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Who wants a fun filled day in Hollywood, California? I think a better question might possibly be, who doesn’t? My 11 year old niece, Maizy and I spent and entire day here on her recent visit. We started with a morning hike up to the Hollywood sign, then checked out the Walk of Fame and finished with a movie at Grauman’s Chinese Theater! These are our tips to help make your day great in Hollywood.
Hike to the Hollywood sign!
Don’t miss out on this fun opportunity! Most people aren’t in Hollywood very often, or when they are, they’ve passed the sign from afar. Hike on up there and get as close as you can for a fun photo op!
There are several ways to hike to the Hollywood sign. This route, the Brush Canyon Trail, is my favorite, mostly because it has a free parking lot and is open to the public (other hikes have you parking in neighborhoods where there are signs clearly explaining that your car will be towed)! I love a good hike, but worrying about my car dampens things substantially. This hike also has bathrooms (ok, porta potties at the parking lot. Thank you soccer for breaking me in to that wonderful experience!) and easy, clear signs to get you to the top. The address for your gps is 2927 Canyon Drive, Los Angeles, CA. This will take you right to the parking lot. The first parking lot will be on your right. There is another lot closer to the trail head ahead on your left. It’s much smaller, but worth a try.
After finding a spot, simply follow the sidewalk through the gate and up the hill. The turns are clearly marked with signs and one has the ability to see the Hollywood letters from afar (look to your left, you can’t miss it). The entire route is about 6.4 miles round trip and roughly a thousand feet of elevation. It’s a moderate hike and will take you about two to four hours depending on your physical condition. The first half an hour has shade, the remaining miles are in the open sun. I’d recommend an early start in the summer with extra water, sunscreen and a hat. It is a crowded hike and leashed dogs are welcome.
The beginning of the hike is wonderful and easy. There are trees and shade with the sun peaking through. As the hike progresses up the hill, the trees are replaced with views of the city. When you get to the top you can take a picture in front of the sign, but the path also continues up to the top so that you can see the back of the sign!
The Walk of Fame Stars
After finishing the hike we headed to the Hollywood Walk of Stars. It’s less than a 10 minute drive. Parking near the walk is $12 to $15 for the day. There are several things that you should know before heading to this venue.
Top Planning Tips For The Walk of Fame Stars
- This is a huge tourist attraction in Los Angeles. There are a lot of people in a small space. It’s sometimes difficult to walk and personal space is an issue. I’d recommend a conversation before leaving the car about staying together.
- There are colorful characters, sales people and street performers everywhere. They sell trinkets, cd’s, and pictures with themselves and their costumes. It can be quite overwhelming (and a bit scary for younger kids) at times. Coming up with a plan on how to handle this before hand is a good idea. There are also panhandlers and homeless people.
- There are maps online that will give you the location of your favorite star. Find your favorite one and when there is a break in the foot traffic get a picture!
- Walk into one of the touristy souvenir shops, especially if you’re with kids. It’s entertaining just to watch how interested they are in some very silly things!
- My 11 year old niece, Maizy’s tip is if someone is pestering you for a picture you have to set politeness aside and be forceful with a great big NO!
Grauman’s Chinese Theater
This is hands down my favorite place to visit in Hollywood. The theater was opened in 1927 and has been an icon ever since. It has held numerous premiers (Star Wars, just sayin’), three academy awards and is well known for its movie stars signatures and hand and foot prints in the concrete outside in the courtyard.
Top Planning Tips for Grauman’s Chinese Theater
- If you’d like to see a movie at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, buy tickets ahead of time. Make sure you purchase the tickets for the IMAX movie. The other movies are not in the theater! They are next door.
- I love to read the history of places before going to them. Here is a link to more information about Grauman’s Chinese Theater. This theater is a don’t miss in Hollywood.
- Arrive in the theater ahead of time. Check out the bathrooms and the movie props. Give yourself extra time in the theater before the show begins, simply wander and marvel at this beautiful theater. If only the walls could talk!
***The lobby and the bathrooms at Grauman’s Theater! It truly is beautiful. – Laura