Thrilling Things to do in Hollywood
Hollywood, 90210 and Beyond
Round trip from Peacock Suites to Hollywood = approximately 70 miles (total miles will vary depending on destinations visited)
Estimated time: 10-15 hrs.
A great way to start off your day in LA is to head for the hills—the Hollywood Hills! This is the area for stargazing and a chance to experience one of the world’s most famous (and infamous) cities.
From the hotel, head south towards I-5 NORTH toward Los Angeles. Travel on 1-5 N for approximately 23 miles. Slight left at US-101 N (follow signs for Civic Center/US-101 N/Los Angeles). Travel on US-101 north for approximately 10 miles. Take exit 9A for Cahuenga Blvd. toward Hollywood Bowl. Turn left at N. Cahuenga Blvd. Turn right at Hollywood Blvd. You’ve arrived! Now decide how much you can pack in during a glorious day in Hollywood.
A must for most tourists is a free visit to the world famous Hollywood landmark, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre formerly Mann's Chinese Theater (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) Opened in May 1927, millions of movie patrons and visitors to Hollywood have been drawn to the theatre, now mostly to gaze at the famous hands and foot prints outside. It will be crowded, so brace yourselves. Catch one of Hollywood's latest Blockbuster film or for a fee, tour the theater and view impressive exotic art from China. From here, walk down Hollywood Blvd. and take in the Hollywood Walk of Fame where you'll see bronze star-plaques embedded in pink & charcoal squares honoring Hollywood “legends.” Beware, more crowds—and they’re all looking down! Part of this “walk down memory lane” experience is the street scene itself—complete with street performers, interesting shops and the local “personalities.” Have your picture taken at the corner of Hollywood and Vine Streets. Visit the nearby Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum (6780 Hollywood Boulevard) and WOW every member of your group.
Let’s face it, most of us would like to spot a movie star? Or at least see where they live? Why not take a tour of the Hollywood Hills or other notable neighborhoods of the “rich and famous?” There are plenty of tours available. In fact, one leaves from nearby Grauman’s Theatre and visits Mulholland Drive, one of Hollywood’s most recognized streets. For families on a budget, try the classic Hollywood walking tour. Red Line Tours (323/402-1074) offers daily sightseeing expeditions to famous Hollywood landmarks via its unique "live-audio" system allowing you to hear the tour guide even over the city noise. Or, purchase a nifty "Map of the Stars" and you can go it alone!
Prefer the stars in the heavens to those “in the Hills?” Then make a BY RESERVATION ONLY visit to historic Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park. From Grauman’s Chinese Theatre head east on Hollywood Blvd toward N. Highland Ave. Turn right at Franklin Ave. (1.6 miles) turn left at N. Western Ave. Continue on Los Feliz Blvd (1 mile). Turn left a N. Vermont Ave and then right at Commonwealth Canyon Drive. This extraordinary facility is a beloved icon of Los Angeles (recognized as a world leader in public astronomy since 1935 and features the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and public telescopes plus amazing observing and astronomy exhibits. Despite a recent fire in Griffith’s Park in May 2007, the Park remains accessible. It also hosts the Los Angeles Zoo, the Greek Theatre, and many outdoor activities including hiking and biking trails with fabulous views. The Zoo has a great Children’s Zoo and animal nursery (Zoo open daily).
Hungry? Go eat at The Original Farmers Market, open every day. From the Hollywood Walk of Fame, head west on Hollywood Boulevard toward N. Orange Drive. Turn left at N. Fairfax Ave. Then turn left at W. 3rd Street. From Griffith Park head west on Commonwealth Canyon Dr. toward Vermont Canyon Rd. Turn left a N. Vermont Ave.; turn right at Los Feliz Blvd (I mile) which turns slightly left and becomes N. Western Ave. Turn Right at Beverly Blvd, (3 miles), turn left at N. Fairfax Ave, and turn left at W. 3rd Street. In 1934, eighteen farmers responded to the opportunity to sell fresh produce from the back of their trucks at the corner of Gilmore and Third Street, and the rest is history. Today’s visitors still enjoy the Market’s fresh foods at reasonable prices—and the unparalleled people watching. Browse the Market’s 100 shops selling fresh produce, cheese, nuts and candies. How can you resist the California bounty and the ethnic restaurants? For those with more expensive appetites, The Grove, a fashionable retail and restaurant complex next to the Market, hosts some of the area’s toniest restaurants. Nearby self-parking and/or valet services make this stop easy to navigate.
Once you've satisfied the hunger pangs, why not visit Exposition Park and the community of University Park? From The Farmers Market and The Grove, head south on S. Fairfax Ave. 2.7 miles. Take a sharp left at W. Washington Blvd. and slight right to merge onto I-10 E toward Los Angeles (4.7 miles). Watch for the exit onto I-110 south toward San Pedro (2.1 miles). Take exit 20A for Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. toward Coliseum (.5 miles). Turn right at MLK Blvd then go .5 miles to Menlo Avenue.
This tree-lined neighborhood, home to the University of Southern California, has much to offer including public parks, museums, cultural landmarks, historic homes and churches. Are there flower lovers in your group? They must take a stroll through the Exposition Park Rose Garden and be delighted by the colorful display of 15,000 species across seven acres of land. And kids of all ages get ready; you’ve got the California Science Center, the California African American Museum, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County to explore if you have the time and energy. The California Science Center offers over 100 hands-on exhibits and a seven-story-high IMAX Theater screening movies in 3-D format. There’s always a special exhibit of note and, best of all, admission is free to the permanent galleries! After an extensive renovation, the California African American Museum celebrates the contributions of African Americans in art, history and culture including the African American Journey West, a permanent exhibit that traces the African American experience from the shores of West Africa to the rural fields of the southern United States to the western frontier. Admission is free here, too! Did someone say dinosaur? Yes, at the west end of the Park, Exposition Street you will find the Natural History Museum of LA County—with dinosaurs and, ironically, a famous Insect Zoo. The museum houses more than 33 million artifacts and specimens covering more than 65 million years of history. In the Discovery Center, visitors can take fossil rubbings from a realistic-looking rock wall, look at water drops under a microscope, check out “discovery boxes" and even observe live animals such as snakes, fish and lizards.
Tired yet? Time to head back to the hotel? From Exposition Park go south on Menlo Ave. Turn left onto W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Turn right to merge onto I-110 south toward San Pedro (Harbor Freeway (5.3 miles). Take the exit onto I-105 east toward Norwalk (10.4 miles), Take exit onto 1-605 north 1.7 miles. Take the Santa Ana Fwy/ I-5 N exit toward Los Angeles/Santa Ana— and follow signs for Santa Ana Fwy/ I-5 south. Merge and travel 14.3 miles to exit 109B for Disney Way toward Anaheim Blvd. Turn left at Disney Way, turn right at S. Anaheim Blvd. to hotel.