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The Ultimate Guide to Hollywood, California

Visit Hollywood

Explore Hollywood:
The Ultimate Hollywood Travel Guide


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Updated on May 27 2024 11:10am

Visit Hollywood California
Visit Hollywood California
Visit Hollywood California

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a lifelong Angeleno, Hollywood has something for everyone.

Unleash Your Inner Star and Experience the Magic of Hollywood. As the birthplace of the U.S. film industry, this neighborhood is home to major motion-picture companies like Columbia Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and Universal Pictures. And with its iconic namesake boulevard, historic landmarks, and trendy restaurants and hotels, Hollywood has become a must-see destination for tourists from around the world. Read on to discover everything you need to know to make the most of your Hollywood adventure.


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Hollywood Hotels

Hollywood is a dream destination for anyone interested in film, music, and pop culture. The area is home to several hotels that offer guests an ultra-luxurious experience. From the timeless Hollywood Roosevelt, which has hosted countless legendary stars, to the modern and chic Dream Hollywood, each hotel provides a unique take on Hollywood glam. The W Hollywood offers easy access to popular attractions and has multiple event venues, while the Loews Hollywood Hotel provides guests with California-inspired cuisine and a rooftop pool. The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood is a new destination in the heart of Hollywood, featuring SoCal-centric cuisine and four on-site bars.


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Hollywood Restaurants

Hollywood, California is home to some of the best restaurants in the United States, and seafood lovers must make a stop at Providence. With two Michelin stars and recognition from the James Beard Foundation and The Los Angeles Times, Providence is a world-renowned seafood restaurant known for its commitment to sustainability and serving only the freshest and most sustainable seafood. Beauty & Essex offers a unique dining experience, spanning over 10,000 square feet and featuring various dining settings, including an opulent private dining room, a ground-floor courtyard, and a patio on the second level. Meanwhile, République, housed in a historic building, serves exceptional French-inspired cuisine made with local ingredients, and Kali offers contemporary Californian cuisine without pretension. Finally, El Compadre is a family-owned Mexican restaurant chain known for its traditional dishes, famous Flaming Margarita, and live nightly music.


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Hollywood Rooftop Bars

Immerse yourself in the glamour of Hollywood's nightlife scene with our guide to the best rooftop bars in the area. From chic French Riviera vibes to expansive rooftop oasis and breathtaking panoramic views, these rooftop bars offer unforgettable experiences. Indulge in delectable cuisine, sip on handcrafted cocktails, and soak in the iconic sights of the Hollywood Hills, Downtown LA, and the captivating city skyline. Elevate your nightlife experience with sophistication, luxury, and a touch of Hollywood magic at these remarkable rooftop destinations.


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Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign, a world-renowned landmark and cultural icon, has been an iconic symbol of Hollywood for nearly a century. Originally created in 1923 as a temporary advertisement, it has now become a permanent fixture of the Los Angeles skyline. To celebrate the sign's 100th anniversary, the Hollywood Sign Trust has announced plans to build a new Visitor Center to enhance the visitor experience. The new center will provide visitors with a more immersive experience, enabling them to learn more about the history and cultural significance of the sign. The center is expected to attract millions of visitors from around the world, generating significant revenue for the local economy. The Hollywood Sign is not only a symbol of the film industry but also an essential part of the Los Angeles landscape. The sign has appeared in numerous films and television shows and is a favorite spot for hikers and tourists. Visitors can hike up to the sign from various locations, such as the Bronson Canyon entrance to Griffith Park or from Griffith Observatory. Although not accessible from the Lake Hollywood Reservoir, visitors can find a popular scenic vista point around Lake Hollywood Park near the trailhead. With its timeless appeal, the Hollywood Sign will undoubtedly continue to inspire visitors and serve as a reminder of the magic of Hollywood.


