Your bags are packed with warm-weather clothes. You have your sunglasses and camera, and you’re just about ready to go. There’s only one hitch in your plans. You’re about to hop on the plane for your first vacation in Los Angeles, but you’re just a bit uncertain about what you’d like to see.
Here’s a hint for you to consider: after checking into their hotels, the first place in Los Angeles that many people visit is Hollywood , the Land of the Stars. Why is this Los Angeles district so popular with vacation travelers? Well, let’s see…
Hollywood is the historic home of movie studios and the celebrities that entertain us. It’s the capital of the world’s film industry and a national center for television, recorded music and other performing arts, too. You could almost say that Hollywood is a national treasure. It’s an evocative place of unmatched nostalgia where glorious echoes of film-making’s Golden Age surround you, but current and want to-be stars are also all around you. It’s sometimes elegant and classy and other times not, but there’s always one thing you can be sure of: Hollywood is glitzy, glamorous and above all, flashy.
Sometimes called “Tinseltown” because of its glittering nature and the opulent but superficial lifestyle enjoyed by some of its performing artists, Hollywood’s list of notable historic and cultural landmarks seems like it never stops. Industry icons like Bob Hope Square at Hollywood & Vine, the Capitol Records Building, CBS Columbia Square, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Griffith Park, the Hollywood Bowl, the famous nine white letters of the Hollywood Sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theatre, the backlot of Paramount Pictures, Sunset Strip and Universal Studios are just a few of Hollywood’s contributions to Los Angeles vacations.
Many major theatrical releases premiere at Hollywood’s more historic theaters, and vacationers eagerly hover nearby, hoping to catch a glimpse of the celebrities who attend. The same is true at the modern Kodak Theatre, the Hollywood site of the prestigious and highly-coveted Oscar awards that are annually bestowed by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame, a tribute to past and present entertainers made of pink terrazzo and brass, is centered at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. It’s an impressive sight and attracts throngs of Los Angeles vacationers from far and wide. When tourists arrive they are treated to eighteen blocks of five-point stars embedded in the sidewalk. Each star bears the name of the celebrity or fictional character it honors.
Located along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre has evolved into another outdoor entertainment museum, this time featuring the embedded autographs, footprints and handprints of almost 200 Hollywood motion picture legends. Some variations on this tradition do exist, including imprints of Betty Grable’s legs, Harry Potter’s wand and Bob Hope’s nose. The theatre itself has a unique red Chinese pagoda-like exterior and is also quite impressive. It hosts a variety of film premieres, but its main attractions are without a doubt outside.
Some star-struck Los Angeles vacationers are lucky enough to see Hollywood celebrities on the city’s streets or in one of its restaurants, shops or theaters, but if you don’t, you can always entertain yourself by taking one of the many tours that drive past celebrity homes and famous film locations. Hollywood studio tours are also quite entertaining, and they’re educational, too. And speaking of entertainment, regular performances by big-name vocalists and musicians take place at the Kodak Theatre and the Hollywood Bowl, a world-famous ampitheatre that hosts a wide variety of live musical performances against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and those famous nine white letters of the Hollywood Sign.
Rich with performing arts history, Hollywood has so many attractions that this district of the city could be your entire Los Angeles vacation all by itself. But if all this isn’t enough, Beverly Hills and the chic shopping on Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard are just a few minutes away.