When one thinks about Los Angeles, Hollywood come automatically to mind. Both Hollywood Blvd and the Sign. So when visiting LA, one must include Hollywood on their list of things to do. And that’s exactly what I did when I went to LA with my family. Little did I know that there’s a wrong way to visit both of these sightseeing destinations. I’m here to tell you what NOT to do when visiting Hollywood.
1. Driving to Hollywood Blvd.
One thing you only realize when in Los Angeles, is how far everything is. As soon as you figure that out, your instinct is to rent a car, which is totally ok. The problem, though, at least my problem, is that you end up forgetting to put gas and parking into account, making renting a car much more expensive – not to mention the stress that is driving around and trying to find parking. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get a car, but there are plenty of decent all-day parking lots near metro stations and you could easily. The LA public transport system is really helpful in that sense. With fares at $1.75 a ride or $7.00 a day-pass and metro stations in most touristic places, it’s definitely worth taking the Metro to Hollywood Blvd. There are three stations along the red line. You can easily find a route on the LA Metro’s website or on your preferred search engine.
2. Going there around noon.
Noon is usually one of the more popular times of the day for people to be out and doing stuff. So when it comes to one of the most visited sightseeing places in Los Angeles, Hollywood Blvd is not any different. You’ll have to push yourself through a river of people on the sidewalks, it’s awful! Trust me, we didn’t think about that and it was very claustrophobic. Oddly enough, there aren’t as many people there closer to sunset – probably because everyone is somewhere trying to see the beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Another reason why noon is not the best time of the day is simply because there aren’t many places to eat. Yes, there is the Hollywood and Highland Center, which is a huge shopping mall, but it’s in the heart of the hustle and bustle; hence, super expensive. And if you’re like me, that gets “hangry”, all your energy is set to not screaming at people around you, instead of looking for a cheaper option to eat.
3. Visiting first the Blvd. and then the Sign.
You can see the Hollywood Sing from various places around Hollywood. But they won’t be the best possible views. One of the best places to see the sign is from Canyon Lake Dr. From there you can do one of the hikes to the many hikes to the sign and the beautiful view of the city. By the time we got there, we had just eaten, so we weren’t in the mood for hiking. Also, it was just around 3 p.m., and it’s usually one of the hottest times of the day. So we drove up to a small park on Canyon Lake Dr. and took pictures of the sign and were miserable for being in the sun. If we had gone first to the sign, we would have had the energy to do the hike and not just take funny pictures. *That’s my dad in the Instagram picture bellow.
Here’s the location on the Canyon Lake Dr. viewpoint.
4. Not planning ahead.
Usually, when I travel I have some sort of plan or list of things to go. And I look at where I am on the map and sort out where to go from there. And I thought that since I’d already gone once to LA that I had everything under control. Things were not under control. I complete overestimated the time we’d spend in traffic, and did things only considering what was closest and as I’ve mentioned before, taking parking for granted. If I had done my research better – as I did to write this post – I would have programmed our trip much better. We could have seen more things and spent less money. LA is the second largest city in the United States, what was I thinking?!
5. Not taking pictures.
With all that going on, I was so overwhelmed by the hundreds of people around me that I didn’t even stop to take pictures of what Hollywood Blvd. actually looks like. Not to mention that because we didn’t do the hike I only got the really obvious pictures of the Hollywood Sign. I think because I usually like more minimalistic pictures, I didn’t even challenge myself to explore and try something different. But when traveling you have to take broader pictures so you can remember what things look like. At least the first time I went there, I took one picture with a pair of hands in front of the Chinese Theater.
I’ve been to the Hollywood Blvd twice already. The first time, my mom and I stayed at what is supposed to be the haunted Hotel California, which is near the heart of Hollywood Blvd, so I thought myself to be the expert on what to do around Hollywood. So, when thinking about this post, I realized that I would do it completely different if I ever went there again. Hopefully, my arrogance would help you do it right when you go there next.
Do you have any tips of things NOT to do when traveling?