Lives in West Coast
Since Aug 2006
Too young to be a hippie - Too old to be a gangsta! ~ World adventure traveling, musically eclectic, free thinking, bigot burning, rock n' rolling, over sexed, constitution reading, dark humored, nature loving, mind surfing, non apathetic, politically incorrect, authority questioning, fomenting, iconoclastic, Promethean, Bohemian, Agnostic Deist. A passionate Moderate Populist with Libertarian leanings!
Historic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Gift & Speciality Shops
Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Historic Sites, History Museums, Natural History Museums, Science Museums, Speciality Museums
Horseback Riding Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Historic Walking Areas, Piers & Boardwalks, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Bars & Clubs
Observatories & Planetariums
Might as well get the "Walk of Fame" out of the way first depending on what day of the week it is and any other commitments you may have. It is worth experiencing with all the history and shops. Best to see by day but just recently Hollywood Blvd has started to look more like the Sunset Strip with "nightlife". And maybe time your visit to fit in one of the many FREE Tickets to see a taping of a TV Show? Check online or see a person wondering around the Blvd, handing them out.
The Walk of Fame is partially incorporated into the "Hollywood and Highland" complex. while touring the Walk, enjoy the shops and views from here. The new home of the Academy Awards, the Dolby Theatre is here too. (The very first show was held at the "Roosevelt Hotel", just 2 blocks East and across the street form here)
Hit the Famous "Pink's" Hot Dog stand. East a few blocks on Hollywood Blvd. coming from the "Walk of Fame" then South (left) on La Brea to 709 N La Brea Ave. You will be almost on the Corner of Melrose Ave ready to cruise
Go West (turn Right) After eating a hotdog at "Pinks". Cruise Melrose Ave. to enjoy what I call the "Trashy Chic". Stop to shop or just enjoy the drive on your way to Fairfax Ave. Where you will turn Left (South) to get to Wilshire Blvd and the La Brea Tar Pits. Where you will need to make another Left on Wilshire or backtrack on Melrose so you can make the easier Right Turn on Wilshire Blvd.
The "La Brea Tar Pits" (Across the street from "The Screen Actors Guild" main headquarters and down the street from LACMA "The Los Angeles County Museum of Art") is worth seeing. It is easy to get to. The grounds are good for strolling and picnicking. The Tar Lake (Pit) is for real. As is the tar creeping up in small sections all around the grounds
The "Sunset Ranch" Horseback Riding, offers weekday specials and is an interesting way to see the Hollywood Sign. The trail itself is a bit short and underwhelming. Maybe time it with one of the many day-hikes one can do in the immediate area.
"Miceli's" 1646 N. Las Palmas Ave. (since 1949) is Hollywood's Oldest Italian Restaurant. And if I'm not mistaken, is the second oldest over all. Only "Musso & Frank Grill" is older. Miceli's is just half a block off Hollywood Blvd. "Musso & Frank" is East right on the Blvd. But the food is expensive and not as good. Maybe opt for an old time Martini, just to say you did, then eat at Miceli's. They have a nice enough alternative location close by at in Universal City, but this is the original. I often go here for my Birthday Dinner and ask to sit in the booth used by Frank Sinatra. I'm Italian, so most often the food at Italian restaurants never match up to what I'm used to, or could prepare at home. So I usually just avoid the Pasta and go for something else on the menu. Lamentably, Miceli's is not an exception. BUT I always enjoy the Pizza and Anti Pasta Salad here. And the Waiters Sing!
Ya gotta go to the Beach. So why not avoid the freeways and cruise the Sunset Strip all the way West to the Pacific Ocean? Stop to shop, drink or stroll on the way. NOTE: Parking can be insane, expensive, hard to find and street parking signs may need translating due to their complexity and confusion. But usually there is not any legal street parking anyway. Scope out the "Whiskey", "Viper Room", "Roxy" and "Rainbow" as you cruise West. So when it's dark on your return, you will know where you might want to stop on your way back. You will be going through Beverly Hills and past the Beverly Hills Hotel on your way to the Beach. Look for the Signs/Photo Op on your right if you want to stop and/or snap a photo
When Sunset Blvd. ends at PCH, Turn Left and enjoy the view on your way to the Santa Monica Pier. Park here. Kids might enjoy the "Pacific Park". (Check their website for really good coupons) The Pier looks great at Sunset and there is plenty to do. Shopping, Dining and People Watching. But just below the Pier, on your way to Venice Beach is "Deans" a good burger joint, a local spot, less expensive, good patio to make friends and people watch.
