Although technically part of Los Angeles, Hollywood has long been known worldwide for its film and entertainment industry. Home to Universal Studios, the Chinese Theater, the Sunset Strip, and Hollywood Boulevard, this area yields a wealth of famous landmarks. The neighborhood is located about 8 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains, where visitors can see the distinctive, hilly Hollywood sign.
1 Walk of Fame
The famous Hollywood Walk of Fame runs along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Here, Hollywood’s most recognized faces and names are represented by “stars,” dedicated and laid out on the sidewalk. The list of names found here includes prominent actors, musicians, directors, personalities and other important people from the fields of film, TV, radio, recording and live theatre/performance. Stars are still being added.
The tradition started in 1960 and has been the source of much controversy. Who would be included and more importantly who would not be included became the issue. There is a nomination process with new nominees announced in June each year. Today there are about 2500 stars on the sidewalks with a small number being added each year.
Official Site: https://www.walkoffame.com/
2 Universal Studios Hollywood
The Universal site is divided into several areas, including an amusement park, a work studio, and also City Walk, an area of restaurants and shops. The park offers some of the most innovative and interesting theme parks to be found anywhere in the United States. There are several classic rides, but new rides are constantly being developed, based on popular movies and TV shows. In addition to the rides and entertainment, a studio tour is also available. Here, visitors can take a journey behind the camera and see what goes into making a Hollywood movie extravaganza. The tour includes riding a tram through the backlots and former movie sets that include classics such as the War of the Worlds, the Bates Motel, and Wisteria Lane. For a bite to eat, shop or catch a movie, wander to City Walk where there are dozens of restaurants, movie theaters, comedy clubs and even indoor skydiving.
Adres: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City
Official Site: https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/
3 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood’s main east-west axis, has been compared to New York’s Broadway for its nightlife. However, instead of theaters, Hollywood has extravagant movie theaters, such as the Chinese and Egyptian theaters, originally built by Sid Grauman in the 1920s. The elegant shops that once lined Hollywood Boulevard are long gone, as the movie stars moved to other neighborhoods. Hollywood Boulevard is probably most famous for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For movie buffs, the Kodak Theater is also here, home of the Academy Awards, where the Oscars are presented each year. This street is mostly about night life when these famous places are lit up and many people come here to walk around. There are a number of good restaurants in this area, so you may want to combine a stroll along the promenade with dinner.
4 TCL Chinees theater
The Chinese Theater was built by Sid Grauman in 1927 and has had many titles over the years. After the last change of hands, the theater became known as the TCL Chinese Theater. This famous theater features Chinese design and decoration and is home to the ‘signature collection’ of famous footprints and handprints in the forecourt.
Address: 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028-6103, United States
Official Site: https://www.tclchinesetheatres.com/
5 Sunset Strip
The famous Sunset Strip is located in West Hollywood and is part of Sunset Boulevard. This area, between Hollywood and the high-end neighborhoods of Beverly Hills, is very eclectic with restaurants, shops and nightlife with towering billboards. At night, the street comes alive with neon signs and crowds of people walking the streets or crossing the strip. It’s not the glitzy high-end street it once was, but it still has a lot of character. The Sunset Strip is still a place to see and be seen; where famous people sometimes hang out and people waiting to be discovered gather. Some Hollywood celebrities live in the area. If you plan to visit you may just want to walk the strip and look around, do some shopping and have a meal. However, the busy and exciting time, with the best chance of seeing celebrities, is in the evening.
Official Site: https://thesunsetstrip.com/
6 Hollywood sign
The famous Hollywood Sign on the Hill is perhaps the most iconic site in Hollywood. The first sign, built with a much different intention than the current one, was conceived in the 1920s. The original sign read Hollywoodland, advertising a new residential development. It was never intended to be a permanent sign and was not built to last for decades. Eventually, the sign was changed to just Hollywood and became a recognized symbol of the city.
You don’t have to drive far to see the sign, it is visible everywhere during the day.
Official Site: https://hollywoodsign.org/
7 Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is an outdoor concert area in a natural amphitheater. The area can hold up to 30,000 people, although this includes a stand. There are seats for about 20,000 people. The history of the Hollywood Bowl dates back to the 1920s and has attracted top performers over the years. Today the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra plays here during the summer months with its “Symphonies Under the Stars”. There are also special nights with the Hollywood Bowl’s tradition of fireworks. Performances cover everything from jazz and classical to country and pop.
Official Site: https://www.hollywoodbowl.com/
8 Capitol Records Building
The unique Capitol Records Building is a multi-story circular building. It was built in 1956, designed by Welton Becket, who intended it to look like a stack of vinyl records on a turntable, complete with a stylus on top. Although, the younger generation of music fans may not recognize what is now an outdated device. The building is somewhat of an icon in Hollywood and can be appreciated with a simple drive through. A 1972 mural by local artist Richard Wyatt pays tribute to the artists and clubs who made Hollywood a hub for innovative jazz.
Where to Stay in Hollywood for Sightseeing
We recommend these fantastic Hollywood hotels near top attractions like the Walk of Fame and Chinese Theater:
- The Hollywood Roosevelt: four-star luxury, 1960s-style poolside lounge, vintage game parlor with bowling alleys, 24-hour burgers, excellent restaurant.
- Hollywood Orchid Suites: Mid-range pricing, value-for-money suites, a rooftop garden and sparkling outdoor pool.
- Hollywood Celebrity Hotel: affordable rates, quiet yet central location, homey rooms, suites with kitchenettes.
- Coral Sands Motel: Budget rates, friendly service, free parking, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.