A tour of Hollywood-Beverly Hills

Travel On The Dollar
May 20, 2009  •  10 min(s) read

A lot of things may have changed since we published this post. We try and update often, but it’s best to check the information (parking, timings, ticket prices, etc.) on the place’s website. Please contact us if you find error. We’d love to hear from you.

This is a tour of some of the most-visited spots in Beverly Hills and Hollywood:
– Rodeo Drive
– Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel
– Beverly Hills sign
– La Brea Tar Pits
– Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre)
– Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
– Hollywood Walk of Fame
– Hollywood Bowl
– Hollywood Sign

Map of the tour
Map of the tour

We assume:
– that you will be driving a car and not walking
– that you have a lot of cash to spend at Rodeo Drive (optional)
– that you are a tourist

Rodeo Drive
Start at the second-most expensive street in United States after 5th Ave New York – Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. This is where you are most-likely to spot some celebrity, and hordes of tourists. One of the most visited places in Los Angeles area, this street of 0.3 miles (0.5 km) has some of world’s best designer stores. Spend about an hour or two glaring at the beautiful people window-shopping and visit some stores for expensive purchases. Note that parking is challenging in Los Angeles, hence find your way to the parking structures on the north side of Rodeo Dr (paid parking; 25¢ for 15 minutes).

Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive

Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel
While you are at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Blvd, look south at the majestic Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel (featured in Richard Gere, Julia Roberts starrer ‘Pretty Woman’), the one with the flags flurrying at the gate.

Regent Beverly Wilshire
Address: 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California 90212
Tel: (310) 275-5200, Fax: (310) 274-2851

Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel
Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel

Beverly Hills Sign
Walking north on the Rodeo Drive, cross the Little Santa Monica Blvd up to Santa Monica Blvd brings you to the well-known 90210 zip-code called City of Beverly Hills. Walk two blocks to the right (passing Beverly Drive) and see the Beverly Hills sign on your left.

Beverly Hills Sign
Beverly Hills Sign

La Brea Tar Pits
Start from Rodeo Drive and drive south to Wilshire Blvd. Turn left on Wilshire Blvd and drive for about 2.6 miles to reach the intersection of Wilshire Blvd and Curson Ave. On your left is La Brea Tar Pits & Hancock Park.

The La Brea Tar Pits (or Rancho La Brea Tar Pits) are a famous cluster of tar pits located in Hancock Park in the urban heart of Los Angeles. Asphalt or tar (which in Spanish is la brea) has seeped up from the ground in this area for tens of thousands of years. The tar is often covered with water, which attracts wildlife. Over the centuries, the bones of animals that died in the pits sank into the tar and were preserved. The George C. Page museum is dedicated to researching the tar pits and displaying specimens from them.

La Brea Tar Pits
La Brea Tar Pits

The George C. Page Museum, part of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, is built next to the tar pits in Hancock Park on Wilshire Boulevard. It tells the story of the tar pits and presents specimens from them. Visitors can walk around the park and see the tar pits for free. On the grounds of the park are life-sized models of prehistoric animals in or near the tar pits. Of more than a hundred pits, only Pit 91 is still regularly worked on. The museum encloses the pit and tourists can watch as it is excavated for two months each summer. The work is done by volunteers under the watchful eyes of paleontologists.

George C. Page Museum
Hours & Admissions:
– Open 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Daily
– Admission is free on the first Tuesday of each month.
– The museum is closed on Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Please call (323) 934-PAGE for information about special extended holiday hours or closures.

Admission Prices:
Adults: $7.00
Seniors 62 and older and Students with I.D.: $4.50
Youths 13-17 years old: $4.50
Children 5-12 years old: $2.00
Members and Children under 5: Free

Museum Parking:
$6.00 with Page Museum validation (Page Museum parking lot only)
$8.00 without Page Museum validation
Be sure to bring your parking ticket into the museum to receive your validation.

Important Note About Parking:
If you choose street parking over the museum lot, please read all parking signs carefully, as restrictions apply. Most importantly, DO NOT PARK ALONG WILSHIRE BOULEVARD between the hours of 7-9am and 4-7pm (Monday – Friday) or your car will be ticketed and towed. This applies even if you are parked at a meter.

George Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (323) 934-PAGE (7243)

Further directions
Start from the La Brea Tar Pits
Head south on S Curson Ave toward Wilshire Blvd    36 ft
Turn left at Wilshire Blvd 0.6 mi
Turn left at S La Brea Ave 2.0 mi
Turn right at CA-2/Santa Monica Blvd 0.3 mi
Turn left at CA-170/N Highland Ave 0.7 mi
Reach Dolby Theatre at 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Dolby Theatre
Dolby Theatre is the crown jewel of the Hollywood & Highland Center retail, dining and entertainment complex located in the heart of historic Hollywood. The 3,332 seat theatre opened in November 2001 and soon thereafter became known to more than one billion people across the globe as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards.

Expect a lot of crowd at the Dolby Theatre during weekends and holidays. Tour buses drop hordes of people who hold a City Pass and get access to the guided tours faster. After the tour, if it’s still sunny outside then  make sure to walk past the main square to the back of the building where you can see the Hollywood Sign in the distance. Also see our section on how to reach the Hollywood sign from Dolby Theatre. If you take pictures with the “movie characters” in front of the theatre, make sure to tip them with at least $2.

Dolby Theatre
Dolby Theatre

Guided Tours:
Guided tours of Dolby Theatre are available seven days a week from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm from June 1 to August 31, and from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm the remainder of the year. Tours depart every half hour from Level 2 entrance and last approximately 30 minutes.

Adults $15
Seniors (65 & over) $10
Youth (17 & under) $10
Children (under 3) Free

Dolby Theatre Coupon
Dolby Theatre Coupon

Tickets may be purchased at the Dolby Theatre box office up to seven days in advance. Dolby Theatre Tours are included in the Hollywood CityPass. For more information, visit www.citypass.com Obtain a coupon for $3 off regular admission on here or at theatre website.

Guided Tour Rules:

  • Tours will begin and end at the Level 2 entrance.
  • Please arrive ten minutes before your scheduled tour time.
  • Food, beverage, gum chewing and smoking are prohibited during the tour.
  • Tour is a thirty minute walking tour that includes several flights of stairs.
  • Disabled guests can be easily accommodated, but please advise the theatre at the time of ticket purchase.
  • Public restrooms are not available inside the theatre. Please utilize facilities outside the theatre on Level 2.
  • The use of cameras or other recording devices during the tour is strictly prohibited.
  • Guests must remain with the tour group at all times.
  • Stroller check is required, and available inside the theatre.
  • Children under 12 are welcome to tour the building but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Dolby Theatre customer service:
Tel: (323) 308-6300
Email: info@Dolbytheatre.com
Address: 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028

Right next to Dolby Theatre is…
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
It was once stated that “to visit Los Angeles and not see the Chinese is like visiting China and not seeing the Great Wall.” Grauman’s opulent, awe-inspiring presence and history has been a cornerstone of Hollywood for over 75 years.

The grand opening of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on May 18, 1927, was the most spectacular theatre opening in motion picture history. Thousands of people lined Hollywood Boulevard and a riot broke out as fans tried to catch a glimpse of the movie stars and other celebrities as they arrived for the opening. The film being premiered that night was Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King of Kings,” which was preceded by “Glories of the Scriptures,” a live prologue devised by master showman Sid Grauman. A Wurlitzer organ and 65-piece orchestra provided music for the prologue. The theatre opened to the public the following day, May 19, 1927.

Previously, Grauman built the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and the lavish Egyptian Theatre a few blocks from the Chinese, but he wanted to build his dream theatre. Real estate mogul C.E. Toberman helped him secure a long-term lease on a piece of property on the boulevard and Grauman developed the plans for the theatre with architect Raymond Kennedy.