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Hollywood Walk of Fame

Embarking on a journey along the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame is like taking a stroll through the annals of entertainment history. As you traverse the 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California, you'll find yourself surrounded by the glittering terrazzo-and-brass stars that immortalize the achievements of iconic figures in the industry. From beloved actors and actresses to renowned musicians, directors, and even fictional characters, each star tells a story of talent, perseverance, and success. The bustling sidewalks, adorned with the names of legends, create an electric atmosphere, drawing millions of visitors each year to soak in the aura of stardom. With each step, you'll uncover the rich tapestry of Hollywood's past and present, making the Hollywood Walk of Fame an essential pilgrimage for cinephiles and pop culture enthusiasts alike.


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Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is a world-renowned amphitheater located in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. This iconic venue has been entertaining audiences for over 90 years with its spectacular live music performances, featuring classical, pops, jazz, opera, and ballet performances. The Hollywood Bowl is also known for its summer season concerts, which include spectacular fireworks and a diverse range of music genres, such as jazz, Latin salsa, and modern new age music. The Bowl also offers a museum, children's festivals, and picnic areas, making it a perfect family-friendly destination.

As the world's largest natural amphitheater, the Hollywood Bowl attracts visitors from all over the world, who come to experience the beauty of the surrounding Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood Sign. The Bowl is the home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and serves as the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Every year, the venue hosts hundreds of musical events, showcasing artistic greatness and celebrating our global cultural heritage. It is owned and operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and jointly managed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

Many influential figures contributed to the founding of the Hollywood Bowl, including several women who played crucial roles in the early days of the venue's existence. The pianist Artie Mason Carter had connections with Los Angeles arts patrons, while Christine Wetherill Stevenson and Marie Rankin Clarke donated funds to purchase the land on which the Bowl was built. The contributions of E.J. Wakeman, Leiland Atherton Irish, Harriet Clay Penman, and composers Gertrude Ross and Carrie Jacobs Bond helped the Bowl through various fundraising drives. Today, the Hollywood Bowl continues to be a cultural icon, attracting music lovers from around the world who come to experience its legendary performances and breathtaking setting.


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Ovation Hollywood

Ovation Hollywood, formerly known as Hollywood & Highland, is a one-of-a-kind shopping and entertainment complex located in the heart of Hollywood, Los Angeles. It is a must-visit destination for anyone who is fascinated by the glamour and allure of the movie industry. The complex's centerpiece is a stunning three-story courtyard that is inspired by the Babylon scene from the D.W. Griffith film Intolerance. The courtyard features archways and pillars with elephant sculptures, which are built to the same full scale as seen in the film. It gives visitors an idea of the grandeur and magnitude of the original set.

The shopping center boasts over 70 shops and 25 restaurants, including popular retail tenants such as American Eagle Outfitters, Forever 21, and Sephora. Visitors can also enjoy a game of bowling at Lucky Strike Lanes, catch a movie at the six-plex theater, or dance the night away at the nightclub. The complex's Grand Ballroom is used for the Oscars Governors Ball, and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck operates his regional headquarters out of the complex. The site is also home to the historic Loews Hollywood Hotel, which was once the location where many celebrities stayed during the early days of Hollywood. The Metro B Line's Hollywood/Highland station is situated beneath the structure, making it easily accessible for visitors who want to explore the surrounding areas.


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Dolby Theatre

The Dolby Theatre is a true icon of Hollywood, boasting a long history of hosting the biggest movie premieres and events in the world. Located in the Ovation Hollywood shopping mall and entertainment complex at the intersection of Hollywood & Highland, this live-performance auditorium is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Since its opening in November 2001, it has become known as the venue of the annual Academy Awards ceremony, also known as Hollywood's biggest night. The theater has played host to a wide range of other prestigious events and performances, including concerts from Celine Dion and Prince, Cirque du Soleil shows, and Tyler Perry theatrical plays.

What sets the Dolby Theatre apart from other entertainment venues is its unique features, such as the Rockwell-designed cockpit in the orchestra seating area. This allows for seamless camera, sound, and stage management during televised theatrical performances, like American Idol and the Academy Awards. The theater's grand entrance is flanked by storefronts and Art Deco columns displaying the names of past recipients of the Academy Award for Best Picture, with blank spaces left for future winners. Visitors can experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood firsthand by walking the famous red carpet running up the grand stairway, a true symbol of the city's movie-making heritage.


