Laura on a hike to the Hollywood sign, LA

Hollywood and the Griffith Observatory

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

Ru Paul pop up on Hollywood Boulevard

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.

Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Marilyn Monroe's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
Ryan Reynold's Hollywood Walk of Fame star

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.

Dolby Theater, Hollywood
People dressed up for Halloween on Hollywood Boulevard, LA

Some people took the cinematic air of Hollywood into their own hands by walking along the street dressed in Halloween appropriate outfits.

Grauman's Chinese Theater
Celebrities' hand prints and signatures in Hollywood

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!

Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood

Griffith Observatory

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.

Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles
Sun across the Hollywood Hills
Girl at the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles
Girl at the Hollywood Hills, LA
Girl with a view over the Hollywood Hills, LA

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, 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.

James Dean bust with a view of the Hollywood Sign
A view across Downtown Los Angeles
A view of Downtown LA from the Griffith Observatory
A telescope for viewing downtown LA

Hollywood Hills

The Hollywood sign at dusk

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!

The Hollywood sign at sunset
Girl at the Hollywood sign at sunset
Laura on a hike to the Hollywood sign, LA
Girls in front of the Hollywood sign, LA
Sunset over Hollywood
Sunset near the Hollywood sign
Sunset over Hollywood

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.

Sunset over Hollywood
The Griffith Observatory at sunset
Downtown LA at night

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.

Enchiladas from Mercado, Los Angeles

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.

Rooftop bar and pool at Broken Shaker, Los Angeles

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?

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One Comment

  1. Love this post, especially the pictures. Yes, I have been to LA before and I particularly enjoyed the food and the many characters that you meet on the streets (especially around the Walk of Fame area). I too found Roosevelt Hotel a bit run down, I have watched so many old movies and seen pics of old Hollywood glamour that I found it a bit disappointing. When I was on that side of the US, I also visited Santa Monica Pier and did some good “window shopping” on Rodeo Drive. I really enjoyed Rodeo Drive 🙂

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