Since the early 1900’s, Hollywood has woven tales across the silver screen, capturing the minds and hearts of audiences worldwide.
Today, Tinseltown is the star of a movie all her recent renovations and new developments has been invested to bring glamour back to Hollywood. More than cosmetic, the dramatic transformation of Hollywood promises a significantly enhanced vacation experience for the more than ten million visitors who travel to this legendary community every year.
What does Hollywood mean to you? Old movies from the Golden Age of Tinseltown? An action-filled working film set? Or the famed white letters on a hill that loom in the distance? If you’re not sure, begin at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum where you can pilot the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek or keep Norm’s stool warm from the Cheers set.
If it’s time to eat, you may want to “do lunch” at Musso & Franks, still popular with oldtime Hollywood power brokers. And for a taste of Hollywood today, be part of a live audience at a TV taping.
Even after your feet touch every star on the Hollywood Walk Fame, and you’ve bought an autographed movie poster of your favorite film, you aren’t through with Hollywood yet. On the more rustic side, over 53 miles of trails await exploration by foot or by horse in Griffith Park, which also houses the LA Zoo.
If you fancy yourself young and hip, shop for an ultra-trendy outfit on Melrose before going club-hopping at places like the retro-chic Dresden Club, featured in the film “Swingers.” For a family adventure, tour Universal Studios Hollywood and get wet on Jurassic Park The Ride.
And if you’re in the mood for romance, nothing compares to a gourmet picnic together with a symphony, under a sea of stars at the Hollywood Bowl.
Walk of Fame
Read our full article: Hollywood: Walk of Fame
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
The “Courtyard of the Theatre” is famous for the hand and footprints of Hollywood celebrities. It’s gala opening was 1927 and the theater is one of the most famous in the world. At night the theatre is illuminated which is definitely a reason to visit it when it gets dark outside. The golden roof rises about 90 feet (27 m) above the street.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre has been branded as TCL Chinese Theatre for naming rights reasons.
Address: 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
Dolby Theatre (former Kodak Theatre)
Oscars has finally moved back home to Hollywood. As part of a massive development project at the intersection of Hollywood boulevard and Highland Avenue, the Academy Awards ceremonies officially returned to Hollywood in March 2002.
The Dolby Theatre, the ceremony’s new 3,500- seat home, is the centerpiece of Trizec Hahn’s $567 million entertainment complex.
Located across the street from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where the first Academy Awards presentation took place in 1929, the Dolby Theatre is the only one of its kind in the world designed to meet the Academy for guest arrivals, press area for 1,500 journalists, 25,090- square- foot ballroom catered exclusively by restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, a special ‘ media Cockpit ‘ for live broadcasts and three balcony levels.
Web: Dolby Theatre
Hollywood & Highland
The open – air, five- story retail and entertainment complex, strategically located above the Hollywood and Highland Red Line subway station and adjacent to the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, occupies 1.3 million square feet to house theaters, a hotel, ballroom, restaurants, clubs, retail shops, movie studios, a live broadcast center and the Dolby Theatre, a 3,500- seat auditorium that will be the new home for the Academy Award presentations.
A special highlight of the complex, a dramatic grand staircase to upper levels with a panoramic view of the famous Hollywood sign.
Griffith Park Observatory
The Griffith Observatory has been a major Los Angeles landmark since 1935. It was visited by nearly two million people each year and ranked as one of the top tourist attractions of Southern California. It sits on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood where it commands a stunning view of the Los Angeles basin below.
Thousands of people enjoy the view from its balconies, especially at night. The Observatory grounds will be open to the public from 6 a.m. until 9:45 p.m. through at least July for visitors to enjoy the building’s exterior and the spectacular view of Los Angeles. For safety reasons, the grounds (and some trail heads) will be closed when the Observatory becomes a hard-hat construction area.
The Observatory is owned, operated, and financed by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks. It was a gift to the city by Col. Griffith J. Griffith (1850 – 1919), who also donated Griffith Park and the Greek Theatre.
The Observatory is a non-profit educational institution whose purpose is to provide information on astronomy and related sciences to the public. It is not a research institution, although from time to time it carries out modest research projects.
With over 4,107 acres (1.662 ha) of natural terrain covered with California oak trees, wild sage and manzanita, Griffith Park is the largest municipal park and urban wilderness area in the United States.
Situated in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains, the Park’s elevations vary from 384 to 1,625 feet above sea level with climates ranging from semi-arid chaparral foothills to forested valley. Over the years, recreation attractions have been developed throughout the Park, however, an amazingly large portion remains virtually unchanged from the days Native American villages occupied the area’s lower slopes.
A number of statues have been dedicated throughout Griffith Park.
A bust of actor James Dean.
The Griffith Observatory was a showcase location for the famed 1950s film, Rebel Without a Cause. The Astronomers’ Monument, depicting six of the world’s greatest astronomers was a 1930s WPA Federal Art Project sculpted by artists Archibald Garner, Gordon Newell, Djey el Djey, Roger Noble Burnham, George Stanley, and Arnold Forester. The picture above shows the monument from a distance.
Bust of Lief Ericson, a gift of the Los Angeles-Norwegian community, and the Berlin Bear statue (not shown) dedicated by the German consulate, a gift from Los Angeles’ sister-city Berlin; both located in the Ferndell area.
The Spirit of the C.C.C., by Jim Brothers, after the original WPA-FAP sculpture by the same name sculpted by John Palo-Kangas, is a national monument honoring the Civilian Conservation Corp members who served from 1933-1942. This statue is located at the Travel Town Museum, the site of one of two former C.C.C. camp locations in Griffith Park. A larger-than-life statue of Colonel Griffith J. Griffith is located at the Los Feliz/Riverside entrance to the Park.
More information Griffith Park lies just west of the Golden State Freeway (I-5), roughly between Los Feliz Boulevard on the south and the Ventura Freeway (SR 134) on the north. Freeway off-ramps leading to the park from I-5 are Los Feliz Boulevard, Griffith Park (direct entry) and Zoo Drive. Approaching the park on SR 134 eastbound, take either the Forest Lawn Drive or Victory Boulevard offramps. From SR 134 westbound, take Zoo Drive or Forest Lawn Drive. After leaving freeways, follow the signs into the park.