Los Angeles goes by many names; from short and snappy L.A. to the evocative Tinseltown, La La Land and the City of Angels. Driven by the entertainment industry, LA is the stage upon which a talent pool of young, glamorous, hungry dreamers revolve in search of the ‘one big break’.
Here, time stands still for no man and the conveyor belt of opportunity runs on double time. For me, arriving in LA, following a stint of languid beach-bound days on the Cali coast was a disorienting adjustment. With so much going on, it’s impossible not to be swept up by the vibrancy and slip into an awed haze of unreality.
Give yourself up to the glitter and lights and buckle in for the best of what LA has to offer. Ready, set, action:
Walk of Fame
The Bayeux Tapestry of the big screen, the Walk of Fame is arguable the most important pictorial document of film and television history. All the big names to have put their stamp on Hollywood in time find themselves a part of this famous stamping ground. All eyes are glued to the floor on Hollywood Boulevard as a steady stream of enraptured star seekers pace the pavement in hunt of their big screen crushes.
When your neck tires of staring at your toes you can check out some stars of a different kind at Griffith Observatory, or simply stroll around Griffith Park for a spectacular vista of downtown and the iconic Hollywood sign.
If this view isn’t enough, a trail starting off from Griffith Park will lead you on an 8-mile round-trip up Mount Hollywood. Although you’re not able to get near enough to touch, climb above and behind the sign for the closest encounter – and an epic shot.
Warner Bros Studios L.A.
From behind the sign, to behind-the-scenes Warner Bros Studios offers an unrivalled insight into the running of a real working studio. Take a tour through the sets, sound stages, prop houses and sound effects studios of the 95-year-old studio.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios HollywoIf you’re wondering which studio to visit: Warner Bros or Universal? Stop. Instead, ask yourself which studio to visit first. Both studios offer unexchangeable experiences: Warner provides the intimacy of a small tour group, a knowledgeable guide and stop-offs at sets. Universal Studios Hollywood delivers the souped-up, show-biz spin off – and with jaws chomping at the tramline you’re safer staying in your seat. The tour and attached theme-park appeals equally to the movie buff and thrill seeker.
Now you’ve seen where they work, lust over how they live; get a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous with a tour of the Hollywood Homes. Most tours will give you a drive-by of Rodeo Drive for a spell of window shopping too.
From the highlife to the high seas, head to the Venice Beach to acclimatise yourself back into the real world. This bohemian neighbourhood is the perfect spot to pick up a surfboard or skateboard – or if you’re as hopelessly uncoordinated as your writer – simply relax on the sand and watch the locals do their thing.
Santa Monica Pier
The pier is a scenic walk or flat cycle up the coast from Venice Beach. Rent a bike and end the day with sunset from the Ferris wheel.
In the city that “reinvents itself every two days” (Billy Connelly) no two individuals’ experience of Los Angeles will ever be exactly the same. Let us know what makes your trip stand out above the rest!