When hiring a guide to Los Angeles, be sure to pick an experienced Los Angeles Guide who will take you to both the popular, trendy spots around town as well as the hidden gems only frequented by locals. Seeing the tourist sites are great and absolutely necessary on your trip to L.A. But to get a truly authentic experience, you’ll want to have a guide who really knows the layout of this city, who has lived here for years, and has relationships all around town. That’s what you’ll get when TOURific Escapes is your Guide to Los Angeles. We hire only the best, most knowledgeable, and most experienced local Los Angeles Guides.
If you’re a shopper or love great restaurants, you’ll want to visit Beverly Hills. Want to see celebrities? Then you should head to Malibu. If you want to see the movie studios and go “behind the scenes,” then we’ll take you to Burbank. Or maybe the nightlife is your thing—then you’ll have to cruise the Sunset Strip and make your way around Hollywood. No matter what you want to do, who you want to see, or how you want to experience Los Angeles, TOURific Escapes is the perfect guide for your ultimate trip!
Take a look below to see some of the most popular areas in Los Angeles. In each section you’ll find some great ideas to help move your way throughout L.A. and get the most out of your visit. Take some time and explore some of Los Angeles, from Hollywood to the Beaches to Downtown that you might not know about! We know that Los Angeles and Hollywood can be overwhelming places to visit. We think you’ll find that you can make Los Angeles a little smaller once you’ve had a chance to read the guide we’ve put together for you. As always, please let us know if you have any requests or suggestions that you’d like to see as part of the guide. – Thanks, TOURific Escapes.
No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without checking out some of its history and highlights. Hollywood is located just northwest of downtown Los Angeles and is best known as the home of film and movie stars. But more than that, Hollywood has a culture synonymous with the movies. In 2006 California recognized the significance of Hollywood and gave it a defined boundary similar to any other city. This will allow the city to track specific records in the district of Hollywood. We now generally consider the area east of Beverly Hills, south of Mulholland, west of the Golden State Freeway, and north of Melrose to be the district of Hollywood.
This is one of the places in Hollywood where the stars truly live forever. Every hand print, every foot print and in one case a nose print, has a story. You might say that visiting Hollywood without stopping at Grauman’s Chinese Theater would be like taking a trip to China and NOT seeing The Great Wall. That’s how much “star” history has been created at Grauman’s. The theater was declared a historic site in 1968 and has been under a constant barrage of restoration programs. From the two towering 90 foot tall coral red columns topped with wrought iron masks to the authentic Chinese stone pagoda heaven dogs, it’s a great sight to behold.
The current home of the Academy Awards, the Kodak Theater is where actors receive their famed “Oscars.” You can take a tour of the theater and find out some behind-the-scenes information. Check out the VIP room where you’ll see one of Kodak’s Oscars up close. The Kodak Theater has the next 70 years locked up for the awards show. In 2011 you’ll be able to see the Cirque du Soleil perform at the Kodak. They recently signed a 10 year, 100 million dollar agreement and have developed a show just for the theater. In fact, special retrofitting was needed to ensure you’d get the most from all those flying performers.
For the past 50 years the Hollywood Walk of Fame has put some of the most famous stars right below your feet. In just about 2.4 miles you’ll find just over 2,400 names. But don’t worry, they won’t run out of room anytime soon. When you look at one of the name plates you’ll see 5 different symbols below the name. These stand for radio, T.V., music, film, and live theater. Do you know who has one star in each of the 5 categories?
You can find Sunset Blvd. as it runs from Malibu to downtown Los Angeles along the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. But what you and I know as the Sunset Strip is the 1.5 miles between Doheny Drive and N. Crescent Heights Boulevard. The “Strip” got its name due to some of the seedier activities that used to take place. Today the Sunset Strip is home to some famous landmark hotspots such as the Whiskey A Go Go, The Comedy Store, Sunset Plaza and the Chateau Marmont.
With one of the most recognizable zip codes in the country, Beverly Hills was named after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts. In 1919 you would have been 1 of 600 residents. But for the past 70 years the population has remained around 30,000. Home of some of the most expensive “things” you might ever consider owning. In 1906 the first land was sold where you could build any kind of custom home you desired. Today, Beverly Hills is recognized as the most expensive real estate in the country, with a median home price of $2.2 million.
