When people say “I’m going to Hollywood” one instantly thinks of a bright eyed actor traveling across the country to pursue a career in the movies. But going to Hollywood is a fun experience for angelenos and tourists alike.
Hollywood attracts millions of people each year probably because there’s so much to do, whether it’s trying local cuisine, taking in one of the local landmarks or seeing a few of the iconic attractions.
Since we live in such close proximity to Hollywood, why not join in on the fun? There are dozens of exciting and interesting things to do in Hollywood, so let’s take a look at 15 ideas on the list below to get you started.
1. Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the United States. It’s the place to be for summer music in SoCal, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The Hollywood Bowl is an awesome place to have a picnic with friends and family before the concert. But get there early, premium picnic spots go fast. Since parking is a pain in Hollywood take advantage of the Bowl Shuttle, or Park and Ride. Hollywood Bowl is also within a reasonable walk to and from the Hollywood/Highland Metro Station.
2. Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood sign is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the world. But it’s pretty tricky getting a closer look since the only way to get a closer look is to hike to it. The three best hikes to view the Hollywood Sign are The Mount Hollywood trail, The Bronson Canyon trail, The Cahuenga Peak hike, and The Lake Hollywood trail. However, the closest view isn’t always the best. You can witness amazing views of the sign at Hollywood and Highland, The Griffith Observatory and Mulholland Drive. The Department of Parks offers a shuttle to the sign for a limited time as well.
3. Hollywood Walk of Fame/ Hollywood Boulevard
Did you know Shrek and Bugs Bunny have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? You can see their stars and hundreds of others on Hollywood Boulevard and surrounding sidewalks all over Hollywood. Then you can find your favorite celebrity star and take a selfie! Hollywood Boulevard is also famous for the celebrity impersonators. You will find Superman, Spiderman, Marilyn Monroe and Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. But even better you might find some rather unusual characters that don’t fit any particular category, that’s what makes Hollywood Boulevard so fun.
4. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel opened in 1927 and is the birthplace of the Academy Awards. This old time Hollywood charmer has alot to offer for everyone, even if you aren’t a hotel guest. The decor and architecture alone will take you back in time. The Tropicana Bar and Pool is an oasis in the middle of the hectic Hollywood Boulevard hustle and bustle. Day or night you can lounge by the pool, and have a cocktail. If you worked up an appetite walking along Hollywood Boulevard, 25 Degrees restaurant has one of the best burgers in LA according to the LA Times.
5. Capitol Records Building
Capitol Records was the first record company based on the West Coast. Their iconic building located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine attracts tourists from all over the world. Some believe this first circular building is built to look like a stack of records. Unfortunately, the building is not open to the public however you can view a mural created by Richard Wyatt outside featuring Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday and various jazz musicians.
6. Take the Metro
The Metro Red Line extends from Hollywood/Highland to Vermont/Wilshire. It’s fun to hop on and off the train to explore Hollywood. If you purchase the 1-day Pass, you can travel as much as you like for $2.50. Start at Hollywood/Highland and you are in the middle of the exciting part of Hollywood Boulevard. Hop back on and get off at Hollywood/Vine to take a look at the Capitol Records Building. Continue on as far as DTLA if you wish. Heck with one connection you can go as far as Culver City! Whatever you decide the freedom and fun of traveling the Metro can become addictive.
7. Check out the Melrose District
The Melrose District of Hollywood is a day trip in itself. If you start your stroll at Highland you can walk on Melrose the 1.5 miles all the way to Fairfax. The Melrose District was formerly an underground and new wave shopping spot in the 1980’s and it has maintained some of the edge over the years. Stop by some of the vintage spots like Crossroads Trading and L.A.’s favorite open air vintage market Melrose Trading Post (only open on Sundays). Grab a bite to eat at Blu Jam Cafe or a sweet treat at Sweet Lady Jane. As the day comes to an end catch a show at the famous Groundlings or watch your favorite team at The Parlor Hollywood Sports Bar.
