Los Angeles/Hollywood

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Introduction

No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a visit to its most famous district: Hollywood, best known as the self-declared entertainment capital of the world.

A business and residential district in the city of Los Angeles, the core of Hollywood for a tourist is its three fascinating boulevards: Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, and Melrose Avenue, all of which are worth seeing. Hollywood Blvd is known for its entertainment history, Sunset Blvd for its clubs and nightlife, and Melrose Ave for its shopping, nightlife, and eclecticism.

Hollywood was founded as an independent city in 1903 and voted to merge with the City of Los Angeles in 1910. That same year also saw the birth of the Southern California motion picture industry when D. W. Griffith relocated his Biograph Company, sparking a westward migration of East Coast filmmakers. As movies exploded in popularity in the 1910s and 20s, the name Hollywood became synonymous with the film industry.

In the decades following World War II, Hollywood's glitz and glamour began to fade as most of the leading film studios moved to other places. By the 1980s, Hollywood was considered one of the worst neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The 1990s, however, saw the beginning of community redevelopment efforts, and today Hollywood is once again one of the region's most vibrant areas. Paramount is the only major film studio still headquartered in Hollywood, but the area nonetheless remains an important center of the entertainment industry with its myriad production and broadcast facilities. Smaller studios still in Hollywood include Sunset-Gower Studios, Hollywood Center Studios, Raleigh Studios, Jim Henson Studios, and Sunset Bronson Studios (housed on the original Warner Bros. lot).

The other major studios are located to the north in the San Fernando Valley, particularly in Universal City (NBC, Universal), Burbank (ABC, Disney, Warner Bros.), and Glendale (DreamWorks). Most of the rest are to the west: Century City (Fox, MGM), the Fairfax District (CBS), and Culver City (Sony). Many of the studios offer tours if you want to see where films are shot.

If you want to see celebrities, pack your patience or be prepared to play the role of boulevardier. The chances of bumping into a celebrity are very low (mainly because most of the celebrities who live in Hollywood usually do not go out in public) unless you're willing to do a lot of hanging out at expensive restaurants in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, or in Malibu. You can easily see where they live by taking a tour or buying a star map.

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Sights and Activities

Hollywood is the place for film and TV series tourism. If you're lucky, you can see a taping of a TV show; most of America's sitcoms, game shows, and quite a few of its talk shows are taped at any one of the major studios in the Hollywood area (quite a few dramas are filmed in these studios as well, but since they tend not to be filmed before a live studio audience, your chances of getting to see one of those live are virtually nil). Nearby Studio City, Burbank, Century City, Fairfax, and Culver City hold the most prominent studios, but in Hollywood proper, Paramount Studios is the filming location of many sitcoms and Dr. Phil, Hollywood Center Studios provides production facilities for Disney and Comedy Central, among others (@Midnight is a big draw these days), and Jimmy Kimmel Live! broadcasts from a complex adjacent to the El Capitan Theatre. In general, you'll have to call or go to the website of the show itself to get tickets.