Grauman's Chinese Theater
Grauman's Chinese Theater

Footprints & handprints

Handprints & Footprints at Chinese Theatre
Handprints & Footprints at Chinese Theatre

There are nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs in the concrete of the theater’s forecourt. Variations of this honored tradition are imprints of the eye glasses of Harold Lloyd, the cigars of Groucho Marx and George Burns, the magic wands of Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, the legs of Betty Grable, the fist of John Wayne, the knees of Al Jolson, the ice skating blades of Sonja Henie, and the noses of Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope. Western stars William S. Hart and Roy Rogers left imprints of their guns. The hoofprints of “Tony”, the horse of Tom Mix, “Champion”, the horse of Gene Autry, and “Trigger”, the horse of Rogers, were left in the cement beside the prints of the stars who rode them in the movies. During World War II the theater discontinued installing concrete handprints and footprints. The tradition resumed after the war in 1945 with Gene Tierney: Her star was on the rise at the time with Laura and the release of Leave Her to Heaven. The only person not associated with the movie industry to have a signature and handprint in front of the theater is Grauman’s mother.Additionally, Charles Nelson, the winner of a “Talent Quest,” had his handprints and footprints embedded in the “Forecourt of the Stars.”

Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA, that serves as an entertainment hall of fame. It is embedded with more than 2,000 five-pointed stars featuring the names of not only human celebrities but also fictional characters honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for their contributions to the entertainment industry.

The Walk of Fame runs west on Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Avenue to La Brea Avenue and north to south on Vine Street between Yucca Street and Sunset Boulevard. The Walk of Fame is nearly a three-and-a-half-(3 1/2)-mile (5.6km) round-trip walk. Locations of specific stars are permanent, except when occasionally relocated for nearby construction or other reasons. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is sought after as much as Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, BAFTA, and Golden Globe awards.

Each star consists of a pink terrazzo five-pointed star rimmed with bronze and inlaid into a charcoal square. Inside the pink star is the name of the honoree inlaid in bronze, below which is a round bronze emblem indicating the category for which the honoree received the star. The emblems are:
* Motion picture camera for contribution to the film industry
* Television set for contribution to the broadcast television industry
* Phonograph record for contribution to the recording industry
* Radio microphone for contribution to the broadcast radio industry
* Twin comedy/tragedy masks for contribution to live theater

Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Other attractions at Hollywood Boulevard:
– El Capitan Theatre
– Hollywood Wax Museum
– Hollywood Entertainment Museum
– Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
– Yamashiro Sky Room
– Egyptian Theatre
– Pantages Theatre

Starting from CA-170/N Highland Ave
Head north on CA-170/N Highland Ave toward N Highland Ave – go 0.7 mi
Turn left at Pat Moore Way – go 302 ft
Arriving at Pat Moore Way to the Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl
2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Tel: (323) 436-2827

The Hollywood Bowl is a famous modern amphitheatre in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, USA, that is used primarily for music performances. It has a seating capacity of 17,376. The Hollywood Bowl is well known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that have graced the site since 1929. The band shell is set against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood Sign to the Northeast. The “bowl” refers to the shape of the concave hillside the amphitheater is carved into. The bowl is owned by the County of Los Angeles and is the home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the host of hundreds of musical events each year.

Shuttle Buses
Hollywood Bowl runs shuttle buses to/from Universal Studios, Hollywood & Highland (Dolby Theatre) and L.A. Zoo. Click here for shuttle times and more information.

Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood Bowl

Start from the Hollywood Bowl and reach the…

Hollywood Sign
Click here for a post on “How to reach the Hollywood Sign“.

The Hollywood Sign is a famous landmark in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, spelling out the name of the area in 50 feet (15 m) high white letters. It was created as an advertisement in 1923, but garnered increasing recognition after its initial purpose had been fulfilled. The sign was a frequent target of pranks and vandalism but has since undergone restoration, including a security system to deter vandalism. The sign is protected and promoted by the Hollywood Sign Trust, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to physically maintain, repair and secure the sign, to educate the world about its historical and cultural importance, and to raise the funds necessary to accomplish these projects. From the ground, the contours of the hills give the sign its well-known “wavy” appearance. When observed at a comparable altitude, the letters appear straight-across.

Hollywood Sign
Hollywood Sign

Travel On The Dollar