10 things you must know before you travel to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. First off, Hollywood Boulevard is definitely not as nice as you think it is. The idealized Hollywood in your head is most certainly better than the real Hollywood. You’ve seen it on TV for the Oscars, and it’s all decked out and amazing. The real Hollywood blvd is filled with shady businesses, crumby souvenir stands, and panhandling “entertainers” who will attempt to shake you down for a photo with them. Hollywood is also huge! There are so many hidden gems in the city, but most of what you’ll find in this immediate location is catered to tourists.
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Street Parking (Meter Prices — but watch out!)
Expensive Pay Parking Lots
My favorite: garage at Hollywood & Highland, which is a mall that includes Chinese and Dolby Theaters. With validation (available with a purchase at shops in the mall), you get 2 hours for $2 or 4 hours for $2 with validation from the Chinese Theater. Daily max of $17
US Highway 101 provides the easiest access via the Highland Avenue exit south.
This is also a great place to have a quick meal. There are several restaurants hidden away in this area where you can get a fast and affordable meal away from some of the more touristy restaurants on the main street.
Yes, Los Angeles has a subway, and it’s one of the best ways to get to Hollywood, the LA Metro Red Line has 3 stops along Hollywood boulevard. And it’s cheap, only $1.75 per ride, any distance!
Hollywood & Western,
Hollywood & Vine
Hollywood & Highland (Which is the best stop to start at)
And it also stops at Universal Studios Hollywood, which isn’t in Hollywood at all!
4. Photos with Street Performers
They aren’t there out of the kindness of their hearts, if you take a picture with them, or of them, they’ll expect some money. And sometimes be forceful about it. I’m not telling you not to take a picture with them… just know it’s going to cost you.
It all is pretty mediocre on Hollywood boulevard, and overpriced. If you want “cheap”, best options are the food court at the top of Hollywood and Highland mall, I like Poknomitry, or there’s an In-N-Out burger a block over on Sunset. If you want better sit-down eats, get off Hollywood blvd, head over to West Hollywood.
6. Making Movies
They don’t make them here anymore… most movie making in LA happens in Burbank, which is North of Hollywood. If you are looking for the “movie studio” experience, check out the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, and Paramount Pictures Studio Tour, or Universal Studios Hollywood theme park for their Studio Tour. None of these are near Hollywood boulevard. You can take the subway to Universal Studios Hollywood though.
If you want to take a tour of the Dolby Theatre, head to their box office when you first arrive on Hollywood Boulevard, then organize the rest of your day around your scheduled tour time.
In 1923, an investor by the name of Harry Chandler had the letters ‘Hollywoodland’ constructed to advertise a new real estate development. In 1949, the word ‘land’ was removed from the sign and it became an advertisement for the whole town rather than just one neighbourhood.
8. The stars:
It’s called the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and celebrities can earn stars in 5 categories.
9. Celebrities have to pay for their star
10. Celebrities can earn multiple stars
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