A local favorite. Good Burgers. Bottled Beers. Good Service. Nice open area to people watch. And right on the way as you make your way up the coast to Venice Beach.
Venice is a "Must See". It is the #1 Tourist Destination for a reason. You can walk, bike or skate here from the Santa Monica Pier. Bike rentals are available as are bike taxis. You can, of course, also just skip the Pier and drive directly here. This is where the "Doors" formed, where artist hang, where Stoners get stoned, Surfers, Skaters, Street Performers, Art for sale, other shops and restaurants. Venice Beach still maintains it "Dangerous Vibe". But is as safe, or more so, than any other location. Especially in the daytime. Maybe go off the beach and see the homes along the Canals... It was named "Venice" on purpose!
You may be too burnt out from a full day at the Beach to "Do the Strip". But do try to get back here. Either way, I suggests the "Rainbow Bar and Grill". Drink and Dine where Led Zeppelin and so many other rockers did, and do. They offer parking and validation good towards your meal. I always get the Pizza but start with a large Warm Spinach Salad. The small upstairs room is open on weekends for dancing to rock n roll. So many good memories here. They "Heyday" is over, but on the upside, the small space is now "smoke free" by State Law. (It used to be absurdly smoke filled)
Take Hollywood Blvd West and it will quickly end/meet at the world famous "Laurel Canyon" Turn Right, enjoy the short drive to - Mulholland Drive! and turn Right (East). This famous "Drive", is cool to cruise by day and night. By day, there is a designated spot to pull over and see/photograph the "Hollywood Sign". And views, depending on smog levels, of the Valley to the South. By Night the Valley lights are beautiful and one can take this rout to where it ends East turn Right back to Hollywood, reverentially passing the Hollywood Bowl. - Turn Left to head toward Universal City / City Walk and even a route to Griffith Park via Barham to Forest Lawn Drive. Mulholland West can take you all the way to Malibu. (But the 30 miles up the 101 to Las Virgenes - Left to the Beach, through the Canyon is the better way to get there. Camping Hiking here too)
Griffith Park could be a 3 Day Destination in by itself. The LA Zoo, Hikes, Train Town, and home to arguably the single best outdoor concert venue in America "The Greek Theater" One can get here by heading East on Hollywood Blvd. Turn Left on Western. Western passes AFI, The American Film Insitute and curves right to become Los Feliz blvd. Quickly on the Left is one of the main entrance to the Park. Further at Vermont is the entrance to the "Greek" (on the left) and further still is Riverside Drive another entrance to the park and closest one to the zoo. This is also close to to the LA River (hence the name "Riverside Dr.) and at the Cities of Glendale near Silver Lake and other trendy hipsters locations. You may want this to be your "hub" for your visit? As you may see, it's all pretty close to the center of Hollywood
Griffith Park is home to the "Griffith Observatory". More great Hikes, views of the Hollywood Sign, History, Culture, Telescopes, Tesla Coil, Laser Light Shows, Worlds Largest Photograph, Meteorites, cool space shop and much more. See where James Dean filmed and step up to one of the most famous telescopes on Earth; the "Zeiss Telescope". Many gracious enthusiast bring their own serious telescopes to the lawn and let people have a look. Anyone who could not find something appealing here, would probably not be fun hanging out with on vacation.
More History, good food and strong Margaretta's are to be found at "El Coyote" ( "The El" as locals call it) This is one of only two place I make a point to go to on my birthday. Theirs is the day before mine. But it's the vibe that I enjoy. The days of $5 combination plates and $2 double Margaretta's are gone. Today they charge as much as any other place. But the food is still authentic and the Margaretta's are wicked! Try the Double Margaretta on the Rocks - order "From Scratch". The Server will usually ask if you want "from Scratch" but just in case remember that you do. this is most definitely a place you want to have a "designated driver" agreed upon ahead of time. Combination plates and Shrimp Fajitas are solid. The "Ostrich Tacos" are interesting and worth trying. The "El Coyote Pizza" is a plate of chips covered in Beans, Cheese and Salsa. Good for sharing or as a meal. For Combinations plates including the Green Corn Tamale is a really good choice as is the Chile Relleno. the Tacos are traditional and the Cheese Enchiladas are a good but greasy traditional. 7312 Beverly blvd. Cross street is Fairfax. The same street that is near the LA Brea Tar Pits. Next door to CBS Television City. Beverly runs parallel and just south of Melrose which is just South of Santa Monica Blvd, which is just South of Hollywood/Sunset Blvds. So this fits well with ones Hollywood tour. Maybe get tickets to see Bill Maher or another show at CBS while there.