I attended an entertainment/travel conference for bloggers in Los Angeles. It was fun to meet up with some of my online blogger friends to go on a movie locations tour and points of interest in Hollywood, Universal City, and downtown Los Angeles. We had a crazy couple of days but it was a ball. Hollywood is the film capital of the world so what could be better if you’re a movie buff?
You can’t visit Hollywood without hanging out on Hollywood Blvd.
One of our assignments was to take the subway from North Hollywood and get off at Hollywood and Highland to visit Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. Ripley’s is a collection of oddities that are exactly that . . . odd. It’s a popular tourist attraction for those who love the unusual and is a true a museum of weirdness. Although, if you walk down Hollywood Blvd, you can see weird just about everywhere you look. I’ve been living in LA since the mid-’70s and I’d never been to Ripley’s before. It’s fun and totally bizarre!
Ripley’s Believe it or Not
6780 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 – (323) 466-6335
Click on Images to View Full Size
Afterward, we had a pajama party across the street at Dave and Busters. It’s an arcade, and restaurant located at the Dolby theater complex where the Oscar’s are held. It was hilarious seeing our group of bloggers walking to Ripley’s in their PJ’s.
Encounter with Dancing with the Stars
We noticed there was a commotion taking place on the street below. It turned out all of the new participants from Dancing with the Stars were being filmed on the street as a promotion for the show. A few bloggers snuck downstairs to take pictures of the cast. I didn’t go down but could see Paula Dean, Bindi Irwin and several of the dancers walking around from our perch directly above. They were performing for the excited audience that had gathered on the boulevard.
Universal City Walk and the Hard Rock Cafe
The next day, we met at the Hard Rock Café at Universal City Walk. City Walk is an entertainment complex and shopping center with restaurants, shops, hotels and attractions next to Universal Studios in the San Fernando Valley. It’s located next to Universal Studios Tours. Every year there are more and more attractions. It’s a spectacular place to visit and a must-see if you’re ever in the area.
The fabulous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
On the third and last day of the conference, we met at Hard Rock Café but this time, it was at their Hollywood location. They served us a yummy lunch. After it was over, we had 3 hours to kill before our Movie Locations Tour by Starline Tours. It was still oppressively hot outside so a few of us wandered over to the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and hung out in the air-conditioned bar.
The Roosevelt Hotel was built in the 1920s in the art deco style and was the first location for the Academy Awards show. It’s an iconic Hollywood landmark. I’ve been to the Roosevelt on numerous occasions including a premiere party for the movie Terminator Genisys with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out in Hollywood. A wonderful thing to do during the summer in the evening at the Roosevelt is to sit and enjoy cocktails by the pool. There’s plenty of schmoozing going on and you never know who you’ll meet.
Other Hollywood Landmarks
If you’re in Hollywood, you can’t miss the iconic Capital Record’s building.
And right across the street is the historic Avalon nightclub It opened in 1927 as The Hollywood Playhouse and was also known as The Hollywood Palace.
The Old Max Factor building has been turned into Mel’s Drive-in. Although I loved the original, this is pretty cool too!
Movie Locations Tour by Starline Tours
Happily relaxed after cocktails at the Roosevelt, we boarded our Starline tour bus. I’ve taken bus tours in cities all over the world but never tried one in my own backyard. The bus was super comfortable and we enjoyed listening to Mike, our tour guide. As we drove through town, he screened some of the shows that filmed on the locations we passed by on a large HD screen. I recommend Starline Tours for anyone visiting Los Angeles, especially for the first time. They do an amazing job and also have multiple lines of hop-on-hop-off buses. Los Angeles is a vast metropolis and touring it is more fun when someone else is dealing with the traffic.
Our movie locations tour took us past Paramount Studios, the Formosa Café, and Red Studios – once part of Desilu, the Charlie Chaplin Stage – now Jim Henson Productions, MacArthur Park – where they left the cake out in the rain, and several other cool sights.
We made two stops in downtown Los Angeles. The first was in front of Grand Central Market where you can buy specialty grocery items and eat at fabulous vendor food booths. We walked through the market and then over to the Bradbury Building. By the time we arrived, it was closed. I’ve been inside before and it’s an amazing building. You may remember it as one of the locations for the movie Bladerunner.
Our second stop was at Union Station, which is a stunning art deco building and LA’s main transportation hub. It’s interior and exterior has been used for film shoots for decades.
Movie locations tour photo gallery
Click on individual Images to View Full Size – Hover over image thumbnails to share on Pinterest
Starline Tours will take you all over Los Angeles. In addition to their movie locations tour, you can pass by celebrity homes, visit theme parks, movie studios, downtown LA, and beaches. They even have a haunted Hollywood tour. Their Hop-on-hop-off buses will drop you off to visit a location and then you can hop back on again to take it someplace else.
Planning a Trip to Hollywood?
Find hotels near Hollywood, California
- Booking.com – Find a hotel in Hollywood.
- For a beautiful view and a spectacular time in Hollywood, book the Kimpton Everly Hotel on Argyle
Get the best price on a flight to Los Angeles
- Skyscanner – Find the most affordable flight to Los Angeles on a search engine you can trust.
Rent a car in California
- RentalCars.com offers car rentals worldwide that are affordable and trust-worthy.
Tour Los Angeles
I’m so glad I was able to attend the conference, make new friends and see some of the wonders of Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles.
Have you been to Hollywood? What would you like to see there? Please leave a comment below.