I hopped off the plane at LAX…well, no, I didn’t. I hopped off the megabus, but lets not go there.
LA, known for its entertainment industry, beautiful beaches and sunny climate, was one of my favourite destinations visited on my trip. It was definitely all it’s made out to be!
We didn’t get into LA, until late afternoon, so after a quick refresh in our hotel, we decided to make the trip down to LA’s iconic Santa Monica beach. Santa Monica is a beachfront city, known for its iconic Pier and beautiful beach. We got to the beach just in time for the sunset, and it was absolutely beautiful!
Myself and Kadie decided to fully submerge ourself into the LA beach life, by getting our cozzies on, and taking a dip in the sea…it was a lot colder than we expected!
The next, and only full day in the city, was spent fully experiencing the LA lifestyle; walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame, seeing the Hollywood sign and touring celebrity of homes through the likes of Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and anywhere else along route.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame stretches across Hollywood Boulevard, with over 2000 stars named on pink – marbles stars across the ‘sidewalk’. The likes of Kermit the Frog to Dolly Parton, Rugrats to Michael Jackson, America to Sir Tom Jones – no connections whatsoever, but all worthy of that spot in Hollywood! One thing that needs to change, is that there needs to be the addition of Whitney Houston…I wasn’t impressed to find out she doesn’t have a star. With the stars being a major attraction themselves, just strolling up the boulevard, reading all the stars is entertaining enough, however, there’s plenty more to do in the area. Hollywood Boulevard is home to plenty of gift shops, retail stores, the footprints of stars outside TCL Chinese theatre, along with multiple street performers/costumised people walking up and down the street for photographs. The street is also home to multiple ticket sellers for Celebrity Home Tours…perfect window shopping opportunity to find the best deal for the day’s next activity.
That leads me onto our Celebrity Homes tour. My best advice is not to bother pre-booking, as you’re bound to find a better deal when you’re there, and it’s likely they’d be able to get you on the next tour; we did, and this was in August, a peak season. To be honest, yes I enjoyed it – it was a good hour or so tour, we got to see a lot of different homes, including the likes of Michael Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Cruise Playboy Mansion to film locations and studios, and it was a great way to see different areas of LA, without all the walking, and the tour guide was super knowledgable and flexible to take us where we wanted. However, if you were to ask whether it was worth it? Not really. Half the homes (due to the price and standard of them) would be gated, so technically, we only seen the gates of celebrity homes, but still! It was a good trip, and I loved the open top van…and our tour guide, he could’ve been Tom Cruise’s twin. Oh, and something to note, although you may be offered a cheap price for these tours, be weary of the ‘expected tip’ amount that is clearly advertised throughout the van, and brought up/asked for as you depart…we fell into this trap, but escaped – feeling rather bad.
it was on this tour where we got the sightings of the Hollywood sign…next time, I won’t be so quick to trust “yes we take you to the Hollywood sign” – good job for 20x optical zoom aye.
Next time in the city, I plan on hiking Runyon Canyon, getting closer to the Hollywood sign, and go to Disney and Universal! But for my first trip, LA, you treated me well – I love you.
– Always Exploring,
(visited August 2015)