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When some people travel, they search for things “off the beaten path” while avoiding tourist traps. Those people aren’t us. Sure, we like to experience places “as the locals do,” and we love finding those little known gems. But we also love those places that “everyone should see once” in their lives. The more cliche the better. And why not? We like to experience a little bit of everything.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame area may not be for everyone, and I don’t know if I’d ever go back, but when we planned our Los Angeles trip, I knew I wanted to see it. Even if it’s only one time. I wanted to be able to say that I’d been there.
With a preface like this, you may believe that the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a horrible experience. It wasn’t. Was it amazing? Again, no. Am I glad we explored this little piece of history? Absolutely.
Visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Morning
We took our first trip to California last summer. Our plane touched down in mid-afternoon, and by the time we got our rental car and drove to West Hollywood to our hotel, it was evening and we were ready to settle in.
We stayed at a fun and convenient place for families, couples, or groups. It’s very close to the Hollywood Walk of Fame area, just north of the Dolby Theatre. Click here to read about our stay at The Magic Castle Hotel.
We did drive around a little that evening, and people were certainly out and about checking out the sites.
The next morning, we woke up refreshed, ready to tackle our first day. One thing to note–don’t get started on your day too soon in Hollywood. Things don’t really open up until 9:00 a.m. We did get there a little early, but we walked around the area and got some pictures without crowds.
The Dolby Theatre
We parked in a parking garage off of the Dolby Theatre where the Academy Awards are held. It’s a great spot for seeing the sights in the area. We were able to walk around a bit with no other people around.
It’s fun to imagine the stars walking around her for the Oscars.
Here it is from the outside.
The original Randy’s Donuts opened in 1953 and has been a Los Angeles icon ever since. You may have seen the original building in Iron Man II.
In 2018, a location opened at Hollywood and Highland, right in the area we were exploring. Kristin decided to give it a try.
She picked a chocolate donut and said it was yummy!
The TLC Chinese Theatre
This iconic building, also known as the Grauman Chinese Theatre, is a must-see once in your life, in my opinion. They have tours available, and I would’ve loved to do that, but we didn’t have a lot of time. We did get to check out the outside.
You have to check out the fun photo op, even if you don’t stand in the exact place for maximum effect.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
If you are a Disney fan like us, you’ll want to take a look inside Ghirardelli. As you can see in the picture, El Capitan is right next door. Both are across from the TLC Chinese Theatre. Besides the yummy treats, you’ll want to see the Disney art in Ghirardelli.
It was fun to look around.
El Capitan Theatre
This Disney-owned theatre originally was a stage for live theatre. In 1941, Orson Wells rented the theater to premiere Citizen Kane. A year later, Paramount renovated the theater and showed first-run movies.
In 1989, Disney and Pacific Theatres renovated the theater. The style is meant to reflect early movie theaters, and it even houses a restored pipe organ, the “Mightly Wurlitzer.” Now, El Capitan premieres and runs Disney movies. When we were there, the live-action Aladdin was playing.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame in All of Its “Touristy” Glory
We definitely had fun exploring the area. We spent a couple of hours just taking everything in.
Here’s Randy’s Donuts from the opposite side of the street.
We can’t resist “touristy” gift shops, so we had to check a few out.
The photo ops can be fun!
And yes, we took home a magnet and a little “Hollywood” sign. I refrained from buying an “Oscar,” though.
It’s also fun to see little details here and there.
I couldn’t help letting my imagination run, dreaming about the Hollywood of yesterday and how glamourous it must have seemed.
After we walked both sides of the street for a few blocks, it was time to move on. I’m glad we took the time to explore the Hollywood Walk of Fame area. For our next adventure, we drove on the Sunset Strip and had lunch at Mel’s Drive-In. Click here to read about our experience. After lunch, we checked out the Griffith Observatory to check out the Hollywood sign. Click here to read more.
Later that afternoon, we checked out Santa Monica Pier and Malibu. Blog post coming soon!
Our first full day in California was a blast. The next morning, we checked out of the Magic Castle Hotel and drove to San Diego. If you’d like to read more about La Jolla, click here. If you’d like to read about our ghost tour at the Whaley House, click here.