Los Angeles is certainly about the stars, and from the silver screen to some of the west coast’s coolest hangouts, this celebrity sheen is coupled with stunning natural beauty to make LA a spectacular California getaway.
The people of Los Angeles will tell you there is more to their city than just Hollywood. But for over a century the world’s most recognisable film industry has been the greatest feature of the city, and one of its biggest economic drivers.
The iconic Hollywood sign
From the iconic Hollywood Sign sat high in the hills to the numerous famous stars that line Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street to make up the Hollywood Walk of Fame, film and celebrity are at LA’s heart, and always draw a crowd.
And the crowds do come to see the sights – and for anyone on a first trip, these should not be missed. For the Hollywood Sign two great spots to get the best views are from The Griffith Observatory or the Hollywood Bowl Overlook viewpoint on Mulholland Drive – a Drive which is an experience in itself.
The stunning view from the Hollywood Bowl Overlook
If you prefer to take to the air charter a helicopter and see the white letters stand out proudly against the natural backdrop and take in the city from this very special vantage point.
Other sights include the Chinese Theater (though avoid the crowds snapping away at the famous hand and footprints in the courtyard and see a movie inside instead), or get tickets to the magnificent Hollywood Bowl.
The Hollywood Bowl
This amazing 18,000-seat outdoor amphitheatre beautifully set in the Hollywood hills has something for everyone. In the summer it becomes home to the LA Philharmonic, and its calendar of concerts this year include a not-to-be-missed duo gig by Blondie and Garbage and performances by Tony Bennett with the LA Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
For those wanting to go behind the scenes there are numerous studio tours to check out, with Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. all worth trying, with VIP tours available for very special access.
The Redbury hotel
If you’re after Bohemian chic right at the junction of Hollywood and Vine try the all-suite Redbury, or if an escape to the beach is what you’re after venture just 30 minutes west to Santa Monica and the old world Art Deco glamour and pampering on offer at Shutters on the Beach. A little further west there is also the stunning Malibu to explore and some of America’s finest beachside properties to ogle.
Stay by the beach – Image courtesy of Shutters on the Beach
If the ocean air makes you long for more outdoors pursuits, head back inland to Runyon Canyon and enjoy a breathtaking, scenic hike, and afterwards enjoy the local shopping.
Or simply relax by the beach
The Rodeo Drive scene from Pretty Woman has certainly stuck in many a mind, and there is excellent shopping to be had on this famous thoroughfare from the world’s leading labels. For some of the same luxury brands in a quirkier atmosphere head to the lovely retail village of Brentwood Country Mart with its barn-like structure dating back to 1948 and pretty picnic areas.
With a star-studded history like no other city in the world, exquisite places to stay, and with beaches and hiking all within easy reach, sample life in glorious Technicolor and make the City of Angels your next west coast getaway. Fly into Van Nuys, Santa Monica, Burbank, or Los Angeles International airport for easiest access to LA.
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