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A Local’s Guide to Your Hollywood Vacation

Hollywood vacation
Iconic Hollywood Sign

Summer is officially upon us. That means many tourists will enjoy a sunny Hollywood vacation in the coming weeks. Hollywood can be a bit challenging to navigate if you’ve never been there – or even if you live in SoCal. But take it from this Los Angeles resident, there is plenty to do in Hollywood that will take you off the beaten path.

Check out the Wisdom Tree Hike

The Wisdom Tree hike is a beautiful, less crowded alternative to the traditional Hollywood sign hike.  In addition to the breath-taking panoramic views of Los Angeles at the top of the hike, the Hollywood sign is still visible at different stopping points along the hike.  At the top of this three mile hike grows the solitary tree. The area is complete with sitting areas and stunning views of Los Angeles.  It is tradition to write your “wisdom” and leave it in one of the designated places near the tree. You can also read what wisdom others have left at the tree.  This practice is what makes this Hollywood hike so special and why you’ll definitely want to check it out on your next Hollywood vacation.  If you love the great outdoors, do both hikes!

The Grove

Okay, so The Grove will be flooded with tourists this summer, but The Grove Mall is still a must-see when visiting Hollywood.  It is actually just outside of Hollywood, between Beverly Hills and Central LA. The mall has beautiful architecture, coupled with a huge variety of places to shop and eat.  The Grove’s aesthetics alone will keep you wanting to simply walk around it all day.  Whether you are interested in specialty stores like Michael Kors, more popular stores like Nordstrom, or you just want to peruse the farmer’s market, The Grove will have you entertained for hours.

Barnsdall Art Park

If you’re looking for something fun, unique, and kid-friendly during your Hollywood vacation, check out Barnsdall Art Park.  The park has tons of events including family art days and outdoor movies.  And, for adults, the occasional wine tasting!  Barnsdall organizes tours of the Hollyhock house built in 1919 – Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles project.  The website notes, “Built between 1919 and 1921, it represents his earliest efforts to develop a regionally appropriate style of architecture for Southern California. Wright himself referred to it as California Romanza, using a musical term meaning “freedom to make one’s own form.”  Barnsdall Art Park is a local spot that provides a unique Hollywood experience.

Hollywood Heritage Museum

Los Angeles is full of awesome museums including The Natural History Museum, The Getty, and The Museum of ToleranceThe Hollywood Heritage Museum is a piece of Hollywood history all its own.  It is home to historic movie memorabilia sacred to the heart of Hollywood’s story of becoming the world’s hub for film and media.  If you find yourself near the Hollywood Bowl on your Hollywood vacation, swing by the Hollywood Heritage Museum. You won’t be disappointed.

When visiting Los Angeles, Hollywood is a must-see and these locales will give you a little glimpse of local culture.  If you’re planning to visit the area for multiple days during your summer getaway, check out Santa Monica. Whether you’re looking to catch a little piece of fame, catch the eye of a celebrity, or catch a wave at the beach, Los Angeles has what you’re looking for. And, Hollywood embodies one of the best parts of the quintessential Los Angeles vacation.