A beginner's guide to Hollywood
With the iconic sign located high on a mountainside reminding you of where you are, there can be little confusion about Hollywood. It is a distinctive city in California, typified by ambition, glamour, showbiz and dreams. The star system which grew out of the movie industry during the 1940’s is still alive and kicking today and a visit to Hollywood can be like being a bit part player in your own film. From the uber-wealthy shopping areas around Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard (the hotel of which was used in the movie Pretty Woman) right through to a Tour of Universal Studios, it’s all about the entertainment business.
If star-gazing is your thing – less Polaris, more Jennifer Anniston, there are a number of attractions you should consider to encourage a little bit of fairy dust your way. Start with the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame; established in 1958 to honour entertainment achievers, there are now over 2,400 “stars” which are built into the pavement in brass and terrazzo. They are located across fifteen blocks along Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks on Vine Street, Hollywood. Obviously that’s quite along walk, so you may prefer to join a Hollywood Trolley Tour which takes a guided amble through the city, including the Walk of Fame, various popular film locations and the Hollywood Bowl. Enjoy the gossipy tales of stars as you hope to see them mowing their front lawns on a Movie Star’s Homes Tour, or just taking the dog out in a shocking washed out tracky! You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the gossip is true, or whether just like Hollywood, it is just part of the show.
An opportunity to check out star’s homes from the sky is available with a helicopter ride, and whilst that makes you sound like a paparazzi, you should also consider that the views are spectacular and taking in the city, all the way to the ocean is an unforgettable experience. The views are incredible and make you feel as though you are on an extended film set yourself! You could always take a night-time helicopter tour and see Sunset Strip lit up amidst a city which never turns the lights out.
The icing on the showbiz cake is a trip to Universal Studios, Hollywood. Take a studio tour and learn the business, or enjoy the theme park with the new Transformers 3D ride for a day. Universal CityWalk is a massive centre for movie viewing, eating, nightclubbing and live music – there should be something for everyone’s tastes in this enormous venue, located next to Universal Studios.
By the time you’ve spent your holiday in Hollywood, you should feel like a star – or certainly be prepared to be one! Ask your American Sky consultant to arrange and plan your Hollywood excursions as part of your California holiday.