my own in the daytime.
One of the world's most famous streets. Home of Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theater, a movie star wax museum, lotsa souvenier stores too. You can also check out an erotica museum (not that I would ever go in there, of course :-D ) and, yea, there's also a Hooters!
This is one street where everyone's looking down. Otherwise, they'd miss seeing their favorite star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Yeah, it's kitchy, but it's Hollywood Blvd-ya gotta go!
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:
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 walk down Hollywood Blvd is a definite must while visiting LA. We began our walk at the Hollywood subway station and emerged to this fantastic view of palm trees and the art deco Pantages Theatre. It was once the home of the Academy Awards.
Head west from here along Hollywood Blvd and you will soon come to the Walk of Fame (which lines both sides of the street), Fredericks of Hollywood (where you can visit their museum of celebrity underwear), Mann's Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Center (current home of the Academy Awards) among other famous sites. Watch for the signposts along the sidewalk that will indicate points of interest and explain their history.
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!
There are many old and wonderful movie theatres in Los Angeles, many of them dating from the silent era and decorated with lavish, themed embelishments. The Vista is a great example of an old theatre and a fun place to see a movie while you're in town.
The screen here isn't large, so maybe it's not a great place to see a big, highly visual epic (like Lord of the Rings or Braveheart)... but that's about the only downside here. The prices can't be beat ($8 adult tickets) and the seats are very comfortable (some have about 6 feet of leg room in front!). Also, the decor here is wonderful! It's a sort of Egyptian theme, with colorful sconces and busts of Egyptian figures placed all around the room. The ceiling is very colorful and interesting, as well.
Out front, there is a mini-walk of fame, featuring handprints from a few stars and a number of interesting local personalities.
The Egyptian Theatre is another example of a wonderful, old movie theatre. It was built in 1922 from a design by Meyer & Holler, one of the most respected architectural firms in Los Angeles during that era. It was recently renovated and is better than ever! This large theatre has a lovely interior with lots of interesting details and a great, big screen.
Today, The Egyptian is the home of American Cinematheque . As stated on their website, the American Cinematheque "is a non-profit, viewer-supported cultural organization dedicated exclusively to the public presentation of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents the best of film and video - ranging form the classics to the outer frontiers of the art form." They show classics and current films, often with discussion afterward (with the director or the actors). If you're a film lover, you MUST check out their programs.
Yes, I'm putting a cemetery on my list.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place of a number of Hollywood notables, including Rudolph Valentino, Norma Talmadge, Mel Blanc, gangster Bugsy Siegel and Douglas Fairbanks. This is a huge cemetery, with two indoor mausoleums and tons of outdoor graves. You will need a map of the grounds, which you can pick up as you enter the cemetery.
The cemetery was established in 1899 and is filled with tall, old-fashioned headstones and a few unusual ones shaped like obelisks or rocket ships. The cemetery has been used as a location for many Hollywood movies (you may recognize it from the graveyard scene in "L.A. Story"). You can also see the Hollywood sign from the grounds.
Obviously, this isn't a must-see for everyone, but it I think it's an interesting landmark here in L.A.
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.