8. Eat Food
We touched on 10 places to eat in Hollywood in a previous post. But there are many more options to explore while you are hanging out in Hollywood. Get down and dirty with a legendary LA Dirty Dog wrapped in bacon. You can also stroll through the Hollywood and Highland Center to eat at a plethora of eateries including Woodfire BBQ, French Crepe Company, Cho Oishi and Cold Stone Creamery. For a longer scenic stroll down Hollywood Boulevard, grab a slice of pizza at Joe’s Pizzeria. The Bowery Bar Hollywood is a great place to eat and have a drink before continuing your Hollywood journey.
10. TCL Chinese Theatre
The Chinese Theatre was declared a historic-cultural landmark in 1968, and for good reason. The theatre was built in 1927 with materials imported from China. The Chinese Theatre started as the place for world famous movie premieres and still lives up to that legacy. During your stroll through Hollywood you may catch a glimpse of celebrities on the red carpet. A few select celebrities allow imprints of their hand and feet prints to be included in the Forecourt to the Stars. Just like the Walk of Fame, many fans take selfies with their favorite celebrity hand and foot prints. You can try to find your favorite celebrity print too!
Hollywood is a destination for several retail shopping stores in recent years. Hollywood and Highland Center is a full service shopping mall equipped with stores ranging from the upscale Louis Vuitton to the fun Flip Flop Shop. Get your holiday decorations all year long at Christmas in Hollywood. If you need LA souvenirs there are several that sell miniature oscar award statues and personalized Walk of Fame stars. For a more unique and creative shopping experience check out Space 15 Twenty’s shops, restaurants, galleries and events.
11. Hop on a Tour Bus
Some Los Angeles natives wouldn’t think to step foot on a tour bus. But riding on a Hollywood tour bus can prove to be an awesome experience. Starline offers The Original Movie Stars’ Home Tour which may include Katy Perry, Ellen DeGeneres, or Jennifer Lopez. The tour also includes The Hollywood Sign and the Sunset Strip. For a real Hollywood tour experience, try the TMZ Bus Tour. The TMZ tour is lead by real TMZ reporters and includes stops at famous celebrity hangouts and hot spots. They even throw in some juicy stories during the tour just like on the show. You might even spot a celebrity during the tour.
12. ArcLight Hollywood
For an extraordinary cinema experience head to the ArcLight Cinema Hollywood. This theatre boasts premium seating with more leg room, double wide arm rests and seats 3 inches wider than your normal cinema. All seating is reserved so you don’t have to worry about arriving early for the best seats. The ArcLight boasts an onsite cafe that is more like a full service restaurant, with items like Grilled Salmon and Kale Waldorf Salad. The best part of the ArcLight is their dedication to showing a diverse selection of film including cinema classics and limited releases. If you plan ahead some movies include a Q&A with the filmmakers after select screenings.
13. Barnsdall Park
Barnsdall Park is a hidden gem in the eastern portion of Hollywood. Their mission is to be a dynamic and vibrant artistic, cultural, and recreational destination for Los Angeles and the world. They certainly live up to that mission. Barnsdall Park isn’t just a park, it includes a theatre, a museum, wine tasting events and art classes. But the most iconic site is the famous Frank Lloyd Wright creation Hollyhock house. Hollyhock is the first of 7 of Wright houses built in Los Angeles and is definitely worth the trip. Unfortunately the house is under renovation, but you can still take a look at the exterior as you stroll through the Park.
14. Amoeba Music
Amoeba is a rare musical treat for all types of music lover. Despite the recent demise of the record store, Amoeba still carries CDs and Vinyl. They also buy and trade music that you may want to part with. Amoeba prides itself on putting the customer first, that’s how much they love music! In addition to their awesome customer service, Amoeba offers free live concerts on site. Their concerts cover every genre imaginable from Blue Grass to World Music. For the schedule visit Live Shows at Amoeba and plan a concert during your Hollywood visit.
15. Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hundreds of years of Hollywood history is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Stars buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery include Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin. You can also read up on the history of each individual as you tour the grounds. But Hollywood Forever doesn’t just offer burial grounds but cultural events as well. Catch a concert or attend their annual Dia De Los Muertos festival. The festival features food vendors and performances by Grammy Award Winning artists. Check out their website for a list of all the events at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
What do you like to do for fun in Hollywood? Let us know some of your favorites in the comments below!