There are so many tourist attractions in Hollywood, California. It is a neighborhood within the city of Los Angeles, and it is known as the home of the film industry. June through August is typically the most popular time to visit; however, the heat can be stifling, and all the activities overcrowded. March through May and September through November is a better time to visit. There is generally a drop in hotel prices and the weather is comfortable in the upper 70’s for outdoor activities.
10. Hollywood and Highland Center
This center is the entertainment destination for tourists and locals, and it’s a popular stop for tourists visiting Los Angeles. It is a shopping center with over 75 stores, 25 restaurants and two theaters. The Dolby Theater is where the Academy Awards are held every year. The center opened in 2001, and in 2005 they began displaying Academy Award statues for the public to view about a month before the awards were given out. This allows the public to take their photo with an Oscar Award, and learn about the Academy Award’s history.
9. Hollywood Museum at the Max Factor Building
The museum has the largest collection of memorabilia and artifacts for stars around the world. They have over 10,000 artifacts from famous shows and movies. The Max Factor building was used by the famous makeup artist, Max Factor. He created the styles for famous actresses from 1935 to 1970, and his makeup rooms for Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe have been restored to their original state at this museum. With four floors of artifacts the museum housed in the historic Max Factor building is something fun for the whole family that you won’t want to miss. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
8. Madame Tussauds Hollywood
Madame Tussauds is a wax museum with over 125 lifelike wax stars. Unlike a lot of other wax museums you are able to walk up to these figures and get your picture taken with the celebrities. Some stars have props available to add when taking your photo. Tickets now also include access to their new 4D Marvel experience. You can interact with your favorite super heroes in this cinematic experience. This is one of the best places to visit in Hollywood, California. Come and have your picture taken with the stars lookalike wax figurines.
7. Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios is a theme park and one of the oldest still utilized film studios. The studio opened in 1915, and the theme park was added in 1964. Today, the backlot has caught on fire in nine separate occasions, costing the studio millions of dollars in repairs. Guided tours are offered daily through the studio, and they are a fun and exciting way to learn about the history and impact they have had throughout the years. When purchasing your ticket consider getting a Front of the Line ticket; this allows you to skip the line for attractions and rides, but get them early because they do sell out quickly.
6. The Hollywood Bowl
This is thought to be the world’s largest natural outdoor amphitheater. Come and sit with your friends and family under the stars and enjoy an outdoor concert. The band shell onsite has been changed many times since its first official use in 1922 as an outdoor concert stage. The bowl is the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s summer home. There is a free museum onsite for visitors to learn about the bowl’s history and famous performances. The Beatles held their second U.S concert at the bowl and with only box office ticket sales available, the tickets were sold out within four hours. This is a great place to come for a concert and a romantic weekend getaway.
5. Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Warner Brothers was started by four brothers willing to take a risk on a new form of entertainment, the talkies. Today, you can tour the studio that has created hundreds of popular shows and movies. During the tour you will be able to visit backlots, the archive, the picture car vault, and an interactive sound stage known as stage 48. They have 10 backlots and 30 soundstages. The archive is a two story exhibit of famous props and costumes used by Warner Brothers. The prop department onsite is the largest in the world, with almost half a million different props.
4. El Capitan Theater
The El Capitan is Walt Disney World’s premiere theater, and a cool place to take the kids on vacation. Come and see a show in this remarkable theater, restored to its 1926 glory. The theater was originally used as a playhouse, putting on live productions for its audience, but in 1941 it was converted into a movie theater. It has over 100 speakers for optimal sound. Tours are available daily. They have a 15 or 30 minute tour, but the best way to experience this theater is to come and see a show!
3. The Hollywood Sign
The sign is an iconic sight for the area, and has come to represent fame, fortune, and ambition. The letters are 45 feet tall and the whole sign is 350 feet long. Originally the sign was built in 1923 as an advertisement for real estate and read “Hollywoodland” referring to a new housing development. The sign was only built to last 18 months, but it was never taken down. The sign was partially restored throughout the years, but in 1976 it was completely restored to what it is today. There are several hikes that will take you closer to the sign for pictures.
2. Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Walk of Fame is embedded into a public sidewalk, and is free to the public year round. Anyone can nominate a celebrity for a star. Approximately 20-24 stars are given out each year. Once a celebrity has been selected to receive a star they have five years to schedule a ceremony, and must pay $30,000 for the placement, ceremony, and upkeep of their star. If you want to find the location of a specific star you can visit the Walk of Fame website; however, just wandering the blocks to see how many you recognize is fun as well. There are more than 2,500 stars.
1. TCL Chinese Theatre
The TCL Chinese Theatre has had several owners and names since its opening in 1927. The TCL Chinese Theatre is a world renowned movie palace. The theatre is home to red carpet premiere movies, and it is where the stars come to watch themselves on film. It also contains the world’s largest IMAX Theater. A favorite thing for visitors to see while here is the forecourt of the stars; major movie stars throughout time have left their hand and footprints in cement. 30 minute tours are offered seven days a week, except for special events.
With so many great things to do in Hollywood, California it can be hard to decide where to start. You can get a great neighborhood overview with a walking tour or a double-decker bus tour. The iconic red double-decker buses can be seen driving around the area. Not only are they a good way to learn the general basics for the area they allow you to hop on and off at several popular tourist attractions in a 24 hour period, so it’s a great way to have transportation around to all the sites.