Los Angeles Things to Do Tips by Sophie1980
Los Angeles Things to Do: 1,418 reviews and 2,486 photos
Outside the Mann Chinese Theatre, you can check out the many handprints of the stars (and footprints). From Marilyn Monroe, to Tom Hanks and Shirley Temple, you can see whose hands are the same size as yours. Great fun and full of tourists with cameras all there for the same thing. F.Y.I, my hands are the same size as Marilyn's and my feet as Susan Sarandons.
Address: 6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Directions: Hollywood, between LaBrea and Highland
Phone: (213) 464-8111
The Water Tower
They say in the blurb to get your tickets early, but I arrived at 11.00am and got on the 12am tour. After you've purchased your ticket(s), (from Gate 3, a parking lot), you will be escorted to the Warner Bros. lot, where your bag will be searched. You then head to a building 5 mins away by buggy. This houses a store, with a very LIMITED range of things to purchase - and this is the only store you will come across on the tour!! They tell you there's a much better range of goods at the warnerbros.com store. Here you wait for your tour to start, which is inside a small movie theatre (30 seats) in this building. But they don't tell you that. I waited outside with some people only to rush in. Be inside the building 5 MINS BEFORE your tour starts. You watch a short montage about Warners then head on a buggy/big golf cart, to the Warner Bros. museum. Huge collection of Harry Potter items from Prisoner of Azkaban - clothes, props, etc. Also, Audrey Hepburn's hat, the time machine from the remake with G. Pearce, old scripts. Then you tour the lots.
NOTE: YOUR TOUR MUCH DEPENDS ON YOUR GUIDE. We had an old-ish guy who was trying to speak French to the Parisians on our tour for the entire 2 1/2 hours. They were annoyed, so was I. It wasted our tour time!
We saw outside sets from 'Friends', 'ER', and movies, and indoor sets from 'Miss Congeniality 2', 'Joey' (where they filmed Friends) and 'Gilmore Girls'.
This was a relaxing tour, but I left feeling I should have seen more. At $35 it's not cheap, so if there's something you want to see in particular, let them know. We saw the Gilmore Girls sets because someone requested it. And if you want to see CELEBS -don't go on a holiday. I went July 5th and no-one was there!! September is the best time to go, acc. to our guide. And you can watch a show being filmed. www.tv-audiences.com.
Park your car in GATE 3 down Olive Ave. The ticket office is there.
Address: Intersection of Olive Ave, Pass Ave. and Barham
Directions: The studio is located in in Burbank (in the San Fernando Valley) just a few blocks southeast of NBC Studios and Disney Studios.
Phone: (818) 954-1744
Outside Universal Studios
Universal Studios had been on my 'Places to visit' list for ages, and so my expectations of it were perhaps too high. We went on a Tuesday (May 25th, and it was a gloomy, rain forecasted day, so of course it wasn't very busy. The longest we had to wait was 15 minutes and that was for the 'Back to The Future' ride, which seemed the most popular. Arriving at 10am and leaving at 4pm, this meant we got to ride every ride we wanted to, one twice, stop for lunch and a peruse in the gift shop, without having to rush at all. My favourite ride was the Back to The Future ride, being one of my fav. films. I also equally enjoyed the Studio Tour which lasted around 45 minutes and takes you around famous sets (Bates Motel, Hill Valley Clock Tower), and sets in use for current films. Essensial for any movie fan.
WARNING!! I went with a 7 yr old, who only enjoyed 3 rides! She told me the tour was boring, the shows scary (we had to leave 'Backdraft', with its realistic use of pyrotechnics) and that there weren't enough rides - perhaps because of our no-wait time, we wizzed around too quickly, if that's possible. There are height restrictions for the 'BTTF' ride (40 inches) and 'Jurassic Park' boat flume ride (48 inches) and these are 2 of the biggest attractions. She enjoyed the boat ride despite the 60 foot drop, the new SHREK 4D show, which was brilliant, and the Nickelodeon area, with ball pits and water area, where you will get COMPLETELY SOAKED! For kids under 10, I really wouldn't recommend U.S because of it's more teen/adult-orientated rides.
Address: Universal City, North Hollywood
Directions: Public t'port - Red Line subway to Universal City (you want to be on a train heading for N. H'wood). V. clean (as of May 25th '04) and cheap. Exit station, cross the road, take the free shuttle to Universal City/Studios.
You kind of stumble across the PP lot as it's off a main road and hidden by bushes, but it's easily recognisable once you see the black iron gates and the 'Paramount Pictures' sign. Completely unsure which movies were/are being made here, but will find out and post. They no longer run tours of the place, which is a shame, but there's always Universal Studios. Worth driving up to the gates to have a look at the sign and see what you can. Security will let you through the gates, but only for you to have to turn around and exit (as we did). You do get to see more this way though - just play the stupid tourist card!
Me on Rodeo, dahling!
Rode Drive sign
Versace, Armani, diamonds...an average day of shopping for me. Ha ha. More like Poundland. Anyway, enough about my lack of money, this is much like Sloane Street in London, in its shops and appearance. Great to walk down and have fun looking into the shop windows.
Address: Errr, Rodeo Drive. Off Wiltshire Blvd.
It's there at the back, honest!
What you think of when someone says 'Hollywood'.
Address: The hills
Halle Berry's front door
We picked dup a map on Sunset for 6 bucks and I was weary as to how accurate it would be. Was soon proven wrong when in Beverly Hills we came across the Osbourne house!! Unmistakable from the MTV show, it's much smaller than it appears on t.v (everything in Hollywood seems to be!) but it was indeed the Osbourne's home. Also checked out the homes of Halle Berry, Tobey Maguire, Madonna (only the front gate - the house is well secluded, but off a main road), Britney Spears, and the gate to Michael Jackson's house (small boys beware). I'd seen Britney's house in a copy of People magazine (I'm not her stalker, honestly), and this was her house, so the map turned out to be very much bona fide.
$6 well spent!
Address: Homes mostly in Beverly Hills, but throughout L.A.
My friend and I weren't sure whether to take this tour at first, because at $15 for 30 mins, it's certainly not cheap. BUT, if you watch the Oscars, it's a must. You get a 1/2 hour tour around the Kodak Theatre, the now permanent home of the Oscars. You get to see an Oscar, tour a V.I.P room, but most importantly, get to stand on stage and then sit in any seat you want. I sat in Renee Zellwegger's seat, Nicole Kidman's and Peter Jackson's, from this year's Oscars. The theatre's so much smaller than it appears on t.v, and it's surreal to be standing where Billy Crystal was only a few weeks ago. Well worth the $15 and I'd definitely do it again. NOTE: Arrive 10 mins early. The tour begis every 30 mins and no latecomers are admitted. You can use your ticket for the next tour though.
Address: 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Directions: Hollywood and Highland. Head for the 1st floor of the H&H shopping complex to buy your ticket and the 2nd to begin it.
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