Any visitor to the city usually makes a beeline for Hollywood Boulevard. Why? Let's see - the Hollywood Walk of Fame is usually the first stop for most tourists and locals. Finding the name of your favorite stars marked on the street for eternity is quite thrilling. Doesn't hurt that there are shops aplenty and restaurants galore for your entertainment. The Red Line on the Metro is located here and so is the Hollywood and Highland shopping mall from where you might, on a good weather day, find a reasonable view of the Hollywood sign. But here are my top five picks for a better experience along this street. Given that I now live here, these are insights from a local but seasoned through the eye of a new Angeleno in the making.
1. TCL Chinese Theatre - This is 'the' venue to watch new releases or any other of your fave upcoming flicks. On premiere days, there is no way you can even enter this spot, or all of Hollywood Blvd. for that matter. Any movies releasing at this historic venue warrant a shutdown for the whole street. So make sure to check before you visit that there are no events happening. Definitely keep an eye out for interesting design details inside and all the movie history that accompanies it.
2. The Farmers Market - This happens only on Sunday at the intersection on Ivar. This is one of the largest farmers markets in LA and one of the most well-known. You can get your weekly grocery shopping done here as well as stay on for some Sunday brunch/lunch and gift shopping. All produce and products are local so you will be supporting local businesses. Remember to take your shopping bags along! You will not leave empty-handed.
3. Runyon Canyon - If the crowd are not your thing then just off Hollywood Blvd is Runyon Canyon. A great hike within the city that many folks do not know about. Different levels of difficulty ensure that everyone in your party enjoys. What is guaranteed though are the views - no matter which trail you decide on, the views of the city and simply astounding. Many moments for camera clicking and rest assured some of that will include the famed Hollywood sign.
4. In-n-Out - Yup, the burger place. Legend holds true. The location off Hollywood Blvd is always busy, always packed, and always happy to have you. Lines are long, inside and out, and brisk business is normal on any given day. Finding a spot to sit for your meal might be difficult but that's a given. Play on! The burgers are hearty and the shakes even more so. Nobody leaves complaining - locals love it and tourists must try it.
5. Roosevelt Hotel - There is no way you can miss this if you are on Hollywood Blvd. It is a landmark attraction, featuring Spanish colonial revival style architecture. their Pool Cafe, Spare room Lounge and Library Bar are great places to hang out with the party or take refuge from the droves outside. You never know when you can spot a celebrity here and you might certainly remember the hotel from many movies it has featured in.
No matter the choices though, you can easily spend a day in this one street in LA and not be bored. Entertainment guaranteed! Want more suggestions. Let me know when you are visiting and I can help. Or if you have visited any of the venues I have listed here, do share in the comments what your experience was when there!