Hollywood Sign. Hollywood's most recognizable landmark is easy to spot high up on Mount Lee in nearby Griffith Park. You can drive part way up for a closer look, but you can't hike all the way to the sign. The best viewpoints of the sign are from the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park, on Mulholland Drive above the Hollywood Bowl, and from the Hollywood and Highland Center. For a rare view of the Hollywood sign with lines of palms trees on the side, go to 650 S Windsor Blvd, or further north.
Hollywood Walk of Fame, along Hollywood Blvd btwn La Brea Ave and Gower St, and along Vine St btwn Sunset Blvd and Yucca St. The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of a series of stars embedded in the sidewalk to commemorate famous movie, radio, theatre, and TV personalities. Since 1960, over two thousand stars have been immortalized; the schedule for upcoming star ceremonies is listed on the Walk of Fame's website.
Capitol Records Building (Capitol Studios), 1750 Vine St (between Hollywood Blvd and Yucca St). One of the most iconic buildings in Los Angeles. The circular tower—which contrary to popular belief was not intentionally designed to resemble a stack of records—is home to Capitol Records' west coast operations. Contained inside the building are the renowned Capitol Studios. Unfortunately, tours of the inside are no longer offered to the general public.
Charlie Chaplin Studios, 1416 N La Brea Ave (just south of Sunset Boulevard). An interesting historical landmark, this complex was built in 1917 as the studios for Charlie Chaplin's film company. Constructed in Tudor-style architecture, it has the appearance of a small English village from the outside and was where many of Chaplin's most iconic films were shot, including The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator. In 2000, the studio was bought by the Jim Henson Company, which marked their presence with a statue of Kermit the Frog above the main gate. The studio is not open for tours, but you can admire the architecture from the outside.
Paramount Pictures Studio Tour, 5555 Melrose Ave (entrance at Windsor Blvd), ☏ +1-323-956-1777. Tours held daily every half hour 9:30AM-2PM; advance reservations required. The only major film studio still located in Hollywood, Paramount has been using this as a production facility since 1926 and has filmed many notable pictures here, including Sunset Boulevard, Rear Window, Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments, and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Today you can take a 2 hour guided tour of the backlot, which is still used for film and television production today. $53.
6 Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd, ☏ +1-323-469-1181. Grounds open daily 8AM-5PM. Dating back to 1899, this beautiful cemetery is one of Los Angeles' oldest and is the final resting place for hundreds of film stars, directors, writers, and other influential figures from the entertainment industry. Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Mel Blanc, Peter Lorre, Mickey Rooney, and Bugsy Siegel are but a few of the famous names you'll see here. Interactive kiosks located throughout the cemetery play short documentaries about those interned here, making it a great place to learn about Hollywood's early history. The cemetery also often holds events, including regular movie screenings (see below under Do) in the summer. Free.
ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 W Sunset Blvd (west of Vine Street), ☏ +1-323-464-1478. An upscale multiplex which offers various amenities, such as assigned seating, an on-site cafe, alcoholic beverages available for purchase, and occasional special event screenings with Q&As with noted filmmakers. Within the complex and very visible from the street is the Cinerama Dome, an eye-catching geodesic dome with a movie theater inside that is a noted example of Space Age architecture, with a 1960s-era marquee facing Sunset Boulevard.
Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak Theatre), 6801 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-308-6300. Check schedule for events; tours daily every half hour 10:30AM-4PM. Located at the Hollywood & Highland Center (see "Buy" below). Hosts a wide range of live performances, including the annual Academy Awards. Half hour guided tours of the theater are available. Tours $19 adults, $15 seniors/youth 17 and under. Dolb
Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-466-3456. Check schedule for tours and film screenings. An ancient Egyptian-themed theater that was built in 1922 and operated by Sid Grauman, of Grauman's Chinese Theatre fame, this was one of the first lavish movie palaces and was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere. Today it screens many classic films and documentaries. Screenings $11; tours $9.
El Capitan Theatre, ☏ +1-800-347-6396. Check website for screening times. A lavish movie palace dating from 1926, which hosted the Hollywood premieres of many films, most notably Citizen Kane. These days it's owned by Disney, and hosts the premieres of many Disney feature films.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-464-8111. The most famous movie theater in the world, Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in 1927 and is home to the cement footprints, handprints, and (in some cases) otherprints of many of history's most famous movie stars. The theater is also a former home of the Oscars, and today hosts many movie premieres. The forecourt that showcases the star's prints is free to all visitors. Half-hour guided tours of the theater are available. Screenings $12-$16; tours $13.50 adults, $11.50 seniors, $6.50 children.
Guinness World Records Museum, 6764 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-463-6433. Daily 10AM-midnight. Held in the historic Hollywood Theater building, this museum showcases various world records. $16.99 adults, $14.99 seniors ages 55+, $9.99 children ages 5-12.
Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N Highland Ave (across from the Hollywood Bowl), ☏ +1-323-874-4005. Sa-Su noon-4PM. Housed in the Lasky-DeMille Barn, which was built in 1901 and served as one of Hollywood's first film studios (Cecil B. DeMille had an office in this building) before being moved to its current site, this museum has a collection of photographs and memorabilia from old Hollywood. $7 adults, free for children under 12.
Hollywood Museum, 1660 N Highland Ave (at Hollywood Blvd), ☏ +1-323-464-7776. W-Su 10AM-5PM. Countless pieces of memorabilia from films and Hollywood stars of old, housed in a beautiful Art Deco building that was the home of the business of Max Factor, "the Make-up King" of Hollywood. $15 adults, $12 seniors/students, $5 children ages 5 and under.
Hollywood Wax Museum, 6767 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-462-5991. 10AM-midnight daily. The Hollywood Wax Museum is the longest running wax museum in the United States, with more than 45 years of continuous operation by the same owners since 1965 and featuring over 180 figures of celebrities. $16.99 adults, $14.99 seniors 55+, $9.99 children 5-12, children 5 and under free; discount if purchased online.
Los Angeles Fire Department Hollywood Museum, 1355 N Caheunga Blvd, ☏ +1-323-464-2727. Sa 10AM-4PM. This museum is in the old Los Angeles City Fire Station 27, opened in 1930. It is fully restored to how it appeared in 1930 and contains a historic fire apparatus. Free.
Madame Tussauds Hollywood, 6933 Hollywood Blvd (at Orange Drive), ☏ +1-866-841-3315. Opens daily at 10AM; closing times vary by season, check website. The Hollywood location of the popular chain of wax figure museums, with numerous wax replicas of Hollywood celebrities. $29.95 adults, $22.95 children (discount if purchased online).
Ripley's Believe it or Not, 6780 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-466-6335. Daily 10AM-midnight. A museum that focuses on the odd, the unusual and the unbelievable. Features interactive illusions and a gallery. $17.99 adults, $11.99 children; discount if purchased online.
Museum of Death, 6031 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-466-8011. Su-Th 11AM-8PM, F 11AM-9PM, Sa 11AM-10PM. A museum that was founded, according to its website, to "fill the void in death education in the USA." The collection includes such items as serial killer artwork, crime scene photos, replicas of execution devices, and a coffin collection. The self-guided tour lasts approximately an hour, "but those who can stomach it may stay as long as they'd like." There is no age limit but the museum is recommended for mature audiences. $15.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

