Hollywood

For other places with the same name, see Hollywood (disambiguation).

No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a visit to its most famous district: Hollywood, best known as the self-declared entertainment capital of the world.

Understand

Hooray for Hollywood

The best-known song about Hollywood was introduced in the Busby Berkeley-directed 1937 film Hollywood Hotel. Since then it has become the unofficial anthem for the movie capital of the world, and is even played at the annual Academy Awards ceremonies.

A business and residential district in the city of Los Angeles, the core of Hollywood for a tourist is its three fascinating boulevards: Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, and Melrose Avenue, all of which are worth seeing. Hollywood Blvd is known for its entertainment history, Sunset Blvd for its clubs and nightlife, and Melrose Ave for its shopping, nightlife, and eclecticism.

Hollywood was founded as an independent city in 1903 and voted to merge with the City of Los Angeles in 1910. That same year also saw the birth of the Southern California motion picture industry when D. W. Griffith relocated his Biograph Company, sparking a westward migration of East Coast filmmakers. As movies exploded in popularity in the 1910s and 20s, the name Hollywood became synonymous with the film industry.

In the decades following World War II, Hollywood's glitz and glamour began to fade as most of the leading film studios moved to other places. By the 1980s, Hollywood was considered one of the worst neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The 1990s, however, saw the beginning of community redevelopment efforts, and today Hollywood is once again one of the region's most vibrant areas. Paramount is the only major film studio still headquartered in Hollywood, but the area nonetheless remains an important center of the entertainment industry with its myriad production and broadcast facilities. Smaller studios still in Hollywood include Sunset-Gower Studios, Hollywood Center Studios, Raleigh Studios, Jim Henson Studios, and Sunset Bronson Studios (housed on the original Warner Bros. lot).

The other major studios are located to the north in the San Fernando Valley, particularly in Universal City (NBC, Universal), Burbank (ABC, Disney, Warner Bros.), and Glendale (DreamWorks). Most of the rest are to the west: Century City (Fox, MGM), the Fairfax District (CBS), and Culver City (Sony). Many of the studios offer tours if you want to see where films are shot.

If you want to see celebrities, pack your patience or be prepared to play the role of boulevardier. The chances of bumping into a celebrity are very low (mainly because most of the celebrities who live in Hollywood usually do not go out in public) unless you're willing to do a lot of hanging out at expensive restaurants in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, or in Malibu. You can easily see where they live by taking a tour or buying a star map.

Get in

By car

Hollywood is close enough to the Westside to make car trips there relatively easy. If you're beginning your trip in Downtown Los Angeles—the proverbial center of Southern California's intricate freeway network—you can head north on U.S. Highway 101 and exit on Hollywood Blvd or Gower Street. If traffic is a problem (and it will be around the hours of 1PM-6PM), consider an alternate route such as one of the surface streets. From the west, Santa Monica Boulevard is a major thoroughfare that links Hollywood with Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

By public transit

Hollywood's location is central to most other popular attractions. Metro's Red Line subway service stops at Hollywood/Vine and Hollywood/Highland, and is the most direct transit connection to Downtown. It also continues north to its terminus in North Hollywood, with a stop in Universal City. Visitors from Orange County can get to Hollywood by taking Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner or Metrolink's Orange County Line to Los Angeles Union Station and then transferring to the Red Line.

The stretch of Hollywood Blvd between Highland and Vine is served frequently by Metro bus lines 217 and Metro Rapid 780, while the 180 and 181 from the east terminate just before Hollywood/Vine. Sunset Boulevard is served frequently by bus lines 2 and 302, Santa Monica Boulevard by the 4 and Metro Rapid 704, and Melrose Avenue by the 10. For frequent north-south service, Vine Street is served by the 210 and La Brea Avenue by the 212 and 312.

Long-distance bus service is not available into Hollywood. If taking Greyhound, the best option now is to take one to the station in North Hollywood, then catch the Metro Red Line.

By plane

Hollywood is served by Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX) or the slightly closer Bob Hope Airport (IATA: BUR) in Burbank. A direct scheduled shuttle service from LAX is provided by LAXFlyAway for $8 per person, and stops on the northeast corner of Selma and Argyle Avenues, one block southeast of Hollywood and Vine. Metro operates a free shuttle between Bob Hope Airport and the North Hollywood Metro station, where you can ride the Red Line subway into Hollywood.

Get around

Hollywood sits roughly between the 101 freeway on the east, Melrose Avenue on the south, West Hollywood on the west, and the Hollywood Hills on the north. The main east-west streets of central Hollywood are Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd, intersected by the main north-south streets of La Brea Ave, Highland Ave, Cahuenga Blvd, Vine St, and Gower St. Night-time pedestrian activity in this area is focused on Hollywood Blvd.

The main areas of Hollywood are walkable, and you could walk all the way from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose Avenue, but the distance is far enough that most people would probably drive or take the bus.

See

The Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood is the place for film and TV series tourism. If you're lucky, you can see a taping of a TV show; most of America's sitcoms, game shows, and quite a few of its talk shows are taped at any one of the major studios in the Hollywood area (quite a few dramas are filmed in these studios as well, but since they tend not to be filmed before a live studio audience, your chances of getting to see one of those live are virtually nil). Nearby Studio City, Burbank, Century City, Fairfax, and Culver City hold the most prominent studios, but in Hollywood proper, Paramount Studios is the filming location of many sitcoms and Dr. Phil, Hollywood Center Studios provides production facilities for Disney and Comedy Central, among others (@Midnight is a big draw these days), and Jimmy Kimmel Live! broadcasts from a complex adjacent to the El Capitan Theatre. In general, you'll have to call or go to the website of the show itself to get tickets.

Paramount Pictures Studios

Theaters

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Museums

Do

Hollywood Bowl

Buy

Hollywood Blvd has countless urban clothing stores. Walk around and find stores with the latest LNG, Phat Farm, Timberland, Sean John, and many more. Melrose Avenue is the to go to place to feel like a star. Start by browsing through vintage clothing stores to maxing out the credit card at chic boutiques.

Shopping centers

Hollywood and Highland Center

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Dessert

Drink

Juice

Clubs and bars

Street life in Hollywood remains lively later than in most other areas, making the district a satisfying location to come home to. In fact, the best time to see Hollywood is in the evening, since the district serves along with the nearby Sunset Strip, as the regional center for clubs and nightlife. The Cahuenga Corridor (along Cahuenga between Sunset and Yucca) has several bars and lounges for bar-hopping.


Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under $100
Mid-range $100 - $200
Splurge Over $200

Hollywood offers a wide range in price and quality of accommodations. The antique Roosevelt Hotel provides an upscale choice, though has a reputation for frequently closing its pool for private parties. There is a full range of standard motel chains including Travelodge, Motel 6, and Best Western. There are also a few well-located hostels.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Internet

A few internet cafés are dotted around town, but a better (and cheaper) option if you've got a laptop is to take advantage of the free wireless internet at the numerous coffee shops along and off of either Hollywood Blvd or Melrose Ave.

Go next

Routes through Hollywood

Santa Barbara Universal City  N  S  Northwest L.A. Downtown L.A.
Santa Monica West Hollywood  W  E  Northwest L.A. Glendale
Santa Monica West Hollywood  W  E  Northwest L.A. Downtown L.A.
North Hollywood Studio City/Universal City  N  S  East Hollywood Downtown L.A.


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.