I went there on a family trip last summer. Spent half the fricken day there, partly because one family member walks real slow and some family members went into every single souvenir shop for four blocks. Ugh. Every t-shirt shop sells the same old crap. Grauman's Chinese Theatre is nice...the costumed characters are actually the highlight of this place. Try to spend only an hour here. Check out Amoeba Records if you can.
Unique Suggestions Go off Hollywood Boulevard during the day for a few blocks to Amoeba Records. Take a Bus Tour, those are usually fun. Avoid the crappy limo tour out the greasy Pizza place. They sucked
Fun Alternatives Alternative? Go to Universal, at least you get some value out of that. If you want to see real studios, go to Warner Brothers.
We went last spring to the Hollywood Walk of Fame area and was approached by a limo service offering to take us to 'stars' homes. It sounded fun, so we decided to take it. It wasn't expensive for us at all because the guy gave us a good deal ( it was the week-day, cloudy - looked like rain, and there was only 1 other person in the limo and the guy needed to fill it up ). There were 3 adults in our group and 3 children. We told the guy that we didn't want to pay for the children because 2 of the children were autistic and they wouldn't know what was going on. The guy said the adults would need to pay $25 each, and we agreed upon that price. The limo driver started the tour of the Hollywood Hills homes first, stopping by so we could take pics of the Hollywood sign up on Molluhand ( sp? ) Drive. I figured the limo driver had pretty good knowledge of what he was doing but I wasn't so sure if the homes we were seeing were real homes of the stars or not. The limo driver did something extra special for us. he took us into Beverly Hills. That is where the excitement started. We whizzed by Rodeo Drive, and went by a street where there were many paparazzi. I asked the limo driver what was up, and he said that the house that was surrounded by them was the home of Tom Cruise. His wife just had the baby and they were on the way home from the hospital. We didn't see Tom, but as we were driving up, the limo driver points to Ozzy Osbournes home, and in that instant, a white SUV pulls up and low and behold, there is Ozzy, with his round sunglasses on his face and his long black hair, we come eye to eye contact, it was amazing! Ozzy realized he was noticed and got out of the SUV and started hiding behind it. It was so funny. That was the best day of my life!!! Take a risk with the limo tour, you never know. Your limo driver just may know where the 'stars' really live.
Doing the walk of Fame and Grahm's Chinese Theatre really isn't what it's made out to be. A bit of a let-down that you needn't waste your time with. It's crowded, predictably touristy, fairly boring and a higher concentration of souvenir shops than anywhere else in the world, I'd imagine! On the bright side, we did see a very un-Australian Paul Hogan and a huge billboard of the American flag -- in a car lot! (which I thought was a funny expression of overly-zealous US patriotism).
Unique Suggestions Go early, see the things you feel you need to see, then get out before the crowds hit.