By Plane

Hollywood is served by Los Angeles International Airport (LAX IATA) or the slightly closer Bob Hope Airport (BUR IATA) in Burbank. A direct scheduled shuttle service from LAX is provided by LAXFlyAway for $8 per person, and stops on the west side of Vine Street about half a block south of Hollywood Boulevard. Metro operates a free shuttle between Bob Hope Airport and the North Hollywood Metro station, where you can ride the Red Line subway into Hollywood.

By Car

Hollywood is close enough to the Westside to make car trips there relatively easy. If you're beginning your trip in Downtown Los Angeles—the proverbial center of Southern California's intricate freeway network—you can head north on U.S. Highway 101 and exit on Hollywood Blvd or Gower Street. If traffic is a problem (and it will be around the hours of 1PM-6PM), consider an alternate route such as one of the surface streets. From the west, Santa Monica Boulevard is a major thoroughfare that links Hollywood with Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

By Public Transport

Hollywood's location is central to most other popular attractions. Metro's Red Line subway service stops at Hollywood/Vine and Hollywood/Highland, and is the most direct transit connection to Downtown. It also continues north to its terminus in North Hollywood, with a stop in Universal City. Visitors from Orange County can get to Hollywood by taking Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner or Metrolink's Orange County Line to Los Angeles Union Station and then transferring to the Red Line.

The stretch of Hollywood Blvd between Highland and Vine is served frequently by Metro bus lines 217 and Metro Rapid 780, while the 180 and 181 from the east terminate just before Hollywood/Vine. Sunset Boulevard is served frequently by bus lines 2 and 302, Santa Monica Boulevard by the 4 and Metro Rapid 704, and Melrose Avenue by the 10. For frequent north-south service, Vine Street is served by the 210 and La Brea Avenue by the 212 and 312.

Long-distance bus service is not available into Hollywood. If taking Greyhound, the best option now is to take one to the station in North Hollywood, then catch the Metro Red Line.

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Getting Around

Hollywood sits roughly between the 101 freeway on the east, Melrose Avenue on the south, West Hollywood on the west, and the Hollywood Hills on the north. The main east-west streets of central Hollywood are Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd, intersected by the main north-south streets of La Brea Ave, Highland Ave, Cahuenga Blvd, Vine St, and Gower St. Night-time pedestrian activity in this area is focused on Hollywood Blvd.

The main areas of Hollywood are walkable, and you could walk all the way from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose Avenue, but the distance is far enough that most people would probably drive or take the bus.