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TCL Chinese Theatre

The TCL Chinese Theatre, located on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, is a historic and iconic movie palace that has been a symbol of Hollywood glamour since 1927. Built by Sid Grauman and his partners, the theater opened its doors on May 18th, 1927 with the premiere of the silent film, The King of Kings. Over the years, it has been the site of numerous premieres and events, and is known for its unique and ornate Exotic Revival style architecture. One of the most famous features of the theater is the "Forecourt of the Stars", which contains the handprints, footprints, and signatures of some of Hollywood's most iconic celebrities, including Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, and Frank Sinatra.

The theater has undergone several name changes over the years, from Grauman's Chinese Theatre to Mann's Chinese Theatre and back to its original name, and in 2013, TCL Corporation purchased the naming rights. In the same year, the theater partnered with IMAX Corporation to convert the space into a custom-designed IMAX theater, complete with one of the largest movie screens in North America. Today, visitors can experience the rich history of Hollywood and cinema at the TCL Chinese Theatre, with its stunning architecture, iconic celebrity imprints, and state-of-the-art IMAX technology.


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El Capitan Theatre

The El Capitan Theatre, Disney's Home on Hollywood Boulevard, has a rich history and has played an important role in the development of Hollywood's entertainment industry. Today, the theatre remains one of the most popular destinations in Hollywood, attracting thousands of visitors every year. Its luxurious interior, complete with opera boxes and a grand stage, transports guests back to a bygone era of glamour and sophistication. In addition to being a venue for movie premieres, the El Capitan Theatre also hosts live events, including stage shows and performances by famous musicians. The adjacent Hollywood El Capitan Entertainment Centre features a retail store and exhibit space showcasing Disney films, making it a popular destination for Disney fans of all ages.


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Grauman's Egyptian Theatre

Grauman's Egyptian Theatre is a Hollywood landmark that has played a significant role in the film industry since its opening in 1922. The theatre, built during the silent film era, was the site of the first-ever Hollywood film premiere of Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks. The Egyptian's exterior design is characterized by the Egyptian Revival style, with its grand entrance and massive columns that give it a sense of grandeur and opulence. Over the past century, it has been the venue for glamorous red carpet premieres, groundbreaking film festivals, and cinematic experiences that have captivated audiences.

For over two decades, the American Cinematheque owned and operated the theatre, hosting events on weekends. However, in 2020, Netflix acquired the theatre and announced plans for a major renovation to restore it to its original 1922 grandeur. The renovations will include a seismic retrofit, bringing the building up to code, and other modernizations that will improve the cinematic experience. Following the completion of the renovations, the American Cinematheque and Netflix will work together to program the theatre under a long-term agreement. The theatre's reopening promises to bring back the magic of Hollywood's Golden Age, creating an unforgettable cinematic experience for moviegoers.


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Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory, located on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, is a must-visit tourist attraction in Los Angeles, California. Since its opening in 1935, the observatory has welcomed over 7 million visitors to explore its space and science exhibits, view live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and look through telescopes to observe the cosmos. With its stunning views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Observatory is the perfect gateway to the cosmos, and all admission is free, as per the will of its benefactor, Griffith J. Griffith.


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The John Anson Ford Theatre

Nestled in the scenic Hollywood Hills, The John Anson Ford Theatre is one of Los Angeles' premier outdoor venues, offering an intimate and unforgettable entertainment experience under the stars. With a seating capacity of just under 1,200 seats, The Ford is known for presenting an eclectic summer season of events that celebrate the diverse music, dance, theater, and film styles that reflect the many communities that make up Los Angeles County. Whether you're a fan of jazz, punk, mariachi, or movie music, The Ford offers a unique and immersive cultural experience that truly captures the spirit of LA.

In addition to its summer season, The Ford also hosts interactive and participatory arts events that showcase the genuine art, music, and culture of Los Angeles. From its laidback vibe to its delicious food offerings curated by Todo Verde, The Ford offers a complete package that showcases the best of LA's vibrant arts and culture scene. As a partnership between the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ford Theatre Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, The Ford is truly a community effort that celebrates the rich and diverse tapestry of LA's artistic landscape.


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Hollywood Visitor Guide
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