What a city!!! L.A. is so spread out, I’m not even sure about where to begin when talking about this place, so I think it’s best to break it up into sections.
First thing that usually comes to mind when you think of L.A. is Hollywood – but did you know there are two main parts to Hollywood? Hollywood is, hmmm, how do I describe it? Put it this way, this is where Richard Gere picked up Julia Roberts at the beginning of Pretty Woman. Now don’t get me wrong, The Bugs have visited numerous times and we have never not felt safe, however when visiting (preferably during the day) be cautious. Definitely worth a visit but you don’t need a lot of time here. Some more ideas in the Hollywood area may be Universal Studios, Griffith Park Observatory, or the Hollywood Bowl might be a fun place to see one’s favourite band… 😉
or check out some stars on the Walk of Fame
This area is a little more upscale and is located about 2 miles west of Hollywood, it borders Beverly Hills and includes Melrose Ave., Santa Monica Blvd. and the infamous Sunset Strip – this is where you go for nightlife and some really good shopping and restaurants.
So much rock n roll history in these establishments, The Doors used to be the house band here!
The Sunset Marquis – our favourite Hollywood hotel (and its actually in our top 3 of all time) Baby Bug just had to swim in the pool to be immersed in the same water that rock royalty has swam in. There is an “energy” to this place from the moment you walk through the door that is indescribable. This is also the place where I missed a Mick Jagger and Kevin Costner sighting by minutes, (mental note: bring “Depends” when staying here because you never know who you might miss while in the bathroom – grrrr!!!!)
The Grove – not really sure if this fits under West Hollywood, but if not, it’s got to be in close proximity. This is a beautiful outdoor entertainment/shopping complex. There’s a Nordstroms, Cheesecake Factory and much more. This complex is actually attached to the Farmers Market. Great place to walk around and people watch (lots of celebrity sightings).
Who hasn’t heard of Rodeo Drive? Too rich for the Bug’s budget but still fun to walk down and window shop.
Another part of L.A., this is where we found the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. The tour was approx. 3 hours and was about $60 per person. Most of the tour was guided, and we were driven around backlots and sound stages of a real working t.v./movie studio on extended golf carts. This was an excellent tour. We got to walk around the outdoor set of Gilmore Girls and Pretty Little Liars (same set), and we got to see the inside soundstage of 2 Broke Girls – we didn’t see anybody famous, but it was a lot of fun.
Baby Bug and GG Bug chillin’ on the couch at Central Perk on the Friends set
Here is where you will find the beach and the famous Santa Monica Pier (with lots of amusement park type rides and food). The ferris wheel gives an awesome view of the ocean and the real “Baywatch” beach. If you’re wanting to shop, Third Street Promenade is just a couple of streets over and is a great spot to look around. If you want to keep walking (or rent a bike, you will go past Muscle Beach and eventually come to Venice Beach.
“DON”T WANNA MISS A THINGS”
- we found that on trips when we didn’t want to rent a car, that a 2 day pass for the hop on/hop off bus worked great. The first day we would ride all around the city and get off and on at all the stops we were interested in (the Grove, Beverly Hills, etc.) and then on the second day we would do the route that goes all the way to Santa Monica and spend the day in that area. (Starline Tours has a variety of tours but we really liked the 48 hour one – cost was approx. $60 and picked up throughout the city stops)
- breakfast at Mel’s Diner on the Sunset Strip (the one in Hollywood is good too)