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Eat

Palms Thai Restaurant, 5900 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-462-5073. Su-Th 11AM-midnight, F-Sa 11AM-2AM. Home of the infamous Thai Elvis, who will serenade you through dinner. The decor is authentically cheesy and Elvis sings the hits. While plain dishes such as fried rice or pad Thai are nothing to write home about, the curries (duck and panang), pad prik king, and anything off the "wild things" menu are excellent choices.
101 Coffee Shop, 6145 Franklin Ave (at Vista Del Mar Ave), ☏ +1-323-467-1175. 7AM-3AM daily. Previously known as the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop, this place has been popular for years, and the new owners have only improved it. Great selection of sandwiches, burgers, sweet potato French fries, coffee and tea. It's not unheard of to spot celebs here. edit
Ammo, 1155 N Highland Ave, ☏ +1-323-871-2666. Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM; brunch: Sa-Su 10AM-2:30PM; dinner: M-Th 6AM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Great for lunch or dinner, excellent and fashionable food. edit
Cheebo, 7533 W Sunset Blvd, ☏ +1-323-850-7070. 8AM-11PM daily. Everyone loves the Cheeb! A play on "cibo" (Italian for food), this place has great and creative food and a fun atmosphere. All-day breakfasts, excellent sandwiches, salads, pizzas by the foot and nice dinners to boot. Eat here for breakfast and you'll be back for lunch.
The Griddle Café, 7916 W Sunset Blvd (east of Fairfax Ave), ☏ +1-323-874-0377. M-F 7AM-4PM, Sa-Su 8AM-4PM. The Griddle Café is the best breakfast experience in LA. It features pages of every type of pancake you can imagine, which also happen to be twice as large as any pancake you've ever had, and still manage to be fluffy-thick and light on the tummy. Coffee is fresh, in a French press, and the menu features more than just breakfast. Short story: Food is awesome, service is great, but its always crowded. Don't worry though, they serve fast and you will feel the wait is worth it.
Mel's Drive-In, 1660 N Highland Ave, ☏ +1-323-465-3111. Su-Th 6:30AM-3AM, F-Sa 24 hrs. Come here for traditional diner fare: cheeseburgers, French fries, and milkshakes. Part of the chain that opened in San Francisco in the late '40s. There is another location on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. edit
Musso and Frank Grill, 6667 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-467-7788. Tu-Sa 11AM-11PM. For a taste of old Hollywood, this is the place. It's been famous for generations.
Sushi Ike, 6051 Hollywood Blvd (in a mini-mall on the corner of Gower), ☏ +1-323-856-9972. Lunch: M-F noon-2:30PM; dinner: M-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. A small and moderately-priced authentic Japanese restaurant with a great sushi bar and friendly chefs--one of the best this side of the 101.
Doomie's Home Cookin', 1253 Vine St, # 9 (at Fountain Ave), ✉ doomieveg@gmail.com. Su–Th noon–midnight, F-Sa noon–3AM. It looks like a low-key burger grill, with hamburgers, chicken, and fries — but every dish is vegan! Mains $9.50–14.50.
Beachwood Cafe, 2695 N Beachwood Dr, ☏ +1-323-871-1717. Tu–Sa 8AM–9PM, Su 8AM–3PM, M closed. The bright, whimsical colours evoke the laid-back vibe of "Hollywoodland", the 1920s real estate development in this canyon which left behind a famous hillside sign. The food is fresh, interesting California cosmopolitan, with plentiful vegetarian and vegan options. A popular brunch spot. Reservations only for groups of 6 or more. brunch entrees $10-15.
Running Goose, 1620 N Cahuenga Blvd (just south of Hollywood Blvd), ☏ +1-323-469-1080, ✉ thegooseruns@gmail.com. Mo–Th 11AM–10PM, F 11AM–11PM, Sa 10AM–11PM, Su 10AM–10PM. Creative, delightful food, international with a Central American heart. A range of vegetarian and vegan options. Their patio is a quiet oasis in the Hollywood bustle, with easy walking distance to Hollywood Blvd theatres. Reservations recommended before shows. entrées $20-30.
Yamashiro, 1999 N Sycamore Ave, ☏ +1-323-466-5125. Su-Th 5:30PM-9:30PM, F 5:30PM-10:30PM, Sa 5PM-10:30PM. This Japanese restaurant is perched above Hollywood, and on most nights provides an unbeatable view of the city, from downtown to Palos Verdes. The food is excellent, the gardens and architecture are elegant, and the restaurant has a fascinating history (the story's on the menu). Look for the small sign just west of the Magic Castle; valet parking only.
Katsuya, 6300 Hollywood Blvd (at Vine St), ☏ +1-323-515-8782. Lunch: M–F 11:30AM–2:30PM; Dinner: Su–W 5:30PM–10PM, Th-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. The newest restaurant from acclaimed chef Katsuya Uechi, designed by Philippe Starck. Mouth-watering Japanese menu of sushi and wagyu steak, but not much for vegetarians. Destined to be a new Hollywood institution. His ten other restaurants around the LA area are rated as some of the best in the city. Entrees $32-50, "omakase" menus $75-150.
ceFiore, 6922 Hollywood Blvd #107, ☏ +1-323-465-9097. 11AM-11PM daily. Right across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theatre you'll find one of LA's best places for tart Italian non-fat frozen yogurt and yogurt smoothies. Choose from 4 different frozen yogurt flavors: Original, Blackberry, Raspberry-Pomogranate, and Green Tea, along with a wide variety of fresh fruits and dry toppings. They also offer smoothies, herbal teas, and coffees.

