Having ticked off Melrose Avenue and Beverly Hills from our bucket lists, there was one more stop for today: Hollywood! I was really excited about visiting, given the incredible legacy and glamour often portrayed about the area. Rumour was, however, it was a little run down in places. We began on Hollywood and Vine, at the beginning of the Walk of Fame.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
It was cool to see different pop-up stores along Hollywood Boulevard – this one was solely for Ru Paul! Other than that, it was extremely packed with tourists and a little run down. We wanted to check off the main sights then head up to the Griffith Observatory for an iconic sunsets.
The Walk of Fame was a lot longer than I had envisaged – it’s also spread across different streets. Typically, you begin with some of the lesser known names along Vine Street. The closer to Grauman’s Chinese Theater you get, the bigger the names.
It felt bizarre to think that these A-list celebrities had once had a ceremony for the launch of the star on such a chaotic street.
Some people took the cinematic air of Hollywood into their own hands by walking along the street dressed in Halloween appropriate outfits.
Towards the end of the street’s hubbub, we took shelter in the Roosevelt Hotel. It’s a legendary building that was the venue for the very first Oscar award ceremony back in the 1920s. It was also a previous home to stars including Marilyn Monroe. We went in expecting sheer glamour, but it was a lot less so than I had thought!
In need of escaping the mayhem of Hollywood Boulevard, we hopped into an Uber. We set off for the Griffith Observatory with a cheeky nap in the afternoon sun in between.
The view was truly amazing and it was very cool to be in such an iconic place, high above the utter mayhem of Hollywood.
The Griffith Observatory itself as a building is pretty incredible. It’s also Southern California’s ‘gateway to the cosmos’ with several space exhibits including a Tesla coil and a Zeiss telescope. The building itself is also the setting of a number of classic films including Back to the Future, and it offers some of the best views across the city. You can see across Downtown LA, Hollywood, and even towards the Pacific Ocean. This is partly what makes the Observatory such a popular attraction.
We decided to take a hike towards the Hollywood sign (although not all the way to it as that’s around a 4 hour trip), just as the sun was beginning to set. It was really beautiful and the scenery is something else. We were a little put off hiking too much further as we came across what looked like a small coyote. Despite plenty of other people doing the hike, multiple signs warning of rattlesnakes also scared us a little!
We watched the sun dip behind the Hollywood hills in one of the most dramatic and incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen. We then walked back to the Griffith Observatory to catch a bus back downtown.
The night time views across downtown Los Angeles are truly spectacular. As we needed to hop on the Dash bus (a 50c ride back downtown), we didn’t get to see the view from the telescope which only begins at 7pm, so I’d highly recommend waiting around for that.
Downtown Los Angeles
We felt hungry by this point and were keen to make the most of the insane Mexican food in LA. So we set off for Mercado, a modern twist on Mexican cuisine. The food was good and the chicken enchiladas came with almost a chocolatey sauce. To be perfectly honest, however, I’d have been just as happy with tacos from a street vendor.
We rounded off a wonderful evening by getting ready and going downtown. Via a very interesting UberPool with two drunk men, we went to check out the bar at Broken Shaker. Despite a short wait, you can order drinks at their bar next door, and the rooftop pool is awesome and very LA.
We ended the night with more drinks and a California burrito from a taco truck – very apt for Los Angeles I think! It was an incredibly busy day but a bloody wonderful one.
Have you been to LA? What did you get up to?