Hollywood is one of the most famous places on Earth, and for good reason. No visit to Los Angeles is complete without seeing the sights in the world’s most star-studded neighborhood! In and around Hollywood, you’ll find historic landmarks, over-the-top tourist strips, and everything in between. It’s impossible to do and see everything that there is to do and see in Hollywood, but you can cram in an awful lot of wonderful stuff in a relatively short time if you know where to go. Here are the things that you simply must do and the places that you simply must see while you’re in Tinseltown (don’t call it that, by the way).
It’s A Sign!
Hollywood’s most identifiable landmark by a long shot is the famous Hollywood sign. You can’t miss it: The letters are 50 feet tall and they spell, uh, “Hollywood.”
But where’s the best place to see the sign from? Beachwood Drive and Lake Hollywood Park are two favorites for dead-on views. If you want to get up close and personal with the letters, you’ll have to either take a horseback riding tour or go hiking on up. The dirt road off Mt. Lee Drive will take you up above the sign, where your hike will also net you a nice view of the Los Angeles sprawl.
Walking the Walk
Hollywood’s Walk of Fame may be a little cheesy, but it’s a must-see for tourists. Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame area on Hollywood Boulevard and you’ll be bombarded with sights and sounds. You’ll see street performers, touristy shops, and plenty of other sightseers. You’ll also, of course, find the famous stars that immortalize showbiz’s most famous people all along the way.
This area of Hollywood Boulevard is also where you’ll find Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, a landmark cinema that has hosted countless high-profile movie premieres.
Essential Hollywood Bars
Hollywood has a great selection of bars and restaurants, including authentic neighborhood watering holes and tourist traps that are so ridiculous that they’re fun. You could spend your whole trip to Hollywood drinking if you wanted to (though you probably shouldn’t).
The hip and intimate Tramp Stamp Granny’s is a must-see piano bar that feels like a revelation in a neighborhood that (let’s face it) can sometimes be pretty inauthentic. MiniBar is a hip and beautiful space with a classy 1960s vibe. Elsewhere, silly themes reign: The Sassafras Saloon is a pitch-perfect Western-themed bar that is as delightful as it is ridiculous, while The Beetle House is a Halloween-themed bar all year long. There’s something for every kind of visitor and every kind of drinker in Hollywood.
The sheer volume of drinking opportunities in Hollywood can be a problem for some, of course. If you believe that you or someone that you love has a problem with alcohol, then you should speak to a professional. Here is the information for an alcohol treatment center in the area:
630 N Doheny Dr
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (323) 457-8208
Alcoholism is something that nobody should attempt to treat alone and having the right experts in your corner can make all the difference for overcoming substance abuse.
Paying Your Respects
In Hollywood, even graveyards can be tourist attractions. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is a popular place to visit thanks to its larger-than-life deceased population, which includes Beatles guitarist George Harrison and filmmaker Cecille B. DeMille, among others.
If you’d rather see where celebrities live instead of where they die, then you should opt for one of the tours that will take you to the homes celebrities live in. Just remember not to invade their privacy! In Los Angeles, you’re supposed to respect the stars no matter how starstruck you might be feeling.