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Drink

The Juice Fountain, 6332 Hollywood Blvd (between Ivar and Vine), ☏ +1-323-464-8986. M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa-Su 10AM-4PM. One of the best juice places in LA, it recently moved from its old location on Vine St. The juices are fresh and delicious, and its run by a sweet Hispanic family. Don't mess with the grandma! $3-5.
Roosevelt Hotel Lounge, 7000 Hollywood Blvd (across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theatre), ☏ +1-323-466-7000, ✉ infoHRH@thompsonhotels.com. The lounge in this historic hotel is an upscale hotspot where one is likely to find Hollywood elite enjoying cocktails on weekdays, and a hipster party scene on weekends. Plenty of leather couches, candles, and a classy staff provides a sense of how the "other half" lives. Expect Hollywood prices to go along with the Hollywood atmosphere.
Power House, 1714 N Highland Ave, ☏ +1-323-463-9438. M-Sa noon-2AM, Su 10AM-2AM. One of the most laid back and relaxed bars in town, head here for cheap beer, darts and classic rock. Come as you are, and you will be glad you're here.
Boardners, 1652 N Cherokee Ave, ☏ +1-323-462-9621. Su-Th 5PM-2AM, F-Sa 4PM-2AM. Power through the packed crowds and grab yourself a spot at this bar, where the drinks are strong and there's good people watching to be had.
The Well, 6255 W Sunset Blvd, ☏ +1-323-467-9355. 5PM-2AM daily. Make out as if you're a local and head to this so trendy it has a secret entrance door (hint, the entrance is on Argyle, even though the address is on Sunset). While the crowd can be posey, its one of the better clubs in the area, and still manages to remain intimate and cozy.
Velvet Margarita Cantina, 1612 N Cahuenga Blvd, ☏ +1-323-469-2000. M-F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa-Su 6PM-2AM. Dark lounge inspired by Dia de los Muertos. Lots of tequila, beer, and of course margaritas.

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Sleep

Hollywood offers a wide range in price and quality of accommodations. The antique Roosevelt Hotel provides an upscale choice, though has a reputation for frequently closing its pool for private parties. There is a full range of standard motel chains including Travelodge, Motel 6, and Best Western. There are also a few well-located hostels.

Motel 6, 1738 N Whitley Ave, ☏ +1-323-464-6006, fax: +1-323-464-4645. This is part of a budget model chain. It offers clean rooms in a convenient location. $70 for a double/twin.
USA Hostels, 1624 Schrader Blvd (5 blocks from metro off Hollywood Blvd), ☏ +1-323-462-3777, toll-free: +1-800-524-6783, fax: +1-323-417-5152. The #1 rated hostel in Los Angeles (by hostelworld guests) in 2007 and 2005, USA Hostels is in the heart of Hollywood off Hollywood Blvd on a quiet side street. This 150-bed hostel offers female and mixed 6- and 8-bed dorms and private rooms, free all-you-can-make pancakes, free coffee and tea all day and free wireless internet. The hostel runs many free and discounted activities and tours and a free shuttle three times per week to Venice and Santa Monica beaches. Dorms from $30, private rooms from $90.
Hollywood Heights Hotel (Hilton Garden Inn), 2005 N Highland Ave, ☏ +1-323-876-8600, fax: +1-323-876-3272. This boutique-style hotel is relaxed, comfortable, and uniquely personal with 160 rooms fitted with amenities including FACE cosmetics and flat-panel TVs. Starting in March 2012 this hotel will be rebranded as the Hilton Garden Inn. $99+.
Saharan Motor Hotel, 7212 W Sunset Blvd, ☏ +1-323-874-6700. The Saharan Motor Hotel features deluxe rooms and suites, luxury amenities and excellent service. $100+.
The Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd, ☏ +1-323-466-7000, toll-free: +1-800-950-7667. A boutique hotel right in the center of the action offering spacious, well-appointed rooms and suites with luxury bed and bath linens, bath products and state-of-the-art in-room technologies. It is a Hollywood legend, and was the location of the first Academy Awards ceremony. $300+.
Kimpton Everly Hollywood, 1800 Argyle Avenue (At the NE corner of Argyle and Yucca), ☏ +1-213-279-3532. The bones of an old hotel, a couple of blocks back from the heart of Hollywood, and right next to the busy 101 freeway, has been given the characteristic Kimpton glossy makeover, and equipped with soft sheets and attentive service. Rooms with "Hollywood view" can indeed see the hills and the famous "Hollywood" sign — and also face the 101, through noise-insulated glass. Two bars, a cafe, plentiful lounge space, and free wifi make this a congenial place for guests to kill time. $280–400.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 8:23 on Sep 30, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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