A name synonymous with glamour, film making and fame, Hollywood is globally recognised as the epicentre of the entertainment industry. A testament to stars of the big screen, Hollywood celebrates celebrity and allows visitors to enter such a world momentarily. The iconic 50ft ‘Hollywood’ sign on Mount Lee announces the importance of the region to all entering and carries with it a sense of history and significance. Hosting the Academy Awards since 1929, stars have flocked to the movie making capital annually in order to celebrate the development of film in the region it originally began. The area has undergone major development recently and consequently has become a much safer and enjoyable destination for tourists.


The Hollywood Walk of Fame was created in 1958 as a tribute to those in the entertainment industry. A star can be awarded to those who have achieved success in the movie, television, radio or music industries or on the stage. Two thousand stars have been commemorated so far on the slabs of perhaps the most famous street in the world. Icons such as John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley can all be found here. All visitors should check the Walk of Fame’s website for upcoming ceremonies; a unique opportunity to see history in the making.

No exploration of Hollywood is complete without visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which has hosted more movie premieres than any other site in the area. Opened in 1927, it has since collected cement footprints and handprints of some of the most famous stars of all time such as Shirley Temple, John Wayne and Groucho Marx.

The Hollywood Entertainment Museum both explores and commemorates the achievements of Hollywood. Including original sets from TV programmes such as Cheers and Star Trek, the museum provides the visitor with a backstage guide to the entertainment industry.

After all these activities visitors will probably feel like watching a film; the most unique way to do this is to visit Hollywood Forever Cemetery which plays horror films every Saturday night during the summer. The perfect setting for such movies, the visitor can experience just one of the ways in which film and reality unite in Tinseltown. Buried here are many celebrities, including Johnny Ramone, Jayne Mansfield and Mel Blanc, the voice of Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, whose tombstone features the epitaph ‘That’s all, folks!’

Also worth seeing is the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are currently held, but if you miss the chance of seeing the real celebrities, the Hollywood Wax Museum has over two hundred replicas. Another opportunity to see stars occurs during the Hollywood Christmas Parade, a spectacular celebration of the upcoming holiday. It may be possible to watch the filming process by purchasing tickets to television show tapings. For more information see www.tvtickets.com and www.paramountshowtickets.com.


Hollywood shopping facilities accommodate both the serious shopper and the theatrical at heart. On the edge of the district lies the Beverly Center, home to over two hundred shops including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Ranging from designers such as Louis Vuitton to chain stores such as H & M, the Beverly Center provides the perfect retail experience for all budgets. There are also thirteen screen multiplex and numerous restaurants located here. Fred Segal is a smaller department store located in West Hollywood. Sunset Plaza features top designer labels and the prospect of star spotting. Those searching for more dramatic items should try Outfitter Wigs of Hollywood, Hollywood Toy and Costume and Hollywood Magic, Inc. Other shops worth a visit include Book Soup, Neo Romantic and Maxfield.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Nightlife in Hollywood is glamorous, exciting and unique. The infamous Viper Room, owned by Johnny Depp, is a recognised site of scandal, most notably the death of River Phoenix. Many top acts have graced the stage, including names such as Lenny Kravitz and Johnny Cash. Many local bands play at Roxy, whose past line-up includes Aerosmith, John Lennon and Guns and Roses.

There are many bars to choose from, yet in order to distinguish themselves from the competition some have constructed an entirely unique identity. The Beauty Bar’s interior is that of a beauty salon from the 60’s and on particular days the bar’s clientele can treat themselves to henna tattoos and manicures. Drinks served include ‘Blue Rinse’ and ‘Red Head’. The Good Luck Bar’s décor is Chinese themed, complete with paper lanterns and red furnishings. Lola’s were the original creators of the green apple martini; cocktail enthusiasts should sample new creations such as ‘Red Caramel Apple’. For an exotic experience try the Lava Lounge and relax with a tropical tipple.

Those searching for something a bit more substantial can sample just about anything from the wide variety of menus on offer. Notable favourites include Yamashiro, meaning ‘Mountain Palace’ in Japanese. Set amidst twelve acres of the Hollywood hills, attractions include an impressive garden and koi pond from which a breathtaking view of the city is provided. Their ‘CalAsian’ cuisine is critically acclaimed and serves traditional Asian dishes with a modern twist. For Italian try Ago which boasts Robert De Niro as an investor. Using traditional wood burning ovens, the food is expensive but delicious.

Tourist Information

Los Angeles Visitor Center – HollywoodHollywood and Highland Complex6801 Hollywood Bvld. Suite 237Hollywood CA 90028Tel. +1 323-467-6412Website: www.lacvb.com


Los Angeles has five airports, the most frequently used being Los Angeles International (LAX). The fifth busiest airport in the world, LAX is made up of nine terminals and is served by 80 passenger airlines. The other airports are much smaller and less daunting, yet they may be more expensive and further away from Hollywood. For further details see http://www.lawa.org.

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