Let’s go on an adventure...
Let’s go on an adventure...
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10 Things You Should Try in Los Angeles/Hollywood!

There are endless lists of things to do in Hollywood and Los Angeles so it’s pretty hard to pick just 10. However, if you’re short on time (like we often are), it’s likely you want to see the top things to do. We’ve put together a list of our favourite 10, all of which we hit up during our trip to California.

Hike the Griffith Observatory

This was definitely my favourite part of the trip to Hollywood. I’m going to be honest – I didn’t know anything about the Griffith Observatory before actually ascending the very large hill to get there.

I have since learned that the Griffith Observatory is a large free tourist attraction that educates the general public on a vast array of space and science-related displays. To top it off, there is an amazing view of Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and the Hollywood sign.

It took us a good couple of hours to walk from our accommodations at the USA Hostels Hollywood to the top of the hill but it was worth it. The exercise first thing in the morning was a great way to get the day started.

Take a picture of the Hollywood sign

No trip to Hollywood is complete without taking a picture of the infamous sign. I’ll admit the first time I saw it from afar I was a bit lost for words. It’s one of those things you see time and time again in movies, TV shows, magazines and then all of a sudden it’s there in person and you’re staring at it (albeit from very far away).

I highly recommend you take a celebrity tour up into the Hollywood hills for an even better view. We took the small bus right up into the mountains to get that perfect shot.

Although I’ll admit, there are tons of different areas throughout Los Angeles that you can catch a glimpse of the sign so keep your eyes open!

Enjoy a Hollywood Stars Tour

To this day I’m not even sure I believe that all the places our driver took us to were real. The only one that I actually saw that made sense was the house that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was based on (it was so cool seeing that). Honestly, I swear half of these guys jobs is figuring out how many lies they can get away with.

At one time they took us to a house and said that’s where Michael Jackson famously dangled his child off a balcony. I later learned that this was in Europe. Eye roll.

Apparently, we were also brought to Bruno Mars’ house, Channing Tatum’s (I only saw his gate), and a few other key tourist spots. I would recommend though you find a bus with a roof and air conditioning. In the middle of the day, a hot day, the tour can get a little unbearable.

Walk the Hollywood walk of fame

No trip is complete without a walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With over 2500 stars stretching over 15 blocks you are bound to find numerous amounts of celebrity names you know and love.

A special highlight for me on my trip was seeing Robin Williams’ star. I had always been a huge fan and had dreams to meet him one day. While sadly that will never become a reality now, I can say that I’ve at least seen his star – if that counts for anything.

Make sure to research the stars you really want to see before going so you’re not spending hours wandering around the 15 blocks with your head down the whole time.

Party at a club

Now I’m not encouraging you to go out on an all-night rager (although if that’s your thing go nuts) but I do encourage you to at least have a drink or two at one.

Now I’m not encouraging you to go out on an all-night rager (although if that’s your thing go nuts) but I do encourage you to at least have a drink or two at one.

On our second night in California we decided to partake in a pub crawl that our hostel (USA Hotels Hollywood) was having. One of the clubs we went to that night was called Lure.

It was a very large club, with several bars and dance floors and no roof! In typical Hollywood style, everything was bigger and better – even the clubs!

Take a drive through Beverly Hills

As mentioned above, if you do take a Hollywood Stars tour they will more than likely take you around these areas themselves. If you have time though you should definitely make a trip back. It will allow you to go around and really take stock of the amazing homes in the area.

As a warning though you may not actually see much. Beverly Hills (as I was told) is the only area in California that allows fences to be as high as they are. They have literally created a law to help celebrities get more privacy and keep the paparazzi out! Crazy.

Stroll past TCL Chinese Theatre

Home to many world premiers, the TCL Chinese Theatre, located on Hollywood Boulevard is another staple of Hollywood. The structure of the theatre stands out amongst many of the more modern Hollywood buildings along the strip.

The best part however are the handprints and signatures lined up out front. There are nearly 200 personal marks either in the form of handprints, footprints or signatures. It’s really cool to stroll along and see who you can find!

Shop on Rodeo Drive

No, I didn’t actually shop or buy anything on Rodeo, although I definitely wish I did! I simply strolled along pretending to be somebody important, but it was fun!

It’s always free to window shop so if you don’t have an extensive budget (or one at all like me) take a walk and admire the unbelievable nice cars driving down, and beautiful people dressed up in designer clothes on route to add to their collections.

Honestly, I couldn’t even believe the wealth that I was seeing eveywhere as I walked, that in itself is truly a sight. Plus, you might get lucky and spot someone famous.

Head out to Venice Beach

This was one of my favourite places in California. I’m not sure if it was the variety of people you could get wandering the beach or the beach itself but whatever it was, I fell in love.

You will need a car to get out here but if you manage to miss the famous LA traffic you should be okay. Park at one of the designated parking lots and spend some time wandering up and down the boardwalk. One of the better spots was the outdoor gym!

If you’re heading on a Sunday there is an unreal drum circle that happens near sunset. You really just have to listen for the music and follow your ears. Walking into this 200 person deep circle is one of the coolest travel experiences I’ve ever had.

Stroll through the Grove

Located 30 minutes outside of Downtown L.A., The Grove is also worth a trek if you have a car. The Grove almost looks like something out of a Disney park, with interestingly decorated retail spots, a large Cheesecake factory restaurant and a cool tram that brings you through “the mall”.

It’s a neat place to walk around – and offers more affordable shopping than Rodeo Drive. At Christmas time the decorate the area really beautifully. We also went later in the afternoon so we got to see theplace lit up at night. It was actually pretty beautiful.

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