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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.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

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.

Dolby Theatre

It’s fun to imagine the stars walking around her for the Oscars.

The Dolby Theatre

Here it is from the outside.

Dolby Theatre

Randy’s Donuts

Randy's Donuts

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.

Randy's Donuts

She picked a chocolate donut and said it was yummy!

Randy's Donuts

The TLC Chinese Theatre

Grauman's Chinese Theatre TLC

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.

TLC Chinese Theatre

You have to check out the fun photo op, even if you don’t stand in the exact place for maximum effect.

TLC Chinese Theatre

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop

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.

Ghirardelli Hollywood

It was fun to look around.

Ghirardelli Hollywood

El Capitan Theatre

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.

El Capitan Theatre

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.

El Capitan Theatre

The Hollywood Walk of Fame in All of Its “Touristy” Glory

Hollywood Walk of Fame

We definitely had fun exploring the area. We spent a couple of hours just taking everything in.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Here’s Randy’s Donuts from the opposite side of the street.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

We can’t resist “touristy” gift shops, so we had to check a few out.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The photo ops can be fun!

Hollywood Walk of Fame

And yes, we took home a magnet and a little “Hollywood” sign. I refrained from buying an “Oscar,” though.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

It’s also fun to see little details here and there.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

I couldn’t help letting my imagination run, dreaming about the Hollywood of yesterday and how glamourous it must have seemed.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

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.

Hollywood, California

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.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
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14 Comments

  1. I visited this years ago when I was in college – and I do agree, it’s something interesting to see and I’m glad I visited, but I won’t be hurrying back. I like your idea of going in the early morning – so when I take my kids someday, I’ll be sure to do that!

  2. What a great trip. I got pictures with my favorite actors, Doris Day and Cary Grant. Yes, my dad got me into old movies and thoughts were to two people I wanted to find the most. lol.

  3. I used to visit here a lot when I first moved to California to go to different tv show tapings and just to shop around. My favorite time I’ve ever been was driving down the street early in the morning before everyone is out. It looks so nice and peaceful, which it never is!

  4. Lisa Manderino Reply

    I am like you, I like to see the touristy things and live it up! This is a great post!

  5. We got to spend a day in LA last fall when we took a day trip from Vegas. We definitely didn’t get to see everything and your pictures make me want to go back and see more!

  6. I agree! This is a great place to go, see and do, and then be done 🙂 Sounds like the whole trip was super fun!

  7. My 10-year-old has the Chinese Theater on the top of his bucket list, but I can’t figure out why. It would be neat to see, but it’s definitely not at the TOP of my bucket list. Haha.

  8. Agreed, there are popular places that are popular for a reason gay everyone should see at least once. This strip is really fun, we enjoyed walking along the stars and having a sundae on Sunday at ghirardelli

  9. I love hidden gems, but also love visiting iconic places…we had a lot of fun checking out all the different names on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  10. I’m a huge movie fan. I’d love to visit the theaters and the walk of fame!

  11. The last time I went I was a teenager. I agree, it’s one of those places everyone needs to see at least once in their lives. I still remember it being one of the best childhood memories.

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