A major tourist attraction to the city is Rodeo Drive. It’s home to some of the most exclusive shops in the world; some requiring reservations and a first-visit minimum dollar spend. Bring your black Amex card when you walk into stores like Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, and many more. You can walk the famed Drive between Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd. Bring your camera and say hi to the paparazzi when you see them.
The mansion is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and is open to the public. The largest family mansion in Beverly Hills, it sits on 12.5 acres. A total of 67 rooms make up more than 46,000 sq. ft. Construction began in 1926 with a total price tag of more than $3 million. The city, which acquired the property in 1965, today hosts many functions at the mansion. “There Will Be Blood” and “Spiderman” are some of the more than 35 films made on location.
A rich history dating back to its construction in 1912, the Beverly Hills Hotel has hosted stars and dignitaries. It’s been said that million dollar deals have been made at this hotel. If only the walls could talk! Howard Hughes lived as a recluse in the bungalows at the hotel in the 40’s, ordering the staff to hide his roast beef sandwiches in the trees. The Rat Pack were regulars at The Polo Lounge. With all this history it’s worth bellying up to the bar for a drink to pay your respects to times gone by.
Malibu is a fantastic city. If you want your own private beach, buy a house in Malibu. It’s like owning a slice of heaven on earth. Take a nice leisurely drive north from Santa Monica on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and in about 40 minutes you’ll find yourself transported from the busy lifestyle of Los Angeles to a more laid back and relaxed environment. Malibu is a 21 mile stretch along PCH starting at about where Topanga Canyon meets the ocean.
Located just outside of the city limits is the Getty Villa. Originally opened in 1974 oil tycoon J. Paul Getty ran out of room at his home in Pacific Palisades. And now we have the Getty Villa. It’s a beautiful space inspired by the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. Be prepared to spend at least a half day at the Villa. You’ll find yourself wandering through rooms wondering how these magnificent works of art were created. Don’t worry though, the Villa offers many guided tours. They range from general orientations to more specific talks on various subjects.
This 105 year old landmark has seen some rough times. But fear not, in 2008 it underwent a complete refurbishment. In fact in 1995 it was closed to the public due to its poor state of disrepair. The rich history of the pier includes TV and movies like “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “Gidget.” There was also Alice’s Restaurant inspired by the Arlo Guthrie song that served the famed B-52 cocktail to throngs of visitors in its heyday. In WWII the pier was used as a lookout point in case enemy ships were spotted! In 1934 the Pier first opened to the public for fishing. You might have even seen stars such as Cesar Romero casting a line.
Taking the family to the park for a lunch time picnic? You’ll have an awesome view. This 6 acre park is located right off the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) near Pepperdine University. It has a baseball diamond, soccer field, and a playground. You can take a walk along the jogging path and enjoy the sun, or just relax for the afternoon until the sun sets and take a picture of this million dollar view.
A fantastic place to live and work, Los Angeles is the home of movie stars, beach-goers and more tourists than you can shake a stick at. And for good reason! We’ve got so much to see and do that you could spend your entire life here and still not see or experience everything worth doing.
Let’s start off seeing Los Angeles by experiencing some of the great outdoors. Yes, that’s right, Los Angeles has some fantastic hiking trails. From beginner to advanced you can find the right level of activity to suit your needs. Runyon Canyon Park is a moderate hike that gives you an awesome view of Hollywood, downtown and the ocean. It’s about a 3.6 mile loop and should take you about 1.5 hours. Find the hike that’s right for you.
Does that sound boring? Well it’s not. It’s a great way to teach kids and adults in a fun hands-on environment. Los Angeles boasts some of the best Museums in the world. From the Natural History Museum to the California Science Center to the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum, we’ve got some of the most unbelievable exhibits to enrich your life. Los Angeles also attracts premier exhibits from all over the world.
