Hollywood, Los Angeles
Well, let's get to business - the entire Hollywood & Highland complex was built for tourists; Japanese tourists to be precise. After 9/11, the Japanese tourist visits plummeted and the poorly designed complex opened to derision and incredible devaluation. There were missteps in the organization of the mall and the Kodak(which is bizarrely incorporated into the shopping complex), but, in time, the entire block has surged back.
Tourism has increased, and the lure of "The Oscars" venue is a built-in attraction. Furthermore, Virgin Megastore moved in and a rehab has started to correct some poor design elements. Cross traffic from El Capitan, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Grauman's and retailers has the corner hoppin'. Yes, the complex is a tourist trap, but it's become a bit more Times Square and a bit less "mall". There are impromptu street performers, movie premieres, maniacal street preachers and a crowded street scene that is rare in this "suburban" metropolis. It was built as a trap - still is - but is growing into a veritable destination. I never thought I'd be one to recommend Hollywood & Highland, but I am!
Unique Suggestions: The mall is the anchor, but walk the street itself. You can work all the way east to Cahuenga, which is a bar/nightclub center with a bit more edge. It won't be long before the Hollywood Renaissance takes over the entire Boulevard. There is more to the street than the Hollywood & Highland corner.
Fun Alternatives: If you follow Hollywood Boulevard east, take Cahuenga south to Sunset. There are some cool joints in this little area including Amoeba(see shoppping tips) and the Arclight complex.
Every L.A tourist walks down the infamous blvd. So someone famous has had a name in a star and most of the people unless you are a movie buff you will have never heard of.
At least it takes your mind off some the unquestionable area.
Although its not as bad as people would assume its not really dangerous, its always crowded
Unique Suggestions: The 'hollywood and highland' shopping and dining outdoor mall is its only saving grace, also the kodak theater where they have the oscars
Fun Alternatives: If you want celebs, go to beverly hills
Everybody goes here. There are probably worse things you can do but try not to waste too much money here. Don't let the beggars mess with you...just ignore them like you do at home and they'll go away.
Unique Suggestions: Most of the movies premier here at the various theaters so if you are lucky you might just catch a "Red Carpet" event so you can see how short most of your favorite actors really are in person.
Fun Alternatives: It's one of a kinda
All except one major filmstudio, all the studios have left Hollywood. They're working hard to clean up the neighbourhood and are building some prestigious projects and want the Oscar awards back in Hollywood.
Finally we visited the Roosevelt Hotel which is a beautiful building. The doors of this Grand Hotel opened on May 27, 1927 and became known as "The Home of the Stars" and was the site of the first Academy Awards presentation in 1929. It was a great way to experience the allure of the pas which will hopefully return after the renovations...
I think that about sums it up. Most people think that Hollywood is a 'walkable' part of town, like most cities that have been zoned more urban and are more condensed. I may sound harsh with the title of this post, but honestly given a wealth of other choices to see in L.A. this is really at the bottom of the list.
Unique Suggestions: Check out a show at the House of Blues. If you can get over to West Hollywood, there are many better choices of places to eat.
Fun Alternatives: Take a drive through Pasadeana to look at the old mansions. Its right on the way to the Huntington Art collections and Botanical Gardens. You can stroll through a Japanese garden, Australian Garden, and the desert garden.
The museum also has a really nice collection
Hollywood. It is small and grimy. After you see Mann's Chinese Theatre and the footprints, go across the street to the Roosevelt Hotel and look at their free exhibit of old time Hollywood. Then beat a trail out and go somewhere else.
Hollywood is NOT the Hollywood you're thinking of, it's actually the prime spot for run-away kids, drug addicts and street people. Unless you are really interested in the old movie houses and the Walk of Stars, you'll probably be disappointed, bored, annoyed, tired.
Fun Alternatives: If you're dead set on going, atleast do something worthwhile, like seeing a movie at the Egyptian or something and make the walk of fame etc. a sort of bonus!
Hollywood! You think of feather boas, decadence, diamonds, movie premieres and ordinary Joes making it big and being discovered. That's what on everyone's mind, whether you're American (Hispanic, Native, Anglo), European, African, Middle Eastern or Asian. It's a must to at least see where tons of famous people from the past and present have treaded. Hollywood takes up a huge strip of street that along the way includes attractions like Ripley's Believe It or Not museum, the Hard Rock Cafe and other eateries and attractions.
Unique Suggestions: Naturally you're gonna want to do everything in L.A. including at stopping at all the ultra cheesy things like the Guiness World Records museum like I did. You can buy a entry ticket that covers admission for this and other attractions along the Hollywood strip. I wasn't impressed with any of the attractions to be honest. Take a stroll and marvel at all the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for sure.
Fun Alternatives: After a while, I didn't bother checking out the rest of the area of Hollywood. I was kind of bored and didn't look for an alternative. It is definitely a place you need to check out on your list of things to do in L.A. because it's one of the hugest tourist areas of the United States. If you get bored quickly, you can always take the little metro near here that will drop you off back downtown where you can wander around.
Really... its not worth it. You go through all the traffic, and then go through the hassle of finding parking... and all you see are stars on pavements.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go, make sure its on your "shopping day". The Hollywood walk of fame is near the Hollywood/Highland shopping center, so while taking a break from shopping, go check out the stars. Or, if you need to go watch a movie, go see a movie at the Mann Chinese theater and then see the stars. Best time to go is quite late actually. I went after midnight and the street was quite empty (weekday) and so you can look around without having to deal with the locals or other tourists. Of course, there's the issue of safety. Its late and it is LA after all.... so be careful.
Fun Alternatives: Go to Universal Studios if you haven't been before. You'll get a better experience of movie making and Hollywood there. Or take a tour of Warner Bros Studios.
This is perhaps the most well known part of Los Angeles, but it is a big disapointment. If you want to see it, go. It isn't horrble, just be ready for dirtiness.
Unique Suggestions: If you want New York style pizza in LA, this is the place to go. Well, a place to go.
Fun Alternatives: If what you are looking for is to see beautiful or rich people in LA, go to Beverly Hills or better yet, Brentwood. If you want to see the world of movies and TV, go on a studio tour.