I’m sure you already know some great parks to take the kids. Disneyland of course… We also have Disneyland California Adventure, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Raging Waters, Pacific Parkand Lego Land. But listen, we can’t forget about some of the great wildlife that lives right here inside the city. Yep, there is the Los Angeles Zoo. You can also find zoos in Santa Ana, Orange County and last but not least the famous San Diego Zoo too. I can’t leave out some fun fish places to go, like the Aquarium of the Pacific, Santa Monica Pier Aquariumand the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
We could spend the entire website on this section alone. I’m going to point you in the direction of many informative websites where you can learn about some fantastic places to see and hear what Los Angeles brings to the table. If you start downtown you need to look at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The architecture of the building alone is worth the trip. Then head inside and listen to the LA Philharmonic. While you’re there stop by Ahmanson Theater. It’s the closest thing to Broadway, and might just be a little better… As you head towards Santa Monica you’ll pass some great spots in Hollywood. Once you get to the beach take a look at Magicopolis for an amazing magic show. Be sure to take in a show at the Ruskin Group Theater near the Santa Monica Airport.
Here you will find a general guide to Los Angeles’s star attraction, the beaches. Find out why many Angelenos love to live by the sea…and it’s not just to enjoy the clean cool ocean breeze! Los Angeles is a very active city. These beach cities provide residents a year round playground to swim, run, and engage in a multitude of beach activities. And when you’re done playing, you can quickly shower off and experience some top notch restaurants and fun night life.
This vibrant city offers food, shopping, entertainment and tons of fun things to occupy your time. But it was not always this way. Before the 10 Freeway dropped you right off on the sand, this was a sleepy little city that struggled to find its place in Los Angeles…but no more! Route 66 officially starts (or ends) at the Santa Monica Pier. Come see why “Baywatch” and other top rated shows and movies spend their time filming in this fantastic location.
On July 4, 1905 Venice was open for business. Abbot Kinney, a tobacco millionaire, built a series of canals to resemble the city of Venice, Italy. Along with a pier, restaurants and miniature railroad, this was the place to be. Today only a handful of the canals remain, but make sure you take the time to explore some of these streets. You won’t believe you’re in Los Angeles. Today you can experience some of the eclectic nature of Venice on the beach promenade (at Washington and Ocean Front Walk) and Muscle Beach.
A more relaxed atmosphere, and sometimes feeling like a world away from Los Angeles, the South Bay beach cities are vibrant and exciting in their own right. The South Bay is aptly named by its location on the south end of the Santa Monica bay. From world class volleyball matches to performing arts venues to delicious cuisine, the South Bay has something for everyone. Conveniently located near LAX and the ports of both San Pedro and Long Beach, the 15 cities that make up the South Bay are geographically and socially unique. Be sure to check out the aquarium at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and find the next date for upcoming beach cities AVP Pro Volleyball Tour events.
Actually Palos Verdes refers to 4 cities located on a peninsula in southwestern Los Angeles. It’s a very affluent community more commonly known as PV. If you want to be close to the action, yet just far enough away where you can enjoy the fabulous vistas, PV is your place. Most activities are outdoors in this area. Biking, hiking, horseback riding, and all the water sports you could ever desire are at your fingertips.
Visit Burbank in sunny Southern California! Located in the heart of the entertainment industry, Burbank has been called “The Media Capital of the World” and is close in proximity to everything you may want to see when you visit Los Angeles. Today Burbank and nearby Toluca Lake are the sites for the Disney Studios, Burbank Studios and Warner Bros. Studios, among many other attractions.
“Beautiful Downtown Burbank” was a phrase used by Johnny Carson at a time when Burbank was not all that beautiful. Many of your favorite TV shows are taped in Burbank. See The Tonight Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and other hit TV programs, in person. Take a studio tour of Warner Bros.and Universal studios. Far from home and craving fresh food? Find your way to the Downtown Burbank Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning from 8:00am to 12:30pm (right behind City Hall) and pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Shop at cool boutiques and dine in great restaurants. Legendary Downtown Burbank boasts 200 shops, 30 movie screens, 80 different kinds of restaurants plus free concerts, arts festivals and much, much more! Burbank is also just a hop, skip & jump from all the best that the Los Angeles region has to offer… fabulous beaches, ski resorts and golf courses. Catch a Dodgers or Lakers game. Or take in a performance at the Starlight Bowl, Hollywood Bowl or one of the many other amazing entertainment venues.
It’s all here and it’s so easy to get to. Fly right into hassle-free Bob Hope Airport (formerly the Burbank Airport) on any major airline. Then it’s 10 minutes by car or convenient mass transit to the start of a wonderful vacation. The Bob Hope Airport has the distinction of being featured in the famous scene in the movie Casablanca. With over 2,200 guest rooms, there is sure to be overnight accommodations to fit every taste, style and budget.